Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Dotted Swiss

My Make Nine has pretty much gone off the rails, but I still decided to make a summer "weekend" dress.

This is the Given a Chance Dress from Decades Every Day, done in burgundy dotted Swiss. Lots of bang for the quick-to-sew buck, especially if you skip the pockets like I did.

For me dress pockets are a one-way ticket to bad posture instead of a design feature that accommodates my adventurous gamine lifestyle. Plus I remember my mother admonishing me to take my hands out of my pockets.

Speaking of my mother,  I still have the dotted Swiss dress that she made for my First Communion back in 1975. Because our parish was "progressive" we didn't wear veils and the host was home-baked verging on hardtack. I did however get a bakery cake with lots of icing roses so there's that.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Jalie 3243

20 years ago (give or take), a friend of ours called and said "Are you sitting down? I  bought a bass."

Well readers, are you sitting down? I made casual summer bottoms that could also have dressier applications!!!!  I sewed them as drafted with no alterations except for cropping the hems by around 4." Should I go up another inch? I'm not sure. I kind of like the length as is. 

With newly-shortened Jalie 3880

This pair is in Brussels washer but I think they'd be lovely in silk noil, although that would require extra extra care with the salad dressing. I plan to make at least one more pair, and possibly a shorts version too.... 

I'm super happy with them, even if they do fall towards the man-repeller-y end of the sartorial spectrum. (Sometimes I'm flattered that my husband's solution to all of my fitting woes is tighter and shorter, sometimes I just can't even.)

Monday, July 30, 2018

Upstairs, Downstairs

Back in May I took a crochet class and was…wait for it…hooked!  It’s more interesting than stockinette and there’s some relief in knowing that there’s only one live stitch at a time.

This scarf is constructed from lots of little circles that I made separately and sewed together. Hook size is E, yarn is Tanis Fiber Arts purple label in Ravine. I was inspired the creations of Sophie Digard, whose name I invoke whenever someone implies that crochet is inherently tacky.

 This article written by the super-erudite Franklin mentions perceptions of knitting/crocheting and social class: "Employers knit, servants crochet."

I wonder where that idea came from? Maybe because crochet lends itself to sturdy, utilitarian items like baskets, bags, and wash cloths? (Or in my grandmother’s case, trivets made from covered Gennesee bottle caps. I wish I’d kept better track of my set.)

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Alabama Chanin Skirt

I'm a long-time member of the Alabama Chanin cult. I own all of Natalie Chanin's books, use her recommended laundry detergent, and would basically stick a hot poker in my eye if she told me to.

Thankfully she's a rational person. I met her at workshop at Fancy Tiger Crafts in March. I felt all the hashtags: #blessed, #inspired, #authentic. Seriously, it really was wonderful and worth every penny. If you ever have the opportunity to take a workshop with her, do it. Her Craftsy classes have good reviews too.

On to the skirt! The workshop fee included a kit with pre-stenciled, pre-cut fabric as well as five spools of thread and fold-over elastic. I chose a large out of fear and the waistband sits around my hips.

Work bathroom. I tried not to get the toilet in the shot. #keepingitklassy

All in all it took 2 months to sew and then an additional 2 months to blog. Stitching around the patterns was meditative and relaxing; cutting out the shapes was stressful until I found a groove. Miraculously I didn't cut into my background fabric. I sewed the side seams on my machine and then felled them by hand. It's tough to get even stitches when sewing through six layers of jersey, so now I'm even more in awe of the AC trunk show garments I tried on at the workshop.

A corset, size XL. Id raise the neckline a tiny bit.
Also: bathroom at actual FANCY TIGER CRAFTS!

Factory Dress, size XL and cut much more generously than the  corset.
I'd go down a size. 

There are definitely more of these projects in my future. My husband bought me an airbrush for my last birthday (he gets me) and I have a muslin in progress.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Lewk for Less

I first saw this fabric on @fancytigercrafts. They ran out of it pretty quickly, so I was thrilled to see it pop up at Stone Mountain & Daughter, in a cream colorway. Flora and fauna.

 I made this infinity scarf in under 30 minutes, using a six-year-old pattern from a local class. The voile's a little stiff because I was too excited to wash it before sewing, but I think it will relax with time. It reminds me of Alexander McQueen's floral scarves....
photo: comomilano

See? Pretty much the same thing, for not the price of a car payment. (Or serger. Or plane ticket.)

Monday, July 2, 2018

Mom Jeans

Yeah, I know what I am. This is *yet another* pair of Jalie Eleonores, this time in a dark, heavy-ish denim from Robert Kaufman. I'll be rinsing the excess dye out of this stuff forever.

They're also the best-fitting of my Eleonores, not that you can tell because indigo denim is soooo hard to photograph.

Just trust me.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Need a Diversion?

It just keeps coming.

Maybe you're weary from reading the news, hoarse from calling all the legislators, or tired out from hitting the pavement.

Sometimes you have to rest so that you can keep fighting over the long haul.

Riverdale to the rescue, friends. A 90210/Scooby Doo/Dynasty mash-up. My daughter and I are becoming embarrassingly invested in the characters. (Our favorite is Cheryl.)

Hey, at least we're not doing jingle-jangle.