November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

As we enter into the holiday season, I am reminded how lucky I am.
I have 2 healthy, responsible girls.
I have 2 healthy elder dogs.

I have a good job that I'm really, really enjoying.
I have good friends.
My husband loves me.

I am able to make things.
We have enough.
I am thankful for each of you that read my blog
and take the time to comment and give suggestions.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

November 26, 2013

BHL Anna

I'm always far, far behind the cool kids in the sewing blogging world.  The first By Hand London Anna dress that I saw had me gasping.  Of course, Lizzy is a little wisp of a thing and I am not - so I didn't buy the pattern.  Then, I saw Karen's first Anna, followed quickly by her second, and then another favorite blogger made a spotty one and I was sold.  Add to that all the variations of Anna that Roisin has made and I had to have it.  (I might have also bought the Elisalex pattern).

I then decided to make this my November make for Make a Garment a Month.  Of course, early in November I made some easy dresses - that have been worn and photographed but not blogged.  I started by tracing the pattern and made a muslin.  I decided that I needed to add a smidge to the hips and started looking for some fabric to make this with.  I also had to lower the bust tucks by 1/2".  And I took a 1" sway back adjustment at the upper back ala Nancy Zieman.  The waist seam feels like it falls in a good place and doesn't need to be moved at all. 

I found a lovely paisley cotton and set about cutting out a dress.  Imagine my disappointment when there wasn't enough fabric for a dress.  So, instead - I made Anna into a top.  And honestly - I'm glad I did.  I think the center back panels need to be straightened slightly on the center back.  All of the skirt panel pieces are shaped like triangles - flaring toward the floor, but at the center back it's getting a weird flare that I don't care for. 

 Oh - I was totally mixing prints in this outfit too.  Not that you can tell, but the skirt is brown pinstriped.

Wearing the top all day and looking at the photos, I think the 'smidge' that I added (1/4" on all skirt seams - 14 seams in all added 3.5") might have been a bit too much.  I have already cut a dress out - but I think I'll take the 1/4" addition off the center front and leave it everywhere else - as well as straighten that center back seam.

So - what do you think?  Do you love Anna?  Have you jumped on the By Hand London bandwagon? 

My photographer has been listening to Carolyn and telling me to act like a runway model and stand up straight.  of course he always snaps the photo when I'm goofing off. 

For the record - the arms look tight in this photo, but they are not.  They are lose and I have full range of motion with no binding anywhere. 

I felt cute and sassy most of the day.  But I think this top/dress might have the ability to look 'maternity'.  I'm hoping taking that smidge back out of the center front panels will help alleviate that. 

I might have to consult with Lynne's Fashion Consultant because when I see these photos I feel dumpy and that's not how I want to feel. 

Enough blabbering.  Happy Holidays Everyone! 

November 19, 2013

Winner - Sharing the Love

Lisa had a give away to celebrate 8 years of blogging.
and I won!

Those 8 patterns arrived at my house.
Lisa said, you could keep 1, none, or all of them.

I'm keeping this Butterick 5760 Wardrobe pattern.
Love the cardigan and the shirtdress.
We all know I have a problem with shirtdresses.

I'm also keeping this Simplicity 2152.
I think this skirt will be a good one to try with Cynthia Guffy's skirt fitting class.
Plus  I think it will actually work well with my body shape.
To the remaining 6 patterns from Lisa - I added a whole bunch of my own.
68 in fact.
I have a bunch of vintage patterns that a work friend gave to me.
I'm never going to make anything with them.

Each group of patterns contains 1 from Lisa.

Some Vintage.

Some current.

There are skirts, pants, tops, wardrobe patterns

Each stack of 12 patterns contains at least 1 large envelope vogue. 

No choices.
Rather than have a contest and say you must follow me.
Say you must have an active blog. 
I'm going to give one stack of patterns to the first 6 people who comment and say they want one.
The only qualifier - I must be able to contact you somehow
an email or a link back to your blog.
As soon as all 6 are gone - they are gone.
I will ship anywhere.

November 15, 2013

Blue Birthday Dress

 Another version of the Ottobre dress.  This is version 2 and I have made 3 so far.   This was the dress I made for my 50th birthday.  JB thinks it's fantastic. 

I feel comfortable in this dress, not that you can tell from my face.  I wore it all day without a cardigan or a scarf or anything to distract from the dress - well except for my new red cowboy boots!

The fabric is a ponte that I got from Girl Charlie.  I loved it when I saw it and then I wasn't sure what to make with it.  Then I made the grey ponte dress and figured this fabric would work with that pattern.  So the day before we left for vacation, I headed to the sewing space and cut the fabric out.  I sewed it all up and then decided it needed to have just as lightly lower neckline.  So I folded the dress front in half and took my French curve to it.  The neckline is now a curved v. 

I do need to take it back down to the machine and shorten the sleeves.  I wasn't sure how long to make them and they are just a bit too long. 

In Palm Springs on vacation I wore the dress with bare legs and white sandals.  But today I wore it with my new red boots!  I got several compliments today half of them on my dress and half of them on my boots. 

I imagine there will be more versions of this Ottobre dress in my future.  But I'm thinking they will be solids to show off some of the great scarfs, handknits, and jewelry that I have. 

And just because you want to see them - here is a picture of my new red boots!  And yes, they were comfortable all day.  And Fun!  For some reason - wearing cowboy boots is fun. 

November 2, 2013

Make a Garment a Month

Sarah Liz has a little challenge going - Make a Garment a Month.  Rather than just random selfish sewing.  She has challenged us to identify a particular goal while making at least one garment a month. 

I routinely sew selfishly in that with the exception of the annual flannel pants - I really don't sew for anyone else.  But my sewing is rather random.  I often find something I want to make, but then I lose interest before I work all the tweaks out. 

One of the things I really, really want to make and fit to myself is a darted sheath dress. 

I have been working on fitting New Look 6095.  So far, I'm 2 muslins in and have idea about where I need to go from here. 

I know I could use a princess seamed sheath and have in fact made several dresses from Simplicity 3744 which is a princess seamed A-line dress with tiny bust darts because the princess seams are off to the side.  Here is a busy print version that I made with links in the post to the 2 other versions of this dress I have made. 

What I want to end up with is some dresses that are similar to classic Lilly P in shape and fabric.  I am fairly certain that for this to work, the design lines need to be very simple and few.  I think a princess seam would break any print up too much.  But please - feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.  So - that's why the doggedness to get this to fit.  Of course the December  issue of Threads has an article about the classic sheath dress and the author claims *any* body shape can wear it. 

Anyway - where was I going with this.  Oh yes, the garment a month challenge.  I challenged myself as follows:

October - New Look 6095
November - By Hand London Anna Dress
December - no plans yet.

October got sidelined because I really wanted to make something I could wear out of the house and I was frustrated.  But I will continue with this with the goal to have it finished by the end of the year. 

I did however make myself 3 new dresses during October:  The Lady Skater/Renfrew mash up and 2 versions of the Ottobre knit sheath dress.  It's now time to end this and get to sewing as the weather seems to have finally stabilized and the power isn't blipping out. 

So please talk to me - am I over thinking the LP look?
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