Admit it, you've been dying to see this "stash" I'm so often sewing from! Go on... you know you want to...
I so enjoy wearing my bonsai dress that I decide to make another version! This time instead of green rayon, I use a happy, sunshiney yellow cotton, with a soft hand and very fine details: a woven grid and a print of abstract chrysanthemums. The fabric is a remnant from the discount section of Fabric Depot, and is a gift from my friend who was shopping with me that day! The pattern is Simplicity 3631, view C, but I only use the bodice pieces and improvise the skirt.
Or should it be "self-made underwear"? Or does that sound like the underwear made themselves?
Much like camisoles, underwear use up tiny amounts of fabric and satisfy the urge to sew something even when I'm not feeling like (or am putting off) a big project. I first made my own underwear several years ago, when I was living off of sporadic temp work: I could not afford the money to buy new undies, but I could afford the time and scraps to make some.
I should note that this post contains no pictures of me in my underwear, so if you clicked from prurience, no such luck!
So remember the romance of gloves? Remember the talk about modesty and how people treat you in different clothes? This post relates to those.
Recently, I've taken to wearing the white mesh gloves I have for summer. At first I thought they'd make me more hot, but not so. The mesh allows air flow and the white actually seems to make my hands cooler. (I'm reminded of Civil War re-enactors of my youth, who when asked how they could bear to wear "all those layers" in blistering summer heat, would respond in character "How can you bear to show all that skin to the sun... you must just be roasting!") So when I have a pretty summer dress and cool summer hat, I also put on the pretty mesh gloves and feel quite put-together. What's been especially interesting, though, has been a change in how people treat me.
However, the one-hour dress, a popular DIY pattern from the 1920's, has several points in its favor:
A friend asked me if I could mend her holey jeans. Made of stretch denim, they had worn through in the crotch. This is unsurprising, since there's a lot of strain in a small area in the crotch of jeans. Seeing that the fabric was thinning around the hole as well as at the point of damage, I decided to replace the whole crotch with a gusset.
In sewing, a gusset is the opposite of a dart: a dart shapes fabric by removing some; a gusset shapes fabric by adding some. Gussets can be found in interesting places, like armpits and crotches. In the early days of bras, before molded foam, the cups were made with gussets. Corsets sometimes have hip gussets. Basically, if the fabric is too tight and you slash it, that's a slit; fill the slit with fabric, and it's a gusset. In this case, I decided to patch the hole, then cut away the original fabric, turning the patch into a gusset.
For a while, upon the advice of Carole Jackson in her book Color Me Beautiful, I chose camel as my wardrobe's neutral tone. But camel (a kind of warm brown) never inspired me. I tend toward analogous color schemes, so when I wore camel, I would pair it with brown, pumpkin, or tan... which is a perfectly fine look if you're a scifi desert dweller, but not a happy look for me.
A few times, my loving family would say I needed something to make my face "pop"--which is to say that I was melting into a camel puddle. (Khaki gives me the same problem!) I can wear it, but I need to ditch the analogous color scheme and put something bright and contrasting next to my face. However, what's the point of wearing something that doesn't make you happy? Camel didn't make me happy.
These are some hand-sewn tops I made in 2015, from a simple boxy pattern I took from a RTW top I already had. They're easy to make, but not terribly attractive to wear. They fit like hospital scrubs.
All spring, I carried my lunch to work in the little paper bags you get from Starbucks or (in my case) Fabric Depot. The bags were the right size, but wore out quickly, especially if I carried them in the rain. So when I saw a strip of vinyl in the remnants section at FabDep, I thought "There's my new lunch bag!" I made it on my mending day, while the pumpkin-colored thread was in the machine. Here's a tutorial, in case you ever want to make a bag with a squared off bottom.
I think I need to make a rating system for the clothes I make my sister. The peplum top was a 5 out of 10, since though it fit perfectly, it was a perfect dud in terms of style. Oh well. The pinwheel top was a 9 out of 10, because only one thing needed changing (the elastic at the center back should either be made longer and moved down an inch or removed entirely).
The denim blazer, the subject of today's post, is about a 7 out of 10. It looks good in certain angles, worn open. But the back is too wide and baggy; the upper bust area, near the shoulder, too roomy. Here, my sister models the finished garment so I can analyze it.
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