Saturday, January 7, 2017

Sewing: More SWAPpery.



Look! That's my SWAP so far, all folded and stacked up.  I have two jackets, four skirts, and a shirt.  So far.

You want the details, right? Right?  OK, you won't openly yawn while I tell you right, right? OK, then.

As previously discussed, I've been working with Butterick 5261, an out-of-print shirt jacket.

I made the first version in November, out of an indigo silk/linen blend, as an Early Bird garment under the SWAP rules. I used the straight-hem version and deepened the hem, giving it vents. I also converted the gathered cuffs to ones with tiny pleats--not a pattern change; I just did the pleating instead of gathering. I dislike gathers.

This was intended to be a wearable muslin, and I was sure that it would be far too big--I used the biggest size rather than working my way through multiple muslins. But as it turns out, I enjoy the rumply oversized result. (It's not quite as rumply as it looks in the photo.)


I put a tiny bit of button and bead gloss on it.


I made a green version after that, as described in this post, but I got the timing wrong for Early Bird, so it's not a part of the SWAP. (I started it after November 5, but didn't finish it before December 26.) I anticipated making lots of additional pattern changes, but in the end I just made a size down, and lengthened it a bit. Then I regretted lengthening and just turned all the extra length up into a Really Deep Hem.

Then, as discussed, I picked up McCall's 6654 and made View E in a soft pale grey knit. I don't have a photo, because I'm wearing it. It's delightfully comfy; I intended these clothes to replace jeans-wearing, but this one is so comfortable that it replaces sweats-wearing. Yay!

Then I made it again in dark grey. Then I shortened it slightly (View E is almost ankle-length on me) and made it in moss green and in black. Then I discovered that the scraps left from the dark grey version were enough to make View...er...the slightly above knee view. So, four skirts. They all look more or like the one on the left.

Next! I made a cotton houndstooth version of the jacket, without any significant pattern changes, but another size down. I'm not sure if I'm happy with it--several small things went wrong. The fabric didn't have as much drape as I wanted, it turns out that I miss the oversized nature of the bigger size, I ran out of fabric and made bracelet length sleeves that I don't know if I like, and so on.


But I committed some pretty nice buttons to it in the hope that they take it over the edge to a success.


Then I made the Style Arc Lauren Butterfly Boyfriend (butterfly? where did I get butterfly the first time I posted this?) shirt. I straightened the shirttail hem, and made it a deep hem with vents.


There were enough flaws to give it a homemade feel, so I decided to just embrace that vibe and give it some nice old-fashioned glass buttons. Now it feels to me like something I might have gotten from a vintage shop.

That's all! I point, again, to the stack.

Next? Another shirts. I'm planning to remove those long folded cuffs from the shirt and just give it hemmed (deep, vented hems) sleeves. And then remove the collar and just use a slightly modified collar stand.

That is all! For now.

Images: Mine.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Sewing: SWAP Again Again

So, I noticed that the really long knit skirts were so long that they were hanging up on the top of my short boots. I was considering taking off four inches next time. I had a length of black woollyish knit that I thought was a bit short for the full-length pattern. So I made a shorter copy in black. Turns out that I would have had enough fabric, but, so be it.

I also timed the sewing. From picking up the prewashed fabric off the shelf, to putting the last stitch in the skirt, was two hours and twenty minutes. McCall's 6654 is a really simple skirt to make.

I realized that my "replace jeans" scheme should include something to wear when I've been too lazy to press shirts--because woven home-sewn shirts almost always need pressing. So I'm adding a black tee as a part of the scheme.

And this wipes out the difference between the more and less ambitious versions, leaving me with (boldface items are complete):

  1. Purchased black long-sleeved tee.
  2. Early Bird indigo silk/linen jacket.
  3. Pale grey knit skirt.
  4. Dark grey knit skirt.
  5. Black knit skirt
  6. Darkish green knit skirt.
  7. Jacket two
  8. Jacket three.
  9. Shirt one
  10. Shirt two
  11. Shirt three
I may have the green skirt done as soon as tonight. The jackets will be relatively easy, assuming I continue with the comfortably rumply theme of the indigo jacket. Then, for the shirts, I'll need to fit a new pattern, and progress will sloooooow.

Returning to add: Update! Green skirt's done!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Sewing: SWAP Again

OK, maybe every-other-day-ly blogging?

I finished another copy (copy? what do you call another rendition of basically the same thing?) of the knit skirt, in a nicer knit. It's dark gray; the previous one, which I'm wearing again, is light gray. I'm new to sewing knits, and realized (after the hem of the first one "popped" when I got into the car) that I needed a stretchier stitch. I used the "lightning" stitch on my Viking Rose, which I think is a stretch stitch, though I'm not quite positive because I couldn't immediately find the manual. I'll use the same stitch to re-do the hem on the first one.

Next I'll make a dark-green skirt. Then a black skirt. That will more than fill the "skirts" requirement for my SWAP.

Have I blogged any detail for my SWAP? (SWAP: Sewing With A Plan, an 11-piece sewing challenge managed at Artisan's Square.)  I'm calling it the Maybe I'll Do It This Time SWAP, because I keep planning SWAPs and never finish them. The theme here is to have clothes that replace jeans.

I have two variants, one more ambitious and one less, both listed below. The ones in bold are done. I'll probably re-post statuses and fabric choices.

  1. Grey knit skirt from McCall's 6654, view E--a long columnar knit skirt.
  2. Mossy green knit skirt, same pattern.
  3. Black knit skirt, same pattern.
  4. Silk/linen blend indigo blue jacket, made between 11/5 and 12/26, and therefore qualifying as an "early bird" garment.
  5. Another raglan jacket.
  6. A short cape.
  7. A drop-sleeve straight-hem woven shirt.
  8. And another one.
  9. And another one
  10. And the same again.
  11. And yet again.

And now the less ambitious, again with the completed items in bold.
  1. An existing self-sewn gored skirt in a washable black and white "denim".
  2. My existing long straight knit dark brown wool boucle purchased skirt.
  3. The grey knit skirt from above.
  4. The "wearable muslin" grey knit skirt.
  5. The green knit skirt from above.
  6. The brown jacket from above.
  7. The silk/linen jacket from above.
  8. Another raglan jacket
  9. A drop-sleeve straight-hem woven shirt.
  10. And another one.
  11. And another one.
Neither of them are very exciting. I have vague ambition of adding a little excitement to the remaining jackets. We'll see.

Um.

That is all.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Sewing Again: Ha!

I finished another thing! McCall's 6654, view E--a long columnar knit skirt. I used a very cheap and disturbingly off-grain knit, so I assumed that I was just creating a muslin to check the fit. But it actually hangs and looks just fine--a nice plain greyish skirt.

I'm wearing it right now as I lounge on the couch. That's what I made it for--I want to wear skirts instead of jeans, but I want the skirts to be just as comfortable as the jeans. This one, so far, seems to work.

But it's not really interesting enough to photograph. So I won't.

That is all.

Sewing: Whimsey

Willow: How come you didn't tell me I look like a crazy birthday cake in this shirt?
Buffy: I thought that was the point.

I finished a jacket! Ha! And looking like a crazy birthday cake is absolutely the point.

The body is fuzzy green cotton, while the collar and cuffs are silk chiffon in a pattern of white and purple circles on grey, with purple silk layered under it to add body to the chiffon and add more purple to the silk. Then there are shiny German glass buttons, plus one big throat button. For glitter.

All whacky. Yay!



Monday, December 26, 2016

So, "daily" lasted one day. I'll just declare Christmas as a holiday.

Today is the starting day for the Stitcher's Guild 2017 SWAP--that thing where you create 11 garments in...er...a few months. I should be starting, but I'm typing here, in between looking at vintage jewelry on Etsy.

I've been putting all sorts of things in various Favorites lists, and I'm discovering that I have slightly disturbing taste. A large percentage of the brooches that I've Favorited look like something that could come to life and attack.

And all that glitter craving is leaking into my sewing plans. I'm looking for excuses to add beads and shiny buttons, but puzzling over how to deal with laundering the theoretical garments.

Um.

OK, I really really should try to sew now.

Photo: By D. Sharon Pruitt. Wikimedia Commons.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Maybe Daily Blogging: Vacation!

Write. Write. Writey write write.

I'm on vacation. (Woohoo!) And I'd like to ease back into a writing habit, at least a bloggy writing habit. So, write. Tappitytap.

Have I mentioned that I apparently type at 110 words per minute? I took one of those online tests, and I don't offhand see a reason for them to boost my ego by lying about my typing speed. And that's actually after a lot of backspace-correction, so I'd guess that my flying fingers are actually typing at something closer to, oh, 130 or more.

Tappity.

Below, I realize that there are a lot of producty things. So, I'll just say here that no, they didn't pay me.

I've discovered that Etsy has a lot of vintage rhinestone jewelry. A whole lot. And a much better interface than eBay. This is a very dangerous fact to learn. Especially since while I'm looking at the rhinestone stuff, I see other stuff.

I'm planning to sew over vacation, too. My goal is to find the clothes that I will actually wear instead of jeans. Random thoughts (writey write write) include:

  • Columnar knit skirts, like McCall's 6654, view E. (Picture here.) I have one columnar knit skirt, in wool, and I wear it probably as often as all of my other winter skirts combined. I find the shape to be the most flattering on my hip-heavy figure--having a skirt expand to my hips and then keep expanding, as an A-line does, doesn't work for me in the mirror. But a narrow woven skirt isn't comfortable enough for me, hence the knit.
  • Drop-sleeve woven shirts, long, with a straight hem, intended to be worn untucked. I'm going to start with the Style Arc Lauren Boyfriend Shirt. (Picture here.) I'll extend the length, make it the same length front and back, give it a straight deep hem with mitered corners and vents, and make a variation with a faced neckline instead of a collar. 
  • Straight-hanging cardigan outer layers. For the woven one, as described a few posts ago, I've been working on Butterick 5261 (Picture here), an out-of-print raglan shirt jacket.  I made the straight-hem version once with almost no alterations, other than making the hem deeper and finishing it with mitered corners, and replacing the gathers in the cuffs with tinytiny pleats. I thought that was likely a failure, but then I wore it a few days ago and it worked just fine.
Next would be a woven cardigan outer layer. And as part of a theoretical travel wardrobe that I'll probably post about soon, I'd like a knit tee, though I debate whether that's worth developing as a pattern versus just buying it. But the above three are more than enough for several days of sewing.

My main concern with all of the above is the likely shapelessness--there's nothing to give me even a hint of an inner curve at the waist. But I keep reminding myself that the goal here is to stop wearing jeans, and even a shapeless skirt outfit will be more flattering to me than jeans.

So. That is all. I might go trace patterns now.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Blogging: Post Something

Goodness. I thought I'd be posting within minutes of that last administrivia post. But not so much.

So.

Um.

I haven't yet figured out what causes the spurts of regular posting and the intervening lulls. This appears to be a lull. But I thought I'd type, just to see what happens.

Tappity tap.

I'm watching Bob's Burgers. It's become one of my very favorite TV shows. Which is impressive, since I don't like cartoons. Louise is my favorite. Right now she's trying to persuade Teddy to let her "inspect" his blow torch.

So.

Again the um.

"All right, this is going to be fun. We have a babysitter and a lot of alcohol."

Yes, that's Bob on a later episode of Bob's Burgers. They're on the wine train. The steward just severely displeased Louise and kept her from the chocolate. He's gonna pay. Don't thwart Louise. She's rather like Helena that way. From Orphan Black. You know.

Here's another Louise link. For your entertainment.

Um.

OK, that appears to be all.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Blogging: NoTheyDidntPayMe

Blogs so often have affiliate links or sponsored posts or such things, that I hesitate to mention any product at all, much less link to it. I fear that people will not only think that I'm being paid for doing so, but that I'm failing to disclose that I'm being paid for doing so.

So I'm adding a new label, NoTheyDidntPayMe, and creating this post as something to link to. For the record, and as mentioned on my Policies page, I don't accept free products other than perfume samples in my role as ordinary customer. (In the past, I accepted a few perfume samples in my role as a blogger. I don't even do that any more.) I don't have affiliate links or sponsored posts or advertising. I don't intend to earn one penny or one piece of swag from this blog. I have no issue with people who do earn from their blogs, but I just don't want to deal with the complexities.

If I mention a product it's just because I like it. That's true whether I think to link to this post or not.

That is all.

Image: Wikimedia Commons.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Rambling: The Season Turns

So, it's November and the garden is done bearing. Well, mostly. I did just thin the carrots, rather late, so there's a Ziploc of baby carrots in the fridge waiting for me to figure out what to do with them. And some scallions and leeks saying, "Look, we grew; aren't you going to do something with us?" And some lettuce occasionally inching along when there's a pocket of warm weather. And so on.

But there's only so much to do in the garden right now, and the sewing machine and serger said, "Ahem. Remember us?" So I'm sewing. 

From far too many patterns new and old, I chose Butterick 5261, an out-of-print raglan shirt jacket pattern (see pattern envelope here), to work on. First I made a too-large size in a silk/linen blend in a denim blue. Then I started a a smaller but still-too-large-size in a nice lofty green cotton flannel with a small woven pattern The main body is done and pressed and topstitched and...it's too big. I'll finish it anyway. I'm hoping that I end up using them--I do like oversized clothes, but when I sew clothes I feel that they should fit. Maybe I should pretend I bought them.

Why did I make the wrong size twice? Frankly, I got tired of making muslins--two patterns had failed at the muslin stage, so I chose a simple style in a size that I knew would be big enough and just made it up in real fabric.  When I reduced the size I chose a sturdier fabric, and a sturdier fabric needs less ease, so the smaller size was just as too big. Whee!

Anyway. I think that the right size would be to go down yet two more sizes above the waist, one size at the waist, while staying at the current size at my hips. I want to persuade myself to finish that process; I tend to get irritated before a pattern is fitted and move on to the next one, ensuring that I never make a garment that really fits. The Liberty Shirt, for example, has been waiting a year or so for me to fix the armhole for my odd shoulders, and add an inch or two to the length. I love that shirt, but I just don't want to do the work.

Meanwhile, I've been doing almost no writing. I'm going to try to resume random burbling on the blog. We'll see how it goes.

That is all.