30 October 2011

Patternday Is Here Again

I haven't done one of these in ages, but the snow on the ground outside (yes, the snow!) put me in a giving mood, enough to go hunt you up some goodies. These are all from 1962 (the year in which Hairspray is set) and $5 or less.
$4.99, linbot1
$3.50, bethbunny

29 October 2011

SW: Sleepwear Progress

So I've hit a tiny bump in my SW: Sleepwear challenge...JoAnn's ran out of the color of bias tape I was using. I was using leftovers I already had but needed more and alas, there was no more hot pink! All I have left are the sleeves, so it is very disappointing. Anyways, I am instead starting this project this afternoon, and I have to make two, not just one!

26 October 2011

SW: A Hogwarts Halloween

To preface this post, I need to say that I usually don't do Halloween. Not only am I tired after making costumes for other people, so that I don't feel like making my own, but I haven't been invited to a Halloween party in years.
This year, I was invited to 4. All  on the same night!
I will be attending the one for which I received an invitation first, and it is conveniently Hogwarts themed! I already knew I was going to make a gown for King Richard's Faire this year and decided to combine the two costumes and go to the party as Rowena Ravenclaw.
Pattern: Butterick 4827, size 14 (2011), drawstring bag from free online tutorial (not in photos)
Fabric: Crepe-textured polyester satin, the same fabric used for the purple 1940 gown I made for "Annie", from my stash
Notions: Trim, cording, sari fabric remnant from JoAnns - $25
Time: 3 days
Notes/Alterations: I loved sewing this, I really did. It took very little time to complete.  I used my sloper to fit it initially but it was still really large in some areas, mainly the upper back. You can see below that I didn't do the lace-up back, it is loose enough to slip on over my head which I thought was more realistic than bothering with a zipper, which was my initial plan. I also had to cut the center back pieces in half across my waist, because I didn't have enough fabric otherwise. I didn't have enough for facings either, so I serged and then turned everything under once, since the trim on the neckline and sleeves over it is very stiff.
Pros: I love it! I think it came out beautifully for such a simple pattern. I barely needed the instructions and with all the princess seams it is easy to fit.
Cons: I think I could have made a smaller size, especially for the sleeve. I took in two inches on each sleeve seam! They were so baggy and awful originally. However, I think this affected the fit in the armsceye so my range of motion is slightly limited. The neckline also came out less of a scoop and more of a boatneck, but that was fine with me. The trim was the worst bit to work with, it had no give, so I had to box pleat it on the curves of the neckline. I don't know where they expect you to get medieval-looking stretchy trim! My only last complaint was that because the dress has an unlined train, some of my hemming came out and the serger threads are already fuzzy from dragging. This means I have to walk around holding my dress up.
 I was really glad to do some stash-busting. I've been keeping better track of my spending and I have very much overspent myself on fabric this year. Although, after buying the trim and bag materials ($26ish) and flats ($12, Payless) to wear with the dress, it really wasn't necessarily so thrifty as I would have liked.
And of course it is a lot of fun to leap about in.
Wondering what I did with that cording and sari remnant? I made a bag for the Faire! Sadly it broke in the parking lot before we even made it in, but my sister taped it up and it held up all day, somehow!
Photos from the Faire...I went with my youngest sister, Laura, who had never been. She came up with her own costume, although it didn't involve sewing.

24 October 2011

Hairspray Photo Shoot

Now that my NYC post is done, I can move on to other posts. These photos are from the Hairspray photo shoot the other day. I didn't actually make the dresses they are sporting, my work that day was more of a stylist than a designer. My friend Linda did a fabulous job with the wigs and makeup, as usual.
Edna Turnblad (Matt), me and Tracy Turnblad (Tori - you may remember her from Pinkalicious)
Guess what I am sitting in? A vintage car! We used one in the shoot, and I got to ride it to the location. Good thing I had my retro sunglasses!

21 October 2011

New York, A Little Late

So I am finally pulling back into the swing of things, especially after a successful Hairspray photo shoot yesterday. Fabulous dresses of sequins and marabou, towering hairdos and a vintage car! But that will have to wait for tomorrow, because today I am doing my long overdo NYC Sew Weekly Meetup Post.
Disclaimer: Some of these photos are not mine, they belong to other bloggers who went to the meet-up.
On September 30th, 2011 I got up at 4 in the morning to catch a bus to meet a bunch of people I have never met before and a few whose blogs I'd not even read. This was after a week of email problems resulting in me getting the final details the day before and also freaking out about what to wear. 
"But I didn't actually make it, I just altered it! It doesn't count!"
"So don't wear it. Wear this."
"Yes, but it doesn't exactly match the theme."
Thank goodness Oona decided for me and that was that. We actually arrived early in NYC and so I was at the restaurant first where I met the very chic Nettie of Sown Brooklyn. We stood around a little awkwardly, making small talk. By the way, it is very strange to introduce oneself under a name that one only uses for blogging. Just saying.
Meg, Me and Nettie
Then everyone seemed to show up at once! Including Mena's (founder of the Sew Weekly) daughter, Penelope, who really is the cutest thing you've ever seen. And of course Mena had made an amazing vintage dress as usual. Plus, I finally got to ask her how she manages to never put in zippers! Cindy of Crafter by Night was sewing on buttons on her way over, having made the Colette Patterns dress with all the buttons. We were all very impressed, particularly those of us who avoid buttons, because they mean buttonholes! Christine of DaughterFish was also chic (she and Nettie both wore boots, which in my mind = chic) in a cranberry colored wool skirt. When I saw one in the thrift store this week, I remembered how good hers looked and bought it immediately!
Christine, Cindy and Mena
Lunch at El Centro was so good, especially after that long ride. And Sangria! My absolute favorite.
Vicki, Christine, Cindy, Mena, Oona, Debi, Meg, Me and Nettie
Vicki of Another Sewing Scientist came all the way from Montreal via bus, so after that I couldn't complain about my own bus ride. Her Pendrell blouse was darling, I thought the fabric was Lily Pulitzer, but no, they were pillowcases. Love it! And really? A sewing scientist? She is living in my dream world, where I actually went for a degree in Atrophysics or Marine Biology and sew on the side. For fun, because I can actually afford it, you know.
 Me getting a little overexcited, Oona and Vicki
And Oona, Debi and Meg? Are there words to describe how amazing it was to meet them? Not in my vocabulary. Meeting Debi, who feels like my comrade-in-blogging (we started blogging about the same time), was great. I admire her sewing and style so much. Meg, who felt like an instant friend the second we met. And Oona is the funkiest gal I've ever met. By the way Oona, watch out, because I'm looking for internships and work in NYC. From there we went to a mini-park to do a pattern swap (which I suggested, in my effort to get rid of my get-rid-of pattern pile that had been growing.)
Oona, Christine and Me
Look at all these cool patterns! At first we all hung back, not wanting to be thought of as greedy by the other swappers. But once we got swapping, that was that.
Me and Puu of Puu's Door of Time (also, her envious red corduroy pants)
Mena took the more comfortable route and took a seat with the patterns
 What did I end up with? Sadly no 1978 or 1979 to complete my Sewing Through the Decades: 1970s - I always want to abbreviate that but STD looks bad!
Then we finally went in search of fabric! Huzzah! This involved a lot of maneuvering, because we made for a big group and sometimes left people behind at the stoplights.
I was told Peter of MPB would be showing up for this so at this point I was constantly looking around for him. Even my mom loves reading his blog! I count him among my sewing idols/celebrities. It was so exciting! And he didn't inspect my hem, something we were all fearing. We didn't want to be branded on his blog as the girl with the wonky hem.
Peter and I
 Our first stop was Paron fabrics, where I found some things I liked, then put them back because I was unsure, then went to get them again and couldn't find them. Beautiful silks, poplins, etc. Oh well. I ended up with a really spiffy purple microfiber that feels like a very thin polished cotton, $7/yd.
 The group. Check out how weird my ruffles were looking at this point!
Next stop, Chic fabrics. I must have bought the rest of my fabric there because I remember my tote bag being overflowing by our next stop, which was coffee. At Chic I bought 3 yards apiece of these knits in the photo, because they were $4/yd, not the $14/yd JoAnn charges for their not very pretty knits. The gold and blue one has permanent pleats in it. I also purchased wool coating which will be discussed further down in the post.
I don't even know how someone took this photo. Were they on a ladder?
Finally, coffee time! Or tea if you are me. We went to the delicious Dean and Deluca's which was right across from the bus station. I got to talk to Peter for a moment, but really everyone else wanted Peter-time too, so we had to limit ourselves.
Debi, Puu and Oona
 Me, Oona and Cindy
 Meg, Mena and Nettie
 Nettie and Vicki
After all that, it was off to the notions stores! It was hard not to buy a zipper taller than myself, but really, when am I going to sew a sleeping bag?
Now I wished I had gone in this store, as well as Spandex World, since I am doing Hairspray.
My last purchase was at Tinsel Trading Company, which would have been bigger if I had any millinery projects lined up. Instead I ended up with two blue suede leaf cut-outs to go with my wool, which was $10/yd. I had been planning a wool capelet to use with my elk antler buttons, but now I'm thinking a belted jacket with the leaves on the lapels might get worn more.

Then it was time to say goodbye. My bus would leave soon, and as tempting as it was to stay, I couldn't afford another ticket, not after all that fabric shopping. So I made everyone take photos with me.
I was a little tired by this one, forgive my expression. I was sad to be missing out on dinner!

Folks Serv