Monday, July 30, 2012

UFOs sighted! Or, a Hall of Shame

Okay, we are back from Catalonia.  It was to see all our friends (and their families & children), so that was wonderful.  We were fortunate that 3 different sets of friends were in the same part of the world at the same time. And it meant we traipsed from one end of Catalonia to another, from mountains (hiking/birdwatching) to the seashore (the Roommate worked on his tan while I stayed inside & read--I'm a white girl!) to river deltas (more birding), and managed to bask in the amazing Modernisme architecture that is all over Barcelona. Our next project will be to rent some movies filmed in Parc Guell!

And while I was gone, of course I missed Bella, who is as sweet and adorable as ever. And I missed my machine & thought of about 50 more projects I want to do...but made a vow that I would finish up some UFOs before I move on.
Most of them are almost done, so really, it would be a little work to get a BIG feeling of accomplishment before I move on.
And what are those UFOs, you dare to ask?  Well, let's get started...from oldest to newest the UFOs are:

1. Simplicity 1011A, which you probably recognize from Tilly's logo.  This is a very good lesson in why muslins/toiles are so important.  It is a little too small (wouldn't be if I'd lose that stone I gained since we moved to DC!), but could be let out.  But the real problem is that the bodice is really too short in the front--and I refuse to take out & re-do the zipper--this was back when I wasn't so good at them and I remember it being he** to get it in).  I need to do some playing (maybe not have it overlap so much at the double-breast in front?) and get it into shape.  I love the pattern & the fabric, so really want this to work out.

2. 7051/7501 - This has been going on way too long.  I have fixed the weird fitting issue, thanks to Allison, but have to remake the collar & facing as that required cutting off quite a bit at the neck-side shoulder seam.  I really can't wait to have it done, and winter is sort-of coming, so it must keep its place in the UFO order.  

3. Copy Your Clothes: Pants - I took this class with Allison at Bits of Thread, DC in April.  Here we are 4 months later & though I made a toile (with extremely ugly sheet fabric as you see in the photo), and bought some super cheap $.99/yard fabric, I haven't finished them.  They didn't quite fit right & I really have trouble adjusting & playing with fit as I mostly hate my body (Candy Says...) & therefore inspecting it closely for fitting is icky.  And I'm not sure I want to tackle the lining that will be required.  But I do want a few colors of these will be great.  And, I want to make my Starlet Suit a pantsuit!  Must achieve!  

4. Starlet Suit Jacket! - It is actually about done.  That is, if you consider w/out a lining about done!  I've really enjoyed all that Gretchen has taught in this class.  I've learned lots of stuff I'll use again, a few things that were interesting but probably won't use much, and had lots of questions & terms I had about tailoring answered/explained.  

5. Probably not the best idea I've ever had.  I really wanted this dress, but I'm not sure it's really for my body type (even if I did lose that stone!).  This is Simplicity 6081, which my mom recently found & sent.  (1966!).  It is so cute & I love the fabric I've got, but goshee gollee, I am not having much luck w/ fitting it.  Did anyone say toiles/muslins are important?  This may get made into something else--like a book bag or cover for my tablet computer...

Next post I'll tell you why I'm so anxious to get all these crossed off my list...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Summer Fun with the Roommate's Fun Summer Shirts

I was down in the basement looking for hiking socks (which I didn't find!) for our trip to the Pyrenees, but I came across a box of the Roommate's fun shirts...he has so many that we don't have them all in the closet!  He's supposed to rotate them every summer or so, but with all the upheaval of the kitchen re-do, that didn't happen. Anyway, I brought up & ironed three so that his wardrobe is updated for Spain.

I didn't make any of these. His tailor Mohammed is responsible for most of them. But the wonderful Brunswick repairman bowling shirt we got in an antique store in SFO years ago.  And one is from Ouagadougou--there's a sort of high-end tourist fabric shop there called Woodin and he got a few things there...

Sunday, July 15, 2012

One Dress 10 Ways; or, Amy Winehouse's Stylist Shares

The New York Times Magazine had a short article about Naomi Parry, who did the styling for Amy Winehouse's last tour (cancelled after only one night).  What I loved was the cute dress she made 10 different ways.  Here are a few favorites...check out the article for more

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Miracle Worker or Magician?! Thanks, Allison!

Okay, you know that I've been going to classes @ Bits of Thread in DC.  Although I've been sewing for years (40?!), I still have a lot to learn & have only just recently been proud of my zipper installations, rather than thinking, "Hope no one notices that." (Again, thanks Allison!).  

So a while back I booked a private one-hour lesson to have Allison help me with Simplicity 7501 (which all started when I mixed it up with Scruffy's 7051).  You can read all that blather, which started here.   I had a few problems with that hasty ebay purchase!  First, it wasn't the right size, so I had to make it bigger and move darts around like crazy.  Second, I wanted that collar, so had to change the neckline & design & draw a collar.  It all finally worked out, sort of.  This photo doesn't show the gapping at the front & back waist, which I partly covered up w/ the belt.  

Corduroy for 2 more 7501 dresses;
leaning a bit to the purple side!
But it didn't (work out, that is).  I really wanted to make a bunch of corduroy dresses because they are so perfect for winter & look great with boots, and are so different from what you see in stores.  But it really did not fit too well and there was no way I was making up my other corduroy fabric until I had a pattern that was worth making at least twice more.
Taking off the blue at the top
made such a big difference!

So I went to see Allison, and within about 5 minutes of my arrival, she had figured out that the best fix would be to whack off about an inch from the shoulder (more at the neckline, less at the armscye).  The pattern (which I re-drew from the dress after I'd made the change) is laying on a 1" grid so you can see that the lopping off was rather dramatic.  

I had done SOOO much fiddling with darts and the waistline, but never even thought that the shoulder seam needed adjusting.  Having had other similar fitting issues with patterns & clothing I've bought, I will definitely keep an eye on this area in future.  

This dress is a UFO, which may not be finished until we're back from Spain.  I still need to re-draft the neckline facing & a collar as the first one I did won't fit anymore because of the neckline change.  Stay tuned...

Sunday, July 1, 2012

More Vintage From My Mom...

Simplicity 5980, 1965
I got another amazing package from my mom the other day. Where is she getting this stuff from?!

So 2 more patterns, neither of which I will probably ever use, but still, they are very cool... Simplicity 5980 just wouldn't look that good on me, and McCall's 7472 is for a little girl (I don't remember that pattern, though).

The real treasure though, for only 60 cents, is the Fall/Winter 1969 Home Catalog, which is full of amazing pictures. It will definitely be my shopping guide the next time I head over to Ebay for some vintage pattern shopping (after I pay for my kitchen).

There are so many jumpers in this catalog!  The hairstyles & eye make-up is a lot of fun, too.  It would be a great guide for someone going to a 1960s party!

Simplicity 7472, no date,
"not suitable for chubby girls"

Simplicity 8345, no pattern

Fall/Winter 1969 Simplicity Home Catalog