Tag Archives: Fall 2012

The Sexy Candy Striper Outfit

I have been the worst flipping blogger in the world. And I’m sorry. Graduate school is crazy, people! Even when it’s Clown College. It’s a lot of work, making stuff up, writing it down, it really is! You can trust me on this one. And I also have to go to plays! And deal with humans! Who want to get dinner! The hell? Don’t they know I hate everyone? Apparently not, I keep getting invited and having some kind of attack in which I say YES instead of NO I HAVE TO STAY HOME AND TALK TO MY CAT. New York is doing bizarre things to me…

Anyway, I have been sewing. And I met Mika! Mika is awesome. I always loved her blog, so I’m really glad I got to meet her in person. She’s just fantastic, and her red clovers were dope. Seriously dope. I use this term because A. Mika is from California and I thought it might appeal to her, should she read this and B. they just ARE.

I’ve actually made a grand total of FOUR things of late, which I hurriedly took photos of this morning, because I’ve been trying for two weeks for some of this stuff, and I just couldn’t wait anymore! In other news, I’ve totally deviated from my Fall Sewing Plan, of course, OF COURSE. I have made the SPIRIT of the plan, but not the LETTER. That’s just who I am.

So, I made a bit of a vintage duo about which I have mixed feelings. Let’s take a look at the patterns from whence this sprang, shall we?

Cute, no? I ignored everyone’s advice about drafting my own pattern, like I do, and just bought something. Specifically, Simplicity 4529. I’m just that way. Actually I kind of love this pattern dearly, and while the end result is a bit loose, I know how I can tweak it to perfect the fit.

The blouse is, well, let’s look to the pattern, shall we?

McCalls 3305.

It LOOKS really awesome, right? Yeah, it does. It did to me. But the end result, well, I just don’t know. And let it be said right now, I’m so insanely influenced by pattern art, as you can see right here:

God, I look so mad! I’m not mad, really!

Or am I? I don’t know. I don’t know how I feel about this blouse. For one thing, like the skirt, it’s a bit big. For another, it may well be a bit, um, clowny…

I had this vision that this bow blouse was going to be the bow blouse to end all bow blouses. Because honestly, I really REALLY love bow blouse, but I have yet to make one with which I’m completely satisfied! How sad is that? Life is SO HARD SOMETIMES.

Instead, I don’t know, it looks a little, I don’t know, 80’s? 90’s? So decade no one likes? (Or maybe just I don’t like?) Sigh.

See, a bit baggy, not quite the sleek sophisticated thing I’d been hoping for, ah, well, I still enjoy it! It might be a bit clowny, but I can’t help but like the waist tucks and the bow. Bows, I’m just a sucker for them! Why is that? Can anyone tell me why bows are so delightful?

Oh, yes, I always forget construction notes. Well, most of this is French-seamed, with a bit of pinking. I eliminated the facings in favor of bias tape (I mean, come on, facings? ARE THE WORST.) And what else, I think that’s it!

So stern! Like a weird candy striper at, say, a mental institution. Super cute.

Now to the skirt!

See, I can still smile! I do like this skirt, I do I do I do. I like this pattern, something like 10 darts, one seam, which I finished with bias tape, a kickpleat which I sadly had to eliminate because I shorted this some 5 inches (at the insistence of my roommates who have informed me that I dress rather, um, matronly.) I made this in a stretch cotton, which, well, I’m going to do it again in red wool (speaking of sexy) and I will shorten the pattern and keep the kickpleat AND tighten it a bit at the waist, it’s a touch loose. But this version is perfectly serviceable and so comfortable and practical, it’s the ultimate in cake, to go with this rather frosting top.

And loose or not, it still looks good from the back. Doesn’t it?

Oh, yes, it does.

I noired it up for you. Now imagine a cigarette, a throaty purr, and a dark plot. And….scene.

How is your fall sewing going? Do you think I dress matronly? What does matronly mean to you? All comments are entirely welcome!

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Filed under Clothing, McCalls Patterns, Sewing, Simplicity Patterns, Vintage

The I Guess It’s Okay Skirt

First of all, thank you all so much, SO much for your amazing and thoughtful comments on my last post. I haven’t been able to respond to them yet the way I would like to, but your thoughtful responses just thrilled and amazed me (though I really should stop being amazed at how awesome this sewing community is). If you haven’t read the book discussed, give it a gander if you get a chance, it’s really worth readying. I think this is such an interesting subject and clearly is something that we all think about or consider when we sew, both the gender roles involved and it’s impact on our lives and then the world in general. And just to clarify, when I talk about smugness, I really mean myself, I’m SUPER smug about sewing, I’m really just the worst, on the outside I’m like, ohhh, no, it’s really NO big deal, but on the inside I’m like, yes, I’m just generally better then you, ain’t no thang. It’s okay to be impressed about what a huge flipping deal I am. No biggie.

In other news, meh. Meh on me. I have NOT been a diligent blogger of late. Or a responsive person. Or a good emailer. The only thing I’ve kept up is consistent feeding of the cat and if I don’t do that he screams at me.

 

So deceptively calm.

But school is wonderful but busy and guess what? Guess what? Guess what? I got a job working in the Tisch undergraduate costume shop! Waaaaaaaaaaa? Yeah. AWESOME.

Actually, in all seriousness, I couldn’t be more thrilled. The people who work there are lovely, the woman who designed the show we are working on right now is a lovely young designer still in college but she’s so talented and smart that I want to just learn from her now, and she’s just one person there! The supervisors are lovely, the shop is fascinating, and I’m pleased as punch to have been able to hustle work-study into sewing time. Seriously, I sew and they pay me (in theory, I just started on Friday so I have no proof of that yet). It’s splendid.

Technically I’m overhire, so I just work around the student productions, but there is something really fun about rushed crazied costume building. (Especially when it’s a part time gig, let’s be real.) But I got to use a serger! On my first day! Living the dream, people, living the dream.

So now that we are all caught up, this thing is a thing I made. Meh to this thing too:

I made this three weeks ago, forced my roommate to take photos of it last week, and am just posting it today. STRUGGLE. I’ve worn it a number of times, and it’s cute enough, I suppose, but it’s not the skirt I set out to make. Can you believe the impulse behind this was to be more pencil than pouf? No? At this point neither can I…

I used BurdaStyle’s Marie pattern, a pattern I have used TWICE before, and yet for whatever reason this time I must have cut it wrong? Or something? I don’t know, it doesn’t taper at the hem which it is supposed to do. I converted the back pleats into darts, but that really oughtn’t to make a difference…..I don’t even know, guys. I don’t even know.

It’s also a bit big. Sigh. And wrinkled. Ah, well, that’s reality for you!

Still, it’s cute enough, and insanely practical (a solid colored neutral modest-but-cute skirt? Yeah, where CAN’T I wear this thing? Other then the Met ball or a nightclub, it’s pretty much a go-everywhere thing). And it’s stash busting, which is, by the way, my biggest fall goal, because I just really need to rid myself of fabric. It’s…taking over my life.

So all in all it’s fine, but honestly, it’s really just okay. Still, I’ll wear it, I’ll use it, but I wish I knew what had gone wrong!

In the meantime, I made another skirt (more on that to come), cut out a blouse and a pair of black denim Clovers, and looked at the men’s shirt pattern for a long time with no motivation. Why is it so hard to sew for other people? Sigh.

Fall Sewing! It continues! Has anything crazy (like a new graduate program and a new city) taken over your life lately? How did you deal?

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Filed under Burda Style, Clothing, Sewing

The Repeat Offender Dress

Oh, hey, there, strangers! Where the hell have I been? Just, you know, moving to a new place, settling in, starting a graduate program, the usual. I’ve also started running, i.e. I’ve run, like, 5 times which is 5 times more than usual, met a thousand new people (perhaps a slight exaggeration), gotten lost about 7 times (perhaps a slight under-exaggeration) and tried vegan ice cream. Oh, and I made a dress. But that’s about it for me thus far (well, I’m knitting us a bath mat, but who’s counting?) so far in New York, for the simple fact that I don’t have a place to sew in my room. I don’t have a desk or a table, which was clearly a huge error in judgement, and while I can WRITE anywhere I can’t SEW anywhere. So this Saturday I’m off to the Brooklyn Flea (any New Yorkers want to come? Flea market? Food market? Fort Greene? ME?) in the hopes of finding a nice non-bedbug infested desk/table for my sewing machine, because at this point I’ve cut out three projects but been unable to sew a stitch! Honestly, I don’t know how I managed this dress, when I think about it….

Fun fact, this dress was almost entirely free. The pattern is my underdog, Simplicity 4977, which has moved from Dark Horse to Hero Squad in my estimation.

This time, I think I lowered the neckline more to my satisfaction, i.e. I didn’t narrow the shoulders, but the fabric is a bit flimsier (a marvelous lawn print which I won from Quiet and Small’s recent giveaway, THANK YOU YOU WONDERFUL LADY!) so the effect is rather different, I think, then my last try:

It’s a bit blousier then the last time, and I would never wear it without a belt, but I still adore it and get compliments on it every time I wear it.

Still, don’t I look happy?

Obligatory indie shot. Hey, I live in Brooklyn, so it’s not an option anymore, really. I did french seams throughout with this thing, finished the neckline with bias binding (also from Quiet and Small, this dress could also have been called the Quiet and Small dress, really) and added pockets and shortened it and added elastic at the waistline. BUT other than THAT it’s basically the same thing as the pattern. I also bought that rosemary plant in the photo.

Le back, complete with my mad-woman-of-shio hair.

Ah, so contemplative. I’m really thinking, when will this damn timer go off!

Did I personalize my notebook to match this dress? Of course I did. OF COURSE I DID.

And I match Cadfael! Which is the most important thing.

You might be curious to know if he’s happy here in Brooklyn.

I think he’s okay. Such a stoic fellow, it’s very hard to know.

So I promise that once I get a desk/sewing station the posts will come free and fast. Wish me luck at the Flea!

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Filed under Clothing, Sewing, Simplicity Patterns

Fall 2012 Sewing Plans

I sorted through all my patterns recently. It was….scary. There are so many of them. SO. MANY. PATTERNS. I don’t even know what to do with all of them. I found about 30 to give away, so, look out for more giveaways, I guess….

And yet, somehow, in all of the many of them (I couldn’t even count, it was too many) there were gaps. For example, I don’t have all that many skirt patterns. Or suit patterns (though god knows when I will ever wear a suit in my chosen profession of playwright, so whatever on that score). There are very few knit patterns, or, for that matter, modern patterns. There are a lot of dresses, mostly of the summer variety. There are some blouses, mostly of the button-up variety. There are a handful of coats and a scant number of jackets, and one swimsuit, that is actually a burdastyle download so that doesn’t even really count (because I couldn’t bear to deal with my downloaded and carefully assembled patterns, they aren’t really a part of this discussion because I don’t want my brain to explode). And there were dresses. Lots of dresses. Did I mention there were dresses?

And yet, though all this mess of paper and wonderful daydreams (like, I’m going to make all these shift dresses! Tomorrow! It’s going to be great!), I have carved out a Fall 2012 Wardrobe/plan/back-to-school (oh my god, I’m going back to school!) wish-list. Inspired by the wonderful Cindy of Cation designs, I shall now share my plans with you.

1. Another Jiffy 4977 dress.

I know. I KNOW. I was so “whatever” about this one but now it’s one of my favorite dresses and every time I wear it people love it. So I’m going to make another one, with slightly longer sleeves, for fall. Maybe in this cheerful stripe?

2. Sewaholic Thurlow Trousers (one, or maybe even two pairs…)

I bought this pattern the day Tasia released it, even BEFORE she released it, because I’m on her mailing list. I’m not really a pear shape, it’s true, but I do have a sizable bottom half (which, hopefully, is balanced out by my not-unsizable bosom) so I thought these might be a good fit for me. I want to make one straight from the pattern in a blue denim, dark, of course, and then fiddle about with the legs to make a slim-fitting black pair, perhaps a thurlow-clover hybrid? We shall see…

3. A mock wrap dress, Simplicity 4074:

In this lovely knit fabric from GirlCharlee

4. A Cation Designs (FREE PATTERN!) Dolman Top:

I couldn’t tell you what fabric, though. I’ve got some rather plain navy in my stash, and I’m trying not to buy any new fabric, but it seems rather dull for such a lovely pattern…

5. A coat, specifically McCalls 2979 from the 1970’s:

This is going to be a doozy, in fact, I would say this is a fall/winter 2012 project. I’ve never made a coat before, but I pre-ordered Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing (and I can hardly contain myself waiting for it!) so I hope her padstitching and tailoring advice is helpful (like it would be anything BUT). I have no idea what fabric I’m going to use, I’m sure I will buy something, and, sorry, New York, but I’m equally sure I will be picking it up here in Philadelphia. When it comes to prices for wool, we can’t be beat…

6. A men’s shirt (for mi hermano!) Colette Patterns Negroni, of course:

Tailor-made for the 27 year old hipster in my life. I feel strongly that there will be many muslins because A. Fit is tricky and B. my brother is picky  discerning. He wants a long-sleeved version with both pockets intact, and I will be using the hell out of Peter’s Men’s Shirt Sewalong from all those moons ago, so look out for updates.

7. A Pencil Skirt! What pattern, do you ask? I. DON’T. KNOW. As mentioned above, I don’t have many skirt patterns, and I’ve never made a pencil skirt that I really loved. I’ve made a lot that were just okay, but nothing wonderful.  I would love for it to look just like this, please:

Can anyone find me something that would resemble that? I’ll send you a pattern, if you do!

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg, as it were. I also plan to make a Peony Dress, a 1970’s pattern with tie-neck (delicious) and all sorts of other things, as they come to my busy mind. I mean, this doesn’t even cover knitting or quilting, which I find myself liking more and more each day. But I like starting with a plan. What are your fall sewing plans? Any perfect pencil skirt patterns you swear by in your own lives?

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Filed under Colette Patterns, Inspiration, McCalls Patterns, Sewaholic Patterns, Sewing, Simplicity Patterns, Vintage