Friday, October 5, 2012

Hybrid Simplicity 2444 in a Graphic Print

It's been hot, hot, hot in these parts, so I decided another cool and comfy dress was in order.  I love this bold black and white print; it's a stretch cotton woven with a nice hand.  I purchased the fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics and had made a Pamela's Patterns Magic Pencil Skirt from some of the yardage, so I didn't have a whole lot left.  Nevertheless, I decided to make another Simplicity 2444, knowing that I'd have to really fiddle with the skirt to make it work.

A half-inch in length was added to the bodice, and I also drafted facings for the bodice rather than the sleeve binding and dinky neckline facing that the pattern called for.  The fabric doesn't need a lining, and I want it to be as cool as possible.  There's probably a name for the type of facings I drafted, but I don't know what it is!  The facings are one piece for the front and one piece for the back--the neckline and armscyes are taken care of in one fell swoop.

There was no way I was going to be able to use 2444's skirt as I simply didn't have enough fabric.  Instead, I drafted a flared skirt with some gathering at the waist.  I did my usuals: an invisible zipper, blind-stitched the hem on my sewing machine, finished edges with the serger, and stabilized the shoulders.

I like longer skirts, and I was able to eke this one out of my minimal yardage.  The skirt would probably look better worn with heels, but this was at the end of the day and my "emergency" quilted black patent flats were about all that could be handled!  (Do you keep extra shoes at work?  I keep this pair and a pair of bronze slingbacks.  I like to be prepared if my feet get sore or tired.)  
Crack of dawn... (better looking shoes!)
Next up?  I'm not quite sure.  I have a McCall's 5974 cut out and ready to go, but I might do something with some double knit instead.  Oh, but I am excited about this: I've cleaned out the closet in my sewing, etc. room and am installing shelves in the closet Sunday!  Finally, I hope to have sufficient storage for my sewing-related goodies!  How about you?  What are you up to?

Until next time, happy sewing!  ~ Peggy

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Stretch Pique Sheath, the Sequel

About a month ago, I had a coupon from Joann's for 60% off one regularly-priced item, and I used it to purchase this stretch cotton pique which, I think, was $14.99 per yard.  There was just enough fabric on the bolt to make another sleeveless version of McCall's 2401.  

I think I can classify this pattern as one of my TNTs, now that I've made it four times (here, here, and here)--twice in stretch woven piques, and twice in non-stretch wovens.  I added three inches in length, used an invisible zipper, stabilized the shoulders, and used my machine's blind-hem stitch for the hem.
I did a mini-assembly line with this dress.  That is, I cut out two different patterns in stretch wovens that both needed white thread.  Then, with my machines threaded and with stretch needles in place, I applied interfacings to both, serge-finished the edges of all pieces, sewed the darts (14 in total), etc., until I had two dresses that just needed to have the facings tacked and the hems sewn!  It all went very quickly and was very satisfying to see two dresses come together so easily.
The belt isn't a perfect match, but it works well enough.  It is from a 28-year old silk dress of mine that I still have, but haven't worn in ages!  I keep thinking I might do something with the pretty fabric.  Here's an old photo of me in the dress at my cousin's wedding many years ago:
Shoulder pads!  (And my black suede Papagallo pumps--I loved those shoes)
I'm planning to make this pattern several more times.  I have some pretty double knit that I think will make a great long- or 3/4-sleeved version.  It's too hot for that right now, though; it's been in the triple digits the last few days making it pretty hard to think about fall or winter clothing.  But, if it has cooled off enough upstairs now, I'm going to go hem the dress I made at the same time as this one--photos soon, I hope.

Thank you for the well wishes for my daughter's recovery from her knee injury.  She is healing well, and is out of the heavy-duty thigh-to-ankle brace!  Of course, she'll be in physical therapy for a long time to come.  She's itching to get back on the volleyball court, but that's months away.  Here she is the requested DVF knock-off dress at back-to-school night:

Until next time, happy sewing! ~ Peggy