Houndstooth and Distraction

I have a new dress to add to my stack of Washington dress hacks! This time a mash up of the Washington Dress from Cashmerette for the bodice and sleeves, the Moneta from Colette for the neckline, and a self drafted half circle skirt.

My husband was out of town, so I had my enthusiastic four year old take photos for me. It’s something she loves to do. “Do a pose mommy!”

The dress overall turned out pretty great. I love the fit, but oh that pattern placement. As I was cutting the fabric the dog was walking back and forth over it and the four year old was standing over my shoulder asking me for snacks. I did great at placing the pattern for the sleeves and top, but the skirt is off. Dang! I totally forgot to make sure the center fronts lined up.

Hello photo bomber!

The fabric is Ann Kelle Remix Knit from Robert Kaufman. It is a 100% cotton interlock. I’ve used this fabric a few times before and this is the most success I’ve had. Why? Well I took a step away from my serger and made the entire dress on my regular machine using something like a baseball stitch. It has become my go-to stitch for knits since I don’t have the lightning bolt option.

I really wish I could fix the pattern placement. I suppose I could, but the fabric doesn’t take to seam ripping very well. I’d ended up having to cut all the pieces apart and deal with having the lengths of the skirt and bodice be too short. So I think I’ll just leave it and try to take the misplacement as a reminder to slow down when I’m cutting. At least the fabric only cost me about $9 at M & L Fabrics and about 2 hours of my time.

And here is what it looks like at the end of the day. Stretched out for sure, but a run through the dryer will tighten the fabric back up for the next outing. And I at least have one more nice heavy weight knit dress for winter!

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Sewing For My Curves

Hi there! Today I’m over at the Curvy Sewing Collective talking about how I sew for my curves. I hope you’ll hope on over and give it a read!

As an addendum I wanted to speak to the recent interviews with Tim Gunn and how it relates to my own sewing.

Tim got into a little hot water with his interviews, but I am that average woman. When we talks about the size 16 woman who lives just outside the misses sizing, he is talking about me.

Usually when I used to shop for clothing I could find tops that fit, but then I couldn’t find bottoms. And when you venture into the plus size stores the tops were too large, but surprisingly so were the skirts! So where do you go to look for clothing? Obviously I turned to sewing.

Even in sewing patterns I live on the edge. In the Big 4 (Simplicity, McCalls, Butterick, and Vogue) my top half fits into the misses sized patterns, but my hip measurement is too large. And very often the indie patterns stop just short of my size. I recently went looking for a slip pattern and everything was either too small (misses) or too large (plus size). This is what makes me grateful for the skills I have in fitting clothes to me shape. But what about the millions of American women who depend on stores to purchase clothing?

And then there is Tim’s opinion that people should look “long and lean”. I know many women were unhappy with his statement, but that is honestly how I want to look. I’ve spent many years working on my fitting skills and critically analyzing my personal style to make myself feel long and lean. And that’s the key, I want to feel that way. I know I am neither long nor lean. So I work to create that illusion. Necklines to balance my bust, open cardigans to provide a vertical line, defined waists to show off my smallest part, and skirts with just the right amount of flair to balance my figure and skim my hips.

I’m sure some of this comes down to when I became an adult. I’m only 2 weeks younger than Britney Spears. I was a teenager/young adult in the days of ultra low rise jeans and when a boyish figure with large breasts was the most popular shape. When I graduated college and moved to The Valley I lived with two girls who went to parties at the Playboy Mansion when “The Girls Next Door” was on TV. I was never that version of beautiful. But I was able to embrace my figure. I could reach for fit and flare dresses and heels that made me feel more comfortable with my shape. And now I look back and see that I’ve always had a pretty similar style. As I’ve aged and my body has changed so have some slight preferences, but I’ve stayed true to my idea of what I think is flattering.

So while I understand why people are unhappy with Tim Gunn’s comments, I can relate to what he is saying. Many years ago he referred to the “Slobification of America” and that struck a cord too. In a word where crazy printed leggings are becoming the norm, I’m glad to hear a voice in fashion that is still pushing for polished clothes while encouraging inclusiveness.

 

 

 

Speckles and Sparkles

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I’ve been toiling away on little projects lately, but just in time for cooler evenings I’ve finished my 2nd ever pair of socks.

Poor things have been on the needles since July, but I only ever worked on them during my lunch breaks. Well July is also around the time I started spending 80% of my lunch time walking. These socks were knit 5 minutes here and there!

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But goodness they are colorful and the yarn is sparkly too so they will be a joy to wear during the dark winter ahead. It doesn’t get very cold here, but our only heater is in the back of the house and I will need these coach socks.

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With each pair of socks I’ve been trying a different heel construction. These were knit from a pattern called Fleegle’s Toe Up Socks. And I like the heel construction okay. I think I still prefer the slipped stitch heel I tried on my first pair.

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The yarn is from LushKnit. I’ve known Megan through Ravelry for years and years so I have been thrilled to see her tackling yarn dying with such joy. You can tell she is inspired with each color way. This is Moonage Daydream after the David Bowie song. I kept missing her updates so she graciously offered to dye me up a custom order.

The yarn base is super soft and wonderful to work with, though the sparkles don’t photograph on the light colors. And while I’d hoped the yarn would be more speckled than pooling I will say not a speck of dye came out in the bath. That is a miracle for me. I rarely do color work because our water composition seems to make every single color bleed in the soak! But not Moonage Daydream!!!

And now back to all the other little things I’ve been tackling. I maxed out on summer clothes. I always know I have enough when I need to do laundry because of underwear instead of dresses. But soon enough I’ll need cool weather clothes and I’ll have some new makes to share here.