Saturday, April 25, 2015

Sometimes you just have to say, WTF! - (this is G-rated, I promise)

Last Wednesday after work and before dance class, I was supposed to be resting since my flight home from my business trip the night before got in so late.  I wasn't supposed to be starting a new sewing project.  But, sometimes you just have to say, WTF.

Last week, if I was supposed to be working on any sewing projects, I should have been finishing some winter-themed projects in the hopes that I could wear them a couple of times before it gets blazing hot here in NYC.  But, sometimes you just have to say, WTF.

In my stash, I had a nice home dec, black and white polka dot fabric that I purchased from Ikea a couple of years ago.  Originally it was supposed to be a dress, then I changed my mind and thought it should be a spring coat.  Then I flopped back to thinking it should be a dress again.  But, sometimes you just have to say, WTF.

Sometimes you just have to go with you sewing mood, even if it means forgoing sleep, and changing you mind about what a cut of fabric was originally intended to be.  In short, you just have to say, WTF.

Last week, I did it.  I just said, WTF: What the Falda!  And here is my new falda:

I used Butterick 6102, a "fast and easy" pattern; and it was just that.  This came together in about one night, after cutting.  Also, I cut my usual size 12, and it fit perfectly.

I didn't worry about matching, but it just worked! I also didn't press my pleats all the way down.  I wanted the skirt to have a more of a full look.

If you're making view A or B, one note about construction, it's important to mark and pin the pleats.  Because the pleats will be sewn (they are not tucks) there is a little bit of precision required here.  It's simple; but I found that with a little bit of marking, I didn't make a mistake up-front and have to rip out later.

Markings on the right side

Markings on the wrong side
I just pinned the stitch line, but you could also draw in the stitch line before pinning and finally sewing.
When I was looking in my closet to find something to wear with this new falda, I came across so many options!  This skirt is like a neutral and can be worn so many ways.  Even though there are more, here are 5:

I love my new falda!  Now it's on to finishing some wintery projects so I can begin some spring/summer sewing.

Hasta Pronto!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Winter Dressing in Spring


Today the spring weather was wintry - low 40's to be exact.  On such a chilly day, I chose to wear my rendition of Vogue 8825, version A, the tunic version.

I'm not sure what this fabric is as it has been sitting in my stash for years.  It's a slubby, textured stretch fabric; and judging by the way it itches, I think it's wool or at least partly wool.  I'm sorry that I did not see the advice of the chicas who have sewn this before me until after the fact, because I have very similar critiques in my version.  Firstly, the sleeves are way too long/too blousy at the ends.  You can see in the picture how they billow out just above the cuffs.  There's supposed to be some extra fabric here, but on my frame, it just looks like the sleeves are way too long.  To remedy it on this version, I could simply remove the cuffs and replace them higher up on the sleeve.  However, I'm not sure if I'm really going to keep this, so I may not even bother.

Because I hate it when sashes shift around, I created some belt loops and inserted these at the waist.  Now the sash stays put when I sit, walk or move around.

I think you can really see how ill fitting the sleeves look from the back.

What doesn't stay put is the top.  It's hard to see in the photos, but this is a surplice neckline.  In the pictures you can't see my light grey silk thermal top underneath (yes, it was cold enough, but I also needed something between my skin and the itchy fabric).  However, after usual daily activities like riding on the subway, climbing stairs and walking, the neckline gaped.  Luckily on this April day, I had on my overcoat, so passersby didn't see my flannels.  If I were to make this again, I'd have to make some kind of adjustment in the bodice to prevent this.  I do hate pinning these things closed.  The pin always seems to show on the front, no matter how carefully I pin.  Then, I forget that I've pinned it and end up ripping the garment when I pull it over my head to take it off.

Do you have any ideas about how to alter a surplice or mock wrap top pattern to prevent gapage?

Hasta pronto!
I went to the gym one day this week and it's already going to my head.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Chick(a)


I hope you all had a lovely Easter.  I had a great time with some of my peeps (couldn't resist that one).  On Easter here in NYC, traffic is blocked off to cars on 5th Ave. in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral, and New Yorkers head out and parade their Easter/Spring finery.

My Easter concoction was one that has been germinating in my mind for some time, and I finally completed it - even if I had to stay up until the wee hours Saturday night.

Easter on 5th Ave.

The pattern for the dress is from Patrones "Fiesta," No. 297.  Patrones is a Spanish sewing pattern magazine, and a very dear friend brought me an issue a few years ago.  The dress was fairly easy to sew up but was a little time consuming because of its many details like pin tucks on the bodice and skirt as well as cuffed sleeves and a collar.  The fit was pretty amazing right from the pattern.  I made a muslin when I started the project a couple of years ago, and was amazed that I didn't have any issues with the fit around the armholes.  It seems with the big four pattern companies, that area is almost always problematic for me.  The fabric is a pink rose brocade that was purchased several years ago at New York Elegant Fabrics.  If you've never been, I highly suggest it when you're in NYC.  It's very well organized, they have incredible stock, and almost each roll of fabric comes with little swatches that you can just pull off and take with you.  The staff there is also really helpful, and unlike many other places in the garment district, they know their stock.

The hat was made from Doublette crepe paper using this tutorial.  It's basically a giant flower that I pinned into my bun.

Me with the Rockettes!  I always wanted to be a Rockette.  I would even have settled just to play one on TV.

An Easter Mimosa
Close-up of the dress's bodice with my bee pin.  On the right side of the pic, you can see that I finished the inside of the collar with pink bias binding.
Close-up of the flower. The crepe paper was too fragile to pin my bee pin into, so the bee was close to my bonnet.

This was probably one of the most elaborate things I've made, but I just love it.  During construction, I was a little worried that my dress might turn out to be a bit too "little bo peep" (ay, can you imagine me herding sheep), but in the end I think it looks elegante.

Now it's on to finishing some winter sewing that has been languishing on the table before I head into spring sewing.  

Did you sew something special for Easter?  Are you still sewing winter or have you transitioned into spring?

Happy spring and hasta pronto!

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