Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Black with white squares

Here’s another one that’s waiting for weather that does not require layer upon layer of clothing.

The fabric was bought with a skirt in mind – rayon twill.  It’s been lying around for a while – not a very long while, but long enough.  Then I got it into my head to make a dress with a vaguely 30’s look to it.  Somehow I did manage to squeeze a dress out of the piece intended for a skirt.  (I did have a big skirt in mind!)  I also wanted to try out a collar from a book.  Here’s how it went.

I started with Simplicity 3556, changed the neckline, lengthened it, and somewhat changed the sleeves.

The collar came from this book.  Despite the very ‘80’s look to everything in this book, there are some very good instructions to making additions and alterations to patterns that can still be put to good use.  Besides, why spend the time figuring it all out on your own, when there are instructions already in place?
The collar is a rayon challis, and I was worried how it would look after it went through the wash, and how I was going to “get at it” to iron.  (I worry about such things.)  So, instead of sewing down the loop as per instructions, I put a snap under the collar.
Now the collar will be easy enough to deal with at the ironing board.
I didn’t have a black zipper on hand, so the back does up with3 buttons.
Perhaps not the best choice of buttons, but for some reason my button stash is seriously lacking in cute black buttons.  Not wanting to wait for stores to open, I just used what I had.  In retrospect, I could have changed the buttons many times over by this time, but now the dress is in my closet, and the urgency for buying buttons has passed.  May-be later.  Besides, I can’t see my back, so the less than perfect buttons won’t be bothering me.
One more "I want because I want" off the list.  For some reason this collar reminds me of the outfits worn by Miss Lemon in the Poirot series, and that's why I wanted this dress.  If that makes no sense to anyone else, that's quite alright.
minus the belt, though it will always definitely be worn with a belt.

the back (as if you couldn't figure that out for yourselves)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Oakridge blouse and a skirt

Playing catch-up here.  I’m really going to try to post twice a week.  Obviously “Sunday outfits” fizzled out, though they may make a comeback at some point.

Last Autumn I wanted to have a go at the Oakridge blouse by Sewaholic.   
The fabric is from the late ‘80’s, I think, from the Lilly Ann outlet in San Francisco.  Definitely overdue for leaving the stash and moving up to the closet.  Having cut the blouse, it seemed I had enough to make the pleated skirt.  
funny how this print looks weird and fuzzy when you pan back from it
Pattern is from the ‘80’s also (very definitely OOP), but I had never used it.  (Wonder why?)  
My latest “rule” is not to leave great chunks of fabric that will go back into stash.  While it’s on the cutting table, might as well cut out something else.  In this case, I’m happy with my “2-piece dress”.  I was thinking the blouse as something to wear with black jeans, but this combination dress isn’t too bad either – though it definitely needs a black belt, I think.  And the skirt can go solo with a black t-shirt.  Unfortunately neither has been worn yet.  I’m waiting for warmer weather.  By the time I finished sewing, winter had set in.  This particular polyester feels cold and clammy in winter.  Come Spring (if that ever happens!) these will get a few wears until the weather turns hot and humid, and then this polyester will once again become unwearable.  Don’t know if I‘ll repeat the skirt, but I already have done a repeat of the Oakridge blouse.  That one’s coming up when I post my class samples.  So that’s two unused patterns now used and one not-so-small piece of fabric completely used up!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Victorian shirt

My son is a real problem when it comes to dreaming up presents for him.  He doesn’t want to accumulate “stuff” because he pulls stakes and moves quite often, and all his belongings have to fit into the back of his truck.  He’s at the other end of the country, and sending “stuff” very often costs far more than the “stuff” is worth.  There’s not a whole lot I can get for him that he actually needs.  And so – there are clothes… made by Mum.  Come to think of it, he probably doesn’t need much in the way of clothes, either, because he mostly wears whatever goes for a uniform of whatever kitchen he’s presently working in.  This explanation is really getting far too long.  Suffice it to say, I put out “feelers” before Christmas, and this year (or is would it now be considered last year?? – whatever!) there was a hint of enthusiasm over another Victorian shirt.  
I made one about some two years ago That was a sort of trial run.  This version is a fine cream cotton.   
(Probably will never meet up with an iron again in its life, but here it is nicely pressed – ready to be folded up into a box and get crushed, and then I wonder why I spent so much time steaming and pressing.)  According to the pattern, the “slit”/vent is actually the underarm seam.  This puts the button on the cuff on the underside of the wrist.  Not very comfortable if you’re leaning your wrist on a table to write, or (more probably) on a laptop to type.  So, shirt No. 2 also got an actual vent at the side of the sleeve.  This time I did not spend a lot of time toiling over an actual placket, but took the easy way out as you can see.  
Apparently, this is a comfortable style. (Certainly is roomy with all those pleats!)  I sort of like the front details of this shirt – wouldn’t mind one for myself, though I’ll probably have to graft the details I want onto one of my shirt patterns.  Even at the smallest size of this pattern, I think I’d get tangled up and lost in too much fabric.  The construction of the front is a little confusing, or may-be I just don’t get something.  It was confusing the first time around, and I obviously didn’t remember a thing a year later, because it was confusing all over again this time.  At the end, I did have a clean finish on the inside of the button placket as well as the outside.  I keep telling myself that it doesn’t matter how you get there, just so long as the end result looks good.