Monday, November 23, 2015

Connect the Dots

There has not been much in the way of sewing happening around these parts.  I seem to have lost all my creative motivation.

But I did manage to get through the photos of this dress.  

The weather has started to turn cold which means this dress will get stashed away in the closet for a few months.  But it will definitely see some wear next year - these Alabama Chanin style clothes really are extremely comfortable!

And as to what my next project will be . . . I have absolutely no idea.

I have been meaning to make myself a new coat for the last couple of years, but never manage to get to it while the garment would be weather appropriate.  And working with heavy wool in the Spring just feels wrong.

A hand sewing project actually sounds rather appealing, but I think I want to take a bit of a break from cotton jersey.  Hopefully a few days of vacation will get me back in the sewing room.

Dress:  Made by me, Butterick 6129
Shoes:  Banana Republic

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Portable Project

It was only a matter of time before I jumped head first into another Alabama Chanin project.

First up was a dye job.  This time around, I had a slightly streaky outcome using Dharma’s Fiber Reactive Dye.  I cannot explain what I did wrong, except perhaps I was trying to squeeze too much yardage in my kitchen sink?  Because I was not happy with the color, I cut the yardage in two and sent one half back in the dye bath.  I actually like the darker color better, so all is well!

The polka dot stencils from the Alabama Chanin website were not quite right (mostly because I was paranoid that my periwinkle leftovers from this top would not be enough to cut the number of appliqué pieces needed).  In the end, I just drew a grid and traced my own dots to create my own stencil.

Since I love this dress so much, I thought it would be worth it to make another version.  The skirt pleats seemed like a bad idea with double and triple layers of cotton jersey, so I swapped it for Sewaholic’s Hollyburn Skirt.

A running stitch did not seem like the best option for the appliqué.  Instead, I pulled out some scraps and re-familiarized myself with how to work a blanket stitch.  I am hoping it will also keep the fraying at a minimum.  

Because I knew that I was going to travel with this project, I tried basting my polka dots in place on a couple of pieces.  This did not work well at all.  The jersey started to curl at the edges, and the hasty basting started falling out when I handled and stitched things together.

What ended up working best was pinning as I went.

And although I did not get as much sewing done on my trip as I hoped, it was certainly nice to be able to work on something without needing a machine!

The many layers of jersey was challenging at times, and my fingers are still recovering, but I sure do love me some hand sewing!

I did manage to ruin three needles on this project.  Top-stitching those seamlines required the use of jewelry pliers, and my tiny needles were not up to the task.  But sacrifices must be made!

I would like to say that these projects have made me less fearful of knits, but I was just in the fabric store today and those super stretchy fabrics still make me very nervous.

Until I get over myself, I suppose 100% cotton jersey is a nice substitute without the crazy stretch.

Except for the finishing . . . look at those raw edges . . . the Hug Snug is getting pretty jealous of all the time I am spending with this knit fabric!

But this process is pretty addictive, and I have a feeling there will be more of these projects in the future.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Minnie Mouse

Here is my finished Sewing Indie Month dress!  I have plans for another version, but at the moment I am still playing catch-up.

I did manage to finish another dotted dress.  Clearly, I am obsessed.

I just cannot get enough of polka dots!

With all the hand sewing I have been doing, the pads of my fingers need a break, so one of these days I am going to uncover my sewing machine and get back to it.

But since the project I left on my sewing table is no longer weather appropriate, I may pick up my knitting needles instead.

And at some point, I am going to cut into that velvet and make myself another Tea Dress . . .

Dress:  Made by me, Sew Over It "1940s Tea Dress"
Shoes:  Colin Stuart

[I received the pattern and the rayon fabric for this project because of my participation in Sewing Indie Month]