Breaking my selfish-sewing stint, I made four pieces out of a purple, printed knit I had in my stash. I partly blame Tanit-isis and her recent adventures with shirring (a lovely red number) and I thought I'd take my hand at it. My sister nearly exclusively lives in shirred tops, so above you'll see a strapless tunic for her, the Mama Bear, a halter for her Three-Year-Old Bear, a center-halter for the One-Year-Old Bear, and a wee one for Baby Bear, due next month.
In Ali-fashion, I just winged it, since it's essentially a series of rectangles sewn with straight stitches and an elastic thread bobbin. The internets is full of helpful tutes. Easy-peasy? Yes. But it took each iteration for Goldilocks to get it juuuust right. I'm hoping the One-Year-Old, whose dress I started with, won't hold the funkiness of the inside of her dress against me. :0
Next up: The Sewaholic Pendrell. A big fan of Tasia and her style, I bought this pattern for my other sister as she's pear-shaped. It sat in my stash for months. I was probably disuaded by what I perceived to be lots of pattern pieces, even though other bloggers heartily recommended it and said it goes pretty fast.
This is such a quality pattern. All the instructions (and a little help from the online sew-along) were crystal clear, making working with this chiffon (?) nearly bearable. This is view B, with ruffles along with princess seam and a drapey-sleeve. As I tend to be more minimal, I would've chosen A (pleated sleeve) or C (sleeveless shell), but this was the sister's call, not mine. And you know what? I'm sold. It's a brilliant way to use the princess seam, and really not that hard to put together.
Sizing: I was worried this would be too loose for my sister, who typically wears tight knits. I did drop the neckline three inches for her and most of all wanted to make sure it fit her hips. So I cut out the size that corresponds to Bust 34—since we're the same there—and am crossing my fingers that it fits.
And if it doesn't, I'd be delighted to take it off her hands. The sacrifices a sister must make, really. See how it just drapes over the body?
And to catch up with me-mades, here's a bow-tie collar blouse that I made during my June sewing binge. Challis in my stash -- love this fabric! Adapted from self-drafted bodice. Probably not a seasonless keeper, but it fed a yen. The skirt is adapted from a dress given to me by my younger sister.
With temperatures finally rising and a trip back to the island next week, I was aching for a denim skirt. Something light and comfy and casual enough. I used an oversized thrifted dress, bought for a couple bucks, and the Lisette pattern, Simplicity 2211, the Market Skirt.
[Forgive my expression!] First off, this is a fabulous pattern. I bought it because I thought it would be well suited for reusing clothes because the pattern pieces are so small. I cut out a size 14—according to my waist measurement—last night, and whipped it up this morning to go to the (can you guess?) the market.
Though I took the waist in an inch, it still feels quite roomy/borderline unflattering to me, but I'm trying to wear it a few times and get accustomed to it before I rip it apart. First of all, it sits quite low on me, hence the belt (salvaged from the original dress) and is a classic A-line with no real hip definition. Were I to make it again, I'd pull in all the seams just a tad. I suspect this has everything to do with my shape, and very little the pattern. And besides, for the purposes of getting through humidity, the looseness may just be what I need.
All of this would've been obvious had I made a muslin. But definitely using this pattern again, it's so flexible: contrast topstitching and buttons, or even color blocking. So many possibilities!
I can't tell you how touched I was by all of your comments on my last post. I know I said so in the comments, but I want you to know that I took every one of them to heart. It was wonderful to hear your perspectives, how sewing has occupied a space in your life that is bigger than the garments themselves. You've got me thinking of all sorts of things about sewing and life and blogging, which I'd like to reflect on here. Don't worry! This will still be a sewing blog, I promise :)
But those posts will have to wait. In fact, this may be my last post for the rest of the summer. I'm returning home—handmade gifts above in hand—to pay my final respects to my grandmother, whose home I grew up in, and who we lost shortly after my last post. She was one hell of a woman, one hell of a seamstress. She'd made this blue dress in the 60s in the old country, and she gave it to me a few years ago. It's been stained and sitting in my closet, but I will adjust it to fit me (whew! she was tiny) and dye it black.
I've had mixed luck with dyeing: Do any of you have any guidance or resources you could point me to? It doesn't seem like I have time to ship it off to get professionally done, but it'd mean a lot to me to wear something she made.
Thanks to those of you (70 worldwide!) who have participated in the Summer Essentials Sew-Along, which will be beautifully wrapped up by my amazing co-hosts Sarah and Alessa in my absence. I didn't get to everything I'd planned, but I loved sewing with you all this summer, and more than anything, enjoyed seeing the incredible talent in the Flickr group. And thanks to Alessa and Sarah for their enthusiasm and heart.
Finally: To you, and summer sewing, and again, to amazing women who make things.
A hui hou.
Model Ina Boeckler photographed by Regina Relang, 1957. - Model Ina Boeckler photographed by Regina Relang, 1957.