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Me-Made-May-12: the story so far

11 May

We are well into the only Me-Made/Self-Stitched event of 2012, and the first such event since I’ve had a blog!  So, while most of the pieces I’m wearing are repeats to as far as MMM/SSS is concerned, I’ve never posted about them here.  I’ve also been trying to keep things more lively this time around by finding more interesting locations to take outfit pictures.

While there are lots of familiar faces that I’m so glad to see “in the arena” so to speak, there are others whose presence is missed!

May 1

Colette Parfait; in black pindot wool with vintage buttons (straps widened slightly to accomodate the buttons). This was one of the first dresses I made after I returned to sewing a few years ago.  The wool is so incredibly soft you just want to make pajamas out of it.

In hand is McCalls M6084 cardigan in evergreen wool gauze; left the cool golden selvage as the finished edge all along the collar/neckline edge.

May 2

Also pictured at top.
Pattern Runway Easy Kimono Dress in a stretch cotton shirting with me-made belt made from recycled/vintage Japanese wool, and ubiquitous wool tweed wrap pictured better here.  The dress fabric is a black and white pinpoint, so has a tweedy surface texture which I love.

May 3

At Nephew’s band concert, also pictured with beautiful Niece! Top is 70s Butterick 6835 refashioned from an old sari (tied in back rather than in front this time), jacket 30s Butterick 5195 and skirt is a Colette Ginger.

May 4

Jacket is ’30s Butterick 5195, self-drafted tie-neck top in ochre wool jersey, layered on Burda one-piece T in same fabric, McCalls M6173 jeggings

May 5-6

Left: Colette Sorbetto with neckline and pleat stitching, with black McCalls jeggings.
Right: Boatneck T from Built By Wendy Sew U Knits book, in aubergine wool jersey, and linen Evadress 1933 wide-leg pants (with nifty pocket detail!), partially blogged here. The pants definitely need a good press to look their best.

May 7

My wool Colette Rooibos with matching belt, a purchased cardigan, several thousand dandelions, and me in the park on a grey May day. From way before I had a blog, but there a dozen or so pictures of this dress + commentary in my Flickr photostream, for example detail here.

May 8

Dress is: vintage 1961 McCalls 5953 (looks more like pattern art when crinolized), also me-made belt, although the cardi is purchased. Dress from before blog, but better pix & deets in photostream here and here in sun with colors in full glow.

May 9

Unfortunate autofocus issue not apparent until too late to get another, but the shape of the dress and outfit was apparent enough to use for daily outfit photo. Pattern is a 1940s Advance 3971, sleeves shaped with nifty gussets; I keep meaning to get a good photo, they are so cute in themselves. Me-made mustard belt too.
Because the fabric isn’t visible in the main photo, there’s the accidental misfire detail shot below left: fabric is a rayon blend navy and white textured crosshatch. Same dress in a photo from Self-Stitched-September 2011, shown with the bow that I made removable, below right.

May 10

Another Colette Rooibos in vintage cotton home dec fabric, with black piping, and cactusy green broadcloth contrast at the neckline. After breaking the zipper a couple times trying to get it over the heavy fabric plus piping (sans cording! just the heavy storebought poly piping fabric) at the midriff seams), I pieced in empty bias loops of black cotton lawn along the left side seam. There, that’s my construction secret for this the 3rd version of Rooibos I’ve made!

May 11

Mulberry rayon doubleknit wrap from 1930s pattern, layered over Colette Hazel sundress in pinstripe linen. This was a themed challenge day, theme being Ugly Places. Just off the NDSU agricultural campus, I was headed for a cluster of silos when I spied this instead. The graffiti appears to say Moo, which was exactly what it smelled like.

To Sum Up…

And there you have it, my May so far. I’d say that the collective ante has been upped all-around, as far as I can see! Maybe it’s that we’ve all grown so much as sewists together, maybe it’s that we’ve just felt more comfortable to express ourselves with each other, maybe (probably?) it’s that we know there’s just the one time out this year. But it really seems like everyones’ talents are really just knocking me out every single day in there. Just crazy goodness!!


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


Evadress Coquette Blouse Ca 1928

28 Oct

Me-Made March 15

An older picture* of the same Evadress B20-53 Ladies’ Coquette Blouse, circa 1928; I love the really crisp criss-cross of the ties, at least when they are laying right.

I did have to improvise on this one though, I must admit, and I am not at all certain I got it right. Now I love Evadress patterns, company, Alexandra, her blog, everything, and don’t want to sound like a big cranky pants about any of the above- but I struggled with the instructions on the neck tie portion on this one to the degree that the blouse sat around unfinished and stared at for months. Then I moved from Minneapolis to Fargo and the actual instructions got lost in the move, so I just had to make it up anyway.

Evadress Coquette 1928 Blouse

I noticed on Pattern Review that I wasn’t the only one doing a little improvisation though- I think most people interpreted instructions that the tie would be cut singly and folded- which matches fashion illustration better- but I did mine cut double and sewn together- which matched the cutting layout and pattern shape (diagonal ends). Ditto for the neck-attaching instructions, which had been so generously translated from original French by Alexandra. For whatever reason I just wasn’t tracking them. I didn’t understand how much of the tie portion should attach to the neck portion, if that makes sense. So I probably left them too swingy and wobbly.

Hillary working the Coquetry with eponymous Evadress blouse: lapped seaming detail visible here

But really in the end, I love the blouse- I finally finished it in I think December or something, when I finally got up and sewing again after my move last year. I remember I wore it layered with all sorts of crazy things all winter because I thought it was the bee’s knees and couldn’t wait til Spring to wear it! I am hoping to make a variation of it very soon out of wool jersey, a quickie version that foregoes the cute but time-consuming lapped inset details on front and back.

*Shown with trousers from Evadress SE30-1210 4-Piece Tuxedo Ensemble, circa 1933, which is one of my very favorite Evadress patterns ever, and about which I have only the very nicest things to say. I made some little modernizations of fit and wear like invisible side zip and raised the crotch seam, but otherwise it’s just perfect!


Colette Ginger and Evadress 20s tie-neck blouse

28 Oct

9-26-27-11 01

Outtake on the rust tweed Colette Ginger, because notorious Fargo wind patterns causing interesting updraft (I’m standing on a kind of ledge or pylon with gap behind) and oddly triangular skirt shape. It does however show another perspective on how the outfit was supposed to look, with the wind catching the skirt instead of the blouse.

If I were to write the Great Fargo Novel, various winds would be main characters. I grew up in Bismarck which is another 200 miles further west and certainly even drier there and quite windy, but nothing like the blow-your-brain-out-your-ears windy it is here. I think because there are actually mature trees and variable surface topography there, so you don’t feel it the way you do here, where most of the trees are just along the river and it’s crazy-prehistoric-lakebed-flat-flat-flat, nothing at all to stop that wind. Anyone who does the Minneapolis to Seattle drive complains about the North Dakota leg because it’s so hard to stay awake, it’s just a straight shot across perfectly flat prairie or farmland terrain, the highway is for the most part like it was laid out with a straight edge directly across 3/4 of the state, and with about 70% less traffic than most of the rest of the country. All that flatness, the wind just comes roaring over it.