Sunday, September 25, 2011

Weekend Roundup #4, Days 23, 24, 25

The last weekend of September. Let's get right to the outfits:

September 23

Dress: Vogue 8553

Thoughts: I wore this dress for the first time back on Day 1, and it's a great one. We wandered around the Atlanta Home Show all afternoon, and it was perfect.

September 24

Top: Refashioned T-shirt
Shorts: peddle pushers from Talbots

Thoughts: Gorgeous, huh?! I don't think I even put any makeup on. I spent the majority of the day sorting through a new supply of vintage patterns that just arrived, and watching college football. For the record, Georgia won! Oh, the t-shirt? It was one of my son's and I inherited it, but the neck was always choke-y. I may have overcompensated with the new neckline, but it's great for home.

September 25

Dress: Vogue 8575

Thoughts: Great dress, I wear it a lot. 'Nuff said.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Weekday Roundup #3, Days 20, 21,22

September 20

Dress:Butterick 5450, blogged here.
Cardi and belt: Talbots
Shoes: Dk. Brown Naturalizers

Thoughts: I really like this dress. Comfy, fits well. Except I didn't wear it much because I hated the gapping in the front pleat. Here's a better pic of the pleat in a non-gappy state. It only stays in that non-gappy state when you aren't moving. I turned it inside out and did a line of handstitching, securing the bottom 2 layers of the pleat, and voila! Now I'm happy. Do dark brown shoes go with black accessories? I kinda think so.

September 21

Top: Vogue 8151

Thoughts: The eating and drinking challenge. Well, taking a picture of it. Eating and drinking is never really a challenge for me. Bad hair day. Lovely dinner of veggie burger, baked sweet potato fries and white wine. The cows in the background? Roland likes to collect folk art and this painting is a recent acquisition.

September 22

Top: Boden
Shorts: Kwik Sew 3614
Shoes: Mephisto

Thoughts: The longer I've worn this outfit today, the less I like it. The top is too big and has a tendency to slip forward, making the low neckline even lower. Ugh. I have a white cami underneath for modesty's sake. The shorts are fine, but do they even go with the top? Plus, I'm kinda cranky today.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Secret Sewing Revealed

I mentioned sometime earlier that I was doing some secret sewing, and now I can talk about it, since they were gifts for Laura, and her birthday has passed. I'll just show you one of the things today, though.

A little background story is in order, though. Last year (or 2 years ago maybe) when Laura was going through her possessions to prepare for a move, she brought me 2 shopping bags full of t-shirts, and asked if I could make her a t-shirt quilt. I agreed, because I'm sentimental about things like t-shirts (crazy, I know), even though at the same time I think that t-shirt quilts can look a bit too crafty. Not sure that makes sense, but anyway.

Then Patty made a gorgeous quilt, and said that her inspiration was the new modern quilt movement. I started browsing through blogs of modern quilters, bought this book:

and inspiration hit. (I was going to show you a picture of the exact inspiration quilt, but I can't find it online, AND I can't find my book. Arghhhh! It was a variation on the Chinese coin quilt if you're familiar with that.)

I dumped out all the t-shirts, and whoa! There were a lot! But they could be categorized, and I decided to make the first one from all her t-shirts from the University of Georgia and their Redcoat Marching Band that she was a part of.

 To consolidate the "journey" I've made a slideshow of the quilt coming together...

A final look:
The Front

The Back

Monday, September 19, 2011

Half a Crepe

Do you ever have the picture of something you want to make in your head or that you want to knock off? I just could not find the skirt pattern that I wanted to make for a simple A-line, and while I felt like I could just draft it myself, past efforts had been unsatisfactory. Sad, I know.

Then Patty, who seems to be my inspiration for many a project, made a wrap skirt from the skirt portion of her Colette Patterns crepe pattern. Why didn't I think of that? I had already done the fitting, and while I'm not crazy about the crepe dress I made, it's mostly because of the top. I love the skirt part.

Then comes dilemma #2. I have a piece of denim fabric that is only slightly longer than a yard. And I don't want to make a denim pencil skirt. I knew it wasn't big enough for the wrap, but I could use the front piece for the back as well. After playing around with the layout I had no other choice to cut it cross grain. Good news is that this particular denim has little to no stretch, so that's not a factor. So in the vein of "only her hairdresser knows", that's what I did.

I did shorten it considerably, both because I wanted it to be shorter, and that's all the fabric I had. I think I should have made it about an inch longer (which was possible), but I am still super happy with the results!!

Top: Vogue 8649, blogged here.
Skirt: half a crepe
Shoes: Via Uno (completely broken in, thank you very much)

The specs:
  • I used topstitching thread for jeans in a double line down the front and the back, and around the waist
  • wide bias tape for the waist facing, and no waistband
  • the waist also has a nearly invisible row of dark blue top stitching to secure the bias tape
  • a side invisible zipper
  • coverstitched the hem, using the same thread as the waistband
  • the hem is only 5/8" deep
  • it's unlined, but I made a quick tricot half slip to wear when it's cold (and so tights won't stick to it)
When I want another simple a-line skirt, this will be my TNT.

How about a few more pictures?
The topstitching

Back view (I was worried about the denim being too stiff, but it looks like it's draping well.) P.S. I hate the way the back of this top looks, which is probably why I don't wear it that much.

Finally, Roland MADE a necklace, and bought me some new dichronic glass earrings on his recent boy's trip.) I don't know why I'm making such a goofy face.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Weekend Roundup #3, Days 16, 17, 18

September 16

Top: Colette Patterns Sencha
Jeans: Talbots
Shoes: Tsubo

Thoughts: I made this Sencha blouse last year from some vintage silk that came from my Mom's stash, but I hadn't ever worn it, and Friday seemed like the perfect day. The weather was a bit on the cooler side, so jeans were not too hot. Oh, I did have to self stitch a new hem on these jeans. The perils of being short.

September 17

Top: Butterick 5046, blogged here.
see Sept. 18 for the rest.

Thoughts: True confession... I took this pic today and sort of "recreated" Saturday's outfit. By sort of, I mean, I put on the top, but that's it. It was the only self stitched piece anyway. It started out as a cool day, so pretend you see this top over a brown Old Navy tee, and the jeans and shoes I wore on Friday. By noon I was broiling, and cast this off for the end of self stitched Saturday.

September 18

Top: Butterick 5495, blogged here.
Capris: The same old ones I always wear. Are you sick of them yet?
Shoes: Crocs

Thoughts: I didn't even leave the house today, so this was it. That explains the shoes.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Weekday Roundup #2, Days 12, 13, 14, 15

September 12
Dress: Butterick 5181, blogged here.
Shoes: Sofft

Thoughts: This sundress is comfortable enough, and fits pretty well, though the bodice is kind of weird. Not visually, looking at the picture, but more of a weird feeling when wearing. And it's really... flower-y. Maybe better suited to spring and early summer.

September 13

Top and belt: Talbots
Skirt: Simplicity 2211
Shoes: Sofft

Thoughts: I still need to write about the construction of this skirt, but it's really comfortable, fits well, and this is how I imagined wearing it. I think the belt really finishes the look, and I have a lot of black tops for fall and winter, so add tights and boots, and I have a year-round skirt.

September 14

Top: McCalls 5522, blogged here.
Shorts: Kwik Sew 3614, blogged here.

Thoughts: These are two pieces in my closet that have gotten lots of wear this summer. I find chambray to be a fabric that can go with so much, and the shorts are seersucker, the perfect summer fabric here in the south. It's water theme day over in the flickr group, and while I'd love to be at the beach, my journey with water today involved the washing machine and dishwasher. I turned on the sprinkler for the pic, and got a rainbow for a little decoration.

September 15

Top: Colette Patterns Violet
Skirt: Talbots

Thoughts: This is Violet's debut, hot off the sewing machine just yesterday. I'll do it's own post about some of the construction, but it's made of a quilting cotton that has a little green houndstooth pattern. Click on the pic to enlarge and see it.

But, a fitting question...
Do you see those diagonal wrinkles leading from the yoke to my armpits? I have a couple of ideas on how to fix them, but what do y'all think? Wider bottom piece with more gathering? Deeper armholes? The sleeves are a titch tight, and I'm wondering if that is contributing to the pull. Ignore the bad tucking in job, I've had this on all day, hence all the skirt wrinkles, too.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Vintage Simplicity 6385 and the SSS 11 Weekend Roundup #2

Today, I've got a full post because I want to tell you about the making of Vintage Simplicity 6385, the shift dress that I wore yesterday. Let's start there and work backwards, 'k.

September 11

Yesterday was the debut of my version of S6385. I bought this pattern recently when I lucked out with a bounty of vintage patterns. This one is missing 2 pieces: the back and armhole facings, both of which you can either recreate, or just do without, using bias binding. It's also missing the peter pan collar piece, but I didn't care about that anyway. Not sure if you can see, but this is a size 12, bust 32, and the copyright is 1966. I'm, however, not a bust 32, so let's see what I did.

After tracing the original, it was time to grade up, but I decided to do a tissue fitting first. Turns out, that across the chest, I didn't really need to do anything except lengthen by about an 1". The rest, I needed to add width.
The black line sort of represents the original, the red, the changes that I made (very roughly). Starting from the top, I lowered the neckline, narrowed the shoulder, and lengthened about an inch. For the back, I did the same, but did not change the back neckline. From there, I added overall width, and shortened the length. I made a muslin, and ended up not needing quite as much width as originally thought.

I drafted new neckline facings, both front and back, and opted for bias binding for the armholes. And I eliminated the ruffles.

The result:

The fabric is a stretch cotton shirting from AAnnnddd, it's a shift. Not too exciting, but actually a dress that really fits into my lifestyle. Here's a back view:
Yep, that's how I look from the back. With a little more styling, the look improves. I really like it with a belt, and I had on a wooden bead necklace earlier, but at some point must have taken it off.
I'm not sure if I'm a jumper girl, but I think it could even work as it got colder with a turtleneck, tights and boots.

For the rest of Self Stitched September weekend roundup, Friday and Saturday looked like this:
September 9

Top: New Look 6981
                     Skirt: Sewaholic Crescent
Shoes: a replacement for the bad Target shoes.

I wore this outfit for a road trip south to Macon to deliver some "fancy" clothes to Kyle who has pledged a fraternity and needed his suits and dress shirts for the Wednesday night meetings. It's a comfortable outfit, that is also presentable. The skirt is a rayon that doesn't wrinkle much.

September 10
Top: Vogue 8392 (made from a Liberty for Target scarf)
Shorts (my grandmother would have called these peddle pushers):
Shoes: Clarks Indigo

This was an errand running morning, all leading up to a sewing and college football watching afternoon/evening. Kind of dorky, but I like to wear team colors (red and black!) and this outfit fit the bill. I've got the red in the earrings. Sadly, it didn't help us win. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Wonderful, Marvelous Daughter!

Today my baby turns 24... years old! Where does the time go? And today, all 4 members of my family (husband, me, daughter, son), are in 4 different cities, and 3 different states. So I drove down to Macon to celebrate Laura's birthday with Kyle. Well, ok, I was going to Macon anyway to bring him more clothes, but it was a good excuse to go out for cake.

Happy Birthday, Laura!!

photo by Nam Nguyen

photo by Thomas Sands
(who is also her husband)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Weekday Roundup #1 -- Days 5, 6, 7, 8

These last few days have been a bit rainy and gray, and actually cooler than the entire summer. But who am I kidding? It will get hot again!

September 5

Top: Simplicity 2211, blogged here.
  Capris: Ann Taylor, several years old.
Shoes: I don't think I wore shoes all day.

This was the rainiest of the week, as the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee rolled through. My dancing partner is Danny, wearing his "thundershirt". He loves it! But I'm not convinced its helping with his dislike of thunder.

The top is a twill, so a little bit hot in high summer. Today it was perfect. One weird thing about the top... when I first put it on, it feels a bit constricting, but as the day goes on, I stop noticing the feeling. Weird.

September 6

Raincoat: Amy Butler Raincoat, blogged here.
Top: Vogue 8536, blogged here.
Jeans: from the Gap, and they're at least 10 years old.
Maybe older.
Shoes: Merona from Target.

The sleeves are a bit short on the raincoat, which is kind of annoying. The top has been in heavy rotation this summer. You may see it again. And the shoes... these are the most uncomfortable shoes I own, or at least in the top 5.

September 7

Top: Vogue 8151, blogged here.
Jeans: the same one's as yesterday. Yep.
Shoes: Liz Claiborne black flats. Better than yesterday's.

Sorry for the horrible picture. It's been gray most of the day, and lightly raining on an off. Blue sky has been spotted.

You can't really see what the top looks like unless you click through to the original post. But it's one that I do really like.  The coverstitching has some issues, and I'm afraid that it will just start to come out unless I do a bit of repair work.

September 8

Dress: Vogue 2006 (vintage 1960s), blogged here.
Belt: Talbots

Thoughts: This is the first outing of this dress since I did a bit of remodeling. And with the belt, which totally improves the look. Other remodeling included taking off the front pockets, and removing the hand done top stitching that ran down the side seams and pulled them up oddly. Today was delightful weather, in the upper 60s F, and this dress is perfect. I underlined it with tricot, so it's a bit warm for those hotter days. My only other complaint is the too high neckline. Choking!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wilma on Wednesday -- Butterscotch Slices

Last weekend was the kickoff to college football, and Roland and I are huge fans. "Our" team had an evening game, so I made these yummy cookies to bake during halftime.

Butterscotch Slices

3/4 c. shortening (I used a crisco stick)
1 t. vanilla
1 c. brown sugar (packed)
1 egg

Place in a mixing bowl, beat thoroughly.

Add 1/2 c. chopped nuts and mix. (I used pecans)

Sift together the following ingredients:
2 c. flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cream of tartar
1/2 t. salt

Add to creamed mixture and mix thoroughly.

Chill dough. Shape into 2 loaves. I (Wilma) freeze these -- it makes slicing easier. Cut into 1/8 inch slices. (Can you tell that she loves to sew... who else would use 1/8!)

Bake at 400 deg. F for 6-8 minutes.

I shaped the loaves before chilling, and then put them both in the freezer. When we were ready for cookies, I pulled out one, and sliced only about 1/2 of it, and put the rest back in the freezer. Homemade slice and bakes! My slices were probably closer to 1/4 inch, but I baked them for the same amount of time. I like my cookies chewier rather than crunchy. Between the 2 of us we ate all those cookies in one sitting!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Planning Overload

I've been reading the sewing blogs, and have become envious of those who can plan their fall sewing, even down to a color palette. I've always been more of a "see a great pattern, find some fabric, and make it" kind of girl. However, it does seem like a good idea, especially so you don't end up with things that don't go with anything else.

So I got really ambitious, and pulled out patterns, fabric from my stash, and even bought new patterns and fabric to fill in some gaps. And then I made a list. All of that listing and planning became something of an embarrassment of riches when a friend pointed me to another blog with a great and simple project.

Homemade Sundresses for Haiti

Project HOPE Art recently visited an orphanage in Port-au-Prince and discovered that the young girls had very little to wear. She came home and started the homemade dress drive for these girls. A very simple project with a free downloadable pattern from oliver + s which you can get here. Before getting caught up in what to make for me, I'm going to add in a little sewing for those less fortunate. I hope you'll visit this website and consider joining in as well. The deadline is December.

Last October, my husband went on a mission trip to Haiti. This is one of his pictures, two adorable Haitian children that were fascinated with the digital cameras and getting their picture taken.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Road Trip: Fantasy World

Have you ever heard of Dragon*Con? If you're into sci-fi and other geekery, you probably have. I, on the other hand, would probably not have given it a second thought had it not taken place here in Atlanta. And frankly, no offense to those who love these sorts of things, I hadn't really thought about attending. It's downtown, and there was a big (and ultimately depressing if you are a UGA fan) football game, a free concert, and probably even more crowd producing events. I was going to stay home and sew. Yep, that's my exciting life.

But, my friend, Lisa, had other ideas. She had been wanting to check out Dragon*Con for several years. It was on her "list". Friday afternoon she called, and ultimately talked me into it. Of course, we had to go in costume, so as not to stand out. She bears a passing resemblance to Susan Sarandon,

You can see it, right?

and decided we should go as Thelma and Louise. I look nothing like Geena Davis, but never mind.

Anyway, we boldly boarded MARTA so we didn't have to worry about parking, and headed downtown. We ended up not really attending Dragon*Con, but did lots of people watching and picture taking.

Here's a little of what we saw. All pictures were taken by me, and I won't even try to identify who they are of, but maybe you'll know.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Weekend #1 Roundup for SSS (days 2, 3, 4)

I haven't quite worked out how I'm going to do my "roundup" posts, so bear with me just a bit. For now, here's what I wore Friday, Saturday and Sunday (the days that get the weekend designation).

Friday, September 2

Probably the self stitched garment that I've worn the most. I made it last year. It's Vogue 8575, and I originally blogged about it here.

Saturday, September 3

I went to Dragon*Con with my friend, Lisa (on the right), and wore the skirt I had just finished making on Friday! We're supposed to be Thelma & Louise... you'll have to use your imagination. Tomorrow I'm going to blog about the Dragon*Con experience, so be sure to check back in for a few crazy pictures! In the meantime, the skirt is Simplicity 2211, and it's so new I haven't even blogged about it yet.

Sunday, September 4

This was supposed to be a "stay in and sew" day for me, and a work on the path for Roland. Unfortunately, that machine on the right had a malfunction, and while Rol valiantly tried to fix it, he was not successful. So there it sits. And I'm still standing in dirt and not on the granite chips that are in Friday's picture.

Anyway, I'm wearing my "muslin" shorts made from Kwik Sew 3614, originally blogged here.

Oh, yeah. I did get a new dress finished. Maybe I'll wear it later this week!


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