Sunday, July 28, 2013

Butterick 5748 - Revisited

This dress may be a keeper now. I say *may* because some stress eating coupled with much less movement due to the ongoing sciatica pain has added a few pounds and the dress is now more form-fitting on my butt than I like. ;-) But the sciatica is gradually improving and I'm hopeful less stress is around the corner.

I removed the gathers in the skirt (which is another reason it is now more snug on my rear) and used that fabric to add a 2-1/2" band at the hem. I interfaced the strip with a fusible and left it raw-edged. The interfacing adds body so the unfinished edge won't curl  and also weight to get every possible bit of length from the skirt. It now hits right at my knee, which is my preferred skirt/dress length.

This is the bodice underlayer. You can see that the facing is turned to the outside to create a blended modesty panel, although you could also change things up a bit by using a contrast. The last thing for me to finish this dress today was to sew the darts I had pinned out a few weeks ago. Without them, the underlayer neckline flops and gapes badly. Something to be aware of should you make this dress as I've read a couple of reviews that also mention the problem.

If the Spanx is magic tomorrow, I may go ahead and wear this. Otherwise, it will remain in a holding pattern until I drop 5.


First, thank you everyone for your support on my vent post. I've now removed that post, its comments, and any other comments in the previous post directed at one commenter. I didn't mean for my vent to be an attack on anyone in particular, which is why I didn't single out someone and direct my words toward them. I apologize to that person who ended up being a target. Some comments on my vent post reminded us all that what can come across as scolding or negative probably started out as good intentions. I agree. I still don't like undeserved scolding, but I do recognize the intention. Always have.

But I will say again, keep in mind this is my blog. I'm not stupid, and I've been public on the internet for close to 20 years. In other words, I know what I'm doing as it relates to ME. You don't have to like it or agree with me. And most importantly, IN THIS SPACE, vice versa. :-)

Carry on.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Drive by

I had the interview today that I mentioned last week. It went very well. There are pluses and minuses for me. More pluses, though. And they want me back for a second interview on Thursday.

Thank you sincerely for your good wishes and prayers. They've definitely been helping.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I promised a pic

I said I'd take a pic the next time I wore this outfit and here it is. It's after work, which has been busy all week and it rained on me as I was leaving so I'm looking a little wilted. But you get the idea.

I'm also overdue for a haircut, which I'll be taking care of this weekend. Because I have an interview for a real job on Monday or Tuesday (still working out those details). There may also be a possibility to stay where I'm currently temping but I don't know for sure. We're not yet at the point to talk about it, but I hear things. ;-) Right now, I'm just not picky. I need a  permanent job. I need my old income. I'll take just about anything that gives me that. Being a legal assistant again after 25 years probably isn't my dream job, but I'm good at it. And there's a lot to be said for the lack of stress, even in this very busy litigation firm, compared to my last job. I loved that job, yes, but I've come to realize it came with a lot of manufactured stress over which I had no control. I work well under stress/drama but if I don't have to, then why not. I'm not 24 anymore and I never have liked female drama.

On a side note, there's a woman where I'm currently working who sews almost all her own clothes. That gives us something to talk about and she asks me almost every day if I've made what I'm wearing. LOL. I think I could teach her a lot about internet fabric shopping, since she talks about Joann's all the time. Poor woman. And maybe one day soon I'll be able to fabric shop again.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Question for the day

Why is it that the no-thought projects become favs?

Sorry no pics of the remake outfit on me after wearing it today. I came home and quickly changed into my dog-walking clothes to hit the sidewalk with the pooches before the evening t-storms.

So, back to the topic ... I think the skirt and top took me 3 hours tops to make. Granted, I didn't have to do much for the skirt but even if from scratch that would've added maybe another hour. And after wearing them today, I know I'll be arguing with myself NOT to wear this combo every week. It's comfortable. It's pretty. It's flattering. I want to dig it out of the laundry basket and wear it again tomorrow. And I might even be tempted if a bright purple and yellow outfit wasn't just a little bit memorable. ;-)

A 3-hour outfit, comprised of pretty much scraps and basics. I think there's a lesson here.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Remake Sunday = New Outfit Monday

This dress/fabric sat on the sewing room floor in a wadder pile for about a year (click here to see the too-tight dress again, and scroll down), and today it became a simple pull-on skirt with back darts to reduce waist bulk. Since it was pretty much already a skirt, all I had to do with the dress was cut it off above the waist, unstitch the unserged sideseams about 4 inches to remove the overbodice, then add the back darts, serge the sideseams, add a serge-n-turn coverstitched elastic waist, and hem it. Changing threads in the machines took longer than anything. ;-)

And since the skirt only took about a minute to make, I next made Jalie 2806 from a stashed purple poly knit to go with it. The purple in the skirt actually matches exactly but the camera is playing tricks. (If you look closely, you can see the scraps from yesterday's dress on the floor under Zillie.)

I was glad to save the print and also to find a matching knit in the stash. I still have more of the solid and might make a short-sleeve cardi for a twinset.

I have a couple more dresses still waiting to become re-make skirts. Maybe the mojo will stick around long enough to see them come to life.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Butterick 5749 - Percolating

I'm just about done with the dress, but as I suspected, it's too short. At least for office wear. I only have scraps of the fabric left which means I'll either have to keep the bottom raw-edged or piece some sort of hem facing. The style is too busy to add a solid hem band. So that, and a couple other things that bug me, are why it's going to be percolating for a bit. But that's what happens when you use the good stuff for a first-go. Sometimes the gamble doesn't pay off. Still, it will make a good weekend dress when it's finished.

I was so short on fabric that I had to piece the "facing" of the underlayer of the bodice (it's a facing, but turned outward so the fashion fabric shows). This is OK in a print since it doesn't look unplanned if you spot the seam. I also raised the scoop of the underlayer two inches. Good thing, or else it would serve no modesty purpose at all.

The underlayer unit itself wants to flop at the neckline so I'll need to add a dart on each side under the cowl to contain it. Again, it's OK because it won't show. But it really shouldn't be happening.

As I also suspected, cutting the pattern pieces with the stretch instead of on the bias is fine. In fact, it's better than fine. It eliminates the need for a side zipper as there's plenty of stretch to pull this on over my head, over the girls, and over the hips. This is a much better solution anyway since there are far too many layers and gathers where an invisible zip is supposed to be inserted and I can only imagine the swearing that would've ensued if I had to put one there and then try to actually zip it.

Overall, I like the style and fit of the dress but the layout and instructions are pretty much horrible. The pattern pieces fit together well enough but it's obvious now that this was not truly drafted for knits with that bias layout and bulky sideseam zipper. The construction for the lined bodice is stupid and you end up with seam allowances showing inside at the shoulders and a need to tack in some areas at the neckline, which should not be happening with a regular lining construction method. I wasn't really up for completely re-thinking construction without having made it at least once but now that I have, I know I'd do the lining as one usually would (by sewing both outer and inner separately and then joining them together) instead of the hodgepodge going on here. It's hard to really explain without showing in person just how stupid it is per the pattern, so just trust me on that. At least the stupid is on the wrong side and won't show to the world.

To make things even more interesting, the instructions and illustrations do not match each other and I gave up trying to figure it out after the first few steps for the bodice/lining because, really, there's just no figuring out something that is plain wrong. So, after deciding the zipper was not a part of this equation, I sewed both bodice/lining sideseams closed instead of leaving one side open for the zipper. I then sewed the waist unit pieces (which were first gathered onto lining pieces) into a circle and attached "in the round" to the bodice, and then did the same for the skirt section. Much easier and NO HAND SEWING NECESSARY. I repeat, NO HAND SEWING NECESSARY. I haven't overlocked those joining seams yet because I'm contemplating de-taching the skirt, removing the gathers in it and using the extra fabric for a hem facing. I don't really need gathers on my hips anyway. We'll see if I stay motivated to do that.

I may try it again, now that I know what to change since I like the finished dress and would probably LOVE it if it were longer but I can't recommend this pattern if you're sqeamish about construction by the seat of your pants. ;-)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Some sewing

I started this dress (HP 1138 Metropolitan Verano) before that day which shall not be named and finally got around to finishing it up two weekends ago. I wore it to where I'm working temporarily and received compliments, which was nice. (It *is* a nice group of people in this office, and I have no complaints about personnel.)

It's an easy-to-sew dress but before I'd make it again, it needs some tweaks. Specifically, around the neckline and facings. HP necklines and facings are always hit or miss with me, and usually miss. I blame it on the drafting software they use since the home sewer version (PMB) always gave me the same problems without manual finessing. I used a lazy fix here and just took two darts in the back. Even if you could see them through the print, no one else would ever know they are a kludge fix and not a feature so I'm not going to worry about it. The front facing wants to roll outward on the hanger but seems to be OK when I'm actually wearing the dress but I did force it by stitching it down in the ditch of the CF seam.

It is a super-comfy dress to wear, and I'm sure it will get a lot of rotation during the summer months. In fact, I'll probably wear it tomorrow with flats for "casual Friday." I still don't like doing jeans in an office, especially in Florida summer so it's dresses and skirts for me.

I'm off today and not liking it because as a temp, it's not a paid holiday but instead of vegging all day, I started Butterick 5749.

I'm using this ITY knit, purchased from Gorgeous Fabrics while I still had money for fabric shopping.

I hope it works out because I love the print, but I didn't do any muslin-ing so it will be a crap shoot. I did add two inches to the skirt length after reading reviews but I'm worried it may still be too short. I also didn't follow the cutting layout and instead cut the pattern pieces as they would fit so I would  have enough fabric for them. I may be proved wrong when it's sewn up, but I couldn't see much point in cutting knit pieces on the bias even with more fabric, especially when those pieces seemed to need to be cut with stretch. Cutting this pattern was a pain, I won't lie. Single layer and pieces that were wider than my cutting table. But I pressed on and it's all cut out now and actually started some stitching. I'm not sure how much more will be done tonight since dinner is almost ready (Go Alex for grilling for all of us!), the dogs still need their walk before fireworks take over, and I've been hitting the bed earlier than my usual night owl self. I blame my increased need for sleep on a combination of depressed mood and a wicked sciatic nerve that's been KILLING me for a couple of weeks now and a diet of Advil makes me drowsy early.

Please no preaching about my depression comment. I appreciate concern, but it's perfectly normal to feel depressed in my current situation. It's not ruling my life and I know things could always be worse, but until things are better, I'm just not going to feel as happy as I usually do. Life has ups and downs. I'm in a down. I'm dealing with it. I have no choice. ;-)

Happy Fourth!