butterick 5748

Outfit post: The Batter-Up! daydress


So this has taken forever! I finished this dress over the summer and have worn it a whole bunch of times. I was pretty damn pleased with the results. I did a post on the making back in August (August!?!?!) and here we are, live in the in the flesh. Or fabric.


I admit that a big part of what keeps me from blogging about my finished garments is really that I have a hard time snagging a good spot to take photos. With a 5 year old in the house and my full-time job plus teaching nights I get caught up with myself and have a hard time wanting to tear myself away from sewing versus taking pictures of the dresses and outfits I so love wearing. 

I am This reminds me of my most-hated habit people have in online dating personal ads: I'm so busy I can't meet people the usual way. Ugh. You're too busy to meet people? Great. Sounds like we have a great chance at making a go of things. *sigh* 

Dear readers, whoever you might be, I promise not to make sucky excuses in future about not being able to snap a few photos. Poor snaps are better than no snaps. Done. Moving on. 


This was my first try at making a dress with a pleated skirt. Like I said at the start, super pleased with the results! I did it free-hand using inverted box pleats. The only thing that really went wrong was the alignment of the front pleats with the waist darts. Fortunately the busy print keeps anyone by me from noticing. Woo?

Outfit details:
Dress- me-made, fabric from SR Harris
Cardigan- Gap outlet, shortened by me, similar here: Kinny and Howie
Shoes- Earth Shoes Solstice
Bracelets- various spots
Necklace- Christmas gift from my stepdad a few years ago





Choosing Patterns, some how's and why's

My closet is a dense forest of me-made wardrobe items. Crammed and straining. And yet, i cannot stop myself from sewing more things to wear. I used to get sad and wistful looking into my closet, wishing I had something I was excited to wear. After I started making my own gear my closet visits transformed! Now I stand before my closet flooded with excitement about which awesome, exciting, well-fitting outfit to wear today

On the right you can my sweater bag. Cardigans in many colors and shapes, organized into warm, cool and neutral stacks. In truth, my sweater bag lives in my dude's closet. Mine, although the larger of the two bedroom closets, isn't big enough. It's love. 

So with so many fun choices how do I decide what to make next? How do I balance pattern selections? What makes a good scale, color, texture choice? Below I'll walk you through some snaps of a recent trip our to my favorite fabric warehouse! Most of my fabric choices are a variety of quilting cottons, which simplifies things a bit. I like working with quilting cottons, easy to sew, easy to care for and SO MANY CHOICES!!!


Here's a stack I had gathered up, trying to work out what I should get and what wouldn't make the cut! If you ever see that weird lady in the fabric store draping fabric over herself... think of me. I'm that lady. It's really one of the best ways to understand how a pattern will be affected by the curves of your body, whether the scale will work for you, if the color is flattering. 


This pretty light yellow-green fabric was a definite thumbs-down. Looking at my skin next to this fabric I felt super washed out. I love the scale and that the pattern offers fun possibilities for using on-grain or on-bias. Sadly, it didn't make the cut.


I struggle with feedsack patterns. I really liked this color but this particular fabric was a plaid crepe with varying levels of sheerness/opacity. I don't like to line my skirts so this one didn't make the cut either. 


Oh man, I went back and forth on this fabric for a long time. I think I worked through the stack and came back to it 2 or three times. I so love the energy of this print, it's a little wild and fireworks-y and the shade of pink is nice and versatile. I loved the idea of the fabric in a skirt and kept imagining twirling in a circle skirt of pink fireworks... but I could not get a good image in my head with the fabric for a bodice. Who knows, perhaps next time I will see the boom boom pow pattern again. Didn't make it this time. 


At this point I am guessing you might be wondering well... what did you get? I loved this crosshatch. I like the smallness of the different elements in the pattern and how it is balanced out by the all-over, irregular cross-hatch. From a few feet away the pattern did not break into distinct boxes or stripes, also a major plus. The dots here are green, blue, white and brown. The background is pink with a darker pink crosshatch. Very flexible for cardigans. We had a winner!


You can kind of see it in my secret-excited little smirk here; I loved this fabric. It said, Barbie Throws a Party or Donna Reed's Summer Shindig or Please Wear Me With Little White Gloves!!! I brought this one home. Classic polka dots with bold pink roses breaking things up. I like irregular polka dots as I find that straight polka dot matrices make my eyes water, they look like they are vibrating. So this was a perfect solution.


Sadly, one more that did not make the cut. These are the kinds of fabrics and patterns that I really love and really wish worked for me. You can see how wan and washed out I look next to it. The pattern has a fun Deco look but I just couldn't get something that would look so blah in color next to my skin. 

I regularly make another round through the store after cutting my initial choices. First off, they ask you to reshelve your fabrics yourself. Second, I almost always feel like I will find one more thing now that I am in the zone. Here is a shot of all the lucky home-comers from the last go-around. You can see a whole bunch of things that didn't make the pictures. Some of these I felt so strongly about I didn't both with pictures for. I have finished 4 dresses from these fabrics so far. The Lemon Surprise fabric was a 2nd round find as was the chambray with discharge print roses in the upper right hand corner.  


I finally got a tripod for my camera so more outfit posts on the way! Hurray! Hopefully this helped expand your horizons of print and pattern possibilities! 

xo, 
Sarah



Travel packing and livin' la vida me-made.




 Vacation in progress! Here we are in Cape Cod, MA ready to get our Yaaaay! on right before Barry and Monica began their epic walk down the aisle. Mike looked amazing in his seersucker suit and Venetian boater hat. Sometimes he tries to rebel against his hipster-inclined ways but I am usually able to cajole him into owning it. He's a beautiful man and can pull of strong colors and statement pieces. Once he takes the plunge he rocks it pretty hard. I knew he would for this trip, too.

I wore a modified version of Butterick 5748. It's the regular bodice with the notch in front. I had previously made the neck-gape adjustment to my pattern pieces and the tiny amount of leftover gape was handled beautifully by the ease created by the notch. I added an extra-full gathered skirt and in-seam pockets for this version and am pretty pleased with the results over all! This is the first time I applied a rick rack trim over the surface instead of as an edge treatment. It was also the first time I used the basted-shut zipper technique I saw here. I have done once or twice since then and will definitely be incorporating it into future garments!



Certainly I must be getting ahead of myself, though! In my last post I talked about sharing some of my me-made wardrobe travel tips and observations.

Here are a couple of shot showing my packing in-progress. I hung out all of the dresses I planned to take on this trip so that I could coordinate jewelry and shoes. I tend to gather everything up on the bed before starting to fit it into my bags. I have been traveling with a 1-bag rule for a few years now. The addition of my train case is definitely a break of tradition and I wanted to make sure I wasn't just taking along additional things for the hey of it.

When packing I come to a point that I just know that I have reached the tipping point. I prefer to leave a little extra room in my bags to allow me to bring home treats for myself and my stepdaughter.
 Mommy Dearest's line may be "No wire hangers!" but my own is, "No checked baggage!"

1- sorely dislike waiting for the carousel
2- becomes difficult to carry it all solo
3- risk of loss is too high
4- mid-trip changes increase risk of loss
5- traveling with vintage or me-made means not   being able to replace things = heartache

I've encountered a lot of drama in my travel. I have learned to cut it out wherever possible.


Because I'm a nutball I, of course, had a last dress in-progress the night before we left. I promised myself (and my boyfriend who kept eyeing my pile of dresses with trepidation and a hairy eyeball) that if I finished the new dress one of the trip dresses would come out of the pile and the new dress would get work on the plane.

I've been working on tweaking a self-drafted bodice to include a v-neck.  In the purple striped dress below it worked out quite well! After making the pink dress I think the bias is the reason is worked so well.

In any case, here's a hotel mirror shot of me at 8pm after getting up and dressed and out the door around 4am, trekking through the airport, Boston and 3 hours of driving. I think it looks damn fine. Whatever reservations I still had about the dress are gone! Especially since I shortened one of my black cardigans to pair with it (and a million other dresses!)


The last dress for this post is the purple striped number i mentioned above. If you follow me on Instagram then you've seen it already. This was my first try at pattern matching! I'm super pleased with the results. I even found that I could get in and out of this dress without inserting a zipper. I'm still on the fence about whether to go back and put one in. I mostly think it would make getting dressed easier... What do you think?

Tomorrow we are off to the City of Brotherly love for some fabric shopping, fried chicken and donuts, farm-to-table food and some general lovin' and kickin' around. I hope to get some more action-shots of my clothes. Soon! Happy Monday Blogland!