Much Ado About Nothing

After all that hemming and hawing about… well, hemming, I stopped trying to be fancee and a perfectionist and used a narrow zig zag to hem Moneta. And you know what? It looks FINE. Even better, it’s FINISHED.

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I’m not that tall, the door is short
Pattern: Moneta
Size: Small at the bust and shoulders graded to medium at the waist and skirt
Fabric: Birth Organics Wink Knit

Everybody and her sister has already made a Moneta and for good reason: easy to fit, easy to wear. This dress feels like a leotard which makes me feel like I’m playing secret dress-up.

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I have friends who swear by knit dresses but I don’t remember feeling comfortable in one since college which was long ago enough that I’ve become someone who uses terms like “since college” as a way of referring to herself as if in the third person. This dress is something of an experiment in personal style. Will I reach for when getting ready in the morning? We’ll see!

All Dressed Up With No Place to Go

I used a party invitation an excuse for making this dress even though I wasn’t sure we would make it that party. A fitted dress was on my sewing list, I already had the pattern in mind and the fabric on hand, and maybe I thought if I acted like it was a given that we would be going that it might improve our chances. I could at least make sure I had something to wear even if I couldn’t control the financial, familial, occupational, and other personal conflicts that ultimately prevented our attendance.

I kept working on my dress while watching airfare climb without ever dropping. Even after sending regrets I kept working on my dress because I was in deep and aren’t there sometimes really cheap last minute bargain prices? I finished up the dress the morning after the party, probably at the same time that the party honorees were hosting brunch for their out-of-town guests that beat the nor’easter that grounded all flights on the date I had hoped to be traveling.

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Windy windy!
Pattern: Belladone by Deer and Doe, View B
Fabric: Gertrude Made for Ella Blue Fabrics, Outback Wife, Barkcloth, Elaine Navy from fabricworm.com
Size & adjustments: It’s complicated.
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Alternate post title: business in the front, party in the back.

A summary of my pattern adjustments:

  • Started with a size 40
  • 1″ small bust adjustment (from C to B)
  • Shortened horizontal bust darts and moved them up
  • Moved vertical bust darts towards side seams
  • Moved skirt pleats to match relocated bust darts
  • 1/2″ forward-shoulder adjustment
  • 1/2″ gaping neck adjustment (I wonder if I could achieved better results more simply by doing a square shoulder adjustment. I have some wrinkles on my left shoulder in particular that I think the square shoulder adjustment would help)
  • Lengthened the back .75″ and the front 1.25″. The added length to the front is misleading because the small bust adjustment takes away length.
  • Graded bodice from size 40 at the underarm to 38 at the waist. Graded skirt from 38 at the waist to 40 at the hip.*

*I didn’t realize until I was trying to figure out what to do with the flappy ends of at the top of the invisible zipper** that I had been installing the zip wrong all along on all of my muslins. I was butting the edge of the zipper right up against the edge of my pattern piece, wondering all the time 1) how it made sense to sew a 5/8″ seam around a zipper that was being placed in at 3/8″; and 2) how in the world a 38 was fitting me when I don’t have a 26.5″ waist. Turns out you’re supposed to allow for that seam allowance when sewing the zipper in, duh. So even though I graded down to a size 38, once you add back in the seam allowance I didn’t take at the zip you’re back at a 40 and I was making things harder on myself than they needed to be. Honestly, making fit issues a bigger problem than they needed to be was the theme of this make, but that’s how I hope to learn.

**I still don’t know exactly what to do with the flappy ends since every tutorial I found assumed you hadn’t finished selvages, yet. I made do. It looks fine.

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I lined the skirt with some blue stuff I picked up at Jo-Ann’s. I tried to use the same lining fabric to finish the armholes and neck, but it was fighting me. I used store bought navy single fold bias tape instead and hand-sewed it to the inside of the dress using the same blind hem stitch I had used on the skirt hem. I would like to face the waistband on the inside as well, but that’s another hand-sewing project for another day and since that’s an add-on I’m calling this one done.

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What I would actually look like if you met me at a party. Hello!

So many muslins, so much adjusting, so much hand-sewing makes this my slowest fashion make yet. Worth it!

Weekender in a Weekend

I made a bag! I feel like I’m playing tic-tac-toe on my 2018 Make 9 grid.

I thought a bag would be a real challenge. Working with hardware and whatnot seemed exotic. Sewing this bag turned out to be refreshingly straightforward, hardware and all. My only hiccup was that I didn’t understand what was meant by “heavy machine needle.” Two broken needles and a serendipitous trip to the sewing machine store later, I stood looking at the myriad of sewing machine needles trying to find the ballpoints I was shopping for when I spotted the jeans needles and thought, “I wonder if that’s my problem?” It was. Everything was easy peasy after that and I learned a little something about needle gauge and using the right tool for the job.

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Kit: Weekender Duffle Bundle from Purl Soho

I bought this kit a while back. I like a good kit. Everything you need all in one place! Except not so much in this case – hardware is sold separately. I missed that salient bullet point in the product description. I admit I’m not a close reader. I also admit that I can be spendthrift when it comes to my hobbies. However, the additional cost of the hardware pushed this project to a price point I would have balked at if I’d realized. Oh well.

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At least I got a nice duffle bag out of the deal. I didn’t order the hardware until much later when I ordered more Brooklyn Tweed Loft to work on (I wish I could say finish) Leaves of Grass.

IMG_9285.JPGA picture of the inside to prove I really can work with bias tape as long as it’s not quarter-inch.

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Attaching those D-rings was where I broke my needles. Your regular needle can’t sew through 10 layers of canvas. Go figure!

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Expense aside, this was a satisfying make. It’s even already seen some use. It holds things just fine! Success.

Shouty, not Dowdy

When we last spoke about York I had decided I should grade between sizes to get those shoulder seams up onto my shoulders. I was surprised to pull out the pattern and discover that there was only a negligible difference in the shoulder measurement between sizes. I took a half inch off the shoulder using a narrow shoulder adjustment and this is what I got:

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A quick photo shoot in the gathering light
Pattern: York, by Seamwork
Size: 6
Adjustments: Small bust, narrow shoulder, forward shoulder
Fabric: Gertie Collection Cotton Sateen from Jo-Ann

I’ll take it!

I used to consider myself a dexterous person, but quarter-inch bias tape has upended that assessment of phalangeal adroitness. I was glad to kiss quarter-inch bias tape good-bye when I finished those bottle aprons and dismayed to read that York called for quarter-inch bias tape to finish the neckline. Maybe I misunderstand what is meant by quarter-inch bias tape, I thought. Nope. It just seems my fingers turn into sausages when working with it. After washing this top this happened:

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I am afraid that the tie has frayed

I cut the ties off and sewed in a hook and eye. You might also note that I turned the bias tape entirely to the inside of the garment and used it as single fold instead of double fold because I just can’t with that stuff.

The hat is Beau Cloche that I made, golly, 3 years ago already. I love hot pink, but any pink makes me feel dowdy, even when it’s so bright it’s practically glowing. I combat this feeling with a more-is-more strategy. Making a dowdy pink hat? Put a gigantic dowdy bow on it! Making a dowdy pink shirt? Pair it with a dowdy pink hat with a gigantic dowdy pink bow! Post title is a quote from Hubs. It’s meant as reassurance. I think.

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My best dowdy expression and posture.

 

2018 Make Nine

2018 Make Nine is everywhere, and why not? My aspirations this year are all about pants and fit. I intend to finally tackle the persistent problem of figuring out what adjustments I need to make to a pattern so that it fits the particular topography of my particular body. And Goodness, I need me some pants. Pants, pants, pants. I don’t have any that I feel good in. Not a single pair fits. Naturally.

In no particular order:

 

  1. Juniper Pants – I need pants and these seem like a good place to start.
  2. Weekender Duffle – for weekends away at the in-law’s lake house.
  3. Belladone Dress – a fit challenge.
  4. Ginger Jeans – I have everything I need. Just waiting on gumption
  5. Boxers – Hubs needs ’em.
  6. Some sort of denim skirt – this one is Beignet from Rue des Renards.
  7. York – a perfect blank canvas for fabulous fabric.
  8. Moneta Dress – a sewing-with-knits disaster from last year I intend to conquer.
  9. Lander Pants – love at first sight.

And hopefully many others!