Monthly Archives: January 2013

Cambie-ing in the Sunshine State

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Hooray, I can finally wear my beloved Cambie. As I have whined before, I finished mine right before autumn and only got to wear it once or twice before the weather got un-Cambie-ooperative. So I made Lenny drive me 1100 miles to my Dad’s in Florida because I missed wearing it so much.

It’s been forever since I made it, so I don’t have specific construction details, but it’s as lovely as everyone says. Thanks to Sew Busy Lizzy pointing me in the right direction, I had the resource of the Sewaholic lining/zipper tutorial on hand before I even had a chance to screw it up.

I am happy with the innards of this dreamy thing. The fabrics are a slightly stretchy cotton broadcloth and a delicious lilac pongee lining. It almost doesn’t look right together but I adore the combo.

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I even hemmed the lining. This is a big thing for me. 🙂

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Invisible zipper action. One of my best yet.

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Here I am in the sunshine, taking obligatory palm tree pics.

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Yay pockets. And yay sick brand new red shoes that I had purchased about 15 minutes earlier. (Very happy that Lenny needed new sneaks, so that I could in turn buy FIVE pairs of shoes. Famous Footwear is dangerous. Never let me go in there again.)

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Temporarily fascinated by fuzzy red Floridian flora.

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And in honor of the final day of Jungle January, here are some new shades that I just bought on the road.

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As always, Happiest of Sewing!!

Back to the Jungle

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This is how I pictured I would look during Jungle January

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And this is the reality
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Because the fabric I had originally intended to use was more flora than fauna, and I didn’t have enough shiny blue-green zebra to make a dress.

Animal print lover that I am, I just wasn’t happy with my contribution. Our fearless jungle guide Anne deserves better than that. Since fortunately(!!) I didn’t do anything foolish like make a stashbusting pledge I was able to visit my favorite website Fabric Mart and try out some scrumptious animal ITY knit.

It’s the same pattern as my first FO of the year, a McCalls 5974, which I adore. I learned from a few previous fitting issues and extended the bodice, so now it’s more normal-to-drop waist than empire. I absolutely lurve it. I also lengthened the length (hope you can keep up with my technical terms) to make it more wintery and flowy, and also managed not to hack up the sleeves.

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I got to wear it to a party over the weekend, where more than one person said I look “like a singer”, which I totally took as a compliment.

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I definitely have a new TNT on my hands, and lots of knits to play with. Maybe I’ll even make a version with the ties, or try a different sleeve length or neckline. The possibilities are endless. You really have to get this pattern.

So while I’m no Velosewer, who has made about 87 wild and gorgeous jungle garments, I’m very happy that I forged my way into the wild one more time before the end of the month.

Thanks a million, Anne, for hosting this epic month of creativity.

This roar’s for you!!

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A Peony In A Day. And A Peony From Yester-day

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I got a wild hair to make a dress in one day. No real reason, just a mini goal I set for myself, something fresh to wear to a Lenny gig on Saturday night. I wanted to do something with the charmeuse that my failing memory had sworn was zebra print but was instead sort of a huge jagged flower (It may even be a peony!). You’ll see the print–you figure it out.

The Peony muslin I made back in October had a nice fit and I wore it a ton, so, pattern pieces at the ready, off I went cutting my charmeuse. Everything went smoothly, except for breaking the zipper (I’ll spare you the gory details of that idiocy.), which required installation of a whole new one. This move lost me almost an inch of fabric that I didn’t have to spare, because heaven forbid I seam rip. I just cut the old zipper out.

The thing about this fabric is that is has no give. I forgot that the cotton I used for the muslin was sort of stretchy, so this new dress that I thought would be an identical fit just wasn’t. (The zipper debacle didn’t help either.) I do like that I lengthened the sleeves from 3/4 to full length, but I seriously need to do an FBA on this puppy.

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I love my ivy.
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DSC_2445Showing off the bateau neck.
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I did make it to the gig, barely, so I actually wore it in public, but it really isn’t too flattering. Although it actually looks okay in these photos, I probably won’t wear it out much without a cardi or blazer.

While I’m at it, here’s the Peony muslin that I wore the heck out of this fall but never photographed.

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Showing off the pockets, but ended up showing off too much. I am a lady, I am.
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New hat!
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Overall, not a waste of a day. And guess what, I made a whole ‘nother dress on Sunday. Hint: grrr, rrreeerrrr, roar. To be continued…

Bonus!!! I made the Dr. Brian and Friends cover photo!! In my new dress!
Like ’em on Facebook (My Lenny is in the orange hat)
Dr. Brian and Friends

Tiramisu. So Sweet

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Another fun sewalong is over, and I have to say it was a great experience. I love the 30 minutes a day concept. The other dresses are SOOOOOO gorgeous. If for some reason you’ve been out of this loop of awesomeness, definitely check out the Flickr group, and show ’em some love. StephC has been really involved in this whole process, and that’s extremely refreshing, helpful, and fun. I also like her policy on not trashing your own body in photos.

Quote from Sewing Cake:

“I run a zero tolerance policy towards negative body speech in classes, which applies here. Please do not say anything about your body that is unkind or hurtful- your body is the vessel that carries you through life.”

Probably won’t stop me from berating myself for living on pizza and ice cream, but I’ll try to go easier on myself from now on.

Construction was easy squeezy. Again, this is an excellent pattern. I used a happy orange with blue floral jersey knit; and, as with many happy sewing accidents, since I didn’t have enough of the orange I used a matching blue jersey knit for midriff and contrast. (I must give props to Disparate Disciplines for the midriff inspiration. Her Tira is amazing in every way.) I adore this look, and the darker midriff is pretty flattering. Very happy with it.

And, by the way, Gillian is KILLING it over at Crafting A Rainbow. Her versions are gorgeous.

I don’t remember having any actual problems with the process. I cut a 40D (in Cake sizing), and used the cool midriff cutting method which involves the dress size and your waist size (it makes sense when you do it, and is so logical and easy). Awesome. Attaching the bindings went smoothly. Hooray for that miracle.

On to photos. Well, once again I finished a dress in time for a sewalong but couldn’t get a photo shoot together. I was thinking that the parade is on Monday, but then I realized it’s already Monday in Sewing Cake Land. Damn you southern hemispherers with your warm weather and crazy time zone. 🙂 Oh well. Day late and a dollar short.

Here we go, and bear in mind that the color is drastically different in every picture. Sunlight, sometimes-flash, different angles, just crazy contrasts. I hope at least a few captured the colors, because I just adore this print.

Best representation of the true colors.

Best representation of the true colors.

Tiramisu--Side view

Reminds me of the Monty Python sketch:  "Here's Uncle Ted at the front of the house.  Here's Uncle Ted at the back of the house..."

Reminds me of the Monty Python sketch: “Here’s Uncle Ted at the front of the house. Here’s Uncle Ted at the back of the house…”

Tiramisu--one more shot

So yeah, I love it. Glad it’s warm enough to wear today, because it’s gonna be crazy cold by the end of the week. Good news is, I’m kidnapping Lenny for a Florida road trip soon to visit my dad, where I will get to wear this, my Cambie(!), my new Jungle January zebra shirt, etc. Whee.

As always, Happy Sewing!!
Hugs
Shel

Update:
Tiramisu has proven quite the staple for me in 2013. Here are some photos from a recent trip to San Francisco. These were taken at the lovely Charles Schulz Museum in Santa Clara.

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CharMEUUUUse

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I just want to swim in this fabric. I call it satin, because I call everything shiny either satin or silk, but apparently it’s Charmeuse (my iPhone capitalized it, so I’m leaving it that way. Don’t wanna argue.). I just love saying it.
By the way, ankle/wrist weights make awesome pattern weights. Yet another piece of unused exercise equipment I’ve reallocated for sewing.
Love and hugs and lotsa sewin’!!!
Shel

Rrrrrreeeeeerrrrr — With Shelley Hesson

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Jungle January conjures up so many images and inspirations, but for some reason it makes me think of that great segment on The Soup:

(Meow) with Brian Williams

So here’s my take on it:

With Shelley Hesson

With Shelley Hesson

I had originally planned on making something out of a purple zebra stripe satin that I had, but it ended up not being zebra at all. It was more geometric. I could still whip something up with it and have my own offshoot, Jeometric January, but for now I’m more than satisfied with this happy little New Look 6483 top, View E, out of green zebra satin. I love the shininess of it, the neckline
New Look 6483 neckline
(note the slight scratch, from my overenthusiastic jungle cat, Teddy)

and the accessorizability

Had to add some animals to the jungle

Had to add some animals to the jungle

And some Jungle Red toes

And some Jungle Red toes

The best side effect of such a fun top is that it totally motivated me to finish a pair of Clovers that have been literally hanging around for at least a month, draped over my chin up/pull up bar that I never use.

I love the nice clean waistband, and the always-clear Colette instructions on how to make it look professional.
Colette Clover waist(aka, my ‘before’ picture)

And I’m way happy with the butt fit.
Clover butt

and my cheeky blue pockets
Blue Clover pockets
and the side zip
Side zipper Clover

I will be wearing these pants a LOT!

Still so much to catch up on, including a few Christmas (really??!!) notes, possible goals for 2013, late-2012 FOs that are still hanging out, all the fun going on over at Twitter, etc.; and I will enjoy every moment typing away. One thing I will soon officially acknowledge is a triple award from the lovely Catja at Gjeometry. Thank you, dear. And to anyone who has bestowed me with awards in the past, please forgive me for not properly acknowledging your kindness. I had been all Groucho Marx about these awards
Groucho but I guess that’s just silly.

Here’s another rrreeeerrrr for the road:

Keep on growlin'

Keep on growlin’

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Photo A Day. One o’clock

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It’s a one o’clock world in ye olde cubicle. I’m very fortunate to love my job, and it definitely pays the fabric (and shoe) bills. Ever-present Diet Coke, some yummy chickpea thing that a co-worker made for me, my beloved new hat, stacks of slides that need to be screened, and my gorgeous microscope. Life is good.

Absolutely loving this Photo A Day Challenge.
http://fatmumslim.com.au/photo-a-day-january-2013-inject-a-little-fun-into-your-everyday/

Big hugs and enjoy your weekend. Lots of sewing projects to finish and photograph coming soon!

Photo A Day

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Thanks to the creative wonder that is Kat at Modern Vintage Cupcakes (http://macskakat.wordpress.com) and Photo A Day hostess Fat Mum Slim (how awesome is that name), I am jumping into the Photo A Day Challenge. My sweetie and I document everything, so this should be fun.

The website if you want to join in on the fun is http://fatmumslim.com.au/photo-a-day-january-2013-inject-a-little-fun-into-your-everyday/

Today’s topic is Paper. Conveniently I just started the tracing and cutting process on my Tiramisu, so there’s plenty of paper all over my dining room table.

The Tiramisu sewalong just started yesterday, so there’s still time to hop in:
http://sewingcake.com/30-minutes-a-day-tiramisu-knit-dress-sewalong/

Enjoy the paper.
Major hugs,
Shelley

First FO of 2013. It even has two sleeves.

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Okay, that title makes no sense if you didn’t see my last post, but that’s okay.

I finished my faux/mock wrap McCall’s 5974, “The perfect knit dress”, the other night, following a fun cut and paste with Stitch Witchery after hacking up one sleeve during cutting. It actually came out well, but I’ll probably have to hand wash it forever. I chose view D, but ended up not involving the ties once I realized it wasn’t a true wrap. Plus I needed the extra fabric for sleeve repair. I fashioned a little belt out of the tie fabric, and quite love it.

It really is a perfect knit dress. I literally wore it ALL weekend, from Friday work to my boyfriend’s gig Friday night. Gave it a break Saturday afternoon, but back on it went for a Saturday night gig, where it passed the dancing test. Sunday was lovely and mild, so I put it back on for a photo shoot, followed by an amazing sunny joyride with my sweetie.

It is a great, well-written pattern, almost too detailed for a knit garment. The fitting suggestions for every stage are almost overwhelming. I kept it ultra simple and just stuck with the pattern as originally given. Other than scrapping the ties, I think the only alteration I made to the construction was to gather the top of the skirt, rather than pleat. This fabric is really flimsy, plus I still never got the pleating thing down. I REALLY can’t figure it out in most patterns, and being mostly self-taught I’m not sure when I’ll learn properly. I also ended up making it a bit shorter than the pattern called for, sacrificing a bit of length during the hemming process, again due to the flimsiness of the fabric. I like rockin’ the legs though, so short is fine, and tights help a bit with the cold.

Here’s the sunny outcome. One of the only ways I can survive winter is by accessorizing the heck out of everything. My hat collection is STILL growing. I love this new one. It feels kind of Courreges (I just learned about this designer, and am totally Cuckoo Courreges over the look!). I also had almost forgotten about my huge red mohair-ish scarf, and love it with the new dress. The boots are just about my favorite thing to wear this year, although they’re absurdly high and pointy. I was sinking into the ground during the shoot! They’re Dereon, which is Beyonce’s shoe brand. I had no idea she made shoes when I ordered them on eBay, but I actually have another pair of her shoes now. They’re all sassy.

McCalls 5974 and guitar

My honey wanted me to be all rock n roll and pose with the guitar. It does make a nice composition. Plus it held me up in those boots!

A little sans guitar shot…

McCalls 5974 in the sunshine

And sans hat, being girly and twirly…

Just being silly in the sunshine

Just being silly in the sunshine

And I adore this scarf

McCalls 5974 and favorite scarf

Wanted to show off my neatto necklace from my Urf Sista, aka my sis-in-law Cynthia. Isn’t she great? (By the way, I call my boyfriend’s family my in-laws because even if he never marries me, they already have. They’re so sweet.)

Close up of new hat, awesome necklace by my sis-in-law, with funny fuzzy scarf.  Burts Bees Lip Shimmer in Merlot

Close up of new hat, awesome necklace by my sis-in-law, with funny fuzzy scarf. Burts Bees Lip Shimmer in Merlot

Speaking of in-laws, here’s my very energetic and effervescent dance partner and mother-in-law Margaret on Saturday night. She’s something.

Dancing with Margaret

Take care and hope your 2013 is going great!!! There’s SO much to talk about and so much to document and so VERY much to start and finish, and I hope to cover it all soon.