Friday, November 23, 2012

Stash Subtraction!

Last time we spoke, I was holding off on buying any more fabric until I could stitch up some of what I already own! I've been a good girl and done just that!
2 skirts and a dress... Voila!

Ironically enough, all 5 of these fabrics came from Haberman Fabrics, here in Michigan. All purchased at different times, all different fibers, and all different weaves...

This first skirt was the fabric purchased most recently. It just says "Autumn" to me, with the colors, the texture, and the warmth of wool... It has some stretch to it, so it's comfy to boot. I don't know if they have any left, but I did happen to find the same exact fabric (along with 2 other color ways) on the Mood website, here.
I bought 3/4 yard and used my standard 2 piece (front and back) skirt pattern. When I wore it to work this week, I received a few compliments, along with a few requests to "pet the fabric". Too funny...

With so many colors, I have lots of options for tops, so with black tights and boots... I am all set!

The second skirt is a brocade that was marked "J Crew". The story I was offered was that J Crew purchases many many many fabrics to plan their production and line, then has the selected fabrics remade in China. Then all the fabrics (selected and rejected) are resold, which is how Haberman's got this one. I just loved the blues and purple combo, along with the gradation between them and the black! The way I figure it, it can be dressed up with a silky blouse or dressed down with a white button-down or cardi. I also bought these two fabrics to make tops for both skirts. The blue is a cotton blend (soft like silk) and the purple is more lustrous. I'm thinking of Butterick 5815 for the purple...

The dress was a quickie I pulled off yesterday and today. New pattern (Butterick 5794), old fabric (jersey from a year or two ago).
I made view C, but used the hemline from view B.

What fueled this pick to sew? Simplicity. One color, no lining, and easy peaty to make. Want to hear something funny, though? i messed up the first seam and had to sew it THREE times! Then, the serger started acting up and breaking a thread repeatedly, so I was convinced early on that this dress was cursed. But, I love the color, which is more of a cranberry than a bright red, so BONUS... It works for the holiday season, too! R's is definitely a pattern that I highly recommend and will make again. Just one word of warning... When you attach the "cowl" to the neck line, it's to the wrong side of the bodice. The pattern doesn't illustrate this step very well (IMHO), so I had it all pinned when I figured out that I did it wrong.
Here's the back of the bodice. A little gather for interest...

What's next? I have a hair appointment tomorrow, so I need to stitch something up for my friend who does my hair. We trade services! I sew her up something cute, and she keeps me looking gorgeous! Sometimes she gives me the fabric, sometimes I use from my stash... But, so far we BOTH think we are getting the better end of the deal! I grabbed this pattern just today, and it's got her name written all over it!

It's New Look "Workroom" 6051, and will make it more of a tunic, less of a dress. 2-3 more yards of stash gone? Yup!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Can't. Pull. The. Trigger...

Vogue + Color Blocking = HEADACHE

I spent too much time over the last couple days searching online for appropriate fabrics (wool crepe) in pretty colors (not red/black). I was hoping for some pretty jewel tones, like in the Kohl's ad I saw today...

I finally settled on some charcoal gray with burgundy/cranberry... but, I just couldn't pull the trigger. Know why? STASH GUILT.
I have too many other fabrics already here, in my house, on my sewing table, and although they don't fit this particular project...
I need to make them into something pretty first.

See you on the flip side of a few outfits!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Cruising a Hurricane...

DH turned 40 this week, so I surprised him with a weekend cruise (last weekend) from Miami to the Bahamas. The only problem? A little witch named Sandy. She was blowing north when we flew into Miami, so I thought we were in the clear. But, being first-time cruisers, we didn't realize that the seas were still pretty churned up with all the wind trailing in her skirts. Rough seas, high winds, closed decks, and no port for 24 hours made for a bad start. But, Saturday afternoon we pulled into Nassau, and finally started to have a great time. (See photo above!)
For our formal dinner on Saturday, I whipped up this dress!
Simplicity 2252

I had 2 yards of navy blue silky something (probably poly from Joann's, but I seriously don't remember buying it) that had the right weight and drape. Not enough fabric for floor length, but I loved the halter view (A), so I shortened it. DH requested a sexy slit, so I obliged and opened the left side seam up.

I made up the size 14, which was perfect everywhere. The instructions say to open the stitching lines in the midriff "pleated" area, but I was happier with the appearance and crispness of the folds/seams with the stitching in place. I didn't have time (or resources) to get a flashy buckle, so I opted for a decorative brooch/pendant from Joann's.

Underneath the bodice is a corset that stops just above the hips. The dress is not lined. I used some navy blue cotton for the corset, but when I inserted the boning, everything curled up and it looked terrible. I removed the boning, since it's not strapless I really didn't think the inner structure was imperative. It was much more comfortable this way, also.
Sorry, no back view. We were running late for dinner, headed straight to the Captain's reception afterward, then changed to party the night away at the pool deck dance party. I used an invisible zipper at the center back, and it came up to a normal height, covering my normal strapless bra strap, so not a low-back.

I highly recommend this pattern, as the instructions were good, and the construction was very straight forward. Not a million pieces, and went together pretty easily.
As for the cruise... I thought the end of October put us in a "safe zone" for hurricane season, but apparently I was wrong! The first 24 hours were terrible (dramamine made the rough seas slightly easier to deal with, but everyone was getting sick and it was too windy to keep the doors to the deck open, so it got pretty gross at times), but Nassau and the Atlantis resort was quite a lot of fun. Smooth sailing back to Miami, but you know how it is when a trip starts off wrong... you can't quite reset the mood, you know? Majesty of the Seas was ok, but I think we'd like to try a newer and larger ship. Met some nice people from North Carolina and Alaska, and enjoyed some sunshine and warm temps on Saturday and Sunday. So many people on the ship couldn't get home because of the airports closed on the east coast Monday, but we were able to make it on time back to Michigan, although it was a little turbulent. Seeing all the devastation on tv and hearing the first-hand accounts on facebook and twitter reminded me how lucky we were to be safe and i keep all of you "east coasters" in my thoughts and prayers. Definitely the kind of trip that we will never forget, for both good and bad times... and "adventure" that will go down in history...