Sunday, February 27, 2011

Alice Coat Pt.III

Finally worked on this project a bit more... Realized there is a ton of hand sewing that needs to be done, so I decided to get it to that point and leave it for my commute by bus and work on other projects. Plus, I only bought two of the large buttons I liked, and after making the tab for the back, decided it requires equally large buttons... so hopefully I can find more of the same ones next time I go to Jo-Ann's. I found the manufacturers website, but you can only place large orders through them (so I may have to use something else entirely...which makes me a bit sad because they are pretty cool).
Unfinished binding/trim. Also lining needs to be tacked to coat, cuffs finished, tab and buttons sewn on, buttonholes. Question is whether to machine stitch buttonholes or hand-bind them to match.

Lavender Wool Dress & Spring Green Leggings

So I can look like I'm celebrating Spring without freezing to death (since we just got another foot of snow)... (Simplicity Amazing Fit 2404 in fully interfaced coat weight Lavender Wool )

I used a double-knit jersey for the leggings (McCall's 6173), but they were baggy in the knee peeve for leggings. The best thing would probably just to use a full spandex and make them at least a half-size smaller. Instead, I adjusted them several times. After the first time, the baggy-ness in the knees was greatly reduced, but there were bubbles/puckering. So I made a second adjustment and said that's all the time I'm wasting on these! They're not so bad and they serve their function.

The top is from a New Look or So Easy pattern... can't remember which at the moment. Just a basic t-shirt. Only it has a center back seam which at first seemed really strange. However, it gives it a bit more shape to the fit, so that's good, I guess.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Baby Clothes

These were my gift for my cousin's baby shower. Simplicity 2905. Onesies in cotton jersey and rompers in corduroy. I always heard that jerseys were difficult to work with and have sort of avoided them, but these were spectacularly easy, and the stretch of the fabric makes easing seams, specifically sleeve/arm seams a breeze.

Friday, February 18, 2011


So probably not meeting my goals for the month. But in my defense I will be away from my sewing machine and all of my supplies for the weekend... I get credit for at least starting my second wool dress, right?    I also washed the fabrics for my leggings (finally received earlier in the week)

Lavender Wool Dress...mostly cut out...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bohemian (?) Skirt

I saw this fabric  ('silk velvet burnout') online and had to have it, even thought I hadn't the faintest notion of what to do with it...and it's languished for well over half a year in my stash until yesterday when I decided to play with 'shirring' (method with elastic bobbin thread), something I've never tried before. It was quite easy, with a very fun result.

I'm never quite clear on the precise characteristics that define a bohemian piece (besides the standard gypsy skirts and peasant blouses or 'thrift store' look), but that's what popped into my mind whilst making this skirt.

I believe I shall make a burlesque, corset-like top to compliment this skirt (possibly decorating the upper edge with the downy raven feathers I collected so long ago. I haven't decided upon the exact cut/design (specifically, neckline) of the piece).

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mrs. Fitzsimmon's Waistcinch

A simpler (?) version of '' 'Mrs. Fitzsimmon's Supportive for the New Woman'  Not sure it was really any less work in the long run... Just required a smidge less fabric. Was a bit easier with my hardcore grommet tool, though (the grommets it came with are rather poor quality and take a little more work than they should-don't 'self-pierce' correctly. I have taken to using my tailor's awl before setting them anyway).

The pictures aren't the best. Was already losing light at 4 in the afternoon. Got to love winter in the North.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Plaid Wool Dress

This wool was good for 'jackets, coats, ponchos...' but I said, that's what I want for a dress. A nice, warm dress (fully lined/interfaced with tricot). I used SIMPLICITY  2648-an amazing fit pattern. The fit wasn't so amazing, partially because I sacrificed actual fit for baggy comfort and to fit umpteen bazillion layers underneath for the whole walking over a mile to the bus stop each way (and waiting in the open for the bus several times a day up to half an hour). I have to say, I never realized dresses weren't fitting me correctly in the bust. I now know that dressed should lie smooth and flat over the bust, instead of squishing everything up, wrinkling and puckering, etc. (Believe it or not, this is a 'D cup variation'- just works that well!)

My mild OCD gave me a hell of a time cutting this out, but I think it paid off. The skirt front is actually  three pieces, the bodice a centerfront and side front pieces. The back aligns pretty well, too (sorry no pic) Pattern calls for 1 3/4 yd of 60". I got 2 1/2 and used nearly all of it. There was probably about 3/8yd left (not cut into at all). I think the large width/repeat of the print took up more (fussy cutting the pieces) than it would for a tighter plaid.

Being basically a sold colour fabric (but with a cool texture), my other wool dress should be a piece of cake compared to this, right?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

To Topstitch Or Not To Topstitch...

That is the question that plagues me about my Alice Coat.

With most materials, in a coat, I think I would lean towards topstitching along seams -holds them down, extra strength, looks nice... But I'm not certain if that's appropriate with a velvet/the look I'm emulating.

Guess I may have to set this project aside until I ruminate upon it some...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Overall Status Update

Several projects have cropped up, as well as numerous fancies of imagination. Hence, at this time, I think a brief reassessment of current goals needs to be done.

Goals for February
  • gift for baby shower (specifics to be revealed afterward-just in cases, not that I have that many followers of this blog)
  • Alice Coat (not so pressing, but since I have acquired fabric-and it thankfully matches...)
  • Wool dresses (so very cold waiting for buses this time of year, and yet so very sick of wearing jeans with thermals every single day!!)
  • Leggings? Wool dresses on their own will not keep me warm. And unfortunately, I only have brown leggings in full length (stupid cropped legging fad). Thus, I'm already preemptively desiring to make leggings (plus I have a pattern and serger... just begs to be experimented with!)
Don't want to overdo it/pressure myself with being sick (stupid debilitating cold/flu thing), so I think I'll leave it at that. I may also work on my Victorian underpinnings/corset since I have all the materials now on hand...

Further Ideas/Goals: (to be completed in Spring?)
  • Trench/Raincoat?
  • Decorate rainboots & umbrella (gear my poor umbrella I lost)
  • Tinkerer's Frock Coat v.2
  • Stripey Waistcoat
  • Wedding present
  • 50s Cherry Dress & matching handbag
  • Rockabilly Dress (about two rows of stitching from being completed)
  • Rockabilly Jacket (was to match dress...)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Dino PJs for Roommate (almost finished!)

The top just needs hemming. Maybe I will convince her to model them when it's done. (Top is from Simplicity 4048 -first time using this pattern, but seems decent enough if interested, not too complicated, goes together quick)
Bloomers were from a pattern my friend (thanks Rebecca!) introduced me to. 'MADELEINE MINI-BLOOMERS' by Colette Patterns... not sure where (on the internet) she found them...

(Have been sad when I cannot concentrate enough to sew. I think it's time for Angels in the Outfield -my 'I'm not feeling well' movie- and a nap.)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Medieval/Renfaire Wench Costume (with Robin Hood hat)

More Resin Jewelry... (probably the last for a long while for me)

The point of playing with resin jewelry was to make these presents for my friend (only about a month late)... I forgot to take the photos, so they are courtesy of her. (thanks!) This was the second attempt. The first I tried to do in two batches of resin, and added the gears at the wrong juncture, so they settled out not where I placed them. I smartened up the second time around, and it took several batches. Although I still failed with the bubbles forming when I added the images/clippings. Oddly, the thinnner, postage stamps I used turned out great. I read somewhere that they require modge-podging so the colours won't run (which makes sense with ink-jet printed images), but stamps al fresco were brilliant. The glossy, thicker paper I used for the Tesla portraits wasn't as pliable, which I think was the cause of the bubbles when it tried to shift/pop out of the resin mold. Well, enough excuses. This, I think is just not one of my talents.

Nikola Tesla (heehee, the position of the image made is ear all warped and big)

Sanctuary's Nikola Tesla