Thursday, April 20, 2023

Patterned Poplin

A few weeks ago I decided that enough was enough, I needed to make something for Spring . . . whether or not Spring was ever going to arrive around these parts.

This pattern is from Old Patterns - thank you, Michelle!  I have been wanting to cut into this pattern since it arrived in hand, but the fabric that I had in mind was suitable for a warm Autumn, and by the time I finished my Halloween project, the weather was too cold.  But when I came across this cotton on my last visit to JoAnn Fabrics, I decided that the blue print/poplin fabric would be perfect once the warm weather arrives.  And since I had plenty of yardage, I though that I would try extending the skirt length on the full skirted version.

Other than lengthening the skirt by four inches, the only other change that I made was to take out my standard wedge from the back bodice.  I knew that this would mean that the waistline would sit a bit high on my long torso, but this particular pattern is a size larger than I normally make, so the waistline would fit fine, even if it sits a bit higher on the ribcage.  

The fabric behaved very nicely, so putting this dress together was a pleasant experience. 

I did start to have some misgivings about the length of the skirt after basting the pleats into place.  But at worst, I could always just cut off the extra that I had added.

I generally see facings used to finish sleeve hems on contemporary patterns, or the hemline is just folded up and stitched down, but this pattern, like so many vintage ones, uses bias fabric to finish the edge.  I really need to use this technique more often.  The bias gives slightly, allowing for some stretch, which comes in handy on a sleeve hem.  The facings, especially on garments with cut on sleeves, have a tendency to need some mending when the stitches pull out during wear.  It is rare that my self made wardrobe needs repairs, but I have found this issue to be the most common one that pops up for me.  So I am making a mental note for myself to use the bias strip method on one of those cut on sleeve patterns to see if it makes any difference.

Of course, one of my favorite parts of this design is the waist tie.  I think Mr. Tino likes it, too!

No need to make a self-fabric belt for this shirtwaist!

There were only two to contend with, so I decided to go with bound buttonholes.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I probably would have used the technique even if there were ten of them!

And all raw edges were finished with seam binding, naturally. 

The only real thing to complain about is hand sewing on a densely woven textile like this.  Working with quilting cottons, I forget the amount of force needed to pierce a crisp cotton poplin.

But that wasn't going to keep me from hand picking the zipper.

I have been waiting for a project to use these buttons for years.  I found them in the clearance aisle of JoAnn Fabrics; there was only one card of two buttons left, but I knew that they would come in handy for something . . . someday.  And today was that day.

After that, the only thing left to finish was the hem.

I thought about using seam binding, but decided that this fabric would work just as well folded under, so I went with that application.

As for the skirt length, my concern turned out to be unfounded.  The pleats don't stick out too much with this cotton, so the tea length works great.

I really like the way this design turned out.

And you know what?!  The weather has actually improved!  It's not very warm, but the sun is shining most days instead of the dreary rain, so I call that a win.  Perhaps sewing certain garments can affect a seasonally appropriate change in the weather?!

Monday, April 3, 2023

Tweeds Paired with Plaids

This year has been incredibly rainy (by California standards, at least), and on rainy days, I have a really difficult time figuring out what to put on my body before leaving the house.  This is most likely due to a lack of practice.  And I suspect that the large number of dreary and wet days in the last few months has contributed to the number of easy to wear sweaters that have appeared in my wardrobe in those same months.

Don't feel like getting out of bed?  or even dressed?  Just throw on a sweater and skirt!

At least, that's what I've been doing. 

Turtlenecks have also become a very popular choice for me.  Not only have I been making quite a few of these cozy wardrobe stables, but I also have been pulling out all of the purchased turtlenecks that I own to wear on a frequent basis.

At this point do I have enough pinky, purple, and maroon toned knits to last a lifetime?  Probably.  But I keep making more.

I should probably take a good look at my existing skirts and take inventory of other possible colors that would be fun to add to the mix, but it seems that every time I purchase yarn, it's inevitably the purple and pink tones that are added to my cart.

Or maybe it's just a sign that I know what I like . . .

But however I got here, I am very pleased with the way this knitting project turned out.

And I would not be surprised if I decided to make another version of this pattern.  A black turtleneck would definitely be a welcome addition to my Winter wardrobe . . . but for now, I am very excited about diving into more Spring or Summer related sewing and/or knitting.  And hopefully that will bring on the warmer temperatures that I keep expecting to manifest out of the cold, windy, and rainy days.  I see polka dots in my future, and if that doesn't bring on the sunshine, I don't know what will!

Sweater:  Made by me, "Quiet Reflection" from Encyclopedia of Knitting
Skirt:  Made by me, Vogue 2902
Shoes:  Via Spiga "Unit"
Earrings:  Nicky Butler