I’ve been snarfing up Seamwork Magazine, Colette Patterns’ new project, with utter delight since the day it came out. Every month I get excited about the next release (only 14 more days, guys!). And yet the first pattern I’ve made was from the May issue — the Adelaide dress.
I realize this is the second off-white tank dress I’ve made this summer, but in truth, these dresses are so different that there’s no comparison.
It’s been awhile since I posted, but I know you’ll understand why — it’s summer. Either you’re wasting your time luxuriating in the sunshine, or you’re wasting your time panting in the shade of the nearest tree, wishing for a hint of a breeze, something, anything. Poring over a computer screen seems like something you should save for winter, along with hot baths, mugs of tea and wool fabric.
Wool is definitely a bad word right now. Lace, on the other hand…
I know it’s not exactly encouraged, but back at the end of April, I reeeeeally wanted to make up a garment, lickety-split, to wear for Me-Made May.
So DUH, I knew exactly what to do.
[ hat optional]
One of the best sewing decisions I’ve ever made was to spend three or four hours on a weekend afternoon fitting the bodice of Simplicity 1873
. That was about a year ago, and I’ve thanked Yesterday Sarah many times since.
The phrase TNT gets thrown around a lot — including by me, often erroneously — but this is one case where it really applies. Going through the boring part of fitting has paid off with, essentially, a sloper for a sleeveless bodice. I can play around with variations (like wrap-back and scoop-back) without worrying about making adjustments for my narrow back or deep armscye or whatever.
So when I need a quick win in the sewing category to make myself feel better about a recent failure, I went straight to Old Faithful. Because sometimes you just need a f–king sundress.
I had high hopes, guys, SUCH high hopes for this dress.
It was going to kickstart years of sewing vintage patterns. It was going to add some unique flavor to my wardrobe without detracting from my personal style. It was going to live in that sweet spot between effortless-casual and pulled-together-work-appropriate.
Or, you know, not!
I haven’t really posted about THIS kind of project before; my posts tend to be about my favorite makes, the success stories. But that’s not really a realistic portrayal of sewing, is it?
So here we go: I made this dress, and I really don’t like it. Let’s punctuate that with many, many GIFs of Liz Lemon, even though I haven’t watched “30 Rock” in ages and can’t remember where they all come from.
Well, I’m still working on my vintage shirtdress, but as I got to the end, I realized I was out of snaps and ordered more. Then when the snaps came, I realized I’d lost my snap tool and had to order one of those.
So while I waited, I jumped into my next spring/summer project — lightweight, drapey, lovely blouses to wear to work. The kind that feels like you’re not wearing anything.
I cut out three tops at once and dove in.
I don’t know about you, but I am a planner. Especially when it comes to sewing.
I’ve got spreadsheets, I’ve got lists, I’ve got a mental line-up of blog posts. My stash is categorized by when I plan on using each piece, and I periodically reorder it when my to-sew list changes.
(Lest you think I’m some sort of neat freak, this just means that I keep pulling things out of my for-later box of fabrics, then stacking them on top of my to-sew pile of fabrics, then repeating the process until the box is pretty empty and the pile has exploded all over my bedroom. Then I refold everything and start over.)
So you can imagine how it went when my sewing machine went on the fritz for more than two weeks.
I had PLANS, big plans for projects to make and blog, and it was all for naught, because all I could do during that time was cut out future projects. And I hate cutting.
So when I got the ole machine back, I needed to make something. Right away. Start to finish! This is a tall order for a snail-like sewist with a strong tendency to get distracted by things like food, email, and air currents, so I glanced at my to-sew list with an eye for the fastest project possible. And I skipped ahead to summer.
My latest make: a heavily modified Colette Licorice in very lightweight denim, with a little lace yoke.
“Dude, that is not a Licorice,” you might be saying. Right. I can explain.
As aforementioned, I’m no fan of synthetic fabrics in summer. Give me woven cottons any time.
But cotton is crisp! Cotton wrinkles! Lightweight cottons are sheer and need to be lined and by the time you’re done, your lightweight, floaty cotton dress is stiff and heavy. (Case in point: The yellow voile Lonsdale I made that needed to be underlined and lined for opacity. Yeah.)
Do you ever fall in love with a fabric, then get it home and ask yourself what on earth you’re going to do with it? Don’t answer that; I know I can’t be the only person with lengths of fabric malingering in my stash because they don’t lend themselves to anything I’d ever wear.