Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Looking forward to Fall

It's a nice day here in Cambridge -- while we've had weeks of hot and humid weather, today it's 70F (about 25C for my non-U.S. friends) and breezy.  I left the office early and got to thinking about my upcoming sewing projects on my walk home.  I am working on a muslin for the skirt portion of this Rachel Comey design (Vogue 1170), which I'll probably make out of a tangerine cotton pique that I bought earlier this summer.  I probably won't be wearing it with the top that I made from this pattern, although it would be a perfect match for the orange flowers... Overall I think it would look a little too Rainbow Brite.

The cool weather has me thinking about Fall and well, the impending end of my post-doc at the end of the year and the need to finally start dressing like a grown up (and work at a grown up job, whatever that is).  This also means that I need cool weather clothes for an office setting, which I am loathe to sew for several reasons.  Among these reasons -- summer clothing is just so much cuter.  I like showing my arms, I like wearing dresses.  In the winter, I feel like I am just a bundle of jeans and sweaters and any interesting details on shirts or pants will surely be lost in there somewhere.  And so, this perpetuates a cycle of me not sewing winter clothes and then complaining that I wear the same thing every day all winter long.

Maybe it's time to revisit the button down shirt but... that's so boring.  Maybe I can get myself to master the fit of the button down shirt (I think I will need some as basics in my closet) and make one of each of the following:
Burda 03-2010-122 in white shirting

11-2009-118 in teal shirting or gray washed silk
09-2009-117 in a striped shirting that I don't have

I love the details on these -- the long sleeves on the first one, tuck on the second one.  I'm not crazy about the third one but I think that the gather and ruffles will look great with striped fabric, as will the cuffs if the stripes are just slightly misaligned.  Alas, I have no striped fabric in the stash and since I will be moving again at the end of the year I don't plan to buy any more fabric.

Lastly, my plan is to sew two jackets.
09-2009-127 in leopard print faux fur
05-2006-102 in mustard corduroy (apologies for the fuzzy photo!)
I'll definitely sew the first jacket, but the more I look at the second jacket the less inclined I am to follow through on my plan.  Given the rate at which I have been sewing, I am a little worried that I might be a bit too ambitious to sew all of this before winter!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Cute but stinky

Sometimes you want to make something today to wear tonight.  Well, that happens to me all the time.  Last Saturday my running club was having a progressive dinner and it's still to hot and sticky to wear the Fishy shirt or the Bells and whistles shirt (as an aside: I was looking at my Google Analytics page the other day and that shirt was a hit when someone searched for "ruffles on a shirt, ALL THE RUFFLES" yep, it's got ALL THE RUFFLES and more.)

I'm decidedly riding this ruffle wave till it crashes.  I've had this sheer poly in my stash for a few years and have wanted to use it for something this summer. 

This is the ruffle shirt, 117 from the August 2009 issue of Burda, it was either going to be this or 105 from the April 2010 issue.  I was inspired by Toy's version of 08-2009-117 and Eugenia's version of the 04-2010-105 top. The decision came down to having already traced 08-2009-117 last year and never having gotten around to sewing it.  From start to finish, this is pretty fast to go together, just 5 hours.... even with a mistake that I made partway through where I managed to sew the center front seam in such a way that I turned the top into a Mobius strip and had to unpick the french seam and sew it again.  What a pain!  As a result, the facing in the front doesn't sit quite flat because I had to unpick that as well and it didn't line up right after being sewn again. 

I love this, even though the fabric is, well, polyester.  It's sheer but it really gets sweaty and clammy, and stinky.  It's like those cheap technical fabrics that dry and keep the stink in the weave.  Yuck!  I assure you the hem isn't uneven, I'm just standing weirdly.

Another note - the ruffle is enormous.  When I was walking to the subway, it was billowing around my chest.  Handy for a dinner party, it's like a bib!

Here's the part I'm particularly proud of: the narrow hem on the bib.  I've tried applique scissors to trim the seam allowance, but I find that using my straight scissor is the best way to get close to the stitching without slicing it.

I could see making a few more of these, maybe playing with the fit.  It's really loose and shapeless, but because it's shapeless it's airy and comfortable.  So maybe there won't be any adjustments in the future if there's a repeat.