motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
I am still working on the muslin for a dress to play the harp in.  My excuse for not being done with that, and the final dress, and have already purchased shoes to go with it (and a whole other host of harp-related things), is how unbelievably hot it was this summer, but it's more a combination of that and minimal internal encouragement.  So much so that I've been repeating one of my favorite quotes while sewing this morning more than usual: "There are no experimental failures - there's only more data." -Bryce Lynch in Max Headroom. It has kept me sewing this morning. Seriously.

The muslin doesn't fit and look exactly like I want, but I'm unable to adjust it further because I have no seam allowance left, and I started with 1" SA!

I also read through my Deconstructed Dress post to see if I wanted to add any stabilizers.  The type of stabilizing on that dress won't work with a dress that's underlined.

Off to collect more data!
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
I stayed up late taping this together:

Reeeally need to get a new camera


It made me giggle.

Next up is drawing the style lines on the dress and cutting it back apart to get a sense of what the pattern pieces will look like, as well as where the seamlines will be so I can figure out how to arrange the fabric design.

The pattern is Vogue 9712 and includes a petticoat pattern.
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
I found another dress I like - this one is a little more casual and would work for daytime gigs.

Although it's sleeveless, I like the line of this dress.  I think cap sleeves could be added and still look good.

I can't figure out what kind of mesh they are using. Or how the denim is attached to the mesh. However, it looks like the stretch denim is cut on the bias. It also doesn't look like they used darts to shape it, which would make sense if the whole thing was very stretchy.

This fabric-making technique would maybe work well in other styles of dresses, as seen here in EvaDress's 1939 gown. A blog post about the original dress that inspired her, as well as how she made the fabric is here.

ETA Oh! And Lorelai's dress from "They Shoot Gilmores, Don't They?" dance marathon:


I should look through my vintage patterns to see if this would work for any patterns I already have.  Another thing to add to the to do list.  Or the TADA! list. :)
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
EvaDress is having a contest to sew something from their 40s collection of patterns. And I need nicer clothes for performing on the harp!  What a fortuitous coincidence.

The contest runs from April 16 to June 1 and you can post your project on the facebook page that's linked above.


I chose the pattern D40-3863, view 1. This dress style works well for playing harp because it doesn't have an armscye right at the shoulder, so there's nothing to bind when I'm reaching my arms forward.  Straight skirts don't work for sitting behind the harp, and this one looks to be A-line, and the wrap will probably give me even more room.  The higher neckline of view 1 seems to work better on me. And the long sleeves are good for hiding chicken wings. =P  Although, it looks like the sleeves could easily be left off, if desired.

I want to get an asian jacquard in either a black and gold combination to match my harp, or some sort of emerald green. Or some combination of the two.  I think it will suit that dress well.  However, I have no idea if that's something that will look good on stage.  Do any of you know anything about dressing for the stage?  Patterned fabric, yea or nay?

Then I thought some sort of embroidery would look lovely, even though I swore after my western shirt I would never do embroidery again, especially on black fabric.

I've already gone shopping for the jacquard, but my usual fabric store changed their line of asian jacquards: they all have religious symbols integrated into the patterns.  Um, just chrysanthemums for me, thanks.

Since I haven't even found the fabric yet, I have a feeling that I will be behind on this project. On top of that, my lack of facebooking means I won't be able to easily post my results, and possibly won't enter.  But I can still use the timeline!

Then in the midst of this planning, McCall came out with their latest Archive Collection patterns...


Droooool.  This would be a perfect dress, too.  I don't know when/if I'd ever need something quite that fancy, though.
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
So, now we know why Ichabod will be staying in period clothing and where he gets them.  So clever and not just a little hilarious.

And now...
I'm currently working on finishing up the seventh item1 in my "sew one piece of clothing a week" collection... from October.  Things keep getting slipped into the queue as they have a higher priority.  Like resewing the buttons on my pants again because I'm either losing weight or they are stretching.

And putting gussets in the underarm seam of the sixth item - a basic short-sleeved button-up blouse1 - after completely finishing it, because it was one of those situations where the entire shirt comes up when you lift your arms.  Which is really the point of this post.

After reading Kathleen Fasanella's post about how sleeve cap ease is bogus and what a sleeve cap should look like to follow the actual shape of a person, I wanted to try drafting something like that on the next shirt I made to avoid the shirt-rising problem.

The seventh item is indeed a basic long-sleeved button-up blouse from the same pattern as the short-sleeved.  I took the gusset from the short-sleeved and marked the points where it starts and stops on the arm scye. It makes the bottom of the arm scye over 2" (5cm) higher! And it's not exactly parallel to the floor. It slopes slightly down toward the front.  Not quite as much as some of the pictures in the tailoring forums:armhole-cutter-and-tailor-5-5xBut like this:armhole

I can understand shaping the armhole opening, but the sleeve is beyond my understanding at this point.  Measuring my arm around the deltoids and comparing it to the pattern measurement makes me think I need to add about two inches more in width? Which sort of could correspond to this picture?
sleevecap_comparison

Anyway.

And then there are these which are lesser priority, but frustrating me to think about.

I had to cut myself out of my black and white skirt. Have you ever been able to un-jam an invisible zipper? And it really isn't as full as I originally wanted, so I want to add gores and a new zipper. Which means taking off the bottom black band and making a new one of those.  And I could probably line it this time instead of underlining it. Basically, I would like to make an entirely new skirt. Urg.

The black dress I made from a pattern I thought fit me is exceptionally tight because the waist is too high and I should have lined it, not interlined it.  The corduroy and rayon lining really need to move independently.  Which means, basically, making a whole new dress.  And taking the collar off because it looks a little too... churchy?  Wednesday Addams?

1 From fabric bought for me while visiting home. :)
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
I'm going to draft the rest of this skirt pattern tonight. With my amazing willpower I will get up out of my seat and clean off the plaster of Paris from my sewing table and get cracking. WITH POCKETS.

black-white-flower-dressblack-white-flower-dress-back-3black-white-flower-dress-back-2black-white-flower-dress-side

I always regret not having POCKETS in my skirts or any garment, really, and always forget to put POCKETS in, so emphasis on POCKETS. POCKETSPOCKETSPOCKETS! I'm forgetting it even as I'm typing it! Geez.

DSCN2192

The fabric is 100% cotton decorator fabric that gorthx gifted me a while ago. It was waiting for a decoupage project, because I thought I only had .5 yds, but it turns out it's 1.75 (yay organized stash!). And it fits in really well with my black and white themed collection. Thanks, gorthx! I hope I can piece it as drawn with the yardage I have. The back has slight variations I can't decide on.

The top will come later - a simple boat-neck sleeveless dealy I think I can draft from... something vintage.

Also, I'm debating on sewing this as part of the Fall For Cotton Sew-Along.

My custom lasts are drying in their negative molds. I'm highly suspicious they will not come out well in the toes.

POCKETS!
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
The shoes have been put on hold while I waited for the book to come back to the library, so I switched to...

Making a swimsuit for a vacation that was also, however, put on hold while I waited for the fabric to be pre-washed, so I switched to...

Making things from my stash, which was what I had originally planned to do in January, but was sluggish and unmotivated at that time, which worked out ok because pattern review is having a stash-busting contest.  Based on the person who's already sewn 24 yards1, and the next who's sewn 14, I won't win, but whatevs.

So I've:
- gotten to the point where I'm going to finish the upper and wrap it around my last
- croquised my swimsuit and decided on a design
- made a beach cover-up
- finished the pinstriped dress
- re-fashioned a mohair sweater
- shortened another sweater
- made a headband
- made 3 t-shirts


I'm also working on getting some music I recorded about 7 or 8 years ago up on bandcamp. I need to make some sort of album artwork, and I think I'm close to being done with that.

1 Oh, pardon me, it's actually 36.
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
I got the pinstriped dress cut out yesterday evening despite being fantastically tired. The world seemed to be populated by deceptively sane people who drained my brain's glucose to dangerously low levels.

I decided to use my muslin for underlining, as the fabric is a little bit more lightweight than I had first thought.  Then I'll line the skirt with either whatever I have in my stash or whatever I find on my fabric store run.

Also, I was inspired to start croquising a bathing suit from fabric that's been in my stash for probably close to 2 decades. I hope it still has all its elastic properties! I was doubly inspired after seeing this suit in To Catch A Thief.

to-catch-a-thief-swimsuit
Brigitte Auber


The fabric is blue with white polka dots, and has a nice piqué-like texture.

Blue-White-Polka-dots
Not to scale
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
A few days ago I was croquising (really, it's a word) some vintage patterns to see what might work for some weird, pink, faille, cotton/rayon? fabric I have, which will be dyed, thank you, as I'm not too much of a pink person. Why do I have this fabric? It was super cheap and I used it to line the back of a quilt I made *mumblecough* years ago1. So I have decent yardage.  One of the dresses I thought about making was Retro Butterick 6632.

Butterick-Retro-6632

After croquising it, I realized I had other fabric in my stash that would work really well for this (donated *mumblecough* years ago by my sis2, and remembered and easily accessed now that I'm all organized).
navy-blue-ecru-pinstripe-small

I've been muslining this dress and it is... not progressing smoothly. Ahem. I made a petite adjustment above the waist in the back, which helped the back fit perfectly, but then the front pulled to the back, so I adjusted the front, too, which sort of made it fit really well, but threw off the proportions of the dress bodice and it didn't look so great anymore. But the waist seam is actually at my waist.

And the square neckline is not square, it curves upwards.  After slicing and dicing the front chest for more room, the neckline sat much better, but still curves up. It looks better square on me, I think.

Then I moved to the skirt because the back had diagonal folds of fabric hanging down from the side waist to center back. I assumed this was a sway back alteration, so I tried to alter for that, but was unsuccessful. Then, I just substituted in the shaping of the back of my EvaDress trousers and that took care of the problem, almost. It's hanging much better, but still has a few folds, they are just shallower and don't extend down as far as they did.  The bottom of the bodice is really curved, too

I realized the skirt probably doesn't fit me because I don't have the proper shaped undergarments. And I have to say, I'm okay with that.
1956-girdle
Jeezy-creezy!

The bottom seam of the bodice has an exaggerated curve, which is probably a culprit in the skirt not hanging properly, as well. So my next tasks are to try to redraft the skirt and straighten the waistline, and see if I can get the bodice to both fit and look proportional.

Writing this all out highlights all the problems I'm having with this pattern, and usually I'd be hyper-annoyed by this, but it's actually keeping my interest, so much so that I'm avoiding other things that usually keep my interest3.

1. Note: when using slippery fabrics as the backing for quilts, they tend to, well, slide, and you end up waking up in the middle of the night shivering.
2. Originally slated for a dress I saw in a magazine in 1999 and still have not drafted the pattern for.
3. Sorry, harp. Really, I'll be interested in practicing again someday.

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