Monthly Archives: April 2013

It’s Never Too Late For Now!

That’s the title of a 30 Rock episode. Not a great one, but I miss the show, so…

Just a quick post to say, I’m totally do Me Made May! I kept meaning to post about it and forgetting or putting it off, but I’m all in, this is my third year in a row! And this time I’m upping the ante…

mmay13

I, Leah of Struggle Sews A Straight Seam, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’13. I endeavour to wear one handmade garment each day for the duration of May 2013, with no outfit repeats.

That means NO OUTFIT REPEATS AHHHH! I’m probably going to make stuff during the course of the month, like I do, and I currently have five, count ’em, FIVE garments yet to be documented (I…have a problem), so those should be making their appearances as well. Who is excited? I AM!

And what will Cadfael be doing during this exciting time?

IMG_8120Yeah. Pretty much just the same as normal.

 

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The “April Is The Cruelest Month” Top

I don’t want to sound like a low rent comic, here, but what is the deal with this spring weather? After a cold winter we here in Brooklyn we have been enjoying a cold and chilly Spring. Ah, well, it is what it is, and after all:

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Thanks, T.S. Elliot, you’re the best. The rest of the poem can be found here. Also, side note, for someone who is, in life, not that into poetry, I sure as hell am throwing a lot of it down on this blog, now, aren’t I? Bizarre. I’ll have to talk to some booze about that.
Still, I don’t mind it all that much, except that I happen to believe I look a whole hell of a lot cuter when the weather is warmer, sigh. But on the other hand, I did get to make a lot of cold-weather things this past winter, and now I’m trying out transitional things for this temperamental season we call “spring in the mid-atlantic”. Not quite New England, not the South, but somewhere stuck between the Mason-Dixon line and the Cape, we few, we happy few, we band of mercurial-Spring havers.
So I’ve been trying to make things that look cute, remind me of Spring, and are warm enough to survive my commute and daily needs. It’s been a challenge, but what are you going to do? If you are me, you are going to buckle down, you are going to suck it up, and you are going to make a silk dupioni blouse!
AITCM 1Recognize the pattern? It’s the blouse from Simplicity 3688, that lovely 40’s reproduction business I’ve made once before.  I have altered it EVEN MORE! Bahahahaha. I omitted the waste tucks, lengthened it by four inches, added two darts  to the existing three on each sleeve cap, and lowered the neckline. Oh, and I did french seams throughout. For next time, and oh yes, there WILL be a next time, for such a simple blouse it really works for me and I always get compliments when I wear it, I plan to lower the neckline just a smidge more, but keep the rest as it is, this length is perfect for me!
AITCM 4See? See how happy I am with the length?
AITCM 3Oh, and I cut the back on the selvage and seamed it together. I do that so often now I kind of forget it’s an alteration!
AITCM 6I love my expression here, like, oh, really, a photo? I couldn’t possibly, despite having set up the tripod and the timer and jumped into place for this photo. It’s all so unexpected!
AITCM 5I love the yoke, I really do, I don’t know why it’s so flattering but somehow it is.
AITCM 2That expression says, I am, indeed, feeling like a pimp, and I shall, in due time, be brushing my shoulders off, if I didn’t have such qualms about ending a sentence with a preposition.
The fabric is, as I said, a silk dupioni, one I bought at the Pennsylvania Fabric Outlet a year and a half ago for, get this, 1.98 a yard. WHAT THE WHAT? It was a steal. I got a bunch, and I still have some…what to do, what to do. It has a lovely texture that you can see in this closeup:
AITCM 8The leaves sort of shimmer a bit in the light.
Fun fact about this photo, I wanted to get a close up and I was alone at home so I just took off my shirt and took the photo. I can do that because I also make these CURTAINS!
AITCM 7I made them for most rooms of our apartment. It’s been a recent sort of boring but totally important and useful project. I also made the futon cover which you can sort of see, it’s the red sofa on the right. Anyway, home decor, it’s a bitch, but when I do it’s just so satisfying!
In other news, can it get a little warmer soon? I think I’m making the best of it but seriously. SERIOUSLY. Ah, well. Elliot and I will just have to live.
PS: I promise I did make a Mad Men inspired dress, though I’m past the deadline, but I will be posting it soon just for your viewing pleasure, I swear! Stay tuned!

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Filed under Simplicity Patterns, Uncategorized, Vintage

The Indiophile Tunic

My sewing backlog is out of control. I keep making stuff and not documenting it. What is my deal? I have a tripod. I have no excuse. I just always end up throwing things in the laundry and as I step into the shower remembering that I was supposed to take photos of that and now it’s dark and my hair is wet and everything is the worst. So I go talk to some food about that, and, and this is the important part, NOT TAKING PHOTOS OF MY GARMENT. And the cycle, she continues. How do you guys do this? Do you find it to be as much of a struggle as I do? Am I alone in being decent at the making but bad at the taking (of photos, which I know you guys get, I just love to end on a rhyme…).

However, today was stunning, and I wore something new, so I basically forced my friend Sam into snapping some photos of me in Washington Square Park, which is just a stone’s throw from where I go to school. It’s usually filled to the brim with hip NYU students and ornery homeless people, and today was no exception. Sam and I felt just right at home. It looked a bit like this:

IT 9Nice, right? The trees are just starting to bloom, the grass is growing, the homeless people didn’t spit on us, it was a pretty good day, all things considered. And Sam ever so kindly put up with my terrible modeling, because she is a good friend.

So, remember when I told you all that my friend brought me back fabric from India? Well, I made something with some of it…

IT 6The glare from the sun caught this at an angle and so there are odd large green hexahedrons on my legs. And a little one that in this photo looks like a hair ornament. So that’s fun.

The pattern is Butterick 5548, a tunic that I thought went well with this fabric, one of the three (THREE, I’ve said it before but thank you, Rohan!) that I have. This one was a border print, and sort of a lightweight kind of a thing, cotton, I believe? So tunic seemed like a good choice. Check out the weird pattern image:

B5548I guess what I find so weird about it is that both of those models are actually the same person, but I feel like they are pretending it’s two difference people with the change of hair and pants and shoes. And it’s awkward. But the pattern is cute! I used the longer pattern and shortened it by about a foot, and yet it is still quite lengthy.

IT 2But I like it! What else did I change, hmmm, I guess that’s about it. It’s a very simple pattern to stitch up, only a few pieces and really the collar is the most complicated part.

IT 4It’s sort of flipping out in this photo, but I think you get the idea.

IT 1

I loved wearing this today. I finished it last night after Game of Thrones (guys, I’ve gotten into Game of Thrones! That’s why I’m not taking any photos of my garments, I’m too busy with Game of Thrones! Obviously!, and it was perfect for today’s weather. The shot cotton (I don’t know if you can see it in these photos but it’s sort of a lovely shot cotton in two shades of orange) seemed to brighten the day for me. I never wear orange, but I like this! 

IT 3

 

As you can tell, this fabric, amazing and wonderful as it is, wrinkles like a sharpei dog.

44982-dogs-shar-pei

See the resemblance?

IT 5WE ARE THE SAME. Ahhhhhh!

IT 8A little close up on the gold border print. So pretty, right?

IT 7As a thank you (read, way to torture) my lovely photographer, I took a photo of her so the world can see the person behind the magic. Thanks, Sam, and thanks, Rohan, and thanks, today, because the weather was simply gorgeous!

Stay tuned for my Mad Men dress coming soon, which I swear to you I will document, by all that is holy, I will take photos of that damn dress!

 

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Filed under Butterick Patterns, Clothing, Sewing

The Old Fashioned Outfit

Before I write anything else, I just want to say, thank you very much, all of you, for your gorgeous and wonderful comments on my last post. I’m always a bit reticent to share real emotions digitally, after all, as we all know, the internets is no place for feelings. But in the swirl of all this nostalgia, I felt some impulsive need to inject a touch of reality, or at least, my reality, into the vintage mania, which I myself truly do share. Thank you all for reading, really, it means more to me then I can say.

And now, onto my second Sew For Victory outfit! This one is actually a reproduction print, the ever popular Simplicity 3688. I took the blouse and skirt patterns and made them both, in a Spring (or at least anticipating Spring! Come on, Spring!) outfit. And here is what I came out with:

TFRO 1

As I look at this photo, I realize there is just a ton of fabric bunching at the waist. Oh, well, what are you going to do. I omitted the waist tucks, serves me right.

TFRO 2As you may recall (though why on Earth would you…) I’ve actually made this skirt before. But I’ve never made this blouse, and I honestly do like it quite a bit. The neckline is a bit high, and I had to add two darts at each shoulder to get the sleeve to ease into the arm, but otherwise it really works for me.

TOFO 3

The blouse material came from Fabric.com from a year ago, and the skirt material came from an Etsy seller two full years ago. STASH BUSTING FOR THE WIN!

TOFO 4I shortened the skirt about 5 inches (because, for real, I am short, and also, I want to wear this thing, not just save it for theme parties!) but otherwise made no changes.

TOFO 5Dance break!

TOFO 7

I love the print, I think it’s perfect for spring! The look might be a bit modest, but I think it’s pretty cute and flattering, even given women with less then subtle chests.

TOFO 6A whole bunch of darts in that sleeve cap.

TOFO 8And there you can just see the flatfelled seams of the skirt.

And there you have it! More 1940’s stuff. I do truly love the lines and shapes of this period. This skirt falls rather stiffly, but really it’s not as big as it seems, and it’s easy to make it fabric efficient. As is the blouse! Makes it all the easier to keep the home fires burning.

Also, as a last word, the title of this post actually refers to the Frightened Rabbit song, Old Old Fashioned. Love it.

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Filed under Challenge, Clothing, Sewing, Vintage