Wednesday, April 23, 2008

More Mail and internet browsing

Being laid up isn't so bad as long as there is home delivery. !!
My friend Susan sent these along today, she ordered them and ended up having to order a half size smaller. So last week, when she was in town, and we were having dinner, she mentioned them, and voila - here they are today. I love them, which is a work in progress for me, as I'm really a truly a heels kinda girl, and flats have never had a real solid place in my heart!

Some of you have dibs on my fabric collection when I end up having to clean out, some of you have dibs on parts of my library, one of you has dibs on my loom...well, Susan has dibs on my shoe collection! LOL, every time we get together, (a couple of times a year) we have to check out the shoes. I love these, they're staying.

From the Gorsuch catalogue.
velvet python textured. handmade in venice, italy.


Another benefit of being told to lay down and do nothing - guilt free internet browsing time!

Lindsay T has an interesting poll and question up on her blog this week - hurry since it's been up for a few days already. She's asking if you give complementary feedback on something that you don't think is flattering or think is poorly sewn when reading reviews on PR.
Ann at Gorgeous Things has just announced a sale on cottons and coatings (see, I can even be an enabler flat on my back side!
Grand Traverse Yacht Club burnt to the ground in a fire last week. :(

and evidently, the Fashionistas at Elle Magazine are declaring the imminent demise of The Dress. Read about it here

My mailbox too

Thanks Mom!

I knew as soon as I saw that they were tulips that they were from my mom.
Aren't they pretty?
I'm going to tell you about the delivery, b'cause I think it's hysterical - don't get mad if you don't think it's funny.
The delivery guy comes to the door - and rings the bell then pounds on the door. It takes me a minute to get vertical, then another minute to walk to the door. He can see me through the glass sidelights - so he knows I'm coming and moving slowly.
He tells me he has flowers, that I need to sign for, then asks if I'm ok.
I tell him "no, I'm not ok, which is probably why I'm getting flowers"
So he takes the signed clipboard back to his vehicle, then walks back up the walk with a vase of tulips. "What did you do?"
"I fell while rollerblading"
at which point he looked at me critically, and said
"You're a bit old for that aren't you?"


I didn't then, I just glared at him....really!
But in retrospect, I think it's hysterical.
He was easily in his mid-forties. I wish I'd been quick enough to think of a rejoinder like "bit old to be a flower delivery boy aren't you?"

Anyway, moving on...
Before I so ingloriously fell on my butt, I got this in the mail from my sister.

The full set of the Norwegian stranded knitting accessory patterns with English translations that I've been lusting after for a year now, but have been too cheap to order for myself.
Thank you Thank you Miss D
(and you don't even have either one of your jackets yet...)

Now I've got to find my needle roll.
Several months ago I lost my needle roll - the one that has all my double points and some of my single point needles in it.
The one that has my beloved Susannah ebony 2 1/2" (or is it 3"?) glove needles, my Lantern Moon dpns and single points, my rosewood 1.5's and 2.0's and 2.5's dpn's.
It's going to cost me easily $150 to replace the needles that were in that case. I just keep thinking it's going to turn up somewhere, because I never take it with me when I pack up knitting and go - but I must have taken it somewhere, because it isnt' turning up.

So I'm on this big fabric reduction plan right?
But, I go into Hancocks to pick up patterns for some friends, during their Simplicity sale. And get snagged by the poly ITY knits just inside the door. (This was obviously last week - I havent' moved from the couch since Sunday night)
ITY knit from Hancocks
a dress length with contrast.

enough for a top. Stuff was on sale for $4/yd.
now I need to get some foldover elastic like Cidell just used on her dress

This doesnt' help the stash reduction, you know.
at least they'll make up fast and easy, once I can sit at a machine again.

Truly, it isn't sitting at the machine that I'm so concerned about as the standing on the concrete floor - even with the dense foam pads I have around the cutting table, standing hurts when I'm not injured.

And, I want to say thank you to each and every one of you who've written and commented in the last couple of days.
I'm overwhelmed by your concern. Thank you so much.
Toya wanted me to post that I'm getting on - well, this is as much as I could do. I'm still mostly horizontal. Just taking a shower zaps every bit of energy I had this morning.
I am trying today with Tylenol instead of the Vicodin. Yes, Vicodin is good stuff, but I had such a short attention span that I couldn't even make it through the movie I rented - Atonement.
Costumes were gorgeous! Love the costuming. But was that movie the slowest ever, or was it the Vicodin? I couldn't pay attention to it for more than 15 minutes at a time.

Can't read a book either - I've got a wicked headache. Wonder how long it'll be before that goes away?

Anyway, keep creating. And if you need something to do:
Marina is looking for input on matching yarn to sweater patterns. I tried and the concentration just isn't there - although I'm usually pretty on top of that kind of thing.

Monday, April 21, 2008

making lemons out of lemonade

Yesterday was a gorgeous sunny beautiful day here in St Louis

so hubby and I loaded the car with our respective choices of gear for making use of the trails (paved) over at Lake Creve Coeur, and went on our merry way.
I strapped on my K2's
put on my wrist guards, and agreed with hubby that we'd meet back at the car in two hours (he was going riding on his bike).
you can guess where this is going?
20 minutes later, I fell for the first time ever on rollerblades, and I've been rollerblading for 9 years.
I need to take this moment to publicly acknowledge and thank the perfect strangers who stopped in succession to help me yesterday. The trail system, on a beautiful spring day, is as crowded a place as there is in St Louis - but I'd gone off on a remote spur to get my legs under me for the first time out this year. It was at least 5 minutes before anyone came along...which is maybe ok, since it took me that long to figure out if I was willing to try to move.
A family of 4 stopped, I gave the woman my car keys and she rode her bike to the parking lot, found my car, and got out my Tiva's and brought them back to me while her husband helped me to get my skates off, then helped me to stand.
Then they went off riding, and I began the longest walk of my life, to get back to the parking lot, (which was only a mile back) carrying my skates. Another woman came along and took my skates from me, rode them back to the parking lot and left them where I could pick them up when I got there. They were so heavy I think I might have left them at the side of the trail if she hadn't offered that service to me.
Then another woman, walking the other way, turned around and walked with me, (inched is more like it), and stayed with me until my husband came along.

Many thanks to each of them.

Xray's at the ER confirmed I have a broken coccyx (tailbone), as well as a mild concussion and a sprained wrist. Thank Heavens for the wrist guards, or else I'd have another shattered wrist. This time it's the right one.

Vicodin is good stuff.
However, this little outing has put a real crimp in my life for the coming weeks

I'm to lie on in whatever position I can manage for 2 days - which is mostly on my side, on the couch. I've got Vicodin for 5 days.
I've got audio books, real books, and a television.
and a bit of frustration.

The Anna Sui fabric for a dress that I cut out Friday and Saturday, the knit top sitting on top on my machine table that is my moms that needs stitching before I can stitch anything else- she's taking it to Greece in a few weeks, the skirt that I also need to finish putting the lining into for D, which was to be stitched before stitching my dress - all is on hold.
I'm afraid so is my Girls weekend in Chicago next weekend.
I'll have to see how I'm doing on Thursday. I might be able to go if I take the train up- I'm fairly certain I won't be able to sit long enough to drive.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Nothing is New under the Sun

Everyone is putting up inspiration photos and planning out spring sewing.
I can put up some inspiration photos, and some I just find plain fascinating, but I'm at the point where I need to not plan too far ahead in my sewing. I'm coming off 9 mos of PLANNED sewing, and I want some spontaneity right now. I want to sew what the spirit moves me to sew.
That is likely to change on a daily basis.
And, I still have something like 30 garments to get made for my sister in swift succession.
Anyway, on to some eye candy and then todays project:

The dress on the left is in the University of Virginia's Collection of Historic Dress
(do go take a minute to look at the collection. total Eye candy.)
The dress on the right is on the cover of the current issue of Cadena, the Spanish fashion magazine that sells fabrics through Fishmans here in the US. (those links may or may not work, I've edited so many times they don't look right anymore)

Tuleh dress

Tuleh dress that is on my radar. I think I know exactly which fabric I'm going to use.
I'm thinking this silk chiffon/satin stripe print that I picked up in Traverse City before I moved here will work chiffon FFD
I'm finally settling down to not fighting my figure but sewing what I know works on my shape - and this is one. Like the pattern? It's vintage 1980's. I'm seeing a lot of 80's influence on the runways now.

Next up is This Bottega Veneta that has been on my radar too since it walked the runway. How nice of KnipMode to reproduce the pattern, and many thanks to Sigrid for pointing the way there to me.
It's very reminiscent of a dress that I made in 1979-1980(?) out of lemon yellow Qiana. I wore that dress until it fell apart. I loved it. And, I've looked high and low without success, trying to find the pattern. I must have let go of it somewhere along the line. Well, I was lamenting this fact to my friend Sharron earlier this week, and what did she do, but call me back 4 hours later saying she had it in her pattern stash - uncut still in factory folds in the envelope. WooHoo! I'm seeing her Friday morning (oh, that's tomorrow) and picking it up from her.

Meanwhile, I'm taking a sewing day for me today. (I'll still finish hand sewing in the lining tonight on my sisters jacket, but today, It's all about ME).

In the washer right now, on delicate setting, is the Anna Sui silk gauze that many of us got from Fabric Mart when they had all that fabric for $4.99/yd
Well, if you have a piece of it, I'm here to tell you that I'm very disappointed, upon getting it out to work with it today - to find that the print is seriously off-grain.
There is a reason those fabrics were selling so cheaply. (and there is a reason that 90% of my stash is Not cheap fabric).

I pulled a thread this morning, and evened up the edges to check grain. This is how far off the print register is.
this is an odd piece. I've never worked with anything quite like it.
the yarns are crimped, much like the yarns used to weave crepe

But the weave structure is plain

and fairly open, creating a fairly sheer fabric.

I'll let you know at the end of the day what I've decided to do with it.

Flowers on the Trees

It's Spring
from my deck

Aprons are Big Deals these days, it seems. Look at the number of sewists who've signed on for the next Apron Swap - signups ended this is just an item of interest. Who Knew aprons - APRONS - would be such a hot thing?
I wear an apron when I cook, unless I'm wearing an old T-shirt - I splatter.
This is one I've had since the 70's. Peace/love/and rock 'n roll
And this is one that a friend gave me for my Birthday last year (or was it the year before?)
The basic apron is one of those twill chefs aprons that they sold to all who were getting into Machine Embroidery in a big way.
Sharron did all vegetable embroidery on this one.

I love it.

Do you wear an apron? If so, what does it look like? Full or half? Functional or fashionable?

Wednesday Sewing Tip for the Day:

When you're handsewing, does your thread sometimes knot up constantly, and other times it's fine?
Start threading your needle with the thread before you clip the thread from the spool. Then, when you clip the thread off the spool, knot that end right away.
Thread, like yarn, is s-twist or z-twist. Actually, unless it's some super weird specialty thread - if it's sewing thread it's likely Z-twist. It has a direction, and is meant to be stitched and pulled through fabric in the direction it comes off the spool. If you pull it 'backwards' through your fabric the thread will untwist as its being sewn with, and it'll cause all sorts of havoc.

Cidell just left a comment about hostess aprons. I'm an apron neophyte, I admit it. But Cidell has just posted about making pretty aprons this past week, and I just went looking to see what a "hostess apron" is. And I came across Jessie Steele

I Love those feminine little hostess aprons. I want one like the Josephine Cafe Toile apron. OMG, my grandmother is sitting up in her grave laughing out loud. This kid from the sixties who would have nothing to do with aprons is wanting something like That!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Another top and pant

in the mailbag
Straight black pants with side pockets and another wrap top from Vogue 8390
After removing a horizontal slice from the backwaist area, the fit on this, the third top from this pattern, should be about perfect.
Both of these fabrics were purchased for this wardrobe. The black RPL is some of the nicest RPL I've ever come across, and it was the qualifying purchase from Timmel Fabrics. The Rayon jersey for the top was one of those "too perfect to pass up" opportunities that I found in a local fabric store. (Sew it Seams on Manchester in St Louis MO).
I got another one of my perfect matches on the wrap, of which I'm proud.

Yesterday I packaged up 99 yards of fabric! Ninety Nine yards, and you know what, between those 99 and the sewing that I've done this year, it still hasn't made a Dent in my stash.
I still can't get everything on the shelves or in the cedar chest, and I still have "Stuff" all over the place.
So, if you missed the stash reduction Giveaway because you didn't get on the computer over the weekend, don't despair. Another one will be in the cards come the end of summer. I'm quite sure of it.

Happy April 15!
Yesterday I went to USP with several boxes that were too big for the post office - no problem there. Then I went to the Post office. I forgot that today is April 15. I mailed only those packages that I could mail from the auto-teller machine in the lobby. The line was over an hour long.
The international packages and the media mail packages, and the one going to a military base - those are still in my car. I'll venture out to the post office again Tomorrow - but no way on God's green earth am I going there today. For my international readers, today is the day that all Internal Revenue Tax Returns for 2007 are due in the Mail. They must be postmarked by midnight tonight. Post offices across the USA will stay open until 11PM tonight in order to accept mail from those who waited until the last minute. Serious fines and penalties accrue if your tax return is late.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

50 by April 15

Not quite there yet - and not shown are two awaiting photos, and the 7 garments made with mom this past week - of which I claim construction on 3. And also yet to come are the garments that are ALMOST finished. (if you're the type that has to count - there are 38 items/garments that are finished, wearable, hanging in a closet right now - there are 2 waiting on photos, and the rest are waiting on a hem, a waistband, a facing, a trim....)
So close, yet not wearable, so, They Do Not Count yet.
50 by April 15

You'll also notice, that a number of SWAP garments are not in the frame. They didn't make the deadline for sewing. ;(
It's really is. scroll down for my thoughts, and my letter to my sister and all who are disappointed that I didn't make the time frame.

But First, the 50 giveaway items to help start reducing the STUFF in my sewing room. I'm feeling swamped with stuff. Time to lighten the load a bit.

The process:
Click on the picture mosaic above. It'll take you to the flickr page. Spend as much time browsing as you care to.
If you see something you would like to claim to add to your collections, and lighten my collection, I will be grateful and happy to pass along the goods. I just am so far past what I can handle in terms of inventory, I must divest myself of some of it.
I will ask you to pay for shipping. I'm not making money on shipping, I'll charge you what it costs me, but I can't be paying it all.
So, back to process, If You see something you would like to claim, PLEASE
  1. leave your name in the comments under the photo - you don't need to be registered with flickr, just leave your name, or some way to ID yourself.
  2. Then send me an email at mlweaving at yahoo dot com. with a brief descript of item(s) and your address to ship to. I'll send you a paypal invoice for shipping, so I need an email addy for paypal too.
You must do both. For my part, I'll ship as soon as I rec'v the shipping $. I will ship internationally.

If an item is tagged, then it isn't available unless you've already had communication with me about it.
If an item is claimed - it's already spoken for. (My mom was here and some friends have also been peeking).

I really hope you'll take advantage of this opportunity to share the stash. I Love almost everything here...but I just can't get it all made up and I'm in a position where storing it is becoming a real issue. I would love to pass some along and then have the opportunity to see what You do with it.
Oh, other caveat: You May Not send anything at all back to me. Nada. As I stated, storage is an issue, and I'm trying to let go of stuff, not trade it for other stuff - ok!?

On to SWAP and contest discussion
When I first approached my sister "D" about making this year's wardrobe for SWAP for her, I had no idea how it would play out.
I didn't finish 11 items for specifically one wardrobe by the deadline yesterday. But I have completed close to 30 garments for her since starting on this journey, and there are many more to come.
I'm so grateful to Julie at Timmel for promoting and sponsoring the contest, and for all the encouragement I've received along the way, and to my sister for allowing me to get her into this.
I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to sew this the way I have.
What I've gained from this process:
  • My sister and I have grown closer over the last 9 months, when we first started planning and started testing garments, than we've ever been. We talk to each other now almost weekly. We've seen each other twice since last August. For this alone, participating has been worth it.
  • I've learned SO Much. This has been a real learning process for me. Fitting myself is something I've always done. Fitting someone else is something I've only started working on in the last couple of years. Fitting someone else long distance has required building communication skills and patience. I'm so happy that we attempted this. And I Think my sister will tell you that it's been a learning process on her end too. She's trying styles and combinations that she wouldn't have before. She's learning about the joys of custom fit. (She told me that she's getting spoiled now for clothes that aren't custom).
  • The plan was originally to use up a lot of my stashed fabrics - Hah! In this we were less than marginally successful. Yes, we used some stashed fabrics, But, I have to admit that far too much got added to the collection everytime something looked "just perfect" to go with the wardrobe.
  • I learned (I'm learning) to prioritize on what is important. Because of the nature of the long distance sewing, everything takes so much longer than normal. I could have banged out the rest of the garments in time (well - maybe, I had some unexpected events in the last 2 weeks), but I would have had to compromise quality for the sake of a deadline, that IRL isn't significant. We never got a dress pattern fit -and for me to make one just to fill the slot that I realized last week was still empty would have been a foolish waste of fabric.
  • I also learned that I don't want to have a zillion projects out and going at the same time. It's going to take another six weeks to finish up all that is here that is in various stages of construction. When it's done - I'm going to try the concept of starting and finishing one garment, all the way through. What a concept. I feel overwhelmed and pressured by having all these projects in transit, so to speak.
There is a lot of fabric left - we have plans for many more garments to add to this wardrobe. Not all pieces will work with every other piece, but the whole is cohesive.

I look forward to some balance in my sewing room.
At the beginning of the year one of my goals was to sew more for other people. Well, between projects for various kids - 5 of the above projects had kids names on them, and the clothes for my sister, and then the past week when my mom was here, and the two of us got 7 items made for her, I've accomplished that.
Going forward, I'm looking for balance. I'll spend the rest of April finishing up some jackets, dresses and another couple of skirts, Then I want to sit my butt down and KNIT!
Going forward, I want to complete one, maybe two items a month to add to D's wardrobe. The fabric is all here. The patterns are here. It's just the execution.
And I want to sew some for me.

I want to congratulate all those who did finish their SWAP wardrobes. Can't wait to see them and go vote. And in all honesty, I'm ok with the fact that my collection is sitting out the judging table.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Are You SABLE?

an acronym meaning Stash Amassed Beyond Life Expectancy

Have you a collection of fabric, patterns, or yarn that qualifies you for SABLE status?

There has been quite a discussion lately on some of the message boards about paring down, about owning "things", and about what is essential.
Lisa began a post last Friday asking the question: "If you could only take 12 patterns with you for a year, what would you take?" (I'm paraphrasing, go read her blog for her excellent ideas on the subject).
I had to think, because I don't think I have 12 patterns that I've used more than once. I tend to be a use it and move on kinda sewist. I think part of the desire to use a pattern more than once stems from the challenge it is to get one to fit, more than a desire not to spend $ on patterns. I'm finding, in sewing for my sister, that once I get a pattern fit, by gosh and by golly I'm going to Get My Money's/Time's worth out of that pattern. For myself, since my fitting issues haven't been that challenging, I'm willing to spend the time it takes to alter new patterns all the time.

Anyway, the patterns I have used more than once, mostly OOP now, are probably not the patterns I'd take with me.
Pop in later for pictures, since I will add some, but I've got to get some sewing done now.

I wanted to get this question out there though.
As you ponder Lisa's question of the 12 patterns you'd take with you,
think about this too:
  • If you are fabric SABLE, and you had to make a decision on what to sew in the next 12 months, and what to let go of, How would you even begin to go about making the decisions?
Last item of the morning.
I am quickly coming up on calling it finished on 50 garments this year - sewn. I had thought to wait to do this at 100, but I'm going to start on the first 50 now - Spring cleaning and all.
When I reach 50, I'm going to pull 50 Things out of my sewing room and do a 50 at 50 giveaway.
There will be everything from buttons to back issues on some Threads and Fiberarts to notions, books, trims and yes my friends, even fabric.
In fact, I think that I'm going to let go of 50 yds of fabric.
I should hit 50 by Friday.
So, on the weekend I'll be putting up my 50 and the way that you can put in your request for which of the 50 you would like. Stay tuned.

oh, and I really want to hear your ideas about how You would go about paring down - that question in blue up there.

Friday, April 04, 2008

More V2898

SWAP St John knit 2 pc V2898 003
If the purpose of the twist to this years SWAP is to get you to get more mileage from a pattern, It's working here.

This time I made both the skirt and top, using a very special fabric from my stash, (well, 2 fabrics) a St John knit.
I don't own a coverstitch machine, and at this point, have no plans to buy one. Yet, for reasons that are totally arbitrary I decided to emulate the look of a coverstitch seam on this top.
I like the juxtaposition of the formality of the fabric with the casualness of the stitch.
I threaded the serger for a 4 thread serge, using Mettler polysheen thread, in white. The white is brighter than the cream of the fabric, but it creates a nice look, and I wanted to bring the color up a bit. I stitched the long seams Wrong sides together, then went over to the sewing machine. I folded the seam allowance to one side, then Using a straight stitch foot, I stitched along the very outside edge, catching the edge of the fabric and the loops from the serger and stitched the seam allowances down. I'm pretty impressed with how it came out.

Notice the coverstitch CF seam off to the righthand side of the pic.

After some experimenting though, the coverstitch look didn't look so good with the rib knit of the skirt, so I stitched those conventionally, right sides together.
Again, I straightened the seamlines up toward the waist from the hip, and again attached a hollywood style waistband with elastic in it, to create a pull on skirt.

as noted when I made up the black lace set, I raised the neckline, both front and back on this top by 1 1/2", I made the strap an inch wider, and in doing the FBA I ended up adding both a dart and extra to the CF curve. Oh, and for the knit, I didn't cut it on the bias - no point. I cut it on the straight grain of the knit.

Overall, I think it's really pretty, and will work well with the other pieces in the wardrobe.

re comments
Toya wrote that bias tape makers are showing up all over the place (I must have my head under a rock, since I didn't know this) and wondered if she should buy one, although she doesn't know why she'd use it. This is excerpted from my reply to her:
I wouldn't recommend buying a bias tape maker just because they're showing up all over the place. Do you every use single fold or double fold bias tape? The stuff you buy at Joanns next to the hem tape? If not, then you probably don't need a bias tape maker either. I use bias tape all the time, but 99 times out of 100 I would prefer to use self fabric rather than the heavier cotton or rayon or whatever it is they're making commercial bias tape out of these days. I'm sure you saw that bias tape that I used to finish the armscyes in the black top I just finished - the last picture on the blogpost. I used the bias tape maker to make the bias for that - because, even though I'm pretty good with an iron, I'm not good enough to turn under 1/4" on each side, toward the center, of a 1" strip of bias. Bias tape makers should be showing up all over for quilters - since quilters use them probably more than anyone else. If you ever want to use something like silk organza or habotai or Ambiance to make the bias to do a hong kong seam finish, or to bind edges instead of using facings, a bias tape maker is invaluable. If you don't do Hong Kong seam finishes - then you probably don't need one. (and for the most part, don't bother with pressing a poly bias strip - it won't hold the press long enough to be able to use the tape.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

nothing for a week, now two in one day - bonus!

Thank you to Summerset and to Carolyn, for the nomination and affirmation. I offer my humble thanks. Now I need to try and live up to this lovely award that's been bestowed.

To pass along the love, (and yes, I know some of these blogs have already been nominated, but, well, they're deserving.)
For excellence in the category of exquisite construction and wonderful tutorials to let the rest of us know how they do it, I nominate
The Sewing Divas - collectively Els, Georgene, Phyllis and Gigi (and MaryBeth and Ann) have given so much to the sewing community in inspiration and direction.
Tany - Nobody does it better.
LauraLo - who's sense of style and willingness to share inspires many of us
Kathleen Fasanella at Fashion Incubator

For excellence in the category of eye candy and exquisite construction I nominate
Kathryn - who doesn't have a blog but her photo gallery is worth several days of internet browsing
Paco Peralta - his work always takes my breath away
Marina. I want to knit like Marina when I grow up.
Lisa at Blackwater Park - fun, funky, and keeps doing it til she's got it perfect to her standards
Claudine - gorgeous creations.

For excellence in the art of persistence and tenacity at the fitting game I nominate
Nancy Win at Encue Creations and Vicki at Hong Kong Shopper.

and last but definitely not least on my list - for total blog excellence, I nominate
Carolyn and Cidell, for keeping it real, for inspiring many many sewists, new and old, and because I really really like them both!

And there are a host of other excellent blogs - it's hard to name just a few.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
SWAP top and skirt details

Fabric: Rayon crepe that's been in stash seemingly forever. It's lightweight, drapey and flattering to wear, doesn't show every little bump underneath it, and bonus, doesn't require lining. I don't mind lining. But, this wardrobe is to be worn in Florida. Sometimes, even in air conditioned offices, fully lined garments are not the optimal thing to have to wear.
Piping fabric is every little teeny tiny bit of the burgundy rayon fancy twill left after cutting a of pants in this collection.
Pattern: Wardrobe pattern Vogue 2898 for skirt - less 6" of length. I just chopped the length right off the bottom of the pattern piece, otherwise the godets would just be too extreme.
I also straightened out the seamlines a bit from the hip to the waist and added a Hollywood style elastic casing to make it a pull-on skirt.
for the top: TNT Butterick pattern 6908

Construction: as stated, I didn't line the top.
I serged all the edges to leave 1/4" seam allowances, serged the edge of the folded bias piping, then stitched my seams inserting the piping between pieces. At then ends of all seams I had to pull the piping back in, as it would not do well in the hem allowances.

To finish the neck edge, I simply stitched piping all the way around, then turned it up, stitched in the ditch, and it's good.
To finish the armhole, I cut 1" wide bias strips of the black crepe, and using my handy dandy bias tape maker I pressed the strip to create single fold bias tape. Then I opened up one flange, and with right sides together stitched around each armscye. Then I turned it all the way under, and hand stitched the bias tape down. The finish is beautiful. No facings, nice clean edge, no linings.
Easy peasy.

notion of the day:
Bias tape maker.
I have one of the old ones, all metal. I've looked and looked on the internet, and I dont think they make them like mine anymore, unless you want the 2" wide or wider variety. Now they all have these plastic inserts in them. I've tried using the ones with the plastic inserts - and it wasn't pretty. I went back to my old one.

Not SWAP, Not Couture: Test garments and Those That Didn't Make the Cut

SWAP is as much about editing as it is about anything.

The test pant, after the muslin out of a minicheck houndstooth from FFC (for all of $1.99/yd).

the color of this rayon jersey matches the check in this pant so perfectly that it became the test garment to work the remaining fitting issues out of the wrap top.

Todays entry is about what got made up in preparation for SWAP - and those that got made up and have been edited out.
First, I'd like to say that somehow 11 garments grew to 22 because two of the base fabrics didn't play well together.
Because I've gotten stalled over the last week and a half (mental issues and some unexpected travel), all 22 garments aren't going to make it to the final gallery. More judicious editing is necessary.
During first planning Vogue 2975 had possibilities. But, the jacket presented more issues than I was willing/able to deal with after the first muslin.
However, the skirt, pant and the top continued to intrigue.

the skirt didn't work

The babydoll top - (something we never would have chosen had we not been trying to get a wardrobe pattern to work) - is OK, but not particularly flattering.

Stitch down the pleats:
With pleats stitched down it becomes much more flattering. I wish I'd gotten a picture of it on her. Once the pleats were stitched down it became figure flattering again, not maternity-ish anymore, and actually, she'd even consider another one in another fabric.

The muslin for the pant fit well. So I morphed the fit of the muslin with the styling points of the pant from Vogue 2975.
Ok, we have a pant pattern that is going to work, that fits, that she likes the style of.
On to cut it out of a cream/white poly. That is sheer, and going to need underlining.
see how the grid of the table shows through the white
from stash comes a very dk nude - bordering on cafe au lait color, poly chiffon (the story of where this came from is something I find hysterical, my sister less so - remind me and I'll tell it after SWAP sewing is done)
take a look at how much of the sheerness becomes opaque by layering the two fairly sheer fabrics on top of each other.
Simply amazing.
I'm using the flat lining method with these pants. LauraLo has just written another excellent tutorial on how this is done, so I'll refer you there for directions, and I'm just going to post some pics here.
I will finish these pants just as soon as I can find the yoke facing, which I seem to have misplaced. They're done except for that. Argh!
Final Fitting

Flat Lining the cream poly

Stitching on the pocket bag

Pant Front

Now to go find the yoke facing.

BTW, many thanks to Debbie Cook who gave me the code to paste in a link that opens in a new window.