Thursday, October 16, 2008

The "Say It Ain't So" Cloak

So my fabric from PR NYC day was burning a hole in my... um... sewing room? That should have been my clue, my foreboding.

I was patient in Metro. I was on a mission for the perfect wool coating for my fabu long duster- visions of it dancing in my head like sugar plums. I searched the walls. I searched the corners. I searched the floor. I crawled behind rolls and chairs- and I think there may have even been a desk under there- but I didn't find perfect. I found close-enough. (I know, in Metro??!!- there's the first "Say it ain't so!").

So I revised the vision. I found the perfect shade of almost blue for the lining to match the close-enough wool. I waited while other fabric was sliced and diced, while Patricio fielded the shouted requests of the PRs. I asked for 4 yards of the wool. The artful reach of Mr. Kashi began its pull- one and .... that was it. Just barely 2 yards... Oh, Kashi, I just spent 2 hours revising weeks worth of planning in my head, and now? Now you tell me just barely 2 yards? (There's "say it ain't so" number 2). What about my luxuriously long duster? One look into those puppy dog eyes, beseaching me not to force that meager length back onto the roll, and I agreed to take the barely there, close-enough wool. I guessed I could make it a short coat.

But a short coat wouldn't do. I was now obsessed. What could it be? I checked my jacket patterns, and came up with Butterick 4419.
I would have to supplement some contrasting fabric for the hood, but I figured the style would play up the wool nicely. I cut the lining. I cut the hood. I pieced together 9 yards of scrap for the piping (!). I cut the... oh no. The fabric was 2 inches short. (Say it ain't so!). Not only was it 2 inches short, I had no give for matching up the plaids. (hear it again?)

But on I trudged. And when it was all done, I tried it on and went







yuck.*









This style may have been all me 15 years ago, but it's just not me now. Sigh. Say it ain't so.
*ETA: yuck for how it looked on me, but not for the cape itself- it came out awesome. I've already gifted it to a very cool lady for whom I think this is perfect.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Darn you, Butterick

12. Always a 12. That was me- "Hi, I'm E, Butterick size 12." I would look at that list of numbers under that 12 and smile. Ahhhh. 12.

Maybe part of me always knew. I'd heard the stories. Big 4 runs big. Big, I thought. ha.

Of course, there were the fitting issues. Oh sure, my sleeveless dress was ok. but just ok. My jacket was tight, but hey, I'm a newbie. That was my unsteady hand, my bad cuts, my swaying seam allowances.

Then there was the Vogue bodice. I'd asked the woman next to me as we were scouring the sale bin of Vogues- she even said it, "I find that Vogue runs small." That explained that size 16 cut. I graded down the side seams anyway, it all balanced out, didn't it? Butterick size 12. Butterick size 12.

But now it all comes out. Now the tale is being told, folks, and it's being spoken in German. And the tale it's telling is BWOF size 40. That's right. All these years. All this time. I was being lied to. And I loved it.

That was from the chapter "Disillusioned Women and the Stories they Tell Themselves".

Stockings: check
Jumpsuit: check

sleep. now. :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Gettin' kinky with the D1

...now if you'll just move your foot like this, I'll pull that over your arm while I twist this, and... watch that zipper! Wait, let me try from behind...

That was me deciding to topstitch all the seams open a bit late into construction.




Notice that the Duct Tape Dressform has now officially been christened "Lizzie"? I found myself inexplicably offended the other day when my husband kept referring to it as "the dummy".

I would have a picture of stockings to show you, as well as a link to my review of them on PR, but sleep finally overtook me last night (in mid sentence, from what my husband tells me). So here are almost stockings :)
And I'm it! Or, at least, I've been tagged! :)
It was with grace and beauty that I was tagged by Glass of Fashion, whose blog I've had a crush on since she posted the review of her wedding gown.

As I understand it, these are the rules:
-Link to the person who tagged you.
-Post the rules (and prize logo) on your blog.
-Write 6 random things about yourself, 6 important values and 6 negative points you condemn.
-Tag 6-10 people at the end of your post.
-Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
-Let the tagger know your entry is up.

And as I also understand it, this is an organic thang and mutates greatly with each person it passes through. I love evolution. So rather than 6 random things, important values and negative points don't we all say we have the same values? It's how we put them into practice that mixes up the world I'm listing 7 ('cause it's a magic number) random things, 7 awesome books and 7 albums (did I just date myself? albums?).

7 Randoms of E:

- I have, throughout my life, been scared to death highly skeptical of garden gnomes. I'm convinced they house evil spirits. Imagine my discomfort at discovering Stephen King shares my intuition on this. My brother once left one in my car as a joke. It was not a pretty scene.

- I think I secretly have a desire to be a singer. There, Jas, I said it out loud. Not a performer, but a singer. a la Sound of Music. Like, sit on a park bench next to a guitarist and just sing. The problem is that any desires to showcase myself were teased into oblivion long ago, and I tend to have an aversion to that which could be construed as "showing off". I'd like to learn how to sing in front of people and still have it be for myself. (Any thoughts on this, Damo?) My husband is in a band and I've been dropping HINTS that we could do the cafe set around our town. Perhaps someday, your stop in M'town will include a set of Jne (that's J and just a little e).

- A few years back I left my comfy state job with benefits and decided to go back to school for physics and astronomy. I worked p/t at the local 55 year-old bakery. I got rid of cable, credit cards, cell phones, keeping up with joneses, the works. I created a simple life that I absolutely love. I had to put school on hold for baby and husband's epiphany ("I want to be a karate instuctor"- both he and my 11 yo daughter are now black belts), but I got my eye on a telescope the other night, and I felt something long slumbering stir within. It's about that time. Donations to the "Send E back to college fund" are now being accepted.

-I have a stupid human trick. I can make my tongue clap.
video

I'm not going to take it to Letterman anytime soon, but it's cool at parties.

- I started PatternTrade, a Yahoo group dedicated to free trading of sewing patterns and stuff. Spread the Love.

- An article of clothing has to be extremely special if I am to buy it brand new. Yes, undergarments are extremely special, and so are the absolute perfect pair of high-rise, booty lovin' jeans that I found on clearance and bought 2 pairs of. But 95% of my clothes are thrift shop finds. I rarely sew everyday clothes because I have so much fun at thrift shops.

- I LOVE Star Trek. Yes, all of them. Even Enterprise. If there is an odd, out of the blue comment on my blog that you don't quite get, it's probably an obscure Star Trek reference (tribbles, anyone?).

7 Reads of E:
- The Hidden Life of Dogs
- The Lord of the Rings
- Harry Potter series
- Ishmael
- Siddhartha
- If the Buddha Dated
- Contact

7 Albums of E:
- Grace, Jeff Buckley
- any Radiohead (ok I changed my mind- Radiohead has transcended mere music.)
- The Visit, Loreena McKennitt
- Happenstance, Rachel Yamagata
- O, Damien Rice
- Little Earthquakes, Tori Amos
- The Low End Theory, A Tribe Called Quest
- Till the Sun Turns Black, Ray LaMontagne
I'm tagging 3 blogs (also a magic number): Allison C, Isabelle, and my mentor and guide in this sewing fantasy, Karen.

OK, I've got to get back to the sewing or I'll be wearing my go-to RTW LBD to my cousin's wedding this weekend instead of the jumpsuit I'm slaving over. But before I leave, you'll be happy to know I've stopped trying to sew vicariously through my daughter, who has, despite my subtle hints, never shown an interest in the home arts. I have now started living vicariously through my friend's daughter (she's 8), because she wants to learn to sew. I'm showing her how to thread the machine tomorrow :) Spread the Love :)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Ooooh... so that's how a seam ripper is supposed to work..."

Thursday, October 2, 2008

They say it's your Birthday

It's my birthday, too! And I got a BWOF subscription :) woohoo for a man who can take a hint!

I was having fitting woes, and so I spent my morning performing surgery on the dressform:

if you look to the right in the above picture, you'll see a sneak of the brocade for the bodice on my wedding guest outfit.

I slashed out strategic areas around the midsection and cinched it to the proper measurement with a belt. I then used twine to tie tightly around and keep the shape, and covered it all with more duct tape- I couldn't find the leftover white, bummer.
And when it was all done, I put my bodice muslin on and pinched away.


I actually jumped up and down and sang "It's working! It's working!". I felt like Jodi Foster at the end of Contact: I had no idea. I was so awe-inspired by the ease of working on the form that I decided, what the heck, I'll just re-draft the back of the bodice and make it princess seams.















stockings- so close... so close...