Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It is done! Well, almost...

The front...

The back...

I just have to handsew the lining to the zipper tape, and that's about it. I had a bugger of a time with the invisible zipper. I had to rip it out and redo it, but I am happy that I did...I got the stripes to line up perfectly in the back. All told, the dress probably took me about 75-100 hours to do...but well worth it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Books by mail

We live about an hour and a half away from a decent bookstore. That may be a good thing, since the both of us collect books, and although we have two seriously large bookcases, space is getting tight on some of them. Of course, I have them all categorized on the different shelf is for art history (almost full)... one is for history (almost full)...another is for our favourite authors (not quite full enough)...and so on.

Image from
I found this book online, and I had to have it. I've always loved the look of the Project Alabama clothes, and now there's a book showing you how to recreate your own $1,200 skirt? Click, click, mine.

It's a beautiful book, with its linen binding and heavy pages. I picked it up at the post office after I dropped off Olivia at her ballet class. There's nothing like opening up our mailbox and seeing the little card telling you that you have a package. I paged through it while Olivia practiced being a rainbow flower. It is written in a very familiar, chatty style, and it makes you feel like you are almost there. Interspersed with the sewing projects are some of the author's favourite recipes. I really enjoy the Alabama Chanin website. It is absolutely beautiful. The Fall/Winter 08-09 catalogue is an absolute work of art. Its imagaes are amazingly powerful. Check it out.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Dress in progress

I love my dress. It's been so long since I've sewn anything for myself, that I've forgotten what it's like to create something that is custom-fit for you. I'm about three-quarters the way finished. I wanted to try and get it done for was our staff awards bsnquet, and the theme this year was the Academy Awards, so they wanted people to wear something fancy. But, I didn't want to rush the process, plus there's a lot of hand sewing to do. Oh yeah...and that part that's missing between the bodice and the skirt. Still have to cut that out.

Plus, I still have to figure out how the skirt/lining gets attached to the inside. Hotpatterns has no schematics for their patterns, and sometimes, I really, really need that picture to help me visualize. But in all actuality, it's not a hard pattern. I made it harder on myself by slicing off the seam allowances included so I could add whatever width seam allowance I wanted. Since I'm not used to doing that, I found that challenging. So, what I ended up doing was taking apart the muslin that I made, and using those as my pattern pieces. Then I didn't have to bother trying to alter the paper pieces...the muslin was already altered.

Another thing I did differently than what the pattern recommended was making the inner mounting piece out of muslin, instead of lining. I didn't think that the silk habotai I was using for the lining would support the bodice pieces much. I'm glad I decided to do that.

Oh yes, ignore the mess in the background of the picture. I don't realize how disastrous my room gets when I work on something, and I am spoiled by having my own dedicated room for my sewing stuff.

Friday, April 04, 2008

A funny thing happened when I was looking through my pattern pieces...

...I found these curious pieces labelled "Skirt Lining Front". And "Skirt Lining Back". As in...the skirt lining is cut into a nice A-line shape. It does not even closely resemble the outer skirt, and it does not need 200 inches of fabric like I initially thought. Ack.

So, the good news is that I can get the entire dress done with the amount of lining that I have, without having to wait for the extra stuff that I have on order.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

So, I was working on my dress today

Well, I got the lining preshrunk and pressed. Then, I was doing the preliminary sussing out of where the pieces go, and since I've had the world's longest run of the flu/cold/Black Plague, I thought that the problems that I was having was just based on my fuzzy brain. I bought the lining fabric based on the measurement that the pattern gave for sari fabric...4.5 yards. Not realizing, however, that saris are about 6.5 yards. Yup...I'm short. Dang it.

Oh well, on a happier front, I am wearing pants today that I haven't been able to wear since before Olivia. I came to the realization that the statute of limitations on the excuse of "Well, I DID have a baby" expired about four years ago. Yay me!

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