Egg-Shaped Dress

My last project completed in 2014 was an egg-shaped dress (BurdaStyle 10/2014 #127B).

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Most of the time, I am drawn to the oddest (but still kind of practical) garment the magazine has to offer, but this shape isn’t as unusual as I originally thought. It’s actually a nod to style from the 1960s, it appeared in several styles in 2006/2007 and again on the runway in 2013/2014.

Balenciaga coat

Balenciaga Coat (Photo credit: Pinterest via Balenciaga.com)

jil sander

Jil Sander Dress (Photo credit: farfetch.com)

asos

ASOS Dress (Photo credit: asosrp2010.cloudapp.net)

It’s definitely one of those shapes that few people wear really well, but that never stops me from attempting the impossible.

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The original pattern has only a slight egg shape and made in a wonderfully bright striped jacquard.  The fabric selection is probably the real reason I love the dress so much.  That and I needed a shape to hide those few pounds I knew I was going to gain during the cookie holiday season.  No need to walk around holding my breath and sucking in my belly!

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I was unable to find any fabric like it that wasn’t heavy upholstery fabric, so I settled on a lightweight jacquard that still kept the horizontal striped layout. The pattern did not call for lining so I took some time (okay, quite a bit of time) to Hong Kong finish all the seams, make my own piping, install my first exposed zip.

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Of course there was the usual full bust adjustment, but I made no other alterations.  There is enough fullness to add another me into this dress.  I wanted to pair it with a black mock turtleneck as similarly styled in the magazine and a simple wedge shoe or a tall boot, but I don’t own either.

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I will probably never sew this pattern again, but it was fun to make and a very easy, cozy dress to wear.  Best of all, I got to try techniques I haven’t done before.

-Nizzy

Egg-Shaped Dress

Patternmaking Success

To finally get out of my ‘store bought pattern’ comfort zone I took a pattern-making class.  After lots of fittings, lots of muslin samples, and lots of dart manipulations I had only the final week of class to sew up my project.

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The jacket was originally a shirt before I made the fabric selection of denim.  I had to change my design when I realized there was no way to get in it.  I transferred the bust and waist darts  to the neck line and stitched  them down for detail. The petal sleeve was also drafted.

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The skirt was inspired by my Fashion Studies Foundation class mood board and illustration of origami and a four gored skirt with a back inset detail.

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There were a couple of inside finishing details that I slipped up on, but I think I did an okay job for a first time pattern-maker.  Now, on to draping class!

Patternmaking Success

Slow(est) Work

I think there comes a time in a person’s life where they begin to question their reason for doing something, e.g. a career, following a movement, purpose of life.   Sewing and I have had this relationship for a long time.   I know where I want to go with it, but trying to work out the time for it all is a challenge.  It’s slow work!  For me, it’s a frustratingly long process for every stage in the project: the deciding, the cutting, the fitting, the washing and ironing, and the actual construction.  I regularly visit other sewing blogs and it seems they are cranking out these projects like a factory.  I just want to get something done and I want it done NOW.  Yes, friends, I am a product of my generation! 

Instant gratification.

I want it now.

Entitlement.

I need it now. 

I gotta have it. 

Umm, why is this taking so long? 

This isn’t done already? 

*Groan* 

*sigh*

*whine*

*pout*

Drive-thru sewing. 

Well, I had to (have to) take a step back from that, ignore the blogs, re-learn, and constantly remind myself that in my world sewing (and everything else in life) takes time.  I also have responsibilities and other interests that bring me pleasure, Really, what’s my hurry anyway?  It’s not a competition. 

Despite the slow work of sewing, I managed to finish a couple of projects: a skirt (will be posted later) and two craft baskets to organize my out of control pattern collection.  I’m working on a third that you can see in the background.

 

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Colorful fabric from the stash is put to use in Kwik Sew #107.   I’ll be making them until each of those patterns has a basket home.

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Of course, I could buy boxes or baskets and it would certainly speed up the organization process, but what would be the fun in that? 

-Nizzy

Slow(est) Work

T-shirt Revamp

So if I get nothing else done I can say I completed my Craft Stash Challenge for this month.

Some years ago I went nuts over t-shirts and purchased a heap of them with the idea to cut and redesign.  Before I even got started I lost interest in it.    Then I bought black tees in every size to make silk screened tees with the LOST logo.  I read up on how to do it and decided that I wasn’t ready to invest in the time and materials at that moment.  No matter because after seeing that finale I would be using that shirt to clean the toilet.

So they have sat, waiting for action or donation and I thought why not wing it and transform it into something different.  No measuring, just cut, pin fit, and sew.  I mean, it’s only a t-shirt.

This was not my first choice for color combo, but I had to work with what I had.   I was not to buy another shirt to add to the collection! These colors together totally remind me of the neon colored surf wear that was popular in the 80s and 90s:  Rude Dog, T and C.  I didn’t live anywhere near a beach, but I remember seeing some of that gear.

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Overall, I wish I did something to stabilize the neckline to avoid stretching it out.  NOW, What am I going to do with the rest of those unsexy tees?

– Nizzy

T-shirt Revamp

Have Dress, No Shoes

No, I didn’t actually go out without shoes on this day, but I wasn’t crazy about them with this dress so I left them out of the picture.  If there is one thing that sewing apparel makes you want to do is shop.  I’m not talking about shopping for fabric and patterns because that’s a given.  I’m talking about shopping for SHOES!  I thought I had enough pairs of shoes that I don’t really wear, but I see the “need” to get a few more to go with the new clothing I make.  Just where we store these new shoes is something that will have to be worked out.   A walk-in shoe room is not an option unless it comes with a brand new house that’s mortgage free.

Anyway, the dress of the month is Butterick 5601 View A.  I made this is a floral print stretch cotton in which the stretch was in the wrong direction.  Here’s to cheap fabric!  It had a little weight and a slight stiffness to it that sewing and smooshing out the darts wasn’t completely successful.  I did the best I could so that it was presentable enough.  I needed to minimize the handling and sewing of this white fabric.   Other adjustments I made were the FBA, lengthened the skirt, and added a little to the waist.

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And the back?  Oh, that back gave me sooo many problems.   I removed fabric, repositioned the button and the pieces themselves so that I eliminated as much of the gap as possible before I lost my sanity.

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Next stop, shoe store!

– Nizzy

Have Dress, No Shoes

Scrap Happy!

I mostly think of shopping for myself when looking for new for sewing patterns.  Many of the items I sew are garments and fitting myself is hard enough.  Once I can master pattern alterations and fit for myself I think fitting others might become a piece of cake.  For the moment I’m perfectly fine with sewing small accessories for friends.

I don’t always feel like carrying a bag, especially since I tend to stuff it full with everything I own.  It get’s heavy!  Gum?  Got it.  Hand Sanitizer?  Yep.  Camera?  All the time.  Floss? Of course.  Q-tips? Maybe.  I’m known to tear a handbag to shreds.  Why do I need to carry all that stuff?

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When I don’t want to carry my life with me, one of these wrist wallets (Kwik Sew 112) will be perfect!

Now, where I carry everything, I have a friend who is the opposite.  No bag, no purse, no wallet, just keys, phone and card in the pocket.  How does she live without lip gloss or lotion at the tip of her fingers?  Her cards and ID are bent out of shape from sitting in her pocket and that is just unacceptable!  I knocked out one of these out (#4)  so that her cards (and mine with #6) could be protected without her getting a girly girl purse or a manly wallet.  Hopefully, I can convince her to carry it.

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The best part was sewing these out using the scraps of fabric I already owned.  No washing or fitting.  Just cut and sew.  I went crazy and made 4 more.

-Nizzy

Scrap Happy!

Part-time Perfectionist

There are times where I am knitting/sewing/crafting away at a project and I’ll notice a mistake: A split stitch, a crooked seam, a missed area of paint and I will sometimes let myself think that mistake ruins the whole project.  Surely, if I notice it others will also.  Yes, I am a perfectionist! But that’s not quite something to be proud of. 

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While I was making March 2012’s quilt blocks I tried to get those points and corners to line up and in the end there were a couple that just didn’t line up perfectly.  Do I throw in the towel on the whole project?  Do I spend more time taking it all apart to try to line it up?  In this case, both of these answers should be no.  One small little error does not render a whole project useless.  The inherent function of the block will still be the same.   As crafters/artists/workers/people we should strive to do the best we can, but not at a cost.  Paying attention to detail is a great quality to have, however extreme perfectionism is limiting, inefficient, and most of the time unattainable.

In the future I hope to let my perfectionism drive my need to improve, but not so much so that it hinders my creativity and progress.  I am not a machine.

-Nizzy

Part-time Perfectionist

And Before You Know It…

June is basically here!  I had my eye on a particular craft book challenge that involved beading,  but I didn’t get around to it.   My completed project is not contained in a book, but is still part of the stash which is a component of my challenge.

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Simplicity 2501 (View E)  and fabric used is straight out of the collection.   The pattern pieces were a tight fit given the limited amount of this fabric after adjustments.  What was different about this pattern is that it comes with multiple sizes according to your bust cup.  Let me tell you that didn’t mean diddly squat and I still had to do my usual bust adjustments. Oh, how disappointing!

After bust, back, and hip adjustments, I ended up with something I’m fairly pleased with.  I love the ruffle detail even though the print is a little busy and hides it.  I’m not pushing any fashion boundaries with this top, but it’s a start for my summer wardrobe.  I just need a pant or skirt to pair it with.

On a knitting note, I have a total of 9 squares finished for my afghan.  Some aren’t working out so well so I’ve changed a few of the square patterns originally selected.

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I was a little misled by the colors on my monitor.  My two blues don’t coordinate as well as I thought, however there is no stopping it now!  Onward!

-Nizzy

And Before You Know It…

Me? Quilting?

In an earlier post I mentioned my visit to a Babylock sewing club.     Three quarters of the way through the class there was “Show and Tell” segment where everyone in the room got a chance to show off something that they made.  One woman showed a bunch of quilt blocks she put together from the free Craftsy 2012 Block of the Month class.  The fabrics, the colors, and the stitching were beautiful and it inspired me to give it a try.  I’ve never quilted before and don’t have the interest now to call myself a quilter, but I’m going to have fun making the blocks!  I may not even bind it after all the blocks are done.

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The first two blocks employed the slash and sew technique:  sew in a strip between two pieces, slash through your square, and sew in another strip between the two new pieces.  Very easy.  Except when things don’t line up.  I had to redo the seams on the Wonky Pound Sign block because my strips didn’t line up.  The very first block I did (Asterisk) isn’t centered and I’m fighting the urge to completely redo the thing.

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I falling in love all over again with my rotary cutter!

-Nizzy

Me? Quilting?

Sewing Community

Source: http://babylock.com

I upgraded my Kenmore to a Babylock Elizabeth!  Now, I can easily put the buttonholes on that unfinished shirt that’s sitting in my closet.  I don’t want to deal with that buttonhole contraption on my old machine any longer if it’s not an emergency.

The store I purchased it from gives you a free one-year membership to a sewing club so you can work on planned projects with others who have your machine or similar.   This month’s project was a chicken shaped bun warmer and  a bowl cover.

Source: kwiksew.mccalls.com, Kwik Sew 1135
Source: kwiksew.mccalls.com, Kwik Sew 0104

I thought the bun warmer was cute, but my only option was to make the bowl cover since I didn’t buy the other pattern in advance.

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I got to work with iron on vinyl, which I had no idea that such a thing exists.  It’s a very simple project, not very challenging, but the real fun for me was getting to work on my craft with others.    It made me want to be a part of a sewing community even more.

I’m pretty much a solo crafter.   Only few of my friends craft on limited occasions.    I visit and comment on other sewing blogs, forums, etc.,  but I’m not sure I am keeping up with that enough to say I’m officially a part of the online sewing community.   I am just in the early stages of getting together my sewing-related content so I’ve missed out on some meet and greets.   Once my club membership runs out I think it’s time to push the boundaries and branch out to a few local meetups /groups to meet more new folks who share the love for sewing.

What do you do to connect to the sewing/craft community?

-Nizzy

Sewing Community