Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunday outfit

To-day was a very crazy day.  By the time I could even contemplate pictures, it was dark and I knew that picture quality would be far from optimal.  I was also on my own for camera duty.  Nevertheless - I am determined to stick with "the plan".  And so...

The skirt was inspired by one that I saw on Matches  Theirs was silk.  Mine is definitely not.  A few days after having seen the fabulous silk skirt with bold black and white horizontal stripes on the website, I was walking through Fabricland, and this black and white stripe jumped out at me.  It's a polyester knit with texture.  The price was definitely right - for an on-a-whim skirt.  And so, the fabric came home.

Doesn't everyone take pictures of their knees?
I measured carefully, marked my pleats, sewed on the waistband.  Something had gone very wrong.  The waist was far too large.  I do believe I wore it once, but it was not a comfortable situation.  Skirt hung in closet for months.  Then came an article in Threads about figuring out pleating for skirts.  (Sorry - I am not running to find the exact issue at the moment.)  Just before Easter I decided that this skirt would do well as the bottom half of "the Easter outfit".   I took off the waistband.  remeasured me, the fabric, the waistband .... in centimetres.  Did the calculations.  Repleated the skirt.  Resewed the waistband.  I think that originally I hadn't used stiff/stable enough interfacing in the waistband, and it had stretched - this being a knit - duh.  I finally had a wearable skirt.  It had its outing for Easter with a white blouse.  Then it hung unloved.  It was not a "summer" kind of skirt.  Far too heavy.  With a white top, the look certainly didn't say "Fall".  Yesterday I had an idea that this skirt could work with a black sweater, so to-day I decided to try this idea out.
The sweater is a Pamela's Patterns Perfect T-shirt hack in some unknown mix of fibers, but with a definite touch of angora.  (This one hasn't been  on the blog before.)
Belted with a suede tie belt.  (Belts always seem to finish off the outfit.)
Over top I wore the white wool coat.  (And yes, the pockets have now been moved higher to where they belong.)
Overall - a decidedly un-Fall-like palette, but I was nice and cozy for the nippy weather that has settled in here.
If  you want a good laugh ...  This is what I was wearing - heels and all - while mopping out the floor of the washroom in the church hall early in the afternoon.  There was a "situation" that needed to be dealt with, and apparently one has to be decked out in heels and ankle-length skirt to be up to such a task.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Sunday outfit

 Yesterday and to-day were, well, let's just say, very strange days, and so I'm a little late with this post.  And let's just leave it at that.

New skirt!  For some time (a very long time) I've been wanting to try out circle skirts/fractions of circle skirts.  If I didn't start at some time, it would never happen.  First try - the 1/4 circle skirt.  I do have a chart in one of my pattern-making books.  For some reason I found the whole thing rather daunting.  I ended up using the calculator on the By Hand London website.  Very easy.  All seam allowances calculated in.  Mind you, when I plugged in "maxi", the calculator told me that it would not fit on my fabric.  What I actually wanted was something in between their midi and maxi, so I just ignored the warning, drew my waist circumference, then used a yardstick to mark down from the waist line.   Clear as mud?  I actually drew a paper pattern.  It's huge!  Next "circle", I'll just draw a a mini and mark the hem cutting line right on the fabric.  (Less paper waste.)  A rather underwhelming experience.  I don't know what I was expecting.  Easiest skirt ever - one seam - one zipper - waistband - let hang for 48 hours - mark hem and finish.  It's essentially a bias skirt.  Very close fit through the  hip - stand tall and suck in the tummy.  My fabric is who-knows-what.  Very soft and drapey - very wrinkle-prone - probably rayon, or some combination of cotton/rayon.  The colour is a greenish grey.  This skirt is actually much more appropriate for spring/summer, but you know how it goes - just finished sewing, so must wear immediately.  After this initial outing, it can now hang in the closet awaiting its season.

The jacket is my geisha jacket from ....  can it be ... 2 years ago.  Why do I still consider this a "new" jacket?  I probably should get working on some actual new jackets!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Sunday outfit

Yesterday was grey and dreary some of the time, and sunny the rest of the time.  Of course, just as I decided it's picture time - now or never - it was gloomy.  Nevertheless ...  It has definitely gotten colder, and a coat was necessary. My Robson- never blogged, but sewn as a sample for a class.  The fabric is difficult to describe, as it's sort of "fake leather", but not really.  The plasticky coating that makes the leathery look is applied in splotches.  Main thing is - it is rain resistant to a point.  Actually a perfect sort of coat for this time of year.  I did lengthen the pattern.

And under the coat - the Vogue dress that I made back when.  With my latest quirk about skirt lengths, I find this too short, but under the coat it worked.  Dresses really do make life easier.  Just one item to pop on and you're ready to go.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

A Trio of Tunics

I've been playing around with my Perfect T-shirt pattern ... again.  Trying to prove that you can fiddle around with a simple pattern and get whatever you want.  Well, that, and I wanted some knit tunics, because one of my latest quirks is not wanting to have my backside exposed when I wear jeans.  (I'm still not comfortable wearing leggings outside the house - tunic or no tunic.)  Anyway ... the first was the black tunic.  I drew a full front pattern from my already drawn tunic pattern, drew a line down at the quarter mark, decided how long a point I wanted, then joined the point to the "tunic length" sides.  I think that I also added a bit of width to the side seams.  Repeat operation for the back.  I got pretty well what I wanted.

That tunic was actually made as a class sample this past winter.

Fast forward to summer...  As I was wandering through Fabricland, pawing everything in my wake, I was stopped by this silky smooth cotton knit.  It's absolutely scrumptious.  The background is an off-white with swathes of pale creams and beiges.  Not everyone's idea of exciting fabric, but I love it.  Unfortunately, this doesn't show up too well in the pictures.  So, without much over-thinking of the matter, I cut another tunic with an angled hem.
This is the "at home" look.  When I'm headed out the door to wherever, I generally put on a belt and (depending on the weather) a scarf or other accessories.
And just in case you were wondering how I handled those angled corners on the hems ... miters.

Last (but not least?) is a slightly different version of the hem.
For this one I was going for the "hanging corners at the side seams" look.  There were fabric constraints, and this didn't turn out quite as dramatic a side seam as I had envisioned, and I still haven't decided whether I should just cut off those sides and make plain, straight side seams.  In the meantime this tunic gets its fair share in the clothing rotation.  It's a cotton/spandex knit - so soft that I tend to maul the hem when I'm sitting with nothing for my hands to do.  (That doesn't so so good!)

I can hardly believe that I used up fabric that I had bought in the same season.  (No addition to stash!)
And I do believe that I am finally getting the hang of positioning pictures on this blog!  (Took me a while!)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Lighter than air

Look what I found - pictures of a dress from this summer!  I almost forgot that I took these.

Way back (I had to dig through the blog!) - could it have been so long ago? - I started with a designer pattern, simplified and redesigned/simplified it and came up with what I thought was the perfect summer dress.  Thought that I would make many variations of the same thing.  Well, as we know, that did not happen.  Every summer I would make plans for this dress, but other things got sewn instead.  C'est la vie.
Then last summer (I think) I bought some border print fabric for what I thought would be a skirt.  It's the most unbelievable rayon.  Feels like I'm wearing air.  Absolutely perfect for hot humid summer weather.  Now this border was printed in panels - I find it a little difficult to figure out how much to buy, and I ended up with 3 panels - figuring that was more than enough for a skirt.  This year when I pulled out summer fabrics, I changed my mind - the fabric wanted to be a dress.  What I didn't think about, was that these prints are rarely perfectly on grain, and when they get cut at the store, you do end up losing a bit on your end panels.  Since I've decided to make my skirts longer these days (hey - I can make my skirts any length I want - I sew!), it ended up being a little bit of a challenge to fit everything in as I wanted.  Luckily the fabric was wide, so the middle panel became the skirt - with a little bit borrowed from the panels on either side.  The two layers of the bodice came out of the other two panels.  Positioning prints just so does make for some waste, but what can you do?  Other details - I added some piping around the neck and armholes. I had to.  The fabric was so soft, it needed something to stabilize the edges, and there was no way to add any kind of interfacing without losing drape.  There's no zip - just a slit and one button on the back of the neck.
Jacket is an ancient white linen - what I call my "Edwardian jacket" with antique lace, but that's a story for another time.

I'm thinking that I'd rather like this in a drapey silk with sleeves ... may-be for Christmas... and I just happen to have the perfect fabric...

Monday, October 3, 2016

Sunday Outfit

To-day the resident photographer wasn't feeling well, and "the photo shoot" did not yield the best of pictures.
I really should have checked that everything was sitting just right - but -I didn't.

Fortunately, my stand-in volunteered to model a little later on in the day.
The jacket - Sewaholic Cordova - wool in a pebbly weave.
The skirt - self-drafted midi pencil skirt.  The fabric - some combination of cotton and who knows what in a rather coarse weave - a remnant that happened to be the perfect colour match for the blouse.  I was a little short of fabric, hence the lace inset.  I did plan for the inset to be a little higher up from the hem.  Unfortunately, I goofed when chopping the bottom of the skirt, and, well, there was absolutely no way to remedy that.
I backed the lace with a sheer knit to stabilize the lace.  (I have no idea where the stuff came from.  Thought of tossing it many a time, but it finally came in handy!)
The blouse - Sewaholic Alma - in a rayon print.  Feels almost like a lightweight bark cloth.
To the best of my knowledge, none of these pieces have appeared on the blog yet, thought they were made in the last two or so years.  Perhaps there is hope of catching up with all the unblogged items in the closet!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Class samples – September 2016

Before September ends, it might be a good idea to post my class samples that have been hanging in the store since the beginning of the month.  We have limited space in the store for display, and since the quilters manage to take up all the wall space (wonder how that happens?), I try to make my stuff work as “outfits”, so that I can dress the mannequins.  No mean feat, because none of the mannequins are actually my size, and the clothing, generally, is destined for my closet.  I’ve also gotten bored with sewing plain old t-shirts and cardigans for the t-shirt and cardigan class, (we use Pamela’s patterns for these classes), yet when I make even the slightest change in design, people immediately think that I’ve used a totally different pattern.  Hopefully my solution to the problem will not stymie any would-be students.  I’ve gone ahead and made up the garments as I wanted to, then pinned on a list of changes that I’ve made to the pattern.  Without further ado …

For beginners, there are the ever-present pyjama pants in a bright print.  (They are for my daughter, therefore - her choice of fabric.)  And a garment bag - a chance to learn to sew in zippers, as well as l-o-n-g seams for practicing straight stitching.  I'm repeating the Minoru jacket from Sewaholic Patterns - I've added patch pockets here, as well as a change in the sleeves.  Classes on pants fitting, t-shirts and one I'm calling "Maxi skirt".  Here as an 8-gore skirt.  Originally I had two separate classes for skirts - one for a knit skirt with an elastic waist, and one for an 8-gore skirt.  Not too many interested people.  Then I lumped the two together, called them maxi skirts, and all of a sudden the classes got filled.  I guess it's all about the name.  People who claim never to wear skirts, apparently wear maxi skirts!  Go figure.
The sleeve on the cream t-shirt was widened a bit, finished with a cuff.  It's split down the centre and held together with shell buttons.
This t-shirt grew into a tunic.  I used the paisley fabric only on the front - the back and sleeves are black.  The lining on the Minoru jacket happens to be the leftovers from the prom dress.

This poor mannequin is on its last legs, so it's a bit of a challenge to get it to stand up straight, never mind have it display clothing well.  Nevertheless - a knit skirt, a t-shirt and a cardigan from Pamela's Twinset pattern.  (The little tag hanging on the ribbon lists the changes made to the pattern.)
For this cardigan I added an overlap, buttonholes and buttons.  The edges were bound in bias strips of cotton velveteen.  And then there's the applique...  The fabric is a "quilted" knit - it was just a remnant, so the sleeves ended up as 3/4.  My daughter came in just as I was finishing the cardi, picked up a little piece of the fabric and commented on the fact that the little squares looked just like squares of chocolate.   For some reason I decided to cut them apart, and for some reason these little "squares of chocolate" just ended up getting blanket-stitched to the front.  Looks OK?
Now I really do have to figure out my priorities for fall/winter sewing.  I've been dithering, which means that I've been sewing things that fall into no particular plan, other than the "I have the fabric and I want to try this pattern" plan.  There definitely has to be at least one winter coat before the really cold weather sets in, and I know that I do have to keep "staying warm" in the plans.  I'm already freezing, and the temperatures are no-where near frosty.  Of course, that might be more to do with "lack of personal insulation" (as my late husband used to call it), than actual outdoor temperatures.  So now I'm off to dig in the stash to see what can be used for warm and cozy clothing.