Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Party Dress

I've mentioned before that I don't have a lot of "going out" clothes.  Milwaukee is a pretty casual city, and I don't really hit the bars too often.  When I do, I usually just wear a casual dress and some heels and call it a night.  I came across this fabric at Bargain Center (a Lutheran thrift shop) and it's pretty much a party in fabric form.  It's real silk, and I got about 3 yards of it for $8.

Photobucket

I've been wanting to remake Butterick B5209 for a while now, but it uses quite a bit of fabric because it is self-lined and has a full skirt.  I had plenty, and I like the juxtaposition of the crazy 80's fabric with the 40's dress.  I put it together much easier than last time, but not completely error-free.  The fabric doesn't have a "wrong" side, so I sewed a sleeve on backwards.  I didn't realize it until I was sewing in the lining, but it was easy enough to rip out and fix.

And boy, did I ever party in it. 

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

Half that beer ended up spilled down the front of it!

I love this dress.  It's colorful, it's comfy, it's easy to accessorize, and most of all, it just feels fun to wear.  I need more party clothes.  If I had more party clothes, I'd try to find more reasons to party!  It could be a cycle of awesomeness.

Photobucket

Monday, November 14, 2011

Blogiversary giveaway winner!

Congrats to comment #7, Alana from Lazy Stitching!! 


lazystitching said...




Happy aniversary! My current favourite is a white lace tee I made a couple of weeks ago.



Send me an email to amy.b.chojnacki@gmail.com and I'll send out your patterns!  Thanks again to everyone for their lovely comments and for reading my blog.

Amy

Monday, November 7, 2011

I bet you didn't know this

But I also knit!  I learned a few years ago when my friend Ellie's aunt taught me.  We go to her house every Tuesday and have dinner and chat, and sometimes work on craft projects.  Now that it's cold, we've all been knitting again, so I started on a scarf.

I first saw the Honey Cowl on Tasia's blog and thought that it was gorgeous, and easy enough for me to do.  So far, I've only made a few hats!  I haven't tried anything more complicated than that.

It took a few tries to get started because my scarf kept getting a twist in it.  I ripped it out and started again, but I got another twist!  I had to have my friend start it for me since I had no idea what I was doing wrong.  I thought I had made sure everything was straight! 

Knitting is nice because you can do it sitting in front of the TV, on the bus, talking to a friend, etc.  It's totally portable, unlike sewing.  As much as I'd like to bring my machine to work and sew during my lunch break, I don't think that will ever happen. 

I'm not very far on my scarf yet, but here's what I have so far. 

Photobucket

Photobucket

It seems like a lot of sewing bloggers are also getting into knitting. Have you been bitten by the knitting bug?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

One Year Blogiversary and Giveway

Wow, I can't believe I've been sewing/blogging for a year already!  It's gone by so quickly.  I definitely think blogging about my projects has made me more likely to finish, mostly because I really enjoy the feedback I get from everyone, and I get really excited to share it with everyone. 

Some things I learned about sewing:
  • Never say "I can make that for you!"  It'll end up being a chore and you'll put it off and hate it and it's not fun.
  • If you sew a sleeve on backwards, it's okay.  There's no need to have a tantrum and throw it out.  Just take it off and fix it!  I've definitely gained a lot of patience.
  • As hard as it is for me to find clothes I love, it's just as hard for me to find fabric I love.  Etsy and eBay are my saviors.
  • You CAN do that super hard Vintage Vogue, if you have the will to do it.
I thought I would do a retrospect of my sewing projects and tell you which of three categories they've fallen into: Wardrobe Staples, Middle of the Road, and Never Saw the Light of Day.

First up, the worthy Wardrobe Staples.

This is my favorite dress, and the most worn. 

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

I've worn this one to death, too.

Photobucket


Photobucket

And this one surprised me by being one of my favorites.  I almost gave up on it three times!  I'm so glad I finished it because I've worn it at least 15 times.

Photobucket

These are also staples that I love and have worn over and over. I think of these as solid additions to my closet that I will wear for years to come.  Not surprisingly, they are mostly all floral sundresses.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket
Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

These, not so much. Here are some of my greatest failures. None of these have ever left the house.

I look terrible in red, this fabric is so slippery it's impossible to wear a cardigan with, the neckline is sloppy and droopy, and no shoes on the planet look good with it.

Photobucket

This shiny, ill-fitting mess needs to be burned. Ugh. What was I thinking with this polyester nightmare?

Photobucket

This dress caused me to rip the pattern to shreds and throw it in the garbage. It never got finished or worn. What I'm the most sad about is wasting that beautiful piece of vintage rayon. I repurposed the skirt into a bodice of a different dress, so I'll tell you about that once it's finished.

Photobucket

This is the same pattern as my blue chain dress, but fit issues have caused it to be in the reject pile, instead of being a closet staple like it's well-made sister. The neckline is too low, the lining peeks out, and it didn't fit, so I added a panel next to the zipper, which just looks ridiculous. I think this one is worth tearing apart and fixing, so it's on the to-do list.

Photobucket

And, our Middle of the Road entries. Some of these don't get the love they deserve, and some I am just unenthused about.

This one is well-made, took FOREVER to complete, is made of high quality fabric, and fits nicely. Unfortunately, I have only worn it once. It's wintery in print and color, but the slippery fabric and sleeves make it hard to Winterize with a cardigan. I am never really sure what to wear it with, so it sits in my closet unloved.

Photobucket

I thought this would be a good work dress, but unfortunately I can't muster up the enthusiasm to put it on. Is it the drab color?

Photobucket

I think this dress is really beautiful, and it fits really well, but again I am running into the Winterization issue. The fabric almost screams "Christmas" but it's a super slippery rayon that you cannot wear a cardigan with. Also, it's too low-cut for the office but not fun enough for a night out.

Photobucket

I love this dress, but I wore it for NYE. I can't really think of any other place to wear it. Maybe a holiday party?

Photobucket

I wore this once and felt dowdy in it, so it got pushed to the back of the closet and forgotten.

Photobucket

I adore this, and I wore it once poolside on vacation, but I never got the courage to take it public. I wanted to wear it to a music fest but I put it on and felt very naked. I hate to demote it to beachwear, but that's what it might end up as.

Photobucket

This top is adorable and I really wanted to wear it more, but I have this thing against wearing jeans in the summer. I will have to try it with a skirt next year.

Photobucket

So now for the giveaway!  I'm so happy to have so many kind readers who are always there for me with an encouraging comment, so I'd like to share two of my vintage patterns with you.  All you have to do is leave a comment. Tell me about your favorite project you've ever made, something you'd like to make, or just say hi.  I'll announce the winner next week!

Both are size 16, B36.
PhotobucketPhotobucket