25 March 2011

An Ugly MMM Jacket

Good morning! We've still got snow here in RI which is making MMM tough.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! 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.

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: Simplicity 2415

17 March 2011

MMM Day 17

Skirt: McCalls 5082 (1959), altered to have a ruffle around the waistband

Worn sewing and a 2 hour drive to a rehearsal. Not the best skirt to be taking people's measurements with all the 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: Simplicity 2415
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 around January 2011 and finished at the end of February 2011.
Pattern Review, click here. Burdastyle Post, click here
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.

Oh! I am faint from taking so many photos!
Inside out and close up views.

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:  Silk twill? It is a total guess, because I wasn't the one who bought it.
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 a 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 don't have a photo here, but it has little traditional clowns all around the border! Very appropriate for a rehearsal of Class Clown!

The original renderings are in this post.

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. This is a photo progression of how I made the ringmaster's coat.
The whole cast, along with the author, Johanna Hurwitz. They all were amazing! That is hte red and white shirt I sewed below.

10 March 2011

Pattern Spree, Whee!

I was slightly bad and spent some of my newly returned money yesterday on, you guessed it, new patterns. I rarely buy patterns new but I like the Jo-Anns sales, when I have time to get to them. I guess it is that I get really tired of "EZ to Make" shapeless tops, which seems to be all they made last summer. So when I found these delights, I bought them!
I like the long version of this one, and I could see it going with lots of the dresses that I own. I've seen similar tops in stores, made out of lace, which would be heavenly.
I've seen lots of people make this one, and again I've seen the actual Cynthia Rowley ones in shops. I figure that even if the dress doesn't work out, I like the jacket a lot. I'd love to do the dress + vest combo in a safari sort of color scheme with a belt.
Now, before you laugh, I have a very realistic goal for this pattern. I saw a young Indian woman going into a brunch restaurant last summer in what were essentially a harem style pant in a very light cotton. It was amazing! I think they would be great for me for work.
I've already spotted several of these in the MMM pool on flickr and since I love the way PR patterns fit me I am dying to try it.
It is like Star Trek but for everyday wear! What is not to like?

I have to confess that I am just really intrigued by the neckline. Who knows if I will ever make it?
And finally, the two Lisette patterns that I liked best.

08 March 2011

Meet Joanie aka Little Red

I have felt very bad about the lack of MMM here at WWNDW, but I think you'll understand. First of all, the temperature has hovered around freezing the past few days and so I've mostly just been wearing my me-made mittens and hat. Boring, right? Mind you, they didn't keep me warm when I had to walk four miles to a gas station and back because my poor old volvo wagon, fondly known as The Bus, died about 70 miles from home.
So the other excuse for my lack of MMM was that I needed to find a new car, and fast. This is hard when one only is looking for Volvo 240s, because let's face it, there aren't that many and the good ones get snapped up fast.
So I got really, really lucky and found this snappy little automobile. It is a '92 Volvo 244 Grande Luxe, in gorgeous shape.
The woman I bought her from called her Little Red, which I thought was cute, so I'm keeping that name. However, I'm adding to it and calling her Joanie. Am I a Mad Men dork or what?
Really, though the best part is it has a working CB radio, just like out of Nancy Drew! Expect many, many of my me-made photos to be with this car, at least once it warms up!

04 March 2011

MMM Day 4

For the moment I'm skipping day 3 photos because I'm too busy trying to find myself a new automobile :( Day 4 is getting put up because I'm using old photos for it.
Today I wore my me-made socks, because I had work and my feet hurt after walking 4 miles to and from a gas station yesterday when my car broke down. I literally had to clamber down the side of one of those highway ravines, over a stream and back up the other side and through the woods to even get to a regular road. Mind you, we still have about 1/2" to 3 feet of snow here!
Sadly, my socks don't look this great anymore. They're getting a bit raggy from use and machine washing them.
I've also been sporting my ravenclaw slouchy hat that I knit.

02 March 2011

MMM Day 2

The good news is that I have finished my mittens I started backstage in January. That way I'll at least be wearing one MMM thing every day, because I put them on every time I go out. Yeah, there's still snow here.
It wasn't too cold out today, so I wore this dress made from quilter's cotton. I still needed boots, stockings and socks though.

Dress: Simplicity 7385, 1976


Forgive the really lame title. Please.
But really, apparently there was a sewing pattern brand called Lisette (which I know is not my full, real name, but still!) and now Simplicity is producing their patterns! I know I'll be snatching these up next time Jo-Ann has a sale.
The best part is I can imagine I'm going to sew them all and then go visit the South of France!
 2209 - "Passport" Dress and Jacket
How cute! I need more dresses and I think this one could be in my future. Never mind that I can make a jacket to go with it.
2211 - "Market" Dress, Tunic, Skirt and Blouse
Not so keen on the blouse, but the tunic and the longer skirt look very cute. Plus I like the model's shoes.
2245 - "Portfolio" Dress, Tunic and Pant.
Again, like the dress but not the other garments. Well, I like the pants but they wouldn't be flattering on me and the top looks a bit boxy.
2246 - "Traveler" Dresses
Unstructured shirtwaists are also not terribly flattering, but they are comfortable. I like the grey one best.

Note: Keep an eye out for the fabrics they've used in the mock-ups because they'll be selling them in Jo-Ann's in a few weeks!

01 March 2011

MMM Day 1

Blah! There are still mountains of dirty snow where I live and it is still quite cold, so MMM is going to be a challenge. I warmed this dress up a bit with boots and a cardigan but my legs and rear still froze. I would have worn proper stockings but they tend to make the dress even dowdier. Following in the footsteps of Mena at The Sew Weekly, I'm going to try to make one thing every week in March (if possible, using fabric I already have). I've already got a top cut out and I plan on sewing it today. My MPB sew-along shirt came to a slight halt while I finished up a party dress for Sunday and I'm still waiting to go button shopping for it anyways.
 Dress: Butterick 9415, 1960

Folks Serv