Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tilton Art

I have long admired the fun, quirky patterns that Marcy and Katherine Tilton design for Vogue; and, while I own several, I do believe that this is the first one I have sewn up.  {What???  Vogue's Patterns have gotten expensive  --  I wait for a really good sale, then buy several.  Okay:  many.  It takes a while to get around to them, sometimes.  Don't pretend this has never happened to you.}

I bought this fabric during a recent-ish sale @ Hancock's.  It is 85% linen/ 15% rayon, and at 70% off the original price, I simply couldn't leave it in the store.  I bought the last 1.5 yds on the bolt with no idea what I'd make of it.  When I thumbed through my stash of patterns, and found that this skirt only needed 1.875 yds, I knew that this would work!!!

 The mathematician reading this thinks, at this point, that I need a thorough review of Basic Arithmetic facts regarding comparative value of integers.  Not so fast, Copernicus  --  I may not know all things Math, but I do know sewing.  Specifically, I know that I can generally lay out pattern pieces closer than their computer can.  I also know that pocket, waistband, and hem  facings don't show, and can be cut of a different fabric, as long as the weight and character of the facing fabric acts the same as the fashion fabric, and that the colour/print doesn't show through the right side.   Good thing that I know all of this, because this fabric shrunk a lot in the wash.  If you haven't all ready learned this great sewing truth, then hear me now:  always pre-wash fabric before cutting!!!

It went together easily.  The funky inserts, and cross-cut, and bias-cut pieces presented no problems whatsoever.  It not only went together easily, but it was easy to see where the construction was going to end up, several steps down the road.  These traits make this pattern an excellent choice for a novice sewist, who yearns to do something that appears to break a few rules.  Go for it!!  The curved waistband makes for a comfortable, and attractive fit.  The pocket flap that is supposed to be narrower than the pocket, means that the sewist can mess up and cut one of them too small, or too large, and they will still work nicely.

I love the funky, shabby-chic vibe of this skirt.  Naturally, I chose to wear it with a silk lace top (Ann Taylor) and pearls. (Jewelry store in Shanghai - gift of my husband)

I will make this again!  Just as soon as I figure out what fabric, lay-out, and topstitching changes will make the next one look completely different!

BTW:  What do you think of the caliber of these pictures??  They were taken by my new secretary, the incomparable, Angie Stone.  Angie, and her husband, Scott own and operate a photography studio:  Scott Shots.  Her talent is such that even with my phone's humble, and unalterable camera, the pictures turned out great!!!  Thanks, Angie!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Origami for non-paper

You know I like weird.
This should require no explanation, by now.

This, however, was weird, even to me.

The pattern is from The Sewing Workshop, called Origami Skirt.  I liked it the first time I saw it.  It's not quite a skirt (the left leg is completely encased), but it's not at all pants or culottes.  It's almost a hybrid of the three.  As I said:  weird.

For best effect, the fabric choice should  be something with a lot of drape, and a soft hand.  I chose a rayon challis in a colourful purple paisley/animal print.  More weirdness.  Perfect!

It sewed up easily, with no really tricky instructions; but, because the parts, are so atypical, close attention is warranted.  The left leg's pattern piece is unlike anything I've ever encountered, and it would be too easy to turn it upside down during construction, and not realize it until you wondered why the fit was so off.  I speak from experience.  This was my second execution of this pattern.  The first (made 6 years ago of a loose-weave linen) wound up in the trash.  I could never wear it, and didn't figure out what could possibly have gone so wrong, until last week, when I nearly threw the pattern out, but inspected it carefully instead.  An idea struck, and, because I had bought the fabric at a deep discount, I decided to try it again, marking top, bottom, and left/right sides all the while.

So glad I did!!

I love the drape, and the fact that it's strange, but people never quite know why it's strange.
I'm a woman of mystery  --  if contrived!

Here's the one tip I have that you won't find in the instructions:  careful measuring and pressing of facings and hems are critical to even placement of top-stitching.  A template will make the process easier, and more accurate.  You can buy templates, but why would you do that, when you can make them so easily of a manilla folder?  One manilla folder will result in 1/2in, 1in, 1.5in, 1.75in, 2in, 2.5in and 3in templates.   Simply select the one you want, place it on the wrong side of the edge to be folded, fold fabric over the template, and press.  Voila!!  Perfectly measured, pressed fold lines every time!

I love it when a plan comes together.