Sunday, November 24, 2013

I am the Queen of Productive Procrastination

Instead of getting right to my holiday dress sewing I've been procrastinating. This doesn't mean that I haven't been doing anything. On the contrary. I've made myself a busy little bee so I can avoid any fit frustrations that will inevitably come with sewing for myself.

I made another version of NL6095, originally blogged about here, but this time it was a top for myself. There were some fit issues (probably why I'm so reluctant to start the new dress), and I'll probably try it again one size larger and then blog about it.

I made myself another pair of work out shorts. I used this method to copy my all time favourite shorts from Joe Clothing using press and seal wrap. I've used this method a few times to copy clothes of B's to remake so I know they will fit him.
The originals

My new pairs(s)

The pink/grey pair is what I made most recently out of a small amount of ponte knit. The blue pair is the pair I made this past summer out of remnants from my jeggings and my mom's dress. They are the most comfortable work out shorts I own. 

Lastly, I got ahead on my Christmas sewing by using this tutorial from Ikatbag and made three lunch bags for my two nieces and one nephew. They are all now school-aged and also pretty outdoorsy kids so  the "dry sac" idea seemed like a good match. We also won't be in the same city as the kids this year for the holidays, so their gifts needed to be easily packable in their uncle's suitcase so he can deliver them when he gets back to Calgary.

If you are attempting this project for yourself, I might suggest that you make the bag about an inch taller than you first think it should be. I'd also suggest that you use a stiff fabric. I used quilting cotton for the outside layer just because you get the best choice of prints, upholstery fabric samples for the fruit appliques, and black rip stop nylon for the inside. I wanted it to be wipeable, but it didn't need to be waterproof. All fabrics were prewashed and dried in the dryer so they can be laundered the same way. 

The only thing left to do is get to pattern tracing for my own projects. I've decided that I'm going to make both Simplicity 1654 for New Year's and the peplum top for my work Christmas party. It's liable to be a zillion degrees below zero, so I'll just stick to pants for that one. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Next Dress

I don't make a lot of dresses, mostly because it's rare to have an occasion to wear them and I don't find them terribly comfortable. Give me jeans and a sweater ANY day.

It just so happens that there's a new occasion which makes for the perfect excuse to make a new dress. I could wear the last dress I made:  Vogue 12069, made a year and a half ago, but the last time I wore it (about two months ago) I realized I have been eating too many cinnamon buns so it was not as comfortable as it should have been. I've put myself on a much better eating plan, but I'm dying to try two new (to me) patterns.

The community theatre group that B and I are involved in is having their 50th Anniversary Gala this new year's eve. We've both been asked to sing as part of the entertainment, ergo, new dress. These are my two choices:

Not one person has made the Cynthia Rowley and been moved to share it on the web. I don't feel great about those odds, but I think maybe no one has attempted it because of all the seams. Looking more closely, I'm really just seeing a princess line dress with an attached skirt. It will definitely require a muslin (or three probably) and I might change the construction order so the fitting process is a little more straightforward. 

I fell in love with the blue version with the decorative top stitching, but it looks so sporty (probably why I was drawn to it) that I'm not sure it's right for a gala. What about sleeves? I like the sleeveless, but it's notoriously colder than a witch's tit here on new years and I'll take all the coverage I can get. Maybe I should just wear my cat costume... it's warm. 

Option two is this Lisette (Simplicity) 1666. I've seen this one made up a couple of times and the resulting top makes me hopeful. It has all the features I like: cut-on cap sleeve, princess seams for easier fitting (including my usual broad back adjustment), and the peplum is different too – not so sticky-outy. My friend and I were discussing peplums the other day and while we both like the shape they give, we find them uncomfortable in how they cut into your high waist and then there's a strip of skin hanging out in between that and where your pants/skirt start – especially if you like low rise bottoms.  I'm hoping by making the skirt as well–that sits on my actual waist – the issue will be resolved.

As for fabric, I have no idea. The pieces I had in mind that are in my stash seem not fancy enough once I took the whole "gala" thing into consideration. If I can get either of these to fit properly in the muslin stage, I'm not opposed to getting some really special fabric...if I can find it. Any suggestions?  

In any case, I should really get my act together because the holidays are going to come faster than I think. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

How could I ever forget you Halloween?

We moved into our house three years ago (is that right??–maybe a little longer) and met our delightful neighbour cats Junior and Diesel. I was always a "dog person", but after meeting Junior I was a convert to the cat side. In the spring/summer/winter, they are part-time outdoor cats and never fail to visit us for some belly-rubs.

This year, the cats became our inspiration for a ridiculous couples halloween costume (we've done this before).

I thought I had an adult cat costume in my stash, but it turns out the at the sizing was not going to be big enough for B, I could have graded it, but ugh! Too much work. But, there just happened to be a pattern sale on at Fabricland so...

I used Simplicity 2853

I cut a small for me and a medium for B and added about an inch to his sleeve and leg length which was perfect. I have to say that I was pretty sick of sewing these by the end of it. Way more pieces than I usually deal with for a project. I learned this the last time I sewed a jumpsuit costume for Liam but the passage of time makes one forget. You can see my review of this pattern here.

(I'm the one on the right)

Diesel is a bit more elusive.

Didn't spot him? I'll zoom in: 

Sometimes he sits on our step.

Our inspiration:

Too much cat candy for Diesel?

I'm the only one who dresses up at work — my coworkers have come to expect it.
 How can I disappoint them?

I made both costumes out of fleece. I have never been so comfortable.

Or stylish? 

The last time I wore a cat costume was 1979. 
Halloween has always been a big deal for us.

Happy belated halloween!!