Friday, 27 April 2012

You Rewards Open Permission of the Joint.

I've been doing a bit of sewing, but nothing much to write home about.  Well, I guess I'm writing from home about it, but anyway, you know what I mean.  I made a sparkly circle skirt for little miss princess:

(Please excuse the random cat, elbow and garbage bag in the photo.  Getting a shot of a toddler in focus and smiling is a Herculean feat, so you take what you can get.)


I made a Victory Patterns Hazel dress from polyester crepe.  This version is a bit of a bust because I need to add a bit of width through the upper back and upper arms, but I think it will look good once I've made the adjustments.

I'm keeping this photo small because it's pretty unflattering, but it's the only one that turned out half way decent, so you'll have to ignore the snooty face!

I'm working on this Burdastyle #108B, which I thought I bought just a few months ago, but now that I check, it was last May.  Where did that last year go?  Time really is logarithmic, not linear:

I got it basted together, when I noticed that the skirt panel was fine, but the bodice wouldn't meet in the back.  Head scratching ensued.  I had chosen the correct size, and I had even re-measured myself in centimetres to double check my measurements.  Then I put the pattern pieces on the floor and saw my mistake:

Yep, I cut the front centre bodice 2 sizes smaller than the back.  D'oh.

Moe moe helping out

My obvious mistakes aside, I'm kind of going off Burdastyle patterns lately; having to add seam allowance is a PITA, they don't have notches to help alignment, and the instructions are abysmal.  I think they must be written in German, and then just translated into the other languages using some free online tool.  As an experiment, I ran the english instructions though babelfish a few times, and seriously?  don't see much difference:

"...the permission of the edge of the former panel of the external panel extends. You rewards open permissions of the joint. Then it bends the side panels of the panel external with the posterior panels of the external panel and continuous the joint, bending together the permissions of the edge of the panels of the panel external of the posterior part and the former part in a straight line. You rewards open permissions of the joint. Corset of the — of item 5 Panel external of the point to dress corset. You rewards permissions of the joint in on. Zipper of the — of item 6 Cucia the zipper invisibile to support the edges of the slit. Qu' it bends the joint of the posterior part of I center edge more meanly to close with closing with flash...."

Of course. 

I'm always rewarded when I open permission of the joint.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

An open letter to my threader

Dear lady who does my threading,

I know that when you've finished doing my eyebrows,
it's only good business to ask if I'd like my upper lip done for $1 more,
but when I refuse,
it's probably not necessary to answer with,

"Are you sure??"


The one who always tips you big.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Some housekeeping, a pledge, a purchase and plans for next week

I started reading sewing blogs 'roundabout September 2010, and I had no idea who SSS was, and why everyone seemed to know her.  I finally figured out that it stood for Self Stitched September, but I still couldn't imagine what kind of crafty person had a whole wardrobe full of things they made themselves!  Fast forward 18 months, and I think I just may play along this time.  In the very least, it will force me to wear those few things that I'm iffy about, and decide once and for all if they deserve to hang in the Overstuffed Closet of Clutter.  I would guess that about 30% of the things I own are made or altered by me, so it may not be as difficult as I imagined. 

'I, Vicki of anothersewingscientist, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '12. I endeavour to wear one handmade or refashioned item each day for the duration of May 2012'

I may be doing some travelling to the US and South Africa, so I may cut myself some slack on those days.  Or you may get some lovely photos of me looking dishevelled in various airports.  Lucky you.


Next week's Sew Weekly is based on a childhood photo.  Not going to say much about it, but I'll leave you with this image, taken in 1978:


After having seen so many beautiful examples around, I bought the Victory Patterns Hazel dress as a pdf the other day:

Like me, you are probably thinking, "That's just a colourblocked shift dress with a tie collar.  I could make that up."  Yeah, but the cut is just-so, and it was only $10, and it was delivered instantly to my inbox, and it's a small business to support.....  Only problem is that I don't have any spare silk crepe lying around (haha).  I'm thinking about making do with two complementary poly crepes I have...we'll see how well that works.  Hopefully it won't look like a cheap wreck. 

Have a good weekend everybody.  

Oh, and you have to go look at Meg's blog today. Just try not laughing.  I dare ya.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

The Cape Town Switcheroo

The Facts:
Fabric: double sided shwe shwe from Fabric City, Cape Town (100% cotton, heavily starched) ~$14
Pattern:  Vogue 8238, view D
Notions: Snaps < 25 cents from a neighbour’s estate sale
Year: 1972
Time to complete: ~10 hours, broken down into 30 minute snatches of time over two weeks.
First worn: For photos only, because it’s too nice to wear at home over a 4-day weekend with kids (think finger painting, cooking, eating chocolate, cleaning up all the above mentioned stickiness….)
Wear again? Definitely to work this week.  I think this one may get heavy rotation in spring and fall.

I get to go to South Africa or Botswana for work every year, but my favourite place by far is Cape Town.  It’s one of those very livable cities with everything you could want:  gorgeous scenery, wild spaces, delicious restos, cool clubs and boutiques, cosmopolitan people from around the world….oh, and as much Pinotage as I can drink.  I bought this fabric in Cape Town over a year ago, and it has sat untouched on my fabric shelf all this time for three reasons:  I can’t get shwe shwe in Canada, I didn’t think I would ever be going back to Cape Town, and I was still a relatively new sewintist, so I was afraid to waste this unique double sided print.  I decided to bite the bullet and cut into it about two weeks ago.

This shwe shwe is printed on both sides, so I wanted to choose a pattern that would play up this feature.  Luckily, this fabric was 60″ wide (unlike most shwe shwe, which is 35″ wide), so I managed to squeeze a full dress out of it.  I pulled a switcheroo and used the reverse of the fabric for the yoke and the patch pocket.

This vintage Vogue pattern went together quite easily, if you can get past the yoke attachment.  I don’t know if it was me or the instructions, but I gathered, eased, pinned, repinned and scratched my head for about an hour.  Then I ignored the instructions and looked more closely at the diagram and realized that the armscye is not round, but squared off at the bottom.  OK, now it made sense, and the rest of the pattern came together easily.  I did have to do my usual alterations:  add 1″ of width to the back, open the front of the armscye by about 2cm and grade up for the hips.  I do it without even thinking now.  I also eliminated the armscye facings in favour of bias tape (seriously, I hate facings like I hate threading a serger).

Break in the photo session for some bug collecting.

 It’s been chilly and grey this weekend, so it’s hard to conjure up the illusion of being in my favourite city, Cape Town.
How's this?:

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Why Turning 42 is Awesome(er)

I wrote a post last year entitled, "Why Turning 41 is Awesome",  but I deleted it.  At the time, this was a relatively new blog without many followers, although someone I worked with was reading it, and it felt just a bit too personal a post for only this one acquaintance to read.

Now ya'll have seen photos of my messy house, got me liquored up in NYC, know my medical secrets, and still read my blog, so I have nothing to hide.  Here you go:  Why Turning 42 is Awesomer Than I Thought it Would Be:

I received a birthday card from an old friend this morning with a photo of the skyline of Florence, Italy.  She wrote, "Remember what you were doing 20 years ago today?"  Yes, I do:  I had just quit my job in Rome, and I was sitting in a restaurant in Florence with her, celebrating turning the ripe old age of 22.  I remember the food we ate (gnocchi), the wine we drank (chianti) and the name of the restaurant (Aqua al due).  I remember the hotel we stayed at on the Piazza della Signoria, that we stayed up that night playing a drinking game called Pigs with some other Canadian backpackers until the hotel owner told us to shut up.

It was great fun; I felt so worldly having travelled around Europe, speaking three languages, and I felt like I'd just passed through the most exciting phase of my life.  I had that naive notion that adulthood meant stability and a slowing-down of everything, as if my life would begin its inevitable deceleration and I was having my one great last adventure.  I pictured life like this, where the X axis is age and the Y axis is some quantitative measure of experiences:

I grabbed this from rather than try to make my own, but note how the curve decelerates just before 30. Like I thought my life would.

But there was a whole hell of a lot I didn't know.  I didn't know that grownups have exciting lives too.  I didn't know that I would go back to grad school at 29 and change jobs.  I didn't know that I would do it again at 37.  I didn't know that I would do more travelling in my 30s and 40s than in my 20s.  I didn't know that "settling down" with a partner doesn't mean that the relationship never changes.  I didn't know that having kids would be so difficult and fun and frustrating and loveable and exhausting.  I didn't know that there was still so much to learn.  I didn't know that I would forever be looking back at my past self and wondering how I could have been so ignorant about things.

Here's to exponential growth with no plateau! 

ps:  Thanks for reading everybody. Your comments and advice mean a lot to me.  Just to show I've been doing some actual Real Life Sewing now that I'm feeling better, here's a taste of what I'm working on: 

Monday, 2 April 2012

Pattern illustrations, part deux.

So we are all familiar with the patterns from the '70s-'80s that featured already-famous people: Brooke Shields, Marlo Thomas, Marie Osmond...but once in a while I find a pattern with an uncredited model that makes me do a double-take.  
Like this one:
 I swear, that's got to be Drew Barrymore.  Am I wrong? 

(That little huichol style top is oh so cute....must buy....must make for my daughter....)
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