Sunday, March 25, 2012

Confessions of a Repeat Offender

It isn't often that I reveal the fact I have a rap sheet. That would be Report of Arrests and Prosecutions to you. (And you must imagine hearing that in a Morgan Freeman/Shawshank Redemption-ish sounding voice-over.)

But alas, sadly, it's true. I'm guilty guessed it...

using the same pattern over and over again.

Remember last summer? It was B4789, Maggy London's crossed bodice dress for knits? I made it maybe 6 times and another 2 times for a friend. Here I am shamelessly flaunting number 5:

I can't help it. I like doing it. It makes me feel good. It makes me happy. It can become mindless, blissful sewing with very little brainpower needed. It's not hurting anyone so how can it be wrong?

And now, my friends, I must clear my conscience and tell everyone that the addiction has escalated. I am now repeating fabric as well as patterns. Remember this B4789?

I simply love this fabric. I wanted more of it....needed more of it.  I couldn't stop myself. I didn't go to High Fashion today hoping  for a chance meeting...I went there on a mission, with no shame or fear of reprisal. It's been almost a year since we first met, for heavens sake...what were the chances anyone would recognize me much less peg me for double dipping? Adrenaline coursed through my veins at the mere possibility of seeing it again. Simply stated, it was the euphoria of addiction.

I made my first pass along the knit aisle. These are all bolts I know...I'm embarrassed to say most of them I've touched intimately. No sign of my friend but I did make eye contact with another new fish and we both had that unspoken knowing...that love at first sight physical attraction that can't be denied. "Love"...ha! For the briefest of moments I felt cheap...almost tawdry but, unable to help myself, I yanked the heavy roll out of its resting place and lugged it around with me, clutching it tightly under my arm, so that no one else could flirt with it, or worse, defile it with the gleaming shears. In an offhandedly nonchalant manner, I made several more unsuccessful passes along the knits  before sheepishly taking my newest conquest to the cutting tables. The feeling of power was heady.

In afterglow, overcome by guilt at how easily I was taken in by the cunning advances of a total stranger, I felt obligated to take one last look for my heartthrob. And then something caught my eye... an empty cardboard spine whose limp posture had caused its knit cocoon to shimmy down and become hidden beneath and between the girth of the competition. Out of the bowels of darkness and despondency I grabbed the cardboard and pulled its wrapping up into the light...and there it was...

my love:

Of course, I'll be using V1124 again for both of my fabrics. It's my "Summer Pattern 2012":

So... I have now aired my dirty laundry regarding my criminal past. And in a spirit of contrition I repent and have sought help for my addiction. They say if you admit to God and another person the exact nature of your wrongs then you have taken the first step. Does it matter that the other person is my dressform, Maggie the Cat? I think not.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Roll in The Hague

A pedicure and a new dress! Is there anything better?

I didn't think V1224 would be for me but I love it! Boy, am I thankful for my Pattern Review friends...this pattern runs SO short, everywhere! I lengthened the bodice by 2" and the length by 3". I really like the little blouson effect in the back:

My sister and I met at Trellis on Thursday and got pedicures together. Is there anything more wonderful than a great pedi? In my next life I want to come back as one of the polish namers at OPI. They have a wonderful new orange red out called 'A Roll in The Hague' and my sister used 'A Good Mandarin is Hard to Find'. I feel so sorry for men. They will never experience how fun it is to be a girl!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Super Shirt! Just as pretty on the inside!

I just finished S2339 and have found a new TNT for a great shirt. I know...I're thinking "how great could a shirt pattern be?" does look sort of boring based on the pattern envelope...she looks like she is about to serve a tray of petit fours at tea:

But this really is an amazing fit, but also construction. I made this shirt completely by machine and serger...not a single hand stitch on it, even the yoke. The inside is almost as pretty as the outside:

I've reviewed the yoke construction in detail on PR. It really is quite an amazing process. Oh...

and my skirt...

No one will be surprised that I made yet another B5466. I just loved this Ralph Lauren-esque fabric:

Okay, on to my next project...not sure what it will be...I only know that it will be...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Retro Summer Top and Pants

This fabric was love at first sight for me! It reminds me of the 70's and has all of my favorite colors in it. I thought B5216, a simple little top gathered on a tie, was the perfect accompaniment for it. I made View B but lengthened it a bit and put elastic at the waist:

I intended to wear this top belted at the waist as the orange top above but it just didn't work on me. I needed some shape through the middle. I used double fold bias tape and pressed out the center seam to make a casing. It was then the perfect width to thread 1/4" elastic through. The complexity level of this pattern is on the same scale as the drawstring duffel that most of us made at summer camp when we were 12. Sometimes I really enjoy mindless sewing where no direction is needed and I can just sort of be flying by instruments, as my mom used to say. I did take scant 1/4" seams making the tie a little wider to add a some additional bra strap coverage:

I found this fabric at Joann's. Usually I am casting dispersions at Joann's but since they were purchased a few year back by the same outfit that bought a large portion of Whole Foods, they really seem to be upgrading their fabric quality and providing a much better selection. And the attitude of the employees has improved 100%. It's a refreshing change, at least here in Houston.

The pants are made from white cotton and spandex denim and using one of  my TNT pant patterns, Sandra Betzina's V1197:

The Texas bluebonnets have started to bloom so spring is officially here! It won't be long before I can wear this cute top...the fabric just makes me happy!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Perfect Sleeve for V1250

I made this dress numerous times last summer including the one above, however, I wanted to wear this one now and it's a little too early in the year to go sleeveless. I used the sleeve from V8511 and it fit perfectly:

The dropped shoulder on V1250 is virtually the same as the pattern above:

I did find the sleeve very wide and I started narrowing it from one inch under the arm tapering down to a mark I made 2" in from the wrist seam. That slimmed the sleeve and it is tight enough to stay pushed up when I what that look.  I drafted a sleeve for V1250 last year but this one fits and feels much better. Try's a good fit!