Wednesday, November 19, 2014

New Fabric Day

Holy ham sandwiches, I love new fabric days! The lovely UPS gentleman dropped off a weighty box this afternoon and I could not wait to dive in.  I've been quite disciplined in sewing through my stash and have managed to reduce it significantly.  That, coupled with a preference for mostly solids paired with a few prints (polka dots and florals) means I can justify shopping for fabrics!

I find something magical about looking a new pile of fabric. I mean, yes, you've spent your money on it and will invest your time to make fabulous pieces for your wardrobe, but it's the potential of brand new fabric that I find enchanting.  Even when I've already picked projects for each, I still find it so.

Gah! Look at that glorious rainbow!! After many mishaps, I have disciplined myself to shop within my palette in order to ensure that everything I make is loved and worn.  Closet orphans make me sad :(  Plus, when I sew within my palette, everything goes together easily making early morning outfit selection less of a crap shoot! LOL!

Starting in the middle of the pile are two lovely rose printed ponte knits.  Do you know how tricky it is to find printed knits NOT on a black background? It's much like trying to find the Holy Grail.  I don't really wear or like black so I often have to bow out of pretty prints due to the background colour.  I did luck out here, though!  Both of these gorgeous granny prints are on navy backgrounds.  Lady Skater, I'm looking at you!

Talk about a hypocrite! LOL!  It's true that I rarely wear black and shy away from it normally, but that darn .Jane Sassaman went and designed all these fabulous prints and seduced me!  It figures that the one I bought is the one with the black background.  Jeesh.  This beauty will be a Laurel dress.  Hot pink tights, anyone?

OK, it's freezing here and has been snowing steadily for the last 4 days.  Thank goodness I don't live in Buffalo!  Those poor buggers have over 4 ft of snow!  Renfew tops - both plain and with the cowl neck - are a major piece of my cold weather uniform.  I've made 4 this year and plan on adding at least 4 more.  These lovely navy knit prints (aren't the hearts so cute?!) will be cowl neck versions.  Yum!

Oh, red.  I love you so much!  Even when I deviated into Pink Land, I still loved you.  You are happy and cheerful and a terrific neutral.  That one in the middle is a delicious cherry red stretch twill that is destined to become a pair of sassy cigarette pants.  I blame Winnie.  

That glorious fabric at the top is, of course, Millefiore Red by Kaffe Fassett.  He makes glorious fabrics but I'm too scaredy cat to cut into them because they're so pretty.  But this one?  This lovely red print (see it up there?) I had to buy it because of this dress:

Gorgeous, right?  I love it! I can accent it with about a zillion colours too.  Oh, Laurel dress, you are just the perfect dress and tunic pattern for me.  Especially since I craftily figured out how to make you without a zipper. Muah ha ha

See that pretty lady at the bottom? Yup.  Another granny rose print insanity but she will go beautifully with my red trousers, right?  Plus about a zillion other lovelies in my wardrobe.  Sorbetto, my reliable, wonderful Sorbetto, avec Washi sleeves will be just the one for her.

What are you sewing lately?  Anything cozy on the needles?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Fall Essentials Sew Along Report Card

We had our first real snowfall today, which means I'm starting to wind down my fall sewing and switch into winter crafting, as well as making handmade gifts for family and friends.  Although I have been offline for much of FESA, I have still been a busy crafty bee.  Like many of you, my life is in a busy phase right now which puts photographing and blogging about my makes in the back seat.  

My Tib Dress
Looking back over my original plan, I really have accomplished a lot!  After going through a major style shift throughout the latter part of this year, several items did not get made.  I find that I'm favouring Laurel dresses and tunics, Meringue skirts, circle skirts, Sorbetto blouses, and Renfrew tops.  Simple, wearable, and easily incorporated into my wardrobe.  Layering with cardigans, tights, and lace petticoats tickles my fancy of late. 

My Plan
Fashionable Foundations for Frosty Weather 
I did sew the grey twill Meringue skirt and I love it! It's already working really well with the blouses and tops in my wardrobe.  My charcoal cigarette trousers are still in the planning stages and I know that other versions (red twill, red corduroy) will come to fruition during winter.

I did end up making a super comfortable pair of wide legged charcoal corduroy trousers from Vogue 2128 that are perfect for lounging around the house (velvety soft fine wale cord!) or for running errands.   I also have a hot pink twill Meringue skirt which is in progress.  I forgot how stressful it can be to sew those scallop (LOL!) so I need a breather before I attack them again.  

Chic Chemises for Cool Climates
If I do say so myself, I did really well in this category! I made a total of 11 items: 3 Laurel tunics, 4 Renfrews (one here), 1 peasant blouse, and 3 Sorbetto tops.  The Sorbetto I like the most is made from this beautiful floral Michael Miller print on the right.  I added Washi sleeves and a waist tie, a la Phryne Fisher.  

Fabulous Frocks
Again, I'm pleased with my output in this category.  I made the following dresses:

I discovered when I sewed the Pan Am dress that I don't need a zipper in the Laurel dress! Woo hoo!  My Granny Rose Laurel was made with a vintage rose print fabric - love!  I am going slightly bonkers for rose chintz prints of late. 

Pan Am Stewardess Dress
I have two Lady Skater dresses in rose print ponte knit (here and here) planned.  The Farmers' Almanac says that this winter is going to be especially frosty and I don't like being stuck in pants for months on end.  I saw this dress ages ago and was delighted to stumble across the same fabric the other day! The colours are so rich and vibrant and I'm looking forward to sewing this up! 

I didn't expect to make anything for this category during FESA, but surprise, surprise, I did!  Clementine is a self-drafted, top down, layering piece knit with 2 strands of lovely dark turquoise sport weight wool held together.  I also made 2 berets, 2 pairs of fingerless gloves, and one giant, ugly cowl.  

I must be the world's worst mender! I procrastinate and whine about it every time I need to do it!  I did manage to alter my favourite pair of denim skinny pants and didn't realize how much I missed having them in my closet until they were fixed.  I also added side button tabs to my Fern Gully dress to cinch it in a bit as the pattern has mega-ease.  I'm all or a comfortable, loose-fitting dress, but this was getting nuts!  

I even managed to complete a 1/4 circle skirt in lightweight raspberry wool that I cut out last year!  I knew I would wear it a lot, but it was this photo that finally motivated me to push on.  I just love the look!

Future  Projects
I plan on sticking with my current uniform of simple pieces that are easy to wear and care for.  On my cutting table is a 3 yard piece of fuchsia knit that will become a Renfrew top and Renfrew cowl top.  I thrifted some amazing cotton sari fabric in hot pink, orange, and turquoise that is destined to be a Laurel tunic.  I also want to make another pair of Butterick 4552 pants in plum corduroy, not to mention a few pairs of cigarette trousers.