Friday, March 27, 2009

Action girl. In purple.

I used this glorious pattern...

…in a sumptuous purple ultrasuede.

For the most part, construction was exactly the same as the green one except no back darts and a different sort of collar. I added dart thingies in the front for a better fit and I used another child’s bracelet for the belt buckle. I made the belt a little narrower this time. Otherwise, it’s the samey-same.

The suede I used is a one way stretch. Stretchy fabric is usually beyond my abilities but because this was one-way, I only had problems when I sewed against the stretch. Once I stopped pulling on the fabric as it went through the machine, (duh!) it worked out much better.

The fabric did NOT want to be ironed. I discovered this too late, so there are a few iron marks where the suede melted a little. Along the outer seam there are several places with the perfect outline of an iron. I gave the melty spots a good brushing with a suede brush, and they've faded a bit, but I can’t seem to get them out. I plan to pretend they aren’t there. Sigh.

I could NOT get the sleeves sewn in properly. No matter how gently I attempted to ease them in, I ended up with enormous puffy shoulders. I looked like a member of Labelle, which is not necessarily a bad thing because those ladies are awesome, but it was not at all what I was going for. I'd show you a picture of the crazy giant puff but my camera ate it. Sigh.

Anyway, I had this crazy idea that if I trimmed off some of the round bit of the sleeve at the shoulder that the puff would go away. Like, maybe there was just too much fabric? This was a terrible idea. I tried it with one sleeve and it made it impossible to fit the curve to the armsyce. Agh!

I didn’t have enough fabric left to re-cut the sleeve I ruined, so I had to abandon the sleeves altogether. I cut out new sleeve facings from a sleeveless dress pattern and stitched those on instead. They kept flipping out, as usual, so I had to topstitch them down. They still wouldn’t stay in so I carefully stitched them down along the shoulder, dart and inner seam.

I’m kind of bummed that I couldn’t make the long sleeve work, but I think I actually like the suit better sleeveless.

Here it is, almost finished.

I thought it WAS finished but after I saw it in photos I realized that the legs were not hanging straight down. Instead, they were hanging up on my boots and doing some kind of floopidy-floppedy thing that reminded me of MC Hammer. Not good. So… I narrowed the legs and added stirrups on the bottom to keep the pant legs from jumping up over the boots.

I think its better. But I’m not sure. Here ‘tis.

I am action girl. In purple. ...and they might be even MORE MC Hammer-y than before. Also, I think I might be too short and wide to pull this off. I’ll wear it anyway, though. At least once.

…and, to keep things on a positive tip, here are some more Labelle links from youtube, just because they rule. Pipes AND costumes, people!

Lady Marmelade/Get You Somebody New

Black Holes in the Sky/Good Intentions

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I won an award!

Lookie! I won an award! I got it from the totally awesome Miss Elaina over at Sew Ducky. She inspires me with her attitude and she's one heck of a sewist. Plus she uses a treadle machine which makes her just about the coolest ever.

I nominate:

Demode Her costumes are just incredible!
Moxie Tonic Her Charlotte Charles inspired creations always impress.
RiAnge Creations Her stuff is gorgeous!
Kukaru She makes paper art with a mod/scooter vibe.
Plain Jane Victorian She's one heck of a sewist, but her blog focuses on remodling her Victorian home. She's amazing and can do almost anything. She carved her own porch railings which you can see here.
Smitten Kitchen Food porn at its best. I mean, seriously. Yum.
Jess Hutch Her fabric toys are super-cute and whip-smart.
Miss Celie Because, let's face it, she's good at EVERYTHING!

That's eight nominations...I know we're supposed to nominate 10 but it's really hard to single out anyone. I positively lurve every one of the blogs listed in the blogrolls over to the right there ----->

You are all superstars! Thank you for inspiring me on good days and keeping my head out of the oven on bad ones!

Here are the rules:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post

2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!

3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.

4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received your award

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Funky Disco Angel

I decided to make this pattern in white. I was hoping that it would come out all “Rich Hippie at Cannes.” It didn’t occur to me that I’d look more like a freaky choir girl/funky disco angel. I also conveniently forgot that white is NOT slimming. I didn’t think about the fact that white really needs a lining either.

Issues, man.

I laid it out to cut and thought, “Wow. That fabric’s kind of thin.” Then I convinced myself that I wear t-shirts all the time that are that thin and that with flesh colored spanx or a nude bodysuit underneath it would be fine. I am way too lazy to figure out how to line a jumpsuit.

The sleeves were baffling. It took me a really long time to figure out the instructions. I don’t do well with written instructions anyway, but the pictures didn’t help that much. I knew I was missing some important point. But what?

Turns out, I was looking at the instructions for both Version A and Version B. THAT’S what. Once I realized that, it was easy. I can add raglan sleeves to my list of “sewing techniques I have successfully attempted.”

The collar stumped me because I knew I didn’t want the zipper to go all the way up to the top and I wanted the collar itself to be a little shorter. My neck looks better in a mock-neck than a turtle. I stitched the zipper so that it stopped right at the neckline and I used the collar technique from Simplicity 3399.

It was a disaster. The pattern piece says to stretch the edge when you sew it in, but I ignored this because I used a non-stretchy iron on facing. The piece wasn’t quite long enough without stretching and just would not fit. I thought I could make it work but, no. By the time I realized it was a lost cause, I’d already trimmed the inner seam allowance. The only thing I could do at this point was fold the collar in and make it the neck facing.

Funny thing, I really love the way it came out. It’s a space-age bateau-neck and I think it’s great!

The fabric is just as thin as I was afraid it was going to be. Thankfully, spanx/matching underwear combo really does keep it from being completely see-through. I'll have to trim the seam allowances so that the thin-ness is a little less obvious. I have big white stripes down my back and sides where the fabric overlaps.

Here's the completed suit.

I guess, with these curves, I’ll never look like a rich hippie at Cannes…I’m definitely more of a funky disco angel. But I think its okay. This suit really makes a statement. It says, “HEY! I’m WEARING a WHITE JUMPSUIT!” I’m okay with that.