Saturday, January 2, 2016

X-Mas Dress

Hello Campers!  I hope you had a nice holiday and that the new year is off to a good start.  I made a dress to wear to this year's Christmas Dinner at my husband's club.  Advance 9077 has been in the stash for ages and it was fun to finally make it up. 
I bought the dotty fabric to make up this dress about six years ago, but the gathered bodice kind of freaked me out so it never got made.  The print on the fabric reminds me of ball ornaments; perfect for a Christmas Dress.
Spaghetti straps aren't quite appropriate for December, even in California, but view 1 of Simplicity 5413 makes a nice overblouse.  It's really too short for anything else!  It looks waist-length in the pattern illustration but it's much shorter than that.
The dress bodice wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.  It's actually gathered onto the front piece so it was fast and simple.  I didn't pre-measure the pattern pieces though, and once the dress was complete, I was disappointed to discover that  the bodice bagged and sagged over my chest. Rather than take  the whole thing apart (nope!),  I did a quick bodge by making a deep gather in the center front and sewing a cute little bow over the top of it.
It's really hard to see the bodge in color so I took these snaps in B/W.
Even in black and white, it's hardly noticeable at all.
I was so focused on getting the bodice right that I messed up the skirt.  Most of the gathers ended up on one side and the seams are mismatched.  Of course, I didn't realize it until I'd put the zipper in.  Thankfully, despite being a pretty awful mistake, it's not noticeable either unless you look really closely.
I'm glad that gathers are so forgiving!  If not this would have been a complete disaster.  But it looks pretty good, I think.
Here's how it looks with the overblouse.  Cute!
Here are a couple of back views.  Please forgive the awkward poses.
Happy New year!  May all your sewing projects be successful in 2016!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Western Wear

I really do make things other than trousers...  I DO!

I made myself a pair of Western style jeans from Simplicity 1818.

It is the same pattern I used for the Pucci print pedal pushers from a while back. 

I made no alterations this time and they came out SO much better.

Look at these cute winged pockets!  

The "underbutt" area still seems a bit saggy.

I think that's just how they are supposed to look, though.

 My modern eyes want them to be skin tight.  But they aren't modern jeans.

Still great though.

I don't even mind that they have a little crotch sag.

Yep.  I'm fairly sure that's how 50s dungarees are supposed to look.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Gene Jeanies

In the pile of fabric I got from my mom last year, there was this AMAZING 70s striped denim.

I just knew that it had to become these jeans from 1968.  I made View 2.  

I saw my mom a few weeks ago and was wearing the jeans. 

She gasped and said, "I made those exact pants once."  
I laughed and told her that I used the fabric she gave me. 

"Great minds think alike" she said.
"Good taste is in our genes?" I replied.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Matchy Matchy Part II

This is the second of the matched sets we made.  

His is a Kwik Sew 575 shirt and Simplicity 7146 trunks.

The fabric is Robert Kaufman Retro Cameras.

Despite starting with the same yardage, there was a lot less fabric left over for my suit.

I used Sew Lovely B70 for the top.  
It is a bra pattern so the pieces are much smaller than the Simplicity 1426 beach tops.

I like that it provides more coverage and support than a standard triangle bikini top but it's great for using up tiny scraps of fabric. It stays put perfectly when you move around.

Rather than standard sewn-in over-the-shoulder straps I made button-on criss-cross straps.  The buttons, zipper, linings, and seam binding all came from the stash.

The back band is shirred with elastic in the center.  
It is stitched down on one side and clips in with pants hooks on the other.

The Advance 3169 bikini bottoms are fully lined and I did that semi-complicated thing where you sandwich the zipper between the layers.  I'm so proud.

By the time you read this we'll be off the beach and back in Fogville, shivering in the perpetual fall.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Matchy Matchy Part I

As I think I've mentioned before, my husband also sews.  Each year before Tiki Oasis he makes a few cabana sets. For last year's Tiki O he made sets with Robert Kaufman's This And That.  He used Rotary Phones in black and white and Retro Cameras in black, red and gray.  (I'll show you the camera set in the next post.)

His favorite shirt pattern is Kwik Sew 575.  It goes together fast and the collar is fairly uncomplicated.  He prefers the trunks from Simplicity 7146.  They have a drawstring instead of a belt and the legs are a bit roomier than the Kwik Sew.

With the leftover scraps, I made myself a matching bikini.  I used Advance 3169 for the bikini bottom. The top is the reissue of Simplicity 1426 view C, with the criss-cross straps from view B. Zippers, buttons, lining, and contrast fabric are all from the stash.

The top was really easy to put together but I found it to be very slouchy and unsupportive after the first wear.  Unpicking the bottom band and adding heavy weight interfacing inside the band and inserting stiff swim bra cups helped considerably.  It's much more perky now.  With these corrections I could almost wear it without the straps despite my C+ cup size.

We took these photos while on holiday in South Carolina. Look at all that sunshine!

I can barely keep my eyes open!

What a wonderful thing to be WARM in the summertime!  It's pure bliss.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Well hey!

So last summer I made a bunch of stuff and then never posted it.  
The fact that the light in my house is awful and I'm too shy to take photos outside where people can see me pretty much put a stop to my blogging.

Making without showing is starting to feel kind of pointless so here goes...

Last summer I made a pair of trousers using this pattern and some vintage Pucci print denim.

I attempted the version with the petal cuffs but failed miserably.  

I shortened the legs properly this time (instead of just hacking them off at the right length) but I didn't take into account the width of my calves.  When they were finished I couldn't get my legs in.  Sigh.  
So I hacked them off just below the knee.

Trousers of this type always seem to have too much room in the thigh and a little bit of sag in the butt.  I think my failed alterations made these a bit worse than usual.

I'm trying different things to to make myself happier about blog photos.
I got photography lights for christmas last year and have recently invested in a remote and tripod attachment for my phone and iPad.

The extra lights don't make any difference.  It's still weirdly light but shadowy in here. 
The remote and the iPad are a easy-to-use combo but I haven't figured out how to hide the remote. 

I was hoping the snaps would be better.  The iPad photos are just as blurry as the ones taken with my with my camera.  I'm beginning to think that I am simply a blurry person. 

It definitely has something to do with light and distance.  
I'm a lot less blurry if I'm close to the iPad and the natural light source.

I have a ton more stuff to post.  Hopefully soon.