Monday, April 28, 2014

Petal Easter Frock

Here's a finished project! The second version of this pretty dress, the Sorbet Dress,  that turned out so beautifully and successfully! So... you'd think the second dress would have been just as successful, if not more so. But no, I'm afraid not, my dear reader. This dress has a fatal flaw. It's very pretty, especially on it's lovely recipient:

It fits nicely in the bust and at the waist and it a twirly, whirly dream of a dress for a 12 year old. She needs to wear shorts under it just for that reason... she sure does love her some dress twirling.

The princess seams make it so easy to alter a dress, but make it hard to finish the seams with seam binding or by zigzagging. The dress is lined so I just left them unfinished (for those literary types, this comment is definitely foreshadowing).

What's the problem you say? Where's this fatal mistake? Here it is people:

At the waist, at every seam is this pulled fabric. The organza is a poly and delicate, apparently, because at the slightest provocation it has pulled from it's place and made a mess. I had no idea how this had occurred, because it was there before the little lady had even worn the dress. But my friend Teena (an accomplished and experienced seamstress and costumer that I'm so glad to have as a friend) enlightened me. She said that the clipping of the curved seam had weakened the fabric enough to cause it to pull out at the least bit of stress (it must have happened during the hemming process). She suggested that the next time I have to clip delicate fabric I run two rows of stitching to reinforce the fabric or, alternately, that I serge the edge. I think I can go back and resew the seams at the waist, and correct the problem, but this is a terrible thing to happen after all that work! I guess I need to pull out the old serger and make friends with it again. I haven't used it in years and years (like 10 to 12 years). I only ever used it on one occasion and that was to make some contoured diapers for the baby out of flannel. I made probably 15 diapers and I think dulled the cutting blade, so it probably needs servicing before I can put it into action. I'm actually not even sure where it is! It's gone through four moves since I used it!

Pattern: B5872 (It had some weird construction at the shoulders)

Project Cost: $56 with pattern, fabric, lining, zipper, and Hug Snug

Time: 8 hours

Note to self: Reinforce those seams for delicate fabrics and pull out your serger and make nice with it. You could benefit from some ready to wear techniques to round out your vintage sewing repertoire.

Spring Wardrobe Planning, Part II

Here is another color palette I'm working from which is kind of unrelated to the peach/pinks. I decided to work with what was already in my wardrobe, to expand what was there, rather than start from scratch. This seems a more economical idea, after all... I have an aqua cardigan I bought from Lands End (seen here). Another reason this is an idea that's easy on the wallet is that I'm shopping from my stash. This bird print I bought from a quilting shop in town a couple few years ago. It's a cute organic cotton... and I have a quarter of a yard of coordinating stripes, but what can I do with a quarter yard of anything, but maybe some facings for a pair of shorts or pants??? I plan to make Colette's Sorbetto tank (a freebie pattern) from the bird print... using self fabric for the bias bound edge.

The second fabric is actually a twill curtain that I bought, though I forget when and where... but it has a hole in it, making it unusable as a curtain. Perhaps I can squeeze a pair of shorts out of it? It's a good medium weight twill, perfect for shorts. The third fabric is NOT an economical one. It's silk crepe de chine I bought from Mood Fabrics online, hoping to make a Sorbetto tank that would go with my rust colored linen Legacy Skirt. I didn't bother getting swatches (why oh why not??) and it doesn't coordinate with the skirt at all. It's a good foil for the blue, though, and I can see this tank under my leopard print shrug, looking quite nice with my black beads necklace. Pics after I make some garments from these fabrics, of course!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spring Wardrobe Planning

Hi! I've been inspired by some of my favorite sewing bloggers (Colette and Grainline) to do some Spring Wardrobe Planning, as I needed some Spring togs to get me through this most fitful of seasons and into Summer (I am also lacking something fierce in Summer clothes). I've been wearing the autumn tees and jeans, which is a little depressing at this time of year. So, I decided to add some peach and grey pieces to the wardrobe... I have some peachy pink fabric that I bought two years ago, with the same goal in mind, but never used to make clothes. This corduroy and tshirt knit:

I've decided that the knit has enough to make two tops if I'm very careful, so I'll be making a 3/4 sleeve tshirt for Spring, and a tank for summer. The corduroy is intended for some pants that I may never wear... pants are notoriously hard to fit and I'm not really an experienced fitter, as of yet. But I plan to do some little things like grading sizes and then hope for the best. It can't be any worse than buying RTW pants and I can get a little practice with a peachy pink corduroy that would be pretty daring for me to actually wear in public anyway (what was I thinking??) maybe I can make some lighter pants for spring/summer if I like the fit.

I also bought this floral chiffon at the local Joanne which fits my color palette. I plan on a loose fitting tank that can be worn with a skirt or shorts, or maybe those pinky corduroy pants, if I ever gather the courage to wear them... I plan on altering the Sorbetto top pattern to get a looser, flowy-er feeling for the chiffon. I DO NOT plan on making self fabric binding with this stuff. That sounds like a nightmare... I'll use the binding I made for my failed pink Sorbetto (which maybe wasn't the rayon I was told it was, because I melted it just a little).

I also have this peachy and grey shirting fabric that I was planning on making a shirtdress with, but haven't gotten around to yet... this project may wait till next year, though. My sewing queue is filling up fast, and I don't have a ton of time to set aside for sewing. Unlike knitting which I can do anywhere in odd moments, sewing requires me to almost always be in my room.... sewing or cutting or piecing, etc. and I do have six children to educate and care for.

I'm feeling ambivalent about this shirting, though... I thought it would be a good wardrobe basic, but now I'm thinking a flesh tone dress might not be just the thing... 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Beach Glass Aidez

I finished it! Aidez was a really fun pattern to knit because of the easy cables and textured stitches knit in a bulky yarn. This bulky yarn meant lots of bang for your buck, so to speak! I heard that the yarn tended to grow, and my swatch did a little, after blocking, but I wasn't prepared for the 6-7 inch increase in length! I'm glad it did grow, though, because the easy fit is perfect for my figure. The sleeves are a little bit on the tight side for my taste, but they don't bind, so I'll take it! I ADORE the color... of course. Any one who knows me can attest to the fact that I can't get enough turquoise in my life.

I love the cables in the back... even if they're not really crossed correctly. Good enough is perfect, in my world. The high collar back makes me happy, too... it's a cozy detail. The design is a triumph, as far as I'm concerned.

Here, styled with an ivory lace top and my necklace that I assembled from a For the Makers kit. Dark jeans maybe would have been a better color choice? Or khaki?

Pattern: Aidez
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky in Beach Glass, I bought 15 and have 7 left, so what will I do with the rest of it???
Cost: $40
Time: Approximately 18 hours
Note to Self: Pair with brown corduroy skirt, dark jeans, or grey(?). Remember it takes a big sink to wash and two days or more to dry, so don't get it dirty, ha!

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Here's the finished dress, worn by the recipient, a lovely little lady that I just happened to make, too. The linen is a nice heavy weight, soft and drapey, not a crisp linen. It does wrinkle, though. She loves it, and I think it's a perfect summer dress. 

Pattern: See n Sew B5872
Cost: $60
Time: 6 hours
Note to Self: Maybe a preteen doesn't need a $60 dress??? I have one more to make anyway!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Progress on the Girl

So, some progress... these socks are quickly coming along. They're some plain vanilla socks to let the variegated yarn shine. Though plain vanilla socks CAN be boring, they're good for knitting while you're doing something else like listening to a lecture, or reading out loud, or driving (just kidding!). But seriously, I CAN read aloud and knit if I have something to hold the book open for me. Also, I think the little silver fibers are so fun! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Progress on Aidez

Blocking... can't wait to wear it. Maybe to Maryland Sheep and Wool? I sort of messed up the trellis on the back, but not many would notice, and I left it there. Feel free to look and see if you can spot the mistake... I dare ya!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Glamour Girl

What's that?! Why it's some Yarn Love with little silver fibers in it! Yay! It's called Glamor Girl and OHHHHHH, it's pretty. I've had it for a while now, sitting in my yarn bin, and I thought it was time to get it out and make something for MY glamour girls!

The pink is some Knit Picks Bare fingering that I used to exhaust the dye pot when I overdyed orange Shadow yarn to make the cinnabar colored yarn for my Cloisters wrap. I think it'll be a good contrast, if I need one. I'm not sure what else to do with it... it's not superwash so it's no good for socks.