Friday, December 29, 2017

A Different Sort of Color Palette

Here I am, still playing catch up with this year’s sewing projects.

Every once in a while, I find a rayon challis at JoAnns that suits my fancy - this was one of them.  Of course, it sat in a bag for a very long time before I decided exactly what to do with it.

And what I came up with was that I desperately needed another rayon Anna Dress since I love my blue floral version so very much.

This time around, I used a selvedge to stay the back neck edges that I cut on the bias.

I only interfaced the last one, and it has stretched a bit over time.

I hand picked an invisible zipper at center back, and lined the bodice instead of facing the neck and armhole edges.

Everything went together smoothly, although I did not get a perfect match at every seam where the bodice meets the skirt.  The floral print is quite busy and I don't know that anyone else would notice, but I just knew that it would drive me batty, so I put my seam ripper to work.

The skirt seams are french seamed, except for the center back with the zipper - you didn't think I was going to avoid using Hug Snug on a project, now did you?!

And for a final detail, I added lingerie guards at the shoulders.  The boat neckline sits a bit wide, which I really love, but it limits my bra choices, and this solves that problem.

And that's another Anna for the wardrobe.  I think this is my forth one!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Swinging into the Holiday Season with a New Coat

As soon as Simplicity released 8509 earlier this year, I could not wait to get my hands on the pattern.

I just love a good swing coat!

Of course, a design like this requires a fair amount of fabric.

But in the spirit of shopping from my stashed fabric, I thought better of purchasing more heavy coating . . . and none of the lengths of yardage in my sewing room seemed quite right. I was quite tempted by a few of the holiday sales, but I held fast to my resolution.

However, I did have a deep blue mystery textile from a recent fabric swap.  And a blue coat is something that works with so many of my dresses!  The fabric is a bit lightweight for outerwear with more drape than is necessary, but I thought I would give it a go.

I also had just enough mid-weight lining tucked away as well which helped add a bit of heft to the finished coat.

I actually started by constructing the lining of this coat before the coat itself.  I can't say why, but it did make the process seem to go rather fast, since I was just about finished with the entire project once that outer portion was done.

Maybe I will have to do that in the future as well!

Besides the irritation of working with a fabric that likes to shred with the slightest movement, this went together very well.

And since the fabric was not too precious to me, I decided to treat this as a sort of wearable muslin.

I figured that in the future I could find the ultimate fabric and make another version.  Or at the very least, make one of the shorter views.

I did not really want to deal with welt pockets with this particular fabric.

But pockets are absolutely necessary in a coat, so I added them to the side seams.  I also omitted any closure for the center front seams to see how I would like that feature on the finished product.

There was even a pair of raglan shoulder pads of whose provenance I have not a clue.  I was slightly concerned that the bright pink color might show through the loose weave of the coat fabric, so I hand stitched a layer of cotton over the top.  This was probably not necessary, but better safe than sorry since I really do detest taking things apart once they are finished!

Which means that this project has reduced my stash without any increase of any kind!

Wait . . . I have to take that back.  I did purchase some navy thread since I ran out of my huge spool from Wawak.  I guess I really do like a dark blue!

But, all in all, a very successful project, and I am patting myself on the back for the new space I have created in my fabric drawers!  To be honest, they just aren't as crammed as they used to be (space is probably overstating)!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Silk Cherries

Does anyone remember this dress?  I took so much care in its construction, and then never got around to sharing the finished product.  

The date stamp on these photos is from March, and I have been trying to get through these photos for what seems like an eternity.  Bad, bad, blogger.

But hey, the dress is very holiday appropriate with the red, right?!  So I guess it all worked out for the best.

And I don't know why it has taken so long.  I loved the dress so much, in fact, that I decided to make a second version with a circle skirt - so what if the bodice is incredibly recognizable, I needed another!

I wore these red pumps yesterday, which is was what reminded me that I was almost done weeding through the photos, and it was high time I documented the finished dress.  And here we are.

I am still incredibly proud that I managed to cut this entire dress out of the remaining scraps of yardage from my 2014 Cherries Jubilee Gown.

This is so much better than a pencil skirt!

And if an occasion presents itself, I may just have to wear it again before the holiday season is over . . .

Dress:  Made by me, Butterick 6413
Purse:  Made by me, Vogue 625
Hair Flower:  Made by me
Shoes:  Kristin Cavallari for Chinese Laundry “Copertina"

Sunday, December 10, 2017

High Contrast

On Thursday, I decided it was necessary to wear this dress one more time before putting it away for a winter nap.

It was rather cold, but with a pair of nude fishnets and a warm coat, I made it through.

The dress had its debut in September, and I am just now getting around to going through photos of the finished dress that were taken in seasonally appropriate weather.

I can now say that the stretch woven suggested as a suitable fabric on the pattern envelope is definitely a better choice than my initial silk dupioni, but I still love both of my dresses!

This particular silhouette is definitely more modern than I usually go for, but I feel so very comfortable in this dress.

And if the perfect fabric comes along at some point, I cannot promise I won't try to make another.

But for now, I am going to move on to more seasonally appropriate garments . . . at least I am going to try.  I currently have a coat in progress on my sewing table, so there is a chance I may stick with that resolution!

Dress & Belt:  Made by me, Vogue 1220
Shoes:  Halogen “Hamarla-Lea”

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Return of an Old Favorite

When this Donna Karan pattern came out back in 2011, I fell in love with the dress.

So many of her designs use knit fabrics which means I have a collection of the patterns, but rarely cut into them.

But this one called for a stretch woven, and the style lines were so interesting I just could not resist.

I made a version of this dress in silk when the pattern was first released.  It was not a stretch woven, but there was enough ease in the pattern that it works just fine.  The peg to the skirt hem is a bit constricting, but not enough to make wearing the garment uncomfortable, but I always wondered how the pattern would work with the suggested fabric.

Not too long ago, I found this stretch woven at JoAnn Fabrics in an amazing blue and white print and the first thing I thought about was how perfect it would be for this Donna Karan design.

One of my favorite design details is that the button band is hidden, which makes it the perfect opportunity for me to practice using machine made buttonholes.  If they don't work out to my satisfaction, they aren't going to be visible anyway.  

And, of course, these ones turn out fine.  Go figure!

While this is a very modern design, with very ready-to-wear construction details, I really like that the style lines are not your standard front and back with side seams.  The diagonal pocket openings extend around the back hip and curve around towards the back and the pleats create a lovely waistline.  Most importantly, I have yet to see this dress look anything but amazing on an incredibly diverse set of body shapes - and that is a true sign of a fabulously drafted design.

Unfortunately, I purchased all of the remaining yardage which was not quite enough for this particular pattern.

The good news is that most of that extra fabric needed is used for the very large self-belt that gets wrapped and tied in a bow at the waistline.  This fabric does not look especially good on the wrong side, so I needed to rethink that element anyway.  

I do love the front bow, so I kept that detail, and made a fabric belt from the remaining yardage.  The closure is hidden behind that front bow.  Sometimes things turn out for the best!  And I am not one to let a little thing like 1/2 yard too little fabric stop me!