Thursday, June 28, 2012

Not even slightly sewing related -- but it's Tau Day!!!

my contribution to this festive occasion: key lime* and pecan
 "What?" you ask, "what could this be?"    Ever heard of Pi Day?   March 14th (3.14) when all the math enthusiasts go out for pie?   Well, Tau is 2Pi -- and thus June 28th.   However, it is more than just a day to eat two pies (although that is an important part of the celebration) its actually a much more sensible constant that makes geometry make a LOT more sense.   To find the circumference of a circle one multiples pi by the diameter .... but no one ever uses diameters, we use the radius ... which makes it 2*pi*r.  Not the biggest deal, but if you've ever tried to map the sine wave of a unit circle, you know the insanity that is pi.  But tau... tau*radius = circumference, and BAM geometry works in the clean, simple and elegant way it is supposed to.   Check out the video for a really good explanation of just whats going on here.  Amaze your friends!  Astound you enemies! Overwhelm random passer-by!   ('Cause its 2 * Pi!)   (I crack me up.)

*made with key-limes and decorated with persian ones.  Don't worry.  I know what's what :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Whole New Outfit*

Short version: Finished the skirt! yay!  Didn't have a top that worked well, so I made that last night too! Yayyy!

Long version:  A week or so ago, I was feeling bloated and gross and hated everything in my closet except for this one floor length skirt that skimmed my hips and made me feel better about going into public that particular day.   (Ironically enough, I couldn't get a good picture of it.  It is like the fox!)   Anyhow, I decided to copy is so I could have a few more.   The skirt itself was originally part of an empire waist dress with a shirred back, so it didn't have a proper closure, just slips over the head.   Over the years the elastic has stretched and I've never gotten around to fixing it, so I usually just pop on a safety pin or two and wear a long shirt to cover the unholy mess.   Now -- when making new, this would not do.  I took the waist in a little and added a yoke to make the whole thing look a bit more finished.  

This worked out nicely, except I decided not to cut the back panel in half,  and the shaping on the yoke didn't go quite as far as I'd intended (the back matches the V shape of the front) so despite a lovely opening, it still has to go over my head.   (I'll make a deeper V next time.)

Ignore the wrinkles -- I sit almost all day and I took these pictures after getting home from work.  It sits nicely when fresh.

Interesting construction facts:  To get the hem-line even I ended up putting on the skirt and stepping into a bucket of water.   I swished around for a moment, then hopped out and pinned along the water mark. (I had to go quickly, as capillary action was not my friend in this particular case.

Anyhow, once I'd gotten it all together and was merrily prancing about the living room, I realized I didn't really have a shirt that worked, and I definitely didn't have one that would accommodate my necklace (it is *exactly* the right color)  but I did have half a yard of lovely black jersey.   (I think we can see where this is going.)   Anyhow, traced out a shirt I like, threw this together and then started experimenting.

I serged fabric tape to the inside of the neckline, and for once it didn't stretch or gape. (win!)  It ended up funky and odd in new and exciting ways... but still.  win.

I also ended up serging on a pair of crescent cap-sleeve things.  There was a scrap of about the right size when I was playing with it, so I copied it, and bam! sleeves!

More pictures, just for fun. I look horribly irritated, but really, I'm watching the camera sitting on little posts and shaking in a breeze hoping it won't make a dive for freedom.

I ought to get a tripod.

*the fabric and the yoke keep making me think mermaid......

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Forty Feet of Flat-Felling

Everyone of the vertical seams is flat-felled, and because I'm using athletic mesh it's doubled layered so I can wear it in public.   It is now forever ingrained in my memory.  (Despite being time consuming, I rather like it as a finish -- so very clean.)

::jazz hands::

This is the current manifestation of my new fixation on floor length skirts.  There is a fair bit of back story and some construction interestingness, but that will wait until I have it done and I can show the whole progression.  

This picture is from a few days ago -- all the seams are done, the layers are attached, the yoke is half applied -- I just need closures and a hem and horray and huzzah.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

grumble and groan

Never have I been so lucky to have the attention span of a stunned meerkat.   I'd gotten the bodice to fit properly, and rather than sew it all into place, for whatever reason I decided to put the skirt together and pin it on to see how the whole thing looks.

The midriff is about an inch to short and the 'waist' is floating about an inch above where it ought to be.   Proportionally, I'm a little short waisted, so taking that sucker even higher just doesn't suit me.  Happily I have just enough fabric to cut the relevant pieces out again.  (just enough... millimeters to spare)

I'm also not entirely sold on the pleated skirt thing... but I'll revisit that when its hitting me at the right place.  ::grumble grumble groan groan::


Thursday, June 14, 2012

fabric and pictures and lace!

I stopped in at Jomar to see if I could find the fabric for the 1912 slip, and inevitably, walked away with far more.  $31.28, exclusive of cats.  (Who were themselves part of a 2-for-1 deal on kittens at animal welfare several years ago.)  (You'd never know they were from the same litter, but they are brother and sister.) Anyhow...  17 yards of fabric and 18 yards of lace.  Non-floral lace.  (!!!!!)   

Anyhow the white cotton and squared off lace are for the slip.  The cream lining and scallop lace are for 1909 style drawers (big loose shorts worn under a skirt -- I plan to wear them dancing, both for a little bit of extra volume and to avoid flashing the people who are sitting next to the dance floor as I spin.)   

The idea for the drawers (or as I refer to them in my head, underoos) came from 'Women's Fashion of the Early 1900s - An Unabridged Republication of New York Fashions, 1909.  National Cloak and Suit Co.' -- as you can see, it's their catalog, and being in a turn-of-the-century kind of mood, I was flipping through and decided a pair was just what I needed.   

Then... I came upon their slips and fell in love with the lace placement of 5088. The drawing shows princess lines, and it uses set in lace, which are the two main features of the 1912 slip -- so I think I will model my placement on theirs as I find it much more attractive than the original.  

The other two fabrics I've neglected to mention are the teal athletic mesh -- not sure yet, but I love the color and mesh is a lovely to work with, and the raspberry lace, which really isn't showing up well.   Its a sort of lozenge pattern.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

here comes another wild tangent!

No sewing to report, but a new project added to the queue anyhow....    I've joined the Vintage Pattern Lending Library's 1912 project.   The basic idea of the VPLL in general is to archive and replicate patterns from 1863 - 1953 so that modern sewers/seamstresses/sewasaurusrexes will be able to use them.

Anyhow, for the 1912 project they've scanned in La Mode Illustree from that year and have been signing people up to test the patterns. (The level of general knowledge at the time was MUCH higher, so people are putting in directions so that the patterns will eventually be accessible to anyone.)  They've long since passed their goal of 400 participants, but they're letting people play anyway, because they are made of awesome.     Once you sign up, you are allowed one pattern at a time and have to blog about it and write up notes, sort of like pattern review.    I've chosen to start with the Princess Slip (easily one of the most popular items of the currently released options... but its just so pretty I couldn't resist.)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

half a dress!

Apparently, I'm operating in a time-warp, because its officially been a week, but I would swear its been more like three days.  

Anyhow, current progress on the bodice -- the top half is sewn up (except for the bust darts which will actually be gathers) and the midriff is pinned on as I play with the fit.     It looks fine in the pictures, but when I was turning the bust dart into gathers  (post picture taking) something slipped and it ended up with an inch or so more ease than I wanted.... so that will have to be fixed.

Other than the fact that my shoulders are clearly different heights, I'm liking this thus far.   And really, my wonky-self is not the dress' fault.  

Next step - get the rest of the bodice sewn up, then on to the skirt!   (I plan pockets!)

Monday, June 4, 2012

a little more standard

It seems the moment I decide to do something, I'm immediately captivated by something else, at least when it comes to sewing.  I've long since learned to just go with it, and at the moment that means ignoring my UFOs in a most profligate manner and playing with something completely new.    The project of the moment is M6503, view D -- but without the sleeves.  

Fitting was surprisingly easy.  I did my standard FBA in tissue and ended up taking it out in the muslin.   I raised the bust line about an inch all the way around (marked in pins...) and took in the sides.   Other than that, I left it alone.   This *never* happens.  I didn't get any pictures of fitting the midrift, but it too just ...worked.  I think this pattern is magical.

 Although I'm not so sure about the instructions -- the collar and front button placket aren't actually supposed to be sewn on the inside, just pressed and sewn top and bottom.  I'm convinced I'm missing something, but I've read the pertinent section of the instructions a few times....    However, I plan to ignore them and will hand stitch it.  (Maybe avoiding this is how the pattern gets marked 'easy'.  Je ne said pas.)  
Anyhow, admire my lovely fabric!  The picture doesn't do it justice, but its a medium weight cotton shirting with a dark teal warp and a deep purple weft.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Banana-tastic! Relay-Fun and Banana-Dress

Team Banana-Nursery! 

Banana-dress!!  (The concept may have worked a bit better in my mind -- but the sheath part (white) is the fruit) and the rest is the peel.   I divided the upper skirt into three sections and gathered each of them into a point.)
Most people thought I was Belle... but, c'est la vie.

Also, Banana-Harness!  (With added tape, least something dire happen over the 5 miles they ran with it flopping about on their backs.)  (I was the mascot and scooted along to take pictures.)

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