Friday, July 27, 2007

and a Quick Alteration

We've been having a pretty cool summer so far, so I've been a bit lazy about the warm weather clothes. Then it jumped from nice to blistering in one day and isn't showing any signs of letting up. Yes, it does surprise me every year.

So that sundress I've had in the plans is a little behind schedule.

But there was a rayon sheath dress I picked up at the second hand store, because it was rayon, and because it was a pretty blue. Not so much because of how it fit:

So out comes the scissors, and a piece of elastic, and quick as you can:

I'm hoping there's enough left over to use as side panels or something in a top (maybe paired with a light blue chambrey I have in the "to do" pile?) - but that will have to wait. I have a sundress to make.

Wrap skirt

This is an idea I had for a little while. I also had a large piece of stretchy, intense blue cotton, which I was going to make a dress out of. Which I kept putting off. Which rang alarm bells for me (if I'm not excited about it now, it probably won't get worn later!). The fabric and the idea hit each other, and fireworks went off!

I ended up drafting an ankle-length a-line skirt with the hem measurement from a favourite 8-gore skirt I have. Cut out two fronts, on on the fold and one cut up the centre front. Attached the halved front pieces to the back, bound the top with a 2" double folded strip of self-fabric, which also became the ties, and buttoned the solid front piece to the side seams of the wrap. A much more detailed explanation can be found on my craftster tutorial.

What surprised me (shouldn't have!) was that the front panel doesn't stay put - which means the effective bottom hem width is much wider than I designed for, and a lot more leg gets shown than I would have expected! Love it anyway. If it gets annoying, I'll just add more buttons down the side seams and hold the front panel in place farther down.

I wore this with the puffed sleeve blouse posted earlier - but I ended up making a belt out of the bright blue cotton to add some waist definition. Without it I was A-line from the bust... a kind of fir tree shape in fact. No pictures yet, I was too tired when I got home!

Monday, July 23, 2007

"This I Believe"

The CBC has borrowed the NPR idea of short little personal essays based on the title "This I Believe". I heard Jenn Lamothe's essay at the end of last week, and it really struck a chord with me.

You can read the essay, or listen to her read it, here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Counting Bracelet

I saw others making these on Craftster, and was intrigued by the concept - it's like an abacus on your wrist, where you can count up to 99 (right now I'm using it to count rows in between increases). I whipped it together one afternoon this week using thread elastic and beads I had lying around - one of the elastics is a little too flimsy, and I find it a little tough to get a bunch of beads through the circular divider at once (when I'm done that group), but so far it's proving to be pretty handy.

Craftster link explains how to use it (and a much more professional way to make it as opposed to knotting elastics and hiding the knots with extra beads ;) ).

Log Cabin Continues

Squares 7 through 9 out of 20 are done on my log cabin afghan. Slowly, slowly...

Catching up

Summary: Simplicity 5683 top, straight size 10 (usually make a 12 and add on for waist and hip) with a small bust adjustment, brushed cotton with lycra left over from the Duro of two posts ago.

The Story:
I made this pattern a couple of years ago (flutter sleeve version) out of linen, and I wear it as often as I iron it... I had intended to make another one out of the mint rayon I have in the queue for a dress - hoping there's enough for both! But since I had some cotton leftover from the Duro, I jumped the gun a little.

Second bit of inspiration came from the sleeve of Ysolda's Posie Cardigan - I was contemplating whether to buy her pattern, or use the concept in another knit top, when somehow it got crossed over to this sewn top with it's puffed sleeve version.

Original puffed sleeve piece.

I decided to go with a slit rather than a circle - much easier to sew! I used the same method that is used for men's dress shirt sleeve vents. The "slit" was actually a triangle, 2" wide at the base and 3.5" long (the binding then took up another 1/4") cut into the middle of the sleeve.

Result! Not quite what I had invisioned - but isn't that always the way? Pretty cute anyhow!

This is all the thread that remained after the last button was sewn on!! That was CLOSE!

Monday, July 16, 2007


Sorry to have neglected the blog last week - I slowed down a little ;). And I'll be back shortly to show you the top I've almost finished (I'm changing the sleeves a bit), and the progress on the log cabin afghan, but I may be a bit distracted because...


(link here if you don't know what I'm talking about!)

I've signed up as "tumblina" - let me know who you are if you're already on!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Duro is Done!!!!

And I'm wearing it now!

I ended up not making many alterations on this one. Straight size 12. I shortened the sleeves about 2" before I attached the sleeve bands, and I used all the facings to enclose their respective hems (I tried to pin them down, then stitch-in-the-ditch from the front, but the wrong side isn't very pretty - next time I do something like this I'll try using the wash-away wonder tape to keep the facings in the proper place!). The pattern has the ties single-piece, with doubled hem around the edges - many people have doubled them so that there's always a right side showing. I was going to do this too, but only had enough of my contrast fabric to do this if I pieced at least one side. Since the print looked identical right and wrong sides, I went back to the original pattern instructions. I did make them longer though - there's enough room now to cross them in back and knot them in front if I like (easier to sit in!).

I also added pockets, inspired by a Dress A Day tutorial:

The pocket ends up more along my side than I had anticipated because of the ease in the skirt, but that works too!

Pattern - Simplicity 4072
Fabric - light blue brushed cotton with lycra, and a dark blue rayon batik from a second hand dress