Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Once A Year Dress

Very shortly after I decided that I need to judge whether to keep clothes by deciding if I would like to wear them at least once a week, I went and made a dress to wear one day a year.  It was made, and worn last year but it took awhile to get the photos (taken by a friend who is a professional photographer) and it just didn't seem right to post them in the summer.

For the Jewish Holiday Yom Kipper (our day of Atonement) it is customary to wear white and to not wear leather.   So for shoes I wear:

Yes a bit of a fashion faux pas to wear a winter wool dress with summer espadrilles, but I am okay with it.  Reminds me of a college mate in the hey days of preppy fashion who thought espadrilles were okay for formal wear.

It pleases me greatly that I made a dress for a religious holiday from a book called  The Tunic Bible.

The fabric, bought at Mood, is wool crepe, a fabric I love sewing with. The style is relatively casual but I gave it a few couture finishes. Interlined with a lightweight batiste cotton.  Seams were pinked and catch stitched. Lined with Bemberg.  The trim, from Joyce trimming was reasonable priced, but just the look I was going for.

Adjustments made:

Pegged the hem by tapering in 1" on all seams.
A 2" FBA
Lowered the darts after I did the FBA.
Raised the neckline up 1/2"

Adjustments I, surprisingly, did not make:

Narrow shoulder adjustment
Any petite adjustment.

A lot of work went into a dress that won't be worn very much, but I like it a lot and am very happy with it.  I expect to wear it for years.

I'll be wearing it tonight when the holiday starts.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Birthday Dress

As a sewer, one of the most fun things about having another birthday, is the opportunity to make a fun dress that you don't really need:

As this one was a big one, I figured a pretty pink party dress was the way to go.

The pattern is the Tom and Linda Platt designed Vogue 1348.

The fabric was a very easy to sew with Silk.  I believe it is a Dupioni, though it is on the thin side and isn't slubby at all.  It definitely needed the organza underling, which I would have added if the pattern didn't already call for it.  Purchased from Chic Fabrics on West 38th St.

Once the 15 pieces of fabric, lining and underlings had been cut out, the underling hand basted in, and the marking points for the pleats thread traced, this was a very easy sew.

The fit was so close right out the envelope. With a little help from Grace, all that was needed was taking in the princess seams on the front a little bit more between the shoulder and bust point and a bit on the back princess seams.

I opted to concentrate on matching the horizontal lines of the check and am very happy with the result.

Used lots of pins.  The walking foot was of no help with this fabric. The fabric cut beautifully
and I used pinking shears to finish the seams.  This dress won't be worn that often and will be dry cleaned.

It had been quite awhile since I've sewn a Vogue Designer pattern and it reminded me that I really like do so (sew?).

The corsage was a very appropriate gift from Claire.

Pictures were taken at The Press Lounge on rooftop of The Ink 48 hotel.   A perfect venue on a perfect weather day.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Warm and Cozy

Wanting to use a piece of fabric from deep stash (my Mothers's from the '70's) is great justification for buying more fabric.  I have a  4 meter cut of Liberty fabric. It's lovely but in colors that I know if i made a dress, I wouldn't wear it that much.  On the other hand it would be perfect for a pair of Carolyn pajamas.

Back in August, on the Jackson Heights Fabric Crawl, one of the items on my wish to find list, was flannel fabric to make a tester pair before I cut into my vintage fabric.  At Liz Fabric's I found a plaid in lovely colors.  The fabric on the right:

The hand is wonderfully soft, which is terrific for something you are going to sleep in.  Unfortunately the print was off.  Not just off grain, but it somehow the lines of the plaid actually curve:

While I made a good stab at pattern matching, which worked in some places, see front at the top,  I couldn't carry that through the whole garment when i reached a curve patch.  And Ididn't have enough fabric to cut the pant cuffs on the bias. In the end I had enough length to just leave them off. But hey,  pajamas.

Size wise its a 4 for the neck, shoulders and sleeves graded out to an 8 for the rest and that worked perfectly.  For the waistband I used 1" elastic and cut 1/2" off the top and the bottom.  I am very happy were they sit just under my waist.  Good call on not doing a petite adjustment which I usually need.

On the top, in addition to the grading,  I took in the cuffs by 1" and took the sides of the sleeve in to match, starting just under the armhole.  Hopefully this nice narrower sleeve will be easier to keep out of the dishwashing.

Only change to make on the next pair, is to either use a slightly narrower cord in the piping (yes I made my own) or leave out the cording and just use a flat piping.

This was my 4th Closet Case Patterns, pattern.  I guess I'm officially a fan.

I'm sure I'm going to get a lot of use out of these.  I love sewing lingerie/loungewear items as you really get worn.  My bathrobe gets worn everyday and I have a unblogged nightgown, that is a floor length Doe and Deer Plantain Tee, that I really enjoy.

Now to get the 2 projects I have waiting to blog about photographed

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Black and White and Worn All Over...

So after my last post, I went ahead and sewed up a few things, enjoyed wearing them, but never posted.

I think every sewer gets to that point when you realize you have all the pretty dresses and brightly colored items, you need and don't have any me mades of the kind of clothes you wear daily.  It becomes especially apparent when you try to participate in MeMadeMay and as happened before I gave up in the second week.

Now that's not been a big issue for me.  For my general work wear I source basic pieces from Banana Republic and J Crew, often on the sale rack or the outlet stores, but I decided it was time to sew for this category of my wardrobe.

 The print is my last purchase at the now gone Paron's, a store I'd been shopping at for over 30 years. I still have a shopping bag from when they, and all the good fabric stores, were on 57th St.

There are 2 lovely darts in the neckline.  On this printed silk charmeuse, I choose to leave them as unstitched pleats:

The top is my first competed Burda Style garment.  I was nice to finally tackle one.  When I made the muslin, it was way to big but the neck and shoulder lines were nice and all it needed was a major take in down the side seems.  1" per seam for a total of 4".  That left me with a perfectly fitting armhole and I still have plenty of ease.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about having less items in my wardrobe that don't get a lot of wear.  Now when I purge, the question I've been asking is "Is this something I could be happy wearing once a week?"

I am keeping less of those, "oh I'll wear it sometime items".

I had bought a nice piece of black poly crepe from Kashi at Metro Textiles with the idea of making another cold shoulder dress.  I realized that while lovely and fashionable, it would not get an awful lot of wear.  So instead I made a pair of culottes.   Perfectly good for work wear for me.  The patten is   McCalls 7445.   The outcome is just okay. I you really look closely three are some unwanted folds in the fabric.  It may have been a the weight of the fabric in combo with the zipper weight or it may be a crotch curve issue. While the not quite perfect fit it doesn't really show at all.  Hey its black.

There was quite a bit of fabric let, so I cut the Burda Top out in the solid black too!  Only change was this time I sewed and then topstitched the darts.

On both tops, I used the facing the facings method that Peter describes here. 

A nice, and very useful 3 piece capsule.

Stay turned for some much more ambitious projects with excellent results.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

August Was A Very "Sewcial" Month!

Sorry blog again its been a long time and so this will be a long post.  There should have been 3 posts. And it should have been done a few months back.

I love nothing more than getting together with a group a people who share my interest in a hobby and August was a terrific month for that.

First on the calendar was MPB day.  Peter Lappin's of Male Pattern Boldness annual get together.  I'm pretty sure that this was my 4th attendance.

I meet the group at the FIT museum a little too late to be in the group photo:

Photo courtesy of Male Pattern Boldness

 4 pieces of fabric we bought:

For 3 projects as the white cotton is for underlining the winter white wool crepe.

The chiffon print, from Fabrics for Less,  was sewn into a kimono jacket and sent off to my niece.

A very quick and fun project to make.  Cut, french seam the seam that goes from sleeve bottom to the hem.  Serged the edges and then roll hemmed them.

The other purchases have now been sewn as well.

Look who stopped by for lunch:

Kenneth D King

I'm wearing a McCalls 7542 made in a gingham from Metro Textiles.  I should blog it.  I had to address sleeve cap issues.

A nice moment of the day was seeing a new fabric store opening.  We've seen so many close...

We also visited the new French Couture Fabrics.  I plan to go back there for some leather for a skirt.

And what does one do the weekend after a great day of fabric shopping?  One goes fabric shopping again:

Photo courtesy of Diary of a Sewing Fantatic

Thanks to Jinx and Gunner to we had a terrific day on the Jackson Heights Fabric Crawl.  We visited 5 great fabric stores all located very close to each other in this Queens neighborhood.

So my commitment to myself this year was to limit fabric purchases to that which would be used right away.  As they say about best made plans.....:

The two to the left are both Rayon Challis'.  Having been lamenting the lack of pretty Rayon Challis in the Manhattan Garment District, we found the mother load in Jackson Heights.  These both came from M&J fabrics, where everyone of us purchased fabric mostly rayon challis.  I hope that they will still be stocking this substrate next year.   We've already made plans to have a spring crawl, but I can easily make a stop here on the return from my infrequent visits to my office.

They grey floral is for a dress I've been thinking of for quite a while.  I have a pair of grey shoes that don't go with much.  TNT shift bodice with a half circle skirt.  A version I've not done before.

The solid blue is planned for a Style Arc Marilyn Dress.  Carolyn did a nice job with this one.

The flannel is for Carolyn Pajamas as December Holidays' project.

And then on the last Tuesday of the month there was #NYSewcial hour:

If you're in the New York area and haven't joined us yet,  Grace and I have been hosting a monthly happy hour gathering on the last Tuesday of every month.

Almost always (except for special occasions) at:

The Houndstooth Pub
520 Eighth Avenue at 37th Street

We'd love to have you join us.

Now to catch up with posting the sewing that I've been doing.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

When Life Gives You Lemons

....you make a skirt.

I've been eying lemon prints for awhile, but neither black or white grounds were doing it for me.
Just before my birthday I spotted this Navy ground print at EmmaOneSock and, Birthday Fabric I hit the buy button.  I am working towards a no-orphan wordrobe and I had the twin set and numerous pair of navy patent leather shoes.

The skirt is the pattern same one from Pattern Review that I used on this dress.

Hard to tell with the print, but it has lovely pleats that cross over the stomach, but lay flat.

I think I will enjoy this one a lot.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Sew Nice I Made It Twice

Well not quite.

The Taylor Skirt from Style Arc Patterns:

This was my first go at a Style arc pattern.  I bought it through Etsy so while I got three sizes, but they can only be printed out one at a time and aren't nested.  My measurements put me at a mix of the 8 and the 10.  I don't like clothes that are too tight so I went with the 10.

And it came out way to big.  It was the begin of winter and I put it away.  Now that Spring is here (though we've had a couple of days Summer) I figured it was time to fix it.

I took it all apart and took 1/2" off each of the side seams, then reattached the waist elastic and redid the hem.

Now it looks quite perfect. Even the back view:

The fabric is one of the stripe pontes that Mood always has available whether in-store or on-line.
I used one to make a Coco Dress pre blog as did Lauren.  Sarah used one very recently.

I love what the seaming does to the stripes:

Ultimately I've ended up with a successful make, but I'm still hesitant about using a Style Arc pattern again.  There are a few bloggers for whom their styles really work, but I think I'm really not their body type.  If there's a style that I just can't find elsewhere, perhaps.

One more view: