Sunday, July 16, 2006

cooking and sewing

Squares for Warming Grace. I received a very nice note from Cynthia, who's organized Warming Grace. She is suffering right now from her fibromyalgia and other things, but is still very actively collecting squares. I'm afraid by sending these squares with such unusual colors that she will have a hard time working them into future blankets, but it was important to me to use the scraps from Joeys blanket for this project.
if you're looking for a charity knit to participate in, the link is here.

I've been inspired by Sew Retro
to finally get going on some of the vintage sewing that I've planned.
I've got a 50's sensibility (and the 50's curvy shape to wear many of the 50's designs). And have been collecting patterns for awhile.
Well, earlier in the week I altered this pattern and cut a muslin. Today I put the muslin together, and I'm really glad I did. The pattern only sort of shows that the bodice really sits away from the body. there is a fichu that sits close to the body, but the bodice itself is way out there. I'm going to have Sharron look at it tomorrow, but I think I'm ready to make it. (it fits me better than it fits the dress form, TG.
I've been looking at the vintage and retro dress patterns from the 50's and am amazed at the construction. Because so many dresses were so much more body conscious and fitted, they really made use of the underarm gusset.
I think that today you almost Never see underarm gussets, in part because home sewers simply don't want to take the time and maybe don't have the skill to insert them.
It's funny in a way that women are returning in droves to knitting, a craft that takes hours upon hours to achieve a garment, yet when they sit down to a sewing machine they want a project to take less than 4 to 6 hours start to finish.
The adage in knitting "to save time, take time to knit a gauge swatch" could easily translate to sewing - to save time, effort, and fabric, take the time to make pattern alterations, and when there is doubt, a fitting muslin.
Moi made the mistake very recently, with a wonderful piece of cotton lawn. I cut a pattern for a simple summer wrap dress, thinking that I would put it together to a certain point, have it fit, then finish it, and it would be ok. WRONG! there was too great a delay between the cutting and the assembly, and I'd forgotten that I'd not altered the pattern at all. I finished the dress last Thurs, put it on, and groaned. I have to take apart the whole bodice, which is at least 4" too big around at the underarm. WHAT was I THINKING? That though, has been the greatest motivator for making the muslins for these last two dresses. The silk that I plan to use for the dress I muslined today is too good, as is the pink cotton lawn for my b'day dress, and there isn't any more of it available in case of catastrophe.
See the silk in pics below. It is a silk shantung brocade with fuschia in the warp and orange in the weft. I'm using a fuschia shantung for the fichu in the bodice, and a deep pink silk charmeuse to line the dress.

On the menu:

So, today, after bike riding in this unbelievable heat (UGH) we went to the new Barnes and Noble. I was looking at one of my fav magazine racks, the cooking magazines, when I saw on their cover a fresh tomato sauce for pasta that looked remarkably similar to one I've been making for at least 15 years. I looked at their recipe, and they've left out the capers, and use lemon juice (I think) in place of the sherry vinegar that I use. Anyway, it inspired me to make my fresh tomato sauce for over the top of fresh angel hair pasta for tonight.

you can go buy the Gourmet magazine, or just copy my recipe from here. I give you permission.

a couple of pounds of fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped. a bunch of fresh basil, sliced thin or chopped. a 3.5 oz jar of capers, rinsed and drained. a little less than 1/4 c sherry vinegar. Salt and ground peppercorns. mix all together in a glass bowl several hours before dinner.

Boil some angel hair pasta (fresh is best for this dish). Rinse and toss with some olive oil. Serve with fresh tomato sauce.


KSD said...

Vous? A mistake? Not that I can see. Beautiful work.

Elizabeth said...

You're making me hungry and I already had dinner!

As I've aged and gotten fat, I find the ways that my body deviates from standard have gotten more exaggerated, so the fitting muslin is more of an issue. Which means I don't get around to sewing as much as I would like.

I think knitters don't mind spending the hours on a project, because it's portable and they do it during times that might otherwise get wasted: waiting rooms, kids' sports events, while watching tv. It's harder to combine serious sewing with other activities and, for me, it takes larger dedicated blocks of time than knitting.

Alissa said...

That dress is going to be gorgeous.

I suddenly want salad.

knittinbrit_in_wi said...

I love the dress, Margi. I love the lines, and the fabric is gorgeous.

Did you see the new season of Project Runway started this week? I was thinking of you.

The fresh tomato sauce sounds wonderful.

Marina said...

Not fair, I can't fill the top of that dress ;-)

Jae said...

Suddenly my take out salad doesn't seem so appealing.

That dress is going to be fabulous! Wish I had the curves to wear it well.