Tag Archives: meh

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

The Well The Point Is It Happened Coat

Guys, sometimes sewing is hard. You get to a point where you’ve been doing something for a little while and you forget that, you get a little lazy, you get a little arrogant, you think you know what you are doing and then you make something and you just think, man, this is not quite what I had in mind here. And that happened to me recently with a big project. My instinct is of course to hide such things from the world, to pretend they never happened and that everything I make turns to gold but not in a bad way, like Midas, like not all the food I eat or my family or anything. Also if the clothing I made turned to gold that would be awfully heavy not to mention limiting, color palate wise, so let’s just forget about that, okay? Cool. The point is, I’m showing this project because it didn’t turn out perfectly, but I still like it, and most importantly, I like that I made it. It was a lot of work and something new and a challenge and I learned things and remembered things and the end result is wearable, if not sheer bliss, so there you go.

What is it, you ask? It’s a coat, I really wanted to make one so I did. I loved Deer and Doe’s Pavot Jacket so I was very excited to make it for my first ever piece of outerwear. That being said, I cut this thing three months ago and sort of didn’t deal with it. Was I frightened of such a big project? Intimidated by trying something new? Hahaha, no, I seriously just didn’t want to deal with underlining. FOR. REALS. I used a coating I got from FabricMart.com for 1.99 a yard, a wool nylon blend, which I liked a lot, but it was much lighter-weight then I had thought it would be, so I underlined it with cotton flannel to give it some weight and eliminate some of the drape. But having cut out the many-pieced pattern three times (I also added a lining) I found myself totally bored and overwhelmed by underlining each of the many pieces. So I just….didn’t. I let the project sit on my table, a rarity for me, for over 2 and a half months until my co-worker Griffin made a coat over a weekend, and it was the best thing ever, and he looks so amazing in it, and he was like, didn’t you cut a coat three months ago? How did that go? And I remembered that it hadn’t, and felt extreme sewn shame. Seshame, if you will. So I had to make it! Damn you, Griffin!

And so I sat down and just made myself underline the damn thing. And then I started putting the pieces together and remembered that AFTER the underlining things get really fun! Preparation for sewing can make you forget that actual construction is really enjoyable. All told, in sewing time, this thing probably took me about 15 hours, but also in some ways it took me three months. Time really is relative. Thanks, Einstein! (He…probably wasn’t talking about the time it takes me to make a coat, was he? Probably not. Probably.)

And then the coat was finally done. And I don’t know what it is, the underlining and the lining, the fact that the company makes things for pear shaped ladies, my own errors, but it’s a little snug in the bust, sigh. I even cut it two sizes bigger then my actual size and yet, ah well, some tightness. And as a result of that I’m a little, sigh, meh, ah well about this project. BUT. I made it. I made a coat. It happened. And that’s pretty cool. Well, I’ll let you be the judge:

WIH 2To be fair, it’s a bit wrinkled in this photo. And in ALL the photos.

WIH 1Part of the irony of waiting so long to work on this was that by the time I had finished it it was too cold to wear it, even with the underlining it’s still a light coat. But then we had two weird warm days in New York so I brought it to brunch in Long Island City and forced Becca to photograph it for me. And our friend Kira held my bag and pretended to throw it into the East River. Team effort!

WIH 3Oy, these photos are so wrinkled it makes the hem look off, I want to cry. Sigh.

WIH 4Look, it’s not so bad in this one! Yay! It really is a cute coat, I do like it!

WIH 6The details are great.

WIH 10I adore the collar, I feel like Madeline.

WIH 11And it’s got pockets, because all things should.

WIH 8And I put in this lining, which I love.

The construction was very easy and I put in the lining without problems even though there are no instructions in the pattern, I just made a lining version and stitched it into the coat and then stitched the facings over it. The fabric didn’t LOVE being ironed but it didn’t do anything crazy, and the underlining makes this a really nice coat weight for fall or spring, or weird warm December days.

WIH 12That look on my face is a celebration of pockets. Look, I honestly think that though this isn’t perfect, I do like it, I will wear it and I’m glad I made it. I’ve made a coat now! And it wasn’t so bad or scary, and I think the next time I make one it will be better, which is all you can hope for, really. The point is, it happened.

WIH 13We took these photos on the water in Long Island City, isn’t it stunning? Kira and her fiance Joe and most importantly their two cats look at this every day. Lucky bastards….

So there that is, a coat I made that, well, my favorite thing about it is the fact that it happened.

I hope you all had lovely Christmases! I’m about to take a family trip to Ireland literally tomorrow, so I might be off the grid for a while, but I will do one more sew-along post before I go and be ready to make little things for little people in January! I wont be back stateside until the 6th but feel free to start on the 1st if you like and stay tuned for exciting things, just as soon as I figure out what they are!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Deer and Doe, Sewing

The Dream Big Top

You know when you dream and dream about something and then the reality actually happens and you are like, hmmmmmmm, this is less exciting than the dream, I wish this hadn’t become a reality so I could dream again? As a die-hard planner, I recognize that this is the business I’ve chosen, and this is its major consequence. I think about sewing a lot before I actually do it, and I imagine how the garment is going to look like and feel, and I get so excited about it, and sometimes, less and less as time goes by and my skills improve, but sometimes, the reality takes a backseat to the fantasy.

See, this is why they say with online dating you should meet the person in real life as soon as possible, because otherwise you end up building up the person into this thing they can never possibly be through a series of texts and messages and confabulated fantasies that include fondue and the same taste in music and ultimate frisbee and computer manuals and leather, or whatever you’re into. For the record, I’m pretty much only interested in someone who is also interested in fondue. All the rest of that isn’t in my wheelhouse. Well, music, I guess, whatever, but the fondue is important. The point is you can build up a whole castle in the sand and forget that sand is a terrible building material. It’s structurally unsound and it gets everywhere. Come on.

So I suppose my sewing sometimes can be a bit like OKCupid. I put a lot of pressure on the fantasy of the potential clothing I could create. So I’ve been dreaming for a long time about a red silk blouse, and recently I made one. My feelings on the fantasy? Are insanely positive. My feelings on the reality? Are mixed.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

TKK 3It’s not bad, really, it’s just not quite what I’d been hoping and wishing for. If wishes were horses…

I think that the fit is a little off, which is bizarre to me, as I’ve made this blouse twice and haven’t changed sizes at all! And yet somehow the yoke is a little off here and it pulls in sort of an odd way. I don’t know how to describe it, really, so take a look:
TRR 1Oy, blurry. More horrible indoor photos, sorry guys, but my awesome roommate Jordan shot them, thanks, Jordan! But you can see some pulling right above the bustline, right? Weird.

TRR 5Here, this shot of it outside the skirt shows it well. It’s fine if I just keep my arms perfectly still and don’t move, which has zero percent chance of ever happening. Sigh. I don’t know what happened! I love the color, the material is silk and a dream to wear (and not too much of a nightmare to sew with, which is really all you can hope for), but there is this odd pulling!

I think that what might have happened is that I cut the armholes a bit wider this time, because the armscye has pinched in the past, and somehow that meant that this happened. Or maybe not? It’s kind of a mystery, honestly.

TRR 4

See, my arms are more down in the close up so it’s not so bad. God, I love that color! The fabric, which I got over the summer at Paron Fabrics on sale! has a really nice subtle luster. I don’t know that any of these photos captured that but you will just have to trust me, like you trust that OKCupid date not to lure you to a dark alley and murder you and make a tent of your skin.

TRR 6

A little side view for you here. I also made this skirt, it’s this one, I have now made 4 versions of it and more to come. If it ain’t broke…The fabric has a really nice drape, the hand is just lovely, so it sort of slips out of the waistband but I don’t hate it because it still glides over the body well. Like that one OKCupid date you let take you home and then you get up in the middle of the night and realize he shares a studio with two other people like some kind of commune and you just get out of there claiming you have a thing and never return any of his texts.

TRR 7Meh. I don’t know. I had such dreams, such big dreams, and yet the reality has sort of underwhelmed me what with this sudden and new fit issue. It’s one of those things that I know for a fact most people would never notice but I notice it and I can’t stop seeing it like when you suddenly realize that your OKCupid date’s eyes are too close together and that’s all you can look at for the rest of the evening and they go in for a kiss and it’s like a gerbil is making out with you.

OKCupid didn’t go great for me, guys.

How about you, are you an anticipatory sewing, or do you just cut and go? Do you find you are more surprised or disappointed by the stuff you over plan? And how is OKCupid going for YOU? Inquiring me wants to know!

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Filed under Sewing, Simplicity Patterns, Uncategorized, Vintage

The Governor’s Island Girls

You know what was not a flattering period of time in Women’s clothing? The 1920’s. There. I’ve said it. It’s out there. Deal with it. I’m sorry, but it wasn’t. I totally appreciate the innovations of the period, and really, in terms of women and the mobility they had physically it’s such a revolutionary time, but holy hell does the drop waist look bad on most people. Myself included, photos to follow.

So while I admire the spirit of the 20’s, the fast cars and fast women, the music and the decadence, I’ve always had a hard time with the clothing. Which isn’t great given the fact that this past weekend I went to the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor’s Island! It’s kind of this big 20’s themed party on the island, which is between Brooklyn and Manhattan, a ferry ride (free, by the way, which NOTHING is in New York) will get you there. The island is so lovely, it was used in the past as a militery base, and then closed to the public for a long time. It was re-opened in 2010 and now they are constructing a park and it is just lovely, I would recommend taking a picnic and a small child, if you have one handy or know where to steal one from, and taking a day trip, if you are around New York. (I’m kidding, please don’t steal children, it’s not great.) So they have been doing this 20’s style party there for 4 years, and this year it was bigger then ever.

And I have to tell you, despite the crowds and the lines, it is a pretty cool event, but if you want to enter into the spirit of the thing, you gotta dress the part. Well, at least, I felt obligated. My parents, who occompanied me, felt no such compulsion. But I didn’t just outfit myself, I also made a dress for my roommate Emily!

And that’s the main event of this post, because my friend I threw together literally the morning of the event and it’s whatever. But EMILY’s dress is pretty lovely, if I do say so myself:

20 7I wanted to make her something she might actually wear again, so that meant deviating from complete period appropriateness by giving her a 2013-approved hemline. But it’s a bias cut dress, which totally works, and I figured though it might be heralding the 30’s a little bit, it’s still hinting at the 20’s with it’s fluttery sleeves (self drafted, I will have you know).

20 10In case you couldn’t tell, Emily really likes this dress. For the sleeves I just cut half circles and stitched them on where the straps go in the original pattern, and then adjusted them to be a bit tighter on Emily’s lady-like shoulders. Emily felt very bad about needing an adjustment and I just laughed, like, this is the whole point of making clothing, that you can adjust to someone’s body! Muggles, man, I tell you…20 8

 

Does this remind you a bit of a slip? HOW ODD. No, it’s not, the pattern is Colette Patterns Cinnamon, a slip I had long lusted after (heh) and finally bought to download. I made myself one in white, which I haven’t blogged about because somehow that seems more intimate then photos of me in a swimsuit. I’m weird.

20 13I cut a size 8, which I think hangs nicely off of Emily (that bias cut, man, it’s a bitch but it’s so worth it…) though I would take a wedge of out the back if I made this for her again. On me it actually works pretty well, that’s the swayback curse for you, i.e. I have one. You totally cannot see where I melted some of this highly synthetic crepe with an iron and then stitched it up. Thank goodness.

20 9I’m pretty in love with this material. It’s not at all period appropriate but it looks great on Emily and it’s preeeeeeeetty! 4 dollars a yard on Fabric.com. NAILED IT.

20 1I love the bodice detail on this pattern. So flattering, no? Because I cut this on the bias, I hung up the pieces over night after I cut it, and then stitched up the majority of the dress, and let it hang for four days while I gallivanted off to Cape Cod to hang out with my friend Lee (hi, Lee!) and do some writing. So when I got back the skirt was all ready to be hemmed! Life works well, sometimes. And the rest of the time it’s the WORST.

20 12But not on Saturday! Saturday it was great. And how good does Emily look posing with these amazing vintage cars? So much vintage at the party, so little time:

20 4Flappers and elegant ladies mixing, the horror!

20 5How much do you love these shoes? I wanted to steal them off this girl’s feet but they don’t let you do that. THANKS A LOT, PURITANS.

20 15Hipster couples everywhere!

20 2Why don’t men dress like this anymore? I know it gets warm but DAMN is it attractive.

20 11Speaking of attractive…

Okay, okay, I will show you what I made for myself but it’s really no big deal.

20 18Meh. This is very much whatever. It’s a sack. So it works great for the 20’s, no? I’m so mean. BUT SERIOUSLY. It’s actually Colette Patterns Sorbetto ( I swear I did not plan to make this so Colettey but can you blame me, seriously amazing patterns from those beautiful geniuses) lengthened to dress length. It was a lot longer, I just used all the rayon I had left over from this skirt, and then I chopped off a bit at the knees and used that for the sash.

20 17I seriously made this in an hour. It took me about one episode of Rookie Blue. Emily was so appalled that I had used all my time making her something and hadn’t made something for myself so I got up on Saturday morning, composted, ran, and made a dress. LIKE A BOSS.

20 14Look how I laugh and laugh! The 20’s were so wild. Look, eh,this dress, it’s fine, I suppose. It worked for the event, and I can always belt it and wear it again, which is important, I hate the idea of making something I would never wear again, although I have TOTALLY done this. Oh, and I made the headband too, duh. And I made Emily’s. Like I do.

20 3But the point is, we had a great time!

Also, let’s talk about the view from the ferry, shall we? It’s worth the trip for that and that alone:

20 6The Jazz Age Lawn Party is a pretty good time, I would recommend it if you are around next summer. And I just hope the decade works better for you then it does for me…why isn’t there a 1950’s lawn party? COME on!

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Filed under Clothing, Colette Patterns, Costume, Sewing

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!

20 Comments

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 Don’t Ask Me Why Dress

While I make every effort to know myself as well as possible, getting to know the me in me, as it were, there are times when I am inexplicable even to myself. I think most of what I do is ruled by logic, reason, hunger and the desire for a nice glass of wine, you know, the standard reasons people do what they do. But every once in a while I just make weird choices. Like when I moved to Madrid and used non-roller suitcases. This was a poor choice. Or when I recently threw a party and didn’t include potato salad. That was a questionable choice. Or when I fed my cat to the point of fatness. That was an interesting choice that has led to adorableness, but also poor health (I assume). I’m a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, with layers like an onion. I’m a metaphor spliced with a simile. What are you going to do.

So recently,  I went out of my way to buy a pattern that I knew, I just knew, wasn’t anything all that special. I don’t know why I did that. I first encountered this pattern, Simplicity 4977, in an Ebay lot, which I actually lost out on. I don’t know about you guys, but I hit a limit with Ebay sometimes, I just can’t justify going beyond a certain price point. Sigh. My ebay habits aside (I….need to get off Ebay. It’s a problem) I just really liked this pattern for some reason. I. DON’T. KNOW. WHY. Check it out:

This pattern is nothing special. It is a muu-muu. With a dart. COME on. Why did this pattern attract me so deeply that I  sought it out on Etsy and paid, like 7 dollars for it!?! What happened here? I just don’t know. Don’t ask me why. Still, I think I made something pretty damn cute, if I do say so myself, and it wasn’t hard, I just had to change everything about it….

Okay, so this thing looks MUCH better with a belt, but whenever I say that people are like, no, its fine, so I wanted to SHOW it to you without a belt, to PROVE to you that I’m RIGHT. I inserted elastic at the waistline, a big thick piece which I had gotten as part of a grab bag of lace and stuff for 2.99 at the PA Fabric Outlet. God I love it there. I will miss that….

See? Isn’t that better? Yes, it is, elastic or no the belt helps. I just need to resign myself to the fact that belts and I are BFFS.

The fabric is from Spool a quilters cotton that I just fell madly in love with and had to buy, despite the fact that I’m trying not to buy any fabric, let alone of the quilters cotton variety. That being said, Tilly just wrote a very interesting post about sewing with this controversial stuff. I sew with quilters cotton all the damn time, let’s be real about life.  She mentions that sleeves should be avoided with this fabric, but this pattern has kimono sleeves, so I think it’s pretty good.

What else did I change? I shorted it a few (8) inches and I inserted pockets. Like I do.

GOD I love pockets. Fun fact, these don’t even fit my whole hands. Yeah, there were some struggles with this project. Aren’t there always?

I also tried to lower the neckline. I did lower it slightly, but it really just made it a boatneck. Struggle. It’s everywhere.

Yeah, I photo edited this. Deal with it. But how cute is this fabric? The pheasants. They just got me.

A little back shot.

Honestly? I’m going to wear the heck out of this. I wore it last night at the dinner party I threw, it was a hit. (RIGHT, GUYS?) It’s cute, it’s easy, it’s comfortable, but I know it’s not the best thing I’ve ever made. It’s nice on the inside, french seams and bias binding, and I do like it, but I have NO idea why I felt so deeply compelled to make it. What can I say?

As I type this, all I can think about is that Billy Joel song. I don’t even like Billy Joel. Don’t ask me why.

By the by, I took these photos my own self, with my tripod! I even figured out how to do jumping shots! Of course, it took some tries:

But then I figured it out:

It’s not as much fun to jump for a timer, but I bet you I will get over that. Or will I? I don’t know, man, sometimes I don’t know myself at all…

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Filed under Clothing, Sewing, Simplicity Patterns, Vintage