Thursday, November 15, 2012

I Dig the Bat Wing

A few months ago I bought a retro, unlabeled top at the thrift store, and it was so basic, and I liked it so much, that I decided to make a pattern off of it. It is the same piece front and back, so I put it on a grocery paper bag that I cut to lay flat, I folded to mark the center at top and bottom, and I traced around half of it carefully. I then went back and used my curves and straight edge to clean the pattern up. I created bands for the cuffs and hips based off my measurements, and then I set to making some new tops.

The first one came out snug in the arms and hips, but is wearable and has been frequently worn in the last few months. I made a few adjustments for the second, and it came out really well with none of the issues of the store bought or previously made one. I used a presumably vintage length of knit tube fabric that I bought in the thrift.

One of the major bonuses is that between the bat wing and the bands, the pattern goes together extremely fast! And sewn on the serger with minimal sewing machine stitching, it's nearly finished as it is constructed. Then there's the fact that this top embodies what I love about my favorite pieces of clothing- it has unusual details (bat wing and boat neck) while being totally functional and wearable.

 And so you can see my wings........
 Weak, huh? Well, that's because it is actually not a batwing top, although it does look a bit more wing-y when I don't have a long sleeve top underneath. But it's COLD. I think it's technically a magyar sleeve. How did I come to this conclusion, and what is the difference between batwing, magyar, and dolman anyway? I found a book called The Fashion Design Manual by Pamela Stecker that  clears this up- there is a preview on Google Books.
So if you don't know, now you know! Still, I'm pretty sure I'll never convince my husband to say magyar when it's so much more fun to say "bat waaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnggggggg" in your best twang! 

Friday, November 9, 2012

This is Why My Stash is Totally OOC

Because $40 worth of lingerie elastic can be had in my local thrift store for $1.50 on the right day! These bits were grouped into bags- each cut looked to be about 4 yards, and there are lengths of waist and thigh elastic in almost every color seen here.

So, I am making myself up some new lin-ger-ie. I whipped up two unders using the absolutely lovely free vintage style "Grannie Pannies" pattern from Vera Venus. One pair, I did not photograph, because I was wearing them. If you happen to meet me tomorrow, I will be wearing these. T.M.I.?

These cost me about 20 cents to make. The elastic was almost theft, the fabric was given to me by some nice old ladies at a rummage sale, the rosette is from Grandma's stash, and the lining is thrifted rib knit. The only thing I paid full price for is the cone thread. Man, I love thrifting. 

You can download the free pattern from the Sew Vera Venus blog here. It comes in one size, a 37" to 39" hip, but the pattern can easily be graded up or down. It gives a really nice fit, and there is one main seam right up the center back, which makes them very comfy as opposed to just side seams. Basting and turning the elastic before stitching it down is the way to go, as one pair of mine ended up with a wee bit too much fabric at the thighs. I am just nit picking here though, as I love both pair. And wouldn't this pattern make a lovely bathing suit bottom?

The only issue I run into making underwear is with sewing the elastic. I used my serger for one pair with great results, but for this pair I simply sewed the elastic on the outside with a zig zag and trimmed the excess fabric away. I always get occasional skipped stitches when I zig zag elastic, and I don't know why. I have the tension up, and I am using a ball point needle. Any ideas or suggestions? Does this happen to you too? It drives me cray-cray!!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

How Do you Solve a Problem Like Maria?

Nearly three years after the loss of my beloved Jack-Dog, we have decided to bring a new pup into our home. Meet Maria, so named by my Sound of Music obsessed daughter. She is a lab-hound mix and is about 4 months old. She's just as sweet as sweet can be. She had been at Macon County Animal Control for three weeks, and I saw her on their "Last Chance Homeless Pet Adoptions" Facebook Page. I'm so glad we went in. I wanted a dog that was a snuggler and a lover, and Maria has not stopped snuggling us since she came home. I know that she is a puppy and will certainly wake up, so we are looking forward to long hikes and trips to the dog park. This is the perfect time of year for us to adopt, as we plan to be home through the holidays, and we will have lots of company for socializing. 

Ain't she cute? 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Local Color- Mud Creek Falls

Just a few minutes away from our house, this picturesque waterfall is located in Sky Valley, Georgia. I just loved the moss covered rocks and evergreen foliage setting off leaves in various stages of turning.That is my girl and I on the rock, and that gives you some perspective regarding the size of the falls. This is a drive up location with a one mile trail that runs along the creek below. I am looking forward to checking out Mud Creek Falls as the seasons progress now that I know where to find it.  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Rusty Corded Shell

What the heck is this woman talking about "Rusty Corded Shell?"

I finished this shell blouse a couple of weeks ago, and while it was pretty straightforward in construction, I decided to add some embellishment to the front by making a corded design. It was a major pain to turn the cord, as my fabric was really too heavy for this, but I persevered/ stubbornly continued on and ended up with this.
 I can always count on the hubby to cut off the top of my head in an already crappy iPhone pic. That's ok, it makes my five-head a forehead.

I used Butterick 3286 in a size 32" bust. I don't know what is up with this pattern, but it fits me pretty well and I am a 37" bust. I guess it's because it's supposed to be an "overblouse."

Although it is far from perfect, I really like it, and I plan to try again with a lighter weight fabric. If you are interested in trying this technique, check out the Coletterie tutorial here

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Smoke signals

Hello! Here I am! I am a major blog slacker. I have absolutely no reason for not writing. I started posts many times. I just didn't feel motivated to complete them. However, I have been sewing a lot and doing a lot of little projects around the homestead. I'm going to try to ease myself back in here by writing shorter posts more frequently.

Anyway, here is my finished wrap dress that I asked about like five years ago.

I decided to keep the pocket but remove the trim from it. I like how it turned out. It is easy to wear and comfy, great for doing house work. Here is what I look like doing house work. 
It has been so outrageously long since I posted, that about a month ago we completed the refinish on the cabinets that are without doors behind me, and we also put a coat of that Rustoleum paint on our pink counters. Here is an after shot:
This was a major improvement. The cabinets are great. The counter paint chips, but I'll take chipped cream over faded rose pink any day. 

Finally, to complete this loosely linked, random series of photographs, here is a pic of my Halloween sweetie dressed as Scooby Doo.
I have finally been getting some compensation for the many sleepless nights since she was born in the form of all of her best Halloween candy bars. I love that little pup. 

I hope everyone is doing alright in the aftermath of that crazy storm. So long for now...