Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Super Crappy Spring Double Giveaway

Since I have had no motivation to sew this week, (I am gluten intolerant and accidentally got glutened on Easter which meant I spent the earlier part of this week on the couch.) I am going to host another giveaway. This time to thwart this years crappy spring. (Seattle is the town spring forgot. Not to mention the horrifying tornadoes in the U.S. South or the Japanese earthquakes. Ok, Seattle's eternal greyness pales in comparison to those other events, but I think we could all use a little mood lifting. Getting glutened also makes me kind of depressed, fyi.)

First item up: Simplicity 2209 (sizes 14-22)

I have made two of these dresses already (three if you count the bad one) and they already have pretty heavy rotation in my wardrobe.

Second Item: 2 1/4 yard 48" stretch cotton sateen

This is a mid-weight sateen perfect for a skirt or dress. What appears to be black on my monitor is actually a dark brown. This is a really lovely piece of fabric that matches nothing in my wardrobe and makes me look sallow. (I have olive skin that is hard to match with yellow. )

Here are the rules:

1) You have until midnight (PST) Sunday May 1st to enter.
2) This giveaway is open world-wide.
3) Please leave a comment letting me know which item you would like. (You may request both, but each item will have a separate drawing.)
4) I will announce the winners on Monday May 2nd. If you do not leave an easy way for me to contact you, you may want to check back on Monday or Tuesday to see if you won.
5) I will use to pick a winner.

Good Luck!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

You Gotta Know When to Fold 'Em

Last week, I was working on another self-drafted shirt. I got three muslins into it and realized that I had all the details right, and that the shirt would never look good on me. It was hard, but I just put it down, and went to work on something else. All that work for nothing.

Well, not really. I learn something on almost every project I work on, and this blouse was no exception. (My main lesson this go around, other than the fact that style does not look good on me, was how to discretely get rid of a back shoulder dart.)

Another thing I did last week was to go through my closet and weed out some items that I never wore. These also happened to be items that I made, and were well-made to boot. I loved looking at these things on the hanger, but not so much on me. It was hard to give them up, but it was even harder to see them taking up space in my closet and know that I wasn't going to wear them.

This is my Macaron dress by Colette Patterns. Fits wonderfully and looks great on the inside. Does not look good on me. The length was wrong (which I could have fixed) and the the fabric was too stiff (which I could not fix.)

Simplicity 2209. Makes me look stumpy. Nothing helped.

Colette Patterns Sencha blouse. This version needs to be tucked in. I don't tuck stuff in. Only worn twice.

A McCalls pattern I can't remember the number of. Fits okay, plaids kind of match, looks great inside, and the ruffle feels huge when I am wearing it. I get so distracted by it, I can't concentrate on anything.

Ah well, lessons were learned. Annoying though.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Simplicity 2209

Here is another quick version of Simplicity 2209 (The Lisette dress.) I've already written about this before, and I don't have much to add. Comfortable and cool. (Not that we have any warmth in Seattle.)

I did get to spend the weekend in Las Vegas, which was tons of fun. (I always have fun travelling with my husband.) I am not much of a gambler or a drinker, but I loooooove natural history museums. Especially ones with cheesy dioramas of "the circle of life." Disney has a lot to answer for. (This picture was not the diorama labelled with that. But illustrative of the principle.)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Simplicity 2245: Ceramics Smock

I finally got Simplicity pattern 2245 in my size. I was unsure if I could rock the tunic style, and I did not want to make a muslin, so I made a prototype instead. (Known as a wearable muslin to some of you.) Due to the business of the fabric pattern, you cannot see any of the details on this pattern.

A little medical scrub looking, you say? I concur! I got this fabric from and was not loving it. It is supposed to be a cotton lawn, but it is a little on the heavy side, and it turns out I hate the print. (And was too lazy to return it.)

Here is the line drawings of the pattern, so you can see some of the nice details that are actually there. (There is also a Lisette flickr group if you want to check out some of the nicer versions that people have made of this tunic/shirt/dress)

This is the first tunic I have made, and I am not as against the style as I used to be. But, maybe not this pattern for me. Although, I think I am eventually going to make the dress in a lighter weight fabric.

If you are not sensing the sound of disappointment, it is because I am not upset about what could have been a slightly underwhelming project. This top is perfect for me to wear in the ceramics studio! I am constantly getting clay all over myself, and this would be perfect to stick in my locker to put on before I get to work. It is also pretty high cut, so on the odd occasion that I work on the wheel, I'm not gonna flash everyone.

This is one of those garments that is useful rather than fashionable. I might even make another smock for painting, although I am not as messy at that. Any useful items that you need to make?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sometimes Things Could be Better: Simplicity 2209

I thought I would whip up another Lisette dress: Simplicity 2209. I really loved the last one, this one is just sort of meh.

This is the best of about 15 pictures. Really. This makes me look stumpy. I am 5' 8". I haven't been stumpy since I was 3. It's not the fault of the dress, but rather that I made the bodice and skirt out of 2 different fabrics. This just cuts me in a funny way.

The bodice fabric is a quilting cotton (not blue.) And the skirt is left over from my last dress (more blue.) The unflatteringness of this dress is due to my fabric choices and not anything inherent in the dress. I have enough blue left over to make a belt, so I will see if it makes any improvement. This may just be a wear-around-the-house-throw-a-sweater-over-it kind of dress. It has some nice details, handmade binding for the arm holes and pick stitching around the neckline facing instead of understitching. It's not a wadder, but it's not a winner either.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

First Self - Designed Shirt

My first self-designed blouse:

I took the bodice from this dress and turned it into the above blouse. (No, they are not made from the same fabric. The top is more royal blue than navy. It is a great stretch cotton that I got a gorgeous fabrics a long while ago.)

What I did to make the blouse.
  • Traced my dress bodice and removed the waist darts.
  • Added length and hip width using my blouse sloper.
  • Added four inches to the center front neckline for the fold and tapered it down to nothing at the waist. To do this I needed to create a center front seam which was not in the dress. (This method for creating width for the fold without increasing the width at the bottom mostly worked but there is a little pooch at the mid section which I am not happy with, but not hating enough to do anything about.)
  • Extended the bust darts by 3/4 of an inch. (The extra fabric from the front fold makes the side seams looser there, so I needed to make up for that by making the darts longer.)
  • I top stitched the facings down, which I did not have to do on the dress. The neckline is a little wrinkly on the blouse. I'm not sure what is causing that, but it certainly does not make it unwearable.
Back view:

My blouse is not perfect, but it fits well, and I think it's pretty good for a first try. I'm wearing it right now. (There is only a poor facsimile of sun right now in Seattle, so the shirt looks darker than it is. I hope we get spring this year. ) I think maybe I need to make something that is not blue.