Saturday, July 28, 2012

Patriotic Shirt

I didn't intend to finish this shirt for the Olympics, nor did I intend its color scheme to be so patriotic! Actually, the colors work for several countries, so it's a toss-up who I'm supporting. ;)

This is my second version of New Look 6104. This time I opted for the ruffle front and the pleated sleeves. I used all stash items for this. The material is left over from T's Negroni: a cotton pique. And the buttons I already had. I had purchased them to go with a different shirt and they didn't work out for that one, so I was glad to use them here.

I messed up the ruffle. I put them on upside down. And one side is slightly longer the other. Whoops. Clearly a perfectionist I am not because I didn't redo it.

I did redo part of the hem and part of the neck binding because they ridiculously bad in some areas. I do have standards, low ones, but standards nonetheless.

I made the back darts smaller this time to eliminate some fabric pooling in the back. That worked, but as a result there's more overall ease in this version. I'm fine with that because this is a hot weather shirt and I don't like to wear close-fitting things in the heat.

Other than that, I didn't make any construction changes. Yet, the bust darts are hitting me lower this time around; I'm not sure why.

I did a better job at putting in the sleeves. Ever since my sewing teacher showed me how to manage the sleeve cap ease I am much better at that. And the thing is, it's so easy! Why don't the instructions just tell you what to do?? Anyhow...

This is my most common facial expression: what the #%&*?

I don't know what I'm doing with my hands though. It's like they are looking for pockets...

I was this close to doing a special photo shoot for this shirt, but then I looked up at the sky and saw that it was about to rain. So instead I just did a silly dance:

I am happy to announce that the completion of this shirt means I have ticked off several goals. This project belongs to this year's Spring and Summer Palette Challenge and it also fills a gap in my wardrobe.

I've been needing a (relatively) basic white short-sleeve shirt and I anticipate getting a lot of use out of this one.

Looking back, I realize that I had originally planned to use this fabric with the Simplicity Lisette 2211 pattern, but I'm happy that I went with the New Look pattern instead. I'm still attracted to that Lisette top, but I don't like the sleeves, so when and if I make it, I'm pretty sure I'll use the basic sleeve from the New Look 6104 pattern.

So, the round-up on my Spring/Summer Palette Challenge is: 1 down, 2 nearly-down, and 1 cut out. That's a little bit sad seeing how it's nearly August, yikes! Guess I better get crackin'!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sewing Space Re-Model

I haven't done much sewing, but I did work on my sewing space this week. Ever since we got the cats my fabric stash has been under assault. All (okay, most) of my sewing supplies are stored in two re-purposed kitchen islands that we keep in the dining room. Everything used to be hidden under a pretty table cloth, but when the cats fight/play, Athena likes to hide behind the table cloth, on top of the fabric.

But this doesn't end the fighting, oh no. That just means that Artemis attacks her from the other side of the table cloth. Look, they are about five seconds away from an attack here:

The end result is this:

A ruined table cloth. To prevent further damage, I had taken to tucking up the table cloth so that the cats wouldn't fight through it. But that just undermined the entire purpose of the table cloth, which was to hide this:

Sooooo, I had discussed with T. the possibility of buying a storage unit or cabinet or what-have-you to protect my supplies and that wouldn't be something ugly in the dining room. But everything that was not Ikea (or the "big-box Swedish furniture store" as they like to say on French T.V.) was really expensive. And it seemed a waste not to use those perfectly functional kitchen caddies.

I guess reading all of Patty the Snug Bug's redecorating and reorganizing posts finally rubbed off on me because I decided to paint the kitchen caddies (or whatever they are called!) and buy some cute storage boxes.

I knew almost immediately that I wanted to paint them red and I remembered seeing some red and white polka dot boxes at a local store.

Let's watch the paint dry. The paint shade is called Rouge Flamenco:

Of course, by the time I went to the store to buy the boxes, there were none left. Bummer. But I did manage to find some cases at another store. Unfortunately I could only afford two because they were more expensive than the little polka dot boxes, but still less expensive than furniture. So I'll have to go back for more in a month or so, when the coffers are replenished, or I can always hope that the polka dot boxes magically reappear.

The cases:

I think it goes without saying that I can't fit all of my fabric stash into those two cases. So in the mean time, here's the mound of scraps (and cat hair covered fabric waiting to be washed) on my desk:

Oh, and that's some fabric hanging out with the office supplies. And I might have a teensy bit more stored with the sheets. :)

Still, I'm happy with the overall result and once I get more boxes I think it'll be perfect. And it may force me to keep my stash to a minimum. Actually, my fabric stash is much smaller than my yarn stash. But I won't be sharing that today! ;)

Here's the final result:

And here's a close-up on my pattern storage, using the green baskets that I bought a couple of months ago, plus the vintage tins that hold my knitting needles:

Now that my space has had a mini make-over, maybe I'll get to some sewing!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Wood and Flowers: A Photo Post

No crafting here! I just wanted to share some photos I took at the Château de Chamerolles on Saturday. It's still been raining here, but in between showers we had some nice light so I took advantage of it.

I like flowers. :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Fabric Goodies

I got some new fabric to make my husband some more Negronis. He liked his first one and has requested more, so that's part of my summer sewing plan.

We picked out the fabric together from a local store:

I'm a little concerned about all the stripe matching that I'll have to do!!

Luckily I bought extra fabric in case I mess up.

And here's some cotton voile that I got in order to make myself a summer dress. The colors happen to fit in with my spring/summer palette challenge. :)

I plan to use it to make a Colette Chantilly. I'll have to do an SBA on it though, so I'm thinking I should do a muslin first because I've never truly done one before. But I still have some other projects that I need to finish first!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Jacket Update: the last one for a while!

I didn't have time to finish the jacket in class before the end of the school year. And I don't want to work on it unsupervised, so it's going to live in the closet until class starts up again in September.

I finished the lining, attaching to it the interior decorative panel of velvet.

It was very tricky working with the lining fabric and the velvet at the same time. The velvet was sliding all over the place. I had the same problem working with the velvet and the wool, but to a lesser degree.

And I was just able to put on the velvet on the inside of one sleeve cuff. That too was difficult, but differently difficult. The two fabrics together are very thick. The cuff is not quite finished, but you can get the idea:

I'm happy with it so far, but clearly I did not pick the easiest jacket pattern! After all this work, it seems a shame to have a jacket without pockets (there are none included in the pattern) so I'm thinking of adding patch pockets after the fact. If they don't ruin the overall aesthetic of the jacket with its beautiful princess seams.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wedding Paraphernalia Collection

The second part of our field trip was to a chateau that houses a collection of wedding paraphernalia from the 19th and 20th centuries. The collection of wedding crowns is especially large; there was an entire room filled to the brim with them. They are all behind glass, which made them tricky to photograph, but here's some of the better shots:

Honestly, I found the wedding crown collection a little creepy...seeing all those dried flowers behind glass, without their brides...

I much preferred the wedding dresses.

Here are some examples from the 19th century. I'm assuming the shoes are appropriate to the period indicated...not sure if they were originally worn with those dresses or not.

Circa 1840:

Circa 1850:

Circa 1860, with lace made by nuns:

Circa 1885:

I don't have the date for this one:

And, finally, some 20th century examples:

There was very little information regarding the provenance of these dresses, other than the fact that they come from France. Still, I think they are well-preserved, n'est-ce pas? ;) And it's interesting to see how the style changed over time.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Red Buttons

I finished this shirt one month ago, to the day! But I didn't have time to take photos right away and then I kinda forgot to. I've already worn it twice, once to work and once to listen to jazz music. This shirt has rapidly become a staple in my wardrobe; I love it.

I used New Look 6104. This pattern looks similar to Colette's free Sorbetto, except that there are a few sleeve variations.

No head shot 'cuz I wasn't in a modelling mood today:

This was my first time making pin tucks and I think they didn't turn out too badly. They'll be better next time. Excuse the cat hair. Whitish cat, blackish shirt, you know how it goes!

The red glass buttons are vintage, but I don't know from what time period. I bought these - believe it or not - at the Mall of America in Minneapolis. I've had them for over ten years. They originally graced a black button-down RTW shirt that I had. The shirt had boring black buttons so I replaced them.

When I wore out that shirt, I made sure to save the buttons and I've been waiting for a chance to use them again. I still have a lot left (I think I have 24 in total) so I may make another plain black shirt and revive my original idea. Although two black shirts w/ red buttons may be overkill.

I love this pattern. I've already cut out fabric to make a second one. In fact, it's been cut out for about 3 weeks. I haven't been sewing much at home lately! But the second version will be white (I'm using the leftover pique from my husband's Negroni) and with the little ruffle down the front.

I didn't make any big adjustments to the pattern. I should've made the back darts smaller (or graded out to a 14 at the hips) as there is some fabric pooling back there due to my sway back.

There are also some stress lines and rippling in the sleeves, so I could've done that better too, but I'm not going to worry about it. Since putting in the sleeves on my Burda jacket I think I'd do it better now, so the white version should show an improvement.

I seriously think I could make 10 different versions of this pattern. I love the neckline and I love the buttons down the front. And there are enough sleeve variations, etc. so that the finished versions wouldn't look too much like one another.

This project sorta completes my Fall Essentials Challenge. I know, I know, this is not a fall garment! However, this is the last piece of fabric that I had slotted for the FESA. I originally meant to use it with a long-sleeve button-down shirt. But when I went to make that shirt I realized I didn't have anywhere near enough fabric and would have to go with short-sleeves.

I have since cut out a green fabric to use with that long-sleeve shirt pattern, but that project, too, is languishing. I'm waiting for summer to arrive and then I'll get some serious sewing done. Only one more week! Well, that's the idea, anyhow. ;)