Thursday, 11 May 2017

SEWN: THE PRETENDER

No more easily accessible photographer (hubby) means it's back to the trees with me.


Is the enthusiasm palpable?


But don't let that face fool you about how excited I am by this dress/tunic thing!

Is it a tunic? Perfect to wear with my ever-present skinnies?


Is it a dress? A look I'm much less likely to wear often, but I love that I have the choice.


And I do have the choice. Which is so new to me.

When I make, I make with an entire outfit in mind. Not an item of clothing. Not a question of how many ways can I wear this? Often what you see here on the blog is what you get when you see me on the street. Because I never mess with what works. Not even to experiment. Some might call me boring, I call myself happy with the norm.

But this garment is a pretender. I can channel my slightly more stylish side (perhaps undertaking a bit of pretending) and work it like a dress with tights and boots.


I can chuck it on first thing in the morning with skinnie blue jeans and metallic sneakers and work my day to day magic. Much more... me. Less pretending.


But pretending is OK. And choices are great.

And stripes! Matched beautifully at the shoulder and side seams (you'll have to believe me re the side seams). I pinned at every single stripe, I machine basted every single seam and then I overlocked. Overlocking slightly pushed the stripes out of alignment, but good lord - if you're going to look that closely at my seams we have bigger problems. I finished the hems with a twin needle.


I love that this dress/tunic is made out of a lovely soft and slinky double knit (I think it's a ponte but since knits are not my thing, I'm not sure). It's got a lovely weight and drape and its smooth finish means it skims happily over opaque tights or jeans without riding up. Win!

I sewed clear elastic in with the overlocking on the shoulder seam and reinforced the back neckline with the very last of my fusible knit stay tape.

It's holding its shape beautifully and if it launders well I may well have reached a knit happy place.

I'm loving the funnel neck which sits close to the back of my neck and drapes to more of a cowl shape at the front.


A typically amazing fit, as all Japanese patterns afford me, means that back is looking great.


This is Pattern 02: Tunic from the May Me Heart Warming Life Series. As it's untranslated you'll have to make do with the shots below.


I sewed a medium at the shoulder and bust and graded out to a large at the waist and LL (extra large?) at the hip according to my measurements.  It's a good fit, but I probably could shrink back to a large at the hip next time. I'm always paranoid about tight fitting bottoms.


If I can find some more well-behaving double knit fabric, I can see a whole lot more of these in my future. Comfy knits might just become my thing.


Sunday, 12 March 2017

SEWN: THAT'S A WRAP

Now that's a corny, very unoriginal take on a title, right?


Somedays you got it, some you don't.


Today would be a don't day.


But: Yay! I'm blogging, so all is forgiven.


I've been making a little less this summer and far more thoughtfully. I don't know what's happening to me with age, but consumerism and the whole having for having sake/making for making sake is bugging me. It doesn't sit comfortably with me. I do love to make, but not so much that I have to make incessantly to feel my creativity is sated.


I wear a uniform 4 days out of 7. How many dresses/skirts/tops/insert item here does one person need? I'd rather have a thoughtfully created wardrobe that serves me well on those days I need one.


So my output and blogging has not been as great. Or when I've sewn it has been uncharacteristically unselfishly so: lovingly created swimsuits received ecstatically by the Monkey, teacher gift Genoa Totes, a much needed winter cowl (never mind that it's the middle of summer). And on those days I chose not to create I ran.

And I feel good. I feel healthily balanced and creatively satisfied.


This is an awesome wrap skirt. A remake of what has become a TNT. The delightful vintage Simplicity 7395 first made in hot air balloon fabric (because... novelty fabric) back here.


This time I kept the length as drafted, which incidentally is well below the knee. I must have chopped a fair bit off last time. But after my recent midi dress love I felt compelled to continue the theme. I think this may be ever so slightly too long to make it truly flattering. I have a very slight heel on these sandals and with flats it's a bit meh. Time will tell.


I do love the result. The fit is still superb (with no adjustments at all). I am, however, a bit disappointed with the Ikea fabric I used. The print is stunning, but...

Unlike the fabric I used for The Shrinking Violet this one is printed on a stark white base. This means needles holes are visible and permanently so. I did need to unpick once and then had to re-sew the seam with a deeper seam allowance to avoid seeing the white dots from the unpicking. Topstitching was dicey for the same reason. Pray you don't have to unpick and redo. Oh and when that skirt wraps gets blown about you get this...


Also the surface has got some weird wear going on. On its first outing, I thought I leant on something dusty. But when I tried to sponge the "dust" off it didn't budge. It was like it created a wear spot/line immediately. I notice that the waistband is subject to the same fate where is wraps over itself. But really, it's meant as a home furnishing fabric, and at $7.99/m what can one expect?


It irks me that the fabric quality means a short-lived garment (grrrrr to throwaway fashion), but it's a lesson learned and I'll simply enjoy it while it lasts.


And it is rather lovely.


Meanwhile, I'll just be over hear holding up this pole.