Confidence.

That’s confidence with a period. Because that’s how I feel: confident, period. You need only scroll down to see that my last sewing project, my Naomi, was over a year in the making, and riddled with opportunities for failure.

So now that I’ve finished it, now that it’s wearable and I love it as much as I do, I’ve developed a little bit of a god complex. I haven’t tried walking on water (although I probably would if you double dog dared me–I’d drown), but I’ve done a few questionable things.

Exhibit A: Because I’m a kick a** sewer, I must be a kick a** kinda gal. So that means everything I do, I do awesome-like. This being the case, why shouldn’t I be an awesome beader? Yep, let’s bead! Let’s not just throw some rounds on a string, let’s bead up something intricate like . . . like this:

IMG_2641

Let’s go to a bead store, buy up some bead stuff . . .

IMG_0428

All of that looks good–bag it! And then we’ll uhhhhhh, we’ll figure it out . . . because we’re magic.

Exhibit B: I was looking through a pattern book I bought a while back, saw this dress, and fell in love. I decided I had to make it. The problem? I was looking through a Japanese pattern book . . . with instructions in Japanese, a language I know not.

DrapeDrapeVol.1No.3 DrapeDrapeVol.1No.3inst

Well, I did take Japanese in undergrad, ten years or so ago. And ummm, ichi ni san shi, right? Yeah, so BAM, let’s sew! Nevermind that I only remember that because of a Janet Jackson song. I remember it, and that has to count for something.

I probably shouldn’t have purchased Drape Drape ever, at all. It was inevitable that at some point I’d endeavor to tackle one of its projects. And now that I’ve got these thunderbolts coming out of my palms, all I can think about is domo arigato-ing me some Drape Drape No. 3.

Brought to you by confidence. Dangerously corruptive , futility bearing confidence.

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Naomi and Me Like Peas and Carrots

     

  

It’s over!!  The year plus of fumbling around with Naomi #6015 is done, praise Ra!!

We will make no mention of that whole deal where I thought I miscut the sleeves and went to my favorite fabric store and enlisted the staff with the task of finding more of a remnant fabric I purchased years prior only to return home to discover that I hadn’t miscut the sleeves, I had sewn the hems rather than the center backs together.  Things happen when you sew at 4 AM–NO JUDGEMENT!

We’re not going to talk about how the instructions to Naomi are like a cryptic riddle from the Greek sphinx.  Nope.  Who wants to talk about words that convey no meaning? Stupid.

And we won’t dare speak of the inside lining of Naomi.  Have you ever been invited to someone’s home for the first time and asked the host to see the junk drawer during the tour? Because it’s rude?  So then don’t ask about the inside of my Naomi!

We’re just going to enjoy the fact that it’s over.  No more underlining, no more bits of raveling fabric all over the carpet.  No more wringing my hands over possibly misinterpreting the instructions.  Just the peace that comes with success (read the delirium that comes from fusterclucking your own person to fatigue, whatever).

I was going to rewrite the instructions for anyone else who tried to sew this pattern, but I don’t even know what the intent was . . . well, specifically in regards to the tie placement . . . well, the facings too.  But it’s a lovely design.  I did bleed it out, but it was so worth it.

I noticed that the left front hangs a little lower than the right front but I think that’s because there should be another snap on the inside of the jacket because the fabric is heavy.  It’ll happen.

Here are some pictures from the construction.  The end.

Oh, Life!

It’s rough having a hobby that brings you joy while at the same time having to comply with the mundane demands of everyday life.  Fulfilling work obligations and other non-sewing responsibilities can be a drag.  And that, friends, is the story of the last month or so.

In regards to the Pattern Stash Contest . . . well . . . something has to be said for having goals, right?  There was Simplicity 2451, my journey into sexual ambiguity, which I have already documentedButterick 5354 was the only pattern out of the four that I completed and would make again.

I nearly finished McCall’s 6126.  I had to jury rig some things to make it work so I would decidedly not make it again.  I’m working on reviews of both patterns–you’ll see.

Simplicity 2614 got the short end of the stick as I never had a chance to touch it.  One fine day I will tackle the FBA that is surely to be a part of making that blouse.  But for now, I’ll just talk about sewing it the way some women talk about meeting the one.

I also found the time to make McCall’s 5563the week before last.  Mayhaps I’ll review that as well.  For now, I must away.  I have to find the wherewithal to fix my face to take on Monday.  The reviews will, eventually, come.

Procrastinator’s Corner

Eight-plus days and counting, friends, and, despite my capricious leanings, I’m still at work.  I have cut out Butterick 5354, and McCall’s 6126 is on the cutting table.  These are both pretty simple patterns . . . well, that’s what I’m telling myself anyway.  B5354 has four pattern pieces and M6126 has five, so, fingers crossed, I can get these done before Friday.

After Friday, I can start the muslin of Simplicity 2614.  Now, will I get to a finished version of S2614 by next Tuesday?  No, we don’t ask questions such as these.  We just make lists, live free, and die hard.

Whatever happens, I did more sewing in July than I’ve done in a long time.  I’ve also got my eye on the Lined Jacket Contest.  But, shhhhhhh, don’t tell anyone.

Casualties

Bad things happen to diligent sewers. What makes this injury worse than others is that–well, other than not having any neosporin–once again, I was working on McCall’s 6318 in vain (and, no, this does not count towards the contest–whatevs).

It’s sad because I can see the potential in it.  I can tell that it’s the right pattern for my shape, but it always comes down to fit for me.  Although last time I screwed up on the sewing.  Then again, had I not, I’d probably have had a fit issue on my hands then too.

Regardless, I have successfully created an abomination.  Congratulate me!

The bust is too loose (who’d ‘ve thunk it) and the midsection is WAY too tight–laughably tight.  I do like the color though.  Unfortunately that won’t make up for the monstrosity that is the fit.

Look?  See!  Wrong.  That’s an invisible zipper, by the way.  Oh, you can see it? It’s not invisible?  Interesting.

My iron was so peeved that I involved him in this process that he repeatedly shut off automatically.  When I insisted he turn back on, he took his revenge.  I can’t blame him.

I’m going to give this pattern one last try after the contest, then I’m packing it up for The Sewing Machine Project.  You have to know when to say when.

Is that a umm . . .

Well . . . before I get to what that is, let’s preface this. Today’s subject is pattern number three, Simplicity 2451, on my Blasted Bloody List. It’s tragic that I won’t be making a wearable garment out of this pattern–you know, because of the contest and all.  But I didn’t enter the contest to win it anyway; I entered it so that I would be compelled to sew something, and, you know, mission accomplished.

Anyhoo, it was a weekday Fourth of July–no one wants to get all fireworks excited just to return home to set out work clothes for the next day.  So while others braved the crowds, I stayed home, watched the History Channel’s American Revolutionary War documentary series, and sewed.

Things were looking pretty good, no seams had to be ripped, the skirt was coming together rather quickly, and it seemed like these militia men might prove themselves useful to Daniel Morgan.  Then, the hour of reckoning arrived: it was time to try on the muslin.

I was pleased with myself and my skirt as I admired it in the mirror.  Awesome yoke, awesomer pleats, then I did my little turn on the catwalk, and–eeeeek, pleats un-awesomed!  Sitting there, right at my crotch in all of its glory, was my umm . . . well, my lady bulge.  I have a lady bulge.

Actually, this explains a lot.  You can’t live my life, kicking ass and taking names, without having a nice-sized general leading the way.  Really, it’s the modern gal’s most efficient tool.  Displaying your pink package is the easiest–nay, the only way to properly git ‘er done.

As I tuck in my goods and go about my day, behold my first patternreview.com uhhh . . . pattern review.  You’re welcome ahead of time.

Simplicity 2451

Okay, minus the wrinkles,
right?
But then, what’s that
there?
Yeaaah . . . it’s my
junk. Helloooooo, junk!

 
Pattern Description: Misses’ skirt sewing patterns, each in two lengths. Easy to Sew Collection.

Pattern Sizing: 12 – 20. Pretty sure I sewed the 20, which may have been tempting fate on my part.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.  I sewed view C and it looked just like the pattern envelope, minus my wrinkles and raw edge hem.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, but I glazed over the details. I felt some of the explanations weren’t as straightforward as they could have been, but no harm no foul.  

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked the pleating at the front of the skirt.  I did not like how the skirt looked on me when I wasn’t standing still.  If I were a mannequin, I’d have already sewn a final draft.

Fabric Used: Cotton muslin.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made no alterations although there’s a possibility that I could have sewn a smaller size and made the back darts larger? Even now, days after the fact, I’m not sure.  

Would you sew it again? Not for myself, but this was a quick project so I might sew it for a friend.

Would you recommend it to others? Yes, even if the pattern doesn’t work out it’s a nice confidence builder.

Conclusion: This pattern was really well drafted and really easy to sew, but it definitely wasn’t a good fit for me.  I’m not sure if I sewed the wrong size or needed to make an adjustment(s).  And I didn’t love the style enough to fiddle around with it.  Maybe next lifetime.

The Blasted Bloody List

It’s a shame that The Pattern Stash Contest is starting on such a sour note for me, but here we are, July 1.  So . . . I give you The Blasted, Bloody List:

1. Butterick 5354  2. McCall's 6126

3. Simplicity 2451     4.Simplicity 2614

This is an ambitious endeavor for me, a gal who can’t even consistently blog once a week, but whatevs. Shoot for the moon, right?  I’m going to start with Simplicity 2451 because I don’t feel like cutting knits right now (Butterick 5354 and McCall’s 6126 will be in jersey) and I’m not interested in doing a FBA (I’m looking at you Simplicity 2614).  Anyhoo, off to sew.

SMFH

I’ve had my ice cream, so I think I’m ready to talk about this now.  I give you McCall’s 6318.  A nice, easy pattern that is extremely well drafted.  So, you ask, what is the problem?  Other than this pattern being out of print (well, that’s more of a your problem deal), the problem is me.  I’m the problem.

I was so elated by how quickly the muslin for this dress came together that I rushed the construction of the actual dress.  And the rushing lead to this:

Awesome Muslin (right front)
WTF Version (left front)

How did I go from awesome to WTF?  Easy . . . EASY.  I mismarked or ignored the pattern markings and reinforced and clipped the wrong corner.  It’s a shame that I’ve tainted such a lovely pattern with my tomfoolery.  So now the remnant fabric I was going to use is going to be the lining and the lining fabric (a similarly colored broadcloth) will be the dress.  I’m not happy about this, but it is what it is. 

What makes matters worse is that I–for the first time–successfully completed a FBA.  How did I nail the hard part but screw up the easy part?  Hubris!  I flapped my wax wings too close to the sun, friends.  That’s all I have to say about this.

I did this . . . I did it . . .

Pattern Stash 2012
I entered a sewing contest, my first sewing contest.  I’m not sure why I did it–no, I know why: so I could be a sewer . . . with the sewing people.  I just don’t know where I think I’ll find the time.  Needless to say, July’s going to be a really interesting month.

I’m going to aim for a pattern a week–four very simple patterns.  I should make a list of potential patterns.  I will . . . by Saturday night.  I will make a list and post it.  I think I’m going to go sit in a corner and cry first.  Pay all my frustration tears forward.

I Bleed It Out

If you’re having a hard time finding the time and mojo to sew, seek out the hardest pattern you can find and attempt to sew it.  Then, when you’ve kinda sewn a backasswards muslin of said pattern, pick a fabric it wasn’t meant to be sewn in to finalize your attempt.

That’s how you bleed it out, friend.

Need specifics?  Enter Burda Style’s Naomi #6015, a lovely kimono-style jacket.  Recommended fabrics: cotton, linen, or silk.

That’s why I’ll be sewing it in a remnant table material, whose fabric content is dubious at best. Wool maybe?

The unrecommended fabric Naomi
must be made in, so help me Ra!

That’s not the important part.  The important part, the part that makes this bleed it out attempt the stuff that dreams are made of, is that this remnant table material is loosely woven.  Silk, linen, and cotton, aka the recommended fabrics, are not.

So not only do I have to figure out why my left front is over my right front, which is the opposite of the pattern illustration, and why the ties are attached at the wrong seam, I also have to underline my material so it won’t stretch.  Have I underlined material before?  Yes, in that no, I have never underlined material ever in life, so . . .

I don’t know how long this will take me, but if I live to wear this jacket, I think the process of making it will be fun.  Well, it’ll be a learning experience, which is the same as fun, right?  At the very least, the resulting garment will be like a badge of honor.  No matter how crappy the badge looks, the people will know I was brave enough to try.

Naomi front, Bizarro style.
You put those ties in
the wrong place, you
risk looking pregnant.

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