Tag Archives: Simplicity 4977

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

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