Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Easter would not be complete without a trip up to Mike's parents' house to scoop freshly hatched baby chicks!  Enjoy!

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Colette Patterns Chantilly

Have you ever wanted to make an entire closetful of one pattern? That's how I feel about the Chantilly. I LOVE THIS DRESS. I can't believe the pattern sat unopened in my drawer for an entire year. I was intimidated by the amount of hand-sewing and it just looked really complicated. Well, it's not. Once I got over my irrational fears, it came together easily.

I made a couple changes, nothing major. The instructions had you gather the bodice and the lining separately, then sew the bodice and lining to the neckline yoke as one. Trying to gather both evenly was really unwieldy, so I pulled out the threads and just did them together, like so:

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Also, instead of using my lining fabric for the inside of the yoke, I used my shell fabric in case any wanted to peek out. I used pale blue pongee, which I like because it's soft and sews well (not slippery!) but doesn't get static cling when you wear it with tights.

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I didn't have any invisible zippers and didn't want to buy one because I have an entire drawer full of zippers, so I did a lapped zipper. The closest color I had was gray, which was fine because I used gray thread throughout, and it's hidden anyway.

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I finished my hem with striped hem tape from the magical estate sale! I think it adds a nice touch.

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The last modification I made was to not topstitch the bodice on the shell fabric (I did on the lining). I am TERRIBLE at topstitiching and I knew I would pretty much ruin it. I cut a size 8, and no, I did not do a muslin. I've made a couple other Colette Patterns before and I've always solidly worn their 8. I think my absolute favorite thing about this dress is that I didn't have to do a full bust adjustment!  I think it's the first dress I've ever made without modifications where the bust seam didn't end up cutting squarely across my boobs.

Here's a few photos of the finished dress! I can tell this dress is going to become a solid addition to my wardrobe, well, because I wore it the day after I made it and remembered to take pictures.

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That one medallion ended up a little unfortunately-placed, no? Whoops. Bullseye!

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I thoroughly enjoyed sewing this dress. There were never any frustrating moments and I absolutely love how it turned out. It's the perfect spring transition dress, and it was just the thing to snap me out of my winter funk. And in true Amy style, I already have another almost done...

Monday, March 18, 2013

The winter blues

Is anyone else feeling like this winter has gone on forever? It's currently snowing and I'm sinking into a bit of a depression. I just want to hibernate until it's warm. Like, check out the 5-day forecast.

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High of 19 on Wednesday? Are you fucking kidding me? The average high for this time of year is 30 degrees warmer than that. Last year, this same time of year, it was already in the 70's (okay, so it was an abnormally warm summer last year, but I loved it). I am desperate to see the sun and go outside. I want to burn all of my winter clothes. I decided the best thing to do to combat my blues was to go for a run by the lake. I figured close proximity to the lake and some fresh air would be the thing to lift my mood. It only sort of helped. It was VERY cold. And today I am unusually sore, which I am chalking up to running on ice and having to alter my gait.

I briefly considered going to a tanning bed. Then I remembered the last time I went tanning, and how bright red and puffy I was afterwards, so I did the next best thing I could think of - started on a summer dress. I bought Colette Patterns Chantilly ages ago, but never got around to sewing it. I was intimidated by the amount of fabric it used, and I never had anything large enough in my stash. I had 3 yards of 54" wide rayon, and the pattern said I would need 3 yards of 60" for my size, but I figured I could make it fit with some rearranging. I ended up with like a yard leftover? So I guess I probably could have made the pattern work with something in my stash ages ago. I got pretty far along last night. I got the bodice and the skirt done. I didn't have any appropriate lining, but I'm going to go to the fabric store during lunch today and pick some up. I'm to the point where I can't go to the next step without.

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I'm confused on one portion of the directions. Can anyone who has made the pattern help me out? This page, instruction #4.

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Why do I need to finish the raw edges? Why am I waiting to sew up that side seam? I've made dresses with linings before and have never seen it done this way. I read ahead and it still didn't make sense to me. So if anyone has any advice on this pattern, I'd love to hear it!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Sewing room makeover COMPLETE!

I still haven't sewn anything, but I will be able to very soon because the wood floors in my sewing room are DONE.  I am so happy, you guys.  It looks amazing.  Now I can spread projects out on the floor without worrying about cat hair, and there will be no more threads/scraps/fuzz to vacuum up.  Yay! It wasn't really a terrible project. I would say we spent two hours ripping up the carpet, padding, and tacks. Then about an hour to pull off the baseboards and sand and paint them. Then Mike, his Dad, and my Dad laid all the wood! The actually wood-laying took about 5 hours one day, and then we ran out of wood. We got another box and spent maybe 2 hours laying the last 6 boards and nailing on the trim. Here's the before with all the carpet ripped out.

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And some action shots of Mike laying wood.

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In the meantime, this is the sewing area I was dealing with. Not very conducive to creativity, is it. Basically, the whole upstairs was crammed in this room and you had to crawl over things to even get to the sewing machine.

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It looks like a "before" shot of a Hoarders episode. Bone found creative new places to get comfy, at least.

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It was all worth it, because look how nice and clean it looks! I love it.

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Huge improvement. Everything is back in place!

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Since it went well, we decided to go ahead with doing the rest of the upstairs. We took measurements last night and are ordering wood on Sunday!