February 20th, 2012
Both here and on Facebook, I’ve been talking about little else beside my work on this dress. Between the modifications required and my lack of experience, it was necessary to do a test run. The fabric – muslin – is cheap and coarse, but it’s priceless for checking fit before cutting into the good materials.
I had a heck of a time with the sleeves. In the end, I decided to omit the big over sleeve piece. Even shortened proportionate to the total length of the dress, it looked silly on someone as short as me.
I finished the mockup on Thursday, down to adding the eyelet laces on the back. On Friday, I made the small changes to the pattern and started cutting out the pieces for the real deal Klingon wedding dress. Finally cutting into the red satin felt great.
As you can see, I was super excited that my first garment for a human being (rather than a doll) with modifications worked. The trick, however, is staying motivated rather than feeling the satisfaction of finishing a project. We are far from finished.
One thing that has helped me stay fired up are the flaws. My arm holes were too small because I didn’t understand where to cut the pattern. Easy fix.
Early on in the construction process, I suspected I would need to add a few inches to… ah… cover my bosom. Once it all came together, it became obvious the problem wasn’t really the bodice front being too low but the shoulders being too long. I had Chris pin up the shoulder and removed two whole inches from the pattern shoulders. It pulled up the bodice in front and tighten it in back along with making the sleeves fit so much better. I felt a little silly for not having thought about that measurement when I often have trouble with bathing suit shoulder straps being too long. Of course, with my newly acquired sewing skills, I’ll be modifying those rather than just dealing with the annoyance of ill-fitting clothes. Happy thought, indeed.
Now, just for fun, I have to share a picture of Chris working on the mockup of his wedding shirt. The final version will be the same red satin as mine and, assuming we don’t run out of time, we’ll be making matching red pants. Here he’s ripping the collar seam after between the two of us didn’t get it pinned on the right way. In the end, Chris sewed it on correctly. His next step is sleeves with gathers. Definitely a challenging project for a beginner.
February 13th, 2012
First, I freaking love dresses. It’s no more effort to wear something people assume is fancy. My collection is growing and I have no intention of stopping. Clearance racks are my friends.
I got this sweater dress before Christmas at Ross. The ruffle at the neck line makes me happy. The color is unusual and flattering. It’s warm and comfortable. Sleeves and a modest length made it an obvious choice for today since we’ve getting winter temperatures for the first time in a long time. I picked up the belt and new tights a few days ago. While you can’t see them in the small version of the picture but if you click to enlarge you can see the tights have polka dots. I love polka dots. I didn’t used to like belts for decorative purposes, but I now own three, plus the one I wear with khakis for practical purposes. With something solid like this dress, it feels like I need something to break up the solid block of color, but I am ever vigilant not to break too many visual lines thus making myself appear shorter.
Before I spend to much more time rambling about my all important fashion life, let me tell you about my day.
Finding I had a rare Sunday free and clear from work-type obligations, I’d made plans with Chris‘ parents since I hadn’t seen them in a while. I tagged along to the evening service and Valentine social at their church. Pro tip: Southern Baptists know how to throw a pot luck. “Not a full dinner” was an abundant feast. I think there were four kinds of meatballs and lots of other goodies. My lovely practically-mother-in-law, Sandi, organized a version of The Newlywed Game which she renamed Trulyweds since they didn’t have anyone newly married to pick on. Maybe I’m biased, but the questions she wrote were clever and creative, not to mention in the style of the old game show. It was a hit and all the participants had fun. I had fun and got my parental unit time in, always important, and a reasonable excuse for not having the mock up for my dress done for today’s self portrait as intended. There’s always tomorrow.
February 6th, 2012
Who knew I could iron?
Wash and wear fabrics populate my wardrobe for a reason.
Laziness or efficiency? Could go either way
The iron, however, has gotten a workout lately with all the sewing projects going down in our house. Yesterday, Chris snapped a few “action shots” for my Sunday Self Portrait while we worked on our costumes for the Klingon wedding. I didn’t know until I began research for this project – first people-sized clothes I’ve made – that it is necessary to iron the pattern pieces. With doll clothes, especially Barbie sized, smoothing by hand works just fine. For anything larger, wrinkles mean measurements come out wrong in the final product. The ironing of pattern pieces and, of course, fabric wouldn’t be so tedious with a dedicated work table. As it is, we’re working on a cardboard measuring board on our bed. No matter how careful, something manages to get wrinkled in the break down and set up process for each work session.
We’ve completed the pattern modifications for both his shirt and my dress except for one element of the dress I’m still working out in my head. I think, as of last night, muslin mock-up shirt is cut out and ready to sew. Once the muslin versions are sewn up, we’ll make any modifications to the patterns before working with the satin. It’s hard being a girl. I still have the lining for the bodice and sleeves to cut, plus the skirt. Maybe it’s fair my project will take longer because I have more time to work on it. So, it’s not terribly hard being me.
With any luck, next week, I’ll be able to post a picture of me in the mock up dress, either in a fully or partially completed state.
December 27th, 2010
I figure when a good portion of my Christmas day was spent watching BBC America’s Doctor Who marathon, I’m entitled to count the next day as Boxing Day.
It’s unfortunate we Americans do not formally celebrate Boxing Day. In fact, all major holidays should come with a recovery day. I’d be all for the Fifth of July and All Saint’s Day being official pajama and rest days.
I had a wonderful Christmas. Couldn’t have been more perfect. Spending the day with Chris and his family on our first Christmas together was topped off with a lovely layer of snow. It’s been decades since South Carolina had a white Christmas. Even the snow was perfect – a few inches of pretty without making the roads dangerous. The picture below was the view from my balcony this morning.
The self portrait was also taken on my balcony. I’d have worn a coat, but I wanted to show off my awesome t-shirt and pretty new necklace. My beloved has wonderful taste on both counts. I didn’t do well with the shirt, I know, but you can check it out on ThinkGeek. I’m mildly obsessed with Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I’m also enough of a geek-snob to love an obscure reference. Was super excited to get a comment on the shirt while out to lunch this afternoon. Even better, I found blue tights to compliment my first geek t-shirt. Someday, no doubt, I’ll have an impressive collection of tees a vast majority of people won’t understand. With any luck, I’ll find tights to go with all of them. Skirts, tights and tees referencing science fiction – we’ll call the look “geek-girly-girl” and go with it.
December 19th, 2010
The automatic timer on my camera is doubling as a full length mirror. Of all the things I don’t have yet, like any living room furniture, I would say I’m least worried about a mirror. The camera does the job and leaves me with an image of what I looked like at the before I head out and smudge my lipstick. Not a bad thing. I tend towards being camera shy, so it does me good to put myself in front of the camera. I intend to participate in Cass‘ Sunday Self Portrait, if not weekly, often as I did on the old blog.
I took this picture Saturday afternoon in my empty living room before heading out for a Christmas party at a friend’s house. It was a great time. Any evening which includes Chris, good friends, yummy food, and a screening of Wrath of Khan is automatically one of the best parties I’ve ever attended. Our gracious host Doug has an enviable number of Star Trek model starships. Fortunately for everyone, he doesn’t have batteries in them or I’d still be gleefully pressing buttons.
I’m digging the red tights, my newest acquisition. The only thing missing is some festive Christmas jewelry. Back in junior high and high school, I used to deck myself out in holiday accessories. Antlers, candy cane striped tights, gaudy holiday themed earrings and necklaces. I’d even made myself anklets with bells on them. If there is one thing I love as much as I love Christmas lights – and I freaking adore lights – it’s bells. Next year, I’ll have to return to the personal tradition that once had my high school counselor call me “festively annoying.” A proud moment. Where there a reasonable excuse, I’d wear bells all year long.