When people ask me what I do and I struggle to try and explain the bizarre nature of production work. There are some days when my work consists of battling Boston traffic while running absurd, nonsensical errands and circling the block for 30 minutes looking for parking. Some days it is 17 hours in a studio without seeing the outside. Some days it is 15 hours of me trying not to bang my head against the wall repeatedly (usually during the 4th coffee run). Some days I just stand around musing on what a bizarre job I have. Some days I wake up when it is still dark and get to see this....
...and end the day with this....
Courtesy of Acadia National Park and the BMW commercial I was shooting. I took entirely too many pictures, I'll be putting them in another post. Just thought I would share since my sewing machine stopped working and therefore my productivity for today plummeted.
My alternate titles for this post were '50's dress and ignore the mostly dead rhodendron' and 'Stripes! Pay no attention to the weeds in the pathway'
I was spontaneously decided on spending the afternoon taking pictures of some of the things I've made this summer (I've had this week off from work! Yay!)....then my battery ran out after about 10 pictures. And my other battery was already totally dead. I obviously didn't plan it out enough. I got a couple picture of one dress though! Probably best that my camera died because the pictures were turning out awful, lol. But alas, I rarely take pictures now that I won't even assume I'll get back to taking more of this dress. I have others to get to! Anyway. Here we are :)
I love this dress! The fabric is ultra thin and soft, I'm not even sure what it is, it seems like cotton but I don't know if they make cotton that thin and airy. Anyway, it was bought ages ago on fabric.com and I always knew I would make this dress out of it, I just never got around to it. My main delay was because when I ordered the fabric it had gotten wet in shipment and the colour ran like crazy and stained the white areas pretty badly. I threw a handful of those colour-trapper sheets in the wash and crossed my fingers, just so I wouldn't have to worry about it bleeding if I got caught in the rain or something. Mostly a success! Mostly because I tried a bleach pen on some of the darker stains and that was what actually messed up pieces of the fabric in the wash. Whatever, I got over it, it isn't horribly noticeable. But lesson learned, don't use bleach pens on stripes!
It's actually been a while since I made this dress that I don't really remember many specifics about making the pattern. Most of my difficulties came from deciding how to lay out the stripes and which buttons to use. The only pattern change I made was leaving off the pockets, even though I love them. The stripes just made it too busy. I have them cut out though, so if I ever change my mind, I can just sew them on. I don't think it would work well with such flimsy fabric though. I'm really glad that the collar worked, I was a little worried about that too. This fabric is really thin (have I mentioned that already?). I made it a few inches shorter too, just to make it a bit more wearable and modern.
Check out the stripe match on the bottom button placket! Woohoo!
But the pattern was great, no problems at all! I added some elastic to the waist because it stretched out a bit while I was sewing and the fabric was too thin to support a waist stay. Very comfortable now though! And I have a couple of slips to wear underneath it too! I made Gertie's slip pattern from Butterick to go underneath. I'll do another post about that later. Pictures will be on my dressform as the fabric I used is basically see-through...
Anyway, I'm happy with it! I'm definitely holding onto the pattern to use again as well, not a lot of fitting issues with this one! And a great 50's style dress without having to use 5 yards of fabric in a skirt.
Woohoo! Another dress post done! I just finished a dress today and I'm so in love with it, I can't even explain! 30's style shirt-dress. So in love. Makes me wish I had made a better pattern for it because I want more of them! Maybe a future project :) It did remind me how much of a pain making things without bought patterns is though! Can't wait to share!
Wow, you guys, it has been over a month since my last post! I have plenty of things that I could take pictures of, but I haven't yet :/ I've been completely swamped with work lately and it doesn't seem to be letting up. So many of my summer sewing plans haven't gotten done! Such is life. Here is one I finished over a month ago. I was waiting to be able to go outside to take some better pictures (bloody hell, the lighting in that room is awful!), but hey....doesn't look like that is getting done! Besides, I have others that need posting. Ain't nobody got time for that!
This fabric has been in my stash for years. I always planned on making a peasant style dress out of it, but then I just thought that this would be so much better. And nice and light and cotton and perfect for summer! No fitting issues, not too tight, not gaping, no heavy lining. Just easy :) And pockets! Love pockets! I've worn it a bunch of times so far this summer. Well, if I cut out the days I was working and used the ones that were left as a time frame, then I've worn it pretty often. Work really gets in the way of my fashion!
Easy pattern, didn't really have any issues. A great lesson learned from this pattern was putting a pocket in the side seam when there is a zipper there. I don't think I've done that before. Always learning!
I obviously made this when I had more time than I do now because all the seams are finished and enclosed in various ways. And the dress doesn't have any sort of lining. Quite neat inside, if I say so myself. I basically just went through one of my couture sewing books and did a different finish for each seam! One I really liked was pressing the seam in one direction, cutting the under seam allowance shorter, folding the outer one over it, and sewing it down (just to the seam allowance, sort of a flat felled seam, but not stitched through the fabric). I used that on the back yoke. ANYWAY. Boring. Pretty basic but very wearable!
And one of the best things ever? I didn't have to hem the fabric! Woohoo!
Damn, I need to get started on winter clothes now don't I?? It feels like fall here already!
Small bust adjustments (SBA) in sewing seems to be not as used as full bust adjustments (judging by the amount of tutorials out there), but I found a few links that I would share! I very rarely do more than grade between a smaller and larger size for the major pattern companies, but when I decided to sew up Collete's Sorbetto top, drafted for a C cup, I thought it would be a good time to look into it. I didn't end up using any of the tutorials because I just decided to leave out the dart and wanted a flowy, unfitted shirt, but these would be useful for other patterns! Ideally, figured out on a muslin of your bodice.....if I ever did a muslin. Which I don't. I just can't bring myself to 1)use that much fabric, and 2) sew something twice. My loss, no doubt!
Moonbeam has a great tutorial for the slash and pivot method for patterns with waist and bust darts --->here
And she also has a great tutorial on slash and pivot for a pattern that doesn't have any darts --->here
Hungry Zombie Couture has a nice tutorial on the same method, if you like to look at various ones -->here
Here is another slash and pivot method over at Paunnet for a deer and doe pattern. This one has a slash going up to the shoulder seam and one to the front. I don't know what the difference is though? Maybe because it is a split front? Also good to note that the deer and doe pattern is also drafted for C cup --->here
Over at the Slapdash Sewist, she had an old post on various methods of SBA on just about every pattern bodice type! Especially useful for wrap dresses, which aren't really covered on other pages. Tutorial isn't as comprehensive, but it gives you a basic idea for the different bodice types, very useful! --->here
Hope these are useful to someone! The shirt I made today is super cute, went together really quickly, and was just the easy project I wanted :) I'll take pictures of it (and all my other projects) this week! I have another away job in upstate New York starting next week!
Well, hello there everyone! Long time! I've been busy sewing since I've been back, hit with an inspiration bug during some down time in work, which is nice. I don't want to go back to work now! Anyway, I'll get around to posting some things eventually. I just want to sew sew SEW!
The other 'hello there' is to this dress! Which was finished over a year ago and never made it to the picture taking stage. Never even made it to the wearing stage. I don't entirely know why. The waist stay was in wrong, could that have been the entire reason? I vaguely remember it being too tight, maybe? There really is no rhyme or reason to it, it happens to a lot of my creations. It never even made it out of the sewing room and into my closet. But I went to a jazz concert last night and thought, hey, I remember this dress, let's wear that!
So, it made it out of the sewing room! I love 50's styles, why did I wait so long? Even snapped a few pictures while I was waiting for the concert hall to open. Hard to see the details in the lighting, I might take a few more inside... And I decided to shorten my crinoline, it is always just an inch too long for my dresses and I love the look of the full skirt, I so rarely buy enough fabric to make vintage skirts, I need to take advantage of it!
Unfortunately, I made this dress so long ago that I don't remember any construction notes. The fabric is a light-weight cotton from Joann's. Frayed like the devil. I do remember the welted buttonholes being particularly fun.
If I ever made it again I would pinch the neckline a bit so that the shoulders didn't have the tendency to slip down so much. I was wearing a strapless underneath, but it was still a little annoying. I might put a small piece of elastic on the underside of the shoulder/neck and see if that helps.
The skirt is way fuller than it looks in the pictures, the fabric just hangs really well. And if you are thinking about making this pattern and wanted to not be worried about bra straps showing, I would 1) make strap holders on the shoulders, and 2) raise the back up an inch or so.
Posting over at my travel blog about Croatia still, but I've been so swamped with work the past few weeks! And now I'm leaving for a family trip to Yellowstone tomorrow! So excited! Even my sister and BiL are coming; they never go anywhere!! It's going to be great! I'll post all about it when I get back :) Hopefully get around to taking some pictures of the projects I finished before and after my last vacation. So behind in things!
Been back in the states for a little less than a week. I had an amazing time in Paris, as usual! I was ready to head back to Europe after 2 days! Well, gotta go back to work sometime. My restlessness after vacations has made me pretty productive the past few days. I've found that right after a trip is the perfect time to clean out your closets (and attic) and get rid of clothes and whatnot! Not only am I depressed and detached from everything (ha, whatever works!), but I've also been living in the same 5 shirts for the past month and my overflowing closet just seems outrageous! Silver linings, people.
I'm finishing up my 40's replica dress that I started before my trip, working in the yard (Spring! Finally!), editing and posting pictures from my trip, and getting some cooking done before I start work and my free time completely vanishes.
Check out the post I just made about Plitvice National Park in Croatia. Seriously gorgeous place filled with amazing waterfalls like you wouldn't believe!
Croatia guys!! Words can't describe how beautiful it is here. Even more beautiful on this one day it hasn't rained :) I did my best to soak up the sun! In the town of Makarska, just south of Split. Having an awesome time, I'm afraid I've created a solo-traveling monster! The world is mine! Starting to (slowly, i.e. I've put up one) put up some posts over at my travel blog --> Here but haven't had much time. So busy!
Check it out!
Hey! Can you believe it? I actually managed to fit everything in my new Osprey backpack! It is stuffed to the MAX though. I left the detachable day-pack empty for any souvenirs I pick up along the way and I’m using a larger backpack that I already owned as a carry-on, mostly empty as well. Man, traveling must have been so much….lighter without technology. My cameras, computers, chargers, and cords take up so much space!
I don’t have a list of what I packed, because I didn’t know exactly what I would bring until I was able to fit everything in. I even went shopping two days before I left, bought a new black dress, and then decided to take my old one anyway. Oh, and I managed to finish my Bombshell bathing suit bottom! I didn’t think that would happen! It’ll probably be too cold to be in a bathing suit on the beach, but I’m prepared for anything. I am super in love with it. I'll have to search out an indoor swimming pool or something!
There were some things I wish I had made though. I want to get them down so I can remember to start making them or looking for them in stores when I get back. Never too early to start planning for my next trip!
A black dress : Fit and flare, preferably jersey and doesn’t take up a lot of packing space. I have a body-con style dress, but I’d definitely be more comfortable in a fit and flare style.
A button-up dress : I don't know why, but I really wanted to have one of these. I have a couple with sleeves, but I really wanted one without. Out of something that doesn't wrinkle, maybe some sort of chiffon...I could use the same slip with it and my black dress above! I don't think I would have had space in my luggage though....Still. I love them. I'll make some anyway!
A blazer : Coco stripe ponte knit blazer is my dream. Or just even just a black ponte knit. My actual blazer is getting a lot of use and looking a little worn. And I think a knit or jersey type would travel well and be more comfortable than my blazer.
A jacket : I bought a olive utility jacket for this trip which I think will get a lot of use. It isn’t lined though, so during a different time of year, something similar but maybe lined? I have the pattern I want to use already. Bonus: the pattern has a hood. I decided completely last minute to take out my black blazer and bring my black anorak that has a hood. Not very fashion-forward, but I’m expecting it to rain quite a bit and it will be infinitely more useful than a blazer. I can layer it pretty easily too. And anything I would have worn my blazer with I can wear with my sweater instead. Travel location decision. If I was going to be in Paris for more than 2 weeks, I would bring my blazer. My friends will have to accept me looking rather vagabondish ;) And suffer through my withdrawals, I practically live in that blazer.
A sweater: I had to decide between a black blazer, a black sweater, and a black anorak (one of the reasons I want a different blazer). Not because I love black, but because that is all I have! If I make a black ponte knit blazer though, maybe getting a brown, tan, or grey sweater would be useful.
Skirt : You can never have too many options. A mid-length circle skirt, either in black or a colour (curry yellow, maybe?) out of a soft jersey. I have a shorter black one that gets a lot of use, but if I travel to more conservative areas or just want the look of a midi-length (so classic!), it would be nice to have the option! I’m leaving my black one at home and bringing my linen one instead on this trip. The outfits that can be made with both are about the same. Plus, I brought the black one last year ;)
Anyway, since I don’t have a list of my little ‘capsule’ wardrobe, I’ll try and take pictures of the outfits as I go! I have my tripod and it is always nice to have pictures of YOU actually ON vacation, instead of just the pretty scenery, you know? Catch you guys on the flip side! Croatia, here I come!
Any clothing items you guys find you can't travel without?
Oh, and welcome back typepad. Hope you don't get hacked again!
Wow! I made so many plans and had so many things to do before I left for Croatia. Not too long ago it seemed like I had all the time in the world! But the minimum 16 hour days of the film industry killed those dreams, lol. I was going to learn to drive standard (I upgraded my car rental in Croatia once I realised that wasn't happening!), I wanted to make a jacket, a swimsuit, and a 40's dress, plan out my wardrobe, work a bit in the garden before I left....so many things, so little time
To be fair, I did finish that skirt, refilled my prescriptions, got new contacts and lenses for my glasses (it's been at least 5 years...possibly a lot longer....and for some reason I've had to go back twice and again next week...scratched corneas?? Yikes. It is more of a process than I anticipated. Glad I thought ahead!), I'm getting my car fixed (again), and sort of packing. I'm much more productive when I'm under pressure, apparently. Things actually get done in those few days off between jobs. I'm going to be SO glad when this vacation comes. I may just sleep the first few days away! My mind is already on mental vacation.
Anyway, lots of this obnoxious stuff called 'work' getting in the way of fun things, like sewing. I really shouldn't complain though! But probably nothing new (unless I magically get a bathing suit sewn up!) for a while, except travel pictures!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone! We are shooting Play-doh on Monday. Joy.