Friday, November 27, 2009

it is a good day to sew

McCall's 5378: I've assembled the bodice, skirt, and sleeves.

McCall's 7554: The front and back are together, the sleeves are done and pinned in, I also finished the tie.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

the yoke's on me

I'm working on my next attempt to find the perfect shirt-dress: McCall's 5378 (out of print, sadly). The fabric I'm using is a larger scale but regular pattern, Dahlia from the Nancy's Blues collection. This was a design that I fell for but didn't buy right away, hoping I would get over it - I didn't, thankfully has wonderful sales and coupons a'plenty. I should have thought things through a bit better. The pattern has a front and back yoke, so I had to fussy-cut the yoke pieces. Time consuming and annoying. I think it will look alright though - I should have waited and used another pattern for this fabric, but you know how it goes when you are itching to cut into a certain piece of cloth. Other than the fussy-cutting, the pattern is coming along nicely, I am stopping for the night before starting the collar though, so I may change my tune!

I've noticed that the 1960s shirt-dress patterns all seem to have side zippers. A part of me wants to skip that, even though zips aren't a big hassle for me - well, they aren't when I make skirts, anyway. I am trying to decide between McCalls 6649 and Simplicity 5848.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

cut it out

I've cut out the following clothing projects:

McCall's 7554 (vintage housecoat) out of this skull flannel fabric. I know - again with the skull fabric. I spotted this stuff on the shelf at JoAnn's and it made me almost unreasonably happy. Originally I was going to make a dress but I decided it would be better off as a nifty housecoat. Why did housecoats go out of style?

Advance 718 (vintage "convertible" apron) out of old school tattoo art on a pink background - I have high hopes for this one.

I also finished cutting out New Look 6899 (view e). The pattern layout was wack, and I just couldn't figure out how to cut out both skirt panels with the yardage listed on the envelope. The fabric has a bright pink background with butterflies and budding branches, I had to wait until HoLo got more in stock. Can't find a picture of the material so I'll have to take one later.

I'm in the mood to make another shirtdress or two; I'm waiting the arrival of vintage Simplicity 5845 that I found on Etsy the other day. View 2 has a nice full pleated skirt.

Probably won't get to do serious sewing until winter break, so I have to get ready for the eventual sewing binge!

Friday, October 2, 2009

latest pattern in the quest for the perfect shirtdress

My next attempt to find the perfect shirtdress pattern will be McCall's 3481, a vintage number from 1973. Love that pleat underlay on view C! I'm contemplating making that view minus the pockets and with B's short sleeves. I also might update the collar. Now to select the fabric; surely something in my stash will do.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A couple of finished projects - and a new project is hatched

I'm on a quest for the perfect shirtdress pattern. I just finished my first attempt, made with McCall's 4769. The fabric is a cotton print from good old Jo-Ann's. I decided to add the black middy braid trim along the facings - the fabric is pretty busy, and the black lines along the seams helps disguise that the pattern doesn't line up. I think I would like a fuller skirt. This dress is nice though, comfortable and the lines of the dress have a 1940s quality to them. I had the buttons and the braid on hand already, so sometimes having a stash can pay off.

I finished the cloak my friend asked me to make her (shown modeling the finished product). She does Ren Faires and the occasional LARP. She selected the material, a heavy printed velvet in old gold; I picked out the lining to match her skirt. It was kind of fun working with fabric that I wouldn't usually pick out if left to my own devices. That velvet is HEAVY! I do like the full hood with its pointy end! She was happy with it, so yay.

So - you know how I've been whining that the costume urge has left me? I think it's starting to come back. I need to return to my costuming roots: Italian Renaissance. I've been thinking about something based on Lodovica Tornabuoni's gown in Domenico Ghirlandaio's Birth of the Virgin (as seen here on the lovely and talented Jen Thompson's website). I love that overgown with the funky heraldic animals - and I have fabric in my stash that would do quite nicely. I'll just work on this at my own pace, documented here, of course. That way when I finally do make it to an SCA event I'll have something to wear. I have to make a new pattern though, my old one is missing. I'd need to redo it anyway, but my bodice back pattern has served me well for YEARS so I'm sad to have to redo it.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Update without pictures

McCalls 5591: Done! Well, mostly.I decided to put red bias tape around the pocket seams, I've only done one so far. I've been in slipstitch purgatory with this one - the bottom band/hem and the yoke all had to be hand stitched down.

Butterick 5030 (view E): Just have to sew the snaps on.

Vogue 5413: Needs to be hemmed. I like this pattern!

New projects -

McCalls 3254: This is a discontinued shirt dress pattern, a part of the Palmer Pletsch line. I'm making this up in a blue cotton print with abstract dandelions. That's what they look like to me, anyway. This pattern is super helpful in telling you how to figure out what's going on with any fitting problems. I am done with the front and the back and the shoulder seams. I didn't realize how LONG this pattern was! The back length is 54"! I'll be cutting that down to size.

McCalls 4769: This is a current shirt dress pattern - can you tell I'm into shirt dresses? - the fabric is a black and white damask print, which has been washed. I was pleased to find some black buttons in my stash that will work. The pattern pieces are cut out. I won't slice into this until the blue one is finished.

I'll post some pictures soon.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

For the Rockabilly Housewife

This is based on a pattern (McCalls 5825, View C), though I did make the pockets contrasting rather than matching. The main fabric has such a strong pattern it would be hard to line up the pockets. Fortunately, plaid goes with everything.
From arts and crafts

Friday, July 31, 2009

what I found in the "works in progress" pile

Mainly for my own benefit, but since I've been blogging my sewing more lately:

Butterick 6582
(retro reprint, cocktail dress): turquoise brocade with abstract feather pattern: cut out. Meh. Will revisit later, though part of me says I should use what I have to cut out a slim skirt. I'll probably stick with the dress though.

Advance 9427 - (vintage dress with full or slim skirt): need to find the direction sheet! Cotton fabric with pale pink roses. The bodice was a disaster - the curves came out funky and it turns out that in-one sleeves (part of the bodice) do not look good on my generous curves. The bodice will go into the scrap pile where it will be cut up and put in a quilt. I'll pick a better vintage bodice pattern and cut a new bodice with the leftover fabric and put it on the skirt. The fabric is very springtime, I can see working on this in January or February when it's grey outside.

Vogue 5413 (vintage set of dresses with scoop neckline in front and back): Cotton fabric, dark green background with blue, green, purple dots all swirly. The bodice is done, the skirt is together all that's left is to set in the sleeves and attach said skirt to said bodice. I think I'll try to work on finishing this next.

Butterick 4136 - skirts. Neat emerald green cotton print. Cut out, but I'm not feeling the love just yet.

The above were started at various points between 2006 - 2008.

McCalls 3830 (set of straight skirts): red and black plaid, one of those fabrics that is really two fabrics pieced kind of like a quilt top. I just cut this out a few weeks ago, maybe I'll feel like revisiting this in the fall.

I think that's all of the projects that have been cut out / started. I've got a lot of plans rattling around in my head; going through and listing has helped a bit.

Costumers: fear not. This weekend I plan to start on a middle class Elizabethan.

machinery in revolt

*sigh* I bought my serger because it was easy to thread. I havent been able to get the tension right without my mechanically inclined spouse, who today had time to futz* with it. He got it working great, and I was happily finishing seams when I noticed a weird clicky noise happening every so often. Broken needle. And I couldn't find my serger box o' stuff - so no needles. After a trip to JoAnns for needles, it turns out that the needles I bought were too short (?). Grumble. I bought the machine in the Big City; I'll have to see if anyplace around here sells the recommended brand.


BUT - between yesterday and today I finished the sleeves and assembled the bodice for the wrap dress. It's going together very nicely - it fits great with no effort on my part beyond the original pattern. It's just this serger nonsense delaying progress. I may just finish the rest of the seams the old fashioned way so I can complete the thing. I'm considering doing a decorative topstich in a contrasting color on the collar and cuffs...though that's the sort of thing that, if not done just right, really looks bad, so I may try that on another project. Since my luck has been so mixed with regards to sewing lately, maybe I'd better not tempt fate.

I also worked on one of my UFOs from last year, a skirt (McCalls 5591). This is in a ladybug fabric; nice design, not twee at all. Ladybugs, skulls - my wardrobe is going to be funky.

*Did you know that the original meaning of "futz" is literally "to fart around"? Truefact!

I suppose I should do some dissertating now.

that's a wrap (dress)

A little each day I've been working on Butterick 5030 (view E) - so far it's cut out, marked, and interfaced. The fabric is a neat cotton print I found about a year ago in Ye Olde JoAnn's Red Tag Section, black with roses in various shades of red and dark pink, and they look more like photos than, you know, the usual flowers on fabric. Never fear, photos will get posted at some point. I think this might look good with a petticoat.

We just had a huge thunderclap - it started me and the cats, and they usually aren't bothered by much.

Work progresses on the prospectus, it's just not as fun to blog about.

Skull Skirt

This fabric broke the record for least amount of time spent in my stash before getting made up into something. I used Vogue 8363 View A, with a couple of changes. The pattern calls for the skirt to be made of embroidered / lacy fabric with a scalloped edge, then you make a lining. I used this amazing fabric and skipped the lining as it didn't need it. Also I fudged with the pleated ruffle to maximize the pattern.

Regent Skull skirt Regent Skull skirt

Florida Souvenir Skirt

Here's another project that I started at least a year ago. The day I found this fabric in the local quilt store I bought it, washed it, and cut out the skirt - I even marked the darts, which is a sewing task I loathe. And then? This just sat in the sewing zone. Until now. I put ric-rac along the waistline, with larger ric-rac around the hem. I've been wanting to try this particular style of applying ric-rac, which is a delightfully kitsch sewing trim. Yay, another finished project!


I blog over at LiveJournal, which is fun, but difficult to find new people. I intend to cross post my sewing and craft posts here. We'll see what else happens.