motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
I like this jaquard fabric from BigZFabric on etsy - it seems like it would drape well as it's "lightweight". But I need to croquis it to see if it would work on me.
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.


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.


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.

motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
RSCN2187Wow, Barge Cement is really... fragrant.  I read all the warnings in the book and on the tube, and worked outside, and I still had watery eyes.  Be warned.

You can also make the usual rubber cement snot balls. Be warned.

The padding and shanks are in. The heels are covered.  One extra step I thought I'd read, but now can't find, is to stick the outer fabric to the felt.  I feel I have to do this because the fabric is floppy and the sole and heel basically are only going to be adhered around the edges to the outer fabric.  This might be because I didn't understand the instructions for constructing the upper layers and they are in the wrong order.

I also tried to shape the heels a little bit with my Dremel sanding drum.  We'll see what they look like.  Heels would be another great thing to make with a 3D printer (and a 3D scanner?).
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.

Brigitte Auber

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

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.


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).

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.

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.
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
I finished one couch cushion.

I made a silk bandana with a hand-rolled hem to sleep in to see if it keeps my hair from frizzing. Sadly, it was faster to do this than use either machine.

I'm reworking the buttonholes on my blouse. Again. But this time with better, thicker thread.

I gave the newly-repaired serger a test run in preparation for revamping a sweater. It didn't go so well. :( Further testing is needed in order to determine if problem is of machine origin, or operator error.

In other news, today was...difficile.
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)

DSCN1736 DSCN1735
DSCN1741      DSCN1738
Top: 1st glove
Bottom: 2nd glove

So these aren't as polished-looking as I'd like, but much better than the machine sewn gloves. By far.

Original gloves + 1/2"

I think that has to do mostly with having a better pattern. I took apart some vintage gloves that I loved and wore to death and made a pattern. That way, the pattern already had all my finger... quirks molded in.  Except for the quirk that my palms are a size medium and my fingers are an extra 1/2 inch longer. Or, as I found out after making them, my thumbs and pinkies are only 1/2" longer, my other fingers are 5/8" longer. Geez.

I also left the fourchettes in a "V" shape because I didn't think the grain of the stretchy fabric would make that much of a difference (It would if it was really stripey, but the bias in between the fingers might also look pretty cool.) The original fourchettes were stitched into a V after construction, which in hindsight, would make them easier to stitch.

Top: Sulky Cotton "Petite"
Middle: DMC Perle Cotton No 8
Bottom: Original (cotton?) thread

I managed to salvage a goodly length of the original thread used to sew the gloves. It appeared to be either cotton or silk, although since "100% cotton" was written/stamped on the inside of the gloves, I'm assuming it's cotton. And no, I'm not going to light anything on fire, thank you. (Which reminds me, I need to check and make sure my fire extinguisher is still pressurized.) The original gloves were sewn with a double length of thread.

At the fabric store, I chose two threads that appeared to have the same kind of twist as the original, and one to match and one lighter weight. I sewed the left-hand glove with the perle cotton, which was a bit too much of a pull to get it through the thinner fabric. The right-hand glove got the Sulky Cotton treatment, and it was much easier to pull the threads through.

My next project will be to try these with actual heavy-weight ponte knit and see if the edges look more finished and less ravely.

Do any of you know a source for 100% ponte knit? My google-fu turned up nothing - the places that say they have 100% cotton ponte in the search results, don't.
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
The last and most recent project is another skirt based on the skirt Flora wore in "Cold Comfort Farm".

I saw something nasty in the woodshed!

I drafted a version of it a few years ago, couldn't find the pattern recently, so drafted what I hope will be a basic A-line skirt block THAT I WILL KEEP AND NOT LOSE, and added a pleat in both the front and center back seams. This is also the skirt I croquised and subsequently realized the 50s skirt I wanted to make actually needed to be this pleated skirt. Alas, I did not have enough fabric for pockets.

Aaaand after cutting it out noticed holes right down the front - hard to notice on a double layer of fabric. I don't know if they've been there the whole time, or developed because the fabric has been undiscovered in my stash for so long. But I fixed them with a few little squares of fusible knit interfacing.


The pleats are handy both for striding towards a camera while looking grim, and riding a bike while looking like a dork (I'm assuming).

Flora skirt

I may need to adjust the block for a swayback, or simply stand up straight.
Flora skirt

And since the fabric has a subtle blue pinstripe, it will be a good match for this sweater:

Blue Beaded Sweater
Someone fire the maid for her ironing skills, pronto

You can once again see more in my Flora skirt flickr set.


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