"Why in the world did you pick this name for your blog?" ...so glad you asked...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Self-Stitched September Run Down: Part 2

Just three more highlights from SSS '11 to share with you.

First of all, I have to admit that this particular picture, although taken in September, was not actually showing how I wore it, but how I COULD wear it for a date night that never actually happened.  I did wear it once with a tank top and cardi, but that picture doesn't show the skirt as well.  
This skirt was a refashion on the fly of an empire waist maxi dress that stayed in the closet and was rarely worn.  I was challenged by a neighbor to make a maxi skirt and it jut clicked that the dress needed a new life as a skirt.  The original dress just had a plain straight hem.  I used the elastic at the original empire waist as the waist of the skirt, which meant that there was a pool of fabric at my feet when worn at my natural waist.  I had to cut some off, so why not cut it in a curve to be more interesting?  and then why not sew it right back onto the skirt to make a ruffle?  There really was no planning ahead, I just went with it.  I love the result and now this beautiful purple knit has a new life as a skirt that will actually be worn.

This is Michael Miller interlock knit made into Simplicity 2364. I used the suggestions from Christy (www.flickr.com/photos/54638955@N04/5688903017/ and followed her blog for details.  I've worn it several times, but it's rather fussy.  I think the interlock is too thick.  It's too bunchy under my arms and I keep wanting to take the top part off as if it's a shrug.  I like the way it looks, but not so much the way it feels.

Here is my second Anna Maria Horner Socialite Dress.  The key fabric is a Premier Fabrics home decor weight and, just like my first Socialite, this one was easy to make and is easy to wear.  It's rare that I want to make more than one of such a distinct item, but I am very glad to have two of these in my closet.

As for what I am doing now, I have a long list of sewing to accomplish before Christmas.  I have already completed Simplicity 2584 in plaid (my first plaid sewing!) for myself, Pink Fig's Miss Kitty as a shirt for my 3-year-old and a Simplicity pattern from the 70's for a dress for my almost-2-year-old.  These three frocks were first on my list because they are all for Christmas photos being taken on the 5th of November.
I want to make ruffled capris for my little girl to wear to the pumpkin patch this Saturday.
I need to finish up a pouch for the Pretty Little Pouch Swap and mail by November 5th.
I have committed to make 15 zip pouches for some volunteer appreciation baskets by November 15th.
I need to make my almost-2-year-old her birthday dress for her party on November 19th.  
I am also considering participating in a holiday market on the 19th and would need to make some inventory for my shop.
I want to make both girls Christmas nighties.
I have scarves to make for presents and I'd like to make my older daughter pj's and my younger daughter the Lion from Bit of Whimsy Dolls as presents.

I'm probably forgetting something, but I'm getting overwhelmed, so I'm stopping now.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Self-Stitched September Run Down

I realized as September progressed that I totally failed in doing daily, or even weekly posts about my outfits for Self-Stitched September.  It seemed to be all I could manage to post daily pictures to the Flickr group.  The nice thing is that, now, I at least have all the pictures and I can do a little run down in retrospect.  Here's part 1, in no particular order.

The month started off warm in Mississippi.  A local re-sale shop had it's grand opening and I was thrilled to find a Liberty of London by Target shirt for $6.  I didn't even try it on.  This is certainly a perk of knowing how to sew.  I was completely confident that, at $6, I could make it work, whatever the fit issues.  I had been kicking myself for missing the chance to buy some of this line new (I had no appreciation for Liberty of London at the time of the Target release), but this is even better.  Fortunately for me, all I had to do was take in the side seams and this blouse was good to go.  I am looking very forward to wearing this next Spring!

I have had 1 yard of this Patty Young knit for quite a while.  My original thought was to make an elastic waist skirt, but boy am I happy I had the sudden inspiration to buy Simplicity 2560 and make a cardigan!  I laid out all the pattern pieces before cutting because I wasn't sure I had enough, but I made it work with some creative cutting.  This gets the prize for most worn and also for most surprising coordinating piece.  I had a lot more in my wardrobe that works with this than I thought I would.

This outfit gets the prize for most comfortable while still looking dressy... unless you look closely.  These green knit ruffles area  refashion and my first try at big ruffles for myself.  I wasn't ready to pay $60 for a pair of Matilda Jane ruffles at the time, so I altered a pair of thrifted extremely-wide-leg knit pants.  I hadn't ever found a good mate for them until I tried them with my new navy knit McCalls 6203.  I haven't yet reviewed this pattern because I don't have any quality shots of either shirt I've made from it.  Maybe one day...  Suffice it to say that it's pretty basic, no baffling parts, but I would definitely like an alternative way to finish the neck.  I'm not really pleased with the droopyness and I saw others complaining of the same issue on reviews.

Here's your most basic of alterations.  It took five minutes.  I put one single line of shirring (is it shirring if it's only one line?) right under the bust line.  This shirt is an unusual purchase for me because I paid full price from Target and then altered it.  I don't usually pay full price for something if it doesn't fit really nicely.  This shirt wasn't flattering whatsoever with no shape around the bust (even though it had darts, but you wouldn't know it).  I fell totally in love with the crosshatch fabric and the color and the tie collar and had to have it.  I really, really enjoy wearing it now and, even though I had to put a little time into it, I think it was worth full price.

I wore it mostly with my clearance rack Target cardi.

And here is my Lisette Traveler dress in chambray.  On one hand, I think the length is very flattering and I love the dress shirt type hemline.  On the other hand, it's way too short to wear without thick tights or leggings underneath.  On the other hand, I guess it's a good thing colored tights and leggings are in.  This is only the second time I've worn this dress even though I made it months ago.  I wore it to church and felt like it was doing funny things all that morning.  I felt the same way when I wore it again the day of this picture.  It pulls to the right for some strange reason.  I cannot for the life of me figure out what would make something do that.  When I walk a few steps in it and then look in the mirror, the button placket is pulled diagonally to the right at the bottom.  Weird.  But I think it needs a few more chances before I relegate it to the "rarely worn" part of the closet.

And the prize for taking the most bravery to wear goes to these pants.  I was fortunate enough to procure three yards of this fabric for $6 or $7 a yard (I can't remember).  This stuff sells for upwards of $20 a yard online because it is so rare.  All of a sudden, after the rejoicing ended, the fear of cutting set in and the temptation to stick it safely in some dark drawer became strong.  I try my best not to do that though, because what good is an amazing fabric if it can't be enjoyed??  So I had this amazing Amy Butler fabric to use and a great responsibility to use it in an amazing way.  

So, I decided to go with a category of clothing I'd never made before and not use a pattern.  Smart, huh?

I made a deal with myself that if I tried pants and they didn't look good enough to wear out in public that they would just become my favorite pj pants.  I used a pair of wide-leg Anthropologie pants I owned as the pattern and went to cutting before I got too scared.  A few hours later, I had a very comfortable pair of pants that fit surprisingly well.... but looked to me like they were straight from the 70's and looked to my husband like they were straight from the Orient.
I wore it as pajama pants once and asked for feedback from all my Self-Stitched September buddies to know whether or not they should see the light of day.  They got a great reception both on Flickr and Facebook, so I finally got brave at the end of the month and gave it a go.
And got a compliment while I was out!  

More thought's on SSS '11 in another post to come.