Monday, 8 December 2014

MAI TAIS : : MACADAMIA NUTS : : AND MY MAUI MAXI DRESS


Simplicity 2444, Dressing Your Truth Type One



Simplicity 2444, Dressing Your Truth Type One



Simplicity 2444, Dressing Your Truth Type One









Simplicity 2444, Dressing Your Truth Type One

Aloha! The mister and I are just back from a holiday in Hawaii, and despite the decidedly dark and gloomy weather here in Vancouver, I'm in a rather glorious, if slightly hazy, bliss.  A couple of weeks of uninterrupted do-nothing time apparently has that effect on me. 

Ah yes, decadently idle, although one afternoon, while languishing on a chaise lounge, I was inspired to jot out a blog post. The funny thing is, as I look at it now, I'm convinced it's overly wordy for my current mood. {And to be completely honest, I'm having trouble actually reading my penciled scribble....mawahahaha...} So! I've unilaterally decided that fewer words allow for a greater appreciation for a pretty sunset photo!

I shared a brief peak of my dress here, while hinting at a warm weather vacation. And it turned out that my Maui Maxi Dress, made with Simplicity 2444's bodice and self drafted skirt, was indeed the perfect holiday dress. Talk about easy-peasy; I just added a couple of bracelets and my favourite jelly sandals {shoes optional} and I was good to go. And, my fleeting moment of genius? I shortened the bodice just enough so that the waistline sits above my natural waist. The result? Extra comfort....which really means extra room for Mai Tai's and macadamia nuts. Mwaahahaha! And...you know?....I didn't even attempt pattern matching with this wild butterfly print, so I was pretty much gob-smacked when I saw how brilliant the bodice back looks. So. not. planned. Not much else to say except consider me sold on the maxi dress for resort wear. But...but, hang on a sec....I still totally can not imagine myself wearing a long dress or skirt on the rainy streets of Vancouver. I'm not saying never, but....well, I'm just not there yet.  

En route to the airport, we squeaked in a quick shopping trip to two Kahului fabric stores...Fabric Mart and Sew Special.  Here's a quick look at what I purchased; left to right: from Fabric Mart, a couple of cotton prints for shirts for the mister and two pieces of swimsuit fabric...one is a pinky coral animal print, and the other is a navy blue and red {not black and orange}, and from Sew Special, the 'Fun Flops' print cotton by Loralei Designs.


And last, but not least....I left shortly after my last published post and did not get a chance to reply to your lovely comments. I did read them all though, thank you everyone!  One comment in particular gave me a little ah-ha moment....Greetje of No Fear of Fashion, articulated what I was unable to put into words. She suggested I "Style it up instead of down perhaps? To create a contrast? People tell me that this usually works: creating a tension by combining opposites." Makes perfect sense to me, thanks Greetje!  

And that's all she wrote for today...thanks for reading! I'm sure I'll find masses of work waiting for me at the office Monday, but I will be catching up with you soon!  Happy to be linking up with the lovely Patti of Not Dead Yet Style for Visible Monday!

Other Simplicity 2444 makes:



 





Wednesday, 19 November 2014

MY BILLIE BLUE JEANS AUTUMN DRESS : : NEW LOOK 6799























Remember my End of Summer Blues Dress post?  My ramble about how clever it would be to sew a New Look 6799 dress for each of the four seasons?  Well, after hitting publish, I immediately started imagining all the possibilities thought what a totally dumb idea!  I mean, it's a sleeveless dress number one, and I live in the northern hemisphere number two, and...well, there is no number three. But...here's the thing. The idea kind of stuck. I like a challenge...a little dare me if you will...even if I am the one doing the daring and no one's paying me any attention whatsoever. So. During the past few months, I've pondered over the idea, riffled through my fabric stash, wandered a few fabric aisles...all the while not feeling even the tiniest bit enthusiastic.  It's too cold, whined me. It's too rainy, {all together now peeps} whined me. It wasn't until bossy inside-head voice taunted me...Are you just gonna wear those jeans for the next six months girl?...that I had my light bulb moment.  I could sew New Look 6799 in denim. Et voila. I introduce to you my Billie Blue Jeans Autumn Dress.

So yes, I said yes to denim for the dress...and I'll tell ya, I had me some big ideas for a couture denim dress...big ideas that failed to materialize.  I wanted, or thought I wanted, boho chic. But, by the end of my sewing project, I was just trying hard not to look too Little House on the Prairie.  My initial plans were to add waaaaaaay more embellishment...those funky embroidered trims, lace, maybe even some hardware. But the more I added, the more I freaked out. Apparently, I don't do boho.  I don't know, maybe it's the silhouette of the pattern? Maybe I had the wrong trims? Or maybe I just don't do boho? What I do know is that. it. was. all. wrong. At the end of the day, I settled for one length of embroidered trim at the waistband. One.  And I'm okay with it. This dress is not the runway vision I had in mind, but I have already worn it a few times and I like it. To be honest, I love it, but in seeing these photos, I'm having an issue with the fit. You see, I added 1/2" width to the bodice front and 1/4" width to each bodice back because I anticipated wearing the dress with a shirt or top of some sort underneath, and thought I needed extra room. Nope. Not a good idea; the dress looks too big in exactly the places I added fabric. {Of course, that extra 1" of fabric makes this dress almost ridiculously comfortable and for that reason alone, I'll probably wear it often, especially if there's a big meal involved.} I also foresee the need to be very careful about my styling choices with this dress. Today, I'm a little too close to country...and I'm not referring to standing in a field in front of a picturesque barn. This dress will feel more me when I wear it with faux pony heels and a bright toned t-shirt.

Okay, a couple of the details I added to give my dress it's unique look...I added stitched, rounded pockets, sewed double rows of top stitching, and inserted an exposed metal zipper.  I also made the back closure a little more blue jeans-y by adding a flap and a metal button. I actually think the back looks kind of awesome. It seems a shame to cover it up with a sweater, but said sweater effectively hides the poor fit, so, the sweater stays.

And finally, a quick recap on the sweater mini-upcycle. It's a thrifted find, 100% cotton, and was always a little too big. After a year of wear and washes, it desperately needed either alterations or to go to goodwill. So. I took in the side seams a little, and shortened the sleeves about 4".  I also shortened the garment itself by about 4", although it's hard to tell in looking at the before/after photos.  Instead of turning the hems to the inside, as one would routinely do...I turned them up on the right side of the garment and then covered them with trim, encasing the raw sweater edges.

I'm currently on the phone, on hold with Aldo Shoes...I've had a bit of a problem that hasn't been satisfactorily sorted out...yet...anyways, Pharrell William's song Happy is playing as I wait, and I'm feeling so happy, and I'm clapping along, and feeling that happiness is the truth!  Mwaaaahahahaha!  I wonder if Aldo has only that one song on replay for customer service?...Nope...new song...I feel my snark returning ....hahaha .....oops, she's back....and wahoo ....things are looking good...let's see...yep...there's my email now! All's good!

I'm going to close out with a recent and  most puzzling NYT crossword clue...What stripes and polka dots do....um, well, they rock my world....they look absolutely fabulous together...they put a smile on one's face...errrgmmm...unfortunately I need a five letter answer, not a five word answer. And that answer would be...clash...{insert sad face here} My advice...do not believe everything you read in the New York Times. Just sayin'.

End of Summer Blues Dress : : New Look 6799
Springtime in Paris Dress : : New Look 6799

PS The mittens in the photo belong to photographer who was taking Christmas photos.  She kindly allowed us to snap a couple of pics with them in the background.

 





Monday, 3 November 2014

MY BIRDS ON A BRANCH JACKET : : SEWAHOLIC : : MINORU JACKET

A Colourful Canvas, Sewaholic MInoru Jacket, DYT Type One



A Colourful Canvas, Sewaholic MInoru Jacket, DYT Type One



A Colourful Canvas, Sewaholic MInoru Jacket, DYT Type One



A Colourful Canvas, Sewaholic MInoru Jacket, DYT Type One



A Colourful Canvas, Sewaholic MInoru Jacket, DYT Type One



A Colourful Canvas, Sewaholic MInoru Jacket, DYT Type One

The Minoru jacket pattern should come with a warning....will crave dog...no, not the hot dog kind of dog, but the must be walked in all kinds of weather dog.  I. can't. help. it.  The jacket goes on...and bingo...I'm instantly a wannabee dog guardian.  It's just so any kind of weather wearable. Now, many consider me a cat person, after all, I have two; but dogs are also very close to my heart. I grew up with two of the best dogs in the world, an English Cocker Spaniel and a miniature poodle, who by the way, made it his mission to debunk the myth that poodles look their best with ribbons in their hair. Did you know that poodles were originally bred to retrieve birds for game hunters? Birds! {Trust me to ramble right past the hunting part...so not my thing...and the ducks decoys in my last post....yep, totally the real deal.} Okay, reel me back in...I declare that the Minoru jacket is the perfect dog walking jacket.  The high collar, the handy hood, the easy fit. I want seven of them...one for every day of the week...no, no, not asking for seven dogs....just suggesting that seven Minoru's hanging all in a row in my closet would make me a little giddy.

Hey, remember my recent whinging for a fall/winter wardrobe that makes me as happy as my spring/summer togs?  Well my Birds on a Branch Minoru Jacket takes me right where I want to go. Colourful birds, polka dot lining, crisp fabrication! All me! All good! I feel bright and ready for the buckets of rain coming our way. And, um...speaking of rain...today's little irony? I totally, like seriously, planned for my photos to be snapped in the rain; after all, it has been raining for the past several weeks days.  Yet, when we went out to take photos, the rain had stopped, and the heavy gray clouds had lifted just enough for a glimpse of sunlight. I wonder if perhaps my jacket and red rain boots have a wee bit of magic in them.

Okay, the deets on the Sewaholic Minoru pattern...I made it pretty darn close to the pattern specs. I added in-seam pockets...yawn, predictable me I know...and, let's see...oh, let's talk about the collar that houses the hoodie! There were a couple of photos rolling around the Internet that revealed unfinished seams inside that collar.  Not necessarily a bad thing, but I wanted a more polished finish. I remedied things by inter-lining both collar pieces, {Tasia instructs to line just the outer collar.} AND, instead of pressing the seam that joins the collar to the jacket upward, I pressed it down onto the jacket. The other three seams I trimmed to less than a quarter inch so that when I top stitched the collar, the raw edges {which I actually serged to prevent raveling} were totally encased. Ta Da! It's bee-you-tee-full inside now, I say!  I added an elastic drawstring to the hood for those early morning walkies. Which by the way...so not gonna happen unless I get my Wheaton Terrier puppy to go with.  And, am I the only one that has a problem with stitching in the ditch? {Non-sewing friends...this is sewing terminology for sewing precisely over top of a previously sewn seam.} I have a few patterns where I stitch in the ditch on the waistband, and I begrudgingly do it...but I find that the row of stitching never really lines up all that well on the inside. The Minoru instructions call for stitching in the ditch along the neckline, in order to keep the hood in the collar. Okay, now don't freak out, but I hand stitched along that seam. I know. I know. I'm a little crazy, but I had to do it.  And I'm happy I did. It truly is invisible, both sides. And, finally, in a bizarre twist of events, I took the easy route and omitted the elasticized cuffs on the sleeves. Yep, me who routinely adds elements of frustration to my sewing projects actually simplified something. It's a personal thing...I prefer my sleeve cuffs with a more relaxed fit. The fabric? It's 100% polyester...I know, not usually my thing, but...it's home decor fabric and fabricated for outdoor use...so yah-uh...I'm optimistic that it has some water repellenc-y-ness.  It hasn't so much as sprinkled since I've finished my make, but I'll let ya know how it all works out.



There are moments, just blinks really, that make it look like I have it all together here on this little blog. But, the real me? Exhibit A above...my lame dollar store banner, my single effort at Hallowe'en decorating....every. year. I so can not get into decorating for Halloween. I don't even carve a pumpkin anymore. Now before you think I'm Halloween's version of the Grinch, I promise, I am good with the kids coming...I handed out 160 bags of potato chips...but anything beyond that....meh, just not my thing.




The lovely Barbara from BarbaraJaneMade, celebrated her first year blog anniversary with a giveaway some weeks ago. AND. I. WON! Oh my gosh, the fabric is gorgeous and has a beautiful story behind it.  It comes all the way from Nomad Art Store in Darwin Australia, a gallery/venture dedicated to supporting and promoting artists from remote and regional Australia. But wait. There's more. The fabric I received is hand printed silk screen with acrylic pigment on quilting cotton. It was produced by members of The Babbarra Women's Centre. Originally a women's refuge, the Centre has evolved into a multi-dimensional centre that includes the operation of a textiles workshop among other ventures...talk about good kharma fabric. Thanks ever so much Barbara! I'm sure we can all agree, this isn't fabric that one cuts into randomly...and although I'm anxious to sew it, I am patiently awaiting for my little ah-ha moment of inspiration to guide me! Please do pop over to visit both Barbara and Nomad Art!

AND! I'm wearing a hat of a sort, so I'm linking up with the ever lovely Judith for Hat Attack. And, I am also joining colourful Patti of Not Yet Dead Style for Visible Monday.

Jacket : : Me-Made, Sewaholic Minoru Jacket
Jeggings : : Laura Petites, thrifted
Rain Boots : : Ardene's
Stripey Tee : : Joe Fresh, current