Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Ever Growing Frankenpattern

(fair warning - the following is about as first-world a problem as you can get.)

Normally, I'm the kind of person who way over thinks things.   I try to avoid impulse buys, and am generally pretty good and the whole wait-a-week-and-see-if-I-still-want-it-thing.   However, from time to time, all this goes out the window and I do something unfathomably stupid.   In this case - I bought floral lace when I'd gone to the store for plain chiffon.


So, yes, for most people, perhaps no so odd - but the thing is, I really hate floral lace.   All the more if it is arranged with the motifs in a sort of a grid...

could it be more regular?

 Even when carrying it to the cutting counter, I couldn't quite figure out why I'd gone with this fabric.  I know I liked parts of the motif... but still.    I really have no idea what was going on with this one.  It wasn't even on super-sale.  ::grumbles::

still floral - but less grid-like

Anyhow, the bodice of the pattern I'd chosen was all choppy and in bits, so I figured I could disguise things a bit there - and I was hoping the pleats in the skirt would do the same, but no such luck.   (To add insult to injury, I didn't even center things properly...   It was just bad.  And we're talking Becky-home-ecy levels of bad.)  I've made this sort of thing work once before, by using a backing of the same shade as my lace - turning the flowers into nearly invisible texture.  But once, again, continuing my campaign of insanity - I chose a white background.

the current plan

So, I ended up throwing a third pattern into the mix, Butterick 5350, of the 8 paneled skirt.   Between the skirt panels I'd already cut out and the fabric I had left over, I was able to get everything set.  It's actually coming together fairly nicely, and if nothing else, I've found this particular combination is fairly flattering and I'll probably do it again in a fabric I like more.

Has anyone else ever done anything like this?  Or I am alone in my maddness?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

winter sewing and a new year's dress

There is something about winter that means I take a lot less pictures.  (Hah... 'something'.  There is no light by the time I get home, its all cold and I want to be a hermit.  I am a happy hermit holed up high above the horizon, hoping for higher heat.)


..and with that... the coat.   Excuse the terrible picture.  I blame winter.   Also a lack of professional photographic equipment.  I feel this could mitigate winter.  but I digress - I find I don't like any of the swatches, so I am forced (forced I say) to go to the fabric store this weekend and play with things.    It's going to be rough.   

Anyhow. Continuing my recent streak on sensible decisions, I've decided this time of travel and work deadlines is when I need to sew a new dress for new year's eve -- and not just any dress -- a fancy franken patterened dress with lace and beading. (I have three kinds of beads) (I make good decisions)  

Specifically these two dresses: Vogue 1174 for the body and 1304 for the straps.
The main dress
The straps

Not being completely insane, I'm skipping all the boning and foundation in 1174 and just doing the shell, relying on the straps to hold everything in place.   I needed to reshape the back a bit, as it lay oddly on my pointy pointy scapula and ditched the cap sleeve, as they almost invariably look terrible on me.

 The first fitting went pretty well - other than the straps, the biggest change is some reshaping around the cups to get everything to sit closer to my chest and prevent any gaping.  (The majority of the wrinkles are due to the fabric being smushed up in a ball for a couple of months before I used it for the muslin... Its not actually way too tight)

Next up:  make new pattern pieces, check them in  a second muslin, and move on to the actual dress!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Picking up the coat....

Remember how once upon a time, I was all gung-ho about making a winter coat?  I tested material samples, tried a couple of patterns, interlined, added zippered pockets and fancy sleeves?   And then remember how I got completely overwhelmed and decided I needed a quick break that turned into almost a year?

Well -- picked it back up a couple of weeks ago, and it turns out there isn't all that much left to be done.   I've basted in the lining and am now deciding how I'm going to actually finish this beast of a coat.   The original plan was to use self-fabric binding on all the edges and self fabric buttons as my closures -- however, as cute as that can be, I was starting to think it will be a bit dull.   Then, at dinner the other night, my friend showed up with a green wool coat with leather trim and the kind of covered zipper I'd been toying around with, and I was most intrigued.  (also, ignore the derp face.   I apparently couldn't look normal today.)

self fabric buttons
contrast are the options.   The original plan - the new one, with a contrast trim and hidden zipper, and a the final one with some kind of buckle thing instead of the zipper (which I'd been leaning towards all day, but am now thinking I like the hidden zipper)

I've ordered a variety of swatches for the contrast- and I'm going to see how well they work with the coat.

(Perfection fused leather in gunmetal grey, Sierra faux leather in grey, Bijoux faux leather in textured black, and Perfection fused leather in bronze, all from (no sponsorship, just a decent selection)

Anyhow, thoughts, suggestions or really whatever that is even tangentially related to how I ought to go about finishing this thing up while its still winter (tentative goal: wear it for New Year's Eve) would be most appreciated.   
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