Adventures in dressmaking

I’ve been on a dress kick lately – not that I’ve been wearing any recently (too cold) but I have been thinking about it since last summer.

I bought the Oolong dress pattern from Colette – they are not wrong, their patterns are indeed beautifully printed. I found the shipping to be steep but only ordered one pattern. It pretty much double the price, so I wonder if 2 or 3 or even 4 patterns could have been shipped at that rate.

That being said, totally worth it, gorgeous patterns, well made, beautifully instructed. I really admired the total package.

Of course, I couldn’t just do it as written, I had to make adjustments.  I don’t necessarily mean fitting adjustments either. This pattern was for woven fabrics cut on the bias. I used a slink knit cut on the cross grain. In cases like this, that’s actually a similar substitution. The fabric was a cut length of 3 or 4 yards I picked up at Value Village (thrift store like Goodwill) for a whopping $3.99.

I do have a serger but it is over 20 years old and probably on its last legs. It has a really hard time handling slinky knits like this. I did one seam and felt like tossing it out the window. The rest of the seam I did on a regular sewing machine with a slight zig zag stitch, nothing fancy. On some seams I made sure to stretch the fabric a bit so the threads wouldn’t break when the fabric itself was stretched.

I cut a 14 because that is my size and the size according to the measurements. I generally make up a pattern without much fitting to give myself a standard to go buy because often it should mostly fit with little issue. I traced off the size I needed onto tissue paper, which was a fair amount of work. The size lines are actually quite close together on the pieces, so my usual method of “fold back and hope for the best” was to difficult in many places.

I did make a dress form last year, but I think the form is actually larger than I am by enough of a difference to matter. The last two things I’ve made are snug on the form and loose on me.

Same with this dress.

If I made it again in a knit, and if you are considering the same in a knit, go a size smaller if you like a snug fit.  This dress should be slightly fitted and in a knit it winds up a teensy bit loose. I would also eliminate the darts when using a knit, the fabric should compensate. The gathers at the bust and using a knit means you don’t have to do a FBA (full bust adjustment). At least I didn’t.

 

The other changes I made were sewing the front skirt to the bodice. I just did a straight seam and not topstitched as directed. I have a similar dress with a pint in the front and it is constructed the same way. It was easier to do it this way with the knit.

I also did not line the bodice, but went with a facing. I did stitch the seams to the facing but this was still not enough to keep the neckline facings in place. So I stitched around the neck about 3/4″ in. It looks nice and keeps the facing in place. I will probably trim off the excess. I’d like to see how the neckline would work when using fold over elastic (FOE) instead.

As for the length – I cut it as long as the pattern and I knew I’d have to lop off quite a bit. Dresses on me need to hit just below the knee to look right so this means cutting off a good 6″ even before hemming.

That;s the only step left to do, and I hope to get it done before we go to Denver in May. Yes, it might take me that long. I’m also considering making a lime green drapey knit cardigan to go with it.

I will probably make this dress again (considering how much the pattern costs, yeesh) and try a woven fabric next time, and make adjustments to the pattern  itself before cutting out. It’s a similar style to the dress I’m making in this post, just a different pattern and something that looks reasonably decent on me.

This is where my title goes if I had one

It’s Friday afternoon and I’m on my half day. I’m too tired to do much though. Sitting in bed with Netflix on my big 42″ tv sounds like a great plan right about now.

I’ve been taking a screenprinting class, which is great but it;s like 2.5 hours of setup and prep work for maybe 3 minutes of actual printing. The good part is we are getting to the industrial type of screenprinting with photo emulsion. I like that a lot better.

I’d show you what I did but it’s for a top secret project I don’t want leaked yet, sorry.

There were so many storms that this week and next week we’re doing two classes a week to finish in the time allotted. It makes for busy weeks.

As fro my hair – I did get it cut since I last posted. It was driving me nuts. Now I have brown roots. I overdyed it in VooDoo Blue which looks pretty cool. That blue bleeds quite a bit more than other blues even within the same brand. Right now my hair is faded all out again (partly  on purpose) and getting shaggy again.

I’ve been looking at super short cuts on Pinterest and thinking about my next hair adventure. We’re going to Denver in May so I want a great cut with a super color dye job.

I had been planning on rainbow next, but I keep thinking about blonde with gradient bangs again.

Not much sewing is going on here and barely any quilting at all.

Sew for victory!

In an effort to jump start my blog a little, I decided to post my progress in Lucky Lucille’s Sew for Victory sew along.

Basically, I had a pattern already picked out from the 40′s and had the fabric on hand. I’ve been meaning to sew up this dress for a while now, and this was the perfect excuse!

The pattern is Simplicity … , which I bought at a yard sale a very long time ago. It was in a paper bag with maybe 6 other patterns. For a DOLLAR. I have made this pattern before, back in the late nineties. Then, I used a black knit with tiny white polka dots, picked the long sleeved version, and skipped the zipper insertion. It was a warm and comfortable presentable dress that was great for church and I got a lot of use out of it. It even held up to me teaching the nursery school kids there.

This time around, I had two fabric to choose from, both picked up at Value Village for $3.99 each piece. They are both either rayon/poly or poly/nylon.

591b75e2adfa11e3bb7f12119c4bc50d_8

Definitely man made, and super slinky wovens with a nice drape. Polka dots again. It’s like I really love them or something and they look good on me. Go figure!

So I picked the 1930′s green – it’s perfect and cute! I am also doing the short sleeved option, not shown on the envelope.

You’ll note that since this is a vintage pattern, none of the pieces are printed. They are pre-cut for you, however. I do appreciate that. A quick press and I was pinning and cutting away.

9f412a1eb07811e3b6f312f6ed7cc065_8

Now I have a nice stack of cut pieces waiting for me. Probably might not get to starting it till Sunday though.

 

Allergies

I’ve had allergies all my life.

Just the usual – pollen, pets, dust. The time we went to England and I stayed in a room with my aunt, one morning from her bed she said, “You just sneezed 27 times in a row. I counted.”

Finally, I decided to do something about it because I realized a little hazily how much it affected my daily life. I tried a few different OTC allergy meds and the one that wrks the best for me is Claritin.

It says 24 hour but it does wear off. Anything stronger than that make my ADD get worse, so the trade off of less sneezing and nose running and blowing is worth it. On bad days, I’d take Claritin twice a day.

Oddly, at least to me, I still had days where I was really tired and headachey.

Sarah suggested I try Advil cold and Sinus to clear my sinus out. I did and after a few days it had dawned on my I hadn’t had a headache.  On the days where I had been taking Claritin at night, I tried the sudafed instead. That worked way better.

This week, I realized I had a pretty darn good week, health-wise. Some restless sleep but nothing due to allergies or headaches.

But Friday night I forgot the sinus medication. Last night, forgot it again.

And at 7:20 this morning I woke up with a blinding sinus headache. Actually, now that I think of it – the same headaches I’d usually call migraines, complete with stars.  I could not get the sinus & allergy meds into me fast enough. I crawled back into bed next to Ron and thankfully was able to go back to sleep.  Woke up at 9:50 with only a mild sore head.

I’m just amazed this used to be normal for me. Once or twice a week or so I;d be knocked flat with headaches.

Giving myself another dose of the sudafed because I can, and that should knock it out for today.

I’m going to need a second bottle near the bed so I don’t forget the night dose again, sheesh.

Up to the usual

Since last we met, with my blue hair, the overall consensus is it looks pretty good. Every time I wash it I get blue suds. Oddly, I haven’t had any public comments about my hair. I get plenty when I have two or more different colors though.

Mostly in the last week we worked then watched tv at night. We got off-schedule with the groceries and went in the middle of the week. Oh noes! It’s thrown us completely off.

Thursday I picked up Sarah, went uptown to pick up a parcel for her and then we scooted over to Addison & Kaytlyn’s to babysit. Mom and Dad went out for much needed haircuts and some groceries. Seriously – have you ever tried to go grocery shopping with a 3 year old, an 18 month old and a 3 month old? I would not even attempt it.

While they were gone Jade was super fuzzy and screaming till her face went red. Poor thing had gas. She was also hungry, so I managed to get her to down half a bottle when she promptly threw up all over me and her.

Then she smiled at me so that was okay.

Ayla is really ramping up the verbal skills and even though most of the time it sounds like babbling, when she saw me and Sarah coming up the stairs it didn’t take long for her to manage “Where Gampy?”

After babysitting was over, Sarah & I went back to our place where she hooked up her new gaming laptop to my big huge tv in the bedroom. It was *glorious*. She showed us a few games plus Bioshock Infinite – which I want to play now – and the latest Tomb Raider which I *really* want to play and would have bought already but it is Windows only.

Friday was my half ay of working and I really wanted to sew. Between errands, work holds ups, WordPress drama I really need to stop reading and just generally being cranky, I managed a whole half hour of sewing.

Then had to stop for dinner.

After dinner, it is pitch black outside and super dark in the basement sewing room. We defaulted to Netflix once again, but watched Despicable Me (very enjoyable) and a new series – Episodes, which I started accidentally and got hooked on.

Saturday I worked a half day. Didn’t go anywhere because it was so rainy /icy and I was reading twitter reports of road closures and accidents all over. I worked on some pattern drafting for a new project as well, no details yet.

Sunday we went and got groceries AGAIN and also went to the Northside market for meat. Having a hard time finding sausage we like. I also got samosas since it had been a while.

Mid-afternoon Addison dropped off Izzy and Ayla for a fun time. They weren’t here half an hour and they were at the sink with water and cups and towels all over the floor. Izzy really likes my big tv in the bedroom “Soooo coool Nanny!” so we watched a movie. Even Ayla snuggled for a bit. I think they forgot all about our toy closet as well, since I opened the door and both girls went “ooooooo!”

We dug out Barbies, played with all the toys, went up and down stairs, had snacks multiple times, cleaned up messes, tried on Grampy’s shoes, ran around in circles, ran around with big bubble wrap packaging, practised stomping feet because no one lives downstairs here, and then when supper was almost ready Mommy & Daddy showed up with a friend, so we visited for a bit. Emma talked off Kaytlyn’s ears about Pokemon. I made sure Addison ate some food.

It takes a good 20 minutes for them to get out the door and we still haven’t found Izzy’s missing sock. A half hour after that, we had everything cleaned up then fell into bed in front of the tv exhausted.

Keeping habits

We had hot dogs for lunch and had the buns with the flat sides. I did mine up in the fry-pan with onions and grilled the bun. Then I had to make a second.

Emma had an orthodontic appointment this afternoon. They run about every six weeks. She had concerns they were going to tighten some things and swap some stuff out that would hurt lots afterwards, but this visit was to choose exactly which ones were being adjusted heavily next time. We’re all stocked up with ice cream and soft foods anyway. Next visit is in 4 weeks, that one will hurt.

Then I made plans with Sarah to come over tomorrow night for a gaming night.

I also started forcing a hyacinth bulb and it is starting to flower, so I took a bunch of pictures like this one.

IMG_6229