26 April 2011

S2621 corset - boning

So I broke out the fabric marker and ruler and planned out my boning (since I am probably off the pattern ... I haven't even looked at the instructions since last year!  LOL)  I was sewing veeerrrrrryyyy slllllooooowwllllyyyy in a sincere attempt to get these channels sewn straight ... the stitches themselves might not be perfectly straight, but I stayed on the fabric marker line today!  Of course, once the first line was sewn, then it was easier to slide a cable tie in and use the boxy zipper foot to snug up to it.  Pic snapped this afternoon:
Boning for S2621 corset
It's not period-correct, but that isn't what I am going for on this one.  I happen to really REALLY like the support these cable ties give me.

Oh, a new one for the "Thank you, Sgt. Obvious!" file: I have discovered - by accident - that topstitching looks so much nicer when you press it afterwards ... apparently "everyone" knows this, but I honestly don't recall seeing anyone ever mention it.

S2621 corset going strapless

Yes, I finally made up my indecisive mind on this: due to the lovely jacquard striping of my outer fabric (unknown home dec remnant) I will be making this version of the Simplicity 2621 Elizabethan corset ("pair-of-bodies") strapless.  My mind is so made up, I even cut off the outer top of the shoulders where the straps are supposed to attach:
making S2621 corset strapless
I actually snapped this pic yesterday afternoon ... right before the weather sirens went off and we went under tornado warning.  After the all-clear noise, I promptly forgot about the pics sitting on my memory card.  Hubby said last evening that the funnel cloud was up by Ft. Campbell.

This morning was the third in a row I've woken up to the roll of thunder ... and the second in three days most of my clocks have been blinking the wrong time.  In fact, son's school had to have a 2 hour delay due to power outages!  Yeesh ... enough of this storm and rain!  I would happily send it to Texas where they are worried about wildfires.  We're under flood warnings here (again).

Back to the Elizabethan corset ... I have realized I forgot something important!  I forgot to put in the twill tape for the waist and underbust.  Bleh ... this version won't hold up for long, at least not as well as it would have if I had remembered.  I do think I have settled on a boning scheme for it, though.  As long as the power stays on, I should get the channels sewn today.

Meanwhile, work continues on the second denim mid-Victorian ... and my fingertips are not happy with me after basting the denim outer layer last night and this morning.  This denim is beefier than the last one, but pics will have to wait until I can switch thread on the machines and stitch it up.  Another good reason to knock out the Elizabethan full mockup (which is what this home dec jacquard stripe version is).

24 April 2011

S2621 corset: Boning channels and directional sewing

First of all ... I am already sick and tired of this storm front!  It rolled in a little after 11 last night and promptly knocked out our power ... while the power has stayed on for this morning, we keep getting bands of strong storms, and this early morning's lightning strikes sounded almost on top of us.  What a way to wake up ...

I've already started up on sewing together the layers for my Simplicity 2621 Elizabethan "pair-of-bodies" (the period term for a corset).  I have the front boning channels on either side of the eyelets in, and it occurred to me I haven't mentioned a mysterious peculiarity of sewing boning channels: directional sewing seems to count!  I haven't seen an actual explanation for this, but each time I've seen it mentioned, the person posting it swears it makes a difference even if s/he doesn't know why.  Once you start sewing the boning channels on a corset panel, you need to continue sewing in that direction ... or you end up with small wrinkles around the boning.
directional sewing - boning channels on S2621
If you check the larger image, you'll see yellow pinheads on only one side of each corset half: marked "top" on this pic, as in the end that gets sewn first.  This is how I am keeping track of my directional sewing this time, and I find it so much easier than leaving thread tails!  Now, for a closeup, just because it came out clear!
Closeup front boning channels S2621 Elizabethan corset
Another plus of this closeup turning out clearly is I can show off my outer fashion fabric layer: an unknown home dec remnant that has a jacquard/brocade style stripe to it.  I am hoping the vertical stripes provide for a visually slimming effect ... although I strongly suspect they will mess with the shoulder strap idea.  If so, I will simply make this one strapless.

23 April 2011

Setting the smock aside

OK, I'm going to set it to the side and let it simmer on the back burner of my mind ... the construction part is done, and I gave it a good pressing after trimming the excess trim.

Simplicity 2621 smock pressed

Sleeve detail of embroidered trim
My son suggested triangles instead of squares for the corners ... that also has appeal.  He actually meant mitering the trim corners ... but that still wouldn't fix the one corner in back.

It does definitely look better after pressing most of the wrinkles out ... but it's already picked up a few new wrinkles!  LOL  Hey, it's linen.  Besides, this is the undermost garment, so only the sleeves and neckline will show anyway.

Now, to write up the review ... I'll get a detail pic on the neckline trim after I fix it.

Simplicity 2621 smock put together

It's put together ... now I need to figure out how I'm going to finish the embroidered trim around the neckline.  The embroidered trim for the sleeves came out perfect ... the neckline trim ... not so perfect.  First, the pics (it's very grey today ... but at least it's not green or yellow clouds!)
Simplicity Tudor chemise front (in progress)

S 2621 Tudor "shift" back (in progress)
Elizabethan smock - neckline detail (in progress)
OK ... geek time (just because I AM one ...) I'm mixing terms here because there is no one single, agreed-upon term.  Time period is Renaissance (broad category), Tudor period (a bit more specific), and Elizabethan (more specific).  Elizabeth I was the last of the actual Tudors, who refused to marry because that would be giving up her authority.  The Tudor period saw the Renaissance reach England, so this smock is from the Renaissance - Tudor - Elizabethan period.

So ... is it a smock, a shift (as the pattern calls it), or a chemise?  I've seen all of those terms used ... along with spelling variations to boot in contemporary quotes!  Just like there are variations of how Shakespeare himself spelled his own name (he was also Elizabethan period), there just weren't set spellings at the time (tyme?) so the different terms may have had subtle differences in the garments described ... or not.  It could just be regional variances within England (kind of like the regional difference between y'all and youse guys and you, the unspecified plural).

While I tend to use the term smock, shift is probably more appropriate for this particular garment, as the handkerchief linen is very lightweight and as the pics show, it's pretty see-through.  Either way, the actual construction part is done.  It does still need another pressing/attack with hot iron.

Now I need to unhose the neckline trim ... I'm not sure what exactly happened, but the trim pieces ended up just a smidge too short.  So time to trot out my mom's "greatest secret of sewing": the secret isn't perfect mistake-free sewing ... it's knowing how to cover up your mistakes or, if they can't be covered up, how to make them look like intention design details.  Right now, I am leaning towards seeing if I have green fabric that matches the embroidery thread to make squares in each corner, then satin-stitch them on with the white.  Maybe even put a little white-stitched flower in the middle ...

21 April 2011

More embroidered trim for smock sleeves

I forgot to mention (actually, post!) yesterday I discovered the embroidered trim I made up didn't fit the sleeves for my S2621 smock ... it's just too short.  So yesterday - after the power was restored from the storm - I fired up the daily driver Brother to start putting the smock together, then brought my emb Brother back out to redo the trim for the sleeves.

This time, I used the smaller version of the Forget-Me-Not border and repeated it twice.  This makes for narrower trim, which will probably look better on a narrow-hemmed sleeve bottom.  It occurred to me today someone somewhere might want to see an in-progress pic of this - here is after the embroidery with lines added to put on the satin stitch (zigzag, a bit narrower and short enough to look satin-stitchy).

Small vs. large Forget-Me-Not trim

Small Forget-Me-Not embroidered trim
I have the larger design at the top of each pic as a reference point between the 4x4 small and the 5x7 large designs.  I hooped the small set looser, since last time hooping tighter didn't get rid of the wrinkles ... and the wrinkles are still there.  *Sigh*  Hooped regular, tight, and loose ... without noticeable difference in wrinkles ... leaves me with the conclusion it's either the linen or the thread or both.

Now, to finish sewing this smock up ... I am getting tired of moving the pieces from the table to the ironing board to an unoccupied chair and back!

18 April 2011

Embroidered trim finished and a tip

First up, I figured out why I have been getting the little wrinkles around the embroidery design ... other than the possibility of the cotton thread shrinking.  I hadn't rinsed ALL the stabilizer out.  I discovered this when reaching for my press cloth, and it was stiff ... since I had to rinse out the fabric marker anyway, I soaked the trim pieces again.  And here is the "done" pic for my trim:
Custom-made embroidered decorative trim
I made one extra piece of single-design trim on purpose ... just in case I oopsie something.  And while this last extra one was stitching out, I was reminded just why I sit and watch the the embroidery needle hop along as it stitches out ... the thread caught on itself.  When the top thread broke, the machine sensed it and stopped itself before I realized the thread was broken.  However, when the thread caught on itself, I stopped the machine before it "realized" there was a problem.  Closeup of the oopsie:

embroidery oopsie - thread caught on itself
It's not overly noticeable since I caught it within a few stitches of it happening, then the machine stops two stitches after I hit stop (which is a fast response given how fast the needle is hopping on it) so the piece is usable if need be ... but it is sitting off to the side of the others to be used last (or hopefully not at all!).

Now ... this Brother "country yarn" embroidery thread is very messy!  I probably should have snapped a pic of the fuzz bunnies I pulled out of the emb after this project was done, because it was massive.  Then before I started up the daily driver to satin stitch, I cleaned under the hood on him as well ... canvas fray bits and more fuzz bunnies.  I hope I don't dream of fuzz bunnies under the bobbin holder thingy tonight ...

Custom embroidered decorative trim!

Happy!  Excited!  IT WORKED!!!!!!  My custom embroidered decorative trim for the neckline and sleeve edges for my Elizabethan smock (Simplicity 2621) has turned out the way I hoped it would!  Happy dance time!

custom embroidery trim: Forget-Me-Not

Forget-Me-Not custom trim
 Sometimes ... well, often ... my experiments don't turn out as I hoped.  So when one actually does come out looking like the picture in my head, I get very very excited and happy.  This embroidered decorative trim idea is exactly what I wanted ... well, it will look much more like planned once I wash the fabric marker off the edges.  I used a very short zigzag to create the satin stitch at the edges, and the pinked ends will be inside seams, folded under, or covered by a cross piece of trim.

OK, *now* I am excited about making this smock!

17 April 2011

Machine embroidery embellishment for S2621 smock

I've mentioned my embroidery machine has been whispering to me about inactivity .... I played with it on and off yesterday and with a little sunshine today have pics to show off!  My embroidery machine is far and away my most expensive machine ... I paid more for it than all three sewing machines combined but am quite happy with it.  It's a Brother PE-770 stand-alone that uses a USB flash drive/stick, so I shouldn't outgrow it for quite a few years.  Not to mention, I adore the results ....
Forget-Me-Not test

Forget-Me-Not in the hoop

Forget-Me-Not shoulder pieces
 I had thought about using a Foxglove design, just to see who might recognize it, but then noticed the Forget-Me-Not border design and fell in love with it.  I still have one more shoulder piece to do, then the front and back of the neckline which is wide enough for two of the design (which will require me to rehoop ... this should be interesting!).  I had originally planned to embroider the facing, then have it on the outside, but as I mentioned yesterday my air dry marks disappeared, plus on the test the fabric pulled and wrinkled too much with just a single layer of the handkerchief linen.  However, using two pieces of hankie linen and three pieces of Solvy worked better in the hoop ... except a smidge of wrinkling which I suspect is the thread shrinking.

I plan to satin stitch the edges with white, and sew in on like decorative trim (err, it actually is decorative trim, just the kind I've made myself!) and I am seriously thinking of measuring the bottom of the sleeves and putting some there as well instead of a fabric ruffle.  The benefit of this idea: it will keep my cuffs out of my food!  LOL  Not only is Ren Faire either muddy or dusty (there is no in between, it seems) but I often end up wearing my condiments for half a day ... and I am not the only one.

The emb machine is calling me ... although the cast iron skillet is also ...

16 April 2011

Bustier versus corset

I am taking Kenneth King's bustier class at Pattern review, and am learning some very interesting things.  First, the most important thing: the difference between a bustier and a corset!  The second thing I am learning is ... I don't really want to sew a bustier!  Third (and this was well worth the cost of the class!) why my Kwik Sew 3850 bustier-made-corset-style flopped ... which relates back to the major difference between corsets and bustiers.

Before signing up for the class, someone had asked on the message board class pre-registration Q&A thread if any of it was applicable towards making corsets, and KK replied "Yes."  I am happy to report there is "truth in advertising" here ... I am picking up some really good tips for construction.  I just don't feel it would be ethical for me to post them, because KK earns money from both his class and his CD-book.  However, I will say that for me this class is worth the fee.  Then again ... I've been the adventurous newb frustrated by lack of info available for free on the web who has been learning by mistakes ... err, "learning opportunities".  As y'all recall, I had quite a few of those with the KS 3850 bustier-corset ... and hadn't figured them all out on my own.

I suppose with enough Googling and reading, the difference between a bustier and a corset can be found on the web ... it's a small but important difference in patterning.  A bustier is designed to have zero ease ... lay against the skin like a second skin.  In contrast, a corset has negative ease and shapes the body with more solid and more support (boning).    The bustier takes its shape from the body with no wearing ease, whereas the corset shapes the body (even just smoothing things out is a form of shaping).

Which brings me to the second thing I've learned ... since a bustier doesn't shape the body, I am not actually wanting to make a bustier.  Which means my Kwik Sew and the new McCall bustier patterns will need to be modified on a fundamental level before using them.  I like the looks of both KS 3850 and M 6325 ... but I don't have the body to pull off either one as a bustier.  Time for me to learn fundamental theory of corset-drafting ...

Which brings me to a more informed analysis of why my KS 3850 bustier-corset flopped - other than the fact that bustiers and corsets aren't quite the same.  Along with the over-engineering in the bust cups, I didn't have near enough support in front (unlike my denim mid-Victorian) combined with too much ease despite it hugging me through the waist.  For a corset, zero ease is still a bit too much.  Also ... and this may be a biggie ... I am not sure the KS bustier can be made strapless.  From wearing mine a few times (granted, I didn't follow the instructions for it!) it does feel like it hangs from the shoulder straps ... whereas the McCall's bustier pattern has two of the four views as strapless.  Ideally, a bustier should have enough support to do strapless, and not hang from the shoulders.

I am kinda-sorta-not really sewing right now ... a nasty storm front hit us Thursday night and I am still hearing thunder now on Saturday afternoon.  Today I've been playing with my embroidery machine a bit, and also discovered the "air dry" fabric marker I used Sunday afternoon was not a good idea, as most of the marks have disappeared because I've taken so long to get back to it.  Oops ... new note from Sergeant Obvious: Don't use the air dry fabric marker unless you are certain you will get back to the project before the marks "dry" away!  Yup, live and learn ... and pics will need to wait until tomorrow because it is just so grey again today.

14 April 2011

Prefitting Simplicity 2621 Elizabethan corset

I mentioned the other day I had cut out the canvas fit muslin for my new Elizabethan corset (called a "pair of bodies" during the Renaissance period).  This morning I decided to unlace my previous Elizabethan and compare the pieces, since I could feel the old one had stretched.  My simplistic 3-layer construction last spring using two layers of home dec plus a layer of cotton muslin in between proved to be useful for actually seeing where the fabric warped from wearing stress:
This is useful ... you can see the channels where the hemp cording is ... those channels were originally straight when I made it last year, and this corset has seen just shy of a year's worth of wearing.  The major stress is definitely at the waist, with secondary stress just below the bust.  The front doesn't lay flat ... the undesirable consequence of using the poly boning so often found in sewing stores ... it has a low enough temp tolerance to mold with just body heat.  My cable ties should fix *that* problem.
Oh, a note about the Simplicity pattern's shoulder straps: according to the pattern they are bias-cut.  Bad idea, Simplicity!!  Darn things stretch.  Now, for my canvas fit muslin, laid over the old finished piece:
I cut the canvas using the same pattern pieces as last year ... in theory they should have matched up.  So my old Elizabethan did the majority of its stretching in the front ... hmmm ... right now I am thinking to extend the center front (which should have been cut on the fold for an only back-lacing bodies) and taking that amount extended out of the side and back, and then "take out" more from CB and CF via seams - 1/4 inch in front and 1/2 inch in back.  I think twill tape at the two stress points will help reduce the warping.  Now, to ponder on the boning versus cording versus combination idea ...

13 April 2011

M4861 first attempt: My Blue Monstrosity

OK, I will stop procrastinating now ... if only to avoid a lynching in chat tonight.  There are more folks asking to see these pics than just Val - even though Val was the one who earned these pics by completing the corset challenge.  Just so no one can say I didn't warn y'all ...
*** WARNING! *** WARNING! *** WARNING! ***
Not even my bad photog (lack of) skills can hide this ugliness!

In my defense, I made this over 14 months ago, while commuting to clinicals, in pain, tired, and desperate for something to use as a backbrace ... and it was my first stab at a "real" corset.

*sigh* I guess there is just no getting around posting these pics of what I now call the Blue Monstrosity (and mean it!).

There is no actual boning in this, just hemp craft cord.  It was actually pretty comfortable to wear ... UNDERNEATH my scrubs.  There are both antiqued brass and silver eyelet pieces, for those wondering if the camera flash is fooling with your eyes.  I used home dec scraps, which in retrospect wasn't the best idea for a pattern with a total of four bias seams on it.  I also didn't do a fit muslin ... this pattern runs large ... but perhaps I can call the Blue Monstrosity my full mockup instead?  Especially since I made another (better looking and better constructed!) backbrace this past December.  Hmmm, now there's an idea to salvage my pride and sweep the broken feet of clay back together ...

Aother way of looking at it came from the pink-hating Cat the other night in chat.  Comparing my latest denim mid-Victorian to last spring's Elizabethan, she said she can see a huge improvement.  So maybe I can show my age and spin it as "You've come a long way, baby!"

Or maybe I should just burn it ....

12 April 2011

Val completes the corset challenge

I'm sure some of y'all recall when I issued the corset challenge to Val ... a couple of y'all (like me) have been following her progress when she pops in to chat.  She finished it Sunday evening, and showed me pictures of her work last night.  Keep in mind, this is Val's very first corset, and she used McCall's 4861 view E, which is also the pattern I used to make my first corset that I now call "the blue monstrosity".  Here are her results:

Val followed the pattern instructions (the ones I ignored! LOL) and also made it in two halves with lacing in the back as well as front, per the instructions.  Since Val doesn't have a blog, feel free to post up your comments here, and I will be sure she sees them.  My comment: she has put my first corset to shame ... complete shame.

Speaking of that corset ... I now need to dig up the infamous blue monstrosity as promised and hold up my end of the deal by showing the sewing blogosphere just how ugly it really is.  This is going to be painful to my pride ... but I am the one who "opened her mouth" in chat!  Val has declined the idea of me mailing it to her LOL and I don't blame her, since hers is definitely better.

I need a nap first ...

09 April 2011

Too many ideas, not enough time

Today I have more ideas than hands or time swirling in my tiny coffee-inspired brain.  Those last two working brain cells are in a hyperactive tizzy, throwing ideas and schemes and options out:
  • I still have the handkerchief linen on the table to finish cutting out out my Renn Faire smock ... and my embroidery machine whispers about too much inactivity.  I am planning to use it to embroider the neckline, plus use the scraps for gift hankies.
  • I want to do up at least one more mid-Victorian in denim, tweaking the fit and adding improvements after wearing my one almost daily since I finished it.  I have a light colored denim that matches a pair of jeans perfectly, and I also want one to match my black denim jeans ... I also want to try out view C to compare how that fits me.  And feel free to laugh, but right now I am wearing my denim corset with dark red colored sweatpants.
  • I still want to redo my Elizabethan pair-of-bodies, and in that white silk brocade with boned tabs this time.  Oh, and this time I'll need to use a NONstretchy fabric for the core layer ... trying it on the other morning made me realize that it has finally stretched to a point of no longer providing proper support.
  • What got me thinking of the silk brocades is Jo is finally back at Bridges on the Body, working on the 1844 pattern from Norah Waugh's Corsets and Crinolines which I have decided is THE perfect pattern to show off the red floral silk brocade ... which still beckons even though I am still chicken to cut the fabric until I have the pattern mocked up perfectly.
So I need at least three more of me to get all these ideas done up simultaneously ... errr ... so maybe I need to prioritize ... the linen is on the table so I guess that one gets cut out first.  Maybe the third cup of coffee wasn't as good of an idea as it sounded ...

07 April 2011

Let the garb sewing begin

Yesterday I was wondering what I wanted to sew next.  Since I found where I put my smock from Simplicity 2621 (shift, chemise, underdress ... I've seen all these words for the same garment) I decided to try it on with my Elizabethan corset to see how it fits ... now that I know more about fitting than I did last year!  Not only do I need to make a new Elizabethan corset ("pair of bodies" as it was called at the time) but I will need a new smock as well, as the shoulders falling down will annoy me before I can even leave the house.  Here is a mirror pic of the smock and bodies:
As if dressform and table pics weren't bad enough ... mirror pics are a (bleep)in PITA to try to get right!  And yes, my bathroom walls really are THAT pink.  As a reference point, the straps on my Elizabethan often fall off my shoulders .. and I just could not get the shoulders of the smock to stay on my shoulders for nothing ... after about three minutes of putting it on.

Time to break out that lovely white handkerchief linen and get going on a new smock!  I'll start by reworking the pattern, after rereading my pattern review from last year.  As for the corset, I will start all over on fitting that, and follow instructions on incorporating boned tabs like the Effigy Corset.

I'm almost done with my second cup of coffee, so pattern work should commence soon.

06 April 2011

Pics wearing the simple skirt

Hubby graciously snapped some pics of me wearing my simple skirt I finished this morning, along with the white knit top that kicked off the cleaning spree and of course my denim corset.

Our yard is a bit uneven, plus hubby and I were talking while taking pics, so I cropped my face out in two of these due to my mouth being open.  LOL  We've had a wonderfully pleasant spring day today and I accomplished enough cleaning to even impress my teenage son.

Simple skirt and the proverbial wild hair

Yesterday, hot on the heels of my pillowcases victory, I started up another quick and easy project: a simple skirt.  This turned out to be a mild variation of my "no-pattern tube skirt" that I've made up a few times last year where I take either 2 or 3 yards, sew it into a tube, cut off excess then hem and put in an elastic waistband ... or if I want to get fancy like my red petticoats for Renn Faire, pleat the top into a waistband.  I wasn't feeling fancy last evening or this morning, so simple elastic waistband it is:
From selvage to selvage, without any trimming, this ended up being ankle-length after hemming and putting in the waistband, which is cool because I haven't made one that long except my petticoats.  This is the $1/yd cotton I scored last week ... I swear it really did jump into my cart and cry for me to take it home!  LOL  It's all 3 yards at the bottom ... but only about 2 yards at the top.  That's the variation - I trimmed out "darts" of sort so I wouldn't have so much bulk around the waist, fabric-wise.  I folded it into four, then tapered off 1.5" inches off each side using the next-to-bottom set of stripes as my taper point:
Then I just sewed up the triangles, then the open side, pressed, hemmed, and this morning put in the elastic waistband.  Another easy, fast, instant-gratification project.

As for the proverbial wild hair ... everyone has probably figured out I hate housecleaning, *but* I wanted to find a specific summer knit top to wear with this new skirt.  I haven't seen it since this past September ... so what started as a shirt hunt morphed into a massive clothing-sort of all my warm-weather stuff.  I have another full bag of clothing to donate, and a whole heap of laundry to wash ... and a big bare spot that hubby won't help but notice when he gets home.  Once I get that top washed and dried I can take a shower, because even though it's called "cleaning" I always end up so dirty after doing it.

The next big question will be "What do I want to sew now?"

05 April 2011

Pillowcases: Fast instant gratification

This was the true instant gratification project I was looking for last week: knocking off store-bought pillowcases.  If I realized they really ARE this easy, I'd have done them up a lot sooner.  Seriously, grab up a pillowcase or two and take a peek at its construction ... meanwhile here are my three:
I started on this idea after a late lunch ... about 2:30 in the afternoon when I started measuring my store-bought example.  I finished them a few minutes ago, clocking in three pillowcases in less than two and a half hours.  My intention (once I realized how fast the first one went) was to have all three done and on the pillows before hubby got home from work, but they let him out of his cage early today so he walked in as I was putting the last two together.

I made these two inches wider and about three inches longer than the store-bought examples, because our memory foam pillows are slightly larger than standard pillows and we need to wrestle them into the standard sized cases ... these slide in nicely, with enough overhang neither of us wake up with only half the pillow cased.  Victory!

Meanwhile, it seems I have been tagged by Rebecca from Wannabe for the "Stylish Blogger Award" ... quit snickering.  So I need to think of seven things to tell folks, then tag seven new victims ... and it should get its own post, of course ... once I figure out what seven things y'all might actually want to read about.

03 April 2011

I'm gonna go cry now ...

It was a beautiful dream ... truly lovely dream ... and I had even snapped a pic of this dream with every intention and desire to make it reality:
On the right is my new salt-and-pepper color linen, and I dug up the cuss-inducing slippery as **** rayon challis to use as a lining, and fished out the chosen blazer pattern.  My resolve strengthened as I ironed the linen and admired the textured weave and play of colors ...

I even preread the instructions and looked the suggested layout over, as KwikSew patterns tend to have very reasonable pattern layouts ... FAIL!!!!  Oh, the agony of reality as it came crashing down on me.  I had only ordered two yards of this 44 inch wide fabric, and this blazer requires 3-1/8 yards of 45 inch wide fabric.  Did I mention KS does reasonable and fabric-conserving layouts in their instructions?  I can see no way to bend the laws of physics enough to make this idea work, even if I shorten both body and sleeves.

So it is with a heavy heart and shattered dream that we get this latest gem from Sergeant Obvious: Make sure you have enough fabric before getting too carried away with a beautiful sewing idea!

I guess this gorgeous linen will end up being culottes or capri-length summer pants ...

M6051 apron finished and being used

I decided to get my backside in gear this morning and finished up my apron from McCall 6051 ... and since hubby was occupied when I finished it, I decided to put it to use while cleaning up the kitchen a bit.  There is a water spot on the pocket ... but here are pics after it protected my clothing from washing dishes and cleaning the counter and stove:

And a back-side view.  I had to crop the top half of my face off due to glasses glare, but that's okay because y'all don't really want to see what kind of not-morning person I tend to be.  Hubby thinks the apron is cute ... and suggested a French maid uniform next.  Ummm ... probably not this year!  LOL

The pattern is an easy apron, with nothing new technique-wise, and should have only taken me a day or two if I had been up to full speed this week.  For a few minutes, I thought pleating the ruffles on might be better ... but I had already run gathering stitches and had already pinned the matching notches and points, so I just went ahead with the gathering.

It'll protect my corsets and blouses from flying popping bacon grease and various sauces and condiments ...

02 April 2011

McCall's 6051 apron progress pics

I took these pics before my nap and supper, but hemming the ruffle panels isn't that exciting of a pic ... but here is how my apron is progressing:
The ties match Mathilda's blue a bit too well, but I think the straps and ties turned out pretty good.  As usual, I am doing things out of order in relation to the printed instructions: I made the ties and straps at the same time, so I only needed to cuss once when I couldn't find my bodkin to turn them!  A fabric marker worked in the pinch, although the cap kept trying to come off when I tried to get it back out.

I'm beginning to think this print is charmed ... once again I got lucky on centering the main motif.  This makes me two-for-two on this print ... and I still have more left!

The sound of silence? Not quite

I haven't posted since the very beginning of the week.  For the first half of the week, that was because my back was bothering me and I didn't wish to inflict my crankiness on the blogosphere ... I tried to work on the apron during it and made so very little progress ... it may be a quick and easy project under normal circumstances, but cutting anything out of fabric with back pain is akin to torture.  Things got a little better on Wednesday, so all the pieces *are* cut out.

I was starting to put the apron together Thursday, when a box arrived in the afternoon ... yes, another from FabricMart!  Then Thursday evening hubby took me out to dinner then we scooted down the road for a little shopping: I dropped him off at Hobby Lobby then ventured down to Hancock with a calendar coupon and sales flyer in my hot little hands, with my intended target being the linen selection that had just gone on 50% off sale ... and the coupon giving me an additional 50% off that!

It's rare for me to escape Hancock without unplanned fabrics jumping into my cart ... and this was no exception as they already had four tables set up for their unannounced "clean sweep" sale.  Best of all, the gems were on the $1/yd table:
Very front is 110" wide sheeting ... only 1-1/4 yd left on the table but that's enough to make four pillowcases.  Left front will be a new simple skirt, as I am certain I have a cotton to make a matching pink tunic or blouse!  The olive and maroon cotton will be a shirt for hubby ... who at first didn't like the fabric but last night was asking if that will be the next garment I make.  That big white blob is my actual target: handkerchief weight 100% linen I got for only $4/yd ... I took all 7 yards and 25 inches Hancock had left.  The best part is leftovers and decent sized scraps can be made into monogrammed and embroidered hankies as gifts ...

The FM box:
Linens to left, cottons to the right ... and stuck in the middle is a rayon challis whose colors I could not resist.  (apologies to Stealers Wheel)  This box ended up having a couple surprises: the beige cotton I had thought would be shirting fabric is actually a nice sturdy bottomweight that will make ME killer shorts or capris (emphasis on ME since son doesn't like it).  And that grey-looking salt-and-pepper linen on the bottom left washed up a bit coarser than I anticipated, but will make the absolute perfect summer blazer to wear over a classic blouse in that awesome tidal blue "couture"/heirloom quality linen that I pretty much splurged on just to see what it was like.

So yesterday I was bouncing between the sewing area and the laundry area, trying to get all these new fabrics prewashed along with a few previous acquisitions to round out laundry loads.  The apron is close to done, but it should gets its own post.