Tag Archives: Lily

The Gracias Griffin Dress

You know that thing they tell you in kindergarten, that it’s the effort that counts? I feel like that might be a giant lie. I mean, it’s true in kindergarten, certainly, where the stakes are low and the negative consequences consist of a time out or a loss of cookies. But in life, while trying is important, say, trying to get a job, or trying to make it across the street before a fleet of New York City cab drivers mows you down, it is also important TO get a job. Or to survive said mob of yellow car-monsters. No one at your funeral or your bankruptcy hearing is going to point out that you tried really hard, and that’s what matters. And if they do, well, call this guy, especially for that second one:

For example, with this, my recent dress project, I honestly did try to make something perfect, I had lots of hopes for this dress and dreams for it, I made an effort, and yet, I don’t know. I just don’t know. It’s not quite what I had in mind. And a lot that, honestly, comes down to fit. You see, I was very excited to make Colette Patterns Hazel Dress. Leah, where have you BEEN, you ask? Because that pattern was released years ago and you are only just making it now? I know. I KNOW. I’m still looking with love at the Lily, I bought fabric for it two years ago, and, and…I don’t know. I just don’t know! I really wanted to try the Hazel in anticipation of several border print fabrics that what’s-his-face brought me back from India. And I think I still will, but I really need to figure out this bodice better. Because right now? I just don’t know.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

GG1.jpgEven though I’m unsure about the dress, it’s hard for me NOT to smile in San Juan!

So, I have only really myself to blame for the things I don’t like about this dress. First of all, it’s too big. Which I brought on myself, by cutting the bodice two sizes bigger then my own size to try and compensate for my opposite-of-diminutive frontal attributes. But obviously this dress did not need my “I don’t want to do a full bust adjustment so I will cheat and fail” alteration, I’m pretty sure it would have fit fine as drafted. This is why we make muslins. This is why I should have made a damn muslin. Alright, alright. So the bodice is a little big, and the waist is too, and as a result, this does not fit my waist and torso the way I like things too. That being said, it’s super comfortable! But I’m really used to things fitting right to my waist, and I prefer it, because I think I look a little wide otherwise.

GG2.jpgI could, in fact, belt this, and I probably will, for the future, as well as taking it in at the waist through the sides of the bodice. It also hits just below the waist, so next time I would totally shorten the bodice an inch, or use more seam allowance.

GG3.jpgOy, you can see that I got a lot of sun. Despite many applications of sunscreen, (I may be half-Latina but I’m not stupid) I still got burned on my first day in Puerto Rico and enjoyed that pain for the rest of the trip. Ah, well. It was the effort that counted.

GG6.jpgUgh, my face. Still, I really do love this stripey thing happening here, I think it’s different and interesting and fun. And I love love love this fabric. Hence the name of the dress. Because my friend Griffin picked some of this up for a school project, and when I saw him constructing and elegant 17th century gown from it, I was like, this would make a great strappy thing! And so he bought me some of the fabric when he picked up more for himself. GRIFFIN. You are magnificent. Gracias, my friend, for your love of languages, and for this fabric, and for San Juan.

GG4.jpgI knew this fabric would work well when playing with stripes. And despite my reservations about the overall fit of this, it does!

GG5.jpgOh, yeah. And there are pockets. God, I love pockets. Life without pockets is sad indeed.

GG8.jpgOh, yeah, this is another struggle. I personally loathe when my bra straps show. It really makes me uncomfortable because I spend so much time adjusting everything. This dress is a bra-showing nightmare. When I attempt this next time, and oh, I will, because now it’s a challenge and I can’t back down from a sewing dare, I will probably make the straps bigger. Because this? Is a struggle.

GG7.jpgAh, well. What can you do. In theory, this is very cute, and I can probably make this work a little bit better to keep wearing it, because I really do like the fabric and the idea of the dress, but the end result leaves me a little meh. Still, it actually felt good to wear it in the San Juan sun, as my mom and I fed stray cats and read mystery novels. So maybe the effort was worth it after all!

A few photos, just for fun:

GG9.jpg GG10.jpg GG11.jpg GG12.jpg GG13.jpg

So there you go. A dress I’m unsure about in a place I love. Hello, summer. I hope this isn’t going to be a pattern….

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Filed under Clothing, Colette Patterns, Sewing, Travel

Spring/Summer 2012 Palette Challenge (And I’ll throw a Me-Made-May in for free!)

Ah, Spring, you are (sort of) here. Well, I’m wearing a sweater right now, and it wont get higher than 57 today, but hey, in THEORY Spring has sprung and it’s time for some planning! And you know how I love to plan…

But first, I should tell you that I’m participating in Zoe’s 2012 Me Made May Challenge! I had a lovely time doing it last year, and Zoe has encouraged repeat offenders to up their game, as it were, so here is my pledge:

I, Leah of strugglesewsastraightseam.wordpress.com, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’12. I endeavour to wear at least one if not two self stitched items and one vintage item(including accessories) each day for the duration of May 2012.

Boom. How is that for a challenge?

And additionally, I’m going to be participating in Colette Patterns’ lovely Spring/Summer 2012 Challenge! I love that Sarai has opened it up to both seasons, because now I can merge the seasons and think further ahead into making pieces that transition well! Yay! I’m so down for this.

So here is my palette, as generated by Color Lovers:

So as you can see, we are going Nautical this year.

Can we talk about the fact that every damn year magazines do the same damn thing? Wool and plaid for Fall! Stripes are back for Spring! What the HELL? When did stripes ever leave? At what point were we going to oust sweaters in the Fall? “Bright colors for Spring”. Florals are BACK! REALLY? HOW UNUSUAL. In no way does that corresponding with nature and precedent. It just makes SENSE to wear brights and floral things in the spring and summer and darker tones in the winter. THAT’S OKAY. We don’t have to pretend is a damn revelation every damn season! AM I RIGHT?

Okay, moment of rage over. Back to the planning session.

I’m planning on shopping my stash for this challenge, because god knows I have more than enough fabric to do so.  The one exception might be a dress for Jenny’s wedding. I mean, I MADE one already, but I’m kind of on the fence about it, so…..

Anyway, here is what I’ve got in mind so far. One pair of shorts, four blouses, two dresses and one skirt. I’m really more in the Spring place then the Summer place with this challenge (at least, in this color palette) but hey, that’s okay, right? I do have some summery projects planned, but color-wise they are sort of more wild-cardy so I will save those for June. Let’s look at the combinations, shall we?

1. A Blouse

I’ve been wanting to  make a Jasmine top ever since the pattern came out last Fall. In fact, it was even included in my Fall Palette Challenge goals, but it never came to pass (hangs head in shame). I love the idea of making a Sailor Style one, and of course Mena and MTL had to go and steal my idea…seriously, though I love this combination. I’ve actually already cut this out of navy and white cotton shirting, and I’m just hanging the bias portions and getting ready to sew this thing into existence.

2. A Shirtdress

I already own this pattern, it’s Butterick 2626. I’ve wanted a 1960’s style shirtdress for a while, so let’s see how it goes with this fabric:

which I also already own.

3. Another blouse.

Simplicity 4608, version A (short sleeves) sans pocket. Using this vintage blue and white shirting:

I used that for my truffle muslin (PS I need to have WORDS about the Truffle, more on that later) and for the lining for my jacket. This shirting has really gone a long way.

4. A Skirt:

This is an ebay pattern score (from a lot of 40, guys, I really can’t buy any more patterns…), Simplicity 5196:

Horrible cover outfits aside, it’s actually a simple and sweet bias-cut skirt that I’m doing up in a grey linen/cotton blend. No photo of that, sorry!

5. Another blouse (or two, or three…):I want to make a New Look 6808 (or two). Am I alone in thinking that everyone and their mother has made this blouse? And tips?

With these fabrics:

and

And I want to  make this DARLING vintage McCalls 3305:

In this:

6. A pair of shorts, Simplicity 2017. I’ve made these before, and I love them.

This time it’s navy linen all the way:

(All of the swatches from from my sewing book, which I made after being inspired by Sarai of Colette Patterns and it’s proved to be a really helpful tool, especially when thread or zipper shopping.)

7. And finally, another dress, AKA Colette Patterns Lily AKA my new best friend. (I totally bought this as soon as it released even though I don’t need any more patterns and don’t really need to spend money. I am weak in the face of adorable patterns. WEAK.)

I’m not sure what fabric I will use to make this one. How about a bright red linen with white linen accents? Or is that too va-va-voom? I’m just throwing it out there. If you want it, take it. If not, send it on back. (Guess the movie quote!)

So those are my plans for Spring. I actually enjoy these planning posts, both reading other people’s and making my own, but if you don’t, well, feel free to ignore all these ramblings. However, if you DO, what are you working on? Any spring challenges or ideas? What do you want to make as the weather gets warmer?

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Filed under Challenge, Clothing, Inspiration, Planning