Cursed Fabric Makes Good

The "Palette" Ensemble

The Facts | Pantone Color Palette Challenge
Fabric | Black Stretch Cotton Twill $3.98 a yard and Silk Blend Cotton Lawn $9.98 a yard, from Fabric.com
Patterns | Butterick 3530 (Sorry, Vicki!!! She gave it up at the Sew Weekly NYC meet-up.) and Grainline’s Tiny Pocket Tank
Year | 1960s and 2011
Notions | Thread and a zipper.
Time to complete | About 4 or so. I spent much more time than that fretting over fabric choices and starting projects (a skirt, the bra top from B3530 and this dress that I cut out last week) that didn’t work out. I only took pics today (Monday) because it has been FREEZING in Brooklyn and inside my apartment!
Wear again? | Yes! I really want to make more pants, so these shorts were my wearable muslin to see if they would fit, and they do! I like the top, but it’s very delicate, so I’m not sure how well its exposed serged seams will hold up.
Total price | About $25 if you take into account the fact that I wasted the additional yardage of both fabrics on previous projects.

More Pics Here

OY! Last week’s sewing was a bitch!! I eagerly began working on the dress I cut out in a beautiful blue cotton sateen the previous week. After making one zillion darts (or 10, 6 of them in the front bodice alone) I realized that the width I added to the pattern was unecessary. In fact, I could have made the pattern smaller and had much better luck with the fit. Apparently, my back is much narrower than I thought. I’m beginning to think that I am cursed to never make a good project in navy blue cotton sateen!! This has to be the third time I’ve bought a ton on sale and ended up with nothing wearable to show for it.

I had also cut out a skirt in the only orange fabric I had on hand. This was before (you can see it in the background of my pre Frida pics) the Pantone challenge was rescheduled to make way for the St. Pat’s challenge. That worked out in my favor as I LOVE the dress I ended up with. The skirt probably would have fit, but I am not a huge fan of orange and the fabric was sort of thin-ish, so I knew that I might work on the skirt and never wear it. That seemed like a fairly pointless project. So, I used the pieces to cut out the lining for the bra top from Butterick 3530. I used the absolute last of that black twill for the outer. It is simple enough to construct, but unless I wanted pointy dart nipples, it was not going to work.

Sigh.

The "Palette" Ensemble

For all of my effort I eventually ended up with the two pieces you see here. There were problems with that silk/lawn fabric, too. I failed to make a Sorbetto with it before. Making darts, hems, applying bias tape. ALL of it was a nightmare in this fabric. I cut out this Tiny Pocket Tank months ago and it has sat in the closet since. This time, I didn’t bother trying to add the darts, or make french seams, or hems. I finished all the edges, serged that sucker together and called it a day.

The "Palette" Ensemble

The cotton twill was very nice to work with, it has just enough stretch to make fitting a bit easier but it’s also a substantial feeling fabric. I made another pair of shorts with the rest of the yardage. They were also a test fit for a pants pattern. But they did not work out. The fit was weird (I added width then, too) and then I lost weight so now they look really weird.

The "Palette" Ensemble

This pattern is some kind of miracle! (Sorry, again, Vicki!) The pant legs are cut in one flat piece, with side (my thumb is at the bottom), front and back darts of varying widths. I tried to judge the fit by laying store-bought skinnies over the pattern. I added a tiny bit of width to the upper part,

used a stretch fabric and held my breath. What a pay off! They could use some tweaking (the back gaps a teeny bit, there is some whiskering at the front) but it’s not too bad, I think. I always use another layer of stretchy fabric, rather than interfacing, when I sew with stretch fabric. Interfacing kills all of the give. Look! It’s the failed skirt’s orange, fabric. lol!

Anyway, all of the challenges can’t be a breeze. They would cease to be challenges, wouldn’t they? I managed to get my school work done, despite the time suck that was sewing, this week. I finally completed something with that silk/lawn. I feel confident about making pants from this pattern. I like the shorts. AND, they look great with the top I made for the button challenge!

The "Palette" Ensemble

I still feel like a success ;D

PS- I am barefoot in all of these pictures. I like these shoes.
The "Palette" Ensemble
But I’m not sure about them. My conscience wouldn’t let me wear them for the pics when I might take them back. My dusty, fabric scarp and thread covered sewing room floor had nothing at all to do with that decision….

Grandma’s Sewing Box

Grandma's Sewing Box

This was my paternal grandmother’s. She gave it to me on Saturday. Actually, she’d given it to me before then, but my dad took us (me and the kids) home Saturday so I didn’t have to lug it (and us) on the bus.

I’ve already put my thread inside. I would never have guessed I had this many. I just bought a spool of blue and had a new one in my thread tin already.
With my thread inside

She had a MESS of zippers inside.
A Mess of Zippers, Literally

Some buttons.
Buttons

Buttons

And some seriously COOL buttons!
Cool Ass Buttons!

Cool Ass Buttons!

Cool Ass Buttons!

I wish there were more. They might work for these jackets, though.

Simplicty 4799

Vogue 1128

Thanks for the anniversary wishes!!

We spent the day in with the kiddies, but we have a movie date to see the Hunger Games tomorrow ;o)

Magic Trick

Somehow, don’t ask me to explain it, I magically ended up with these new (and new to me) patterns. I couldn’t have purchased them, because I had given myself a firm lecture on how I had more than enough to get me through one sewist’s lifetime. I was very convincing and thus put aside all pattern wanty-ness for the greater good of my pocketbook.

Yet…..here they are.
Butterick 5601

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Mcall's 6403

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McCall's 6440

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Vogue 1247

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These three are for my aspiring fashion designer to work on her sewing skills over the course of the year.

McCall's 6159

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Butterick 4722

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Butterick 3233

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Simplicity 6685

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Simplicity 8916

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Simplicity 5383

This one had a gem hiding inside.

Receipt 1964

The original receipt of purchase!!

1964 pattern, fabric and notions receipt
I found this undated one first and thought how nice it would be if had more information.

When I pulled the pattern all the way, the other one was inside!! The vintage ones are all from my favorite etsy seller, File Cutter. Tony, the owner, is always so nice and ships SO fast. Visiting the shop to get the link just now I spotted even more lovelies there. It’s dangerous browsing there.

You’ve been warned.

Real Life Interrupts

I think we all, to an extent, blog about our real lives. Sewing, crafting, making things are all a part of who I am. But, there are parts that I usually keep to myself. Like my feelings on what happened to this young man.

Today, we wear our hoodies for him.

And for my sons.

And for the black boys and men who should still be here.

The “Petite Holloway” Ensemble

The "Petite Holloway" Ensemble

The "Petite Holloway" Ensemble

It’s Mad Men Week over at the Sew Weekly. I think I’ve mentioned that I don’t watch Mad Men often enough to skip right over the reason (or more accurately, the lack of reason) why. It’s also safe to say that you’d have to be dead not to notice the buzz about the show’s wardrobe and style in general. I know that the characters are an indelible part of pop culture, now.

I also know that of every female on that show, Joan is the one most watch. I’ve seen enough sewing blog posts about Joan and her alter ego, Christina Hendricks, to know something of what made her style, her style. I still hit Google, Flickr and Pinterest looking for images. Two things were immediately obvious: Joan’s style is always about FIT and usually filled with SOLIDS. FIT & SOLIDS. ALL. CAPS. I was drawn to this look in particular.

It was also immediately obvious that there are women who are blessed to share Joan’s Cocoa Cola bottle shape, and that I was not one of them. The good thing is, you don’t need that shape to go with fit and solids. I thought I could do a look that was Joan-lite or…Petite Holloway (!) and be happy with that. I cut out a dress and there it sat. Then, I saw this image on a blog that I read. I wanted separates. So, at the last minute, I winged a top, cut out a skirt and drafted a high waistband for it. And then, they sat. My get up and go, had got up and gone.

Today (Monday), I forced myself to get to work. There are some things that are a bit misaligned and I made my waistband too big and did a quick fix rather than make another. Regardless, I am soooo pleased with the result!

The "Petite Holloway" Ensemble

The "Petite Holloway" Ensemble

The "Petite Holloway" Ensemble

The "Petite Holloway" Ensemble

The Facts | Mad Men Challenge
Fabric | Teal Wool Crepe :: $9.98 a yard :: less than one yard used. Navy Stretch Rayon Jersey :: $4.98 a yard :: less than one yard used. Bronze poly something or other for the lining. I think it was in the $1.95 a yard section. All fabrics were purchased from my beloved, Fabric.com.
Patterns | Simplicity 9823 with a swayback adjustment, a true TNT pattern now. I cut the top without a pattern based on the line drawing of this top.
Year | Current, I think, despite the old pattern and style that I’m trying to emulate.
Notions | Thread, a zipper and interfacing for the waistband.
Time to complete | About 4 or 5 hours. This is the first time I added a lining to a skirt, there was a bit of a learning curve.
First worn | While snapping flicks in my living room.
Wear again? Yes! But not on a chocolate craving week, if you know what I mean ;o) That waistband is a bit uncomfy right at this moment.
Total price | About $20 or so with the percentage off the fabric. I’m pretty sure that pattern was $1 when I bought it about 7 or 8 years ago, when I first decided to sew my own clothes. I bought a ton and I couldn’t follow even one. What a long way I’ve come!

PS- I wasn’t ready in time for my photographer (hubby aka the Oracle) to take my pics this week :p

More pics here

Spring Break is Grinding to a Halt

And I haz a sad :(

I’ve really enjoyed this time off from thinking about school, well, I thought about it after I unexpectedly received a call about interning this summer. I had begun an application for federal internships after getting an email about them from school, but I didn’t complete it once I realized I would probably have to relocate to DC for the summer in order to accept one. I thought nothing else of it, until someone from the organization left me a voicemail about my incomplete app and asked me to call back because they were very interested in working with me.

After I dug around the net to locate the organization, and found out that the NY branch of the office they offered me a position in would not be utilizing interns this year, I called back and left a message  declining the offer. They called again and asked if I was sure that coming to DC wasn’t an option. Nice! While I am disappointed that I cannot take the position, it was extremely gratifying to be sought after. Hopefully, I can take advantage their future NY offers.

What else have I done…..I read a ton (An Available Man and too many Jane Austen retellings to mention) and watched some of my fave movies.

I also went on a class trip with the twins. We saw a puppet show version of Puss in Boots at Puppetworks in Park Slope. The show was excellent!!

Every time I see a marionette up close, I wonder about its construction. I need another hobby like I need a hole in the head, so I will refrain from investigating too much LOL!

  Right now, I’m reading

(a re-telling of Jane Eyre), working on my Mad Men themed projects for next week (No input from hubby this time, but he’s looking forward to supervising my photo shoot, lol. My Luck of the Concrete Jungle Dress was a big hit over there! It is so nice to read the sweet comments from the other members. My Frida projects were very well received, too!)

and trying to go through my magazines and rip out the inspiring things within. My sewing room looks like a clutter bomb blew up in it, so, along with gearing up for a return to schoolwork, I will spend part of tomorrow clearing the floor in this place.

What’s your Sunday looking like?

Luck of the Concrete Jungle

Ok. Full disclosure, I wanted to use this fabric last week. The vibrant green color was a great match for Frida’s work, but I could NOT think of a single thing to do with this large scale, LOUD pattern. I didn’t want to make anything with tons of pieces…. I consulted the Oracle (my hubby) about making a pencil skirt? A circle skirt??? I thought a dress made from this would surely be overkill, but he said “Make a dress. A baby doll dress.” The man knows what he likes. I looked at my patterns. Nothing seemed to work. So I went with my other options last week and was glad that I did.

This is the only green fabric I own, so I was determined to make it do what it do for St. Patty week! Back to the Oracle I went. This time, with two pattern for him to choose from. This one or that one. He choose that one and it was perfect for the fabric and stupid easy! Great job, Hubby!

The Facts | Color {Green} Challenge
Fabric | Printed Stretch Cotton Sateen & Blue Cotton Shirting (same as the tunic from last week)
Patterns | Vintage Butterick 3530 (from the Sew Weekly Meet-up!!)
Year | 1960’s
Notions | Thread and two buttons
Time to complete | A couple of hours, if that!
First worn | While my hubby snapped flicks ;P
Wear again? Yes! I love it so much more than I expected!
Total price | About $6 or so. The fabric was $3.98 a yard, I used about one yard or so. The buttons were dirt cheap. The thread, too.

This was sooooo easy! The pattern is for a 31 inch bust, but vintage patterns tend to have a lot of wearing ease, so I was thought I could make it work. I wanted it to fit like it’s shown on the envelope, but I’ve been burned by A line dresses and patterns in the past. They tend to want to rest on top of my booty and not glide over it as they’re meant to. Or worse, they’re too loose around the bosom area. I added about a half inch to the front and back of these pattern pieces and like Little Bear’s bed to Goldilocks, It was just right.

The Luck of the Concrete Jungle Dress

The Luck of the Concrete Jungle Dress

The Luck of the Concrete Jungle Dress

Two sets of darts at the front for the lining and self fabrics, attach the back and front of each, sew the two together at the shoulder/underarm seams and then turn the whole thing right side out like a giant dress pillow or something. You hem them both, buttonhole it, slap on buttons and DONE. So stinkin’ easy! And, to my extreme delight, I found that I like the pattern AND the fit, too! Score!

The Luck of the Concrete Jungle Dress

More pics HERE!

The Kindness of Crafty Friends

My annual karaoke knitting party was today. That means another handmade gift for me. This year’s gift was just as beautiful as years past! WILL YOU LOOK AT THIS!!

Knitting Group Gift Exchange Spoils!!!

Can you even stand it!

Knitting Group Gift Exchange Spoils!!!

Knitting Group Gift Exchange Spoils!!!

Knitting Group Gift Exchange Spoils!!!

This beautiful shawl was crocheted for me by Ms. Yarnydays from the Claudia Scarf Pattern.

I have to mention that Rima was my second match. When the choices were made, I was originally assigned to Tomo. You might not have noticed, but she’s gotten me twice already. She made both of the scarves I linked to above. I even joked that she might have me again this year. What are the odds that it came to pass?

I totally forgot to take a picture of my gift for Emily. I made this cowl for her. It was the knitting I was doing way back when. I feel so lucky to be included in the party and gift exchange, I don’t get to make it to the weekly meet-ups very often. Thanks for tolerating me, ladies!

PS- I’m wore one of my Frida tunics today!