Saturday, March 16, 2013

let's do it

Planning a spring sewing schedule while snow is literally still falling takes a fair amount of optimism, but here we are. 

I'm not the most organized person, so I really have only one aim: to participate in Me-Made-May this year. It's kind of  a sneaky goal, because it sounds small (only one thing!) but actually requires me to plan rather a lot more than I usually do. I've been sewing   s l o w l y  for more than a year or so, but the number of finished garments that I really love to wear is quite small. I think this partially because it took awhile for my skills to catch up with the mental images of what I wanted to sew, but also because I kept making the mistake of using fabrics that were only okay or even blah. So without further ado, here is a handful of the projects I plan to tackle over the coming weeks months.

First up, I desperately need an Alma blouse in my closet. (Okay, I probably need about five of them but let's start with the one.) I have a few cotton lawns and rayon blouse-weights that I plan to use eventually, but I think my first make will be View B in the adorable Fox Portrait print with a chocolate brown collar. Yes, it's technically a quilting cotton, but it has quite a nice hand to it and I think it will work quite well for Alma. 

In an entirely different direction: Clothhabit's Rosy Ladyshorts! I've sewn simple undies before, though I foresee a slight learning curve with these beauties because the construction is less familiar to me. The fabric is a gorgeous rose-embroidered stretch lace I picked up at Mood the day Lauren came to town! Yes, I'll probably count them for MMM -- no, I won't be modeling them! (And neither will you see me in my recently constructed Amersons.)

Ideally there will be a matching Rosy-lady bra in my future, because I want to be one of those women who have beautiful matching lingerie... despite all evidence to the contrary. 
Next: a silk-cotton twill I've been holding on to for at least a year. I first spotted this fabric on Parks & Recreation, in the form of a dress worn by Ann Perkins. (Can we pause a minute to admire Rashida Jones in basically everything she wears, ever?) When it appeared on fabricmart, I scooped up a few yards... and it's been hanging out in my closet untouched ever since. Apparently I have no imagination, because I can really only envision it as a dress very similar to Ann's. I'm not sure if I have both of those McCalls patterns or just the top one, but either way it's exactly the kind of simple dress that I wear all the time. (Simplicity 2215 is another possibility.)
Another girly print, this time a rayon challis! I'm completely not sure if Simplicity 1777 is right for me, but it does seem totally right for this fabric! Forties styles usually work for me, and I love the v-neck version of this retro pattern. All that gathering around the front inset has me a little worried though, so I'm definitely testing it out in a shittier fabric first. It might be too much fabric around the midsection.

If it ends up looking horribly wrong, then I'll make a Cambie dress instead -- I'll be making a Cambie anyway eventually, so why not make the sweetest rosiest floraliest Cambie ever?
I've never worked with lace before, so this project might be a considerable challenge. Rumor has it that the soon-to-be-released Colette pattern just might be a simple shift dress -- at least, I really hope so, because then I know exactly what I'll making with this geometric black cotton lace. I'm not sure how I'll handle the underlaying fabric. On the one hand, I love the way black lace looks over this creamy satin... but it's sort of earmarked for another project, and a bright color under black is equally fun and arguably more summery. I do love some moody black-over-putty though, so we'll see.
Finally on a possibly deluded note, I'm also considering a wedding dress. I'm getting married at some point this summer, and while big poufy-princess-cupcake-down-the-aisle isn't my thing, I do love getting dressed up & fancy! What I really want is a slightly casual shape in a nice silk fabric.

The satin-faced buttercream rayon would do very nicely, but I also have a few yards of an ivory sandwashed silk. I think something interesting like Rachel Comey's V1209 or Colette Oolong would shine in a plain-yet-luxurious fabric (actually if I could just steal recreate the exact Colette sample, I totally would) while the simpler Simplicity 1873 or V1288 would be best with some lace for textural contrast. I like the idea of a removable lace layer, so that the dress itself could be worn more frequently...  but that probably requires more skill and patience than I possess.

V8827 is admittedly a bit of a dark horse, but sallieoh's dress/robe version is so stunning that it tempts me mightily. Furthermore, I'm not even set on shades of white, so really anything goes. (V8827 would look waaaay too much like a bathrobe/dressing gown in white silk!) The black lace shift dress I'm planning could also do double duty as a wedding dress if I end up not tackling a second dress.

So that's the tentative plan*, which I now realize looks a little saccharine. But right now my closet is a vast sea of extreme   y a w n .  Somehow, I've worn all of my favorites to their faded threadbare deaths, and I'm left with a lot of boring clothes. At some point, I'll need to sew some basics (and basic need not be boring, right?) but for now I need to fill up on fun!

*I'm sure this plan will also lead to some abject failure too, if we're being honest -- but what the hell, that's what plans are.


  1. I get up in the morning and I literally ask myself, "What would Rashida Jones and/or Ann Perkins do?" Then I do that thing. Well, minus the Andy Dwyer phase because, well, no. All of this to say, do it!

    Also, I'd be thrilled to see a you-made (or you-attempted) wedding dress.

    Welcome to Bloglandia!

    1. I just had a brief moment in which I confused Andy Dwyer and Andy Bernard, and felt alone in my love for Ed Helms. But yes: you're right, Andy Dwyer is a total no. (Karen Filippelli was far too minor a character on the Office, no?)

      I promise to post, if not a successful wedding dress, at least the tattered failure of it! Cheers!

  2. Ah, Rashida. She is heaven. Love your sewing plans, and congrats on the pending nuptials. It was great meeting you, and so happy you're blogging.

    1. Thanks! Meeting all you lovely ladies convinced me :)

  3. Hey! Glad to have met you too :) and glad you found me. So many pretty projects and fabrics you have! I have those same McCall's shirtdress patterns and I love shirtdresses so I have no idea why I haven't made them yet - it is not for a lack of fabric in my stash, that's for sure. Maybe I'll sew one of those up too. And thanks for the link to the underwear PDF download! I have the perfect fabric for those!

  4. Ahh I remember you buying that fabric at Mood, looked awesome! Have you made them yet?