Saturday, April 30, 2011

Final Star Trek Night Nurse dress

I like it. The sleeves jumped between bracelet length (too tight) and no sleeves at all (too lazy to figure out)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Star Trek Night Nurse

I love Star Trek.  The Mod Minis, kinky boots and slightly awkward and unconvincing sexual liberation adds up to a fantastic mish-mash. I love Captain Kirk's belly and the idea that you can slap some body paint on a pretty girl and pass her off as an alien from a distant galaxy.  This dress is my '60s shift pattern (scroooooollll down  a bit).  It has fantastic seam lines on the bodice front that are a bit lost in the bright sunshine.  I topstitched them white on white, which is very forgiving when you are a terrible top-stitcher.

Now, as you can see, this dress isn't finished.  Why?  The fabric is linen / rayon (Joanns!) and obviously has zero stretch.  I neatly forgot that my muslin had about 10% stretch.  Thus the fantastic, darted, shaped sleeves look good but are almost impossible to raise my arms at all.

So, do I just accept reduced mobility and go with my original Star Trek Night Nurse vibe... or do I lose the sleeves and probably gain a slightly more wearable dress?

You'll also notice that the hem is buggered up.  I traced this pattern off of the original, did extensive modifications (lowered bust dart, lowered arm hold, added back darts, changed slope of shoulder).  Somehow I messed up the hem lengths.  So the front piece was 2 inches longer than the back.  I cut a hem facing and did a tiny seam, but haven't sewn it up yet.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Prada Ta Da

I adore the Prada spring collection, look at this dress, love the colors and the stripes.  If I ever time to actually sew again, something like this will be in the works.  Funny - I've been a total Burda hater, very scornful of recent issues, but they actually have this EXACT PATTERN in the April issue.  Clearly they are doing the best they can with current trends.  

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Butterwick 5032, part II, or, What no Sexy?

This suddenly seems to be a very popular pattern, judging by the number of people I've seen refer to it on PR and SR, this is my second go round, and all I can say is WTF.

Now, it's not the fit.  The fit is actually awesome thanks to all the (many, many, many) changes I made first time round.  No, it's the 'what exactly was I thinking?' that has me going WTF.  This is possibly the least sexy dress ever.  Now, granted it's not hemmed, and since I don't have any interfacing (and am 100 miles away from the nearest source, I haven't faced or lined it either.  But really?  Why do I look at some bold and goofy curtains in a thrift store and think that a prim '50s sheath dress in this clownish fabric is what I, a 40 yo single woman, should be wearing?

Now, this might sound like a daft conundrum, but when I look back at my sewing history there is a notable lack of sexy.  I have elegant clothes, retro clothes, quirky clothes... but only one certifiably sexy dress that I've made.  What's up with that?  I've never really thought about this before, but the truth is I rarely feel sexy in the clothes I make, and I wonder what message I'm sending to myself and the world with this attitude.

I have a cousin in NYC, who is a bit of a socialite queen.  She'd a fashion editor, and shot all the time for the gossip columns, etc.  And she - though the mother of 3, and several years older than me - is always sexy, in that Bianca-Jagger-just-out-of-the-shower kind of way.  And she's completely magnetic to men, and other women.  Is there something going on that I never try to be that person?  Why wouldn't I?  Who doesn't want to be sexy...

Anyhoo, dramatically shortening this dress might help.  Wearing it with less clunky shoes might too.  Or else it could simply be a lesson in 'things to think about.'

Monday, April 04, 2011

Thrift Store Curtains + Joanns = Stop Freaking Procrastinating already

Here's what 80 bucks of fabric at Joanns looks like:  
I'm somewhat blown away by how excited I know am to drive two hours to go to the once-hated Jo-anns.  Since this is essentially my entire summer wardrobe budget spoken for I better get going and actually make something out of this. The natural-ish rayon / linen is for the button front dress I first muslined a few months ago.  The pale denim for a '70s skirt pattern - again button front - and the print for a summer day dress.   Let's see what I actually manage to get done.

The view from my living room last evening:  The chapel is a local landmark, as iconic as a local landmark can get.  Everyone knows where you are when you say you live under the Chapel.

 The absurd amount of alterations I made to Butterwick 5032.  Every one of the pattern pieces looks like this, and is falling apart, even though I've only made one muslin and one dress from it.  I spent a chunk of this morning transferring it to craft paper.
 Hi Taos Mountain!
 And finally, after spending the big bucks at JAs, I found a huge pile of curtains with this print at a local thrift.  The flowers are roughly handspan size, and quite bold and dramatic.  Love it!

Once upon a time

I took living an eight minute walk from the Mood Fabrics in LA for granted, now I'm grateful that I have a Jo-Anns only a hundred mile roundtrip from the farm!

Went today, and bought a stack of surprisingly good fabric for my Vintage button front dress, vintage button-front denim skirt (theme??) and a few other bits and pieces.

Deets to follow...

Meanwhile, another beautiful day in the rural idyll.  I'm playing hookie and driving up to Taos w/ a new Facebook friend this afternoon.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Is Forty the new F***-Off?

I'm still locked up in book / goat production, so not much sewing, but I've been thinking about something a whole lot lately.

I'm about to turn 40, and most of my friends are somewhere in that age range.  After a few years of really wanting to get married and have kids, I seem to have passed a tipping point.  Instead of melting down into single girl panic (as all my man lady mags would recommend) I seem to be OK, in fact, more than OK.  After many years of semi-miserable urban living, I'm finally having a bit of an adventure with my life.  Every morning I fire up a pick-up that's only a few years younger than me, drive down a dirt track, and ... well, things happen.  It's fun.  I really like it. There are a whole lots of 'don'ts' in my life.  Don't have much money.  Don't have a man.  Don't have a real home.  Don't have health insurance. Don't have much of a clue what's happening next, but none of the don'ts seem to matter as much as I thought they would.  I'm not scared in the way I'm supposed to be scared.

The point is this.  I feel like I know a whole bunch of women who aren't scared, even though according to all the articles and TV shows they really should be.  In fact, I think that once you find peace with the 'don't's there's an amazing moment where the crap you've accepted as part of your life starts to slip away.  I may not have a lot of things - and maybe I'll regret not having them in the future - but right now 'not having' is starting to feel liberating.  Not having possessions frees you up to go wherever you want, whenever you want.  Not having kids - ditto.  Not having bills, a mortgage... and so on.  I'm a naturally optimistic person.  If I was married, with children, I'd probably be happy too - or at least making the best of it.  But right now, for the first time, I'm really quite glad it's just me.