Thursday, July 31, 2014

It's Crappy Photo Time

(Sung to Howdy Doody tune ... and even I'm not THAT old!)

It was too dark in the house to take pics but I did it anyway and the result is less than stellar. But I promised pics of this dress and since I actually wore it to work today, here's my promise fulfilled. On top of bad light, etc., the print/pattern is really wreaking havoc with the autofocus, like wearing stripes on TV. All in all, a less than great photographic result (see blog title above), but better than nothing I suppose.

I do like the dress shape (except for Bustle Butt) and will consider this my wearable (cough:cough) muslin. I can see me making this again at some point, but maybe without all the mistakes? ;-) Not sure why there's a white stripe across my butt, maybe a flash phantom? And I thought Bustle Butt was bad enough!

To cover the Bustle Butt, I threw on the coral cardi. I think I'm channeling Halloween now. Even though the fabric was a bee-yotch to cut and sew, it's very comfortable to wear. I like the dress as long as I'm not looking at my rear end in a mirror. And, considering I'm usually sitting at a desk, everyone else is mostly spared that sight too.

I haven't gotten back to my Broke Myrtle yet (I probably shouldn't call it that and apologize to Colette), but the weekend is coming and since Alex is away, I don't have any responsibilities except to sew. And walk dogs. :-)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Broke Woman's Myrtle - In Progress

I don't have $14-18 to shell out for patterns at the moment but I was kind of interested in Colette Patterns' newest, Myrtle. So I had a look through the sale pattern catalogs at Hancock's last weekend, thinking I could find something close, since Myrtle is a pretty basic style.

And, voila! Plus sleeves (which, unfortunately, are missing from the Colette version).

Pretty close match, eh? Just goes to show there's really nothing new under the sun.

This one's not done yet. I still have to hem the sleeves and since it's a crappy thin rayon knit, I need to let it sit/stretch on Zillie for a couple of days before I hem the bottom.

Hopefully, I'll get back to the dress mid-week and have some pics before next weekend, both of the dress on me and how I used my Otto TNT tee to make sure the KS would fit.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

I Made the Dress, But I Didn't Make It Work

The dress is done, so there's that. But bad fabric cutting and extra fullness (mine and the dress') killed it. I will show it on me at some point but Sundays here are not the days I want to model for the camera. Trust me, you don't want that either.

So, before I come clean with the ugliness, let's explore some other points.

The morph of the two patterns (S2281 and S4122) worked out well and I may even revisit it in the future. After the pain has left my memory. The part I don't like isn't from the morph, but from S2281 alone, but more on that in a bit. I like the open, wide-yoked neckline much better than the original S2281 design. High necklines and me don't get along. I didn't want to lose the pleated raglan sleeves from S2281 but I also wasn't willing to put even more time into re/creating them for this morph. Maybe another time.

This is the inside view. I ditched the waistband "facing" cuz ... well ... fiddly poly fabric and unmotivation (Now a word. You're welcome.). I did interface it and with that, it's more than stable enough. The yoke is faced, and interfaced.

I edgestitched the yoke ...

... and the waistband, and all my seams lined up great so yay for an accurate morph.

Here's where it starts to get ugly ...

Good lord ... was I drunk when cutting that fabric? Let this illustrate how cutting single layer can be a project saver. And, more importantly, how not can be a project killer.

I admit I'm usually an eyeballer ... that is, I lay out my pattern pieces and align by eye and not by ruler. This is NOT because I don't know the importance of accurate grain. It's because I have excellent spatial skills. Not a brag ... it just is. (On the other hand, I can't carry a tune in a bucket.) And because of those spatial skills, most of the time I'm spot on. Except when I'm not. As you can see below. To be fair, this looks a lot worse in a still photo with the waistband hung up on some dressform phantom than it does in real life. But even then, she ain't purty. And I have no excuse except that I'm human and not everything that comes out of my sewing room is rainbows and unicorns. ;-)

And to add insult to crooked injury ... look at that first photo again (below for convenience) ... I inadvertently lined up the bodice and waistband pieces so perfectly that YOU CAN'T EVEN SEE THE WAISTBAND. Hahahaha ... if you can't laugh, you'll scream. :-)

But even if I had perfectly cut fabric, I'd still hate the result. Because of the bustle butt. Yes, Bustle Butt. I'm trademarking that one. Why did I think I'd want (or need) gathers across my backside? Again I ask, was I drunk? If my front was as flat as Zillie's, it might even be passable. But my tummy is anything but flat and my actual side view in this dress is ...well ... let's just politely say thick and leave it at that.

About the only good thing with the result is ... remember that side invisible zipper I was dreading? Well, it turned out perfectly ...

... because I didn't need it! I sewed one sideseam for real and basted the other to see if I really needed a zip. And I didn't. Whew. Dodged that bullet.

IF I wear this dress for real, it will be with an overlayer to cover the Bustle Butt (tm). And that atrocious fabric cutting.

At least this Doomed Project From Hell is done and I can move on to something, ANYTHING, else. :-)

Have a great week!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Trying to turn "What Was I Thinking" into a "Make It Work" moment

So, I recently went to Joann's to pick up some thread with a 50% off thread coupon. Or so I thought.

Joann's is NOT a short trip for me anymore, having moved out of the 'burbs and into Tampa proper. Upon my arrival, I headed straight to the thread racks with my empty spools in tow so I could replace by color code. I just toss my empties into a Ziplock so I don't have to keep track of make a list.

After about 15 minutes, when I was done choosing my threads (about 12 spools), I wandered over to the pattern area and was happy to see a big "$2.99" sale sticker on the Simplicity drawers. I proceeded to spend another 30-40 minutes browsing the catalog and drawers and narrowing my choices down to just two Simplicity patterns. I'm broke these days so even this felt like a splurge. Giving myself a $30 limit in the store to include my pattern and thread and whatever else, I next browsed the fabrics and found some for the dress pattern I had in hand. Plus two others from clearance. I figured I needed a pick-me-up new dress and I had a long weekend for adjustments and sewing.

Can you guess where this is going?

I waited in the crowded checkout line and, finally, it was my turn. I dutifully handed over my thread coupon and my fabric coupon. And then had a mild heart attack when the total was well over $70. Apparently, my thread coupon started the NEXT day ... AND ... Simplicity patterns weren't on sale. It was a stupid (small print) New Look sale sticker on the Simplicity drawers. But by now, I really wanted to make the new dress since I had already invested time and mental sewing. So, I handed back most of thread ... some I couldn't do without, sale or no ... and one of the Simplicity patterns, and used my 40% coupon for the other, 2281. I've never paid so much for a Simplicity pattern in my life ($10-ish!!). And I still busted my budget.

Can you guess where this is going?

I've decided I really don't even like the pattern for me. I was set to make the view shown in red and with the waistband contrast. I was so intent on fabric selection and since in my mind the pattern would only be $2.99 "wasted," I totally missed how high the neckline is. Ugh.

But since I had already bought the damn thing at the high price -- and the fabric -- I decided I could make my adjustments and then just wing it for cutting down the neckline. Which I started to do ... even taking pics along the way to detail my adjustments here on the blog (see below). Except I still wasn't feeling it.

And so it sat for most of last weekend. Until I was sitting on my bed and noticed the shirt I had recently worn still hanging on my "closet annex"...

Simplicity 4122. A past TNT that I've made many times, after adjusting the yoke to be more scooped.

So, the rest of my "sewing" time last weekend was spent thinking about and then actually morphing a tracing of parts of S4122 into S2281. And here's where I am so far today.

We'll see. Part of me just wants to dump the project and move on to a quick palate cleanser, especially since I'm decidedly NOT looking forward to a side insertion invisible zipper.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Re-Make Modeled

Above is how I wore the outfit to the office this week. It's way too cold in A/C to go without a second layer. Plus, farmer's tan. ;-)

Here's the before (right) and after (left). It's not hugely dramatic but there's enough difference to see less sack and more shape.

I left the pleats at the center front of the skirt but it's hard to see them in the pic. Whatevs. They're there. And my tummy thanks me for that.

This shows the back, with the new empire seam, already serged, and the new sideseam sewn pre-serging.Yes, I was lazy and sewed it all the way down through the finished hem. And, of course, this would be the week that Carolyn posts about slow sewing and nice interiors. Hah. This ain't no couture dress. Never was. Never will be. But it's being worn, and no one but us is going to see the inside anyway, so I count that as a win.

There will be slower sewing this weekend because I think I'm going to be fitting a new dress pattern, for a woven. Good thing I have 3 days to procrastinate and over-analyze.

Happy Fourth!