25 March 2011

An Ugly MMM Jacket and 13 Renderings

Good morning! We've still got snow here in RI which is making MMM tough, but I'm keeping upbeat by listening to AccuRadio's '80s station.
My sewing continues to end up...blah. After spending all of week two sewing Advance 9431:
All I ended up with was something that even Peggy would have thought was too dowdy! I will fix it, but I'm still nursing the wounds. So I took the leftover fabric and made Simplicity 2223. Cute, modern, young...can't go wrong, right? WRONG!
 Instead I manage to make a jacket that looks straight out of Antebellum Fashion. Not flattering at all. The March sisters would be jealous. After measuring, I decided to go down a size from my usual B36. I still can't seem to pin down my size, even when I use petite size patterns. The amount of space my back takes up is tiny and my shoulders are narrow, but I still need plenty of room in the bust.
There are several things that should have tipped me off that this pattern would be strange. For one, it is not truly empire-waisted, it is between empire and natural. Super-unflattering. Next, notice how loose the waistband is on the top girl. Even with using a smaller size I had to take it in 2 inches and still had leftover room! All in all it was a frustrating 13 hours of work because I kept thinking I could be smarter than the instructions, but really, there is a method to why they allow the inside of the jacket to look terrible: so the outside looks good!
If I make it again it will be in a plain-color, light fabric, like rayon (I still like the hawaiian print version on the cover) or even lace.

At least my "renderings" came out alright! The set is going to be a giant collage, so I thought I would try using Polyvore to make my costume designs.

Evan has to move from New York to Indiana and wants in with the cool kids.
Patrice is the nerdy girl that everyone picks on. She likes Evan.

Archie is Patrice's friend who is crippled. He wants to date Kendra.

Kendra is the typical popular girl and very preppy.


Lucy is Kendra's "best friend" who wants Kendra's boyfriend, Brett.

Charlotte 2

Charlotte is one of the "in-girls", a bit more bohemian than the others but still a mean gossip.
Molly 2

Molly is another popular girl, very into brands, probably rich. Likes to watch Jersey Shore.
Cassie 2

Cassie is popular girl number three. She's done up a bit ditsy.

Brett is Kendra's boyfriend and the dumb football star.

Malcom is one of Brett's cronies. He's a bit on the redneck side.
Eddie is Brett's other sidekick. He's your typical wigger.

Simon is one of the popular boys, but more of a background character. He's more on the preppy side.


Richie is another popular background boy. He's also a bit redneck.

22 March 2011

MMM Day 18, 19, 20

I've been behind on my MMM posts since I've been busy shopping for the 13 photo shoot. It has been fun, if not tiring. By the way, does anyone know where I can get about 100 different geeky pins on the cheap? I'm covering a denim jacket in them. But anyways...on to the MMM.
 Day 18
We had a hot spell for about two days (into the 70s) and I took full advantage of it. Worn to work and out for a quick cycle on my Schwinn. This dress is one of my best me-mades, and certainly the most wearable.
Dress: Simplicity 7385 (1976)
 Day 19/20
The shirt is the same pattern and the photo on the left is an old one, I didn't get one at the time so I'm using that. I'm smiling cheesily on the right because my sister insisted I smile with teeth, lest I get what we call "the big chin"!
Shirt: Me-made, Simplicity 2415
Sweater: BCBG
Pants: Old Navy

20 March 2011

Spring Sewing Inspiration

Friends, it has been a very, very long week. I sewed a whole dress to keep with my Sew Weekly March challenge, hated it, and started a jacket from the leftovers, which I hope to finish by tonight. I also started a new musical, 13. I have several costume collages done, but all in good time, my friends.
The Great Divide
In the meantime, this sewing failure has sort of woken me up to several revelations. 1-Too much mini-plaid looks too homely. 2-I need to take a break from sewing vintage patterns. I looked at my MMM chart of options to wear and almost everything I've made, I really don't love, nor do I wear. Most of those are from vintage patterns :(
So in the spirit of good planning, I've made up a spring sewing inspiration board on Polyvore, my new love. I used it for all my costume collages!

17 March 2011

MMM Day 17

Cardigan: Talbots
Grey Top: Ralph Lauren
Skirt: Me-made, McCalls 5082 (1959), altered to have a ruffle around the waistband.
Boots: Payless
I also had two necklaces, but you can't see them here!
Worn sewing and a 2 hour drive to a rehearsal. Not the best skirt to be taking people's measurements in as there is a lot of getting up and down.

14 March 2011

The Peacock Dress and MMM Day 14

I have been dying to show off this peacock dress, but first my MMM Day 14 photo! I got harassed last night when I went to a theatre show in which a bunch of my old friends were involved. Imagine my surprise when one of them asked to see what I was wearing that I had made! So I'm going to be extra fastidious about MMM from now on.
Blouse: Me-made Simplicity 2415, Necklace: Wet Seal, Belt: Betsey Johnson, Pants: Makers of True Originals, Shoes: Soda
Check out the license plate the DMV gave me!

OK, on to the good stuff! I was inspired to make this dress after seeing this version on the blog Green Apples.
Pattern: Project Runway Simplicity 2360 (sz. 14)
Fabric: 100% Polyester georgette? from Jo-Ann. I think the Robert Kaufman line.
Duration: Started January 2011? and finished at the end of February 2011.
Pattern Review, click here. Burdastyle Post, click here (please go comment!)
Pattern Rating: 10! Mostly because I didn't need to shorten the bodice or neck to shoulder length, hooray!

Alterations: I made several alterations. For starters, I omitted the pockets because I was using such a light fabric. Second, I did not put elastic in the waist as I wanted to be able to play with how the dress would sit on me when tied at the waist. Judging from other people’s versions that seems to be the thing to do. Because I made it in a sheer fabric I self-lined it. This means I made a whole second dress and then instead of using a bias tape around the neck, I sewed the two together and dropped the lining in. I think this may be why the neckline bubbles a little sometimes…it lacks stability. I may go back and add it. I did keep the bias binding on the armholes, but made it out of lime green satin. Lastly, since the sharp curve of the flounce meant that my 1/4" hem foot wasn’t grabbing the edge nicely, I hemmed it again over the previous hem. Next time I think I’ll just do it by hand though.
What I Learned: Stabilize that neckline! Also, a french seam can be done, even on a princess seam in sheer fabric without puckering. Hand hem flounces cut on the bias. Last, but not least, use a longer stitch length with sheer fabrics. I went up to a 3 length, otherwise the stitches would pucker the fabric.
 On the right you can see the neckline bubble...I was laughing because there was a kitty come to play!
Oh! I am faint from taking so many photos!
Inside out view, close-up of armhole binding.

12 March 2011

MMM 12: 40s in the Tropics Top

Remember those blouses I made for Annie, and how I swore up and down that I was finally going to make one? Well I did! And it was even better than I imagined it would be!
Fabric:  Rayon/poly peachskin? It is a total guess, because I wasn't the one who bought it. They were throwing it out at ye olde costume shoppe and I rescued it. There was just enough!
Pattern: Simplicity 2418 (see on left).
Time Duration: 1.5 days, but I hand hemmed everything!
The Process: As before, I made view A (what's on the model) but I opted for length B as I'm a petite size. I omitted the tie belt simply because I didn't have any more fabric! Where I could hand sew instead of topstitching, I did, and it took ages (in other words, several episodes of Rockford Files, The Incredible Hulk, and Knight Rider) but it was worth it. I whipstitched EVERY SINGLE edge.

What I Learned: I really need to layout/cut more carefully and probably invest in a rotary cutter and mat. My back piece was a little wonky. I also think I might shorten it next time because it has lengthened over time, being cut on the bias and all. I'd even like to try it without the gathers in the back.
 I love, love, love the fabric! It is very 1940s tropical without the garishness.

11 March 2011

Class Clown Photos and MMM Day 10

I didn't have a lot of time yesterday because it was final dress rehearsal but I managed to fix this wrap skirt that I thrifted from Savers. It doesn't wrap around quite enough, so I feared it blowing in the breeze a bit too much. I just sewed up part of the side, although it was a bit off in the end so I'll still have to go fix it!
I managed to get one photo of it with the Mime from the show (which was my favorite costume!), and one with my friend Shannon, the teacher. You can't see it, but it has little traditional clowns all around the border! Very appropriate for a rehearsal of Class Clown!
 Anyways, on to the photos from Class Clown!
The original renderings:
The sewing I did for the show...I combined a red shirt and a white shirt to make a striped shirt and I chopped up a suit jacket to make a ringmaster's coat.
The whole cast, along with the author, Johanna Hurwitz. They all were amazing!

Folks Serv