Monday, April 22, 2013

Stashbusting Sewalong

I'm a bit late to the party, but I've decided to join in on the Stashbusting Sewalong. In 2013, I will use at least 4 pieces of stashed fabric, and not buy anything new unless I've sewn up the previously-bought fabric. I didn't think I had much of a stash until I started organizing everything. I don't have many pieces that are big enough to actually make an item of clothing from, and that's the type of sewing I like to do best - or at least, most often.

The official plans:

The April stashbusting theme is Vibrant Color, and I actually have a piece of fabric that works! I ordered it online and when it arrived on my doorstep, I decided it might be a little too bright for me. (That was when I first learned that has a good selection but that their colors are much brighter in person than displayed on my monitor.) I even think I might be able to get away with using the wrong side, which isn't as bright but is still colorful and summery. The fabric is a stretchy ITY knit; the weight is similar to a maxi coverup dress I tried on last year but didn't buy. I'm thinking I might try to mimic it.

Wrong side - see end of post for the right side
I used chambray in the dress below, but there's still a good sized piece left (and the dress is no longer a dress). It's destined to become a Laurel shirt (already cut out, not sewn).

I have a blue cotton knit (seen below, bottom left) from Stonemountain and Daughter in Berkeley that I got for my birthday last year; I'm planning to sew it up into a boatneck tunic.

I also have a pretty piece of greyish-lavender silk (pictured above, top right), navy Pendleton wool (also in the photo, with sandy silk habotai lining), a black and white linen/cotton blend (shown up there with the chambray), and possibly something I'm forgetting. I have vague plans for each of those, but we'll see what actually makes the cut. The silk was bought with Gertie's portrait blouse in mind, and the wool for a lined pencil skirt. I'm pretty sure I'll do something different with the wool, and I'm not sure about the silk.

And, I've already used a stashed piece! There's a shirt I made last month that I haven't shared yet which used up that cream knit shown above.

Bonus: This is the right side of the ITY shown above.

Friday, April 12, 2013


(This post went up last week but the photos weren't showing up - I took it down and tried to fix it, so hopefully they're working now).

I saw a few of these pictures over at Orchid Grey. I clicked over to the Life website to look at the full set - they're great. These are my two favorites:

We have multiple blank and partially stenciled skateboard decks laying around our house and garage. Last year, my husband began making designs for skateboards, and it's a good creative side project for him. I think of crochet and sewing projects as being "old" hobbies, but I tend to think about skateboards as being so modern. It's fun to see them as vintage.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Colette Truffle

I cannot believe it's April already. We had to deal with some health stuff in January/February (everything's fine now, but it kind of absorbed all my time and attention), and March was just a chance to settle back down. I finally got back to the sewing machine, and I finally finished and WORE my Truffle dress!

It was originally supposed to be my dress for a Delfeayo Marsalis Octect concert, but it became my dress for a Wynton Marsalis with JLCO concert. The concert and the dress each had a long process. I'd heard Wynton Marsalis was going to be in the area this March and knew my husband had been wanting to see him. However, the tickets to the local concert were sold out to subscribers before they even went on sale to the general public. It was such a bummer! Then in December, I was looking online and saw there was a show added in Napa! So I bought those tickets right away. We went to dinner at Celadon beforehand, and it was good. If you're looking for a  The concert was at the Napa Valley Opera House, which was built around 1880, closed down in the early 1900's, and renovated 10 years ago. It's a small, pretty venue. It was a very fun date.

The dress itself:

As I mentioned, this was supposed to be worn to a different concert way back in October. I got fed up with it and didn't pull it back out until last month. All it needed was a hem for the lining and a wash to remove the stabilizer.


Fabric: 3 yards Silk georgette from Mood, self-dyed silk crepe de chine from Dharma Trading used to underline bodice (1 yard, 12 mm, 55") and to line skirt (1 yard, 16 mm, 55")

Pattern Changes: Fit alterations. I changed the bodice front darts to angled French darts. Added a lining to the skirt. Underlined the bodice, omitted lining, added all-in-one facing. Changed zipper to side; made back bodice one piece.

New &/or Improved Techniques: I handrolled the hem on the skirt lining - not very well, mind you, but you can't see it and I wanted to practice. First time sewing with silk - Sullivan's stabilizer helped. First time underlining; I hand-basted quite a bit and it was a little tricky to keep everything where I wanted it but I think it worked out.

What I Like: The silk! I don't know that I've ever really worn silk, but I quite like it. And the color is very pretty. The drape/ruffle is fun.

What I'd Change: The fit as far as the darts go.The zipper isn't great - I did a machine lapped zipper on the side and it doesn't lie flat (I blame the georgette's "bounce") but it's better than my last lapped zip! The fabric doesn't really work well with the bodice - that "bounce" that the georgette has makes the darts a little pokey, plus I didn't adjust them to the right spot. The muslin looked fine but they're not quite right in the silk. And I didn't take my time with the hems (they aren't even doubled on the drape, it's just a single press up) and they're going to fray. I also misaligned the drapey part of the skirt and kind of tacked it up, which you can see where it starts angling out from the waist. It's not as noticeable when I wear it.

A cardigan covers the dart issues and gives me a chance to wear my new-to-me vintage sweater guard! So in the end, it's a good-enough dress that feels nice to wear, and I feel like I learned a lot making it.