Category Archives: planning

Sew My Stash September; Hurricane Worries

I decided to join in on #sewmystashseptember, an initiative started by Jo ofย Stuff Jo Has Made. I have rather a lot of fabric–about eight standard cubes’ worth of fabric–and I put myself on a fabric-buying ban after I came back from my last visit to my in-laws, where I bought a lot of fabric. I have a few things on my agenda. To finish:

  • See & Sew apron started in August
  • Deer & Doe Plantain in white jersey, a refashion from a terrible New Look dress I made
  • Simplicity Sew Simple A1636 rayon challis dress started a couple of weeks ago; here is a version I made previously:

sew simple 1636

On my list of things to make:

  • McCalls 6654 flared skirt for my friend from stash ponte
  • Halloween costume (this is ambitious, but I bought the materials earlier this year)–generic Sailor Scout (Simplicity 2072) (I am inspired by my friends who are in Krewe du Moon)
  • A skirt out of one of the many suitings and twills I bought when I first learned to sew and thought I would make a bevy of work skirts
  • A top to go with that skirt of out of one of the many knits I have bought on my adventures to Fabric Warehouse in Rahway, NJ

I’ve been thinking about how my grandmother used to shop for me when I was a kid and teenager. She would buy my clothes in outfits–an equal number of bottoms and tops, and they had to go together in style. As an adult, thrifting and sales guided my shopping habits, so none of my clothes matched. I need to work on this. I’m now in the mid-level part of my career and I just can’t look disheveled at work. I want to be taken seriously and I know image is a part of that.

I mentioned before I have been working on losing weight. I’ve dropped about two clothing sizes so far–it’s hard to tell due to variation in clothing sizes–and I will drop one to two more before I hit the weight that counts as technically not overweight for my height. This has been a nightmare in terms of getting dressed every day for work. I feel so flappy and Golden-Girls-ish in my big clothes. I have been buying stopgap clothes because there is no way I can sew fast enough to keep up with my needs. To circle back to what I was talking about earlier, I am trying to buy classic, base-uniform basics that are the sort of shapes that can carry me through a few pounds loss. I can jazz these up with accessories or toppers later. So far, I have for work:

  • A black faux-wrap cotton dress, knit
  • A black pleated sleeveless dress, stretch woven
  • A black and white polka dot wrap dress with circle skirt, knit
  • A navy blue pencil skirt, woven and lined
  • A black pencil skirt, stretch woven
  • Black cropped pants, stretch woven
  • The same tops and cardigans as I was wearing before (so flappy!)

I continue to wear my too-big clothes for casual wear, since I really don’t go out. I think that I don’t fit either of the suits I have (one brown tweed and one black, both skirt suits), but I’d rather wait to make that investment until I am at a stable weight. Suits are so expensive!

Topic Change…

I’m really concerned that Irma will take a turn and come to Charleston. Tonight, my husband and I will make a plan for us and the cats. I feel so bad for those who suffered from Hurricane Harvey. I am scared for those in the Caribbean and in Florida who are enduring Irma. The hurricane looks monstrous on the map.

I experienced the Katrina aftermath in New Orleans and I understand how horrible it can be. My family evacuated ahead of time with very little, thinking we would be going home in a few days, but we didn’t. We lost everything. Those in Houston will be dealing with the emotional and physical fallout from this for YEARS. I also feel bad for the New Orleanians who evacuated to Houston for Katrina, settled there, and then had to weather the storm in place there. I know old high school classmates who went through some harrowing days there, with their kids with them this time, twelve years later. How terrible. Please consider donating to help those in need. Charity Navigator is a good place to start with choosing where to donate. A hot meal or fresh, clean clothes to wear really makes a difference in helping to make people feel normal again. I know I was (and am) thankful to the places of worship, charities, and communities in Little Rock, Arkansas that helped me and my family to get right after the storm.

It is raining hard as I finish this post.

 

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Bootstrap fashion: more thoughts

I’ve been working on figuring out what my ideal measurements are to produce a garment that I would like and that would fit me the way that I would like using Bootstrap’s software.

The first time I put in my measurements, I got this wacky picture that looks nothing at all like a human. I don’t think I know of any humans you have a pointy stomach that points upwards. Here is my 3-D model:

Your_3D_Avatar

I sewed their three seams skirt pattern from it. It was actually too large for me; I had to take it in an inch on either side. Also, the hips on the pattern were an exaggerated womanly shape; my hips are actually relatively straight, but my bottom is the part that takes up most of the circumference of my hips measurement. Then I realized that the waistband was too short, as I cut off part of it to accommodate the revised skirt. However, I hadn’t really changed the waistline of the skirt, so now it doesn’t fit.

Yesterday, I remeasured myself. For the under cost measurement, I put the same as my waist measurement. I figured having a dramatically different under bust measurement from the waist measurement the first time around is what produced the exaggerated stomach shape. I also included a full bust adjustment, since I felt that the dress that I made the first time around was too tight in the back and smooshed my boobs. Now, the avatar looks more like me:

Your_3D_Avatar

I’m going to reprint the pattern and make the skirt and the dress again with these new measurements. We’ll see how they turn out.

Butterick 5748: Wedding Dress Contender; Also, Moving

I’ve decided that I would like to make Butterick 5748 in a fancy fabric for our elopement. I like the very full skirt and the low scoop back. I might find a bolero to make or buy to go over it, as we are considering a December or January wedding date. Hmm. So many options!

I don’t have much time to think about the options, though, as we are moving to South Carolina next week! I have been job hunting since I learned that we would need to move, and so far, I haven’t had much luck in finding a full-time position. Wish me luck in finding a job there!

Working on Stuff; Swing Dancing Outfits?

Hello, readers! I’ve been working on three things for the past few weeks: shorts for my boyfriend, a skirt for me (that only needs the elastic now), and the V1247 skirt. I have days where I don’t do any sewing, or where I do one small thing, which is why it’s all coming along so slowly. However, I have–as of this week–decided to dedicate 30 minutes to sewing every weekday, so I think I will be making more progress. Also, I think I will be happier, having spent 30 minutes daily doing something I enjoy. ๐Ÿ™‚

Speaking of activities I enjoy, I have gotten back into swing dancing, now that I can physically do it again. I don’t have many going-out outfits anymore. I did several closet purges after gaining a lot of weight.

What are some good patterns for dresses I can wear for a little lindy hopping? I prefer to wear sleeveless dresses that allow me to move. If you have any vintage or modern pattern suggestions, I would love to hear them!

Vogue 9021 Planning; Ready to Wear vs. Homemade

I’m currently working on a first draft of Vogue 9021. It seems glamorous; I’m drawn to the fluttery, open batwing sleeves in contrast to the sleek skirt. I find that I like this dramatic silhouette, although I am not sure if it will work on me, a shorty–hence, the draft! I am making it out of a chambray-blue broadcloth (poly-cotton), as that’s one of the recommended fabrics. It seems a bit stiff for this purpose, but we’ll see how it turns out. I am making it in a size 18, but I am thinking that I may have to take out a little width in the bodice. There’s about 3 inches of ease there.

I went shopping yesterday for a cocktail dress to wear to a wedding. I’m feeling pressed for time and I am unsure about V9021’s suitability, so I am not making a dress for the wedding. (It always seems to come down to time.) I tried on several dresses in two different stores. Some were size 12, some were 14. I pulled the same dress in both sizes when both were available.

Under the yellow, harsh light of the dressing room, I tugged them all onto my body. Each dress made me feel bad. They highlighted things that I prefer to be hidden. They were tight around my waist and loosey-goosey around my shoulders (how?). I was close to quitting, but I knew I needed to find something. I ended up buying a princess-seamed fit-and-flare dress covered in hot pink flowers on a pale blue background…not something I would normally choose for myself, but it fit, right?

After I checked out, I realized that I never feel bad like that when I am trying on the clothes that I made for myself. Even if it’s a first iteration of a pattern with no adjustments made yet, I don’t get upset with myself. I think, “I can change this the next time I make this, or I can let it out a little here and take it in a little there.” I feel happy and proud of myself when I see myself in something I made, even if it’s a little awkward.

Maybe it would be worth it to stay up late, get up early, and spend all that extra time working on a dress for the wedding. Even if it looks “homemade,” I will at least feel happy with myself and not be reminded of my physical flaws.