Here goes! This is my plan for December's garment a month, and it is an ambitious one. I will be using this as an entry into the Pattern Review Cocktail Dress Contest as well. It is Vogue 1348, and it has a lining and an underlining. I got the red/black fabric on a recent trip to Textil Mueller, then picked up some Mousseline lining in black and some red organza for that party dress flair. What do you thin? Muslin fitting of the bodice and an FBA to start soon.
I planned it, adjusted the bust, cut it, lined it, hand sewed the sleeve hems and neck facings. All I needed to be done with my Wintry Washi dress was a hem. I sewed, leaving all but a small opening to hand stitch, picked up the iron without looking at the setting and....... burned a hole right through the lining fabric at the hem. URGH!
OK, this wasn't strictly finished in November, but it should have been. So, I took it out on December 1st and cut the burned part of. The good news is I am short and the length actually turned out better than it would have if I had succeeded the first time. Behold my fully lined winter washi!
I used the longer sleeve pattern, then added a cuff for the elastic casings. For finishing, I hand stitched the sleeve linings. I also ended up hemming the lining and dress separately, as I had eliminated the pleats in the skirt lining and the bottom hems were not the same. I made some bias tape out of the lining fabric to finish off the neck facing edge.
Now I can start planning December! I already have an idea. Let's see if I can execute without another disaster.
I did it! Just in time I finished my advent calendar using this tutorial.
The cutting is a bit fussy, but putting them together was pretty quick. I planned to embroider the numbers, but because of time constraints I used some printable fabric, then darkened the numbers with fabric markers. It makes the perfect addition to our normal sized stockings over our very tall doors.
I used rope-type stuff I got at a local fabric shop for the lines for the garland and little office clips to attach them.
It is starting to feel like the holiday season. Cheers! More garment updates will be happening soon!
A lot of bloggers have been talking lately about personal style. I don't know that I have ever bothered to try to explain my personal style in words, and I'm not really sure I want to. I certainly take more chances than some and less than others. I am realistic about my body and all its flaws and I believe in not worrying it so much. We can all dress in a way that accentuates our good features and diminishes the bad ones.
This week, I saw two very powerful videos about the way we style ourselves and see ourselves, and I thought I'd share them. The first nearly made me cry,.
I don't want to be the only person in the world incapable of seeing my own beauty. We all know we have faults, but we don't have to be our own worst critics.
Next, I saw something that brightened my day immensely. Warning, this is a special that is about 45 minutes long. Even my husband enjoyed watching it with me, so when you have some time, watch it from start to finish.
My 40th birthday comes in January. I want to be inspired by both of these videos to love myself more and be proud of my personal style. Life's too short to live according to the rules......
Now, I am not just posting these because no sewing has been going on! I managed to almost complete the wool Washi dress. At this point, it needs facing trim, some hand-stitching and sleeve cuffs. Hoping this will all happen tonight.
I am also quickly running out of time to finish my advent calendar. It is in process, though.
In other news, I also bought a bunch of fabric this weekend. It is all being prewashed, but look for stash pics soon.
Crafting time has been at a premium this week. I really want to finish my dress, but between band practices, social engagements and that pesky day job that pays the bills, I haven't been able to manage even a few minutes of sewing time. Part of the problem is an urgent knitting project that needs attention.
Now, sensible people would just concentrate on what needs to be done in order to finish more quickly. I am clearly not sensible. I have made a list of all the ongoing projects and plan to work through them, but it seems that the more overloaded my life gets, the more I manage to drift off into a fantasy world of the hundred other things I'd like to be doing. Yup, that's me!
So, this week, in addition to culling my TODO list, I've managed to order a couple of things to aid in my future planning. The first is the catalog for the 2013/2014 Marfy pattern line. I can't wait to see what's in here for 2014 sewing.
The second is a quilting book which I think will be super fun. It is called Quilty Fun, after all. I have read Lori's blog for some time and she has really fun things she makes almost entirely out of scraps. There is a sewalong for anyone interested. I have a pattern of hers already, so I look forward to using up some quilting scraps next year.
In one last bit of miscellany, I have a promo bit. I don't usually promote products, and I certainly don't have any sponsors here, but I am in love with this pattern tracing paper. I read about it in Gertie's book., then saw it used on the Great British Sewing Bee. All sewists pay attention. You must try this paper. It can be sewn for fitting and modifications. It is sturdy. It is completely transparent for tracing. I am starting to make mods to TNT patterns and transfer them to this stuff so that they can be rolled up and last forever. It isn't cheap, but I think it is worth every penny.
That's all I've got for today. I hope to have more to show you next time.
I'm in the IT industry. I know how to use computers and I own a laptop, tablet and iPhone. However, I still make TODO lists and keep tons of notes on paper. Here is a random sampling of my "art". I tend to intersperse the work stuff and craft stuff, which I am trying to break as a habit, but I find it amusing to go back through my notes. Yes, I even use the sticky note in the notepad trick.
I have a copy of Evernote on my tablet and iPhone, but making lists without a pen and paper just never seems to stick with me. I don't feel bad about the amount of waste, as a journal like this lasts me a year or so. This one is nearly full and will be retired for a new one by eh start of 2014.
What do you guys think? Paper or Tablet?
Looks exciting, right? OK, I know it doesn't really look exciting, but it is quite exciting all the progress I made on the wool Washi dress. This is the back. I really didn't want to shirr it, so I stuck a piece of my lining fabric to the outer shell on the inside and sewed myself some elastic casings. I did the top and bottom rows on the outer garment. To make it soft, I've actually used some of the underwear elastic I had laying around.
The outer dress is all put together, all that is needed is seam finishing. I went ahead and put the yoke on it and have an idea how to finish it off. We'll see if it works out as planned. As I said I would, I added the long sleeve that Rae offered a while back. I left the original length on this, as I didn't know how long I wanted the winter version. I will be cutting off at least a couple of inches. I also managed to do a full bust adjustment! It wasn't much, only about an inch, but it sure makes a difference in fit. I felt like my two summer washis were squishing me a little (probably because they were).
The lining is a crepe de chine that I picked up at the local fabric shop this weekend. The color on this wool is a bit strange and hard to match, so I was glad when I found something. All that is needed on the lining is the side seam stitching and finishing (leaving pocket openings unsewn for hand finishing). I predict a finished dress this week some time.
This dress is going to be warm; very, very warm. Between the wool and the lining, I fear it won't be useful except in the most chilly of situations. I was thinking how toasty it would be for Gluehwein season here in Vienna when DH said, "That will be perfect for the Christkindlmarkt!" Great minds think alike!
Here's a quick shot of the lining.
In other news, I did start a holiday project this week. The stocking advent calendar won out, and here are my first mini stockings......
And, my husband never ceases to amaze me. I didn't have the right buttons for his shirt, so he went and picked some out. Ladies, they are gold-trimmed and really thick. I think he has given this all a second thought now, but we'll see if I can get him to model it anyhow. This went pretty well. I still need a bit of hand tacking on the placket (these are still new and a bit mysterious to me).
Until next time, happy stitching.
I managed to finish all but one item on my recent TODO list! The item left is a baby quilt that needs the rest of the machine quilting fini5. shed and then the binding. I thought it would be a good time to write down the plan for the rest of the month, since writing things down last time really seemed to motivate me.
Rest of November list:
1. Finishing quilting the quilt and bind it so it can get mailed to NM
2. Garment a month challenge -- I mentioned in a previous post that despite my lining fabric purchases I didn't really like any of them to go with the wool I want to use for this. I plan to rectify this on Saturday at the latest and whip up the dress.
3. Holiday project #1 -- I have a pattern for this that I bought on a recent trip to NM. It is really cute, and I got some holiday fat quarter packs in the right colors for it. Alas, I can't find a picture, so you'll have to wait to see what it looks like
4. Holiday project #2 -- An advent calendar. I have wanted one and this will be the year. There are so many ingenious ideas for these. I haven't quite made up my mind, but here are some contenders:
These two projects could qualify as entries into the pattern review holiday contest. Let's see!
Hmmm. That now officially looks like a lot of stuff. I'd better stop getting more ideas.
I had grand plans of cutting out that Washi dress this weekend. I took out the wool, looked for matching lining fabric. No, that won't work. That one won't work, either. Ooh, look at that really nice blue jersey. Terry would like a shirt out of that.
Yup, that's how it happens in my house. I start with one idea and end up executing another. So, I tried out Thread Theory's Strathcona Henley shirt. Terry has lost quite a lot of weight, and most of his shirts are pretty baggy at this point. I have three things I would do better on the next one of these (and I do foresee more).
1. The fit is marked "slim", but it is actually a bit beyond that into what I term "Euro". The large still fits him, but I will give him a bit more room in the upper back/chest and upper sleeves next time.
2. Plackets.... I haven't sewn many plackets. Mine are OK, but I could use practice
3. Hems.... I was in a hurry (as I seem to be at the end of every project) and didn't take the time to properly press/pin the cuffs and lower hem. This jersey likes to roll, and so it caused all manner of problems. Next time I will take my time.
Otherwise, I'd say this is a smashing success. He likes it. I would have pictures, but the last thing needed is actually to sew on buttons, so I'll have it for you all in a day or two.
It has been decided. My official Garment a Month entry for November will be a Washi dress. I made two of these over the summer. The first was made with the funnest guitar fabric..
The second was the fabulous 4th of July Washi. This was just so much fun to sew and wear.
Alas, I both of these are super summery. I have managed to wear the guitar version with tights and a sweater, but the winter of Vienna will soon make even that not so practical. So, I started thinking of a winter version of the Washi. I love the pattern so much. It is comfy and easy to sew and I just needed one for the winter season. So, I hunted around the interwebs and found Sabrina at the Sweet French Toast blog who made a beautiful gray wool version of the dress. The designer of the Washi dress has added a free pattern piece and tutorial for a long sleeve, so all is possible.. I bought some beautiful wool tweed fabric from Textil Mueller which has already been dry cleaned, and on my last trip I acquired lining fabric. That means I should be good to go.
Here is the plan for modifications:
1. Modify the neckline for a scoop neck instead of the cutout or straight neck. This blog explains how to do it.
2. I don't fancy shirring wool, so I am planning something like this elastic casing idea....
3. My wool may or may not be scratchy, but I plan to fully line it. The top will get an underlining, which will allow those elastic casings to come together easily, and the skirt will just be lined. I think the sleeves will only need lining on the top, we'll see.
That is the plan. Now to execute. I plan to cut it all out on Saturday and hopefully assemble most of it on Sunday. Since there are no zippers or buttonholes, this could make for a quick weekend project.