A quarterly check-in and Me Made May

I can’t believe it’s April already! I thought that this year, rather than remembering I have sewing goals that I’d set for myself in November and frantically trying to see if I did them, I’d review them in more of a quarterly fashion to help me stay on track. Besides, I still haven’t managed to get photos of the jacket I finished in January, and I’m stuck in a muslin/fitting stage of my current project. So here goes!

First up, Me-Made May. I haven’t participated in this in awhile. Last year, I was only 2 weeks postpartum at the start, and if you’ve been following here for awhile, you know how much havoc my two pregnancies have wreaked on both my body and my handmade wardrobe. But I’m finally in a good place to play along again– Padawan is only nursing at night now, and since he’s nearly a year old, there’s a good chance that I might be done altogether by then. So I don’t have to worry about nursing friendliness! My official pledge is:

“I, Becky of sewadagio.wordpress.com, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’18. I endeavour to wear something me made 4 times a week. I also endeavor to work in as many of my non-nursing friendly me-mades as are seasonally appropriate, in order to determine what still works for my lifestyle and body.”

Unofficially, I have a couple other things I’m hoping to accomplish through this challenge:
– Figure out some ways to style my Jalie Vanessa pants that I made last year, since I haven’t quite sorted that out yet.
– One of my goals for this year is to build towards some small capsules within my wardrobe. So I’m hoping to figure out which pieces in my wardrobe would be good ones to build off of, so I can figure out the holes and how to fill them. I already know that casual clothes for my at-home days are a major hole, but that might be something I have to work towards for next year, since that mostly doesn’t line up well with my Make Nine plans for the year.

Speaking of Make Nine… I’ve only finished one thing so far, the Carolyn Pajama pants. (Which, fortunately, ties in well with my goal of revamping my pajamas. I’m halfway done this one, since my winter ones are all finished!) I’m working on my second project currently, which is the True Bias Lander pants in the shorts view. My wearable muslin has turned out to be highly unwearable, due to some major fitting tweaks that need to happen, but thankfully it’s fabric that I really didn’t care for the color of. (I would have attempted to dye them if they’d worked.) I’m hoping to get the fitting changes made on my pattern and at least get the real version cut out this week. I admittedly got rather sidetracked by Easter gifts for my boys, which I’ll share more about soon, and my entry for the Day and Night Dress Challenge. So if I want to have a decent shot at working through these projects, I’ll need to be more focused going into the summer for sure.

I am hoping to tackle the swimsuit before too long. I’d love to get it done in time for Memorial Day. I do have patterns and fabric chosen and safely stored in my sewing closet now. So that’s progress, I suppose.


I need a distraction

IMG_0791First off, the good news: While by no means perfect, my welt pocket is looking much, much better than yesterday. (Though is the dart supposed to go crooked like that where it splits?)

IMG_0792The bad news: After struggling with it for a solid half hour, at least, plus at least another 15 minutes of staring vainly at Lauren’s tutorial post, this is what my pocket lining is doing. I just can’t make heads or tails of it, and this is the only way I could figure to get the brown showing through the welt, rather than the print. I don’t think I sewed it backwards or upside down, based on the illustrations, but I’m obviously missing something here and I’ll feel really dumb when I figure out what it is. (Well, more dumb, because I am honestly rather discouraged with this entire thing right now.)

So, to distract myself, here’s my tentative plan for the rest of the FESA sewalong.

Fashionable Foundations for Frosty Weather
Trousers, skirts, legwarmers and more! Anything that keeps your lower portion fashionably cozy fits perfectly here! The chilly weather necessitates the donning of bifurcated bottoms and sassy skirts!

Obviously, I’ve got this one covered by Pantsapalooza, assuming I can make it past this first pair of pants and actually start working on the other 4!

Chic Chemises for Cool Climates
Blouses, tops, vests, cardigans, and sweaters! These wardrobe essentials can carry you from day to night, not to mention provide necessary layering to keep out the chill.  

I’ve got a couple of things planned here:
These two knit prints are tagged for long-sleeved Renfrew tops. The black striped one, which was part of a Christmas haul from my parents a few years ago, will have to be a layering piece out of necessity. It’s pretty thin. The green is a little thicker, with a crinkled texture, and has been in the stash for several years. The nice thing is that I can use black thread for both, so I can assembly-line construct these as well! I’m thinking maybe a scoop-neck for the black and a v-neck for the green, since I’ve only made the cowl neck variation so far.

I also have a new knitting project! Would you believe this one has been in progress for a few weeks now? This cardigan pattern is called Roheline, and it’s proved rather difficult to get going, though it’s completely not the design’s fault. The first time I cast it on, one of the dogs somehow got the yarn out of my nightstand drawer early one morning, and in the ensuing tug-of-war between him and my husband, the yarn broke. So I had to start again. Then I had a couple instances of misreading the chart pattern and having to rip it out. And at least once or twice casting on where I just didn’t have enough of a tail to finish. All together, I think I started this sweater about 7 times! But I’ve made it up through row 7 or 8 as of tonight, so I think I’m good now. I hope.

Fabulous Frocks
Dresses of all styles; mini, short, or long! Keep yourself warm in your modish designs, layering with tights and boots!

IMG_0795I meant to get this one done near the end of the summer, so hopefully putting it on my fall list means that I’ll get it done sometime before the end of next summer, right? Anyway, this is the Darling Ranges dress. And of course I plan to overcomplicate things for myself by attempting to fully line it. That blue bemberg rayon was the closest match I could get without actually using white (which, actually, Mood didn’t have at the time). And it’s a pretty lightweight rayon print, so those white streaks are just a liiiiiittle too transparent for my comfort. The fact that it will add some extra warmth doesn’t hurt either, since elbow-length sleeves in the middle of the summer around here just aren’t happening. Which makes this obviously a fall dress.

Underneath It All
When you’re spending months covered from the neck down, a glamorous underpinning of your choice adds a secret, luxurious touch that chases the cold away!

Tender Tootsies
Let’s not forget your frosty feet! Socks, slippers and the like are the order of the day. Keep those tootsies warm and dry!

Those Cozy Nights
Is there anything better than snuggling up in a cozy pair of pajamas with a hot drink and a book whilst Jack Frost works his magic outside? I think not! Sleepwear of all types are the way to go here!

I don’t currently have any plans for these few categories, but we’ll see if I change my mind. After all, despite my long-term anti-leggings stance, the upcoming Espresso leggings are tempting me to give them a shot.

Baby It’s Cold Outside
Coats, hats, and mittens donned to keep the cold at bay, especially when out enjoying the spectacular fall colours!

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsI do have a pair of handwarmers in progress that I’m frantically knitting for work, but I keep that at my parents’ house as a project to do while I wait for flute students. So this Twitter shot is the only pic I have of them for now. A matching hat may follow. And I do hope to knit the beginner scarf for my Craftsy class soon, too.

So, I know this is a hugely ambitious list, and last year I was crafting for FESA well into the winter. But that’s ok. Especially because there is one more pile…

Just as a sneak preview, these are the three things I have tagged for the Doctor Who sewalong. But I’m not going to tell yet what I have in mind, or what categories they fall into. Because, as River Song would say, spoilers!

jacket progress

First off, thanks for the kind words on my last post, Mary and Gwen!

I’ve been making some nice progress on my jacket over the last several days, though slowly because I basically had no time to sew at all over the weekend. So here’s what’s been happening so far:

I basted the jacket together to check for the fit– I cut the size 40 out of the Burda magazine, but with 1″ seam allowances instead of the 5/8″ it called for. And look how much I still had to take it in! (Every line that’s further to the right.) The only place where I think I might need to adjust a little more is adding a teensy bit more room under the arms, but with the extra-wide seam allowances, that will be simple enough. Doing it this way made it really easy to sew for real, too– after I traced the new stitching lines onto my pattern pieces, I just sewed right over the basting lines, so nothing will get lost in translation.

My goal for today was to get the pockets taken care of, and I succeeded. So I did a little process photography– I was afraid that the Burda directions would be typically tough to follow, but this wasn’t bad at all!
First I had to press the pleats in and baste it…

Then sew the bands on the top. (The only problem I ran into here was that I should have checked to make sure the nap was going the same way, because I didn’t and I didn’t notice until the pockets were already sewed on. So let’s just say this was a design detail that I did on purpose, even though it was really just me thinking that the interfacing would probably be better on the outer side.)

Next step was to sew the lining to the other side of the band, with a gap for turning, then to sew all around the outer edge of the pocket.

And this is what I ended up with–it made a pretty nice clean finished edge, and I had no trouble with the lining peeking through when I sewed the patch pockets onto the jacket!

On a random note, this lining fabric is reminding me of Junior Mints.

And here’s the pocket on the jacket–it’s a little off-grain with the corduroy, because of the flare in the jacket, but it is parallel to the bottom edge and I think that was more important here.

The other project I’ve done over the last several days was to package up some projects for the next few months. I still need to cut things out, and trace out about 3 patterns from the Burda magazines and Sewing Handbook, but this is about a dozen projects’ worth of fabric packaged up with the patterns, any thread or notions I need (minus interfacing, since that will come with cutting out.) Since I’m starting to get work at the retail job already, at least I did yesterday, my plan is to cut out several of these all at once after I finish the jacket. And then I can just sit down and sew them whenever I have the time, in whatever order I want to do these in. I’ll most likely tackle the ones outside of the bin first, though I have to trace one of those patterns and double-check my jeans muslin to see if I need to make any more fitting tweaks. I think this should make it fairly easy to work in some mending projects and refashioning as I go on this, too!

I must be nuts.

Because I stumbled across this recently, and I really, really want to make it. It’s easily the coolest afghan I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

This is the Yggdrasil Afghan, which is a shockingly free pattern from Knitting Daily. If those Celtic knot and leafy borders weren’t amazing enough, look at the center…

I mean, seriously! How cool is that? I like this one even better than the tree of life afghan I’ve been obsessing over since I first discovered Ravelry. So much so that I actually spent a rather significant chunk of the evening trying to figure out good options for a yarn which would allow me to make this in an affordable fashion, preferably without having to resort to those huge balls of super-cheap acrylic. (So far, the front-runner is this.) Surprisingly, I can actually use the called-for yarn, which is the same stuff I used for that wrap I made over the summer. But in order to make the size I want (which of course is the biggest one so I can have as much epic Celtic knotting as possible), I’d have to buy nearly $300 worth of yarn! I’ve never even spent close to that much on fabric for formalwear! Or pretty much all of the fabric I bought for my last bedroom makeover, including the curtains and the quilt!

But, of course, this is labeled specifically as a difficult pattern. I’ve only been knitting for 11 months now. And I’ve done maybe two projects involving cable needles so far, and they were both something like 1-2 stitch cables. Plus the finished product is huge. So this thing would probably take me at least 5 years to finish, especially since I’d most certainly be working on other projects in the meantime on both the knitting and the sewing fronts. That, and I have to learn how to do at least half of the various techniques involved. So am I completely insane for even considering this?

The good news is, I’ve finally managed to get my Cadence sweater to the point where the sleeves are separated off and I’m actually working on the body by itself. So progress! Also, I finished my dress for the Mad Men party about 45 minutes ago, save the belt (for which the kit has not yet arrived) and pressing the hem. I’ll take some pictures of both of those things tomorrow when I have a better shot at decent lighting.

On a random note, have any of you other Blogger users been having trouble with the front page of your blog? For the last couple of weeks, I’ve only been able to see the most recent post, and have to click on the “Older Posts” to see anything further. Other than sidebar-type stuff, which is still working fine. I know it’s not my settings, because I’ve checked that and I should be able to see at least 5 posts here…odd. (Edit: And of course as soon as I post this, I can see the first two most recent posts…)

spring dress tease

Blame the weather around here, because it gave us a major tease yesterday. First day in weeks I’d actually been able to wear spring clothes, and I wished I’d had this done because it would have been a perfect day to debut it. And then today it goes and gets cold again! *sigh* So I’m going to tease you with some in-progress pictures.

I was glad to find out that the new buttonhole foot works just fine. I did have a bit of a gripe with the pattern I’m using (Simplicity 2248), as far as this particular piece goes. The piece has no interfacing, and yet it has a buttonhole. Which would make for a pretty horrid buttonhole, with just 2 pieces of cotton and nothing to stabilize it. So what I ended up doing was taking a scrap of the silk organza that I have left from the LBD (I have at least a couple of yards left, since I ended up underlining the skirt with the lining crepe de chine instead), doubling it, and stuffing it into that corner. Worked like a charm.

A shot of the back. Which needs some fixing, as you can see. I tried it on today, and it mostly fits very well. Except the back gaps at the top, so I’ll have to undo that invisible zipper a bit and take it in about 3/4″ on each side. Guess it’s a good thing I haven’t done anything with that facing yet. (The button placement is off, too, as a result. But I may just have it be asymmetric. Or sew on a second button off-center to balance it out. Definitely better than ripping out the buttonhole, even though I haven’t cut it yet!)

The top of the bodice. I don’t know if it’s the combination of this neckline with the fabric, or the colors, or the corset-y topstitching or what, but for some reason, this dress is making me think of Georgian-era France. Kind of like Marie Antoinette without all of the scandals and guillotines and the terrible movie. (Seriously–I couldn’t even like this one for the costumes. All I could think at the end was that it was two hours of my life I’d never get back.)

One comment about my sewing that has stuck with me is one that a one of my long-time friends made a couple of years ago. She said that she could always tell when I’d made something, because it had unique and interesting buttons. I guess that’s one of my trademarks now? I was really excited to find this one, though. I’d almost resigned myself to going with a cream-colored button, because I knew the blue and green in the fabric would be hard to match. And then I found this one, which looks like mother-of-pearl and has the perfect blend of greens and that purple-ish periwinkle! The size is a bit smaller than the pattern called for, but the coloring was so perfect that I don’t care. (And now that I’m looking at the button package again to check the size, I just found out that apparently these buttons were made in France. Maybe it’s a sign…)

(Also, random geek fact– I was checking one of my favorite movie costume sites to see if there were any comparable Marie Antoinette dresses, and found out that one of the dresses used in the movie was apparently also used in an episode of Doctor Who! Hee!)

What I’ve been up to….

First of all, wow– I have to say I’m kind of overwhelmed by the response to the post about the Pendrell blouse. I think that may actually be the most comments I’ve ever gotten on one post! And since the overwhelming consensus was to keep the ruffles as is, the ruffles will stay.

Secondly, I still haven’t quite settled on what to do with the rest of the yarn from the Constellation gloves. Though yes, cheesepirate, I have found Ravelry–that’s actually where I found that handwarmer pattern in the first place! And Hana, I’m not sure there would be enough for socks. Unless maybe it’s the kind that don’t cover your ankles. I haven’t started another knitting project yet, either–need to check and see if I have access to the right size needles before I start on that beret.

I’ve gotten lace to extend the lining hem for the LBD, and gotten the outer skirt measured for the length, though not pinned up at all beyond the one pin in it to mark the length. I’ve also gotten a knit shirt cut out, and was originally planning on sewing it together over the weekend, but ended up not touching it.

What I have been doing for the majority of the last several days is running with the inspiration I had to finally get my Etsy shop rolling, so I can do something about all of that jewelry I made for the craft fair that’s been sitting here in my room ever since. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for, oh, the last month and a half. Admittedly, the LBD kind of took over my entire non-working, non-social life and kept me from doing a single thing about it. But since I’m not working a whole lot right now due to my retail job being non-winter seasonal, I’ve been taking advantage of the extra time. So my store policies are written. I’ve made a complete guess at shipping prices, which may have to be tweaked if I have opportunity to test that theory. I spent hours and hours on Saturday photographing every single piece of jewelry I made for that craft fair that I didn’t sell. And I’ve figured out my packaging, though I still have a lot of it to go. So I have been sewing. But it’s been several of these:

They’re not all that size. Some, which I mean to use for the earrings that don’t accompany necklaces, are smaller. These were actually a bit small for most of the necklace cards I’ve had made up so far. So I’ll have to choose a few necklaces to fit these, or use these for bracelets (once I figure out how to actually package them). It’s been a lot of trial and error. But it’s good, because other than the ball of cotton yarn I got to make drawstrings out of, the packing materials are all things I had on hand–breaking into my big stash of white cardstock pulled out of scrapbook page dividers, and decorating them with (mostly) scraps of paper that I wouldn’t be able to use for much otherwise. But I’m especially proud of the bags, because now I finally have a solution to a problem I’ve been thinking about for years: what to do with my muslins. Because I’ve never liked just chopping up large pieces of fabric only to throw them away at the end. It seems very wasteful and not very eco-friendly. There is still a little bit of waste involved in this, because I can’t entirely cut rectangles out of irregular-shaped pieces, especially when I have to occasionally avoid Sharpie marks. But I’ve been amazed at how many of these little bags I’ve been able to get so far out of one clothing muslin (in this case, the LBD one), and I’m still not even done chopping it up yet!

If I counted remotely close to right, I still have a ton of these I need to make in order to just package up what I have made so far.. Fortunately, they whip up pretty quickly, and I’ve been able to get quite a few done. Though I may need to take a break sometime this week and whip out that shirt, just so I don’t start feeling too much like a one-woman sweatshop! That, and because I’ve also been pondering signing up for Me-Made-March–kind of like the Self-Stitched September thing I did, though obviously a different season. And a more challenging one–this past September at least was pretty summery for most of the time, but March around here can range anywhere from the 30s to the 70s, often going from one extreme to the other within a matter of days, with the occasional freak snowstorm and an almost guaranteed chance of high winds and torrential rains at some point. Ah, life in the mid-Atlantic. So it would be interesting to see how I fare with that sort of challenge, but I definitely would need to get a couple of things knocked off my to-sew list! At least this and the jacket I’d like to make before it gets warm. So that will need a bit of thought.

To backtrack for a moment, the good thing was that I did finally manage to get a couple of pieces up in the shop today. I’m not going to talk about that here very often, because I felt it would be more professional to keep that separate from this blog (especially since this blog focuses more on my sewing projects than anything else, which is completely unrelated), and therefore made a separate blog just for that. I don’t want this blog to become a constant advertisement, anyway. But figured it wouldn’t hurt to let people know it now exists, right? If you want to check out what I’ve got in there so far, you can either check it out at the shop’s blog or Etsy. Not a lot, only 2 things as of this post, but I’m planning/hoping to make a nice dent in adding those things over the next several weeks. And that is all that I will say about that here for the moment.

And one of these days, hopefully sooner rather than later, I will have clothes to show here again!

sewing at a snail’s pace

So what I said about the Hong Kong finish meaning this jacket would take me three times as long to sew was a bit inaccurate. It’s actually turning out to be five times as long, because I have to sew every seam five times! So after working on it for the past week, the current status of my jacket is that I have the front, back, side and shoulder seams done. That’s it. 😛 Though I am happy with how the finish is turning out. And it turns out that it’s a good thing I’m doing a bound seam, because for suedecloth, this fabric frays an awful lot!


The other thing that’s taking a good bit of time with this is that I’m actually undoing the textured embroidery on the facings. It’s not hard to take that cording off, just a bit time-consuming. But since the nature of this jacket is going to make it be worn more like a shirt, more likely than not, I figured it would be more comfortable against my skin that way. And I still get a bit of the “print” from the lines that stay embedded in the fabric after removing the cording. I kind of like the look of it, actually. Subtle.

Another challenge with this jacket is that for some reason, this fabric does NOT want to press right. I don’t know if it’s because the Hong Kong finish means I didn’t clip a single seam, but they are not lying flat. At all. I even tried turning the heat on the iron up all the way (with a pressing cloth so I didn’t melt the fabric), and it’s still got a bit of an “I didn’t bother to iron this at all” look. That bugs me, but I’m not sure what else to do with it.

I’m hoping I can make some good progress on this tomorrow–things are a bit slow at the garden center in November, and as a result, my hours got cut back even more. So the only day I was scheduled this week was yesterday, and that means I’ve got some extra time on my hands tomorrow. One thing I have done that’s helped is that my sewing machine is currently sitting right next to my computer. So that means I can skim through emails or blog posts while I pin seams, and makes my time somewhat doubly productive. (Or slows both down, but I feel better about doing something else while I’m sitting in front of the computer. Plus then I can just sew for ten minutes here or there where I normally wouldn’t.)  I’ve also decided that my next sewing project is going to be a quick job, to make up for this one!

But I’m hoping it turns out well. It’ll ease the pain somewhat of how boring the Burda magazine has gotten. Seriously– there was nothing in it that I liked this month. Everything was just so shapeless and blah, and I was highly unimpressed. And the one jacket that I sort of liked, it was really nothing that I haven’t seen before, and there were no standout details to instantly put it on my must-sew list like the jacket I’m currently making. At least the debate is settled on whether I’m going to renew my subscription once it runs out–not happening. If I like something enough, I’ll just buy the individual issues at Barnes & Noble, or download individual patterns from the website.

On a somewhat random note, apparently my last post was my 500th and I missed it. I should probably do something about that. But it’s going to have to wait….I just haven’t had a chance to think of any cool giveaways or anything yet. And I have to run, because I’m going to a concert tonight and am supposed to leave to meet my bestie…um, now.

The BurdaStyle Book Project, part 3: Moving right along…

My plan all along for today was to pretty much sew all day and get as much knocked out as possible. I didn’t have much time at all to sew this week, except for Thursday night, which was when I stitched down that trim. This is how my sleeve turned out, and I think it’s pretty good! Except that I forgot to check which way the crossovers were going–so they’re the same on both sleeves except for mirror images like they probably should have been. Oh well…. I decided that leaving it would be the best thing, because ripping it off and starting over on the one sleeve would likely ruin it, and as long as it took me to iron that blasted bias tape and get it taped on, I didn’t want to cut a new one and start over!

So, as of today, the entire outer coat is sewn together.. Not bad, for basically starting with just the two front pieces and the back piece assembled.  I still have to sew the lining in, but I’m hoping to knock that out by next weekend. We’ll see how it goes–I actually will have several weeknights next week with reduced teaching loads, due to vacations and whatnot, so I’ll have more evening time than usual. But then, it’s also my annual week of vacation from the garden center job to teach flute at the middle school band camp hosted by the local university. (I think I need to work on understanding the meaning of that “vacation” thing…) So even though I’ll have the time, whether I have the energy and/or brainpower remains to be seen!

I probably could have gotten more done today. Except that the sleeves took me awhile, with all the pleating and pinning (and unpinning and re-pleating, in one case, since I pinned them inside-out! Fortunately, I realized that before I sewed it.) But look how good it looks!

And, well, I also got slightly sidetracked for a bit tonight… I was going to sew some more after dinner, but since I’d been working on it nearly non-stop since 10:30 before I stopped for dinner around 6 (except for lunch and laundry), I decided to leave it at the good stopping point of getting to the facings and linings. And I’m kind of getting in the mood to work on scrapbooky things again…

I actually did do some paper-cutting and basic page assembling about 2 weekends ago, because I was dogsitting. And this dog is the type who will drop slobbery balls right on top of your craft projects, so no way was I letting this coat anywhere near her! Besides, I still needed to trace out and alter the pattern pieces…which I did go home for several hours to do. So the scrapbooking is what I did at the house. And then, for the last couple of years, I’ve had a “scrapbook rewards” credit card as my one and only credit card. (No Joann’s one available at the time. Or now, when I’ve decided to move on to something else. Somehow, my mom managed to snag one when they did have it, and gets gift cards as a result. Lucky her.) Well, I’ve pretty much exhausted the interesting rewards on there, and have decided to close the account once I get my new card in the mail. But first, I cashed in all the points I’d built up that I could, and got a huge package this week of stuff like paper embossing templates, alphabet stamps, embellishy things (which I very, very rarely buy) and a couple of idea books. So the bug is definitely back now.

I had the thought today while I was sewing that I should go through my paper stash and get rid of all of the stuff I’m unlikely to ever use–a lot of my paper came from people who tried scrapbooking and don’t do it anymore, or those value packs of 100+ sheets that you can get sometimes at the craft stores. And while I’ve gotten a lot of good stuff that way for less money than I would have buying individual sheets, there’s a bunch that weren’t really my style. Not to mention some of the leftover paper from when I first started doing this in high school! So if I haven’t used it in about 12-14 years, it’s most likely not gonna happen. I’ve learned that when I’m actually in the mood to clean and/or organize, I’d better take advantage of it, because that doesn’t happen much. So I went through all of my patterned paper, and while I didn’t count individual pieces of paper, I pulled out enough to make a 2 1/2″ stack according to my seam gauge. (Probably a quarter of that is pink… I had a pretty significant amount of pink stuff from the paper stacks because I don’t use that very often at all– I probably got rid of at least 2/3 of that! And most of what I kept also had a good amount of other non-pink colors in the prints.) And I went through all of my stickers, too, and pulled out a bunch of those. I hardly ever use stickers anyway– I could probably get rid of the entire stash and not notice. But I’m not. Yet. I put a notice on Freecyle and am hoping someone is willing to take it!

Au revoir, Jane….

This is what I woke up to this morning– a huge tear right in the middle of one of the seams on the shorts I made as part of my BurdaStyle Jane pajamas! I knew they weren’t going to hold up a super-long time, because the first time I washed them, I noticed that the seams were fraying rather badly despite the pinking that I put on them. So this really isn’t fixable, because it’s not so much a tear as that the fabric has literally frayed down to the stitching and beyond. I’d hoped they’d make it through the summer, at least…oh well.

So I’m going to treat this as a learning experience, and this is what I’m taking from it: First, if the fabric is this easily frayable, I really need to take the time to finish the edges. (My serger was in the shop when I made these, admittedly, but some zigzagging might have helped nicely.) Also, I probably should have made this one size larger–the top fits decently, but the shorts were just a liiiiiiiiittle bit on the snug side. So I think a reprint of the pattern is in order.

Though I am a little on the low side as far as my stash of summer sleepwear goes, I’m not crushed….they were cute, but it was just fabric from my stash that, as I said before, I’m not really sure what possessed me to buy them. And, I mean, they have pink on them. So I think I can consider this a muslin and just use a better print the next time. 

In jacket-sewing news, it’s progressing… I’ve slowed down a bit this week because of some bias tape trim issues. Namely that suedecloth makes awful bias tape. The edges just don’t press under that well, and it doesn’t curve all that great. I had to completely change my original sleeve embellishment idea because the fabric simply would not accommodate it. But more on that later….as of now, the front pieces and the back pieces are sewn together, but the front and back are not sewn together, and the trim is all taped onto the front and sleeves (with a water soluble tape– not quite the same brand that Oonaballoona recommended, but this stuff will dissolve if I ever need to wash the jacket, so that’s good.) So I need to stitch that down before I can go any further. I’m hoping for a really good sewing day on Saturday, so we’ll see how it goes!

And the dress saga continues…

I did get the dress cut out on Sunday, and mostly sewed together on Monday. As you can see, this is already a huge improvement over the last attempt. I’m trying not to be bitter that I’m doing much better with Joann’s-brand polyester shantung that cost me a total of about $15 than the now-possibly-useless silk charmeuse that probably cost me around $50.

It’s still not perfect, though… while most of it fits (and looks) much, much better than the silk version, I’m still having trouble with those blasted side darts. Despite hand-basting them together by hand and several tweaks to the slant and depth of them. I’m still getting those points at the end. So this is leading me to two conclusions: a) if all goes well with the skirt fitting class I’ll be taking over at Pattern Review over in a couple weeks, I should probably look into taking a bodice-fitting one as well as the pants one, and b) perhaps in the future I should stick with princess seams instead of double-darts whenever possible.

This whole thing has been a really discouraging experience, honestly… I can’t help feeling like I shouldn’t be having this much trouble with such a simple pattern. I keep telling myself that it’s because it’s one of those really tailored, classic silhouettes, and my style generally isn’t so classic. And I know a big part of it is that I went for a higher-quality (and far more expensive) fabric than I tend to go for and it failed in spite of making a muslin. I don’t like feeling like I wasted that money. And it really doesn’t help that getting this wedding together has been a very frustrating and not very enjoyable experience for my entire family. Right now, I just want nothing more than to get it over with. So I just need to finish this (hopefully tomorrow…today ended up getting eaten up by handwork and further attempts to get the darts to lie better), and then maybe this weekend I can get the wrap taken care of. And then I need to find something to sew that’s just fun… I’m debating between just whipping up another article of clothing, or holding off on that (since I start the skirt fitting class pretty much right after the wedding) and starting on some of the sewing for my room. Which has the bonus feature of not having to be fit on me. 😛