Tag Archives: dresses

yesterday’s squidgy package, or thought processes for summer clothes

Oh happy day!

A squidgy fabric package arrived yesterday from out West and made my week.

In the spirit of ‘when copping a plea, go for the gold,’ I’m blaming it on Mrs. Maile (a.k.a., Tanya Hughes).

Being much taken with the fabric she’d used in her post (previous link), I’d meandered across her conveniently provided link to her fabric source – The Confident Stitch.

As one does, I wondered what else they had, and wandered around a bit, eventually looking at all their barkcloth (or bark cloth). I was surprised to be more drawn to a different fabric, which made me pause, wondering why.

click to go to The Confident Stitch

Being thorough, I’d also noticed their stock of independent pattern makers, including the Closet Case’s Charlie Caftan that Tanya used for her barkcloth dress. Then I remembered seeing it several times last year on Karen Ball’s Did You Make That?

Fast forward a bit:  Having finally acknowledged the sad state of my summer frocks ~ 3 made at least 3 years ago ~ and also having resolved to remedy the situation, I’d contemplated enlarging my pattern stash. On that note, I spent some time reviewing both ladies’ posts on the Charlie Caftan (Karen made several).

Everything looked okay from my perspective, so I ordered the paper pattern, plus a couple of swatches, including that other barkcloth.

Oh yes, somehow a piece of cotton lawn got into that first squidgy package.  Which will be discussed at a later date because I decided it was a bit too sheer for a Charlie and I’d ordered the wrong yardage anyway.

#   #   #

Meanwhile time passed and because hot weather is arriving down here I was looking forlornly at my summer tops and sighing. Actually, doing a great deal of sighing, and wondering how to remedy. I had that lovely cotton lawn, which just needed matching thread… and a pattern…

Just to relax last Sunday (really!) I went browsing on The Confident Stitch site. Up popped a pattern sale: 25% off through 28 April (Saturday).

Divine Intervention!

Which is how the cotton lawn’s matching thread and Grainline’s Hadley arrived in yesterday’s squidgy package, along with that barkcloth, which very possibly will become a Charlie.

Do tell if I’m the only one making such convoluted decisions.

culottes and maybe a Grainline Farrow dress… and 2 sweet labels sneaked in!

P.S./ Almost forgot. A couple more swatches also arrived yesterday, which look like great next additions to the summer wardrobe. Final decisions in a bit…  you know how that goes.😉

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faffing about with a farrow #1

So far this is about all that’s gotten done, buuut . . .

grainline’s farrow (click to go to their pattern listing)

I found where I’d noted my changes on my last renfrew, so will be ready to crack on with this once I’ve compared the two patterns and made my changes.

Jen, at Let the Sewing Begin, and I are sewing our versions “together.” That’s in quotes because she’s about 4 states north.

Last time we talked I was reading from Jen’s (the Farrow’s designer) initial post in her sew-along, which didn’t make too much sense to us at first.

from my personal copy

Then Jen (not the Grainline one) mentioned a little thing called ease and we promptly decided we’d better check that out. Left is the measurement chart for the Farrow.

Jen had also just gone to a local-to-her sewing guru and had all her measurements taken; we wanted to incorporate those as well. More on measurements in general in another post.

For those of you who haven’t seen this pattern, it has a lot of ease. I dutifully took the pattern out of the envelope yesterday and realised a couple of things whilst mulling everything over:

from my copy of the directions, with personal notations

  1. There’ a Length at Center Front measurement but not one for Center Back. The back is longer. (Will try measuring the pattern pieces for this.)
  2. There’s no natural waist line marked on the pattern, so I can’t tell if this is going to be really long on my short torso. I don’t want pockets at my knees, or some other more inconvenient place.
  3. The ease isn’t given for the hips.

So a day was spent looking at IG and blog photos trying to see where hems (front & back) and those pockets were on everyone.

Unfortunately that didn’t help as no one I looked at mentioned lengthening or shortening either hem or torso, and I had no idea how tall they were. (They all looked lovely though.)

Dear & Most Wonderful Sewing Community of Bloggers ~  Any suggestions along these lines?

(Sorry ~ LOL!)

😄    😉    😄

a button, horsehair braid, ribbon & a cat

Completed my handkerchief linen duster this week and gave it some good wear testing, but totally forgot to get any photos.

(click any pic in today’s entry to go to large photos & comments)

Decided to use totally different buttons, which suddenly reappeared and are the ones I’d originally thought of before the others seduced me.

I sewed on one of the favoured, large plain buttons (the one below in photo) but it was too heavy and bright. Apologies, Dear Readers, for asking your opinions and then ignoring them.

The orphan dresses I’ll mostly wear with this duster are more subdued, and this button sets the  mood. Shoulda toldja that before, right? Sooorry. 😢

In a package from Vogue Fabrics in Chicago was more petersham ribbons, and that horsehair braid I hoped would be perfect for a hat brim. Nope.Too flimsy for the denim. No idea what to try next.

Reading is still in progress, with an addition from Nanacathy‘s latest list. Blue Monday was written by a husband & wife team, Nicci (her) French (him). I found the premise interesting, but too wordy, and a bit too psychological just now.

Some pretty shots to hopefully brighten your week.

From my soon-to-be retired used bookstore owner friend Keith, in Chicago. Lovely comments from Keith, and delightful poses from author Hodge, Chicago’s Most Famous Cat, at the end.

Enjoy your week!

fluid sewing thoughts

“Fluid. n. A body whose particles move freely among themselves, and yield to the least  force impressed…

”January isn’t the time for me to be making resolutions, ’cause all I want to do is rest up from a hectic December. But…

There are some patterns sitting on my cutting table, so I’m sharing them with you. They’re things I’ve seen and admired on Ruth’s (Core Couture) and/or Felicia’s (Older Babe Sews Clothes) blogs.

My plans would include lighter weight fabrics, and V- or scooped necklines. And elasticated waists. And pockets, inseam or elsewhere.

So, with all that in mind, let’s look at some piccies, and please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts afterwards!

Vogue 9193 (click to go to pattern)

Vogue 9193       Love the hem on this top & would do whichever version I’ve linen enough for, but sleeveless. Felicia reports problems with those dolman sleeves, and solutions. As I’ve had similar thoughts about similar styles, will have a long think before tackling. Fabric: Linen (summer), knits? (winter)

Butterick 5655 – “Fast & Easy” (click to go to pattern)

Butterick 5655 – “Fast & Easy”    Hm. Am thinking a short version from some viscose in stash. Although it might be fun to play with the sleeves
& that front insert… Hold thought for another season. Fabric: Rayon or maybe linen

Vogue 8813      Still pondering what to use with this one… cannot locate a decent knit is the main problem. Or excuse. 😉

Vogue 8813 (click to go to pattern)

Vogue 8813 (click to go to pattern)

Vogue 1508      Like the shape of the top’s hem very much. Trousers are too slim for my taste, plus the back is contrasting fabric from the front. Not my style. Fabric: Linen

veravenus-cpat

photo of my downloaded pattern page

Vogue 1508 (click to go to pattern)

Vogue 1508 (click to go to pattern)

VeraVenus Cardigan Coat (free)    (Click link to go to pattern.) After seeing this several times on people & reading how comfy they found it, I decided to switch my plans for a mustard wool to this pattern. Have a rayon piece cut out now, to check fit, etc., before cutting into the wool. Fabric: wool (winter), rayon (summer)

Butterick 6377  Will change neckline as I don’t do anything that tight round my neck. Fabric: Any stash stretch fabric to pair with V9193 trouser (above).

Butterick 6377 (click to go to pattern)

Butterick 6377 (click to go to pattern)

SUMMER

Vogue 8975    Liked the jacket on this, but the dress is also a possibility. Fabric: Linen, rayon.

Vogue 8975 (click to go to pattern)

Vogue 8975 (click to go to pattern)

Farrow Dress, Grainline    Have not purchased yet; keep trying to talk myself into it. Needs neckline re-do, but that back fascinates me, along with the longer length. Fabric: Almost anything from stash.

McCall’s 6083 Lounging ONLY, in the green version. Fabric: Rayon from stash

Grainline's new Farrow dress (click to go to pattern)

Grainline’s new Farrow dress (click to go to pattern)

McCall's 6083 (click to go to pattern)

McCall’s 6083 (click to go to pattern)

learning about linen (or, why isn’t it autumn yet?)

(click for complete poem) Illustration of poem

(click for complete poem & painting on wikipedia) Illustration of poem “To Autumn” by John Keats, painted by W. J. Neatby. From “A Day with Keats: With numerous coloured illustrations” by May Clarissa Gillington Byron and illustrations by W. J. Neatby

A lovely bit by John Keats reminded me it’s supposed to be Autumn now.

            SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness!

With all the hurricane problems, I’d forgotten. We had 3 days of cool, dry temperatures whetting my appetite for more.

But it’s hotted up again.   😱

not keen on finishing this but guess i'll give it a go tonight

not keen on finishing this but, to quote Hila (Saturday Night Stitch), “done is better than perfect.” and she’s right.

Which means I’m still very much in summer dresses mode.

Which means those linen plans are still firmly in place. But that’s a good thing.

The current issue of Threads’ magazine has a great article all about linen.

things about linen

  • It’s a cellulose material made from fibre stems of flax, anywhere from 5 to 21 inches in length.
  • More than 30,000 years ago, people were using flax fibres to make linen-like cloth.
  • Egyptians did the first linen manufacturing about 4,000 years ago.
  • It’s highly absorbent, like cotton and rayon, but allows evaporation more quickly than either, thus making it cooler for warm weather clothing.
  • Those qualities also made it ideal for undergarments.
  • It is extremely durable, with a lint-free surface that also resists dust and dirt.
  • Linen is resistant to both insects and the sun which makes it ideal for home décor.
  • It doesn’t stretch, making it ideal for painting canvas and embroidery.
  • Lack of stretch makes it wrinkle more easily.
  • It takes paint and dyes well.
  • It can be damaged by bleach, mildew, and perspiration.
  • Continual creasing in the same places (think folds, hems, etc.) can weaken and break the fibres.
  • Linen is strongest when wet! Best to iron when damp.

And the list goes on!

Plus, the article has ideas about how to handle your linen garment once it’s made, including different ways to dry it to get different effects. And ways to avoid ironing it, if you like that look.

I threw this 100% linen camp shirt (rescued from a Virginia charity shop) into the dryer for 5 minutes when I decided I didn’t want to iron it. (Note that I liberally sprayed it first with water to dampen it. Dry linen gets drier in the dryer, and that’s not good as fibres can break.)

What do you think about the effect? It’s very soft and no Fabric Police accost me when I wear it in public. He-he!

Edited to add: linen #2: different weights 
linen #3: boring? no way!