Friday, December 30, 2011

Claire's Summer Fun Dress! in December

Yay for summer dresses in December! It really gives you something to hope for, since I've had summer on my brain in an incapacitating way for the past month. How is it in the 20s at night? How is that POSSIBLE?! Anyhow, Claire has long been talking about dresses of mine that she likes, specifically my 50s party dress. My goal had been to make her a version of that dress until I realized that I didn't have the pattern in her size. Dangs. The plan shifted into making a version of Burda Style 108 (March 2011), with the seam allowances included, unlike my last duel with this pattern.
more pictures from my porch, such class!
This fabric was a gift from Michelle as a thank you for sewing her a number of things. Can you picture it as something other than a spring-in-your-step dress? I can't. The original dress pattern called for a bubble skirt, but that seems a little silly on a grown woman. Instead, I cut the pattern pieces in the recommended length (a rather short and kicky 21 inches, ee!), gathered the tops and sewed it to the bodice. The hem is basic, as in without horsehair braid because I felt it would give too much lift to an already short skirt. Without the horsehair braid, the skirt falls about four inches above Claire's knees. 
Gathering skirts is something I should put on my resume...
The dress fits her pretty well (no photographic proof, just trust me), gives her hips and everything! Now if only it would warm up a solid 60 degrees. 
These photos were taken at the 11th hour, aka right before I wrapped this gift on December 24th. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Rainbow Collection: Bethie's White Eyelet top

This may be a first for me--Bethie seemed to like her Christmas gift. WHAT?!
This eyelet top has been in my brain for a while. The fabric was picked up at a sale in a storage unit in Davis from when Riki was...selling fabric, I don't remember the line of reasoning behind it. This was probably the most usable piece of fabric I bought that day (what am I going to do with that army green wave design?) in spite of it being a smaller piece; I originally planned on making a dress for Stella, thinking that Beth would be crazy about it. I kept not making the dress and eventually adjusted my goal to make a top for Beth, which I imagined would pair perfectly with a dark grey cardigan (neutral colors to achieve her goal of looking French). I'd made the Sorbetto earlier this summer for a hangouts top and had originally planned to make the eyelet into a tank top, but it seemed like the right thing to do to slap some sleeves on it and make a delicate yet casual short-sleeved shirt. Claire of Sew, Incidentally drafted a pattern for sleeves for the Sorbetto and shared it on the Sew Weekly, so I was set.
I paired the eyelet with some tannish-gold liner fabric to provide much-needed modesty while giving the illusion of showing bare skin. Construction was not too complicated, but the lining caused some strife. The Sorbetto is not usually lined and I improvised on using the lining as facing, so there were some imbalances when I tried to affix the lining around the armholes to the shell fabric and sleeves. Specifically, the sleevehole lining came up higher than the sleevehole shell fabric, which was ugly and led me to curse and seam rip and curse some more. The only way I knew to solve the issues that rose out of using the lining as facing was to topstitch the hell out of everything--the neck opening and sleeves are topstitched into oblivion. Note to others: consider how fabric shifts when you're using lining as facing!
You've been topstitched!
I hereby declare that this top fulfills my Rainbow Collection: White requirement! I wonder if I have enough of this eyelet to make another Sorbetto...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas is over, thank heavens...

It is a tremendous relief to have Christmas behind me--all of December was lost to sewing, worrying about sewing, preparing to sew, and breaking needles. I break the most needles at Christmas. Especially on Michelle's gift, which took out a pack of needles.
I made lavender sachets to accompany most of my gifts (homemade and bought) this year, and I'm pretty pleased with the results. The sachets are a great scrap-busting project! I have leftover lavender if anyone wants another (or a first) sachet to put in your drawers or with your laundry as it dries, drop me a line if you would like one.

I'll post pictures of some of the things I made over the next couple of days, though I sadly did not get a picture of Cate's Janet-Leigh-in-Bye-Bye-Birdie-inspired nightie (from Simplicity 2749),
I used the 3rd version, naturally.
paired with the mini-Madeleine bloomers, nor of Chris's ranch bed pocket from Simple Sewing (now with more pockets than ever!); aside from those omissions, I think I got photos of all the handmade items. Better than all of that, I only used fabric in my stash as part of the big fabric destashing effort. Huzzah!