Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thinking Spring

Here are two spring/summer dresses that I am planning to make at the moment.  They will both have pockets because dresses with pockets are my favorite.

I want to make the ruffle-sleeve version shown in yellow on the envelope (on the left) out of this floral poly charmeuse.  I imagine wearing it with the heels I have in both blue & red (yes, I buy the same shoes in multiple colors and yes, I live in fear that one day I will go out wearing one of each color like Helena Bonham Carter...). I might make a game day decision to first try the pattern in some white peachskin with blue brushstrokes on it that I have because I am a bit afraid that the charmeuse will be too delicate for an everyday dress...
Future dress #1

 I also want to make Colette's Crepe dress out of this graphic linen with a solid navy sash & underlined in white cotton batiste. The print seems very '90s to me (Tommy Hilfiger?) and hopefully its boldness will keep the dress from looking too twee (or worse--cute!). Of course there is also the possibility that the bold print will be entirely too large on my shorty mcshortypants self but I like living on the edge. Besides, I've never had a wrap dress that wraps in the back so this will be pretty exciting even if the print is all wrong on me. :)   

Future dress #2

Sophie Shrug

I have been working on several projects all week (cutting, basting, etc) but I haven't actually finished anything. This morning, in search of some instant gratification, I decided to whip up this rayon knit shrug using 2 yards of a rayon blend jersey from and this free pattern download for Hot Patterns' Cozy-Cascade Shrug. The last giraffe I saw was a Sophie Giraffe baby toy so that's where the name came from!
Front on Delphine

Knotted?  Eh, probably not.   

Bella "helping" me by being a pattern weight
I'm pretty "meh" about this. It was super easy to make and I would highly recommend the pattern but it's just not my usual style (both the print and the shape). I think at the very least it'll end up as a bathing suit cover-up, but first I'll try wearing it belted over a cami with some dark skinny jeans...  

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New Fabric!

I know it's nearly Presidents' Day but that has absolutely nothing to do with my recent red, white, and blue order from Denver Fabrics. My plan is to create a mix-and-match mini spring wardrobe. I don't usually have a plan so this is some real progress. I totally lucked out because the colors go together exactly the way I imagined they would (which is always tricky when you order online and can't touch and compare the fabrics in person!).
Left to Right:
-Red suiting for a (work appropriate?) mini skirt
-Brown cotton print (with little white geese!) for a blouse
-Navy & tan circle-print crepe for a dress and a simple skirt
-Red & cream rayon knit for a tank top or t-shirt
-Navy & cream pin striped suiting for some pleated shorts (not work appropriate)
-Navy & cream floral rayon knit for a tank top of some sort

Poppy Blouse & Green Denim Pencil Skirt

I am wearing this outfit right now because I finished up this blouse this morning just in time for the weather to get all unexpectedly warm! The blouse is made from a lovely sheer cotton lawn that is definitely meant more for spring but I couldn't wait! The pattern I used was Simplicity 2564, view C. It is a very simple blouse with kimono sleeves. Since the lines of the blouse were so simple and my fabric was so sheer I decided to use french seams to assemble it and I'm very happy with how neat and sturdy the seams are.
Ah yes, my elephant belt is the pièce de résistance, don't you think? Either that or the "vintage" hallway wallpaper is. It's a toss up, really.*

The pattern called for a mere three buttons but that seemed pretty dangerous to me so I went with five. There will be no placket-gaping if I can help it!

Obligatory button placket close-up: 

I made the green wool denim skirt that Delphine-the-Dressform is wearing last fall using Simplicity 2343, view D (minus the topstitching, which I might still add to it some day...).

* It is now my stated goal to photograph my projects in front of all the lovely "vintage" floral wallpapers present in our apartment. They are varied and crazy so stay tuned! 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Christmas Vacation Shirt

This shirt is a belated Christmas gift for my guy (on Christmas I wrapped up the fabric & the pattern envelope for him with my profuse apologies). He has a habit of wearing a Hawaiian shirt to work on the day before he goes on vacation--even if he plans on spending his vacation time just bumming around the house.  
 Behold, the Christmas "Vacation Shirt"! It is made out of an appropriately tacky rayon challis Hawaiian print from Denver Fabrics and the pattern I used was Kwik Sew 2935.  My favorite details are the coconut buttons! So tropical!
  Here's a close-up of the collar details:

I like the surfing bikini-clad ladies! Woohoo!
I am relieved to have finished this project (thank you, unexpected snow days!). I had been feeling very guilty for not finishing it in time to put under the tree. My guy must like it because I barely had time to snap these photos before he packed it in his suitcase to take with him on a business trip!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sewing Goals for 2011

In 2010 I made something like 17 garments for myself (and several more for others) and I would like to make at least 25 in 2011. I hope to keep the following goals in mind as I sew.    

1. Sew more bottoms! 2010 was the unofficial Year of the Blouses and so now I want to focus on creating shorts, skirts, and pants that fit me well.  I have the hardest time buying ready-to-wear pants so this should be a very satisfying goal to work on. 

2. Sew at least one coat/jacket. I've never made one and I'll probably start with a spring raincoat.

3. Take time to make muslins. My excitement for starting a new project always overcomes the practicality of first testing the fit of the pattern with a muslin. This has recently led to a very disappointing Birthday Dress UFO (unfinished object).       

4. Learn more advanced techniques and select projects that challenge me. Some skills to master: bound buttonholes, welt pockets, flat-felled seams,   

5. Create clothes that thoughtfully complement my existing wardrobe. I tend to be inspired by crazy fabric (ahem, Lobster Shirt) and so my wardrobe is full of rather unique statement pieces. I want to spend time making more wearable everyday basics and thinking about how they can be worn in different combinations. This will be especially tough for me because if given the chance I would wear and make full-skirted party dresses all day, every day!