Monthly Archives: August 2012

Happily Wearable Macaron Muslin.

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After looking at the name of this pattern for weeks during all of these Colette 2.0 festivities, I finally looked up what a macaron is, because I was pretty sure it wasn’t a misspelling of macaroon; and it turns out it’s those yummy yummy layered meringue cookies that Wegman’s happens to make extremely well. Wow, that makes this dress even sweeter.

We finally had a cloudy day this week, so I had hours to devote to my Macaron muslin. A few days earlier, I had traced the pattern pieces onto freezer paper and put all the necesssary markings on them, like a good girl. Wow, I LOVE the freezer paper thing. Thanks to everyone who has touted this process. As for my fabric choices, the shell is made out of this Westminster Fiber/Free Spirit/Hopscotch brand cotton with a sort of bizarre print, kind of a Dora meets Japanese anime, that I must have spent next to nothing for from Fabric Mart, because otherwise I can’t imagine choosing it. I love the colors, though, and it’s a nice quality cotton. Feels amazing to wear. Maybe I’ll outgrow quilting cotton yet—um, AFTER I make the final Macaron that is… The contrast fabric is a purple cotton (yeah, probably quilting cotton, from my stash) that matches the purple in the print.

This is yet another wonderful Colette easy-squeezy frock. It is listed as Intermediate, but I didn’t find anything particularly challenging about it, even as a relative beginner. The only thing that made me sort of cringe was slashing the pristine skirt front to create space for the pleat pockets. Before this, I had only ever made pockets along the side seams. The instructions were very straightforward, and I was able to make about 90% of it in one evening, including cutting the fabric. The fit was great from the get-go. Hooray!! I learned from my Hazel experiences that I’m a 14 in Coletteland, and luckily this was the case for Macaron. My only alteration was that I made it sleeveless and finished the armholes with a dark blue double-fold bias tape. Love how that came out. My final Macaron will have the standard short sleeves, so fingers crossed that that will go well.

Here are the pics

Paired with a nice shiny pink clutch:

LOVE those pockets:

Semi-invisible pink zipper:

Another pic, just because I love this dress and the beautiful garden my boyfriend’s sister maintains:

And my hero/love/photographer’s attempt at whimsy. “Here, hold this”:

Um, New Jersey Gothic?

Hope you all are having as much fun as I am during Colette 2.0. As always, a million thanks to Sarah, Erin, and Rochelle for the helpful and supportive posts!! This very recent post from Sarah’s site, with guest blogger Sarai of Colette Patterns, is a swoonfest of creativity.

Peace, love, and sweet dresses and cookies to you all.
Shelley

Elvis-lution

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It was 35 years ago today (or yesterday, or tomorrow, depending on when you’re reading this)…

What? You don’t know?

Mr. Elvis Presley passed away on August 16, 1977. I had just turned 5, and I totally remember hearing the news. Hey, I grew up in Appalachia to an Elvis-lovin’ mom, so this was actually a big deal.

Anyway, love him or mock him, he’s part of our pop culture, and so I honor him with… a skirt.

Started out with a couple of groovy prints and New Look 6872.

It’s a fairly loose interpretation of the pattern. I mostly used it for the neat pockets. I made a simple elastic waistband instead of the nice wide solid interfaced waistband that the pattern calls for, so I didn’t need to bother with the zipper. It’s a really versatile pattern though, and I can see myself making various versions of it. Erin, aka Miss Crayola Creepy, made a downright adorable version a couple of months ago, and the lovely and talented Tracey over at Swell Sewing recently made this green slice of gorgeousness.

Here’s my interpretation

And of course Teddy’s gotta help

Just in case you need some Elvis-cation, watch this video. Enjoy the first few seconds of cool retro MTV bumper.

So did you learn anything?

Who built the pyramids?

Elvis!!

Who built Stonehenge?

Elvis!!!

Don’t forget…

The Big E’s inside of you and me

Elvis!!!

Bonus shot from my Elvis resort wear collection:
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I’m off to the pool with Elvis. Bye y’all!

Cornbread-Makin’ Dress

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My sewing has slowed significantly in this hot and sparkling summer. I am officially a pool bum, pretty much every decent day after work, and am enjoying every second of it. I have produced a (very) few goodies, however, and have some lovely WIPs piling up in my cutting room/basement. And I’ll be working on Macaron for Colette 2.0 very soon.

So why is this The Cornbread Makin’ Dress? The sheer fun and old-fashioned gingham and teeny-flowered scrumptiousness of the fabric I chose for this dress makes me think of my grandmother, who not only sewed cute dresses, wore killer hats, and was a good country cook (cornbread, biscuits, and all that), but was also a college-educated school teacher and all-around sweet person. I could totally picture her in a dress just like this working away in the kitchen. I think she would’ve been tickled that I sew and garden. She would have been 100 last month, and never got to see my latest exploits, although she did live to the ripe old age of 90. Here’s to you, Mary.

I knew from other reviews of Vogue 1236 that fabric selection is very important, because anything too stiff isn’t going to look right. I was originally going to make this out of a quilting cotton with a really cool guitar print, but thought better of it because of the stiffness factor. Plus I didn’t think this style would showcase the guitars very well. I’m going to let Macaron do that.

So, construction. This truly is an easy dress, but the pleats gave me fits as always. I don’t know why my brain can’t get the folding and stitching lines sorted out. Also I think it’s a Vogue (aka Vague) thing. New Look was much more straightforward for me. I also cut the facings a little off, so there was a bit of imbalance when I sewed the fronts and backs to each other. This was totally my fault, and I just had to do some creative tucking and topstitching to straighten it all out. But the pain was worth it in the end, and the front looks pretty cute.

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I will reiterate that the fabric has to be light, like a seersucker, because you really want the crinkles between the pleats and the waist to fall just so.

A couple of great (MUCH better than mine) examples of this happy little pattern for you to visit:

A gorgeously pressed, non-crinkly version by the beautiful mystitchnbitch. Love it in that chambray!

And the heavenly sewbusylizzy version that made me add this to my Vogue shopping cart.

Here are some of my shots

Pardon the even more wrinkly than crinklyness of this. We’re RV-ing in beautiful New England and pressing is NOT a pressing issue for us. Even folding and/or hanging up clothes is not on our schedule.

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Here I am, windblown in lovely Hyannis, MA

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And being a HUGE fan of the group Boston, I absolutely had to have the experience of dancing in the streets of Hyannis. Luckily there was a band playing, so at least I had a soundtrack, albeit not Boston, sadly.

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I’ll spare you a photo of the dress without a belt, but it makes the absolute perfect nightgown. Just like grandma used to wear.