Thursday, June 30, 2011

MeMade-June Wrap Up, and a Return to Normalicy

I was getting punchy...
Today is the last of Me-Made-June, and I can't say I'm sorry to see it go.   I love the community aspect, finding new people whose blogs I now follow, and just seeing what everyone come up with.   To any of you who participated and are reading this, your very existence in this world rocks mine  - and I truly mean that.   There are very few people in my real world life who sew, and the others just don't get it.  You do, and that means the world to me.     Now, as for the other side of it, I have RSI issues that make mousing and typing difficult (I time posts for when my wrists work) so clicking through all the pictures began to be physically painful to such a degree that it interfered with other aspects of my life, and I had to stop looking at everyone's daily outfits (and consequently leaving them comments) about halfway through the month, which left me horribly frustrated with the whole thing.  

Now for the sewing aspects of the challenge -- It made me realize I need to address the mending pile.  There were a number of things that went unworn because I just haven't gotten to them.   I also decided I need to make more shirts -- prior to this I've always felt I had enough (mostly RTW) and it was silly to replace things just so they would be me-made.  However, looking through the pictures, I find I look better (and in retrospect felt better) on the days I wore dresses or my lace shirt -- the tailored aspects are more flattering to my figure and make me look more like a woman than a girl.    The fact that I am 26 and still occasionally mistaken for a high schooler*   has become irritating - yes yes, I'll appreciate it some day, but I think its time to really haul my wardrobe out of grad student and into full on yuppie. (okay, not really, I think the style I'm aiming for could best be described as elegantly eccentric.... aka I'll wear whatever I want, but it will fit properly.)

Anyhow, with this ramble, I will henceforth go back to actual sewing news of all sorts.

*Best example of this occurred about 6 months ago.   My company was a sponsor of a big science fair, and there were people from various branches at different booths, trying to get kids excited about studying STEM subjects.  Anyhow, I was helping out at my division's, and after duly admiring my work, Mom and I went to look at the rest of the fair.   I was more or less familiar with most of the things being shown, so I was standing back and watching her have a blast, doing all the kid activities, asking questions, etc.    Anyhow, at this one booth, they were talking about carbon nanotubes, which isn't really my thing, and I couldn't answer her question, so the woman running it turns to me and suggests I ask my science teacher on Monday.   (My response that I was (then) 25 and worked in the R&D department of her own company left her a little shocked.)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mostly on Spandex

This is pure MMJ, as I'm still taking seams.
stealth spandex

On Sunday, I went rafting, and while terribly fond of such adventures, I wasn't quite sure how I was going to pull of a me-made for the day, without resorting to the outfit I would change into afterward to drive back home.   ( Which would count. and I did, and I documented, but still, not as fun)  BUT WAIT!   I remembered that last summer I had made a bathing suit... but not just any bathing suit, a seersucker one, the shorts of which had maybe a one inch inseam, and required rather more coverage if I were going to do crazy things like sit on a towel in public.   Thus, I started playing with spandex, and made myself some little shorts to go underneath.   So I rooted through my drawers, found 'em... and realised this was not a picture I really needed up put on the internet, so here you can see me pointing to s small sliver of dark blue... thats the spandex.   Everything else is RTW
tiny sliver of spandex

Anyhow, the spandex got even more covered up, as I felt the cool conditions and the fact that the rivers = sunburns meant more clothing would be a very very good idea, so as you can see, it became even less visible.  However, it worked out well, and I had a grand time.  (I got to be captain, and promptly declared us the pirate ship revenge, myself the dread pirate Roberts, and informed the rest of the armada we were sailing with that they were scurvy swine.  This may or may not have resulted in my getting drenched, but water guns were the theme of the day, and I was armed too, so it worked out alright.)    Oh, and I wore the capris home, because friends don't let friends drive damp.

on the river
lovely dry clothes

Then, for today, I wore my lace shirt.  Its one of my favorite and needs to be duplicated.   (I have some fabric in mind, but there are so many things in my queue, we'll see when it actually happens)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sewing Lesson!

he takes his pattern weight duties seriously.
Today I began indoctrinating a friend of mine to the joys of sewing.    The deal is, she does everything, and I watch over and explain how things work, and eat pizza she got for us.   Personally, I think it works out rather well :)      (Not being completely insane, when we went to the fabric store, I told her no knits, it had to be a loose skirt that we'd only have to fit to her waist, and it should be marked "easy".)
Sonia, pinning like a fiend
matching the pleat depths

I have never seen anyone take pinning quite as seriously as she did... now I must admit that it didn't help that the pattern weights have a habit of coming up behind and pulling pins out as one works -- which usually means they get locked into the bedroom... but she was so intent on her work, she didn't notice at first.

Anyhow, for my own sewing - both sides of the bust are tacked down.   I'm now working on tacking every single seam flat, so that it won't pucker oddly under the lining.    Still to do is resetting the sleeves -- I just realized you can only see one in the picture -- but its the droopy side, so it works.  See how the head is just off my shoulder?   If I move it up about a centimeter, it looks a whole lot better.

Now, for me-made-june.    Yesterday was "animal day", but the cats were being remarkably uncooperative.  This slightly obscured, headless, escape attempt was the best of the bunch.   Today, we have unintentional, but highly entertaining matching.  Went I went to pick Sonia up, her dress was all but identical to mine.  Needless to day, I demanded she be in today's picture.   (For context, I'm 5'9", not the jolly green giant)

"wrap" dress
New Look 6557

Thursday, June 23, 2011

musings on the currents state of the projects

oh the shame...

 Its funny, I had this whole rant written down about how much I loathed the current incarnation of the dirndl dress, how it was awful beyond repair, etc....  and then I loaded the picture.   I still don't like it, and I think there is a LOT of room for improvement, but I do think I can salvage it.   Its shown here with a belt and crinoline, as I, in my despair the other night tried to make it look like anything but a floppy and flappy night gown of doom.    (It still kind of looks like one... grumble and groan.)

the joy!

Happily the jacket is coming together nicely.   I'm currently working on tacking down the bust pleats, as the original plan of tacking them top and bottom and allowing the fabric to do its thing ended up in a nasty case of puffy-bust that looked a lot fake and a little tacky .. so.. tacked pleats.

Now, the past three (no, wait, FIVE!) days of me-made-june!   (someones been slacking...)
6/19 - the bedsheet dress
6/20 - me drafted and made skirt
6/21  the frankenpattern

6/22  me drafted 6 panel skirt

6/23 TWO outfits!  me made shirt, capris and dress!!!

 Yeah, this daily posting thing...  not so on top of it.   I'm hoping I'll get myself together when June ends and I don't have to worry about all this extra stuff, and getting pictures of my outfits, flicker, etc.   It does cut into my sewing time.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Glorious Distraction

For a few years now I've been dissatisfied with my winter wardrobe - either I can look nice, or I can be warm -- and 98% of the time I choose warm and look like a shlump.    I hereby declare that this shall come to an end!  My current goal, which is concurrent to the stash bust, is 3 jackets by October 1st.  I started on number one yesterday.    Like the lace shirt, it is based off Vogue 1086 -- but rather than leave the gathers in place, I turned the ones in the back into a single inverted box pleats, and those in the front into a series of knife pleats. 
pin-fitting - no pipping
sewn - with piping

While doing the final pin fitting, I decided it was a bit ...plain, which is odd for a brocade, but with all the seams there was nothing else going on, and it was looking homemade.  (I differentiate between the homemade look and handmade, the one implies screwing around while the other is craftsmanship)    I decided a little piping might help knock it up a notch, and fortunately I had *just* enough royal blue piping to do the midriff area.   I will need more for the collar and cuffs eventually, but those were never getting done this afternoon anyhow.    However, this change in design also required a change in construction order.   usually I put together the whole front, and the whole back and then sew them together.   Instead, I worked from the top down - I may start doing this more often.
original construction order

new order -- batwings are flat sleeves

I still need to tack down the interior seams, so it stops standing off my body oddly, line it, etc...    I also may reset the sleeves, as the heads are falling just short of the tops of my shoulders.    However, its coming together nicely and should be fun to wear.    The dirndl dress will probably be picked back up when I finish the jacket -- I kept having visions of the latter and couldn't concentrate on the former.   (Which means SWITCH PROJECTS!)

Anyhow, the past two days of Me-Made-June (This daily blogging thing is getting to be a bit much for me)

 Here we have a variation on Vogue 8543 - the variation being I didn't like how the seam in the front hit me, so I redrafted it to have 5 panels instead of three -- which I think evens up the 'arches' (I don't know what to call them) on the sides


Today was my perpetual friend and favorite, the franken-dress.more specifically the bodice is a modified Simplicity 2884, and the skirt is McCalls 5292, which I find to be quite full enough for every day wear. The modification was changing the back from a standard halter to crossed straps. I just find it more comfortable not to have pressure on the back of my neck all day. Also, although you cannot see it, there is a side seam pocket on the right side around knee level.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Several Days of MMJ

  Arm issues again, so not much sewing (and what has happened is tacking down seams and cutting out another project... not so terribly interesting photo-wise) 

Here we have 6/14, complete with odd lighting, camera settings, and Penny the Action Cat.   Me-made purple top (can you tell?) and jeans. the shirt, which IRL is grape soda purple, is made of a thickish knit and is based off one I got at Old Navy forever and a half ago. The jeans, which are some sort of stretch denim, are based off a pair from Gap.   Both predate the blog.

6/15 - also fun with color settings (this one was crazy dark)   lace top and my, my if it isn't the jeans again.  They are absurdly comfortable, and I think there will be more in my future.

6/16  - Me made skirt and belt - both self drafted.
part 1  part 2

Monday, June 13, 2011

fun with grommets *

 This dress just seems made for twirling.  I find I turn corners more sharply than I need to so that it will spin out. The dress is self-drafted and made from an old set of bed sheets, the progress of which may be seen here in part one part two part three part four part five. (scroll to the bottom for part five.)  

details on the belt here

No work on the dirndl today (and thanks Carolyn, for the proper spelling :)  )   But considering its all of Monday, I think I'll get it done this week.   (Horribly, I keep thinking its Friday, but no, must go to work tomorrow...  they have these crazy ideas about producing things and meetings and whatnot.    ::sigh::  oh for a vault to go swimming in like Scrooge McDuck.

Prepping for a new project this evening -- I decided I wanted black grommets* for something I've been mulling over in my head for a few weeks, couldn't find any of the right size, so, I got some black nail polish and painted them!   I plan to use an exposed zipper, which is also silver metal painted black, so as they wear, they ought to match (think happy thoughts)

*so, technically, at this size they are eyelets - but, eh, same idea.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

drindle developing

gratuitous cat picture.

From Saturday, me-made skirt that well pre-dates the blog.  I made its original incarnation (floor length) in high school.   A few years ago, I decided I'd wear it more often shorter, cut a bit to high, and ended up adding the purple band it make it work.

Today, we have the wrap-dress and a me-made apron.  (Today was a very cooking-centric sort of a day -- although the photo is a total fake.   I'd made lasagna earlier, forgot to get pictures until after I'd cleaned up, and while I will be doing cookies later, I felt like getting this done now while there was still sunlight.  I'm looking into pasta-water I'm about to dump out)

Actual sewing news:   I've lined the bodice of the drindle-dress, and I'm happy with the result.   (There is a little wrinkle of extra fabric above the bust, but I was wearing a different bra while doing the fittings, so that will be taken care of when I actually wear it out.  Oh underpinnings, what trouble you cause in your variations.)  Next up is attaching the skirt and making it not look like a nightgown.   Thank you for suggestions from the other day.... I'm going to have to experiment for a bit to see what works.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

drindle distress

The drindle dress is currently a bit of a mess.   the fit is fine (the dummy and I are not quite alike, so its better in real life - also the skirt was pinned on for pictures) but it looks... frumpy.  like pajamas.   I'm thinking I'll put something around the neckline, center front and hem to make it look a but more together, but I can't help but think this print was a mistake for a dress.    If it doesn't work out, I can repurpose it to be a button down shirt with a bit of a peplum, and add some sleeves....  but I would like to pull this together.      Any thoughts oh denizens of the internet?

Me Made June update:   From Thursday, we have the purple skirt - a self drafted six paneler that comes to about knee length.  Today (Friday, although I'm writing this after midnight so it will be dated Saturday) was a repeat of the seersucker tank and the capris.    Today's Friday theme was 'transportation' so we've got my little red wagon toting my groceries from my little purple car to my apartment.

 I'm on the edge of my me-made pledge.  Officially, I am at least one garment a day -- secretly, I am trying to make all the primary items be me-made.   (so, either a dress, or pants and shirt, etc...)   However, I'm hitting some weather appropriate snags (its been in the upper 90s here) and a I need to mend a couple of items I would otherwise be wearing, plus a big dose of for all that I am well aware there are some hefty gaps in my me -made wardrobe, they are amply filled by RTW items that I'm quite fond of and which are in perfectly fine shape.   Making something just to wear this month, or even for any challenge, when I have something I am happy with seems like a bit of a waste... as does making things to plug holes of any sort.      Around this time last year, I decided I was going to stop buying RTW clothing -- not necessarily forever, but I was inspired by all the handmade items I'd seen in Me-Made-May.  However, a couple of months in, I realized I wasn't enjoying my sewing as I had been before.   I was making things because I had to, not because I wanted to  - at this point I promptly went and bought myself some sweaters, giving up on the atrocious crochet project I was working on.   So I think I might be scaling down my not-so-secret-anymore version of the pledge to the official one, with the occasional moments of glee when I pull of the full monty

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

slowly coming together...

Following Tilly's request for ugly backdrops, we have today's MMJ picture.    Just as the sun was going a got one of the whole dress, down below.   It is New Look 6557, and I've made it up three times now.  The others are here (at the bottom)  and here

Its a great pattern, but the center front has a tendency to gape open for a fuller bust, so I ended up putting in extra fabric to hold everything together, and make it something I could wear to the office.     (Happily only HR bothers with the dress code, they let the engineers just get on with our work and don't make a fuss unless higher-ups are going to be visiting.   Then we are told to dress like adults-- whats great, is they totally don't trust us to pull it off.)  

In other news, I pulled off my very first french seams on the skirt of the drindle dress .. but when I went to do the bodice, I realized I hadn't left enough of a seam allowance for anything fancy.   Happily, I planned to line it anyway, so we're going to pretend the whole thing is one great big french seam of awesomeness.    

 While I did actually get the bodice sewn up, and am happy with the fit, but the fabric is a bit on the translucent side, so until I get the lining in place, there won't be any pictures.

What you are supposed to be marveling at, is the meta-stripes (fat sections and skinny sections of the primary vertical stripes) lining up.  The seam is in the center front of the picture, and I wanted to show a little of what the fabric looked like.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Thank heaven for orange juice

Sleeve pattern for white top

So here we have yesterday's and today's contributions to Me-Made-June.     The white top is a modification of Vogue 1086, with added sleeves (pattern to the right), shortened length, and the gathers below the midriff removed.   Its worn over a RTW tank.  The jeans are the same ones from Saturday, traced from a pair I got at Gap.

Today is a low effort sort of a day.  I'm home sick, and had I not been doing MMJ, I probably wouldn't have bothered getting dressed.   The capris are made from the same 'pattern' and fabric as the previous pair of jeans -- but I didn't have quite enough left to do full length.   The shirt is RTW and the orange juice is Tropicana No-Pulp.

If I can get my act together, the plan is to start back up on that drindle dress I was fitting forever ago.  I have the fabric all cut out, and as I'm nearly out of white thread for the serger, will be trying my hand at french seams.   The only thing I'm really worried about is the button-holes.   the bh-function on my machine is broken (and frankly has been forever -- not that I have *ever* got a button-holer to work properly, even on functional machines.   As a result I usually do bound button holes or snaps.... (on one occasion I used doll overall clasps -- they are actually a perfect size) so... yeah, I'll deal with that when I get to it, but think happy thoughts of not ruining this just when I am nearly done.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Finished the wrap dress

I ended up finishing the' wrap dress' this morning minutes before heading out.   This is that navy blob of a wrap skirt I was never able to get a good picture of before -- the 6th panel became the bodice and the waistband is now the neckline and straps.    I gave it a slight sweetheart, but due to fabric considerations, couldn't do much more without chopping into the embroidery. 

in its wrap form   the bodice  and put together  almost there

As for yesterday's outfit, both the jeans and the top are me-made.   the jeans predate the creation of this blog, but are traced from a pair I got from gap, wore until they disintegrated, and now use as a pattern.   The top is self-drafted and made of seersucker left over from last summer's foray into a seersucker bathing suit.  (which also predates the blog.)   Anyhow, the following chronicles the creations of the scrappy-top. taking shape re-fitting the wasitband finishings shirring the back  finished    while its mentioned here and here in other places, these show the pictures as it came together. 

Today's tidbit, this dress marks the first complete item from stash-bust part deux. 9 more to go, and I'm allowed to start shopping again... I still haven't gotten the one new piece of fabric I decided I was entitled to after the first, so that may appear at some point, but its all on the up and up. :)
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