Tuesday, May 29, 2012

FFFO: Stripy Seersucker Blouse (& MMM Update)

Well, here it is at last! I started this blouse over a year ago--maybe even two, I can't even remember. It's a perfect example of why my sewing moves slowly!

Forehead apparently less important than pasty ankles

The pattern is Simplicity 2501, view C:

While I love the peplum, that collar and those sleeves are just plain silly. So I forged my own path there. But the biggest effort went toward pattern matching. I had a vision of chevrons, chevrons everywhere! Of course, my vision conveniently excluded the entire weekend it would take to match all those stripes. But it was worth it:

Perfectly matched in front

And in back
The seersucker was kinda sheer, so I underlined the entire blouse with a poly-cotton batiste to avoid the stripes showing through. Sadly, that'll keep me from wearing it on hot days this summer. :(

For the collar, I drafted (if you can even call it that) a simple convertible collar. Taking a cue from Gertie, I made it 2" wide. If I had it to do over again, I would go for 3" to help it lie flatter.

For the sleeves, I gave a go at replacing the pleats called for in the pattern with simple gathering and added cuffs to contain the gathers. It worked, but the sleeves are very poofy. Next time, I'll just use a different sleeve pattern.

This is a fun shirt to wear, and I'm really glad I finally finished it. But let's not forget the most important lesson here: If you ever want to finish your project, don't incorporate a half dozen techniques you've never done before!

MMM Update:
For the past couple weeks, I've pretty much just been rotating outfits that I already posted, so I haven't bothered taking pics. Here's one outfit that I'm pretty sure is new:

I went the sporty route because of all the housework I had going on. Over the next couple days, I'll be posting more outfits that involve as-yet-unblogged creations!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Holy Geez, I Have a Lot of Fabric (& MMM Days 9 & 10)

I just got back from the laundromat, where I prewashed and dried this load of cottons:

These fabrics will feature heavily in the 20 garments I make for the stash-bustin' pledge. Sadly, this is less than a quarter of my entire stash. (Stitchas be shoppin'!)

Yesterday was pretty chilly in Chicago! So I wore the only skirt that doesn't get stuck on my tights, with my rust-colored Renfrew:

The tights change the tone of my legs from "vampire white" to "albino vampire white"

But today it's 10 degrees warmer! Awesome!

Red Renfrew with gray Ginger (and Anthro cardi)

And tomorrow it'll be 10 more degrees warmer, which I could do without. But that's alright.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

FO: Red Renfrew (& MMM Days 6-8)

For the seventh day of Me-Made May, I wore my brand new red Renfrew!

Day 7: red Renfrew and denim Ginger with thrifted Roos
...and a weird Barbie doll pose

Have I mentioned that I love this pattern? This was my fourth go. I used organic 100% cotton jersey from Fabric.com. It's really soft, and seems to wear very nicely.

Has anyone else found the neckline stitching with a twin needle to be a little hinky? I had to do several tension experiments to get it so that the front wouldn't bunch and the back wouldn't be completely loose and catch on things. Here are some perhaps-not-very-helpful pics of my topstitching:

The outside view

The inside view (it's the top row of stitches)

Nonetheless, I can't wait to make more of these shirts.

Here are my MMM outfits for the last few days:

Day 6: Renfrew in rust-colored nylon and Ginger in gray broadcloth
(complete with wrinkles)

Day 8: altered Banana Republic shirt with twill circle skirt
and Bloch patent ballerina flats

OMG I CHEATED ON MMM!! I didn't technically make this shirt, but it's the only one I can wear with this skirt. And Zoe herself could hardly blame me for wanting this awesome skirt to see the light of May. Anyway, I did alter the shirt myself by shortening the bodice and sleeves, since BR apparently thinks that size-16 women are all 6' tall.

MMM is already 1/4 over. How crazy is that?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Stash Bustin': I Swear

You know, my fabric and yarn buying have really gotten out of control. It's time to do some stash bustin'. Here's the little pledge I came up with for myself:

I, Alicia of Iron-on Maiden, hereby swear not to buy any more fashion fabric or yarn until at least one of the following occurs:
  • I've made 20 garments.
  • Every damn scrap of the fabric I own fits on my Ikea Varde shelves.
  • I've maxed out my 2012 retirement contributions.
  • Rachel Maddow calls to ask me out on a date.

Obviously, if Rachel calls, I'll have to make something special.

The exceptions: Utility fabrics and notions are fair game, as are knitting needles.

So there it is. Anybody care to join me?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Yay, it's the weekend! (& MMM Days 4 & 5)

Mmmm, Saturday! I was delightfully unproductive all morning, and am now about to tuck into a sewing project.

On the docket for this weekend:
  1. Finishing the seersucker blouse that I didn't finish earlier in the week.
  2. Sewing a toile of the Colette Crepe, with lined bodice instead of those awful facings.
  3. Knitting the sleeves of my Miette cardigan.
Since it's the weekend and I'm letting my hair down, here are some random thoughts going through my head:
  • Seriously, facings suck.
  • UFOs are several hundred times harder to finish than normal sewing projects. Stupid inertia.
  • I'm not a huge fan of knitting on DPNs. My enthusiasm for the Miette has started to flag.
  • Sewing buddies rock! I met the lovely Gail of Today's Agenda for coffee last night and we totally nerded out about sewing and knitting. It was awesome.
  • I think I might have enough separates to get through Me-Made May without repeating any outfits. Haven't decided yet whether to actually try.
  • With this morning's yarn.com order, I am officially at maximum yarnpacity. No more buying until I've finished several projects. (The order was warranted because I'm making a sweater for my bf so that I'll have an on-the-go knitting project. So I had to buy exactly the colors he wanted. Then I had to pad my order to get the biggest discount. So, really, I saved money. *rolls eyes*)
  • I desperately miss my standing desk! I'm heading to Ikea tonight to buy the materials to hack one together. Sitting all the time makes me feel gross.
  • The "sewing queue" pages that I've seen on some blogs recently are really cool. Might have to add one of those myself.

Here are my outfits from the last two days:

Sencha blouse in vintage poly and Ginger skirt in lightweight stretch denim

Renfrew test garment in lightweight nylon and Simplicity 7134 skirt in vintage double-knit

And finally: The world lost someone really fucking cool yesterday. MCA, you had more spice than the Frugal Gourmet. We'll miss you.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

FO: The "Long Live the Queens" Dirndl (& MMM Day 3)

Honestly, are dirndls flattering on anyone? I made this one last year, so I could easily accommodate my fabric's massive zig zags. This week, I had to take it in 6" at the waist. Now I either need to wear it with a tucked-in shirt or basically a crop top. Tucking seemed like an option, til I tried it and threw up all over my mirror. So this one will just hang in my closet or be an around-the-house skirt. Not even gonna model it for this post, but here's a hanger pic:

We're having a really warm, summery day here in Chicago. And yet, I'm cloaked in synthetics. (They aren't bad, actually. Just seems wrong.) Here's me in a Renfrew and Simplicity 7134 straight skirt:

This skirt pattern got me through my heaviest times--at one point I graded the pattern up 4"! It was a very exciting day when I made this plaid number using the original, ungraded pattern. I even added ribbon to the waistband to make sure it wouldn't stretch. The fabric is a 70s poly double-knit, which I really don't mind using for skirts. And I love the plaid very much.

ps--I've totally fallen behind on my goal of finishing one UFO a day this week. But since I've now scratched the second dirndl off my list, I'm still in decent shape. And I'll be clothed tomorrow, which is what really counts during Me-Made May, amirite?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

FO: The Glass Tiles Blouse (& MMM Days 1-2)

Here's the blouse I made over the weekend:

It's the Colette Violet, made up in Michael Miller's Glass Tiles cotton. (Oh yeah, look at that bedhead! I'm working from home today, so that shit ain't going anywhere.)

I liked making this blouse: it was quick and pretty painless. I left out the facings (I hate them--I really hope Colette stops using them at some point), and ended up botching the bias-bound neckline. It's totally wearable, just a little janky and needs special ironing. No biggie.

I'm not completely convinced about the shape of this pattern. It's obviously meant to be a kind of smock, but that's not too flattering. I may end up adding some darts at the front waist like Lauren did.

Anyway, here the blouse is paired with my denim Ginger skirt. And also my new Puma ballet flats! Why yes, I did have light grey and neon green shoes in my closet, just waiting to be worn with this blouse!

For the first day of MMM, I also wore a Ginger, in gray broadcloth:

This one was paired with a teal Renfrew made of some super-soft vintage acrylic. It was pretty comfy, though I totally underdressed for our Chicago spring weather.