Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pockets Full of Peonies

I started and finished a dress last week, which I think is record time for me. It helped that the pattern, Peony, is rated 'Beginner' and has very few pieces. This project is winning on multiple levels: I learned some new techniques during construction (putting in pockets and using an invisible zipper) and I absolutely adore the final dress. Peony is definitely a pattern I will be returning to.

The best part about remaking this pattern will be tweaking it to be perfect for me. In my next version, I will take in the sleeves a bit and add a couple inches to the hem. These are very minor changes to an already-wonderful pattern. I mean, how can a dress with pockets not be wonderful?

I love Peony so much that I'm actually planning on using the pattern to help re-work the skirt in my next project. I will be making the long version of the Lonsdale dress out of the above cotton print and I don't think that the fullness of the skirt will work well with fabric that doesn't have a lot of drape. So between the Peony pattern, the Lonsdale pattern, and measurements from a couple of maxi dresses I already own, I'm going to make my first attempt at altering a pattern. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

On the Road

Husband and I traveled to Lake Erie this weekend to take my parents on a mini-vacation. We rented a cottage and toured the Marblehead/Port Clinton/Put-in-Bay area in Ohio for a couple days (for those not familiar with Ohio geography, that's near Cedar Point). Poor husband had to put up with my family being, well, themselves for the weekend, if you see what I mean:

I at least had a lot of fun. :)

One of my favorite parts of the trip was simply walking along the beach and soaking my feet in the lake. There is something very relaxing about being around large bodies of water.

The trip did include some knitting, but it's the super-secret project for my college friend. It will eventually be featured in full on the blog, but not until next month at the earliest.

This is about all I'm willing to show at the moment, for fear of sharing too much. At least I'm back home to my sewing machine, so I can make progress on some not-so-secret projects; it really is easier to blog about things you can actually show off.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sew Relaxing

Now that classes are over, I am decompressing by spending some time with my sewing machine. Between my desire to relax and my new-found free time, I was able to finish my dress over the weekend! I am very pleased with how it turned out.

Of course, I see all of the little faults with it. For example, I think I'm going to restitch the lining because it's pulling awkwardly on the front of the bodice. I also need to figure out how to deal with pattern sizing and ease, as the dress is a little large through the shoulders. These are all things (learning to accept faults, paying attention to details, and dealing with ease) that I expect to get better at as I sew more. Still, learning what to learn is progress!

I've already started on my next sewing project: Colette Patterns' Peony dress. This is a pattern I hope to reuse, so I transferred my size of the pattern onto something sturdier (I have no idea exactly what the woman at JoAnn's sold me, but it seems like interfacing without the iron-on part). Now that I have a good copy of the pattern, I hope to cut out the fabric sometime this week!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

One Seam at a Time

I'm finally making progress this week on those darts I blogged about a month ago. After a couple calculations, I ripped them out and made them half the original size, which seems to be working out well. I'm also making progress on the project that those darts are attached to: a dress (specifically Vogue 8280). I've got most of the top finished and am now working on the sleeves.

Oh those sleeves! Between the flanges, the pleats, the gathers, and the lining, these sleeves are decidedly fiddly. I don't know how a pattern rated 'Easy' can be this fiddly. It makes me apprehensive about eventually tackling an 'Average' or 'Advanced' pattern. Still, I'm taking things one step at a time and trying to learn as I go.

What's been really helpful in calming my fears is reading the book 'Sew Everything Workshop', which I picked up from the library. The book covers everything a beginner should know about sewing and, even though some of it is old material for me, I've found it incredibly helpful. As a bonus, the book contains several cute and simple patterns in the back, so I might have make one or two to keep practicing my sewing skills.

I'm looking forward to having more time to work on this dress once my semester ends next week. Between finishing this dress and making the next one (I already have the fabric picked out), this might just turn out to be the summer of sewing. But I have to finish up my final projects for school first.