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I couldn’t leave that organic cotton jersey to sit in the closet so I flipped through my pattern stash and landed on McCall’s 6031.  It was tough making something from scraps and not all of my pieces are on grain but it was satisfying not tossing all that fabric away.

I know I’ll wear this a lot.  Somehow my t-shirt supply has dwindled this year so a comfy separate was much needed.

I added two and a half inches of length to the bodice and could probably have lived with a half an inch more. I also ended up taking in about an inch and a half from the underarm seam to fix some gapage there.  It was a pain in the ass since the bodice is lined (with a mismatched fabric) but it fits really well now.

I somehow assembled the entire top without realizing that it was actually a tunic.  I though about keeping it that way but it wouldn’t have jived with three out of my four summer bottoms so I hacked five inches off the bottom.

This is a real contender to be made again. Next time I might make the cowl a little wider.

Also! New, quite possibly lame, craft obsession:

Friendship bracelets!

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It’s a ‘take a blurry iPhone photo in the dirty mirror’ kind of week (PMS + teething + husband on a 7 day work stretch = fuuuuuckkk!) but I wanted to eulogize this dress before I through it in the closet for a while.

This is McCall’s 6072 and my determination is that it would work a whole lot better for those with the power to go braless. I kept tweaking but every bra I own, even the non-nursing ones, were determined to pop out in the back and a little where the strap meets the bodice too.

The style looks halfway decent here but I think in actuality it looks like a prom dress mated with a nightgown. I was thinking of detaching the bodice and making a simpler one with more coverage but I’m afraid that the colour of the jersey is a little too reminiscent of a BUM Equipment sweatpant. Which is sad, really, because it’s a nice soft organic cotton from Plum Project Studio that I’ve been saving for a year for the right project.

So, right now it’s going into timeout and I have to decide what to do next.  We finally stopped torturing Kate with making her sleep in her Grobag in this heat for fear that her new ability to stand would put an end to her sleeping well so I could make a crib quilt but I’m lacking in materials and inspiration for that.

I decided to be self-sacrificing and focus on a project for Kate. The prospect of working with jersey again on a dress for myself may have also helped make my decision.

This project caught my attention when it popped up in my blog reader from Aesthetic Nest. I asked Chris to pick up a beach towel on a trip to Winnipeg on Wednesday, then I made a side stop at a tiny quilting shop in Gimli during a beach visit on Thursday and by Saturday it was complete, as was my lexicon of swear words.

While this project definitely wasn’t difficult I found it a bit tricky for a few reasons: I’m not accustomed to the very detailed, prose-style pattern format it’s written in, I didn’t realize until after I had purchased the pattern and the towel that it suggests using the thinnest towel you can find and while this one wasn’t super plush my machine definitely did not approve of it, and I suck at sandwiching and stitching binding without it looking totally home ec.

The lining fabric is some Anna Maria Horner quilting cotton that I picked up in Portland two years ago to gift to friends with a little bonus for myself.  I love the yellow and turquoise together.  I copied Anneliese’s idea of lining the sleeves but winged it having lined something last in 2008 instead of stepping back and looking it up.  Let’s pretend the exposed seam doesn’t drive me bonkers.

Perfect for grilling poolside

The pattern includes up to a 4T size so I’m looking forward to making one each year for Kate with a thinner towel and clearer head.

Perhaps it’s also time to make her a new sunhat instead of jamming the one I made last year on her head but that jersey needs to be dealt with eventually.

Of all the garments I’ve made over the years I think the one I actually get the most wear out of is this self drafted tiered skirt from thrifted fabric that I made three years ago. It’s not the most stylish or flattering piece of clothing I own and it’s starting to fall apart a bit but it is comfy and light, perfect for sticky summer days when you spend all your time at home.  In keeping with the super comfortable, but not the most flattering vein comes this paper bag waisted skirt.

It was super duper windy, as it often is here on the prairies with nothing to block the gales. Most of the photos made it look like I was wearing culottes with a long crotch seam.

I love, love, love this fabric.  It’s a cotton / linen blend chambray with a bit of stretch that I picked up at Mitchell’s last week.  I think the pockets will also be appreciated for walks with Kate so I can bring my phone with me and store some of her special rocks.

This project was a nice change of pace in that I didn’t do a muslin or make any major fitting changes.  The only thing I did differently was to blind stitch the hem by hand because I thought it would look a little neater.  I probably could have handled making the large instead of the extra-large but the roominess is nice too.

I had some trouble fitting the waist band to the skirt body and thought initially that the pieces were horribly drafted but I think I had improperly folded the pocket which caused the body piece to be much larger.  I also had a heck of a time stitching in the ditch to catch the waist band facing but that’s completely user error.  One issue that I think was present in the pattern is there are no instructions to stitch the opening for the elastic closed.  I stitched it up by hand.

I realized when I was almost done that I don’t own any shirts that look great tucked in, probably because I haven’t tucked in a shirt since I was forced to at a Catholic high school in grade nine.  Most of the time I’ll probably wear the skirt hiked down a bit and with my shirt slovenly cascading over the ruffled waist band, anyway, like this:

Up next I’m either going to be a nice mom and make Kate this adorbs beach robe or be selfish and make myself a jersey maxi dress.  Only time, the supply of beach towels at the grocery store and my fickle whims will tell.

If you like fresh out of the shower pictures of me first thing in the morning have I got the post for you!

My wardrobe could definitely need more summer separates so I’m focusing on that in my sewing plans for the next little while.  I decided against making the raglan blouse with my precious Liberty Mirabelle after the disappointing muslin but I feel like I may have settled a bit with the pattern I chose. I think coordinating prints with appropriate patterns will be a new focusq1.

This out of print blouse definitely needs the belt to liven it up a bit.  It was nice, construction wise, to not have to worry about collars and other doo-dads and I do like this neckline.

I’ve been experimenting a bit with tissue fitting since they promote them so much in Fit for Real People but it doesn’t really give me a clear enough idea of the necessary tweaks.  So, I ended up making two muslins.  I may start doing more complete muslins with both sleeves and even buttons to get an ideal overview. In the end, I did a one inch full bust adjustment and lowered the darts a bit, which I think will be my official pattern adjustments from now on.  If I were to make this again, I would try to add a little bit of length which would require adjusting it to fit over my butt without bunching.

I’m hoping to get some work done on a skirt this weekend but that will depend on miss Kate and her nap, singular. Sigh. Happy weekend!

Do you ever do something and the process is so frustrating that you find it hard to enjoy the results? I’m glad I gave this dress a time out for a few days or it would have ended up as the wardrobe equivalent of the vacation that is overshadowed by the douchebag who was drunk for the entire twenty-hour flight.

Fact: I am not this pale. It was starting to rain and the grey sky was reflecting off my face. Swear.

I’m happy now with the fit (especially when I stand up straight and wear a better bra – sheesh) but getting there was a headache. Changing the neckline and doing the full bust adjustment meant redrafting the collar and placket pieces which may not have been such a big deal for the competent but it took me three tries each to get there.  I would measure, check and measure again, cut the whole thing out, fuse with interfacing, only to end up with a still too short piece. Me + math = huh? The collar is still too short but I gathered the back neck edge a bit and I don’t think you can really tell.  I also serged the sleeve seam to the sleeve body and had to cut a new piece. Instance #342048 of me swearing off sewing forever.

When everything was together except the buttons I slipped it on and was instantly worried that it smacked of Soviet factory worker but I think the buttons and the shoes help.  The metallic thread that’s visible from close up also downplays the eau d’sadness.

In the end it was a good thing that I always forget to buy notions with my fabric (in this case at Mitchells) because my trip to the city to buy buttons meant that I was nearby mere hours after Adam and Michelle of baby shower fame welcomed their daughter Sydney! I’ll let them share the photos and details but I’m so excited for them and it was super fun to cuddle a newborn again.

The muslin phase of my Lisette dress is done.  I think.  I did hack the neck a bit at the end and didn’t have the material or inclination to make another muslin but I am sending positive energy into my life force that will make me achieve my ah-ha gratitude sewing moment. I suddenly care about Oprah. Shut up.

Anyway, before Lisette and even Rose I started Saskia but it got put aside because I felt I needed an invisible zipper foot before I could proceed.

My first go around following the pattern exactly was pretty weird looking. Sort of hospital gown meets orphanage sleep shirt. So, I hacked a few inches off the bottom and shortened the sleeves and I think it’s more wearable now.

Look at my crooked yet non-blinding bangs!

The fabric is a really lightweight gingam from Mitchell’s which I thought would be super duper cute but I think it might look better with a more flowing style.

Kate stood still on the understanding that there would be bubbles but here’s an unobstructed view of the back and my almost neat zipper stylings:

Not so horrible.

In other news: We’ve decided to take a little motoring trip down to Minneapolis in August. I’m super excited! If anyone has any suggestions for restaurants or activities send them my way.

I’m working on one of the new Lisette patterns, Simplicity 2246, view A and I’m trying to be thoughtful about it.  I did a tissue fitting and I made a muslin.  Here’s a quick photo snapped in the mirror:

Aside from my tried and true old sheet plus mismatched scrap piece that makes it looks like a waitress’s uniform (I kind of wish waitress’s still wore uniforms) I think it has potential. I already did a full bust adjustment but I still need to move the bust dart down a good few inches.  I also forgot how unflattering this kind of shirt collar is on me.  I think I’m going to try going for more of a v-neck but then that would involve shortening the collar and maybe doing something to the back piece as well; because I would be hacking fabric from the front piece so then it wouldn’t meet the back piece at the shoulders but if i just removed the equivalent amount from the back piece that would lower the back neck and that would be weird. Make sense?  Research is required.

I’ve stalled out a bit on summer sewing for myself since the Liberty muslin.  I think I am going to go with a different pattern. Maybe Butterick 5608 which has a similar neckline but set-in sleeves? Not sure.  I have cut out the pattern pieces for the Lisette Traveller Dress but I don’t feel up to doing a full bust adjustment and starting the muslin today. Grey, rainy weather does that to me.

I have been finishing a few summer things for Kate. Since she’ll only wear something for three months total I didn’t want to procrastinate. I started Citronille’s Saskia first but put it aside to wait for an invisible zipper foot to arrive in the mail. In the meantime I finished another Rose.

I shortened the sleeves on this one and I think they’re really cute. It’s funny seeing her little arms again.

It’s hard to see the print (aforementioned grey weather and busy baby don’t make for the sharpest photos) but it was my favourite of the bunch I bought for her summer sewing.  It has a Liberty look but it was quilting cotton.

I blind stitched all the hems and facings by hand again but couldn’t figure out whether the instructions called for a double or single fold. This time I did single but last time I did double. It will be a relief to make her something from an English pattern.  I’m thinking this one.

This weekend was filled with unfortunate mishaps (Kate peeing all over herself and the floor of the washroom of a natural foods store, runny lemon meringue pie, not one but two chairs breaking on dinner guests and the death wish that is Costco on a Saturday) but I still really enjoyed it.  Aside from her birthday next week it was the last of Kate’s first holidays so I tried to come up with treats for her but I wanted to avoid candy while I can still get away with it.  Plastic eggs filled with dehydrated fruit toddler snacks, Nutrios and Multigrain Cheerios were a big hit until Kate realized that the eggs didn’t automatically refill themselves throughout the day.  The sleeper hit was these bean bags that I sewed up for Kate and filled with rice (they might double as a hot pack too – I should look that up.

She really enjoys throwing them on and then off of pieces of furniture and trying to pick three up at a time and then throwing them. Good times.