Saturday, March 16, 2013

2013 Spring-into-Summer Projects

Both the top and the skirt was made using a yard of fabric each.  The plaid top was tricky trying to match the prints at the side seams with a limited amount of fabric.  (It's almost perfect.)  The skirt didn't have a waist band.  I used yellow seam binding.  You can't really see it in the photo, but the yellow gives the skirt a nice pop.  There's also pockets in the front which are not distinguishable due to the crazy chicken print.  

When I first finished the skirt and top, I thought they were too short, but when I put them together, the proportions actually worked, and neither looked too short on the dress form or me!  Happy days!

I wore shorts last weekend...a sign that Spring is officially here!  In honor of this fabulous season, I dedicated my first available Saturday to this colorful top and skirt...finished just two hours ago.

I am doing all this with the flu.  I sneezed, I hacked, and sneezed some more.  But who's bothered by all this when I can focus on some quality sewing?  Not me!

The skirt fabric came from the home furnishings section at Joann's Fabrics.  It was the last yard on the bolt, and I think these chubby, bright chickens were meant for kitchen curtains.  But I thought it would be a cute skirt instead.  The top fabric was a plaid, cotton-stretch find from the clearance table.  And with only a yard left, I did not have many pattern choices.  I don't normally mix so many patterns together, but I thought the two pieces have a nice little country look to it.

What do you think?  Tucked in or out?  I like it both ways.  The outfit looks great with my red Mary Janes.

I usually don't like combing through clearance tables, but it was an additional 50% off, and I couldn't resist.  To prevent myself from slipping into hoarding mode, I tried to get pieces that at least matched each other.  I bought a lemony chiffon piece decorated with clear sequin, and another yellow loose knit that would make a nice front-tie jacket for the summer.  I just have to come up with some patterns for these pieces.

I bought about six yards of fucsia t-shirt ribbing fabric...I have been looking for this exact color and material ever since I ruined my favorite Gap tank with a leaky ink pen in the dryer.  (I have ruined so many pieces of clothing this way).  Now I have enough material to make ten more tank tops at three bucks each.

In February, Hart's Fabrics in Santa Cruz had its storewide sale.  I loaded up on many pieces that would work for my Spring into Summer wardrobe.  All the fabric designs beg for retro styling.  Pencil pants are in my future, along with a Chanel imitation bouclé skirt, and even a bow-tie blouse.  Since it's still early in the season, and Summers in Northern California can last through September, I've got plenty of time to get everything done.  (As long as I stop adding more projects to the pile...anymore ideas, and I'll be sewing Summer wear till Christmas.)

I decided to test run a few Burda Style online patterns with my Spring-into-Summer projects.  I've located at least a couple patterns I want to use.

Here is my color palette for the next two seasons:

This is a future chocolate lace dress with a pink cotton underlining.
I am considering a Burda Style wedding dress pattern, or something like it for the chocolate lace: Chocolate Lace Dress
The left is a tutti fruiti boucle´ that is going to be an imitation Chanel skirt, and the right is a rayon floral on dotted jacquard.  In this photo, the two fabrics don't look like they match, but they do!

Thinking of turning this one into a semi-fitted, short-sleeved bow-tie blouse.  This top will also match the boucle´ skirt but the two prints might not be contrasting enough. 
This Burda Style pattern is a possibility for the polka-dotted print:  Bow Blouse

Pretty sure this is a home furnishings piece meant for pillows or curtains.  A little off the color palette, but I consider the off-white and gray more neutral.  I am going to attempt a pair of straight-legged, cigarette pants.  The large fabric pattern is tricky, so it's going to require some creative tweaking.  

This is going to be an eyelet cotton blouse with a purple lining.  The lining looks more plum here, but it's really a nice deep lavender in true light.  I'm really excited about this piece and the chocolate brown lace fabric.  I have never really used much lace or eyelet before or made many lined pieces in the past.  (I just saw a top on J. Crew that resembles my idea.)  

My Final 2012 Winter Holiday Project

I looked at all my holiday pieces this week in my closet, and realized that it's going to be another eight months before I can wear them again.  Oh well, better late than having this top end up in a basket titled "incomplete stuff."  Luckily, I don't have such a basket.  When I started sewing again, one of my first resolutions was to stop hoarding fabric.  I still remember moving house 20 years ago and giving away six large boxes of fabric.  It's still painful thinking about all that money wasted.  I digress.

This was another Very Easy Vogue pattern that did not end up being very easy.  Everything about it was difficult: the cutting, the sewing instructions, and especially its awkward length.  It has this asymmetrical hem that ended up four inches too long.  I think this design is meant for tall girls.

I made three changes.  The side attachment required a hook and eye closure.  This was not going to hold up with the fabric being so thin.  I extended the straps and turned them into ties instead.  I didn't put darts on the back, partially because I'm lazy, but I figured it was a stretchy fabric so darts really were not going to be necessary.  Lastly, that darn hem was so asymmetrical that it looked lopsided.  It was so bad that I had to put the project away for the remainder of the holiday season.  A couple of weeks ago, I finally chopped off four inches and re-hemmed it.  Now it doesn't look like I'm wearing my Mommy's clothes.

I've come to the conclusion that any pattern that has a wrap-around design is going to be a pain to sew.  I am no longer going to be deceived by the "Very Easy" title.  The pattern layout and cutting required double or even triple the table space or floor cutting.  (I hate cutting on the floor.)  It also requires a lot of fabric, so I had to consider the weight around my already thick mid section.

I was a little addicted to sparkly fabric all Winter, mostly because I've never used this type of material before.  I discovered between the different metallics, my skin looked the best against gold.  This was a nice surprise.