Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

bad luck and then good luck

Emily's dresses are getting underway (she'll need at least one new one within about 2 weeks!) and yesterday disaster struck! I got this pattern (which I'm crazy about) out to trace before adjusting, as the fabric is all ready to go:

Advance 5578

And a major piece was missing. I had just bought this one on ebay, listed as complete and checked. Argh! I wrote the seller to see if they might have it loose from checking and I scanned the pattern diagram to see if I could reconstruct it, but the answers were no and no. (I printed out another piece from the scan and it was so far off the actual pattern piece it was amazing. So much for using pattern diagrams to reconstruct patterns correctly!)

But then good luck kicked in -- the ebay seller immediately refunded me, and then I found the same pattern on etsy for just a little bit more -- one size bigger but since I have to make huge adjustments one way or the other on her clothes it doesn't really matter. And as an added bonus, the seller had this super-cute 1950s pattern for tops in 3 styles, which is exactly what I've been looking for to go with all of my skirts!

In the meantime, I'm about to muslin this dress for her:

Advance 6936

which is simple, but is making me nervous, since it's going to use some irreplacable fabric. Wish me luck!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Some "what the--?" from 1944

Having never seen the 3rd That's Entertainment movie, I have missed out on the Ross Sisters' 1944 (and only) film appearance until today. HOLY SMOKES.

(If you're wondering what a trio of girl singers is doing dressed so skimpily in 1944, just stick with it for a moment.)

Friday, April 16, 2010

mini wardrobe - done!

I had a last minute substitution, but I made it in to the contest. Not that I expect to win (or need to -- the prize is fabric! eek!) but I'm very happy to have finished my projects. Not to mention, to have focused enough in one month to have finished five pieces of clothing for myself, plus most of another, plus started a round of new clothes for Emily. While doing a kajillion other things! Anyway, here is the result:

Project Spring 1953: wardrobe composite

I actually wore outfit 3 (blue top + denim skirt) yesterday to Emily's Scout meeting, it's a great outfit. The big-pocket skirt pattern is by far the big success story, although I like the black one a bit more than the blue. But it's a fantastic skirt and it makes me want to toss all my non-pocketed skirts out the window! The plaid skirt I'm feeling eh on...I love it in theory, I love the fabric but...everytime I put it with a top I don't love it so much. I think I just prefer darker colored skirts. But I'll make myself wear it and see how it goes.

Now to get to Emily's dresses, and we've got a new entry in the lineup! After I sent all my leftover patterns to Pattern Rescue, I had a big point balance with them. And when the latest round of trades went up, Emily saw a pattern she loved. I requested it and I got it! It's on the way now. I wish I knew how much yardage I needed, I'd get some fabric ready! Seriously, how cute is this? The kid has good taste! (okay, she has taste I also agree with, in any case)


No idea on the fabric yet, but I think cherries may be involved.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

wait...what's that I see? salvage operation in progress!

So after yesterday's post, I realized that even if my idea to salvage my cardigan worked, it would no longer match the plaid skirt, so the pieces wouldn't make up a coordinated set. So there was no need to rush things (I found fabrics in my stash and had thought about trying to finish -- more about that below). But then I noticed the top I had cut out and was going to sew while I was working on these pieces was...a perfect match!

salvage effort!

You'd think I'd have realized I was making another matching piece, since I was using the same thread and all. But somehow I didn't notice until I had put the skirt down right next to it. So, I finished up the top, and I have four pieces! If I get photos today, I will still enter the wardrobe. Not my original concept but....close enough for me to be happy with it. Plus, of course, more clothes that fit!

Now, on the cardigan, I decided I really did like my idea of the contrast fabric (like this), and went looking to see what I had. I found a knit:

looking for a match

Which I think is too dark. Especially for Spring. I found a woven fabric (I bought this years ago, I mean years ago, as a contrast for a dress I never made):

looking for a match

That photo isn't so good, it really does match in real life. That's probably what I am going with unless I come across something better. Unfortunately, the one perfect match I found in the house:

looking for a match

is my bookbinding tape. Vetoed by the family, so no tape-bound cardigan! I'm really warming up to the idea, and I think I may also do cuffs and a narrow binding at the hem so there are no folded-over edges on that fleece. I"m giving it some time off though, no more mistakes please! Now I'm off to get my entry done before it's time for Daisy Scouts!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I'm tapping out!

Well, I was in the final stretch of my Spring 1953 mini-wardrobe, and I thought I'd make the deadline (which kept moving -- 14th? 16th? No, it was the 15th). But last night I did exactly what I swore I wouldn't do -- I had a problem with my cardigan (which is otherwise coming out very cute and fits great) and in my attempt to rework the issue I made, um, a huge mistake.

Basically, the sweaterknit is just too bulky for any sort of facing approach. I attempted to add a band around the opening, which almost worked but is really just still too bulky for my taste. It looks pretty good, but I don't think I'll ever wear it if it leave it that way. Worst of all though....after applying the band, I trimmed it too far. I think I know how to fix it but I don't want to rush it again. If I'd thought for five minutes, I'd have realized that I should have just bound the raw edge, that would have worked perfectly! My new plan is to go with a contrasting band like the one in this similar pattern:


The good news is, the blouse and three new skirts are done! Here's some more pics of the blouse on its own:

Spring 1953 project: jewelry-necked blouse

Spring 1953 project: blouse buttons

And now I can get back to sewing for Emily (as she has hinted a few times that I really should just be doing that instead!)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

one pattern leaves, another pattern enters

So, what happens when I give away a pattern? I win a new one!! But, as Zoe pointed out to me, upgrading to the things that you will use and that will fit you is a definite positive move. And isn't this dress cute? I want to make it this summer, and definitely in stripes!


I also wanted to further the stash busting cause (instead of stash building) by reminding you all of Zoe's fabric swap - de-stash something you won't use and trade for something you will! Also, in the giveaway comments, Caelyn let me know about the Kateri Circle Sewing Group, a women's sewing group at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, which can use just about any sewing item you can imagine (there is a complete list at their site). I've already started a box of things to send them.

And now, proof I have been sewing:

IMG_9019 - Copy

There's my 1953 blouse, as well as the black version of my 1953 skirt. The blue skirt (and the gathered skirt) are all cut and ready to go, I hope to have them done by tomorrow. The cardigan? Well, I'll finish it but I don't think I'll do it by the deadline! But I'm still going to give it a shot -- I just think my workload at the moment is too heavy for much sewing time. (We're even skipping the Mocca art show this weekend for the first time since it began!!)

Finally - we were discussing tracing materials over on Mikhaela's blog and I wanted to show you all what my favorite paper looks like:

tracing paper

On the right is the standard "pattern tracing paper" I've had for ever. On the left is what I use now, Border & Riley's "Sun-Glo" paper. Super strong, you can write with anything on it, very durable and really, pretty inexpensive. I have the 36" x 50 yard roll and I don't expect to replace it for a long, long time. You can't sew it like you can the swedish-tracing paper type stuff. But for everything else I love it.

And now, it's time for me to stop -- it's Saturday and that means biscuit day! I'm off to the kitchen!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

a winner! and sewing confessions...

I have a confession to make. I have been cheating on my mini-wardrobe! Horribly!

It all started because my jewel-necked blouse gave me so much trouble (actually, they call it "jewelry-necked"). The pattern is fine, but the project was cursed! First my iron coughed up rusty water all over it. I was able to get it out, but when it dried overnight, the dampness from the spot I'd cleaned spread into the entire blouse -- and I'd left pins in a facing. Yes, "rustproof" pins. That rusted. I tried to get that rust out, and ended up with a giant yellow stain. Got that out, ran it through the wash, where it picked up -- can you guess? More rust. Got that out, yellow again, wash again....argh! I spent far more time cleaning that blouse than sewing it. It's done now, and very clean. But I don't even want to look at it.

So then, instead of working on the rest of the mini-wardrobe, I, uh, didn't. I made my "simple-to-make" skirt out of black denim instead. Not to test the pattern, but just because I wanted a black skirt now! Which I do like a lot, and making the blue one should be a snap 2nd time around, right?

Then, I started tracing patterns for a new top for me, and for Emily's spring wardrobe. (She's picked some really cute dresses!) Finally last night I did trace my cardigan, and maybe I'll even muslin it today. Or...maybe I'll make my new knit top. We'll see if I can stay on the straight and narrow!

And now to the giveaway! I re-numbered the comments leaving out the non-entries and the winner is:


Stef! Please drop me a line, Stef, and thanks to everyone else who came to play! I'll have another pattern to de-stash when I make next month's stash busting report, so I hope you try again!

Friday, April 2, 2010

stashbusting report - March

Whoops, a few days behind there! Anyway, it's time for my report on project:

On the pattern front, I purged well over 100 patterns last month -- I'm thinking it was close to 200? I don't actually have an accurate count, but I know that well over 120 of them were vintage. A bunch went on ebay, and the rest just got donated to Pattern Rescue. I confess I've restocked a little bit, but the patterns coming in are in my size (or Emily's, or close) and the patterns that left would have never been used. And I certainly have not added anything near 200 patterns! Not even 20. I've also starting scanning all my patterns so I can refer to them more quickly and use them better.

As far as fabric goes? I've been keeping a spreadsheet of fabric in and out, and my net for February was -24! Woohoo! 24 yards out, one way or another!

But then came March. I had to cash in the gift certificate I won in the wool sewing contest, I put up some flannels for Emily's Fall PJs (Hello Kitty flannel on sale, couldn't pass it up!) and I needed specific fabrics that I didn't have for the mini-wardrobe contest. (This is one problem with my fabric, a lot of it was bought for kid's clothes and I can't use it on much else!). And since I didn't get my mini-wardobe done in net is +17. Making my total since I started +7. Sigh.

But, a lot of that is already cut out (or even sewn, just not finished), so I'm hoping April's total is a lot better!

Now, in the interest of reducing, I have a few more patterns I don't need, so here's a lovely Simplicity dress from about 1954, size 14 (32" bust) that can be yours!

Simplicity 4881

Just leave a comment and tell me what you've used up or cleared out in the past month from your sewing stash! I'll pick a random name next Monday night (okay, well maybe Tuesday morning), so don't forget to leave your email address! (It won't post, don't worry). And don't forget to pop over to Zoe's and sign up to stash bust along with the rest of us!

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