Friday, March 27, 2015

Popping up to say hello.

A combination of winter and the flu killed my sewing mojo for a while there.     I'm easing back in with  baby-blanket for a friend of mine.    Until I get myself sorted out, here is a large cat-beast.

Someday soon I'll also get pictures off all the things I made over the winter and didn't photograph, because it was too cold to go outside without 17 layers.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

officially requesting summer.

30F, -1C   a good day for sundresses.

Does anyone else find themselves perpetually sewing things wildly out of season?

Granted, I currently have five projects ongoing (just counting the ones for me.)  (I'm getting really bad about taking pictures.   Almost half the things I made last year didn't get blogged -- but I should be moving again over the summer, and when I have a better space, I'm hoping to take more pictures.)

Anyhow - back to the main point -- I find I'm either sewing for a deadline, and finishing with moments to spare, or sewing for the sheer joy of it, months out of season.   Such is life.     Back to the dress - it is cotton gauze, and will be lovely in summer, but for right now is mostly just mocking me with its sheer floatyness.

It is a variation on V9053, the variation being I didn't have enough fabric and had to make up my own skirt.  So, rather than the large (seriously, HUGE, it requires 60 inch fabric) trapazoidal panels, I used gathered-but-smaller trapazoids with godets.


I'm slowly making my peace with gathered skirts.   I've found if they hit me in *exactly* the right place and the hem is much wider than the waist *and* the fabric something that won't bulk up, they are maybe not the heinous demons of unflatteringness I've often found them to be.

I'd go do far as to say, I think this dress will be  favorite over the summer.    I already find myself wearing it to dance around the living room and while imagining I'm tremendously glamorous, so it has that going for it.

Monday, February 2, 2015


Just in time for the snow.

My minoru is finished! (about three weeks ago, but I've apparently turned into a giant blob of doom)   As usual, I went a bit rogue.   Most notably, I skipped the elastic in the back - I'd actually put it in, but with the extra puffiness from the thinsulate, it looked weird, so I took it right back out.

Side note: working with the thinsulate was a pain in the butt - if you ever choose to use it, quilt the fuzzy side before you use it.  Otherwise it catches on everything and picks up lint and dust and whatnot..

a few days earlier, ready for the winter blasts.

Other changes include wider sleeves, as I really like being able to bend my arms.  (Mostly a thinsulate thing, but also a pattern thing - I think since I knocked down about 6 sizes to get the ease right the sleeves were made to fit the size person it was actually intended for.)  Also longer sleeves, as I ditched the elastic cuffs, the outside pockets and a three-piece, lined hood.  (The hood changes were purely stylistic.  I thought it looked snazzier with two sets of top stitching, rather than one down the center.)

Despite the size reduction, I still have a full range of motion.  I haven't tried a cartwheel yet, 'cause the ground is cold, but I feel confident I could if I felt the need.

The one major criticism I have is that the hood doesn't cinch down.   My next version (and there will be a next, although not for a little while) will have a cinchable hood.)  It keeps blowing off in the high winds and leaving me with a chilly head.

Monday, January 12, 2015


still to do: some top stitching, the elastic, hem and cuffs

By the way - midatlantic peoples, you're welcome for chasing away the well-below-freezing temperatures.   The closer I get to finishing the warmer it is.   For the first time ever, I find myself wanting the awful cold to come back, so I can be snug.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Zipping right along


I decided to go with zippered pockets.  They match the style of the hood/pocket/combo AND they mean that when I fling my coat around (because I'm a graceful lady like that) my things will stay in my pockets.

pocket bags! with bonus toes.
The pocket bags were drafted directly off the main coat pattern - huge side pockets and a little breast pocket - which will mostly store lipbalm, but can fit my phone if it needs too.   (I have an enormous case - re: the general gracefulness that is me.)   

zoomed in pocket detail - complete with snazzy orange top stitching

 The hood is also ready and set to be attached to the whole shebang.   It is lined in thinsulate and quite toasty and comfy to wear round on its own.  I switched it from  two piece hood to what would be  three piece hood if I had a large enough piece of fabric left over after I'd decided the snazzy top stitching would look better in a pair, rather than in  single line down the center.  

poking through its snazzy zippper

Also, after reading upteen thousand blog posts on this jacket, I read a lot of complaints about the interior seams of the hood becoming visible, so I stuck an extra piece of lining onto the interior, which will encapsulate it from all the other seams.

electric blue lining!

Monday, January 5, 2015


My latest project is another winter coat - although this time I'm using a pattern so hopefully I'll be finishing a bit sooner this time around...   It's also a major stash buster - the shell, lining and interlining have all been loitering around the house for years now.    The zippers are new, but all the rest has been waiting for its moment.

I found the pattern to be a good fit with almost no modifications - although I completely ignored the sizing chart and used the finished measurements instead.   According to the instructions I should be in the size 10 and instead I cut out the 4 -  Tasia put in a seriously enormous amount of ease.  I'm also skipping the cuffs and adding  couple inches to the sleeves - I like them to come half way down my hands.

Uncinched - but fitting nicely. 

I'm using thinsulate as the interlining - the weather report is promising chilling temperatures, so I'm turning this into a cozy parka.  It was originally part of my first attempt at making a coat than ended up getting abandoned when the waterproof fabric for the shell ended up being an absolute pain to work with. 

Thinsulate fun times
 Next up - adding the three outside pockets (seriously - how does this pattern not have outer pockets?)

Friday, January 2, 2015

Gatsby Dress

I went a little rogue on the design.

When I made up the original pattern muslin, it was a standard 20s fit - a giant sack, tied tight at the hips and floppy at the waist.  It was somewhat less than flattering.   So, while I could have fitted and fusses and made it work, I just didn't feel like it, and I knew no one else at the party was going for historical accuracy (except Greg - but he's a cheater*).  So - I took a pattern that already fitted in the bodice (VPLL princess slip)  and drafted the VPLL evening gown skirt onto it.

I had some extra fabric, that I attached around the collar to make it resemble the original cowl.   I left the floppy bit in the back - it ended up looking a bit more 30s than 20s (especially with the hair) but it worked.  I also snuck in a side seam zipper - 

I was in a odd mood when I started this dress, and couldn't be bothered to get off the couch - so I decided to do it entirely by hand.    The hem is a double set of running stitches with metallic thread which helps the draping show up and sparkle.

I added beading around the neckline and false cowl.   I got a variegated set.  lots more sparkly bits.  

 Happy New Year!

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