Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Taking A Little Break...

Wow, for a while there I thought I was getting my groove back but I haven't been able to sew for quite some time. It's so frustrating because I'm so close, like 2-3 hours away (including hand sewing the inner waistband and the hem) from finishing my first Grainline Moss. You know how it's taken me forever to get to this point.

Two weeks ago, my father fell ill and was in the hospital for nearly that whole time. He's been home since last Thursday. Since I work a weird part-time schedule I was stopping by the hospital before and after work to spend time with him and spending the majority of my days off there too. Now that he's home, he still needs some care, though to be honest, sometimes I think he's milking it a bit.

I'm still finding little blocks of time to check out your blogs and your makes because it's my only joy right now. So everybody else, keep sewing and showing me what I could be doing! The McCall Pattern company trip and MPB Day make me envious but happy that others got to enjoy those events. One day, one day...

Hopefully, my Dad will keep improving and our schedules can get back to normal. Take care!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Uniformity Blows

I have never worn a uniform before*.

The kids across the street went to private school but I never envied them their uniforms even though school uniforms are supposed to not only be a pop culture fetish but also a fashion look that comes back every once in a while.

In any retail job I've ever had, the only clothing rules I followed had more to do with how messy you would get at the job - when I was a coffee barista, I had to worry about oil stains from the coffee beans - or how cold you would get in typical office air conditioning. Otherwise, what I wore was my own choice. Even my non-retail, corporate jobs have been office casual and I pretty much wore what I wanted.

The clothes I'm wearing for this job I would normally only wear at home. The shirt is one I actually stopped wearing in public years ago when I realized the knit is so off grain that the button placket eventually pulls diagonally across the body and needs constant adjustment. However, it happens to be navy blue, so it's the right color, and the only piece of clothing in this color that I own. I've been trying to make myself buy some fabric to make a better substitute but all the navy fabric I've seen in Joann's and Hancock's were dull and uninteresting. Also, the thought of making something that I don't really want to be wearing in the first place is depressing...like sewing my own hospital gown...why do that?

Note: I just went out and bought two navy t-shirts from Old Navy on sale, $8 for both! You can't beat that.

I now see how important clothes have been and are in my life. No one can see ME now. I have become my uniform, my graying hair (can't decide if I grow it out or not), and my sensible shoes (worn b/c standing on my feet all day).

Anyone else out there wearing a uniform, or am I the only one, in this sewing community, that is?

Has it done anything to your self-esteem?

*Except for a few months in the Brownies/Girl Scouts.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Way To Go, Vogue!

Recently, McCall Pattern Company released their latest crop of Vogue patterns for fall/winter, 45 of them! In that huge group, I think the majority of them were winners. Like a lot of sewing bloggers, I'm going to list a few of my favorites from the bunch (ones I would actually sew and wear) and state the reasons why I like them.

Here goes:

Vogue 9020

A Very Easy Vogue offering that plucked a vintage dart last seen on patterns in the sixties and most recently seen on runways in this 2011 Louis Vuitton dress on Rooney Mara that I have had posted on Pinterest. I'm not wowed by this particular design, but the pattern pieces and construction could be used to make a far more exciting garment. Cool.

 Vogue 1408
Love this DKNY dress by Donna Karen. This would be my alternative to the ubiquitous "skater dress" in blogland. Same silhouette but far more unique with visual interest and texture.
Vogue 1410

This Mizono dress is really up my alley and it's convertibility reminds me of two inspiration pics I have, one of a Junya Wantanabe skirt seen years ago on Totokaelo and the other, a Burdastyle pattern (2010-07-138) I hoped to make a copy of the designer skirt. Funny, I love the Mizono in these two versions but the knee-length option left me cold.

Burdastyle 2010-07-138 puff skirt
Keep it up Vogue and now I hope Simplicity/New Look picks it up and gets some better designs next time too.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

More Of My Mad Mod Ponte Dress

I went back on April 9 and removed almost all of that added width to the dress above the hip, deepened each back dart by almost 1/4", and took in a bit of the center back seam for a sway back adjustment. I then cut an inch off the sleeves and 2 more inches from that skirt!

I then decided to take in the dress even more above the waist resulting in a dramatic pattern alteration. While it doesn't really show in the photos, there was a lot of excess fabric under the arms and my waist is a lot smaller than it appeared in the dress. During a holiday trip, I basted the entire dress together. The back now fits a little bit better and the excess under the arms and down the sides in the front is gone. I do still have some excess fabric in the back which seems to be my usual problem now.

Once I started messing with the major pattern adjustments, I had to alter the neckline, which not only was high at the front but also was creeping too high up my neck in the back. My goal was a jewel neckline similar to ones worn in the late 50-60s or like in this similar pattern from the 1970s.

Vogue 7614

Here is where I left the dress two months ago. It is now folded up waiting for the end of summer.

Any suggestions on how to improve the fit in the back?
I chose to end the photos with the still good shoulder fit . Don't worry, the darts are not that noticeable after I did some careful trimming and pressing.

However, you can click on the photo to see the visible basting on the sleeves. You may see it again in a more refined manner, it was my first attempt at copying the decorative details from my Mad Men inspiration dress.

To be continued...

Images: McCall Pattern Company, my own photos, AMC Television