Wednesday, May 25, 2011

wamozart12 sews

That's right friends: she cooks, she knits, she sews! And sewing is the reason why I not only have not been cooking, but why I'm 2 weeks behind on my tv (luckily my DVR still has room to save all the shows I'm not watching, even while it accumulates more)

Sit down, let me tell you a tale.

One day in late April, I was reading the one and only fashion blog I read, What I Wore. If you haven't heard of it, it's a recap of what a 20-something former New Yorker/now Indiana-an wears each day, with her thoughts, reasonings, and sources for all her clothes and the way she pairs them. She has a very fun style, and her pictures (all taken by her husband), are very classic and fun to look through. I am by no means a fashion anything (maybe bordering nightmare from time to time), but I like seeing what she wears.

On that fateful day in late April, I was catching up on my blogs, and Jessica wore this lovely pink plaid dress that is just totally me- so I was very eager to see where she bought it. Lo and behold, she made it. What!? So then I got thinking....

(necessary tangent): in early March, mom and I went outlet shopping. The Garnet Hill store we happened by was in the process of closing, and all their stuff was an extra 50% off. If you're anything like me, the words "Garnet Hill" make you think of this.

Long story short (we were there for well over an hour, our shopping buddies quickly shook their heads in completely non-understanding exasperation and went on to the next store), we bought 5 Lilly Pulitzer duvet covers for the fabric. Mom calculated that a king size duvet has about 21 yards of fabric. Lilly no longer sells fabric, but when she did, it was $20 for 1 yd. These duvets were $52 each.
(the blue pineapple print- totally my shade of blue, right?)

Now, mom, being the avid quilter she is, of course automatically thought of these lovely huge pieces of fabric as quilt backings, or to be used as large squares in the quilt pattern. I thought the same thing, but I have to admit, the idea of taking some of the fabric to my seamstress and having her copy a Lilly dress I already had in pink was right up there, too.

And then Jessica posted her dress.

So I got to thinking. I mean, hey, I'm a good quilter. I've only ever sewn straight line seams, but I've won ribbons for my quilts (VT Quilt Festival as a junior, Big E as a junior and as an adult amateur, and Cornish Fair as an adult amateur), I'm a star at matching points (because I'm so fussy and willing to rip out seams if they're not perfect), and I have a decent amount of experience with fabric and thread and sewing machines.

So I went to Joann's and bought some patterns. People suggested that Jessica's dress was somewhat ambitious, and I should start with an easier project. And I should start with a project using a cheap fabric, not my prized Lilly fabric. So I did. I bought 6 yards of white on white that'd be useful for quilting if the garment thing bombed terribly, 3 patterns (1 easy top, 1 easy dress, and Jessica's dress, Simplicity 2444), and I tried it out.

That evening, I had a simple, white sleeveless top. (Simplicity 2593) Side seams, shoulder seams, a gathered neckline, and binding around all the raw edges. It was simple, it was successful, it was fun.

Then I made a white dress. (Butterick 4443)
(please excuse my awkward pose (using the timer on my camera was kind of frustrating, and of course I'd decide I simply must photograph myself when I don't have anyone to help) and my crazy frizzy summer hair)

This dress has a lined bodice and a zipper. I did the zipper all by myself- it was kind of a pain but it came out quite well in the end! It's not the most perfect fit, but hey- I've bought $100 dresses that fit worse than this. (the shoulders puff up because they're still pinned, I haven't actually gotten to the hand-sewn bits of this yet)

Then someone said that Joann's had all their Butterick patterns on sale for $1.99 each. So I made a top. (Butterick 5450)

I'm very fond of this top. That day I bought this pattern at Joann's, I also bought fabric to line the white dress. I fully intended to finish the dress when I got home that Thursday, but I couldn't stop myself from playing with these stripes. This top also has a lined bodice. It's very comfortable to wear. I plan to make the dress version, with a few tweaks that I noticed would have improved the fit on this top, but I won't go back and remake the top. It's good enough as is.

And another top. (Butterick 5485)

This doesn't have a zipper yet because I don't have a blue zipper. But it was my favorite top to make so far, I think because the lining in the bodice is sewn down as you go- no hand sewing at the very end on this top!

I'm on a roll. I am the crazy sewing lady. Because my sewing machine and table live in the guest room and I have a strict no-tv-in-the-bedrooms policy (although it'd be in our bedroom and not the guest room anyway), I don't watch tv anymore. I don't knit anymore, I don't cook, I just sew.

I'm still deciding what to make next.... I think the dress version of the blue striped top, with a pale blue fabric. I'm still not entirely sure I'm ready for Jessica's dress and my Lilly fabric. Or else one of these...
(Butterick 5490, possibly with a brown floral cotton)
(Butterick 5603, not sure what fabric)

My mom generously gave me a whole stack of fabric that she thought would look great as a garment, so I can't even tell you how much material I have to work with!

And Simplicity patterns are 5 for $5 at Joann's this weekend. :)

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