A misnomer, really. I am actually still in the hunting and gathering phase of the Milly blouse. I knew I had some champagne silk charmeuse in the stash and I found it (with matching chiffon!) but, alas, not enough for the blouse. I found a ton of bronze silk charmeuse but it’s not my best color (someone gave it to me) so I had set it aside for nightwear (I wear a sleep mask so I don’t care what color my jammies are).
While I was hunting, I came across this beautiful leopard silk charmeuse still wrapped in tissue in the original bag from Cynthia’s. For shame! From the graphics on the shopping bag, Cynthia dated it at six years old, at least. Immediately, I thought “test garment” and that’s what I’m doing with it.
I’ve already come pretty far, the back fronts and sleeves have been joined in French seams and the armscyes have been sewn. I was going to serge them and then I thought, why not bind them with the champagne silk chiffon? I used a 1″ binder but cut my strips 1.5″ wide because silk chiffon narrows so much on the bias.
I think this gives the inside of the blouse a really nice look.
I did finally settle on a charmeuse for the Milly blouse, this silver grey which was purchased at Judy’s Fabrics a very, very long time ago.
The crystals were a bit more challenging. I did find the ones I really wanted at MJ Trimmings but, sigh , $$. I found these crystal beads locally. They cost me about $30 (about half of the ones at MJ) and they are big (12mm) and flat. I think they will work just fine. Cynthia has the perfect grey chiffon for the front ruffle which I’ll pick up on Monday night when I have my beginner’s class.
All done but the hem, anyway! This is such a pretty style. It is simple but the sleeves make it different and special. I did have a couple of issues, though. First, the neckline was too high and made me look like I had a big, heaving bosom. It’s hard to tell from the photos but I actually took the neckline down by over an inch, ending about 5/8″ above the yoke seam tapering to nothing about 1″ in front of the shoulder. It’s a much more flattering look for me and I’m happy I took the time to “make it work”.
Here’s the before:
Phyllis suggested I use the pink section of the fabric for my neckline binding and, I have to say, she was so right. I like it much better!
The other issue I had was with the sleeve. For some odd reason (which I didn’t notice until after I had finished cutting), the inner sleeve is the same length as the outer sleeve. For it to bubble properly it really needs to be a little shorter than the outer sleeve so before I make my dress I will lengthen the outer sleeve .25″ and shorten the inner sleeve by the same amount. Also, the instructions have you understitching the seam allowances to the undersleeve. I didn’t do that because I didn’t want to stiffen the seam and lose some of the drape of the sleeve.
I can show you the fabric I am going to use for the dress now that my cut has been secured. It’s Italian Rayon Florida Knit – Jewel Tones from Gorgeous Fabrics. Hurry, it’s on sale and there are only a few yards left!
What’s next? Well, tomorrow is September 1st (how did that happen?) and I’m a little freaked out because I still have 5 jackets to complete by the end of the year. Aye! And then there’s the Big Bow Skirt and the dress from the September Burda Style and the Knip Mode skirt and, and, and. It’s official: there is never enough sewing time.
Yeah, I know I’m supposed to be working on the Big Bow Skirt. I’m on the fence about my fabric choice, sigh. Instead, I decided to tidy up a bit (so that I’d quit obsessing over the skirt!) and I found this top/dress that I had traced off last summer. I have found the perfect fabric for the dress at Gorgeous Fabrics (no, I’m not going to show you lest you buy it all!) so I thought I’d do a quick test of the top to check the fit.
I am such a sucker for prints like this (as if you didn’t know)! I believe this came from Gorgeous Fabrics. I cut one section at a time, laying everything out on the floor as I went along. I cut the upper bodice a several times before deciding on this particular layout (I use my camera as 2nd set of eyes). The neckline will be bound with the green.
The worst is over, I have finished all of the pintucks! Yay! I do love pintucks, just not making them. As you can see, I thread traced each fold line. Not the fastest method but it was the best and most accurate way this time.
This is an Italian silk crepe de chine that I bought at Maggi’s For Fine Fabrics in Boca Raton years ago. I had a coordinating linen jacquard that was made into a jacket back when big shoulder pads were still in. It went to Goodwill a long time ago! As much as I love to buy new fabric, it is actually fun to finally find just the right pattern for some of these old pieces.
Now to begin the boring and time-consuming task of pulling all of the threads to the back side (twenty-eight times!).
ETA: Thank you lin3arossa for reminding me about single-thread pintucks! The much-revered Kenneth King has an excellent tutorial up on the Threads website here. I haven’t sewn single-thread pintucks in many years and had completely forgotten about the technique. Doh!
As I was browsing through my last few issues of Lucky last night, this little hooded jacket caught my eye. Yes! I thought, that is exactly what I need when I go to the lake over the 4th! You see, I shun the sun and like to keep my arms covered when I can. This is the perfect little jacket to toss on over a swimsuit when you’re out on a boat, isn’t it?
And, I found the perfect pattern (don’t you just love the pockets?):
I haven’t chosen the fabric yet but I’m sure something suitable will turn up in my stash. Notice how I’m sneaking in a few easy, breezy summer jackets? Some of the jackets I’ve planned for this year will be a bit more time-consuming so I’m trying to get a little bit ahead of schedule.
And, YIKES!, I found some beautiful white Spechler-Vogel pique at Cynthia’s yesterday (shame on me, I’m supposed to be on a total fabric fast!). Will I be able to restrain myself from shamelessly copying LindsayT’s jacket? I’m trying to resist but it would be soooo useful!
I woke up yesterday wanting to make a jacket. It’s been very cold so I guess I had the sudden urge to work with wool. I picked up this Palmer/Pletsch pattern about a month ago. It’s not something I’d ordinarily choose as I prefer fitted clothing for the most part. But, when I saw Pati Palmer modeling it in the last PP newsletter, I fell in love with it. It’s good to try something new once in awhile!
I wear a lot of jeans so I wanted something that would look pretty with denim. I’ve had this wool/lycra suiting from Fashion Sewing Group in my stash for a few years (maybe six?) and thought it would look fabulous with the faux tortoise-shell snaps I ordered from Pacific Trimming a few months ago. The lining is a silk/lycra charmeuse of unknown origin. What could be nicer than a silk lining?
I cut out the pattern and fitted it this evening. Because of the easy fit of this jacket I only needed a small (5/8″) full bust adjustment. I also made my usual alterations: shorten sleeves 1″ and 5/8″ forward shoulder. I skipped the sway-back adjustment since there’s a large inverted pleat at the back and everything hung just fine without it. Interestingly, I never, ever have to make a high-round adjustment but the back neckline wasn’t quite coming up to the base of my neck so I made a 1/4″ alteration there.
Tomorrow, I will cut and interface the fabric and cut out the lining. It’s been awhile since I worked with wool so I’m really looking forward to this project.
This week I have been feverishly working on a couple of shirts for Bryan for Christmas. Naturally, I procrastinated as I always do but I finally finished (except for sewing on the buttons) about an hour ago. The first one – and my favorite – is a salt and pepper linen. Notice Pam’s cigar pocket which is a really lovely touch when using a simple fabric. Now if I could just take flat photos as nicely as Pam does – mine always look so wonky.
The 2nd is a cotton batik. I’m a little nervous about this one because he doesn’t usually wear a wild print but he said he wanted Tommy Bahama-style so that’s what he’s getting. 🙂 Notice that I didn’t match the pattern across the center front as I always do. I just couldn’t make it work with this print as it’s too irregular.
Tomorrow I will sew the buttons on. The linen will get charcoal mother of pearl from my stash and the batik will get coconut. Thank you again, Gail, for sending them to me! I had misplaced them last year and found them just in time.
I bought 150 coconut buttons on Ebay today. That’s what TB uses on all of their shirts, isn’t that convenient? It’s getting near impossible to find good-quality MOP buttons and I don’t want to dye them every time so I’m going with coconut from here on out. They are two-hole (I would have preferred 4-hole) but I guarantee Jess and Bryan will never notice and, if they do, will not care.
Greetings of the Season from Ricki Ricardo. Bryan bought this little kitty Santa hat for Winnie Pooh but Ricki was the only one who would wear it. She’s one of those cats who will sit still for anything so this isn’t the first time she’s been dressed up. Last month he put her in a little Santa suit. Silly, silly man.
Lately it seems as if every available horizontal surface in both rooms is piled with sewing “stuff” (the cutting tables being the worst). I need to get some sewing done and was at the point where I could not think or be productive with so much clutter around me.
All of you know that I am a fabric “collector”. I admit it and embrace it! But, eventually, everything has to be put away and there was no way it was going to fit in the fabric closet. Jess’ old closet to the rescue! I already had fabric hanging in one side and have my Merrow on the other side so I figured I might as well make it a full-fledged knits-only closet. A quick trip to Home Depot and $40 later I had two long shelves and the hardware necessary to give myself a lot more storage. It took me less than an hour to cut and install the shelves (the top and bottom shelves were already there). Do yourself a favor and have one of those nice people at Home Depot cut them for you. It was not so easy cutting them myself with the bolt cutters. I guess I could have had Bryan do it for me but I wanted it done right then and there – you know how it is.
Yesterday morning I put everything away, just folded for now. The closet still needs to be painted which will wait until after the holidays. Then I will measure and roll everything. The fabrics on hangers are wovens that need to go in the other closet but they haven’t been logged in yet. I suspect that’ll wait until guests are coming and I need to make room for their clothes!
I know it doesn’t look like a lot of storage but, check it out, these shelves are 83″ long!
I managed to get some tops cut out over the past few days. I could have accomplished more but decided to finally transfer these two TNT patterns onto manila paper so that took some time.
I cut out three Jalie Sweetheart Tops in charcoal rayon/lycra (from Fabric Depot), cream distressed wool jersey (from Textile Studios) and deep purple rayon/lycra (surprisingly, from JoAnn’s).
I also cut two Kwik-Sew 2845 tops in a heathered wine rayon/lycra from Lucy’s Fabrics and a black/grey rayon/lycra from Bestonline Fabrics (link in sidebar). I also have this beautiful green rayon knit (from Gorgeous Fabrics) lined up for this pattern but decided to stop cutting and work on my exterior lights some more. The sooner I finish my Christmas decorations, the sooner I can put all these plastic totes back in the attic. Any clutter that is non-sewing-related makes me nuts!
Funny, I usually dislike cutting but found that the more I cut, the more I wanted to cut! I should be able to get most of these finished this week.