Sunday, June 23, 2013

Hawthorn Dress: Wearable or Wearable Muslin?

If you follow the indie sewing pattern world at all, I'm sure you were part of the mania this week when Colette Patterns released their new pattern, the Hawthorn dress.  A classic shirtdress with a few variations, it seems extremely wearable, and I was so excited to see it debut!  The Laurel left me longing for a bit more, and I wasn't disappointed at all!

I quickly bought the pattern and it was delivered Friday.  I cut it out and sewed up the bodice last night, and today, finished the dress!

I used red and white seersucker my mom bought in spring 2005--I originally had plans to make a Laura Ashley halter dress (I can't seem to find the pattern now, so I'm sure it's long out-of-print) and it never happened because I was in high school.  My mom hung onto the fabric and gave it to me, along with piles of other apparel fabrics, this past March.

My biggest complaint?  The bust.  I always cut an 8 bodice and 10 skirt in Colette.  And everything always fits close to perfectly.  This time?  Not so much.  Anyone else had this problem?  I have another planned and I'll adjust the seam allowances at least 1/4" on either side.  I used French seams and didn't try on my dress as I made it, so I guess I deserve the complaint.

Awesome part of this pattern?  The semi-circle skirt.  I love circle skirts, but hate how they use ridiculous amounts of fabric.  With this pattern, I get a decent twirl and minimal amounts of yardage...even though I had seven yards of that seersucker available.  Yeah.  Seven.

So overall I'm really happy with this pattern, but the bust bums me out.  I can wear a camisole under it to flatten out my boobs a little, or wear some Spanx, I guess.  It is a cute dress, though, and is a good stand-in for a muslin, considering I learned about the fit AND didn't pay a dime for the fabric.  Yay!  Future Fourth of July dress?  I think so.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A New Meaning for Doggie Bag

I'll admit it: I'm a reformed cat lover.  I've always preferred cats, and was actually afraid of dogs until I was well into middle school (even now, the big dogs in my neighborhood give me anxiety), but now that we have Schnoz, I'm sorta into it.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I love dogs and dog-related things.  Especially things I can sew!

I sewed the dog bed last weekend--and meant to sew another this weekend, but buying fiber fill completely escaped me--and this weekend I made a little doggie bag.  Not to carry him in, unfortunately: Nick would definitely draw the line there.  But we plan on taking him to dog parks and he started obedience school yesterday, so obviously this kid has places to go.  As I'm learning, dogs need accessories.  They get into dirt, they piddle on the floor, they need constant entertaining.  Much like babies, dogs' parents need doggie bags to carry around all of this stuff.  (Just go with me here.)

Anna Graham just released her Super Tote pattern, and I've been trying to come up with a reason to make one.  I'm not a bag person and don't need a lot of totes or purses, but I was carrying Schnoz's stuff around in my old Spice Market tote.  Amazingly, I never blogged about this, but it was a basic tote, navy Kona as the shell and Melody Miller viewfinders as the lining.  The problem is I carried this bag back and forth to work for two years and it's showing.  It even got some bleach on it at some point and there are nasty holes everywhere.  I need to rip out the lining and salvage that Melody Miller for a cosmetic bag or something.  But that's what we were using and I was embarrassed.  I couldn't carry that around.  Judgment is harsh.

The Super Tote enticed me because it's big, has a lot of pockets, and has a recessed zipper, which is great because I'd learn a new skill and I could stash treats inside without a little Schnauzer nose sniffing them out.

I used Robert Kaufmann Essex linen as the shell and bought some piping.  I also lined the pocket, and I wish I had interfaced it first, because you can kind of see the lining through it.

The lining is two prints from Erin Michael's Uptown from Moda--circa 2007!  My mom and I went bonkers for this line and bought a lot of it.  What made me finally cut into this last untouched print was the fact that it's been re-released, along with Lush, this summer.  I'm dying for it.  I plan on buying every print and making everything possible.

Do you recognize the paint-by-number print?  This is a bad picture (it's so hard to photograph linings!), but I ripped apart my Anna tunic, like the second thing I ever made, and salvaged the paint-by-number print.  I didn't wear it often enough to justify keeping it in my closet, and I knew the birds would have a nice new home in this bag and in my stash.

I followed the directions to a T, minus one thing: the elastic pockets.  No matter what I do with elastic, it hates me.  Forget it.  I did everything else as Anna suggested, though.

Here's the bag full of Schnoz's things.  This includes puppy wipes, shampoo, itch spray, bandanas, and a bowtie.  You just never know when black-tie will be required:

This is a great pattern.  I'm already planning a second...or maybe another one of her totes as a summer bag?

In other news, I'd love to do a gardening update, but it's been so rainy lately that pictures definitely wouldn't come out!  But I was able to pick some of my Button Box zinnias and bring them inside!

It seems the only safe space in the house is my sewing room bookshelf.  I also planted Giants of California zinnias and I'm impatiently awaiting those!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Feathers and Linen: A Summer Tova

I previewed my Anna Maria Horner Tova top last week, back when it was just a body with no sleeves or cuffs or collar or hem--just a sad piece of beautiful linen.  Unfortunately, I really dropped the ball on working on it this week.  I guess having a new puppy does that to you?  Whatever my excuse (and it changes daily), I finally found time to finish it today, while waiting for my fabric to pre-wash and dry.  Puppy bandanas and beds for all!

The blue shorts were a total coincidence.  Don't you love that?  It's like kismet.  I have a pair of purple shorts that actually match it perfectly, so I'm excited to have two options!  On a side note, with all these colorful shorts, I can't help but think of when I was 11 and I told my mother colored shorts were so unfashionable and I demanded plain denim shorts.  On the first day of school, everyone was wearing different-colored shorts (we lived in South Florida) and I was bummed.  That started a long tradition of her saying "I told you so."

This isn't even an outtake!

I made my other Tova top last spring and wear it constantly, despite sewing the sleeves backward and mending a big hole in the torso.  It's navy gingham and just perfect.  I'm hoping this one gets just as much wear!  The fabric is heavier but not uncomfortable.  Like I said last week, it'll be a nice transitional piece, for now and later in the summer, when it gets chilly at night.  That happens in Charlotte, right?  God help us.

Also, did you see I finally cut my hair?!  It's only been two years since I've actually stepped into a salon--it's about time, people.  I'm not 100% happy with it--there aren't enough layers, and I had to trim a few bits myself because she was a bit conservative with the scissors--but I'm glad to have short hair again.  Yay!

I also made a dog bed with dinosaur fabric this weekend.  Schnoz refuses to sleep on it.  What an angel.

Images by Freepik