29 September 2011

This Always Happens To Me

Let me preface this by saying that I am the sort of person who shows up for events on the wrong day. I tried to go to a Doris Duke exhibit, but failed to notice they don't run it on Sundays, for example. Stuff like that.
I am going to the Sew Weekly meet-up in NYC tomorrow. There were email problems so I only got the details last night. I also didn't figure out that A Rose in Spanish Harlem was the theme until then as well. It was listed as a theme, but that theme is not actually until next week. I don't like when they sew a week ahead!
My Spanish Harlem challenge plans revolved around chopping off a very long hem on a '90s rayon rose print dress and repairing my petticoat. Together they look AWESOME. But it isn't something I've actually made, just altered.

For NYC I was going to wear my I Am Not An Actress Dress or the Peacock Dress, for a few reasons:
1. It will be on the warm and sunny side that day.
2. I have shoes that match AND that I can walk a pretty good distance in.
3. I made it, I like the way I look in it and I think my sewing skills really come through on them.

However, the first is more Star Trek than Spanish Harlem and the second, well, is just not Spanish Harlem either. I have fretted about this all morning. Sewing something isn't an option - I'm not the sort of person who can make something in a day because I want quality in my sewn garments. I want a perfect fit, linings, hand-finishes, self-bias edgings, etc. Plus I have no money for new fabric.

What to DO?!

15 September 2011

47 Feathers To Go

Obviously, I didn't end up sewing a Gatsby project for SW. I'm too busy with theatre sewing and didn't have a picnic to attend. I did, however, remember to get a photo of one of my few SSS days I've done. I also wore a scarf I made one day, but didn't feel a photo was necessary.
Good old Simplicity 2373, my hippie pants! Worn earlier in the week while working on Simplicity 2364, my crazy faux-greek top. It remains unfinished, for now because I have more pressing sewing issues to deal with. Namely this:
 My arch-nemesis, Simplicity 2531. Really, if you are a mom and want to impress, make your kid this for Halloween. You could try and make a whole set for your family as suggested by the pattern cover, but you would probably sooner eat your sewing machine.
The above photo is my progress since last night. So far I have made 33 of the 80 feathers required. My shoulder is killing me, despite my use of my new rotary cutter (thank god for that birthday present!) My fingers hurt from clipping and I actually had to do a bunch of hand sewing because the layers of fleece got too thick to shove through my machine.
Also, the crotch is mysteriously at floor level. Hm.

Also, the lovely Tine of Sew On Trend gave me a Versatile Blogger Award!
The rules after accepting the Versatile Blogger Award are:
1. Thank the person who gave the award and link back to them in your post
2. Share 7 things about yourself 
3. Pass this award along to recently discovered blogs
1. I have two really cute little sisters. Well, not so little anymore, but you know.
2. My latest obsession is knit dresses. I bought two at Savers the other day. Maybe I'll make a few when I have time!
3.  I used to play the french horn and the trumpet and considered a music minor. 
4. Every day I learn that I know less and less about sewing than I thought I did.
5. My drinks of choice are Woodchuck Hard Cider and sangria.
6. I wish I had ballet flats in every color, I wear them all the time.
7. I can't wait for winter and Christmas! I'm already daydreaming about snow and cookie baking and presents. 
I would like to pass this award on to:
 Alessa of Farbenfreude

13 September 2011

The Costume From Hell

The giant bluebird costume base and lining have been cut out. OK, so maybe I am exaggerating an eensy weensy bit when I call this pattern such a title.
 I mean, so far it has been pretty straightforward. The body is made of fleece, so no fitting nor finishing edges. There aren't even any zippers, just velcro and a button. Plus, I don't have to make the hood or treat bag.
What's my problem, you ask?
 I have yet to cut out or sew any of the 160 feather pieces. Oh, and it means I'll be sewing View D of this Simplicity 2364 instead of making a gorgeous Gatsby dress. They didn't even have the color I wanted, so I had to buy white. I will be a bar-hopping Grecian-wannabe. It does serve some purpose, however - I am running out of clothes that I can wear to go out to bars and restaurants after Othello shows. Since I almost never go out, this has never been a problem with my wardrobe before!

11 September 2011

On the Lookout For Knit Tops

I lost my Simplicity 2364. Not my pattern, but my actual shirt that I made from it. Sad, because I think it is the only knit top I've sewn. Of course, now I have the excuse to make a new one! I want to make several knit tops because that is mostly what I wear to my jobs. The dress codes range from business casual to whatever you want. I've already got this one on my Fall Essentials Sew-Along plan.
 Then, this morning I found a McCalls pattern (6435) that I actually like as well!
I like the illustrated versions better than their mock-ups, which seem a little 90's skanky to me. Monochromatic cutesy pink or black mesh...hm, which would I choose?
The real problem is that JoAnns knit fabric selection is not very good. It has some OK plain colors, but they are $14.99 a yard! I found some really nice combinations on Fabric.com for much cheaper, and that fit in with my Fall Palette.
OK, orange didn't actually make the cut, but it is one of my favorite colors. Sadly, it has to be just the right carroty orange to look good with my pinky-yellow complexion.
Egads, prints on prints? I may be taking a cue from Oona's style.
Do you have any knit top patterns that you love? I'd love to pick up some more.

06 September 2011

Fall Sewing-Along With Some Shakespeare on the Side

Yeah, I've pretty much fallen to the wayside after 4 days of SSS. I didn't even take photos of two of the days. The weather has been crazy with cold and rain one day and then 80 degrees with humidity the next. But it has still served its purpose: helping me figure out what I need to sew. I drew up my Fall Sewing Plan before I knew there would be a Fall Essentials Sew-along, so that was très convenient.
Because I've got two plays going on at once, I don't see anymore sewing for myself happening until after September, and even then not much until November because I have a production of Hairspray going up! I just have to accept this and not dream so much about patterns and fabric.
1. Simplicity 5804 - COMPLETED
But, I want to make one in chocolate brown corduroy too, to match a vest I made.

2. Simplicity 2852 - a little bit 70s, a little bit medieval-hippie. A little bit easy, 'cause it's a knit!

3. McCalls 5764 - I bought some amazing (not to mention expensive!) buttons made from elk antlers while I was in Wyoming and I'm hoping to find some fabric to match for this cape.

4. Simplicity 3850 - I desperately need some me-made pants that don't look like they belong to a hippie-pirate from the '60s. These should be a stashbust, too, with some grey stretchy twill.

That's all folks, because there's no time for anything else and I need basics.
I am, however, going to give you a little sneak peek at the costumes I've been working on for Othello. And, if you feel so inclined, we've got a Kickstarter page (complete with video clips) going so that the actors can hopefully get paid. They've really been working hard and deserve it. Every bit counts, so please, please donate.

Recognize those sparkly disco shoes?

04 September 2011

SW: That 70s Sew

First, I'd really like to thank Debi for interviewing me as part of the Sewing Through the Decades challenge that she and Sarah are hosting. Now I can cross "be interviewed" off my bucket list!
Next, this post is a little late due to the fact that Hurricane Irene came in and messed up my sewing plans! I was in the middle of finishing my skirt for the 70s Sew Weekly Challenge (we need more of those, I think) when the power went out. We lost electricity, phone and running water for most of the week but since my family is the type that wishes they got to be on Pioneer House, we really enjoyed it. We did, however, have a few sad days where it seemed my sister's cat had either run away or gotten eaten by coyotes, but four days later he came back!
Once we got power back I was finally bale to finish my skirt, which I have dubbed the Velma Dinkley skirt.
From velmadinkley.com 
I had some abstract keyboard print fabric in brown tones, but I wanted to make sure I had the fit right, so when I started this project two years ago, I made a muslin out of a brick red fabric with tan flowers and dotted waves. When I returned to the project last week, I realized the keyboard fabric wouldn't show off the pleats well, so I decided to finish the muslin. 
Obviously, I don't have the bangs or the knee socks. I looked high and low for a pair but they were not to be found!

Fabric: From my mom's stash, a lightweight home decorator's polished cotton (free)
Pattern: Simplicity 5804 (1973) View 1
Notions: Zipper ($1.30?), grosgrain ribbon (free)
Time: Unsure...
Total Cost: $1.30 
Changes Made: I had to chop several inches off each side to get it to fit right. All the darts and lengths where the pleats were sewn down were shortened by two to four inches. Instead of a waistband, I decided to try a grosgrain ribbon facing. I will never make a waistband again! I am so shortwaisted that the bulk of even a very skinny waistband is too much. The ribbon facing also makes a tucked-in top look much neater, to me.
Pros: It fits me so well! More proof that I should always make a muslin. It could also double as being from the 1940s, since I left it longer.
Cons:  It needs a slip or lining because the pleats stick to my legs and each other.

 I love how well the pleats hang! I would highly recommend this pattern. Now I just need to make one in plaid for myself.

03 September 2011

SW: Skipping School

 That's right, I'm skipping out on the "school" aspect of the week's Sew Weekly challenge, as much as it pains me. I imagined kilts, capes and 40s jumpers, all in lovely, wooly plaids. Totally inappropriate, weather wise. Now, I don't live in Cali like Mena does. I don't live in the South either! I live in New England, which you would think would be with the program come September 1st, but no, we get Indian Summer until October. Therefore, any such items sewn would not work for SSS '11. So I took a UFO I had sewn last year for SSS, then finished in Spring but never posted. Yeah, I'm doing a lot of cheating on my SW lately.

The fabric is an amazingly light cotton-type plaid, and look how well I matched up those chevrons! The back doesn't look as nice, as I had to cut it all in one piece because I was stash-busting and just didn't have enough fabric. 

 Since I couldn't do a real autumn-school theme, I went for some good old California Dreaming...I used a pattern from 1976 and pretended that I was attending college on the sunny West Coast.

Fabric: Free, cotton?
Pattern: Simplicity 7377 (1976)
Notions: Vintage zipper ($0.69)
Time: Unsure...
Total Cost: 69 cents!
Pros: It is plaid? I love plaid!
Cons: The back looks unflattering because I couldn't re-do the chevrons. It also is too long despite a lot of hemming and the waistband is too big, so I've been wearing it safety-pinned. However, the sides also match up amazingly well, which was good, because I planned it that way. Look at that! You can't even tell there is a side seam! SSS '11 is off to a good start!

Folks Serv