Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wrapping Up My Colette Fall Palette Challenge

I knew in my heart that I would probably fail to complete this challenge - it's been over for a few weeks now and I completed one garment within the duration of the challenge.  When it came to my second piece - this skirt, I had full intentions of finishing it in early November.  A number of things got in the way of that, including putting my sewing machine away for a whole week while our house was being painted.  Not to dwell too long on the negative - I have a new finished skirt that I love!  This is a 1940's a-line skirt with front welt pockets.

Although the pattern didn't call for it, I decided to make this a fully lined skirt.  It all started with the pockets, I didn't want to use the wool fabric because it is a thick, winter-weight and I thought it would add too much bulk where I wouldn't want it.  Not having much else that was appropriate, save for three yards of silk that I was hoping to use on a 1940's slip, I wasn't sure what to do.  Then I found myself thinking surely I can use a minuscule amount for the pockets.  This spiraled into I bet I can squeeze my skirt lining and the slip out of these three yards.

So, I did what I could to creatively place (while still following the pattern grain lines) all pattern pieces onto the three yards of silk.  It was a good choice, I think the taupe silk is a great compliment to the dark wool.  And nothing feels better next to the skin that silk, plus an extra layer means more warmth.  With winter fast approaching, I'm happy to have a warm skirt in my closet (this time last year we already had a lot of snow on the ground).

The more I sew, the more I see the importance of the extra steps taken to finish a garment.  For this skirt I used a lapped zipper (using Casey's method), bound button hole (using Gertie's method) and a ribbon hem.  Additionally all of my seams are surged and finished with french seams or bound seams.  I love how it looks just as great on the inside as the outside.

This will wrap up my fall sewing challenge.  I know I planned to make the blouse from the same pattern - but I feel good about leaving it until summer and making another one of these skirts.  I can see it made up in a pastel light weight wool or pretty floral cotton with a contrasting color for the waistband and welt pockets.  How about you, do you have any ideas of how you would make this skirt?

Live in this moment and love life!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wanting Your Help Choosing a Fabulous Dress

Hello dear readers!  I feel like it has been forever since I last posted.  (Though it is far from my long stretch of absence during the beginning of this past summer).  Perhaps you thought I was basking in my own awesomeness or reflecting upon the greatness of my talent a la the Selfish Seamstress?  Most certainly not!  I assure you that I have not gone down that path.

In fact, I have felt the need to create a post, any post - so that my most recent entry is no longer the "look at me, I had fifteen seconds of fame" post.  That being said, I also didn't want to create a post just to ramble aimlessly.  This blog is not to become a place of meaningless chatter just to have my voice heard and I am far too thankful for your time to be waisting it with such.

So, I am coming to you seeking advice.  With my sewing I tend to get a quite distracted as my mind is constantly reflecting upon images and ideas that I hope to turn into finished garments.  So much so, that I often can't make a decision about what I want to sew next.  Looking ahead to this coming year, hubby and I have six weddings to attend, and many of these will include bridal showers and rehearsal dinners.  A girl needs to have a fancy new dress or two for such occasions, wouldn't you agree?  Will you help me to decide on a dress or two to make for all these weddings.  Most will be spring and summer occasions, so I am planning ahead a bit, but I don't want to be finishing the dress the morning of the wedding as I did with my first dress.

The first option is a modern Vogue pattern by designer Cynthia Steffe.  This was actually the first pattern I bought and was planning on using it to make my first dress a little over a year ago.  I think this would have forever ruined sewing for me, so I'm glad I went with the much easier McCall's pattern.  But with a year of sewing underway, and the knowledge of available resources, I think I am ready to tackle this one.

Love the pockets!
Next up is a 1940's mail order from The American Weekly.  At first glance this may appear to rather ho-hum and not something one would wear to a wedding.  However, notice the open back and consider what it may look like sleeveless and in a brightly colored sassy fabric.  (You're liking it a bit more, right?)

Not sure if I would use the bow or not.
Going along with the idea of an open back, I am coveting Tasia's Vogue 1116!  I don't own this pattern (yet), but think it would make a fabulous dress for a special event.  I love how she used a bright and cheerful fabric, I have trouble finding anything like this.

Lastly, I have the two 1950's patterns I picked up at a thrift shop.  I'm thinking about making the strapless one and omitting the bolero.  But I also like the idea of dresses with the cap sleeves.  These would require making a crinoline and some serious pattern grading (even petite little me does not have a  31 1/2 inch bust - and of course the waist would be even more of an issue)

Oh so many choices - and I even eliminated one based solely on the fact that I was too lazy to scan it in.  So, my fellow sewists and anyone else who wants to put in their two cents, what are your thoughts?  Which of these patterns is a sure win for an wedding ensemble?  Do you have ideas for fabrics or colors?  Your input would mean so much to me.

Live in this moment and love life!