Monthly Archives: February 2010

A Gathering Storm (and other bad puns)

I did ultimately decide to abandon the wrap skirt. I don’t wear ’em, don’t want to, and couldn’t make myself okay with using the very pretty embroidered linen I picked up at Mood on such a thing. So I moved on down my Sew School list to what I thought was the next easiest thing, Butterick 5285.

There are actually four different looks possible with this pattern. After reading through the instructions, I chose view A. No pleating, no second fabric. I anticipated the zipper would be my only challenge.

As if!

First, there were the pattern pieces themselves. This was my first time using the tissue-paper pattern pieces (Kwik Sew uses a heavier weight). My curious kitty fell instantly in love. It took all sorts of cunning, strength, and chewy treats to wrangle the pieces away from her without her tearing them to shreds. I love her but, gee wiz, I now understand the saying about curiosity killing the cat. I almost did.

Then my goregous olive green fabric betrayed me. I don’t know if it shrunk in the wash or what. But what I thought was 60 inches wide (selvage to selvage) turned out to be 52 inches wide. WTF? That meant that I couldn’t lay out the pattern pieces properly.

This is where I started working without a net, measuring my waist, hips, and the length of the skirt and cutting with no other guidelines. Risky business, let me tell you. But it seemed to be working out, plus the pattern instructions for inserting the zipper were blessedly clear and helpful.

Not so much with the instructions for gathering. After breaking the thread and starting over TWICE, I broke out my manuals — the Sew Everything Workshop book, along with my newly acquired Vogue Sewing Book — and the handiest tool of all, YouTube.

This gathering was definitely NOT magic.

I’m afraid it still isn’t perfect. But I’m tired and not ripping it out again. I just have to fit the waistband, hem the bottom, and add the hook-and-eye closure and I’m closing the book on this one.

If the Highlander franchise is to be believed, the finished product should be electrifying. After the gathering comes the quickening, right?

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What’s New Pussycat (Woooa-oooa)

You’re so kind for asking. The kid’s been hard at work. I’ve got about a million movies to see this weekend. You have been reading my reviews over at A1 Movie Reviews, haven’t you? That’s where I put the actual reviews. But I save my snarky love letters just for you guys here.

Stay tuned. Something tells me Garry Marshall’s celebfest, Valentine’s Day is gonna inspire lots of snark.

Also, I’ve been hemming and hawing (pun entirely intended) about what my next sewing project will be. I had planned on the wrap skirt from Sew Everything Workshop but meh. Wrap skirts get even less play in my closet than tunics.

I have recently been obsessing about 1940s fashion. A triple-header of The Big Sleep, The Good German, a The Black Dahlia will do that to a gal. So I’m wondering if a swingy circle skirt might be in order. Check back in soon to see what I decide.

P.S. Isn’t Lauren Bacall a babe?

Kwik Sew 3579 or How I Spent My Superbowl Sunday

I had the hardest time motivating to start in on Kwik Sew 3579. (Or should I say Kwik Seaux?) I think it was, in part, because it is another tunic. Typically, tunic dresses don’t occupy a high place of honor or frequent use in my wardrobe. I have just one that I adore. My good friend calls it “the pillowcase” or my “Dobby dress.” But I endure the mockery because it cost virtually nothing and gets mistaken for Hermes every time I wear it.

Anyway, the best thing about being a curvy girl (especially when you’re a larger curvy girl) is showing off that waist-to-hip ratio. Tunics definitely don’t do accomplish that. So, in honor of Superbowl Sunday, I almost called an audible and switched patterns. But after finding this gorgeous black-and-cream floral silk at Mood Fabrics, I found just enough inspiration to forge ahead with my planned lesson. Continue reading

Manhattan Vintage Show and Bananas

I love vintage clothes. It might not seem as obvious with me as with other girls because I tend not to wear a ton of vintage. There are two good reasons for it:

1) Blame it on the WWII rations but people in the 1940s and1950s (my favorite era of vintage fashion) were tiny. And I am not. So I don’t count on finding anything that fits me.

2) As much as I appreciate the styles — both the utilitarian menswear-inspired suits of the 40s and the ultra-feminine tiny waists and wide hips of Dior’s New Look — I don’t appreciate the itchy, scratchy, unlined fabrication.

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Fantastic Elastic – Kwik Sew 3765

I’ve been busy with actual, paying work this week but I decided that I would still make time to sew. Just because I work from home doesn’t mean my workday should be 18 hours long, right? I’m finding that keeping my hands busy in my off time really helps me hit a reset button in my brain so that I can go on working.

Besides, Lola was singing my name. Oh, you haven’t met Lola officially, have you? Here’s my seductress in the flesh. Well, plastic and metal parts.

Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets.

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