Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Very Lazy Summer...

Summer bathing beauties and their alter-egos
The ancient Greeks said it best... "Know thyself."  Sadly, that self knowledge presents a stark contradiction to the self I often wish I were.  I would like to consider myself industrious and clever and driven but the reality is that I am inefficient and slothful.  Many an evening in the past few months I have thought to myself "Self, you should sew something and write a blog about it!"

"Or as an alternative," my inner slug pipes up, " you could drink this box of wine and binge watch the first three seasons of Scandal..."

Now I won't say that the slug always wins, but much of my fall inspiration is suspiciously Olivia Pope-ish.

But before I can get to that, I should first share the few items I have managed to create since I last wrote:

Continuing on the caftan theme, I decided to make a poolside cover up. I purchased this purple J. Crew chiffon from Fabric Mart. It is particularly well suited for this purpose as it is a vibrant royal purple on one side and a deep blue on the other.  This was perfect as there was no "wrong" side so I could finish my edges with a narrow hem folded over onto the "outside" of the garment to create the look of contrast binding.

I also used a slightly different design in order to achieve a fjord flowing and draped shape.  Rather than cutting a neck into one large square, I cut my fabric Dow the middle length-wise into two long scarf -like pieces.  I then finished one long edge on each "scarf." I pinned these right (purple) sides together and sewed a center front and back seam and pressed. I then rounded all the corners and finished the outside edge of the entire larger square.  Finally, I determined where I wanted my side seams and stitched from about 10 inches below the shoulder to about 20 inches from the hem assuring that my side seams were far enough apart to accommodate my widest measurement with ease.

My other big project was a full, flirty summer dress in a large print white and blue floral.

This was also mostly a self drafted pattern.  The bodice was once part of an old Butterick as I recall but it has gone thru so many versions and refittings that at this point it doesn't really resemble he source.  It is simply my go to well fitted top with bust and waist darts and an easily alter able neckline.  My favorite part of this pattern is how well the armholes fit, being both close to the body and without any unfortunate gappage.

The skirt is a simple circle skirt with some scooped pockets that I drafted. But as I often find, a circle skirt cut on the fold on your standard 60" width fabric is about 4 inches to short on my long legged self.  My solution is to cut a long curved strip (matching the curve of the hem) and added it to the hem along with some navy piping. This adds a fun design detail and lengthens the skirt to a more appropriate length! I also used the piping to finish the neckline and pockets.

The fabric is a stretch cotton sateen (pretty much my favorite fabric to sew as it is easy to work with and fit). Because of the large scale of the pattern I had to be somewhat cognizant of the flower placing on the bodice, but otherwise I didn't even try to worry about matching the pattern.  The dress has a side zipper, fully lined bodice and is quickly becoming a go to wardrobe staple. (With a navy cardigan from Banana Republic and nude pumps! So cute!)

Finally, for the last few weeks I have been working on a canary yellow shirt dress.  This is what it looks like now.

What was that I was saying about lazy? 

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