Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Convergence of Worlds: A Renaissance Cloak and an iPad

I've been working on the cloak in my spare hours, and as usual, I've complicated things. I decided to line the cloak completely, and sew pockets into the lining. Lots of pockets. I'm almost done with the lining, but I've only started two in-seam pockets, not any of the rest I intend to add. Last night, I tore out almost every seam I stitched. It was a repeating nightmare of stitch, rip, re-stitch, stitch, rip, re-stitch. I'm hoping to have it done by the end of the week.

In other news, I got an iPad, and I'm officially in love. Love, I tell you. I even bought it a case from this lovely Etsy seller. I can't wait for the case to come. I'm so eager to start taking my iPad everywhere with me... I got an excellent app that combines calendar and to-do list, which will be so useful for organizing my work and the projects I do at home. I can even get rid of my cumbersome spiral-bound planner and all the to-do lists littering my handbag, desk, and workspace. Now I just need to find an app that can create a time warp so I can spend hours in my sewing room and yet still have time for the other aspects of my life. :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Progress on the UFOs - One Down, Another Begun

I finished with the wedding invites (I still have to address them, but for that, I need the envelopes. Don't worry, I did order them, and I have an envelope-addressing party planned with my sister), and spent most of my free moments this weekend working on my partner's cloak. It's a soft faux-suede in olive green. All the seams are French seams (addicted? Yes!), and I'm adding a full lining in soft gray with as many pockets as I can fit into it, so it's taking longer than it would have if I'd just followed the pattern without modification, but it'll be so worth it in the end! I'm finished with the main cloak, and with the top-stitching and full hood, it's gorgeous. Now I have to cut out and sew the gray, add lots and lots of pockets, and stitch them together. So I guess I'm a little less than halfway done. :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

UFOs: A Comprehensive List

I have a habit of starting projects, getting really into them, then discovering something else, starting it, discovering yet another new thing, etc. You get the picture. My current list:

  • wedding invites - I finished designing and printing them; now I need to cut them out, get envelopes, and address and send them.

  • blue sun dress - Remember the sheet dress? I still have to replace the bodice, insert a zipper, and hem the whole thing.

  • cloaks - I'm making Renaissance-style cloaks for myself and my partner. Hers is half cut out (the lining is not cut yet) and partially sewn. Mine... I don't even have fabric for it yet. :)

  • white dress - I bought a beautiful white-on-white embroidered cotton to make Simplicity 3562. It's been washed and the pattern has been tissue-fit, but I have yet to even press and cut the fabric.

  • paper beads - I'm into all sorts of different crafty things. I discovered a tutorial for these here, then proceeded to make a variety from notepad paper and scraps. I don't actually have any varnish, however, so they're just kind of hanging out waiting to be finished. I'm planning on using some of these as a birthday present for a close friend next month.

  • gray skirt - This skirt started as a cute thrift-store find. I removed the intensive beading and sequins blanketing the front of the skirt and took out the hem so I could shorten it. I'm thinking about taking it in at the sides to make it a high-waisted skirt and adding some pretty embroidery to the hem as well.

  • gray & brown circle skirt - My partner found this gorgeous gray-ish fabric that's got all kinds of tan and purple shades in it, and the only color I could find to line it with was brown. So I made the skirt, lined it with the brown, put in side-seam pockets (also in the brown), and then realized that I don't actually like brown all that much. *sigh* I'm not really sure where to go from there. Should I rip apart all of my hard work and start over with another lining, or should I just finish it and relegate it to the not-much-worn corner?

  • embroidered hand-bound books - I'm working on making my own bookcloth, and embroidering it with fairy-tale inspired designs. I've embroidered three, and I have to paste them to stabilizing paper and bind them up.

I also want to make a skirt to go with my corset for the Renaissance Festival this year, and I'd love to make up a top (or four) out of the pattern I just bought from SelvedgeShop on Etsy:

I've got to get organized! I've got to get it together! There's a Lucy quote in there somewhere from Charlie Brown Christmas (You've got to take direction, you've got to have discipline, you've got to have respect for your director!). I'm going to work on finishing my UFOs. From now on, one project at a time. Or maybe two. First I need to focus on the wedding invites. After that, I'll finish the cloak I've started (the other one can wait). And then? Who knows! But until I'm done with the things on this list, I'm not going to start anything new.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Vogue's New Patterns

Vogue's Fall pattern line is out; I just got the email this morning. There are some cute patterns and some that are... not so cute. There aren't any that blow my mind, but here are the ones I like:

Vogue 1253. Simple lines, modest enough for work but casual enough for play. Plus, I like the little twist in the bodice.

Vogue 8751. I really like these pants. I might acutally have to purchase this pattern, because they would be so flattering on my shape.

Vogue 8743. I have a thing about princess seams, and I'm really interested in the custom fit thing - this dress has different pieces for A, B, C, and D cups. I'm also pretty sure those are inverted box pleats, which I think it's about time I learned to do. My favorite skirt has inverted box pleats, and now that it's been ripped past repairing, I'd like to replicate it.

Vogue 8742. There was a model in this dress, but I wasn't a fan of how they styled it. The dress was too dark to see the gathering well, and it just didn't look as good as it could. However, the drawing is pretty cute.

Vogue 1259. You may think this is a dress, but it's really a top and a skirt. And I love them both. I just wish the raw edges weren't visible. I have an aversion to raw edges; no matter how polished the rest of the garment, I always feel like it's unprofessional.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes - I Prefer Dresses!

I'm in Baltimore on a trip for work, and I decided that my down time should be spent catching up on some of the old movies I've been missing out on all these years. I just finished watching Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and I can't even describe how much I adored the film (and everything they wore in that movie).

Some of my favorites/things I wish I owned:

The collar and neckline on this suit are simply fabulous.

I love this dress. The silhouette, the sleeve length, and especially the accessories. The cuffs are perfect, and that belt is just perfect. And totally being replicated today. It's something that could easily be picked up.

This skirt is darling. I'm sure I've seen a pattern like it around somewhere. I may have to pick it up if I can find it again.

My very favorite outfit in the movie, however, was the purple suit Marilyn Monroe wears at the end. I love everything about it, from the quarter-sleeved bolero to the belt to the detail of the bodice.

I may have to watch another old movie just for the clothes before the night is out. Any recommendations?