Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wedding Dress pattern drafting- Please help!

I am going to try to make McCall 7505 as my first wedding dress mock up. Either it will be beautiful and I love it, or it will be unflattering and hideous and then I can move on to making the basketweave dress.

I do need some help however!

First, go the wiki and look at the actual pattern. There are none for sale anywhere on the interwebz, nor are there pictures of the back of the pattern or the shape of the pieces. 

I think the bodice is fairly clear and I am going to start on it first. My only question for the bodice is should it have princess seams or darts on the front? It looks like the bride's dress has princess seams, but the bridesmaid's dress has bust and waist darts. Probably princess seams would look better. I am making the bridesmaid dress, though. What do you think?
 The skirt has me waaaaaayyyyyy confused. I have no freakin clue what those two pieces should look like. What shape is the bottom skirt piece? Where are the seams? It makes no SENSE!
So, if you have any thoughts please feel free to share. I need help!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Shiny, September Swimsuit!

Here is my pattern, a 70s Vogue:
I bet she has a Bump-it in her hair!
It really didn't call for a lot a stretch sewing. I did figure out how to use the zig-zag attachment, but it kept feeding the spandex through on a diagonal and stretching it out. So I promptly gave up and just straight-stitched everything with a ball-point needle. 
I posted this on FB with "I have created the greatest swimsuit in the history of the world. It is known."
Hey, look! The inside of something I made looks nice for once! Let's pause and cherish this fleeting moment. I switched to a stronger needle and reinforced all the seams and topstitched every edge. It looks fairly professional, except for the rear end. Oh yeah, besides the fact that no one else has a swimsuit this awesome. 
 Here's a close-up of my 25 cent buckle:
All hail Ra!

And now, for some pictures of me in a swimsuit for the interwebs...

It's pretty awesome and shiny. The tops fits really well and hooks in the neck and back, so that allowed me to get a good fit. 
 Attaching the sun disk let me shorten the body length to fit me as well.
 The bottoms are less than flattering. The casings with elastic are just not right and they pinch my butt. The front leg openings have no stretch are are low, so they pinch too sometimes. I have enough fabric to make a new bottom, so I am really thinking about it.

Anyways, I have a rockin new swimsuit and I learned how to use my zig-zagger. Win-win-win!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Next up: A Shiny, shocking swimsuit

I want to make a swimsuit before the summer is over and I have just the pattern: a 70s Vogue pattern for a 31 bust. If I am going to make my own swimsuit, I want it to be "memorable" and "unique." So I journeyed across Chicago yesterday to Discount Textile Outlet in Pilsen. I have been there twice, but I distinctly remember their wall of spandex in insane prints. 

So I went, I pondered and I selected this shocking, gold, faux snakeskin. 

Awwwww yeah. I bought some nude lining as well. Nude was 2.95 a yard and the print was 4.95. So cheap. I also went on a quest to their basement where there are thousands of belt buckles. I found two possible rings for the stomach. They were 25 cents each, so I can decide later...

I'm so excited! I'm also going to try to figure out my zig-zag foot. So either I have an amazing swimsuit to wear to the beach this weekend, or I'm out ten bucks and I learned how to use the zig-zagger. Win win!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Finally, some sewing loot!

After several weeks of wasting time at terrible estate sales, last weekend we finally found two good ones. One had a bunch of buttons, so I spent some time sorting through them. I bought the ones below to sell on Etsy probably:

 These I am going to keep for sure:
 There were also four Anne Adams patterns in a bust 32 that I snatched up. Maybe no one else noticed them because they don't have fancy envelopes?
 I like the waist panels on the left and the right could be very pretty.
 The left is very similar to the pattern Diana gave me a few weeks ago and the right could be a cute tunic style top. I also bought a pair of scissors and a creepy, framed print titled "Sad Clown." All of this was seven dollars.

A a second sale, I bought this rag rug, a tweed glasses case and two white wigs. You never know when you might need to dress up like an elderly person, right? This was half off, so it was four dollars.
Yay to reasonable prices and sewing loot!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

2400 miles across America and a new dress!

This is slightly late, I forgot to post my draft about our road trip and my new dress. 

After visiting my parents, we all piled into Luke's car to move him to Chicago. Dad warned us to take it slow and not to drive straight trough because the car is fairly old and was sitting unused for the last year. 
Heading on the road
We planned out stops and had about six days to make it back. We left on Sunday around noon and drove through eastern Oregon, stopping at the Deschutes Brewery in Bend for the tour. 

My high quality map illustration, for your enjoyment:

It was a tad bit more informative than the Miller (propaganda) tour. We bought a growler of stout to take to Yellowstone. As we drove through Idaho, Andrew was pulled over for going 71 in a 65 construction zone; fortunately the state trooper did not give us a ticket. The first night we stopped at a truck stop in Idaho to rest the car and slept in the car for a few hours. So uncomfortable. I woke up covered in mosquitoes. 
In eastern Oregon
We got up and left after dawn, in an attempt to avoid deer. Deer are so stupid, and we didn't want to nail one, smash the car and end up stranded so we avoided dusk and dawn. From there, it was only about 2-3 hours to Yellowstone. We did the south loop and saw the hot springs and Old Faithful and people blocking traffic to take pictures of one elk. We found our campground that Luke has reserved by Lake Yellowstone. Since you reserve in advance, they tried to shaft us by giving us the most hideous, treeless site in the RV loop. Since it was drizzling rain all day, the campground wasn't full and we got a better spot with a view of Lake Yellowstone. 
Beautiful right?
Fortunately the rain cleared up and we were able to eat sandwiches, drink beer and play Cards Against Humanity around the campfire. We also got to see a buffalo up close because it came through the campground eating grass! It was awesome. We stayed a safe distance back because you aren't supposed to get too close. Some idiot pulled right up next to it in his minivan and then leaned out the window taking pictures. Sadly, it did not charge his van.
Isn't it giant?
 The next morning we continued our drive west out of the park. We neglected to bring an atlas because we can get maps on our phone. However, we are idiots and there are large chunks of the US that get no cell reception. Herr durr durr. So the google map gave us two routes that looked about equidistant, so we took the northern one. This led through the Bighorn Mountain range which was absolutely beautiful. However, it also includes a 7,000 foot climb to about 10,000 feet in just about an hour or so. I woke up from a nap to Luke saying "Hmm, the car is getting sorta hot." Then, as we go around a curve with a guardrail the car just turns off and we have to push it about 20 feet uphill to get onto the shoulder. It was really stressful. Tons of people stopped to check on us, the first of course being a nice Canadian guy. We waited a hour or two until the car cooled down and then we took it really slow.

Luke and our Canadian friend
Fortunately, we hit the top of the ridge in a few miles and then it was all downhill. We stopped for the night in Rapid City because that is the closest city to Mount Rushmore. We stayed at a delightful KOA campground that had a pool. There were thunderstorms passing through the area. We missed all the giant hail, but the tent did get soaked while we slept. Oh well. In the morning we dreid out the tent and sleeping bags, and then headed off to Mount Rushmore. 

I wore my wrap dress so I could take pictures. It was perfect for the 100 degree day. This post has the 70s pattern and a closeup of the printed linen I used. This is an absolutely great summer dress and I've worn it a lot in the last month. It's for a 34 bust, so the top was gaping a huge amount. Since the skirt has a ruffle, I just make the neckline ruffled too and that solved that. Magic.I think the length balances out the backless-ness and the no bra. 

Mount Rushmore is the kind of place that you could photoshop yourself in front of and that would be about the same as seeing it in person. We did see a wild turkey and its baby crossing the road. 

Then we headed off to the Badlands National Park. Like I mentioned, it was a 100 degree day. The car decided to over heat again, so we had to stop. It couldn't really cool much in the sun so we continued on.
Then we got stuck in an uphill section and stopped by road construction. We needed to keep driving slowly because the moving air cooled the engine, but the people in front of us stopped to ask the flagger some idiotic question like "What's going on?" and the car heated up then we had to pull over again for about 30 minutes. We grilled some cheese slices on the pavement and waited. Finally we left, made it over the blip of a hill and then coasted back to the interstate. The badlands were okay, but the car trouble kind of overshadowed our interest in the scenery. And it was super hot. From there on, the car was fine. It was nice and flat. We zipped across South Dakota and camped again at a KOA in Sioux Falls next to some very friendly bikers. The best part of KOAs is that they always have a pool and showers. Yay!

The next day we drove through Minnesota without stopping and then stopped in Lacrosse, Wisconsin for Lunch. We then stopped for a brewery break in Madison, where we saw their awesome capitol building. Then we zipped back to Chicago missing the evening traffic and made it back safely!

2400 miles, 5 days, 4 national parks, 3 car breakdowns and 7 states later we brought Luke to Chicago! It was a fun trip.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A summer to fall transition dress

I bought another piece of fabric along with the one I wanted advice on last week. It is a nice fabric in fall colors, but I wanted to make a summer dress that could make the transition to fall. The weather is still nice here and I hope to fit in more beach days, but soon it will be getting cold. 

I used Simplicity 7689, with the middle view. It is two pieces and two facings. Including cutting time, it maybe took a hour to make. Jiffy, like it says!
The fabric is peacock feathers, but in shades of off-white, tan, burgundy, green and blue. I really like it.
 I hemmed it on the machine and added an Alma style waist tie, since the pattern doesn't include one. It looks very tent-like without the sash. The shoulder tie is rayon seam binding to match the blue in the peacock eyes.

It was fun and easy to make; I am happy with it. I can add tights and a cardigan and wear it into fall as well. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A long sleeve Alma with more polka dots!

I made another Sewaholic Alma, but this time I made view C with the long sleeves. It was also a great excuse to use these buttons that my mom picked up for me at an estate sale. 
 "Buttons I cut off of a blouse in my mom's cedar chest- along with a blouse from her wedding portrait- blouse would have been worn around 1910 to 1920- married in June 1920- so buttons near 100 years old"

At first I thought they were wood, but now I am not sure. Some kind of early plastic maybe? The loops on the back are metal. Plus there were only four, so I used them for the cuff closures.
 The last one was very fitted and I wanted it to be looser. When I cut out the front and back pieces on the fold, I moved them over about half an inch. That gave me two more inches of ease.
 I accidentally sewed up both the side seams forgetting to put in the zipper. However, I can jimmy it over my head if I squirm like a weasel, so no zipper for me!!!
Anyways, I am pretty happy with it and its such a pretty blouse for the fall! Off to two estate sales, have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

C'mon, boss me around

On a whim, I bought this fabric yesterday at Jo-Ann. It kind of looks like feathers with a watercolor effect. I bought two yards and then came back and dug through my pattern mountain to see if anything looked good. 
So feel free and tell me which one to use. All of them need about 2 yards of fabric, so they are all possibilities. 
 1- Vintage Simplicity with scallops
2- Vogue with nice midriff piece that is covered by her stupid belt
3- Vogue might break up the print too much
4- Vogue with lots of tiny waist pleats and a blousy back. I really like this one, but it is meant to be made out of a sheer fabric.
5- Simplicity yellow view
6- Sewaholic skirt b
7- Butterick with the short sleeves and either skirt

I am leaning towards 4 or 7, but tell me what you think! I'm currently making another Alma blouse, so I don't need to decide THIS MINUTE or anything.

So, c'mon- boss me around!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A ruffly top that doesn't fit

I made this pattern, Butterick 4886 our of some flowered cotton lawn that I bought in Portland a year or two ago. I am an idiot and need to remember that a pattern for a 34 bust will not fit if I do not have the magical benefit of Victoria's secret. 
 In conclusion, I declined to model this and put it on Dolly instead.
 I made the buttonholes, but didn't sew on any buttons when it became blatantly obvious that it was huge.
Maybe add some buttons and sell it on Etsy? In my imaginary shop that I have not yet finished creating? Some horrible Molly in Ohio stole "Molly Sews" as a name, so now I am at a loss. Any ideas? I have a lot of patterns I should sell and pass on to people who might enjoy them.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Various Loot and some patterns

Here is my latest assortment of loot. Some is from my mom, some from estate sales we went to in Salem and some from this past Saturday in Chicago. 
 Last weekend I found three pairs of kid leather gloves for $2 each. I can jam my tiny hands into them and many people can't, so I always pick up the gloves. The longer pairs will also cover my wrists, which is something I never considered before moving to Chicago. I also got the little pig salt and pepper shakers. The weekend before I found the blue mug, a boy twin for my pink one. The deer is missing an ear and it was filthy, but they are so cute. "Always drink your milk!" and I read it in a high-pitched creeper voice.
 I bought all of these patterns at a sale in Oregon for 7 dollars. The Advance at the top left is really similar to my favorite sundress (and second ever blog post!) with the same bodice and skirt, just sleeves instead of tiny straps. Sometimes people email me wanting to buy it, but that is one that I want to keep. Maybe I'll sell this one instead. The apron and suit are cute, but I really like that coat and can see myself wearing it all winter!
 The slip pattern was in an envelope, and the two Advance patterns below were behind it. The are too large for me, so maybe I will sell them. I could definitely make a slip and that 1940s shirt dress has such cute details.
 These were from my mom:
I really want to make that sundress before summer is over and the baby pattern cracks me up. I really think the pink version looks exactly like what the baby just came out of, if you get what I mean. :)

Now I am going to go sew for a bit before work. Oh Monday nights at the restaurant, so tragically boring...

Friday, August 3, 2012

My Alma blouse, polka dot style

Once again, I got to be a pattern tester for Tasia's new Sewaholic pattern, the Alma blouse. I would like to think that I didn't subconsciously copy her blouse, since it wasn't intentional but my blouse looks waaaayyy too much like hers. It's even the same version. I am a dork. Go check it out.

So I made the version with cap sleeves in a red polyester with white polka dots. I think I did not sew the notch on the collar correctly, because it is not very defined. However, that would be my error. The pattern is lovely and simple to follow, like they always are. I made a 2 and it fits perfectly. I made no changes to the pattern, other than putting in a handpicked zipper instead of an invisible zip. 

 I saw Lauren's and Marie's, which reminded me that I had let 2 months slip by without taking pictures of my blouse. Both of their blouses are adorable. I also googled other versions to see if I missed any and I found Karen's and Mika's. These are also very pretty. I love how you can see eight version of the same pattern (including Tasia's 3) and they are all so pretty and unique. 
 I love the blouse, but I need to stop making things with cap sleeves. It makes me look like I have the shoulders of a gymnast! Yay, go USA gymnasts; I love watching the Olympic gymnastics, since I used to do it as a kid. I don't really need to emphasize my shoulders, though.
I love this pattern and plan on making the long-sleeve version for the fall. I already bought the brown fabric at the same time, it's a nice sandy brown with big white polka dots. I am in a frenzy for dots, you would think.

In other news, we have chosen March 10, 2013 as our wedding date and are choosing between two locations right now. I need to get going on the wedding dress so that my procrastination doesn't ruin my wedding.

Link in the comments if you see any other Almas pop up in  blog land!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Iron hate

My iron is pretty new, I bought it a month or two ago after my last one just stopped heating up randomly. It's not a fancy, expensive iron, but it wasn't the cheapest one at Target.

Gah, I should have read reviews online before buying one because it has terrible and accurate reviews. It loves to turn itself off really quickly and then not acknowledge that you are trying to use it again. Worse, it apparently has a "non-stick" plate which is the biggest lie ever. It is getting a sticky brown film on it, which then causes the fabric to glom onto it and cause clusters of wrinkles. I had to scrape it off with a butter knife, but it just keeps coming back.

I just wanted a decent, cheap-ish iron. Woe is me!