And the productive streak continues!

First, the big news: my jeans muslin is finally starting to work! After literally hours of stitching and ripping out and adding fabric and whatnot over the past several days, the crotch is starting to fit like something I could actually wear in public. The turning point was in the last chat for class yesterday, when Jennifer mentioned that if we had a pair of well-fitting jeans, we could look at those and use it for a guideline. And I actually do have one pair that fits the bill…

These are pretty much the perfect jeans for me. The rise is perfect–not too high, not too low. They don’t gap in the back. I don’t get weird wrinkly “smileys” right under the zipper. They also have this awesome swirly embroidery down the sides. There’s only two things wrong with these jeans: a) they’re just a liiiiiiittle tiny bit too short, and b) they’re falling apart because they are literally at least 11 years old. Probably closer to 12 or 13. This, my friends, is one of the few articles of clothing I still own that I bought in high school. I definitely got my money’s worth out of this pair, and whoever constructed it did a pretty good job, since after being washed at least 500 times, there aren’t any real holes (just one threadbare spot starting to form on the back yoke–not even anything on the knees!), that usual bit of jeans seam fraying, and one back pocket where the topstitching is partially undone and making that pocket flake off a bit in the corner. The main reason I don’t wear these outside of the house/working at the garden center is because they are so incredibly faded–the one thing that makes them look their age. (I’m quite seriously tempted to try my hand at re-dying them to a darker denim to see if I can get another couple of years out of them!)

Fortunately for me, these jeans are also made out of non-stretch denim, which is what I’m making my muslin for. I’ve learned over the years that even 2% lycra means I’ll inevitably need a belt by lunchtime to stop the gapping. So I took a ton of measurements on both these and my muslin to compare the two, and finally ended up with this:

Still a little “smiliness”, and I do need to fix the rise (the front isn’t bad, but I’ve determined that I need to make the back a good 3″ higher in order to not show my underwear when sitting!) But those wrinkles might be a little better in denim rather than the heavy muslin, and this is still about a hundred times better than how they looked when I left them on Saturday. (Which I refuse to show pictures of, because I’d just be embarrassing myself.) So there is a light at the end of the muslin-covered tunnel!

Aside from that, I’ve been getting a couple other small things done that I’ve been putting off. For instance, I couldn’t sew on Saturday night since Cassie was over and we were watching stuff on TV, so I made a bunch of bracelets for Wendy, and when I ran out of beads for that, I did some necklace repairs that have needed to get done for awhile. (The blue one needed to be restrung because the tigertail had stretched out and it was looking bad, the grey one had to be restrung because the tigertail actually broke, and all the small chain necklace needed was a new clasp. Talk about lazy on my part!)

And I was so happy with how the muslin turned out (and didn’t want to mess with it any more until I saw what the instructor had to say), so I did a small refashion this afternoon.
I found this dress a couple of weeks ago at Buffalo Exchange, and completely couldn’t resist it. But there was one major issue with it, at least for me–the strapless bit. It’s not that the dress wouldn’t stay up…I was actually surprised at how well it stayed. (It’s that super-smocked type fabric on top.) But I was a bit nervous about actually wearing a smocky tube-top style dress out in public, because the thing is, I’m clumsy. I’m constantly dropping things or knocking them over, I somehow managed to maul the back of my leg last week while shaving (I think I must have scratched it beforehand and didn’t notice) to the point where it’s probably going to leave a scar, and back when I was in grad school, I managed to break my toe by walking. (Granted, I probably fractured it the night before when I kicked it into my bed, but I swear it didn’t fully snap until the next day when I was walking across campus.) The point of this little ramble is, knowing me, I would probably do something like step on the hem of the skirt and yank the whole thing down in a very public location. And I don’t particularly feel like flashing people, so this needed to get remedied!

With a little help from my friend Nicole, I managed to find a near-perfect match of knit fabric the same day we went to Buffalo exchange. And without realizing it, I had loaded pretty much the perfect color of bobbin thread into my machine while working on the muslin. So making straps for this thing turned out to be a pretty quick job this afternoon, and I think the dress actually looks better with the straps! I’d normally show this off on Donna (the mannequin), but I couldn’t resist taking a pic of myself in it because, after all of that personal style “research” I did earlier this year, I can safely say that this dress pretty much epitomizes everything I like about the Boho style, while avoiding all of the things about it that annoy me. It’s flowy, it’s comfy, but it doesn’t make me look like I’m wearing a maternity sack. Plus it has great embroidery on the skirt. And it’s tie-dyed. And somehow, even though I usually avoid wearing shades of red because I’m a quasi-natural redhead, the colors look really great on me! I think the red is just burgundy/plummy/brownish enough to not clash with my hair. And I think the fact that I’m so pale actually helps it. Which is good, because I pretty much have to bathe in sunscreen to avoid getting burned, so no tanning for me! So I’m excited that I can actually wear this dress!

I also spent a good chunk of Saturday and Sunday working on this shirt. I’m kind of nervous that it’s not going to fit me right– I enlarged the bodice, but I’m thinking I may not have done enough. I guess I’ll have to see once I get it all sewn together. No pics of this one yet.

And hey, look, the header of my blog doesn’t clash with the background anymore! Maybe someday I’ll actually put pictures there that’s relevant to crafty stuff, but the water is good for now. And I did take the picture that I manipulated that from, so that counts as creative, right?

One thought on “And the productive streak continues!

  1. Remember that 'smilyness' will probably disappear if you are using stretch denim. The fit looks great so far. You new dress reminds me of my hippy days in the 70s. I had so many dresses like that. What goes round comes round.


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