Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Birds of a Feather

Sometimes a simple project is just what you need - and this dress definitely qualifies.

Of course it helps when you love the print you are working with (there are moments when simple becomes downright boring).  And I did want to match up the print as much as possible, so the cutting and sewing did require a bit of thought.

But this project was basically a breeze from start to finish.  The most irritating thing was gathering the skirt - not my favorite thing to do, but hardly something worth complaining about, right?!

Because I did not want those birds looking catawampus on the waist ties, I had to cut them on the crossgrain.  For this particular fabric, there was quite a bit of give on the crossgrain, which was going to be an issue.  Also, the pattern is drafted as a single layer, and the reverse of this print does not look great.  To solve both problems, I cut a duplicate layer of each tie on the grainline, and stitched the pair right sides together, trimmed, and pulled them right sides out before securing them in the side seams of the bodice.

This dress has turned out to be a real favorite.  The silhouette is so easy to wear, I think I may have to make myself another at some point.  I really love the striped version on the pattern envelope, so I will definitely keep my eyes open for a suitable striped fabric option.

Dress:  Made by me, Butterick 6318
Shoes:  Remix Vintage “Babydoll

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Falling Behind

This blog has definitely been neglected as of late.  I can’t say exactly why - I suppose it is mostly because I am just not as motivated to turn on the computer these days.  I have been fairly productive with my creative pursuits, though.  

Which means I have a huge backlog of photos to get through, and plenty more finished projects to photograph.

This quilting cotton was purchased at JoAnn Fabrics at the same time I picked up the poppy print for this skirt and this dress.  I love both of the designs, and this particular cotton fabric just gets better and better the more it is laundered.  I cut right into the poppy print, but the birds were tucked away, waiting for the perfect pattern to come along.  

When I decided that I really wanted to find an appropriate pattern for this fabric, Butterick 6318 was not the first one that came to mind.  And technically, I did not have enough yardage - but I was not about to let that stop me.

And I am really glad I went for it, because I love this dress!  It has had a lot of wear this year.  It may be rather simple, but sometimes that is just what is needed.

This garment has been washed, pressed, and tucked away in the closet for now, at least until Spring arrives.  But I am so glad I finally gave these birdies a chance to sing!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Shades of Green in Silk & Velvet

Last year I cut into this lovely silk/cotton blend jacquard.  I was hoping to have a warm weather dress in a Fall appropriate color for those transitional days when I am ready to wear darker colors, but the days are still quite warm.  The weather turned cold before I got very far with it, and since I did not feel like rushing through this project, it was abandoned.  

There really is something about lovely fabric that makes me slow down!  (Which is a good thing!)

This fabric was originally a very olive toned green.  I have no real problem with the shade, but it has a problem with me and my skin tone.  The obvious thing was to dye the fabric.  Since I have fiber reactive dye on hand, and since the textile contained cotton, I went with that.

The dye worked like a charm on the flat side (I suppose you could call it the “wrong” side) of the fabric, but not so much on the silk portion.  Go figure!  

I thought about overdying with an acid dye for a cross dyed look, but in the end, I just used the flat side of the fabric.  This makes the garment look slightly less dressy, which I rather like.

This design could use a bit of a swayback adjustment on me, but as long as I do not stand in direct sunlight and twist my torso, the wrinkles are not very noticeable.

It may not be the most perfectly executed garment I have ever made, but I really do like this dress.

The style lines are really lovely.  I may even have to make another version.

And because it got chilly before I had a chance to wear my new dress, I pulled out this old thrifted dress one to use as a cover up.  I really was determined to wear finish and wear this dress before another year passed!

Dress:  Made by me, Vogue 9103
Velvet Dress:  Thrifted, T. T. Mar
Necklace, vintage, borrowed from Mom
Shoes:  BP

Thursday, November 3, 2016

New Butterick Patterns for Winter

Butterick has just released their Winter pattern catalog.  And I have to say that I am in love with this Lisette coat pattern!  

Love the shawl collar, love the pockets, love the single button closure - yes, I really, really want this one!  Each year I fall for one or two new outerwear designs, but rarely get around to making myself a new coat.  I think the time has come for me to do something about that.

There are two new Gertie patterns, and I think both of them are really lovely.  The front bodice treatment of Butterick 6412 is wonderful, and that neckline is gorgeous.  This would make a wonderful day dress in a lightweight wool, and it clearly works quite well as a cocktail dress.  Hooray for winter dresses with sleeves!  

The second Gertie pattern is very 1950s Hollywood starlet à la Marilyn Monroe.  This is the kind of midriff baring dress I can get behind!
At first glance, I thought that the necklace worn with the navy version was the collar edge of an illusion neckline (similar to a vintage Peggy Hunt or something like this dress from All About Eve).  Hmmm . . . I think that might be fun to play around with.  Maybe not with this particular design, but something similar.  Add that to my growing list of possible future projects!

Butterick 6411 is a knit dress from Lisette.  I see some definitely possibilities here, but finding the right fabric would be important.  And I really am trying hard to use what I already have and not be tempted to make new fabric purchases, so this one may not come home with me for the moment.

Butterick produced a male version of a jacket/jodhpur combo a few seasons ago, and I recall wishing that there was a similar design drafted for the female form.  Well, here we are!  Tailored jackets are a lot of work, and whether or not I ever get around to making this remains to be seen, but I really do like the style.  Is it acceptable to wear jodhpurs if you do not plan on riding a horse?  Because I really do like the look - until I remember that I am not built like a model.  I think I better steer clear until I feel comfortable in public while wearing a pair of plain old trousers!  Baby steps, right?!

I would have loved one or two new retro designs included in this catalog, but overall, I am very pleased with the offerings.  Now I just need to motivate myself to get started on a coat project!