Sunday, March 27, 2011

2 bells into the dog watch

Dear sewing blog,
hello neglected blog! i haven't really been sewing recently... this little called "a wedding" has been sucking up my time. Perhaps you've seen my friend, the wacom tablet. He's been hogging my attention for AGES while I draw nautical flags and tall ships and maps.

Here's what we have at the moment for our invitation... it will be a little booklet, with a cover, then the main page (this) inside, and a map and some guest information, and our RSVP cards inside. Lots of little things to draw and lay out and get arranged!

wedding invite, v2

Why yes, we do have the latitude and longitude of our reception site on there. And two bells into the dog watch.... I LOVE awesome nautical terminology. We're still sorting out what kinds of sailor speak we can put onto the RSVP cards. As you can tell, we're not taking this whole thing super seriously. I'm convinced that the only way to survive wedding planning is to keep a very dry sense of humor and read A Practical Wedding frequently. We found our marvelous DOC (Day of Coordinator for the non-wedding-immersed) indirectly via that site- it's such a breath of reality.

I did have one break today... I went to the taco truck in Hoboken with my friend who got married last October and we discussed the wedding crazy. And java performance analysis. ;) We're hopeless nerds like that.

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! Has anyone begun summer sewing yet, or is it still too cold?

Monday, March 14, 2011

A public service announcement for NYCers...'s Groupon is $15 for $30 fabric at Mood!

Valid instore only, so you have to be in NY or planning to visit in the next year. Definitely a great deal, though. I think mine is going towards some more blouse material, since I have my eye on the Market blouse from Sew Lisette for a spring top... ;)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

purple flowers

I'm finally almost finished with taxes... which means, of course, that the kitchen is *sparkling*, the sewing room is somewhat more organized, and I sewed up something for myself. ;) Here's a little hint.

I stumbled over this fabric on Gorgeous Fabrics and fell in love with the really pretty flowers. It's cotton with a hint of stretch, and the surface has a slightly ribbed faille texture to it. SO pretty.

Here's another hint...

Yup... another Passport dress, since I had the pattern already out.

passport dress

passport dress

There may be a lot of dresses shown on my blog, but it's not really my normal clothes- I work in jeans and sneakers, and skirts with boots is really stretching the dresscode for my job. So I always feel a little like a kid playing dress up when I wear something fancy like this - right now it's slotted in for Easter brunch, when hopefully it will be warm enough to wear it without tights.

This one feels a little loose around the shoulders, which is weird because I didn't cut it any differently than the other one. I'm chalking it up to the bit of stretch in the fabric -it's not huge, just a bit loose around the neckline this time around. Other than than that, it's pretty much the same as the other dress. So for now it's getting tucked into the closet to wait for warmer weather!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Passport bliss

My passport dress is all finished! I L*O*V*E it, and I can't wait for warm weather to wear it, although I may try it out with some tights and a sweater soonish. This is Simplicity 2209, also known as the Sew Lisette Passport Dress.

Yesterday's post showed my bodice alterations, but it was too dark in the evening to get a picture of my muslin.

Not that it's any brighter today, but here is the muslin I'd made. One side has a dart pinned out for a SBA, the right side is unaltered. Unfortunately, the picture is not super in focus, so you may not see any difference.

When I made the actual dress, I ended up varying from the pattern and making several changes. I was a little wary of all the changes at first, because the instructions for this dress were excellent, and who am I to know how to properly sew a dress. My back alteration, though, made for a curved back seam so I could no longer cut the back bodice on the fold as in the original. At that point I figured I'd just do things my own way.

That led to making my own all-in-one neck and armhole facing, which let me use my favorite through-the-shoulder-seams sewing method. I learned that trick from Marji's old pattern review post on sewing a sleeveless dress lining.


Here's a view of the inside of the bodice front of the front angled darts and how they attach to the skirt:


I used an invisible zipper in the back. Here are my three necessities for invisible zipper insertion.... fusible interfacing in the seam allowance, a 3/8th inch seam allowance, and hand tacking the zipper in place.


I stitched the back facing down against the zipper to neaten the inside:


The hem is double folded and hand sewn down so that I could ease in the fullness.


So here is a headless shot of me in it. I unfortunately didn't quite manage the flower placement perfectly on the bodice. Ooops. And you can't really see the bodice darts with the busy print.


Another change I made was to put in a pocket in the right side seam. I envisioned wearing this dress to work, and I always want a pocket to hold chapstick or a few dollars for lunch or whatever. Excuse the silly face here... I always feel funny smiling for the camera when there's no one behind it. ;)


Here's the back, in need of a hook and eye above the zipper:


It came together really nicely and was a dream to sew up. There will definitely be more versions of this dress this summer, since it's nicely fitting without being too tight or too baggy. Especially with the pocket addition. ;)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Passport Dress - Simplicity 2209

I was so excited when the new Lisette patterns by the same designer as Oliver + S were announced last week that I bought two of them, and I made up a muslin of one today. :-) I picked the Passport dress, which has some very neat darts and tucks and a classic shape to it.

There's a Lisette blog which has a post which explains the dress and jacket in this pattern. I thought the dress darts were really neat looking, but I was wondering how difficult they would be to sew. Here's the bodice front pattern piece:

pattern puzzle

They are actually quite simple to sew, it turns out. I had to make two alterations to the bodice to fit a little better:


The overlapping from the armhole is a quick and dirty proto-SBA, since the muslin was kind of poofy in my upper chest area. Otherwise, it fit quite nicely. I'll be making this up in a purplish linen blend from the Valori Wells Jenaveve line.

My raincoat is mostly finished, although I'm likely to go in & add the waist drawstring to shape it. It fits OK, but it would be good to have a little shaping in there. And, of course, it needs me to go into the city with it at some point to have buttonholes made up for it.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

our etsy wedding

I haven't had a chance to work on the raincoat this week, but I wanted to share a few wedding details. I'm leaning *very* heavily on etsy for these, and so far it's working out nicely.

Our escort cards (aka little cards that tell people where to sit- I never knew that word before) are from etsy by cuddlecreature. Imagine 100 of these set out on the table... it will like a sweet little regatta!

Our favors will be envelopes of wildflower seeds, and I had an etsy vendor, Toast and Laurel, make us stickers to put on the envelopes:

favor stickers

And, of course, I've been buying milkglass bowls from the site for the last few months to make our centerpieces, which will look like this:


My nieces, who will be flower girls, will be sporting little blue and white hair decorations from etsy as well:

from Lovely Gifts

from Sweet and Sassy

And finally, to save us from writing our address over and over and over, we bought a custom return address stamp from Paperfinger which looks like a calligrapher wrote our address. LOVE IT. This was easily the smartest purchase we made... it got used a lot for christmas cards and other things as well ;)

Last month, on a whim I picked up a new wedding crafts book by a Martha Stewart editor which has been fun to look through as well:

Handmade Weddings: More Than 50 Crafts to Personalize Your Big Day

It has some simple sewing projects, invitation designs, and fun stuff like that. I love flipping through it, althought I haven't really done any of the featured projects in it yet.

So there you are, a small wedding design update :)