Archive | April, 2012
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POLL! Vote on my 40s frock project for Me-Made-May!

21 Apr

Is there anything more fun, springtime-embracing, flirty, feminine and all-around blues-beating than a sweet little 1940s frock?  From making one to wearing one, it’s a pretty sure-fire mood elevator. (If you don’t want to take my word for it, go visit Cecili, because she’s the absolute master of the genre!:))

One of my goals for this year’s Me-Made-May is to complete one pattern from my A-list stash that I have yet to sew.  It’s time for one of these lovelies to see the light of day, deadline: end of May!

Want to help me decide which pattern I sew in time to wear for the end of the Me-Made-May challenge?

There are two options:

Option A (number order randomly selected from behind my back):

The sultry faux-wrap Butterick 3506, in view B for daytime (although I am utterly in love with the maxi A too), with the elegant sweeping curve at the overlapped hem. Generally wrap dresses are out for ladies with my body type, I believe that those cap sleeves- angling out giving that triangle-shaped bodice- make this *my* wrap dress!

OR….

Option B:

The flirty tie-neck, gathered-skirt Advance 3595 in view 1, with the perfect combination of feminine details and office-appropriateness, trim through the high waist, but flattering gathers through the abdomen create gently cascading skirt. I love this pattern!

SO:

Let’s vote!

Which 1940s frock should I make for Me-Made-May?

(polls)

(The link will take you to my poll at PollDaddy to vote on the dress I sew by the end of Me-Made-May!)

Thank you!!  I’m so curious to see which one gets the vote!

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Next New Colette Pattern: Hazel!

11 Apr

Here’s Hazel, the second of the two brand-new Colette Patterns sundresses that I had the pleasure of testing for their new new spring/summer line! I love this pattern; when made with striped fabric, you get this very cool radiating lines effect. It is not quite so apparent in my photographs, but check it out in the gorgeous red and white example in the above links, or Sarai’s blue and white from her South America photo montage! Such cool stripes!!!

Anyway, here’s what I did for my tester version with a very lightweight pinstripe black & tan linen that I had on hand. The stripe effect is much more subtle, but you can still see it well in person.

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A couple of you mentioned how the silhouettes of the two new dresses looked quite similar so I tried to take some pictures to demonstrate the differences; please enjoy my dorky demonstrative poses below:

The similarities between the Lily and Hazel patterns are mostly limited to the straps, which as far as I can remember are pretty much identical. Also the waist hits in about the same place on both dresses. The back of the bodices are constructed in a similar manner, with princess seams rather than darts, and center invisible zipper. Everything else is constructed in a completely different manner. While Lily has a very traditional princess-seam construction, albeit with clever and flattering angles, flaps, and pockets, Hazel is an entirely different animal!

I haven’t made anything at all like Hazel before. Her bodice consists primarily of one big triangle cut on the fold, which has darts in the sides (overall effect a bit like the Superman logo, you know, the blunted triangley shape? cracking myself up), flanked by bias-cut trapezoids on the sides. Sarai is going to do a tutorial on how to do FBAs/SBAs on The Triangle because it is a little unusual! (I gather there’s going to be an actual sewalong too! I’d like to give this another go with that tutorial because as you can see I didn’t quite get there myself…) The other main difference, is the skirt is much fuller. It maybe isn’t as apparent in the heavier fabrics, but with this really lightweight linen, I think you can see the difference of the fuller, gathered dirndl skirt, versus the pencil skirt on the Lily. Pockets on Hazel are hidden in the side seams, in the fullness of the skirt.

The pattern recommended using three rows of gathering stitches to get good control on gathering the skirt. I’d never actually done that before, although I remember that popping up either on the Coletterie blog or in their email tips, Snippets, I can’t remember which. Wow, I’m a believer now- I don’t want to gather any other way!

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Ah, one last tip about the Hazel, you know what that triangle does, along with the side panels reflecting light in a different way? SLENDERIZING. Now, I’m a bony broad and not trying to say I’m not, but my midsection is without a lot of definition with regards to waist. Check it out>>>>>

See the optical illusion there? Eye thinks there is a nippy-in waist thing happening there! Rock on Colette Patterns! Sarai is so clever with these things!

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p.s. My grandmother‘s name was Hazel. I am a little goofy sentimental about that name!

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New Colette pattern: Lily!

10 Apr

In previous rounds of pattern testing, Sarai has asked testers to spread the word on their blogs, and I’ve never had a blog to help spread the word until now! Today was the launch of the spring/summer line at Colette Patterns, and I had the pleasure of testing the sundresses, Lily and Hazel.

Today I’ll share my test version of Lily, which is the princess-seamed dress with the flap-detail that wants to turn any figure into an hourglass. After all, as I believe I have mentioned, mine is a straight-up block, the rectangle on the Vogue envelope, [and granted, in the testing run the goal is making sure all the moving parts work the way they should and notches line up for your ease of use later and all that good stuff, not craft a perfectly-fitted dress for my later use, but fitting issues aside…] and I think you can see that the dress is trying its very darnedest to show my shape off to its best advantage!

I used a crazy soft cotton ikat, which may just be my favorite fabric ever. The periwinkle was a very very last-minute addition, literally after all the blue was cut I changed my mind and went with this peri fuji silk as contrast. Depending on my mood I wish it were navy or ivory or red or mustard or flaming chartreuse, so really, periwinkle is probably as good as any! I absolutely dote on the solid-color apricot in the samples they posted today, though, scrumptious!

Here is the back with tiny little kick pleat!

I would love to say I'm woman enough not to be off-put by my winter-white skin...

And, being me, with my lack-of-waist sensitivity (why did the white squares have to come together at the waist anyway?), I tried it with some belts. I think it would look great with a really narrow, solid navy belt, which I don’t have. But I found what I kind of like it with this big olive sateen cummerbund belt I made with the Peony pattern (cute covered button in back on that one); it’s in keeping with my whole more-is-more aesthetic, you know:

Final thoughts on Miss Lily. This dress is quite simple to make being mostly straightish lines except the main bust seams; it is only a little time-consuming in that there are a lot of pieces to cut and work with. However, because it is princess-seamed, it is easier both to fit initially, and for my purposes now, to go back and alter later! But the flaps on bodice and pockets go in super easily, nothing tricky or weird; simpler I think than the Rooibos pockets actually although similar concept.

Oh, and in case you haven’t noticed, Regular-Bra Friendly! 😀 Forgot to go strapless for the photos, but you really can’t even tell. (Granted at my proportion the apparatus isn’t as architectural as at the more generous sizes, so that may not go for everyone, I just realized.)

Also, the first Colette sundresses to have back zips, if that makes a difference to anybody- both Lily and Hazel have them (invisible).

I’ll return with Hazel next!

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Of course I’ll be MMMing; you?

7 Apr

At last post, I was poised in the middle of exciting mystery winter project…… And here we are in Spring, Me-Made-May almost upon us, and I haven’t posted since January! Updates are in order!

The week of last post everything changed pretty quickly. I have already overshared here about my surgery and I don’t want to get too much into this, but a dear friend of mine died suddenly, and, well, everything changed. As for the big mystery project, I completely lost the “ganas” to finish it in the prevailing mood, so will return to it next fall (believe me, you’ll see me swanning around town in that baby yet), but just for the record, it is one of these:

Evadress C20-6611 Fur Trimmed Coat, circa 1929

Swoon, right?

Even though I got back into sewing in a time of grief a few years ago, this time I just haven’t been able to sew a stitch in months. Sewing paralysis, (Well, except for testing the new Colette patterns, but that’s different! Yep, that’s called foreshadowing!) although to be fair it’s really been a shift in perspectives and focus too. But this coat, it’s my pet project, I want it to be joyful, so I packed it up and will wait until I can finish it joyfully and devotedly. So that is that.

On to new business.

Me-Made-May, of course I’ll be there! I hope to see you all!

And the other, you don’t get to see those til next week! 🙂

Til then may the thread tension be everrr in your favor! xo