Friday, October 29, 2010

Origin of Procraftinate

I mentioned this great word in my last post, but failed to really give credit where credit is due. My little sister actually came up with it, and uses it a lot! Hmmmm, does it describe the way she lives her life? Maybe, but if you want to find out more about her and her craftiness, you should really check out her blog, a simple thought or two. I know she'd love to have more followers. Maybe with more followers she would have post more. Hint, hint. Especially about the craftiness, hint, hint.

Mom, me and sister, Susan
at the St. Louis Zoo in January
Work continues on the Lady Grey... I'm to the pad stitching of the lapel. Woohoo!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Basting and Knitting

The Lady Grey is slooooowwwly coming along. I've finally done some sewing on it. Hand sewing that is, and have done the permanent basting of the interfacing on the side front pieces. My fabric does not appear to be as forgiving as I had hoped. Take a look:
Should I redo it? The other piece, pictured with the basting up, is piece #2, and clearly benefitted from the practice. The picture, to be honest, looks pretty glaring, but in person, it doesn't look nearly as noticeable. It took watching the entire Princess and the Frog on netflix to baste just these 2 pieces.

Moving on. To knitting. I certainly don't need to add more crafty skills to my ability to procraftinate (a term coined by my sister). Yet a couple of weeks ago, I was in California with a group of Etsy friends (a trip that needs it's own post), and Melissa taught me to knit. Thanks, Melissa. Now, I appear to be hooked. I made a scarf:
It has a few issues, and I haven't woven in those beginning and end pieces. It has a tendency to roll and become skinnier, which isn't an altogether bad thing.
And, of course, it's always fun to see other ways to style your creations.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Buttonholes and the Excess

I quickly want to cover the buttonhole issue today. I had never made a bound buttonhole until Saturday, and I found, using Gertie's tutorial, that there is really nothing hard about them. The question then becomes, from a design standpoint, do I want to use them.

The practice buttonhole:
Technically speaking, I think it looks pretty good. The opening is maybe a little tall, but I'm just not thrilled with the look with the thicker wool. I made some other buttonholes:
I had to use the flash so you could get a better look. After looking at some of my RTW coats, they mostly had the keyhole version. I like the one using buttonhole twist thread to make a corded buttonhole. Bottom line though? I've decided to use those awesome giant snaps. I'll always be wearing the tie belt, and the button will be covered up anyway. And if I change my mind, I can go back and put in regular buttonholes.

One of the commenters on the previous post asked why I thought I had so much fabric left over. There are a couple of reasons. The first is simply that I bought too much fabric. According to the pattern, for a size 10, I would need 4-1/4 yards of 60" fabric. Gorgeous Fabrics sells in whole yards only, so I decided to err on the side of too much, and bought 5 yards.

Reason #2 has to do with the pattern itself. The range of yardages given for all the sizes goes from 4-1/8 to 4-1/3. That's not that big of a difference really, and clearly a size 0 will need less fabric than a size 18. In my experience, many pattern makers waste a lot of fabric with their layouts "just in case", and with careful positioning, a sewist can come up with a more efficient pattern layout herself.

Which brings me to reason #3. My mom was notorious for bringing home remnants from the fabric store she worked at, and making patterns fit on seemingly too little yardage. I seemed to have picked up on that ability, and can "squish" a pattern onto the fabric, managing to waste as little as  possible. I did make some alterations, but none that really would have affected the yardage significantly.

Basically, I like to use the given pattern layouts as a suggestion, and as a way to make sure I've cut out all the necessary pieces, checking them off as I go. I do make sure to follow grainlines, and nap if there is any, as well, which is important for a successful project.

Ironically, I thought I had enough hair canvas, and have had to order some more. It will arrive in a couple of days. Oops.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Finally Up -- Lady Grey

Well, I am so far behind with the Lady Grey Sew Along that I'm not so much sewing along with, as just lollygagging way behind the pack. Never mind though, I have finally got it cut out! Evidence:
Instead of using my studio cutting table, I really wanted to spread out. And I'm a squisher. As in, I like to squish the pattern pieces up to have as little fabric waste as possible. And as a result, I have almost 2 yards left over. Enough to make a great skirt (or two). You can see it uncut bit draped over the chair toward the window.

One of the reasons I wanted to do this particular sew along, is the high caliber of Gertie's tailoring tutorials. I've never really done any tailoring, and this is a great opportunity for some free lessons. But I'm clearly way behind on her blog posts. My solution... I'm going to make my own book of Gertie's Tailoring Tips. The first four "chapters":

I'm using both sides of the paper, printing the odd numbered pages, reinserting the paper into my printer, and then printing the even numbers. In an effort to save some trees, I'm not printing all the comments, but if I have any problems with any of the techniques, I'll be sure to go back and review the comment section, too. And of course, you can't "read" the videos, so I'll have to go back and watch those.

First up is the bound buttonholes, and I've made my practice one. More on that tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

W is for Wisdom

"The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go oft awry."
~Robert Burns, To a Mouse

While I'm not at liberty to go into details here, suffice it to say that my plans for sewing a sequin-y new dress for Sunday, and the cutting out of my Lady Grey coat have been temporarily put on hold. Thank you all for your sequin tips. I'll be carefully reading those and researching soon. And I think, after reading a Glamour magazine on a recent plane trip, I'm going to switch out the satin for some tweed. Apparently glammed up tweed is quite in this season. It just won't be made by Sunday.

As for the coat, perhaps it will be cut out this weekend. Then it will be gathering up all of Gertie's wonderful tailoring tips and getting to work. I'm told it will be winter in Atlanta eventually.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sequins by the 24th

Have you ever sewn with sequins? I've used sequin trim, but I don't think I've ever done anything with a sequin covered tulle-ish kind of fabric. And I'm on a deadline! Tomorrow, I'm off on a huge adventure to hang out with 8 wonderful artists I've met on Etsy, but never in person. I'll try to update while I'm there, but we may just be having too much fun to turn on computers!

When I get back, I'll have about 5 days to make a dress for a fundraiser Roland and I are attending on the 24th. The dress code is "fun and festive", and I turned to Colette Patterns for what I'm hoping is the perfect dress. I've started a muslin, and finished the bodice to discover some sleeve/shoulder adjustments need to be done, and I'm simply out of time. Anyway, here's the fabric. Feel free to leave sequin sewing tips... I'm gonna need them!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Too Ambitious, But Some Progress

Didn't quite get everything done yesterday that I hoped to. Actually, didn't even finish it today. That darn Lady Grey coat is still not cut out. My fancy dress muslin didn't get made, but the pattern has been traced. Maybe tomorrow for those two, but I have to pack for the first of my two upcoming trips. First, back to Nashville for Parent's Weekend, and then later next week, California (more on that trip later).

I did finish the purple knit DKNY (Vogue 1194), and pictures are here!
So, I didn't really make too many changes. I cut out the 14, and there was plenty of ease to avoid needing more width around the waist and hips. I did sew up 1" of the V after trying it on. Just a bit too plunging. I plan to wear it with black tights or leggings, and I think it needs to be a bit shorter. Plus, I think the front is longer than the back, but it's just going to stay that way for now. I want to wear it this weekend, and I'm out of purple thread. And time.

Biggest change was on the back, where I made a swayback alteration. That might be why the back is a bit shorter, and I should have added the inch from the back bodice onto the hem. How the back looks:

Oh, I bought one of those invisible lines bras from Soma. Looks reasonably smooth.

So, onto the fun footwear. I have this strange bruise/bunion thing happening on my right foot, and I bought these cute boots (booties?). I tried the edgy look with polka dot socks:
Looks more Wicked Witch of the East with dots instead of stripes than edgy to me.

Hot patent leather shoes from Ann Taylor? I love these shoes, and surprisingly didn't hurt that badly, but I won't be wearing them this weekend.
I think these would look good with black tights or sheer stockings, too.

Finally, the boots with the leggings tucked in:
This is how you'll see me this weekend. And notice my hands in the pockets. Some of the other reviewers on Pattern Review left the pockets off, but I really like them, and this heavier weight knit hides them pretty well.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Vogue 1194 -- Not Quite Done --- and More?

A quick sneak peek of the dress I worked on today. I'm using a purple cotton knit jersey that definitely has a 4 way stretch which is totally not recommended by the pattern. Oh well, I'm living life on the edge, and it seems to be working so far. I have the front finished, and the goal is to finish the dress tomorrow, as it will be great for some upcoming travels. AND I want to get the Lady Grey cut out. AND a muslin for a dress for a party with the dress code of "fun and festive." Um, too much?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Pink Faced

Oops! Life got in the way of sewing, and I ended up at the end of this past week having to take an unexpected trip up to Nashville. This means that my Lady Grey coat is not cut out, though all the pattern pieces are ready to go. That should happen Monday or Tuesday. And I did get a cute purple dress cut out, but alas, no pictures yet.

Instead I spent 3 days with my wonderful children, and yesterday we did a trail run at Warner Park, just west of Nashville. You can see that my kids come by their exercise-induced pinkness naturally! We ran a 2-1/2 mile loop, of which the first 2 miles were apparently all uphill! Well, maybe not, but it sure felt that way. And you would not be surprised to hear that we did not all stick together on the run, as Kyle announced that once he started running, there was just no stopping. Too bad, mom, if you get lost in the woods!

Here's my other "child", new son-in-law Thomas, and you can see that he fits right in with his very own pink face. It was a gorgeous fall day, and we're all invigorated, and ready to tackle all the challenges that face us. I hope you all had wonderful weekends!


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