Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Cool Hot Summer Dress: Simplicity 9002

I made this dress actually last August.  That's right, August, 2014. I considered it to be a flop, so it remained unblogged. 

Beautiful high grade vintage cotton I received from someone who was giving away her late mother's sewing supplies. I absolutely loved this cotton (feels like a premium Japanese cotton) and I wanted to be sure I made something that I could enjoy for a long time with it.  I can't remember where the white fabric came from, but was in my stash, and a perfect match for the main brown fabric.

Sewed with a tiny narrow orange ribbon for the skirt portion of the dress.

The pattern I used was a vintage-ish (believe it's from the 80's or the 70's. Can't believe 80's almost qualifies as vintage. Agh!)

I really like the way these two fabrics worked out well together.

No zipper closure.  Just slip on and off. 

Nice deep pockets.  Very practical. Since I've mainly been sewing knits, I'd forgotten how nice and easy to sew with 100% cotton woven fabric. Also, it feels SOOOOOO nice against my skin. 100% natural fiber next to my skin on a hot summer day is like heaven, freedom, and simply delicious. 

I made size 10 based on the measurements on the pattern instructions, however, it was way too big and I had to adjust the bodice a bit to fit me better.  It is meant to be loose-fitting but it just felt so huge that I made a little adjustment/embellishment on the back.

A cute vintage button with a little loop, hoping that it will make the dress look a little more 'fitted'. But it didn't do much for that.  Nevertheless, it is a darling button and I love it!

Here is the close-up shot of this adorable button!

On the photos, it doesn't look so huge, but trust me. It looks ginormous on me. Especially from the back. I've gone back and forth about just cutting it and making the skirt part narrower, but since I've cut and adjusted the bodice a couple of times, it couldn't be any shorter than how it is now.  I only wore it two times last summer. It sat in my closet for a year.

Seattle has been experiencing unusually HOT summer this year. (Really. Usually, summer for us doesn't arrive until at least July 5. This year, it came in mid June!!) So, I took it out and wore it.  I decided that I really like this dress.  It is so comfortable.  The fabric feels so nice.  I will definitely make another version, and this time I will make the skirt less wide. (so it won't end up looking like a maternity dress!)

Do you have a project that you considered to be a flop, and later liking it? 
What are you all sewing this summer?

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The State of My Sewing Table - Working Toward Freedom

I've started this post apparently back in October, 2014.  All the photos here are from then.  Most of what's written is also from Oct. 2014. I just went through the pics here, and I'm pleased to report that some of the fabrics and patterns have since been used and made into my closet. But, most still remain in my stash.

It looks a little chaotic. But, wait. I'm only trying to make some plans here.  While still feeling manageable, I decided to really follow through my plan that I had put in place some 10 months 18 months ago. 

With the RTW Fast I joined during 2014, I've managed not to shop RTW clothes - with a few exceptions while traveling - for a good 18 months. However, instead, shopped for fabrics and patterns during the fast. 

It's easy to accumulate a stash, whether it be patterns or fabrics. 

I had planned to make basic wardrobe builders, especially tops. Luckily, I did stick to my plan in the fabric shopping department. The color scheme is consistent and can easily be coordinated. 

And these are all knits, as that's what I like to work with and wear most of the time. 

I was auditioning the patterns and fabrics. 
So many options, and so many decisions to be made.  Newer, vintage, Style Arc, the Big Four.  Mind you, this isn't all the patterns I have. There are also downloaded PDFs on my computer.

And the fabrics. These are mostly what I purchased up to this past summer. What I brought back from Paris isn't even on the table yet.

And this is the hardest part for me. 

What to make, and with what. Besides the famous question of 'When will I have time for all this?!' Well, one step at a time. One garment at a time, right?!

How do you decide what to make when you are choosing from your stash?  Do you choose the fabric first, or do you look at the pattern first and then go look for the perfect fabric for it??  Am I the only one with this challenge, being indecisive?? Once I decide and get moving, I move fast. But it feels like I spend more time "window shopping" my stash than actually sewing.  That has to change.

Fast forward to July, 4, 2015.  On this Independence Day, the day to celebrate freedom, I declare freedom from worries ("what if this fabric choice turns out bad..?, "what if I ruin this beautiful fabric..?", "what if the design of this pattern will not look good on me after the garment is made...?"), to be brave and just cut and make garments with all these beautiful fabrics and patterns I already have!  (Who knew sewing was going to be such a spiritual practice for me?!)

Have a happy Independence Day, everyone, whether you live in the US or not.  For those whose independence and freedom have been compromised, my prayers go out to you and with all my heart I wish you the best in gaining and regaining independence and freedom as you wish.