Saturday, May 31, 2008

And, I give up!

In case anyone's wondering what happened to my mini-wardrobe for the mini-wardrobe contest, this photo was taken 3 minutes ago.

And a close-up of the raw edge.

I suck at finishing armholes, so I want to take my time and not rush it. Plus, finish armhole - write 4 reviews - take photos - enter contest - I couldn't do all of that in 20 minutes. Even I knew that. (I inherit a streak of craziness from BOTH my parents that often makes me think I can do way more than I actually can. Then, I'll run around like a chicken with its head cut off.)

So, I give up. This is shaping up to be a super-nice top, and I'll finish it tomorrow.

My entry for the Vintage Pattern Contest

I *LIKED* my muslin - but I *LOVE* this dress in the red eyelet so much!

The dress (Advance, 6922) came together a lot easier this time. I think I got a much better fit on the bodice, and I definitely got a better fit in the back.

(Better fitting back. I especially like the way the zipper ends right at the V. It didn't, in my muslin.)

This dress reminds me of stuff you find in the J. Crew catalog or something. And I think, despite being a vintage pattern, this dress doesn't feel a tiny little bit costumey. It just feels like a nice, pretty, summer dress.

The eyelet holes made me wonder if I wanted to line this dress, but I held off, and I'm glad. Right now, it feels light and airy, and lining might have killed that feeling.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My take on a trend - T-shirt dresses

T-shirt dresses are in, according to Lucky. Well, ok, I got to work over the weekend.

This was a super-easy t-shirt dress. I pulled out Simplicity 4076, and lengthened it appropriately. One tiny hiccup - I forgot to add some inches for my hip, I forgot that the t-shirt hits me above my hip. So, its a little snug around my hips, but perhaps impetus to lose some weight. (Or, invest in control-top underwear?)

In any case, easy knit dress, in a few hours. Perfect for running errands around town.

Parting shot:

Ok, I don't often rant about the price of some RTW. It is what it is, there are clearly some people willing to pay for it, etc, etc. But seriously, this dress, by Coven, costs $434. Mine costs $3.

Bad, bad, out-of-control Reethi

I confess - I can't walk past fabric without buying it. Every time I sew one thing from the stash (e.g. - the McCalls 5621) I seem to add 5 things to it.

Case in point, the last 3 days. (In my defense, I've been stressed about something, and I think I was stress-shopping). In the last 3 days, I've bought:

On Saturday:

1. A yellow, white and grey knit - 2 meters at Fabricland. I think I'm making BWOF 04-2008-116 with it. There are some great examples of this dress sewn up - Adrienne's, and Tany's come to mind immediately. Though my version will not be as long - since I'm too short to wear long dresses.
2. A grey stretch twill-type fabric (I think it is cotton). Bought to make BWOF 04-2008-113 This is a 2.5 dot pattern, and I'm definitely sewing above my sewing ability. But that's sort of the point, I think, if I don't stretch myself, I won't learn.
3. A blue knit, bought solely because it was $1.77 a yard. In my defense, I've already sewed this up - I made a t-shirt dress. I'll do a post on that when I take a photo.

On Sunday:
Nothing, I was good.

On Monday:

I was stressing extra-hard, but I only bought one piece of fabric. A white and red print, at Value Village - $1.50. Its some kind of polyester, I think, but it doesn't feel icky against my skin. Its the leftmost fabric in the picture, and was $1.50 for 2+ yards (half off day at Value Village.)

On Tuesday:

I'd gone to a sari store near home called Lishkara. They have a lot of fabric there, mostly ethnic Indian, and a few that aren't. They also have a remnant section, and in there, I found the rightmost 3 pieces of fabric - all for $1 each. (Come on! At that price, how could I not?) There's a meter of one of the blues and the yellow, and two meters of the other blue.

The yellow is the same as my Versace knock-off dress. I bought it because I haven't been wearing the dress, and I think its because its backless. I had no fabric left, so I bought some fabric to add a back panel. I think I'll have to take apart the top completely to do that, I'm hoping it won't be too big an undertaking.

So, sigh. I'm out of control. (Notice, I'm not actually promising to stop.)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

If you read my blog...

Would you add me to your blog roll? I'm always shy about asking someone to add me. In fact, I think I've asked once (I asked Erica)

But I love comments, its nice to feel like there's a community of people cheering on your sewing.

It goes without saying, I think, that I'm always happy to add people to my blog list. In fact, I'm off to update it now.


I feel dorky even writing this post.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Unscheduled sewing detour - McCalls 5621

Although I had a detailed sewing plan for May, last night I ignored it completely and pulled out McCalls 5621 to sew. I've had an Indonesian batik in my stash (found in Salvation Army, with Indonesian Batik label still intact! - $1.99) for about 6 weeks now, and I've been itching to use it.

(Ignore the super-dorky look, the sun was in my eyes, I think.)

This dress came together so easily. The only slightly complicated part was the yoke - and it really wasn't - just required some careful pinning.

Can I bitch a little about the Big 4 pattern sizing? (See Christina's commentary here.) Begin rant. I'm a 10-12, according to my measurements. So, I bought a pattern that had 10-12-14-etc sizing. Yeah. Right. This dress is ridiculously loose in the bodice. I need a 6 or an 8 at the top, at least. So, its one thing if the sizing is just off. Its another thing completely if the sizing is SO OFF THAT I BUY THE WRONG SIZE PATTERN! End rant.

That being said, I like the dress, resemblance to maternity gown notwithstanding. And I love the fabric! I'm heading out for dinner - my family's waiting with thinly disguised impatience - so the dress gets an outing tonight! Yay for sewing skill improvement that actually lets me wear what I make outside the house.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Mini-Wardrobe Swap

Of course I'm playing! I'm addicted to this wardrobe thing.

After the whirlwind of April though, it took a while to get back in the sewing groove. I'm still sort of out of it, but I've slowly sewn up my two skirts for this wardrobe.

My theme is called Adding In Ethnic.

Ethnic - inspired by Cidell's dress , Cidell's other dress and Christina's dress, as well as all the ethnic trends in Spring/Summer 2008.

Adding in - because I want the pieces to work with my Mellow Yellow wardrobe.

I'm making the 4 piece option - 2 skirts and 2 tops. (I should get a storyboard going.)

ETA - here's the storyboard.

Skirt 1 - McCalls 5474

I was really looking for a skirt with box pleats, otherwise I'd have scrolled right past this picture. The picture is, how should I put it? a little young. I'm too old to wear a mini-skirt. However, I own a skirt with box pleats, a skirt that really works well for me, and the lines on this McCall skirt were right.

My fabric was an ikkat-style cotton from my stash. My mom bought me this the last time she was in India. She paid the equivalent of $1 for it, I think. (What can I say? cotton is ridiculously cheap in India.) Unfortunately, she bought this before I was garment sewing - so I had a scant meter of this. Ah well. I made do. (Just about.)

This pattern is EASY!!!!
There's two pattern pieces - a skirt and a waistband. That's it. If you know how to set in a zipper, you can make this skirt. I love easy! (Also, for some reason, places like Ann Taylor charge $40+ for a skirt like this. Bah. My version was $2. ($1 - fabric, $1, zipper.)

The not-enough fabric modifications? Not a fan of the waistband, which I didn't have enough cloth to cut with the stripes vertical.

(Bad waistband.)

However, I never tuck in - ever. (I have a tummy.) So, skirt works fine.

(And the inside facing is a solid red, since by now, I'd TOTALLY run out of fabric.)

Skirt 2 - Simplicity 4036.

I think I could make this skirt in my sleep, I've made it so many times. (The first pattern I ever made, too.)

Repeat from above - EASY!!! I LOVE easy.

My fabric was a batik wall hanging that I found this in my local Salvation Army/Goodwill. It was $1.99? $2.99? Something like that. I knew I wanted to make it a skirt, but was on the fence about it a little, since that was a little weird. But the cashier had already rung it up, so I think it was meant to be.

(Back of skirt.)

Vintage Advance Dress Muslin -
I had 11 comments on the dress!!!!! Wow. How cool! Thank you everyone who weighed in - the consensus was OVERWHELMINGLY, no belt/skinny belt. I don't own a skinny belt, and I'll earmark some time over the weekend to look for one. In the meanwhile, however, I'm going out tomorrow night, and its supposed to be super-warm. So, perhaps, the dress will get a preview, without belt.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Vintage Advance Dress - the muslin, finally!

Finally! Its not that this was a complicated dress, because it wasn't. The instructions were clear, there weren't too many fitting issues, but somehow, I just couldn't find time to sew. Ah, the perils of a social life.

Anyway, I had a few hours yesterday, and a few hours today (watching the Cavs Celtics game and slip-stitching - so much slip-stitching on this dress!), so I finally got it done.

I had to do a bit of fitting for the bodice. It was hard to figure out where to do a petite alteration on the bodice, because of the princess seams. I sewed up the bodice, and then took off an inch of the bottom. I should have taken off two. To compensate (I'd already basted the zipper) I took an inch off the shoulder. In the red version, I'll do this right.

Otherwise, I think this is pretty wearable. I don't love the fabric on me (why? I love orange so much, it just doesn't look that good on me though), but its a nice, summer dress that I'll get a lot of use out of.

What do you think? Belt? No belt? Different belt?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Life's little detours...

I was about half done with my Advance muslin last weekend, and then I realized I didn't own an orange invisible zipper. I do a TERRIBLE job with lapped zippers, and my local Fabricland didn't have an orange zipper, even though I was willing to pay their RIP-OFF price of $3.50 for it.

And so this project was on hold until zipper was purchased. (Which I did, yesterday.)

In the meanwhile, I tackled one of my MUST-DO projects. The daughter of my oldest friend Anu turns one on Sunday, and I decided my gift was going to be a party dress. (Note to self - purchased gifts are so much easier.)

Fabric - Less than a half meter of a deep blue satin, found in the remnant bin in Fabricland. I also used a half meter of blue lining. Total cost of fabric? About $5. (Remnant bins rock.)

Notions - One invisible zipper and a purchased rose. Less than $4 in notions, bringing the grand total up to under $10. (The ten hours of labor on this dress - ah, priceless. Part of gift.)

Close-up of flower & trim:

The foundation of this dress is BWOF 11-2007-136. I omitted the collar and the sleeves, and made this dress up in a synthetic satin (which frayed like the devil!). Its fully lined, the sash is two layers of ribbon, a more translucent white/silver set over a plain white satin ribbon. I added a purchased ribbon rose - and attached it with a pin, so the dress would be washable. God, this dress took HOURS! (I'm not exactly sure why, either.) I changed up this dress so much I'm not going to bother with a review, besides, I didn't really even read the instructions, I just sort of muddled through.

Along the way, I got to use my ruffler foot, my edge-stitch foot and my zipper foot, of course. All fun.

Nice things about this dress - the only exposed seams are the center back, below the zipper. Its fully lined, and really, the color of this fabric just doesn't show well in the pictures. This is really gorgeous fabric.

Not so-nice things - My zipper is a tiny bit wonky - see below picture. Honestly, though, this is just a nitpick. I'm happy with this dress, I think it makes a nice present.

And now, back to the orange dress.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Lots of procrastination

Nothing much is getting done chez Reethi. I'd originally had a LONG (think 10+ projects) sewing list for May, and a third of the month has gone by, and I've done 1. The simplest one - an A-line skirt.

Right now, on the sewing table is this vintage Advance pattern.

I want to make it in this gorgeous red eyelet (from India.)

But, since I've never made a vintage pattern before, I'm going to actually make a muslin. (Yeah, I know. Its pretty strange behavior for me.)

My muslin, which I'm hoping will be wearable, is going to be this cheerful orange print. I found it at Fabricland, it was 100% cotton (made in India, of course! aarrgh!) and I paid $10 for 3 meters. Cool!

This vintage pattern sewing was totally inspired by Kristy, who actually USES her vintage patterns. Also providing motivation was the Vintage Pattern sewing contest at PatternReview.

Perhaps I'll get the muslin made this weekend? I'm going out tonight and tomorrow afternoon, and Sunday is Mother's Day (with attendant festivities) so there isn't much sewing time. However, this pattern seems simple enough, so perhaps.