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April 18, 2007


Well FINALLY something that worked out right. Phew, I was beginning to think I had lost my touch!



I really love this pattern. I think I might move the button over a touch to decrease a wrinkle that isn't visible in the photo, and probably isn't really visible at all. I always seem to find something wrong, don't I? Le sigh.

I am trying to look as sassy as I can manage in these photos. I have been working on the index to my prof's book. She seemed to think it would "only take a couple of hours." It's been 8. There might be an end in sight but it's still real real far off. Sometimes I feel like professors are from another planet entirely. I did take a small break today and got my hair cut. How do you like those bangs? I dig them so far. I even got to take a nice walk in the sunshine before heading back into the Index Mines.

To make life even funner my students turn their papers in tomorrow. Will the hilarity ever end? Send gin.

Posted by loyd0008 at 5:38 PM

April 15, 2007

Make it Hurt So Good

I have been working on a wrap dress from a tried-and-true pattern to put my sewing life back on course. It is going well so far, thanks in part to my newest acquisition. Behold!


Oh yes, splendiforous: the Rowenta 8900. The reason the iron 'hurts so good' is that I got a tiny little burn the first time I used it. I used to touch my old iron all the time and it was never hot enough to burn me! I got it on Thursday night during the Villain/Taryn Sewing Hour and it is a lovely piece of German engineering. Though, I must admit, the steam is not quite as voluminous as I like unless it's on the 'self clean' setting. I guess one really doesn't need as much steam as I thought. As a special treat, I got to use a 40% off coupon! Yay! I mean it was still about 70 bucks, but it is proving to be well worth it, especially since good old mom is donating for it. Now all I need is a dressmaker's dummy... Ok, maybe after I move.


Posted by loyd0008 at 10:01 AM

April 10, 2007

Workaround, part deux.

Ok here is the Workaround after more working around.

workaround deux.jpg

It doesn't gape anymore and I think the gathers are pretty nice looking (in person anyway), especially given that they are a problem-fix. I realize that the moral of the story is "Always do a muslin," but I can't promise that for every dress. Just... more often than I do now.

Posted by loyd0008 at 10:14 AM

April 9, 2007

Workaround Dress

So after the Big Blue Disaster, I wanted to make something that would redeem my sewing skillz. Why oh why didn't I just make another shirtdress? Why did I have to choose this one?



This dress seemed to be super cinchy and might well have been until I screwed up the zipper and had to take it out twice. Not so fun. Also, don't try to put one side of a zipper in after you have taken out the basting. I feel like I'm getting better at zippers in general (though the Nouveau dress was the first time I actually used a zipper foot on a centered application...). But this one didn't bolster my confidence any. After it was in again I realized that the top was still crooked so I had to fidget with it until it looked moderately straight. So many problems! So many fudge-y solutions! That is why this is the Workaround Dress.

But even before this point, I knew this little number would be trouble. After putting together the bodice and slipping it on, I realized that it is NOTHING LIKE THE ONE PICTURED. The one in the drawing is a deep (or maybe standard?) V neck with maybe two or three inches until the ties/casing. (They are hard to see in the photo, but they're there) This has about twice that. The V is very shallow and not particularly flattering (I'll get to the gaping in a minute). Thusly, I decided to make it much shorter than called for in order to take some of the frump out and distract with my fabulously long (hahahaha) legs. I figured that it could handle being short and wouldn't look trampy. Ok fine.

After it's all put together and I try it on I realize that something else is amiss in bodiceland. Note to readers: unless your bodice has gathering, never trust a pattern with only two front darts!! You will just need to add bust darts later! So I did and that seemed to help. Except it didn't rid me of the gaping. Perhaps it is because I am getting more finicky in my tastes, but there is just too much gaping for me not to be thinking about it. It's probably not that noticeable in the picture, and might not be all that noticeable in real life, but it still bothers me. I tried to add some kicky little shoulder seam darts, but that didn't really do anything, even though it seemed like it would take up the extra fabric just right.

Are there any good tutorials for this out there? Any advice?? I feel like all of my dresses are really just Practice for the Future and that I'm pretty lucky if anything works out just right since I haven't exactly had any training in this stuff and I'm sort of making it up as I go. However, that does not mean that I don't expect everything to be perfect the first (and every!) time. It's such a bummer to come off a dress like the shirtdress that I liked so much and then to make a couple of duds. I think that my next dress will have to be a tried-and-true pattern. Or maybe I need to cool it and take a break for a while? Oh, that thought makes me sad.

Maybe it's not as bad as all that. I tend to wear the mediocre things more often than the really good ones anyway, since I seem to be afraid that I'll mess the good ones up. I could probably wear this over jeans or as a layering piece, though it really feels best suited for some tropical locale. Maybe in a couple of years...

p.s. The "on" button on my iron broke. Does this mean I can go buy a Rowenta now??

Posted by loyd0008 at 12:44 PM

April 6, 2007

Singing the Burda Blues

I think that I am just not built for Burda patterns. Especially the one I just made, Zoe. I am not exactly sure who this thing was built for, except that model. It looks pretty cute just hanging around, right? Maybe like a 1960's tennis dress?


Well, on, it looks utterly ridiculously bad. First, there is the very low drop waist, and then there is the snugness of the bosom that makes the shoulders sit wrong then there is the looseness of waist and hips that is totally disproportionate to the rest of the thing. Did I mention the length? I am 5'2. This dress was designed for someone 5'6. IT WOULD NOT COVER THE WATERFRONT.

It was such a good idea, the whole free pattern thing, and I knew going into it that this would be more of a muslin than a real dress, but I am certainly not going to make it into a real dress. Luckily, it was super simple and didn't take a whole lot of either time or thought. In the future, however, I think I need to stick to Simplicity, et al. Anyone want a mostly finished dress?

If I can get to the laundry, I will probably start one of these today (v neck edition). It couldn't come out any worse than this blues song of a dress.

Posted by loyd0008 at 10:12 AM

April 2, 2007

My First Shirtdress

Aww.. here she is!


I luuurve this pattern! This is one of my new favorites. I don't often remake patterns, but there is definitely another shirtdress in my future. In my very near future. On the next one I will do straight sleeves instead of multiple poofinesses and i will probably skip the belt loops and belt and do a wider sash that I can wear with other things too. The top button could probably be another 1/2 an inch lower, but it doesn't pull, so I'm not going to worry about it. Too late now, anyway!

If I get all my homework done like a good girl I will work on the Burda pattern. I cut it out and interfaced it last night. Can't wait to see what it looks like in person!


Posted by loyd0008 at 4:39 PM

April 1, 2007

A Shirtdress on an Ugly Sunday

It is another dreary day here in the Twin Cities. Blargh. The good news is that I have very nearly completed my first shirtdress! It was a Threads pattern by Simplicity and thus had a few more steps/details than I am used to, but it is coming together pretty well so far. (Are those patterns slightly more complicated or is it my imagination??) All I have left is to cut open the buttonholes (which look good to me!), attach buttons, and tack down the facing. Then it will be done! I have had to take this one a bit slower than my usual mad rush because of all the little things and I have still not yet decided about the pockets. I know A Dress A Day's Erin is sold on pockets, but I'm just not sure yet. I will take a pic and then solicit advice from you, faithful readers.

My next dress, methinks, will be a royal blue minidress made from a free downloadable Burda pattern!


Her name is Zoe (the dress, of course!) Isn't she a cutie? I was very impressed by the styling of their free patterns. Danielle is very sweet too. Even with some of the higher-end Simplicity patterns you have to work against the photo. I am constantly showing J dresses to which he responds apathetically before I explain how it could actually be made to look cool instead of like some drab churchlady from 1991. It is an uphill battle, people. Take a note from Burda, you patternbook stylists!

It was a bit annoying to assemble the thing, but took less time than a trip to the fabric store. I also like that they are promoting the sale of items made from their free patterns on Etsy. I will probably start this Wednesday. Tomorrow there is supposed to be at least an ounce of sun, so it will be a better photo day than today. Can you tell I need a change of scenery?!

Posted by loyd0008 at 6:05 PM