Saturday, February 26, 2011

February Productivity - Way Down!!!

Maybe it was the weather.
Maybe it was a result of too busy of a January.
Maybe it was something else.

But I did next to NO SEWING in February.  Today, I finally hemmed the dress I've been working on since January for the Vintage Sew Along (pics are there), and that is it.

Mojo is gone. Absent.  Nada.
I have plenty to work on (Communion Dress, hello?!?!), just find myself in no hurry to run downstairs and get moving on any project at all.  So weird.  I don't like it at all, and Bo keeps making me feel even worse about it.  It's happened before, I'm sure it'll happen again, but I've got to get over this funk.  That's it, I'm heading down there right now.  Later!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Wardrobe Staples

Shirt - McCall's 5630 (Palmer/Pletsch Perfect Fit Blouse)

I've had McCall's 5630 in my pattern stash for a long time (it's OOP now), along with some fabulous white cotton Ralph Lauren shirting (from Ressy's co-op).  My favorite button-down blouse in my closet is from Victoria's Secret, with front vertical darts and side seam darts, back vertical darts and shoulder darts, with french cuffs.  I was happy to change the french cuffs out, but really wanted a great fit through the bodice.  This is the only pattern I own (including 3 years of Burda subscriptions) with 3 of the 4 darts included.
I took my time with the collar and stand, using my wooden tailor's clapper to press the seams open carefully and trim closely.  My hand-stitching was impeccable along the collar stand, front button placket, and cuffs (Susan Khalje would be proud)... and I was thinking, "Damn, I'm good!".  Then it happened.  The bump in the road.  Can you tell what it is before I say it out loud?
Too much ease in the sleeve cap. No matter how I tried to gather it, ease it, pin it... I got puckers.  I ripped, I re-stitched.  Still puckers.  Yuck! I navigated through the worst part of a tailored, fitted shirt... and got stuck with stupid sleeve seam puckers??? Seriously?  In all honesty, the only person who will notice will be my husband, because I pointed them out to him.  So, whenever I wear this shirt I know that he will say, "Wow, you look great! Too bad you messed up the sleeves..." And I will laugh, because it's a reminder that I am my own worst critic, and the blouse is 98% "Amazing" and 2% "Oops".  I should've known better, as the last 2 reviews on PR warned of that problem, but I didn't take the time to measure and check.  Oh well, live and learn!  I will fine-tune the pattern and remove some ease, so the next version will be perfect.  Actually, I haven't serged those seams yet, so I may still remove those sleeves, and fix this version!
What I did take the time to do, was to tissue fit the pattern on Bo.  Something I've never been able to do before, but now I can! It was so awesome being able to pin it together, slip it on her, and check the fit without doing a muslin.  I have to re-train my brain that this is now an option with all my patterns...
Pants - Simplicity 4135
Misses'/ Miss Petite Pants
This is my 3rd version of the Simplicity Threads pattern 4135.  I consider this my TNT pants pattern, and this tiime I used some really nice "Easy Care Wool Blend" in charcoal from Gorgeous Fabrics.  Such a great fabric... it's pressed beautifully and is a really lovely suiting weight.  Great for winter, but will transition into spring, too.  I used a black cotton broadcloth from the scrap box for the pockets and waistband facing.  The only change this time around was the narrowing of the pantleg.  When I wear these for real, I'll take a pic so you can see that it was definitely a change for the better! Sadly, Little Man accidentally head-butted me today during a wrestling session, and my right eye is all swollen, so you'll just have to deal with pics of Bo modeling for now! If you've never made pants with a pocket bag that extends to the center front, then you're really missing out on a no-gaping pocket situation!
This won't be last you hear from me on either of these patterns! They are true "wardrobe staples" and with many beautiful cotton shirtings in the stash and another length of "Easy Care Wool Blend" on it's way to me from Boston (yes, I caved during the 1 day sale), I will hopefully continue to improve my skills on them, too!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Not a Bad Start to 2011...

13 garments (23 yards of fabric) got made this month!
1 for a client (Betzina Sweater Vest), 6 for the kids (2 dresses & 4 pj pants), and 6 for me.
I never showed you the first item of the month, my brown plaid skirt using Simplicity 2512.
Misses Skirts
View C
I started in on New Year's Eve, and really like it except for 2 things...  It's a little too short and a little too tight.  Oops... Time to hit the treadmill!
In my opinion, the pattern runs a little bit small (and is unlined), but I wasn't the best behaved over the holidays, so maybe I should take the blame! I had about 1 1/4 yds of this fall wool/flannel sitting in my stash for a long time, and never would've dreamt that it would be enough for this skirt! I paired it with a rust colored top (Simplicity 4020) that I made at the end of December, and it's a great match!
My most recent accomplishment is another pair of TNT pants ("Threads" pants pattern Simplicity 4135) using some lovely grey wool blend twill (Gorgeous Fabrics) I bought grey and brown, but now I see only the tan is left.  They just need the waistband and a hem, but they're nearly done, too! The wool is a wonderful "transitional" weight that will carry me through winter, into spring!
Can I say how much I love having my dressform, not only for fitting (tissue fitting was never an option before), but now I don't have to get all done up for a photo shoot! Woo hoo!
 My "Vintage Sew Along" pieces also fall into the "nearly done" group, as the skirt has some fitting issues and the dress just needs to be lined. Maybe today's "Snow Day" will allow me to get that done... The dress is so lovely, and the polka dot fabric I found on ebay is perfect.  Really excited to wear this in warmer weather!
The Communion dress is all cut out, but I'm taking my time on construction.  I really want it to be perfect, and don't want to rush through, or get frustrated.  I work on it a little here and a little there, which keeps me productive! See how my "helper" keeps busy while keeping me company?
Practicing taking a "self-portrait" with the camera!
My last "accomplishment" is really ridiculous.  I'm proud to say that I've not purchased any "fashion fabric" all month! I've bought only a few linings (I don't stash linings), and of course took advantage of the Atlanta Thread sale, but NO NEW FABRICS.  I managed to sew over 20 yards just from my stash, and bet that I can do it for another month (or more).  Crazy, but the great thing is that I'm using what I own and it looks great.  My "wish list" is definitely in existence (knit denim and some of that tan wool), but I'm really trying to thin the stash first.  Ann: I saw the 20% Today Only Sale.  La la la la la.... I can't hear you!!! Yeah right, who am I kidding! ;)

February will hopefully bring some nice cotton button-down blouses, a few nice winter dresses, and I should really sew something up for DH.  He's the only one that didn't get anything new out of me in January, and has had to deal with all that nasty, cold, white stuff outside!