Tag Archives: charmuse

The Call It Compulsion Top

I could also call this the “better than before but still a struggle” top. Or the “why do you torture yourself” top. Or the “shapeless but useful” top. There are a lot of ways I could have gone with this one.

I don’t know what the hell my problem is but every once in a while when I come across a pattern which doesn’t work for me I feel compelled to MAKE. IT. WORK. It will not defeat me. I’m a human, it’s a small pile of paper. I will fight. I will strive. I’m going to make this style/shape/combo work or DIE. TRYING. And so I get all worked up and slave over something and then finally have to admit that A. it’s not great and B. I don’t have to look great in every pattern, it’s okay, life, somehow, goes on…

But despite these useful lessons of the past, I made this top. And I was, initially, really excited about this top! The pattern is actually Colette Patterns’ Taffy Blouse, which I didn’t adore in practice, but I loved the way the bias cut hung over my body, so smooth and comfortable! So I thought, okay, why not try it sleeveless, as the sleeves were my major sticking point in the past. And I had a bit of fabric left over from that luscious if more-shiny-then-I-typically-go-for charmuse from my Something Blue dress, so I thought, okay, let’s do this thing!

So I cut it out, piecing the back together, and I french seamed and bias tape made and generally did it all by the book (literally).

And, you know, when I first tried it on I loved it. But looking at these photos I have come to the charming realization that this thing is rather shapeless. Like, not flattering. At all.

The look on my face says it all. Meh. Just meh. Mehville, population me.

I shouldn’t say that, though, really. I mean, I think this is actually going to be a rather useful piece of clothing, as a very comfortable silk (silk!) shell. But on it’s on? Well, I don’t think it does much for me.

In other news, these are the first blog photos I have taken with my new tripod! WHAT? Yes! I got it for my birthday, thanks, Mamala! No more torturing other people, no more angry photo sessions, just me, my tripod and some limber running into place. I can do that, right?

I’m still working out how to use it well, but this photo shoot was FUN! I’m a bit off-center in most of these, but hey, I will figure it out. Thanks for suggesting this, commentors (specifically Lauren), I don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier!

But one mustn’t be all negative to this poor blouse. I tucked it in, and prefered the results infinitely:

See, that’s better, right?

See, that highlights my waist, instead of making me look, well, wide. And one does so prefer to look slim, now, doesn’t one?

The shorts, by the way, are Simplicity 7866, and you can win that pattern in this giveaway! Now, is that service or is that service.

Of course, being who I am, I couldn’t help but play with the tripod and the timer setting a bit. Want to see?

Yeah. Do you ever do this? Not play with your tripod, I mean, do you see a pattern as a nemesis who must be defeated, rather then what it REALLY IS, a style of clothing that may or may not suit you? I know empirically that not every style is my style and yet sometimes when it comes down too it I get oddly stubborn about patterns. I don’t regret making this blouse, really, I think it will be very useful and it’s lovely to wear, that silk, it’s expensive for a reason, I suppose, but I wouldn’t say it’s the most flattering thing I’ve even sewn. I think I’m throwing in the towel, Taffy, I really did try. I gave you my all. But you give love a bad name…

Yeah. Still sorting out the tripod. I’ll get there. I promose.

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Filed under Clothing, Colette Patterns, Sewing

The Something Blue Dress

Another dress, you say? Good lord, Leah, can’t you make anything else? Well I can, of course, but sometimes I CHOOSE not to. And for a wedding, when the attire is formal/cocktail attire, well, a pant-suit just isn’t going to cut it (unless you are Hilary Clinton. Then you can do whatever you want.)

Real Talk: What is WITH people making up their own degrees of dress? Sport Causal Basic. Business formal fun. Black-Tie Interpretive. COME on. I discussed this with my friend Becca’s boyfriend, Derek (hi, Derek!) and we agreed you can’t just MAKE stuff up, it’s confusing and upsetting, especially if you are coming in from out-of-town and don’t have unlimited wardrobe options because you have a suitcase not Mary Poppins’ carpet bag. Luckily, Jenny did not do such a thing with her wedding because A. She’s a champion and B. she was PROPERLY raised. I went to a “black-tie-modest” wedding last year. Granted, it was an orthodox Jewish wedding, but STILL. That’s not a THING.

At any rate, this is the dress I made for Jenny’s amazing wonderful spectacular moving and gorgeous wedding. Of course, what I made is rather inconsequential because the bride was the focus of the day, as well she should have been, walking around all beautiful and stunning and glowy, but I thought you might like to see what I sewed up anyway, so here it is:

The pattern is a Burda Style, V-neck cocktail dress with starbust (PS: Burda Style, could you please put any effort at ALL into your pattern names? It’s embarrassing. Almost as embarrassing as your instructions! ZING.). I made a muslin and liked the shape, but found the neckline extremely low, so I raised it a full 3.5 inches, because it was a day wedding in Highland Park, IL,  not a night wedding in Vegas.

I forced my friend Lisa at gunpoint (i.e. I asked her nicely) to shoot some photos before the ceremony started, and she graciously agreed. With all her pageant training (true story) she was the best photo-director I’ve ever had! Thank you, Lisa. This is my angry model face.

The material is a silk charmuse from Mood in New York. Love the color. I learned a lot making this dress, and looking at the final product I do like it, but I think I should have underlined it with silk organza to stiffen the slippery charmuse and give it a bit more structure. Still, it’s not too shabby, don’t you think?

I lined the bodice but didn’t line the skirt, and I switched the invisible side zipper for a visible one, (hand-picked, of course) but otherwise made no changes. I straight up ignored the instructions, as they are worthless.

A little over the shoulder action for you. Hello, sailor….

Funny story, Becca and Derek, who housed Lisa and I for the weekend (Thank you thank you thank you!) live in Chicago proper, in a lovely area that just so happened to be in the heart of this weekend’s Gay Pride Parade. The parade looked like an awesome event, but it seriously interfered with our “getting to the Suburbs for the wedding on Sunday morning” plans.  So we ended up getting up early, taking a cab to a train stop and taking that train to a suburb and finding a Starbucks to hang about in until we got caffeinated and called ANOTHER cab to take us to the country club for the wedding. All of this, of course, we did in our wedding finery, which for Derek just meant a suit, but Lisa and I wandered around in heels and fancy dresses like crazy people. Becca, being a bridesmaid, didn’t have to deal with any of this crap. Still, it was an adventure! Not a day goes by I don’t wish I was walking around an empty strip mall parking lot dressed for a wedding….

That’s the face I wear when I think about wandering around strip-mall parking lots. It also shows you the starburst which, try as I might, didn’t iron quite right. Sigh. You can’t have everything. ]

Still, not bad from the back, eh? Oh, that’s right, I also added a slit to make entering the garment a bit more, shall we say, user friendly?

Of course, I simply must feature a photo with my lovely photographer:

Isn’t she just to die for?

I totally failed at asking Jenny what her four things were, like, something old, something new, blah blah blah. I’m sure she had four amazing things (including her AMAZING dress), but just in case she didn’t, she had the something old (her friends) and something blue (Lisa and I) completely covered:

Are those not some of the most attractive people you’ve seen today?

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Filed under Burda Style, Clothing, Sewing, Travel