The mannequins even talk

The other day I managed to make it to the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the De Young Museum in San Francisco.  The galleries were chock full of weird, intricate and imaginative clothes.  Most are obviously not for everyday (or anyday) wear, but they are beautifully executed and mind expanding.  You can see the way the designs progress and change.  It’s fun, so try and go.

What no one told me was that many of the mannequins talk.  There is Jean Paul nattering away as you come in.  There is one male mannequin that is hilarious with his banter and mirror-looking.  Once you get over that it’s kind of creepy in a compelling kind of way, it’s fun.  I particularly enjoyed the knit dress above.  It looks like a mix of knitting, crochet and applique but it’s very pretty.  My flash-free, iPhone pics don’t do it justice so go and see it live if you can.



Cambie dress done in the little colorful bird fabric.  I must say even I like this one and will hopefully wear it to death.  So I do what I usually do after finishing a project.  Take camera outside and snap a few pics for the blog.  I’m sure the neighbors wonder wtf but are too polite to say anything.  So here I am, posing in my lovely dress all barefoot and fancy free.

What do I see out of the corner of my eye?  A lizard-like creature WATCHING me take pics.  I HATE reptiles.  Hate hate hate.  My understanding with them is that they leave me alone and I leave them alone.   We pretend the other doesn’t exist.  Yet this interloper didn’t get the memo!  I was torn, I needed a few more pics to make sure I got one that doesn’t suck too much, but I am being watched by said reptile.  Hence the rest of the pictures look like this:Yes, the only thing I can look at is that damned lizard and clearly I’m the only one who looks worried.  Eventually I was totally pissed at the lizard and shooed it back into the bushes but the bubble had burst.  I was no longer in the happy pic taking mood.  So if you don’t like these pictures, blame the lizard.

Other than lizard-zilla, Cambie is a great pattern.  I used a very nice cotton from Stonemountain in Berkeley (50% off too!).  I used an 8 at the bust and 10 everywhere else.  The only pattern “alteration” I did was to draw a new cutting line from 8 bust to 10 waist on the the bodice pieces, which took about 45 seconds.  For the rest I just followed the pattern.  It’s a well drafted pattern so it’s a good make for a newish sewist.

I lined the dress with some yellow poly charmeuse from the stash.  That poly feels great against the skin so that was lucky break.  I chose to topstitch around the front bodice and straps to keep the poly lining from popping out and that took a bit of ingenuity with the construction of the garment but it was well worth the effort to figure it out.  I cut the waistbands initially the wrong direction for the pattern of my fabric so I used one of the wrong waistbands on the lining.  I just thought it was cute to have little pop of the fabric in the sea of yellow.

Other than a few minor changes I made the pattern up as written and am totally happy with the result.  I love the pockets (the dress lays perfectly when I don’t shove my mitts into the pocket so IGNORE the lines in the skirt please) and would like to make another one with a straight neckline since I’m really not that much of a sweetheart girl.  {Shut up. I can hear you.}

Butterflied dress

Cambie bird dress is coming along.  It’s pretty easy so far and I’ve not screwed up (yet) so yay me.  I’ve just followed the directions to this point, no off roading in the sewing.  The next step is inserting the zipper so you know if anything can screw up, it’s a zipper foot.  I shall go slow and steady.

Right now this dress looks like a deboned chicken all splayed out on the floor like this.  I believe the nicer term for whole, deboned chicken is butterflied chicken.  This is my butterflied bird dress then.  I did briefly consider adding a rickrack edge to the pockets and neck, but thought it would be a bit too cutesy and juvenile for a woman of my years.  I’m not getting down on myself here, just acknowledging that what suits one changes.  So no rickrack here, too much cute coupled with the birds.  That doesn’t mean a rickracked edge won’t appear here some time in future.  It’s a nice trim with the right fabric and pattern.

Onward to zipper sewing!

Bonehead Move #1

You know when you start a new project, you follow all the accepted practices and you’ve got a plan in your head.  You feel a little bit cocky with your prowess.  Then bam, you notice your first glaring error despite all the aforethought.

What you see in the above photo is the moment when the light bulb switched on.  I wanted to iron on the interfacing to the yoke piece of my Cambiebird dress when I noticed all the birdies on that one little yoke piece are facing 90 degrees off.  Yup, despite noting the one way print of my fabric and cutting the rest of the dress out just fine, I forgot that my waist is a horizontal thing and cut the pattern piece out as noted on the layout.  Didn’t even register sideways birdies.  Bone head.

Luckily I had enough material leftover to cut one yoke out the right way to use for the public side of the dress.  I could cut both yokes correctly but I opted to save a bit of material for any other bone head corrections that may need to be made.  I hope this is the full extent of my stupid and the rest of the construction process will work out just fine but I shall continue to expect the unexpected.

Look at the birdie

Despite having been in possession of the Cambie dress pattern from Sewaholic for several weeks, I somehow haven’t begun making it.  I was thinking about this the other day and decided it’s because I didn’t want to make Cambie from my stashed big flowers material.  I think big flowers wants to be a button front shirtwaist dress or a pleated skirt.  We shall see.

What that piece of insight did was spur me to Stonemountain to see what I could see.  I like that store very much and the 50% room is my nirvana.  FYI, bayarea sewists, the 50% room is chock-a-bloc with amazing sale wools since that is now out of season.  Cambie-wise I fell hard for some whimsical, yet wearable by an adult, cotton.  The selvedge calls it Peacock Lane by Violet Craft by Michael Miller Fabrics.  I call it freaking adorable.

Said fabric is currently tumbling around the dryer and I can hopefully cut out the dress today.  I’ve read from a few reviews that because of the pattern bodice design one may want to muslin the bodice before cutting.  I really don’t want to but I’d hate for the birds to be all whacked by my crappy lazy arse.  Hmm.  More coffee before deciding.  Mustn’t wait too long to decide since work is again rearing it’s ugly head this weekend.  Sadly my next trip won’t be as fun as the one this weekend where I played with the talented Carolyn and ate my way through Chicago.  Bird dress would certainly make it all better.  Must shake my tail feathers.