Tuesday, June 29, 2010

'50s Party Dress! Sort of

You might remember that at the beginning of June, I was yapping about making a dress to wear to Claire's wedding. Well, her wedding party was on the 19th and I didn't go naked. Behold!
The somewhat '50s party dress, based on another version of Simplicity 2588. I'm pretty happy with the dress all around, there are a lot of "bests" and "betters" tied in with it. For example, the bumps on the back zipper are much closer to non-existent, the zipper is well-installed, I actually used a method to hem the skirt (ganked from Gertie's blog), and I minimized my "winging it" with...some of the more critical parts. Now, if only I could find a belt that really matches it.
See, the bump in the back is way smaller, I think the dress is just a skidge too long for my torso and I need to slash out some of that length. Also, the top of the dress doesn't gap as much as the grey workdress I made. Yes, the bump is still there, but these are the little victories.

Here is something else I'm proud of. I tried on the pieces of the dress when I was stitching up the bodice to see if it was going to fit. It seemed like the dress would not be able to contain my midsection so I ripped out the back darts and made them much shallower and completed the dress from there. The dress was complete and I try it on and...something's not right. The damn thing is approximately one size too large in the midsection. Curses! But! Instead of just leaving it as-was and never wearing it again, I ripped the dress apart and re-installed the darts in their full capacity and--huzzah!--a dress that fits! Go me! I didn't wallow in my mistakes! (Chris might report otherwise, but that is another story.)
So yes, this dress is complete and in time for Make It, Wear It challenge. Whee!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ranch creek time!

On Saturday I dragged Chris down to the creek. The creek is wonderful right now! I just wanted to post some pictures to make you jealous of creek swimming. :) If you play your cards right, maybe you'll get a chance to swim too.
Serious joy!
Other side of the swimming hole
Why am I not in water right now?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mens shirt refashions

It might be time for me to throw in the towel and not try any more mens shirt refashions for a stretch. They never quite turn out the way I expect them to and they eat up far too much time. For example, I stumbled upon this refashion in the CraftStylish email and thought it looked pretty cute. 

Not only that, I remembered that Chris had a fun pink striped button-up shirt in the thrift store bag; this all seems like it should make for a really cute summer shirt, yes? Well...

Let me be the first to admit that I didn't follow the instructions to the letter--it simply isn't my style to do so. Maybe I had misplaced expectations, I don't know, but whatever the case that beast shirt is blousey as all get out in the back, making me scrunch my face like you just offered me the headphones blasting your Huey Lewis and the News marathon.
Overall, perhaps the most unflattering thing I've ever created... except for last summer's accidental maternity top. Man, I still shudder to thing of that one.

Stupid mens shirt refashions, wreckin' my day! I think a good number of us can remember the unfortunate tranny-top refashion from last summer, which I'm still trying to make work. Somehow. In spite of the negative shirt energy, I was able to make the necessary alterations to bring two skirts back into the "functioning" section of my life.

No number of refashions will stop me from dancing!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pattern weights

I recently came around to the idea of using pattern weights to keep the delicate pattern paper in place while I trace it instead of tearing it to shreds with stickpins. When I was making bloomers for KDVS, I had a stroke of genius and discovered the perfect household item that would double as a pattern weight.

Unfortunately, I forgot what that was and now I'm using kitchen jars; though handy, they leave much to be desired.

Did I tell any of you about the pattern weight revelation in April? Please remind me!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Finally finished!

Cate's purse is done!
Finally, I can go back to focusing on myself. What a relief!
Notes on this purse:

  • I still can't measure. I had to adjust the lining approximately 80 times. I couldn't tell you why.
  • I like how the bird is lighting on the button. Yep, I planned that! But I still can't measure. 
  • The outer Echino fabric was purchased expressly for this project, but the lining was donated by Preet last year, yay recycling! (thanks, Preet!)
  • I don't know why I was procrastinating so much, it only took me two nights of work--one for cutting, one for stitching. Could someone remind me of that next time?

I am medium pleased with the final result. My only quarrel with the purse is how it droops on the bottom when it is hanging. Dagnabbit purse, that is why you are lined! Actually, I take that back, I'm pretty pleased with this purse in spite of the sagginess. Might be my best looking satchel to date, and I had the foresight to include (two) pockets this time!
We'll see what Cate thinks next week. She's not too good at feigning reactions, so I just need to be there when she opens it. :)