Saturday, May 29, 2010

Random Information, Part… uh… Three?

Peppermint Penguin (who has no links, sorry) recently said, "Ok, so I'm supposed to be here for the sewing talk, but I find myself caught up in the pop culture".  Which I’m going to assume is a compliment, although it could quite possibly be a chastisement.  Yes.  Definitely a compliment. 

And of course makes me feel very guilty.  Yes.  My pathological guilt?  It's all PP's fault.  Good.  I finally have someone to blame.

Really, I do intend to write about sewing.  Honest.  But May is a Bad Month and I haven't made much of anything lately.  I'm hoping the holiday weekend will give me some time to work on something.  Really.  I will sew something.  I will.

No, I am not whining and defensive.   Shut up.

But I feel compelled to make at least a pretense of discussing sewing. So here is a piece of random information:

These (in a really shameless attempt to pretend this blog post has anything to do with sewing at all and not just me blatantly bragging about my children) are some photos of two of the kids' garments "in action".  Yeah, that's it.  ACTION SHOTS!  Just in case you were wondering how these garments I make look out in the field.    Literally.   A field.

TLo trotting

TLo is wearing her butterfly tunic, another version of the one seen in this post

TBO cloverleaf

And The Big One is wearing her school uniform blouse as seen in this post.

These are from their riding lesson this week.  The Big One is, apparently, a natural.  After just four lessons she's already learning how to do the clover-leaf at a trot on Captain, The World's Tiniest Horse.  I swear that child will become a barrel racing queen.   If for no other reason than to totally annoy her father with her cowgirl ways.

Yee haw!!

 

Seriously?  Why did you even read this?  You didn’t, did you?  I knew it.  Next time: CLOTHES!  Honest.

Friday, May 28, 2010

In Which I Ruminate On The Cruel Vagaries Of Invitational Events

Mrs. Little Hunting Creek has recently been posting about a topic that's close to my (tiny, hardened, cynical) heart: Are We Dressing Too Casually These Days?  At the end of one of her last posts she states:

"If you want to make a grown woman cry, just tell her she is invited to a daytime wedding and put semi-formal on the invite and then drop the news that it's outside. Or a beach wedding - what on earth would you wear to that?"

I can one-up her on that.  What's worse than an invitation to a semi-formal garden beach wedding? An invitation that tells you nothing about what to wear.

At this very moment sitting on my desk is a wedding invitation with NO indication of what type of clothes we should wear. It says, "Ceremony at xx in the afternoon, reception at such-and-such location to follow".

An afternoon wedding with a reception.  This is what we’re told.

Ack.

I guarantee you, if I wear something "semi-formal", everyone else will be in jeans.  If a wear a nice-but-casual summer dress, everyone else will be in tuxedos and cocktail dresses.   Situations like this always remind me of an episode of "Bewitched" that is permanently lodged in my synapses.

No, seriously.  "Bewitched".  Starring the disgustingly cute Elizabeth Montgomery (and I believe the Second Darrin).

Aha.  Due to the wonders of Google, I now know it's Episode 126. In this episode, Samantha is tormented by Darrin's one-upping ex-fiancé, who in the past has caught out our poor heroine by inviting them to a dinner party.  The problem?  When the casually dressed Stephens arrive at the party, they discover that everyone else is in evening clothes.

IMAGE_3

Not to be outdone the next time, the Stephens wear their best dress-up clothes. Only to find that everyone else is dressed for a barbeque.

IMAGE_4

This is clearly a visceral piece of social indoctrination, as this particular episode has stuck with me, burned into the brain as it were, since I was about 7 years old.  The horror of wearing the Wrong Thing.

That's exactly what would happen at this wedding (were I to bother attending).   Minus the satisfaction of bewitching the obnoxious hostess and causing her wig to run off with the dog, unfortunately.

You can watch Episode 126 on YouTube (of course).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Stand Up And Shout It

This comment was left on my Voile! post (in which, you will recall, I showed not one thing I made or even attempted to make).

IMAGE_7

Of course, my initial reaction was to delete that post, since it's blatant advertisement... but on second thought, I kind of like the weirdly surreal nature of that comment.  I mean, what a great concept.

You can DO it!  You just need to WORK on it a little more!  Who cares if you haven't actually attempted to do anything?  You can STILL do it!   You just need to give it some time.

Awesomeness.

And of course because of the title of that post, I have now had the song "War!" stuck in my head for the past three days.  Which frankly is a whole lot better than Guns N Roses or The Grateful Dead or the band War, with that highly annoying song "Spill The Wine".

I was going to post a totally entertaining clip from 1969, but I'm 99.9% sure he's lip-syncing in that one.  Which, while typical of TV shows, is something to which I must cry "Foul!"  (Making a talented singer lip-sync when they’re not hopping around like a showgirl on meth—I’m looking at  you, Madonna—is ridiculous.)

The new clip is good, even if it doesn't feature an afro or the patented 1968 funky-groove-dance-with-your-feet-on-the-floor thing.  Well hell, it’s Jools Holland, it pretty much has to be good.

 

Crap.  Now I have "Spill The Wine" stuck in my head.  No wait.  That's "Low Rider".  da-da da-da da-da-DA da-da da-da da.

 

Well, all my friends do know the Low Rider.  Which doesn't say much for my choice in friends.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Voile! Good God, Y’all. What Is It Good For?

Say it again.

 

May.  Busy.  So very busy.

Last week we attended two-- no wait, three-- no wait, two birthday parties. No wait, it was four.  Plus a block party.  And the Evil Monkeys had three, no four, school field trips between them. 

Plus the cat has irrevocable fleas from, apparently, the massive invasive flea colony living under our house (and therefore apparently not the fault of our neighbor kid).  So that's only cost us $300 and hundreds of hours deal with so far. 

Plus there are the ten other birthday/soccer/end-of-school/let’s- celebrate-something-totally-mundane-and-ordinary parties we've attended or will attend this month.  Plus TLo's 'graduation' from Kindergarten.  Plus, swimming season has begun.  We must now swim with the Evil Monkeys at least four times a week.  Or their heads will explode.  Or something.

I hate May.  I have not sewn anything for at least a week and a half.

 

I hate May.

In a completely unrelated story:

I have at least three pieces of voile in my stash.  Purchased because I loved the pattern or the color.  But what the heck do you make with voile?  It's sort of... oddly crisp.  Weirdly drapey.  Ever so slightly... scratchy.

So today I got the link to Fabric.com's monthly free pattern download from HotPatterns.  Here it is:

HP fabric.com PEACHY BEACHY POOLSIDE COVER UP ARTWORK 

It's a cover-up.  But I'm thinking I might just try it out as a top.  Which means I have to make a camisole to go under it.

So that's: 1) fit and make a top from voile, 2) fit and make at least one camisole from knit, 3) use my superpowers to find six extra hours in every day that no one knew about before.

It could happen.  Although since my superpower is, apparently, an astonishing ability to whine and an ability to project abject panic in the face of insect infestation, I'm not totally sure yet how that's going to work.  The details are a little... hazy.

Friday, May 21, 2010

I Am Not Famous

Remember how I said the construction industry is dead?  There is no industry zombie action.  It's still dead.

So here's a game I started playing this week whilst trying to stay awake at work.  It's called "Putting The Names of People I Know Into The Wikipedia Search Engine". 

I had no idea that I know so few Famous People.  So far they include:

  • Big In Japan, for being a SUPERSTAR
  • my grandfather, as the publisher of a whole bunch of books listed under other people's entries
  • his brother, for starting one of the first discount supermarket chains in the US
  • a guy I went to grad school with, for making (what I personally have always considered to be) somewhat-ridiculous-but-very-successful art
  • my professor from grad school, for being a famous artist (and hence a professor in a grad school)
  • probably a bunch of other people related to my going to school, if I could be bothered to remember their names which apparently I can't (etc etc etc)
  • The Husband's cousin, for being a professional cricket player

I clearly don't hobnob enough.  Or possibly I should learn to remember people's names more routinely.

Although I will say there are apparently many many people not in Wikipedia who probably could be.  Maybe it's not that I don't hobnob.  Maybe they need better publicists. 

And can I also just say: When, oh when, will they start selling HobNobs  in the US?  Huh?  WHEN?  Will the madness never end?!?

plainchochobnobs

So.  Who do you know?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

In Which I Maybe Did Not Miss My Calling

Hypothesis:

I can draft patterns.

Prediction:

This will result in highly attractive and well-fitting garments, plus provide hours of entertainment.

Experiment:

Sleeveless Tunic #1, Basic Body Block (Revised): Pattern

sleeveless-tunic-#1-pattern

 

Sleeveless Tunic #1, Basic Body Block (Revised): Garment

sleeveless-tunic-#1-redrafted-front

 

Sleeveless Tunic #1, Basic Body Block (Revised): Photo

warning

Sleeveless Dress #2, Basic Body Block (Revised): Pattern

--forgot to take photo--

 

Sleeveless Dress #2, Basic Body Block (Revised): Garment

--forgot to take that photo too--

 

Sleeveless Dress #2, Basic Body Block (Revised): Front

front-of-sleeveless-dress-#2

 

Sleeveless Dress #2, Basic Body Block (Revised): Back

back-of-sleeveless-dress-#2

Conclusion:

I am not very good at generating hypotheses.  It’s probably good that I didn’t go into molecular biology after all.  I think they sort of expect you to be able to do that type of thing.

 

PS.   Angie A, The Other Kristine, Judy and BigInJapan: thank you for the birthday wishes!  xox

Monday, May 17, 2010

Party On, Dude

This weekend The Husband and I stayed up until 1 am watching, I kid you not, "VH1's Top 100 Hard Rock Songs".

Seriously. 

One. Ay. Em.

Now, I should have just gone to bed at midnight when they declared "Kashmir" to be the Number 21 Hard Rockingest Hard Rock song.  Despite it being, you know, the best song ever written.  But no.  Number 21. 

The mind fairly boggled at what they could possibly put in front Led Zeppelin and we sort of felt compelled to keep watching.  It was like accidentally coming across Jerry Springer or an ABBA video.  We just couldn’t look away.  By the time they got to number five, I knew The Husband was going to have a fit at whatever they put up there as Number 1.

10f45yv

I was not wrong.

Although I don’t believe (as apparently The Husband does) that “Welcome To The Jungle” is, in fact, the first sign of the apocalypse.  Actually, I saw Guns N Roses at Giants Stadium sometime in the early 90's.  The lineup was Faith No More, Guns N Roses and Metallica.  Which was a pretty entertaining concert.  Despite the fact that someone hit me in the head with a beer bottle before it started and I had concussion through most of it.

Ok, maybe it wasn't that entertaining.

You know you're getting really old when VH1 is the channel that's running “The Top 100 Hard Rock Songs” and Dee Snider is hosting.

dee-snider

I can remember when VH1 was the channel my mom watched because they played stuff like, uh, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. 

Speaking of which.  They say it's your birthday.  It's my birthday too.

I’m really old.

Here’s the Ramones. 

Edit: I forgot to add that not only is it my birthday, it’s also Sittende Mai.  Oof da.  Have some lutefisk on me, then.

Friday, May 14, 2010

In Which I Join The Circus.

A while ago Big In Japan wrote to me:

"I'm discouraged. I hate wasting time. And I'm not a speedy sewer."

I'm totally putting that on my tombstone.   I couldn’t have summed up my life any better if I tried.

Actually, I'm feeling pretty good about what I've sewn for myself lately.   (And apparently for the most part so is Big In Japan: check out her Pattern Reviews here.) 

So of course, once I have some sense of potential achievement, I then discover that I have absolutely zero time to sew anything.   Not even a super-speedy simple blouse that I've already fitted, already sewn before, has no zippers or fastenings of any kind and requires zero binding, hand-stitching or fancy sewing.   Nope.   Not even for that.

Especially since my rotten cat got fleas from the neighbor kid (seriously) and proceeded to immediately roll around all over my pressing table... including on the fabric I was in the middle of cutting out.   So that now, on top of having too much to do anyway, we have to launder about twenty loads of clothes, bedding and fabric.  

I’m telling you now: Beangirl doesn’t do vermin.

 

Or maybe I should.  I'm thinking about starting my own flea circus.   We should at least put the little creeps to work.   Check it out.   I could totally rock that costume, right?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

In Which All Is Revealed

I found a link to a personality test on Cindy Ann’s blog.  I’m pretty sure you’ll agree with me that online personality tests are pure crack.  You can’t just do one.

Here’s what mine tells me:

 

You are The High Priestess

Science, Wisdom, Knowledge, Education.

The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know. The High Priestess is also associated with the moon however and can also indicate change or fluxuation, particularily when it comes to your moods.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

 

Yes.  I am the High Priestess.  I am the holder of all secrets, the keeper of all wisdom.  I know all your deepest thoughts.  You must obey me.  Do it!

Or not.  I’m fickle like that.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Do Not Look Directly At This Post

This weekend, despite our usual Spring/May/End-of-the-School-Year epic slog through a mind-numbing array of social engagements for six-year-olds, I managed to cut out and sew a new top based on a pattern I tissue-fit last month.  I hadn't cut it out before now because I tissue-fit it in an angry tantrum after having tissue- and muslin-fit a completely different top with horrifying results. 

In fact, the first top was my second or maybe even third attempt to fit that pattern, which was The Shapely Shirt from Petite Plus Patterns.  I have yet to make something from them that fits me.  Which I find a little frustrating, since supposedly I am exactly their modeled type-- short, fat, rounded shoulder, “D” cup bra.  Sheesh. Can you get any more “target demographic”?  And still, nothing fits me.

go to PetitePlusPatterns.com Petite Plus Patterns Shapely Shirt

Needless to say, after wasting not only an entire project's worth of fitting time, but also precious fabric on a muslin, I wasn't in the best of moods when I started on the next shirt in a mad panic.  go to Simplicity.comSimplicity 2614

By the end of the weekend I was so crabby that I just threw the pattern aside and proceeded to steadfastly ignore it's very existence.  Until this weekend, that is.  Then I decided, having stooped to purchasing TLo five new pairs of knit shorts (and thus freeing myself from the obligation of making her any), that I had some time to sew something for myself.  Well, that and coming to the realization that my only two t-shirts are so worn out, I probably can't consider myself decently attired in them any more (unless I have made some as-yet-unknown-to-myself decision to wear transparent clothing).

Anyway, long story short (ha!) I tissue-fit Simplicity 2614.  I liked the vaguely vintage feel and it seemed like it might reasonably be altered to fit me.  Which, surprisingly enough, it does.

go to Simplicity.com

I cut a 14 at the top and graded out to... something at the hip.  I have no idea.  I just added a bunch until it fit, but I'm guessing about a 20.  Of course I also did an FBA.  This pattern comes in four cup sizes, but because of some goofy labeling on Simplicity's part, I ended up tracing out the "C" cup by mistake.  I couldn't be bothered to retrace, so instead of doing an FBA up one size, I just did it up two.  That's still easier than doing it up three sizes from "B" cup, so I figure no harm no foul.

I also didn't cut the lower skirt or the back (or basically any part of it) on the bias.  Bias is really not such a great thing for me. I decided that if I just added to the width a little, I could make up for the lack of bias.  Actually, the photo below (besides being really blurry) makes the top look a little too big on me.  I don’t think it will be once I wash it.  For one very good reason:

See, I had this truly breathtakingly bright plaid seersucker in my stash (for what purpose, I have not one clue) and I figured it would be good for a "wearable muslin" since if it didn't come out I wasn't exactly going to cry my eyes out at the loss.   Which of course just about guaranteed that it would come out and thus provide me with a shirt that fits great and gives people seizures.  The photo doesn’t do it justice.  Trust me.  “Neon” comes to mind.

Making a muslin out of seersucker is pretty darn stupid, since of course when you press seersucker it gets, you know, a lot bigger.   Still, since it's so loose on me, I'm going to say that it will fit just right when I make it up in poplin.  (You're all laughing at me right?  Because you all know that when I make it up in my beautiful poplin that I've been sitting on for three years it will be a size too small.  Right?  Hmmph.)

I also need to work on the back (which I couldn't get a decent photo of) because it's loose and sort of shapeless. I might try pinning in two narrow fisheye darts and see if that helps.  My guess is it will merely help people pat my stomach and ask me if a baby is due next week, but I'm willing to give it a try.

new-shirt-front

Anyway.  Here it is, the Epilepsy Top.  Guaranteed to cause convulsions in under three minutes.  Or your money back.

 

 

go to EpilepsyFoundation.orgI’m proud to support the Epilepsy Foundation.  I generally don't like to tell people who they should donate to.  I'm just saying, you could do worse.

Friday, May 7, 2010

In Which I Basically Just Shop and Complain

So there I was, pretending to work while in fact I was adding some new images to my wardrobe slideshow (yes, despite having completed not one item for my wardrobe in the past 12 months) when I came across this top from C.enneV… as provided by our favoritest crack-smokers, the good fashion ladies at MyShape.com.

go to MyShape.com

It immediately reminded me of... something.  Except that I can't figure out what.  I would swear up and down that I saw this identical tie treatment on a recent pattern in BurdaStyle, except that I can't find it online anywhere.

c.ennev. detail

Did I dream this up?  I don't get any other women's pattern magazines and I haven't looked at store patterns for months and months.  So where else could I have seen it?

The closest I’ve come up with is this knit dress from BurdaStyle May/2010 in the plus section:

go to BurdaFashion.com

(And while we're here, can I just say once again- in case you didn't catch it the first ten times- if this is "plus" sized, I so want to be plus sized.  Good grief.)

go to BurdaFashion.com

Hmmph.  This is going to drive me crazy.  Especially since, after compulsively spending all my spare internet time trying to figure out where I saw that treatment, I then won't make the top anyway.  It's only likely to make me look like I'm seven months pregnant (the fact that I look like I'm seven months pregnant regardless of what I wear is something that I will steadfastly ignore).

So what it all boils down to is: I like the detail on this top.

I also like these shoes. 

go to JCPenney.com

Even if they do only come in lilac, lemon and black.  They're on sale half price (supposedly) at JCPenney, so I'm going there tonight to see if I can find a pair.  And then to see if they might, by some shoe miracle, be comfortable enough to wear to work.

We can only hope.  A woman can't have only one single pair of sandals for the whole entire summer, people!  It's inhumane. 

Huh.  Is there a patron saint of shoes?

 

Edit: I found it.  I knew I’d find it once I had the actual magazine in front of me (because I also knew, of course, that I’m not crazy… despite what people may say.  Here it is, BurdaStyle 4/2010 #122.  The waistline is different but the concept is the same.  Whew.  I feel better.  Now I can dedicate my OCD to some other topic.  Also: BAHHAHHA to “Saint Bunion”.

go to BurdaFashion.com IMAGE_5

Thursday, May 6, 2010

An Early Gift... Presumably For Mother's Day

My kids, a.k.a. The Evil Monkeys, have taken to "helping" me when I'm working in the sewing room.  You may recall from this post regarding my epic sewing space clean-up effort that I share my work space with everyone else in the family.  So occasionally, despite my essential inclination to Not Play Well With Others, I have to keep The Evil Monkeys occupied. 

They have decided it's ecstatically fun to "sew".  This involves skewering scraps of fabric (and any miscellaneous buttons they can steal) to my pressing ham with large quantities of my good glass-head pins.  You can see where this would be breathtakingly exciting.

That's why this morning when The Big One, a breathless TLo hovering behind her, handed me my pressing ham with a flourish and said, "Mom!  We made this especially for you!" I wasn't completely surprised.

A Gift

I'm a (relatively) good mom, so I played along.

"For me?!" I said brightly.

"Yes!  Just for you!"  confirmed The Big One.  TLo was nodding vigorously behind her.

"Well, that's just beautiful!  It's a...." I paused, searching for the correct assessment of their artistic genius.  The Big One frowned scoldingly.   Clearly I was missing the obvious.

"Mom!  It's a rat.  A dead rat."  The Big One smiled in hopeful expectation.  TLo clapped her hands in delight.   I was struck (almost) speechless.

"A dead rat,” I said weakly.  “Gee.  Thanks."   

I could hear The Husband laughing all the way on the other side of the house.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Warning: This Post Is Not About Sewing and You Might Not Like It

I started out today planning on a most innocuous post.  I thought I would just post up this spread from a recent Little Red Book (JCPenny) that was at my mom's house (my mom is the recipient of literally the largest collection of mail-order catalogs in the entire known universe).  I thought that all my little friends who like vintage might like to see this, if they hadn't been so lucky as to receive one at their own homes.  It's an interestingly commercial take on vintage.

Red-Book-vintage

As it happens, I had this catalog open on my desk when a co-worker walked by and decided to take a look.  "That's so cute!" she exclaimed. "You know.  Without the hooker shoes."

Ah.  Yes.  The Hooker Shoes.

This forced me to confront a topic that has been on my (and many other people's) mind lately: "appropriate" clothing.

I will say right off the top that I am not what I would consider to be a socially conservative person.  I have always considered myself to be at the very least a social moderate, if not a liberal (I'm talking about my social position, as opposed to my political one, which we won't discuss here).  As a result, I am generally of the opinion that people should be allowed (and in this country have some very specific legal rights) to express themselves as they see fit, regardless of whether I agree or disagree with that expression.  I just wanted to say this before I continued on, in case anyone was under the impression that I think people should dress how I expect them to, simply because I expect it.  I do not.  And, to be just completely clear, I am very much not prudish when it comes to people's sexuality.  On the other hand, I think boundaries amongst total strangers are important.  (So of course I'm having a nice little rant about a highly divisive and emotional topic on my sewing blog.)

So for the record, I am not a prude.  On the other hand, you have the overwhelming prevalence of the Hooker Shoes.  This spring I have been totally unable to find a decent pair of sandals I can wear to work, in part because it seems like anything that has a closed back or strap at the heel (vital for work) is, essentially, a Hooker Shoe.  Which I find repellent.  And finally, getting to my point (ha! you're still reading?) this has caused me lately to ponder the concept of the mainstreaming of sexualized clothing throughout history.

More specifically: it seems as though people are frequently impressing on me that throughout history, the sexually explicit nature of clothing changes as a new generation begins to adopt what was once considered "immoral" clothing into everyday wear.

As an example: when the change from floor length to knee length dresses happened during the first quarter of the 20th century, we are often told that older people complained that this mode of dress was "immoral" because (one is led to assume) it was sexually explicit.  One is generally then led to look derisively at those foolish old people who would consider a bare leg to be anything other than a bare leg.  They are at best just haplessly old-fashioned and behind-the-times and at worst oppressive. 

The logical conclusion to this mocking attitude is that anyone who feels that current clothing is too sexual clearly is just "behind-the-times" and "old-fashioned" or in some way oppressive.  For the past year or more I've been thinking that I'm just getting old because I think women wearing skintight miniskirts and bondage shoes are making a sexual statement, rather than merely a fashion statement.  (I think part of my problem is the highly submissive nature of bondage shoes, as opposed to the merely sexual nature of other types of clothing.  I'm still unconvinced that a deep-plunge halter top is appropriate office-wear for my physician's receptionist, but I could at least say that it's not advocating the submission of women as sexual playthings.  Possibly.)

To be honest, I'm still not totally convinced one way or the other.  Since I wasn't actually alive in 1925, I can't really verify (without some significant research that I do not have the time to make) that young people perceived their clothing as merely fashion and not as a form of sexual language.  On the other hand, I can't for sure say that about young people now either.  Is current clothing, for instance the ubiquitous Hooker Bondage Shoe, merely about fashion or is it intended to be a statement about overt sexuality?  And even more perplexing, is this a good or bad thing?  As the mother of two young girls, I'm inclined to think extreme sexuality in clothing (particularly of the objectifying/submissive kind) isn't such a great thing, but...?   On the other hand, I wouldn’t advocate sexual repression under any circumstances.  Which leads to?  Confusion.

So.  Modern clothes.  Too sexy or just plain cute?  Discuss.

 

 

(Don't you just love it when perfectly polite blogs suddenly veer explosively off-tangent like an elephant on ketamine?  Sure you do.)

edit: I will admit that the shoes in that photo do not make a particularly strong statement.  These do a little more and if I had more time I’m sure I could find some really crazy weird shoes.   I saw a woman wearing the second pair, or something very similar, last Sunday.  She was pretty clearly dressed for church.  I had to wonder how the rest of her congregation felt about her footwear, except that it’s very clearly the norm around here.

IMAGE_4  IMAGE_6

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Sleeveless

adjective

  1. having no sleeves
  2. unproductive; a fruitless search; a vain attempt; “a sleeveless errand”

Right.

In a previous post I mentioned that I used my first attempt at a customized pattern block for TLo to make a  sleeveless tunic.  Well, here it is. 

Sleeveless-Dress-No-1

I had the idea that if TLo couldn’t wear it, maybe The Big One could (remember her? Bet you thought we’d left her at the zoo or something).  I mean, what could be more clever?  Surely a garment made from a pattern block custom fit to a child who is a size 10 in the chest will look just fab on a child who’s roughly a size 4 in the chest.  Right?  Right?

 

Right.  This was an ill-formed idea.

Here’s the tunic on TLo.

TLo-front

Then I tried it on The Big One.

TBO-front

When my mother saw them, she immediately said “They look like Hutterites.”  Yes.  That is totally the look I was going for.

I think the biggest problem is that this fabric is relatively stiff and I was overly cautious in adding flare to the A-line shape.  I should have added quite a bit more and as it is, it doesn’t drape well at all.

Needless to say, this garment was less than a success.  Which is a shame, because the front placket is a pretty nice idea.  I pulled the pattern for that straight out of David Page Coffin’s iconic Shirtmaking book.  That is one awesome book.  Here’s a link to his blog: DPC Making Trousers.  And here’s the placket.  (The color is off.)

Sleeveless-Dress-No-1-plack

Not brilliant construction, unfortunately.  I didn’t mark the reinforcement rectangle and you can see that it came out crooked.  Duh.  Stupid lazy mistake.  But since no one is likely to wear this much I guess it doesn’t matter. 

This is what the back of that application looks like, it’s a very nice clean finish (despite my crooked sewing).

placket-back

My understanding of DPC’s instructions has always been that it should end up like this, with the top line of stitching hitting above the slit where the two bands fit into the shirt.  But next time I do this, I’m going to make it come out with the stitching below that so that it’s a sealed seam.  That just makes more sense to me (and it’s totally possible that I’ve misunderstood the instructions and that’s how it’s supposed to be in the first place).

The plus in all this is that I have a New and Improved Block to work from for TLo, which hopefully will result in more successful (and fewer “sleeveless”) garments.  Plus, I still have at least one yard of this fabric left so I should be able to make something else out of it, because it’s awfully darn cute.  Fashion Fabric Club.  Gotta love ‘em.