Friday, August 29, 2014

Fine. The Crescent Blouse in review.

Well, I feel guilty. Here I promised I was back to sewing! Whoo-hoo! I even made the Crescent Blouse (99% counts), and then I fizzled out.

So I lugged Vivienne up into the good daylight and dressed her up to show you guys my version of Megan Nielsen's Crescent Blouse, or rather the Mullet Blouse. Which I'll explain later.

I bought the pattern and fabric back in May, when I was certain that our St. Louis summer would be a typical one - hot, humid and hot.

Surprise! We didn't get real heat until a few weeks ago. I think that may be why it took me two months to start it. {Apologizing up front for the watermarked photos, but apparently the Russians are stealing blog content these days??}


The fabric is a pindot cotton voile I picked up at Joann's specifically for this pattern. I wanted something lightweight and breezy that wouldn't cling to me in the dead of summer. On that point, I was successful.

The pattern is very easy to follow. Since I don't have the eyes of a new sewer anymore, it's kind of hard for me to judge whether or not a newbie could try it but I think you could. The only difficult part would be working with very small seam allowances around very tight curves. And making sure your topstitching is as good as humanly possible because all of those curves around the face and neck will show. Also, be good friends with your steam iron or it could look like crap.

My problem came in the sizing. I measured myself. I consulted the pattern. I consulted various reviews that had made it already, and I mistakenly settled on a Medium. My shoulders are just too broad and maybe I scrimped on my bust measurement a little (or maybe the Snickers ice cream bars I've suddenly decided I'm in love with came into play here) but either way, it's just too snug across the top. I think if I were to make it again, I'd cut a Large on top and a medium for the skirt.

Ahh, yes, the skirt. The style is interesting, no? I am oddly drawn to it. But you should know, there are no darts to speak of. I'd really have to sit down with a pencil and paper and see if darting this top would make it more flattering? Also, see that diagonal pull towards the front? That wouldn't be there if it was the right size and if it had bust darts, I'm almost certain. It's stylish and cute and flattering around the shoulders, but after the bust it's just loose and breezy.

That's why I'm calling this one the Mullet Blouse. Business up top, party on the bottom.

All it needs now is buttons and a new owner who is narrower than me (but not by too much) around the shoulders. Any takers??


Interesting dilemna

Ok, techy friends, help me out here. I was browsing through all Blogger's changes this morning because I can't seem to link the "share" buttons at the bottom of the posts?? Weird. Anyway, in doing so I came across the stats page.

Lo and behold, there's a Russian site out there that has copied and pasted my own hand drawings for the Dalsland Wrap tutorial as their own.

I emailed them to either link back the credit to me or remove the drawings.

What else can I do? Do I actually have any control over this kind of thing from Russian internet piracy?

Thank you!

H

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Welcome to my new normal

I had such high hopes for my return to the sewing room! I was going to tackle the Crescent Blouse by Megan Nielsen.

I did tackle the Crescent Blouse by Megan Nielsen, but sadly it's probably going to end up a wadder. It's not a bad pattern, and if you are drawn to it then by all means do make it, but the end result just wasn't for me.

I am not a fan of exposed arms. You know, the trend where a sleeve looks like it was slit with a box cutter up the side? But I really thought I could handle the exposure of the Crescent, it seemed different than the rest for some reason.

Alas, it was not to be. I am fairly broad in the shoulders and while the rest of the blouse fit me, the shoulders were tight. This is only a problem when you choose to sew with a delicate voile that's held together at the shoulders with slim little 1/2" seams. I just pictured the whole thing blowing up on me in the grocery store. It's still sitting in my sewing room, waiting for the final buttons to be added. {I will add a photo of it on Vivienne in the very near future, which means when the sun comes up again and I can take a natural light picture for you.}

It was great to get down in the sweatshop again, though! I got organized, I cleaned up all my notions and put all my thread spools in color coordinated order. I even dragged my serger cones out of the drawer they've been in for a few years and arranged them by color as well.

So I figured, why waste all that momentum? I found myself with a free hour the other afternoon, so I flung myself downstairs and made this blue skirt.


I cut the pattern from a dress that I was wearing that day, and then decided to slice the top from the bottom in a random saddle shape. I serged the two parts back together, top-stitched the seam for a little pizzazz and added a drawstring to keep it up. I think it'll make a great runaround skirt.


And the best part is it got me back in the swing of sewing! No discouraging final results, no fit problems (other than frustration with my own shape, duh).


Sorry for the questionable photo quality, I enlisted my 8-year-old to stand on a stool and take these pictures. You get what you pay for!

Friday, July 25, 2014

I haz skilz

It's been almost three years since I've written anything on these pages. Three long years.

A lot has happened to me and to my ragtag little crew in those three years.

My husband died.

We moved.

We made new friends and learned new things.

The boys are almost twice as old as they were when I posted last, at least the littlest one is.

About a year and a half ago, I decided to have our basement in the new house finished, and out of that construction came a new sewing room. It's beautiful and useful and most of the time, it's never visited. My new life just hasn't included any time for sewing. Sure, I can hem pants like a fiend. I can alter things that need altering. I even managed to make slipcovers for my kitchen chairs when we moved here.

But taking out a pattern, some fabric, and actually constructing anything from scratch? Nah, wasn't happening. There is just no time. Or is there? Was that just an excuse I was giving myself?

Last week, I made a vow to change that. I picked a pattern and some fabric, and I cut it out. I started the sewing process, ignoring all the wails and whines from the childrens. They would just have to learn to play around me while I sew.  Maybe they'd even learn a few things in the process.

Wow, it felt so good to be sewing! The smell, the hum, the iron making it's weird gurgling noises. I love everything about it.

In a few days, maybe sooner, I hope to have my first, or rather, my next project finished to share. It's fun to be at it again, I can tell you that. I just wish it hadn't taken me so long.

- H

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