30 April 2015

MMMay '15: A Guess At Success

Folks, I've participated in at least 3 (that I remember) Me-Made-Month challenges since 2011 and the last time I played was the only time I was completely successful. If you can count wearing both garments you love and garments you feel sort of meh about and garments that you downright hate a success.

I AM participating again, but this is the first year where I feel that I won't be quite so bound to wear me-mades that I don't love. My last two years of sewing have really brought me on a journey towards sewing things I love and will actually wear.

I, Lisette of WWNDW?, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '15. I endeavour to wear one me made item each day for the duration of May 2015.

Yes, you've heard me right - despite that, I'm still pledging the same pledge I've always pledged. I think this is the first year I'm being realistic about my goal, the first time I feel I'm not overestimating my hand sewn wardrobe. I know I'm a slow sewer and as long as I'm producing a high quality, well-fitted garment I've become really happy with that title. 

So I've made a cheater list of my Me-Mades with a rating based on how I felt wearing them in the past to see what I might need to consider finally donating to the Goodwill at the end of May.

Happiest Makes
1. Organic sweatshirt Lola Dress
2. 1940s linen shorts
3. 1930s tap pants
4. Leather Clutch
5. 1950s swimsuit
6. Project bag
7. 1940s plaid blouse with pearl snaps
8. "Gunne Sax" dress
9. Pink 1940s shirtdress
10. Two zip hipster bag
11. Lacy underpants
12. Madeleine bloomers
13. 1970s linen stripe pullover
14. Bird dress
15. Banadana skirt
16. Psychedelic stripe pants
17. Peasant blouses x2
18. Pillbox hat
19. Refashioned 90s dress

Meh Makes
1. Downtown tunic
2. Plaintain Tee
3. 1940s cycling blouse
4. White one-shoulder tee
5. Land Army overalls
6. 1970s dickey
7. Purple 1940s pajamas
8. 1970s camp shirts x2
9. Sorbetto
10. Teal jersey dress
11. Galaxy dress
12. Peasant blouse of muslin

Really Unloved Makes
1. Gold leggings
2. Tie-front skirt
3. Envelope pleat sheath dress
4. Psychedelic sheath dress
5. 1970s pleated skirt

Costume Pieces
1. Medieval dress
2. Regency chemise
3. 1970s does regency dress

In Purgatory (The Mending/Finishing Pile)
1. Pleather bustier
2. Pin-Up girls bra
3. Pink t-shirt
4. Navy knit dress
5. 1970s plaid skirt

At the beginning of this challenge, I'm starting with 5 dresses, 2 pairs shorts/pants, 4 shirts, 2 pairs underwear, 1 pair pajama shorts, 1 skirt, 3 bags, 1 hat and 1 swimsuit that I love. Now that isn't a bad wardrobe if I'd been better in the past about sewing for a wardrobe rather than a whim. I'm still in the process of learning to make things that make up outfits and are cohesive with things like shoes that I already own. Although the lack of pants and shorts, which in RTW I wear almost every day, would be my handicap.

For my "meh makes" I have 2 dresses, 1 pair overalls, 8 shirts and 1 dickey. I guess from that we could draw that I have a hard time making shirts that I like, and that would be true! I think the trouble is I haven't tried to sew knit tops, which is what I prefer to wear.

The really unloved makes I'm still holding on to are 2 dresses, 2 skirts and 1 pair of leggings. These are often items that had weird fits but I've loved too much to throw away. Those that are well made will probably finally be retired to a bin in my closet.

Sadly my mending/WIP pile is still a bit out of control. I usually like to focus on getting these done during MMM rather than before since the effort of doing MMM often eclipses my enthusiasm for sewing during that month.

See you all in the morning in my me-made jammies!

28 April 2015

Completed: 50s Romper For SHB SewAlong

EDIT: I ran out of time partly from just not having enough of it and partly from sustaining a hand injury in pilates class that prevented me from getting the hand sewing done in time on my actual Spring for Cotton project, so I'm counting this instead.

Heyo, I actually have something to show to y'all today! I've just squeaked this in for the Small Human Being Sew Along (see banner on right hand side). I was originally going to do View 3 with the bretelle ruffles, but the eyelet I had was much too white so I nixed it for some off-white rick rack from my Grammy's stash.

Ta-Da! So the story behind this is that last year James built a gorgeous dark brown midcentury style dresser for his friends' new baby. When I pulled out this romper pattern and then this great caning print fabric it seemed meant to be as my half of the gift for her. I like to wait until babies are at least 6 months before sewing for them because tiny baby clothes are boring.

Now to the eagle-eyed sewists out there, I challenge you to find the three things that I goofed that I find irksome...

1. One of the legs is cut with the print upside down. The gathering has disguised that a bit, thank goodness. I didn't realize there was an up and down to the print until it was too late.

2. There should be two rows of rick-rack on the waistband or the one row should be centered. Due to the highly confusing and vague instructions I ended up using my own method for constructing and applying the waistband. This meant my pre-sewn rick rack was no longer centered.

3. The buttons don't fall on the center back line. Because the instructions and pattern envelope have no guide as to what size of buttons to use or how many or even a line for placement I was at the mercy of my Reader's Digest Guide as to how to set all that up. I used some vintage buttons and did lots of careful measuring but I was doomed from the start because the yet again crummy instructions led me to attach the bloomers to the waistband so that they didn't go all the way to either of the waistband, rather there are two 1" "tabs" of waistband that overlap. This should only have happened on one side, so the back bib overlaps 1" more than it should as well...I think..my brain still hurts from trying to figure it out.

Pattern: Advance 6063 (1952)

Size: Size 1

Rating: 3/5  

Fabric, etc.: 1 yard of quilter's cotton from JoAnn's years ago. STASHBUST! Rick rack is from my Grammy's stash, vintage buttons, elastic and skirt hook are all from stash.

Cost: $0
Needle/Tension/Stitch Length: Size 12 universal/4/3

Time: About a week, mostly due to the terrible instructions!

Notes: Besides the instructions, these would have been a lot faster to make and really they're pretty cute. I think I would only attempt them again if I were making them for my own children though, and then I would definitely keep the bretelle ruffles, they remind me of Stephanie from Full House!
It also doesn't give you a measurement for how long to make the leg elastic, so I had to look up standard baby measurements for the clothing industry.

25 April 2015

30% Off Coupon Code For May!

May is just about here, which means in a month I will be visiting the West Coast for the first time (not counting a one time layover in LA) and to celebrate I am offering 30% off any purchases in my Etsy Shop through May 31st using the code CALIFORNIA.

Let me show you some of the goodies available! The second price in the description reflects the applied discount.

Butterick 6020 is a reproduction from the Vintage Fashion Library for a darling pair of pajamas. Make the simpler view A for spring in silk. B36 $13 $9.10

Jumpsuits are back and Simplicity 7795 is a zinger from the 1970s. If this were my size you can bet I'd already be stitching it up. B30.5-31.5 $3 $2.1

Superior Patterns 9898 with its tulip pockets is perfect for any spring event. B40 $20 $14

On the other hand, rare Mail Order 3799 will have you perfectly outfitted for summer boating. B34 $20 $14

For something more modern, this Lisette pattern will help you and your daughter beat the summer heat. Child's sizes 3-8, Adult XS-XL $4 $2.8

I'm not sure why my Men's version of Simplicity 8257 sold out faster then the boy's version, because I think the terry towel version would be great for a boy or girl for beach and poolside use. Chest 28 $4 $2.8

For half-size vintage-loving ladies, Simplicity 2847 will fulfill your sundress with matching bolero needs this summer. B37 $15 $10.5
And of course, we can all use a simple shirtdress like McCalls 4992. B34 $4 $2.80

22 April 2015

A Quarter of the Year Is Already Gone?!

Yes, somehow in between all those episodes of Rosemary and Thyme, baked goods and rampant decluttering sessions that made up my end of winter activities more than a quarter of the year has already passed. As Cathy says, ACK!!! Oh sure, I got some sewing done too, but I didn't exactly follow my Sewing Plan and No-Nonsense Sewing Schedule that I came up with at the beginning of the year. So let's look at what I have gotten done already this month and what I would like to focus on for the rest of my Spring Sewing.

Most of this month has been devoted to the two sew-alongs I'm doing in April, the Spring For Cotton and Small Human Being Sew Along (see banners at right). I completed Advance 6063 (pictures soon, promise). This project could count for both but I'm still hoping to squeeze in a Spring For Cotton dress for yours truly.

I unintentionally started a project to distract me from the romper two weeks ago. While cleaning my sewing room I came across a pair of Grainline Maritime shorts in girl scout green that I started while living in Chicago with Meg last spring. I'd been shuffling them all over my sewing room since I don't really have a spot for WIPs and was finally sick of it. 
To my surprise I completed them in two afternoons and the fit was almost perfect after dropping the crotch and letting out the inseam width in them (which makes no sense because I always have to take the crotch up-I have a short crotch length so I usually wear petite size pants)...and then the waistband came along and that was the end of that dream. If you ever needed a visual on why careful cutting is important, this is it. I started to fold over the waistband in the left side of the photo. The right side extends WAY past where it should and the seams don't match up. And in the back view one of the waistband pieces was cut with the wrong side of the fabric showing.
But dang if my pockets weren't the best I'd ever made. Alas! A perfectly good project ruined by a rush cutting session.

To distract I then "whipped up" an easy-to-sew pair of drawstring waist bermuda shorts. They're not particularly glorious, but they'll do for dog walking when the weather gets hot. You'll see them soon for MMM.

Y'all, I have about one month before my trip to California and I suspect my suitcase will not be brimming with vintage sews like I had imagined, partly because I have been lazy and partly because now I have to start thinking of birthday gifts. From May through September, my immediate family has a birthday in every month, and there's Mother's and Father's Days too. Plus Me Made May starts in a week!
Here's what I think I can squeeze in by June 21.

This WILL get done by the end of April as my Spring For Cotton project.

I have to get at least one of these done to get to James' second cousin, otherwise she'll get too big for them. Children's wear always fools me; it takes a heck of a lot longer than you expect it to and I often stupidly choose fabric requiring print matching.

I've traced off McCall's 6960 with the last of my tracing paper and have some knit from Mood ready to test it with. Seems like it would be a good, versatile MMMay piece as well as California appropriate.

 I'd also like to do a Negroni for James as a surprise but don't have any fabric in my stash that he'd like. I'd like a nice lawn or even a linen which requires a trip to Mood so who knows if that will happen. I do have fabric for a shirtdress for me though, so maybe that will
get going as soon as I can lay my hands on some more swedish tracing paper. Does anyone know if they sell it anywhere in the city?

21 April 2015

Fabric Destash Giveaway

I'm putting these up here for any of you who don't follow me on Instagram, but after cleaning out my fabric boxes today I have three fun fabrics I'd like to get rid of. I got them for free, so I'm paying it forward - takers only have to reimburse me for shipping via Paypal (give me a break, I am unemployed after all).
This lovely black lace on a nude knit border is very large - 4 yards by 58". The scallop border is on both selvedge edges. Fiber content unknown but definitely man made. I used it ages ago in a still unblogged Macaron dress and before that it belonged to a friend of my aunt who had been into pirate costumes and events as she put it (they live in Florida, if that makes any more sense). Well, when she lost interest in the pirate lifestyle all her leftovers arrived in a box on my doorstep.

Summer is here, so who couldn't use some lemon yellow spandex to make a swimsuit or rash guard? 55" x 58".

This most likely real silk moire taffeta is scraps left over from my boyfriend's mother's drapes (all the other pieces she gave me were definitely silk and I doubt she would ever consider polyester). There are quit a few pieces, probably enough for a bonnet or even a vest/bodice for a small woman. I can take full measurements of the pieces for anyone interested.

Folks Serv