Still looking for my aloha

Burda Style #124 from 7/2014 magazine.

I had high hopes for this bodice.  This is Burda Style #124 from 7/2014 magazine.  In the magazine it’s a cute beach-y empire style with a full skirt.  I lengthened the bodice 2″ to make it less empire and more grown up and nixed the sweetheart bit.  I thought this style would be it.

Then I tried on the muslin.

The shoulders fell off my shoulders (and I’ve got pretty broad shoulders) and there was too much fabric at the center back.  I pinched out the shoulder and back excess and it fit ok, but somehow I knew it just wasn’t it.

I was pretty frustrated since I’d put a fair bit of work into altering the pattern, but sometimes you just have to call it like you see it.  Not good enough was the initial verdict, so better just admit it and move on.

And moving on.

See, fits much better than the one up there.

The last bodice that fit me pretty darn well was Simplicity 1419 of my “galaxy fabric” dress.  Why not go back to that one and make some changes there.  I photocopied the front and back bodice pattern tissue and taped them together like a ransom note.  I drew in a rounded neckline and thought I’d try a muslin of this version.

As you can see it fits pretty darn well, as did the original dress so that’s not a big surprise.  It’s just nice to finally make something that works.  I will redraw the neckline curve so it’s a bit more open and I’m going to go forward with this version for my Aloha dress.  Well after I go to work tomorrow.

Seriously, this dress has been hard!

Turns out I’m still a Madonna wannabe

Imagine this a non shiny day dress. No trim, no nothin’

I have some Hawaiian fabric I got in Honolulu over the 4th of July and want to sew up and enjoy it.  It’s not a particularly precious fabric, it’s a poly/cotton blend with a floral border print.  Pretty darn inexpensive (about $5/yard) in fact.  I just like it and don’t want to make a hash out of making a dress with it.  I was attracted to McCall’s 6833 because it had that nice pleated skirt I’ll need for the border print skirt, and the bodice looks pretty cute too.  I decided to make the view C bodice because I wanted to get a lot of wear out of it and my need for a strappy, un-bra-wearable dress isn’t too greatl.

maddonaSo bodice muslin commenced and my first reaction was: Madonna cone bra.  Check it out, I snapped a boob picture in profile so you could see the pointy darts.  I’ve made my muslin from a gorgeous remnant of Japanese

So pointy and wrong.

cotton, much more gorgeous than my poly Polynesian print fabric and it still looks like ass.  That doesn’t bode well, does it?

Must hold onto it to simulate the weight of the skirt. Good news, that makes the neckline even more low cut.

So my options are to redraft the front cups and raise that neckline while I’m there.  Heck, I’m not breast feeding so that’s too much cleavage for a day dress.  Which is a fair bit of work.  Then remuslin.


Pick a different darn pattern!  Maybe take the bodice from my super fabulous, much worn Simplicity 1419 dress from May (! where’s the time gone!) and frankenpattern it to the McCall’s skirt?  I’d redraft the Simplicity neckline to a simple round neck, leave off the collar, sleeves and slit and that should work, I think.

Why is this dress so hard to bring to fruition?  I may just think all that over and make something else while I mull it over.  A palate cleanser so to speak.    I’m tired thinking of it.  No wonder I’m obsessed with jam.  Hull fruit, squish and cook!

A muslin on purpose this time

Selfie with a purpose, can you see that neckline?

As the title intimates, I’ve made another garment that’s not “best”.  I came across Bronte Top by Jennifer Lauren Vintage and thought I’d give it a try.  I’ve been looking for a pattern with that lapped kind of neckline and couldn’t find one until now.  Because I have lots of knits hanging around I thought I’d make up a quick version to check fit before cutting into one of my striped fabrics (I see this as a sailor type top you know).

Bronte was quite easy to make up and seems to fit pretty well.  There are a few tweaks to the length and sleeve length that I’ll make, but I think this is a pattern that is ready to go.  So here is my muslin made from a burnout rayon that sticks to itself (yes, like that striped dress from the entry before).  I didn’t like sewing this fabric so the remainder will go in the Goodwill bag.  I think this muslin will make a good workout top so it should have a full sweaty life outside the house.

A muslin of many stripes

Easy tank dress with flared out sides. Awful fabric makes it dangerous to wear.

I inadvertently sewed up a muslin for a dress that I was trying to make “for real”.  How did that happen?  When I chose the fabric I totally ignored/didn’t notice that it was super drape-y and sticks to itself.

I dutifully laid out may pattern and cut it in a single layer to get a better chance of stripe matching, never thinking that this dress REALLY wants to stick to itself and consequently show my unmentionables to the world.  Seriously, I have a photo of me in this dress with my ass cheek showing because it’s stuck to itself.  No, that one won’t be on the internet ever thankyouverymuch.

So this is Jorna Dress and is a super easy make and would have been quite wearable, but as is, it’s too dangerous to wear this out of the house.  This is DEFINITELY a house dress.  I will wear it cleaning, cooking and knocking around these four walls.  It will never again go out in the front yard and scare the neighbor children with it’s hidden assets (well, my NOT hidden assets).

Hope you all have a good 4th of July holiday if you’re in a place that celebrates it.  I shall be working, as one does on most holidays.  I will be a quite sad for myself.  In Honolulu.  Lost you on that last one, didn’t I?

Safe celebrating!

Decades past

Linen sweats avec wife beater. Admiring nature.

Having unearthed this tan linen (and an even bigger piece of blue linen) the other day, I thought I’d find a use for it.  Thinking back to where this linen came from was rather difficult.  I believe that I purchased it in NYC in the mid ’90s when I lived there.  So after aging for 20+ years the least I could do was use it up.

It’s very Calvin Klein-ish isn’t it? Blazer and sweats…

Linen warm weather type trousers was the idea I came up with. Essentially these are linen sweats.  I’ve even modeled them here with a wife beater to class the joint up.  Now honestly, I don’t think these will get much wear outside the house.  I see these as “all my sweat pants are in the hamper and I don’t want anything tight on my body” wear.  Paired with a tee of course.

The pattern is from Burda World of Style (which is now called Burdastyle) from February 2003.  The pattern is old, but still a decade younger than the fabric.  As to why there are beach trousers in the February issue of a pattern magazine I can’t think.  Maybe it’s to give the Germans hope for summer in the heart of winter.  What evs.

Cut up magazines and crushed food and I don’t know what else.

What you see here are wide legged trousers with a drawstring waist worn slightly below the waist and hemmed to work with flip flops.  The pattern is Burda WOF 02/2003 style #103.  The linen is from the Clinton administration.  We shall see if this is a winning combination as the warm weather wears on.

As an added bonus I present you with a photo of the biggest mess left by passengers any of the crew had ever seen.  REALLY awful in person.  This was two kids and a dad.  No, I didn’t work this flight because I’d have made them clean it up themselves.  I’m like that.

Hooters and Naked Toes

I’m crazy for these owls! I may need to make a pair for me.

See, now I’m just f*ing with the spammers and weirdos out there.  Nothing to see here, keep it moving.

Seriously the cutest owls.

Today I had to buckle down and make some PJ bottoms for one of my friends who’s having a birthday next week.  It’s a thing we do.  Sometimes I knit socks or a scarf and sometimes it’s PJs.  Since she enjoys a nice owl, I had to get this owl flannel at Joann’s.  I may not think too much of Joann’s fabric selection on the upper end (there isn’t an upper end is there?), but the flannels and cottons are well stocked.  And on sale.  Natch.

So owl flannel mated with Sewaholic’s Tofino PJ pants and voila!  This is the third pair of Tofinos I’ve made so it’s a snap by now – though it’s a snap from the first one truth be told.  I made these pair about 6″ shorter than the pattern (yes!) and are a size smaller than the last pair I made for me and they fit so well I’m loathe to give them up.  Of course the problem I see here is that I’m 5’5″ and my friend is maybe 5’2″ so they may be a tad long.  Alterations may take place next week.  But they’re done for now!

The other thing I did the other day was buy the Perfect Parcel 3 group.  I couldn’t resist since it had several patterns I’ve wanted yet not purchased blended with a philanthropic cause.  This is sewing for the good of the children.  I paid $28 for the patterns which is EXACTLY how much a pedi with flower art and tip costs me.  I needed a pedi but blew the wad on patterns.  What’s a girl to do?  Watch some YouTube nail art videos and do her own damn pedi.  Sure, my work is not as good as the salon, but the price was right.  Things learned, if you’re right handed it’s still hard to paint flowers on your left foot; toothpicks are for nail art – not just cake testing.  I’m going back to the salon for the next one, but I’m good for a bit.

Agenda item:  Use some fabric purchased during LAST World Cup before THIS World Cup starts.  Deadline looming.

Kind of hard to do, the ladies at the salon make it look easy. Not bad for a first try using the back of a pin and toothpicks.

Still working the “temptress” thang

In my effort to be considered an internet “vixen”, I’ve chosen to share yet another saucy lingerie project.  Yup, I’m clearly having some sort of midlife crisis.  Next up, sports car and toupee.

Without further ado, may I present me in Vogue 8888.

Is that a cotton flannel bathrobe being modeled without makeup standing in the bathroom next to a used wash rag? Yup, I’m super hot, no?

I knew you’d mistake me for Kate Upton in a red wig, so I warned you straight off the batt that it was me.

Yes, I made a cotton flannel robe WITH pockets to slowly replace my 15 year old LL Bean red tartan cotton shirting weight robe that I bought at a thrift store.  No need to hurry these things, that old robe is still plenty good.  I checked to see if they still sold the robe but it’s not there.  They do have cotton flannel robes for $54.95 that are so not white and pink cherry blossoms on a turquoise ground with little red birds scattered throughout.

I really didn’t mean to follow up my granny panty post with a flannel robe, but life – she is funny.  I saw this flannel at the Joann’s and had to have it in a hot burning way.  I don’t need pajama pants at present so I thought of making a robe.  This is a fairly easy project made slightly harder by my fabric shrinking a bit in the wash.  A few pieces had to be cut off grain (collars) but it didn’t seem to make any difference.  The only change I made to the pattern was to use the long sleeve pattern piece and shorten that 5″ rather than use the cuff/lace piece.  Trust me, it was easier.

If you’re here for the crafting you can click here for my pattern review of Vogue 8888.  If you’re here for my sexy kitten antics, I’ll toss you a free piccie.  You’re welcome dude!

Did you notice that the ties are sewn into pleats at the back so they don’t get lost during times of disrobing at speed?

This is not a p0rn site – it’s just crafty (which is hot)

The other day I used up some stretchy knit material scraps and made some undies for me.  They are not super sexy, fetish pants – but rather underwear you wear like a normal person with a job and stuff.  I was using up scraps yo!

Immediately after uploading a pants shot to flickr, two unknown dudes started following my feed.  I think I pretty much know everyone who follows the blog or my rather crappy photostream, but wtf with that crazy stuff?

I hope they enjoy sewing and knitting with the occasional baked good thrown in, otherwise they’re wasting their time.

Now, who wants to see the super sexed up pants I made that has them coming out of the woodwork?

Ta dah!

Yeah, I don’t understand it either.

And then, a rose attacked me

I’m trying to keep my dress from flying up since it’s super windy today. Handy pockets!

This may not be a surprise to anyone, but I am not outdoorsy.  I enjoy a nice garden (as long as I don’t have to tend it) but I will never, ever voluntarily camp. Ever.  I think my plants know this about me and feel the need to taunt.  Today I attempted to get a semi-illustrative picture of my recently completed dress and a big rose spike smacked me.  Sure, it’s super windy and I haven’t had time to cut things back, but still.  It knew. (Photo below shows me telling the rose bush who’s boss.)

After an absolutely hell and damnation three days at work (where I flew in three days what usually takes me six) I finally had the energy to show off my latest dress.  This is Simplicity 1419 which is a Lisette pattern (from the same designer of the children’s patterns Oliver + S).  The aesthetic of Lisette patterns are simple lines with color and pattern interplay.  I saw this dress made up on someone’s blog (I think it was part of the Sew Dolly Clackett dress homage) so I thought I’d check the stash to see if something called to me.

After rooting around the garage I came upon some black and white quilting cotton that Carolyn bought me AGES ago when she came to visit.  It was ages ago (come again Carolyn!) but I’d stored it carefully and it was begging to be this dress.  I made no pattern alterations, just went for it.  It’s an easy enough pattern, darted bodice and pleated skirt with pockets.  And the keyhole neckline and a little peter pan collar (in solid black).  Ok, the keyhole with loop is not really an easy step, but it’s not hard if you use enough pins.  I had the solid black cotton in the stash and the one little pearly button at the neck was an orphan from the button box.

I’ll probably wear this to death since it’s pretty versatile with the black ground on the fabric.  I’ll pull out a teal or emerald cardie to spiff it up since our premature summer weather has been replaced by normal temps and crazy wind.

For those interested, my writeup is here on PatternReview.

Those roses have huge thorns!

Jim Jams!

Jammies for which to hang around.

In my continuing attempt to make things will actually get worn, I’ve made pj bottoms.  I’ve got a standard go to pattern copied from a pair of Old Navy pj bottoms from like, prehistoric times that have been made for years.  All my friends have a pair, they’re so one size fits all that they’re crazy comfy.  The most attractive pants, maybe not but super comfy jammies.

I decided to try to up my game a bit by making a pair of jammies from an actual pattern, not just a tracing from bald flannel cast offs.  I know, fancy all of a sudden, right?!  This pattern is Sewaholic’s Tofino pants.  I used cotton flannel as I always do but added the coordinating piping.  The bow, no.  I’m not a bow girl.  They turned out quite cute.  They fit  better than my personal pattern, but my personal pattern is more akin to hammer pants so that’s probably not too surprising.  The legs are more flared so I’ll have to see if I can sleep in them without tying them up in knots with my tossing and turning.  But they are cute for bumming around in. Please note:  I DO NOT EVER wear pajamas out of the house.  That is what sweats are for.

This pattern was super easy and the only change I made was to shorten the legs 2″ since they’re drafted for the taller Canadians (not really, they are long though so look at that inseam measurement on the envelope that is handily provided).

Happy “spring has sprung in my pants”!