Hearts and Bones

by Erin on July 28, 2014

I finished this dress up last weekend:

queen of hearts bodice

This here is the part I like best. I was going to do plain red piping, but the reds didn’t match. (And neither did the maroons or blues. I have more piping than a Scottish funeral.)

hearts with striped piping

The striped piping is from Britex. Every time I go in I have this little surge of hope that they’ve decided to carry even more patterned cotton piping, and then I see that the choices are basically pinstripes, leopard, and neon. I’ve bought all the stripey ones; I’m just not really a leopard-print kinda gal; but I’m sure someday I will manage to avoid the gorge-rising nausea upon seeing neon colors that the early 1980s left me with and you will see some fluorescent pink piping here in these pages.

Here’s an off-center and slightly unfocused front view!

queen of hearts

I suppose at this point I should mention that the bodice is Simplicity 2389 (again) and the skirt (for a change) is BurdaStyle Heidi with some alterations.

What alterations? Well, I added 6″ to the skirt center back and front, and lengthened the skirt by about 8″ to ensure a deep, deep hem. I really like this version of the Heidi skirt — it’s very comfortable, and for some reason manages to cohere with the 1940s bodice and feel modern at the same time.

I piped the back yoke seam this time, too:

queen of hearts back bodice

Except I forgot that the yoke has to meet the facing at center back and had to kludge in a little bit more piping. Also, the back facing DID NOT want to turn nicely over that piping bit, so I finally just said “this is a design feature” and left it at that.

queen of hearts back afterthought piping

Here you can see the piping meeting at the underarm (probably another reason that piping the back is not as good an idea as it might seem), as well as the pocket piping and the zipper:

queen of hearts side seam and piped pocket

The whole back view (I’m not sure what was up with the lighting when I took these, weekends have been fairly sunny lately):

queen of hearts back

 

This voile is lighter than I’m used to, so I thought I might have to line it. Instead I settled for a heavier slip than usual and cutting the pocket lining and neck facing from this weird pale pale pink linen/cotton voile I had lying around. Since I’m mostly pale pale pink too, it seems to work. I have another one cut out where the fabric really was translucent, so I ended up underlining it in black voile, which is creating a kind of goth-flavored mallard color effect (that fabric is teal).

I ended up wearing this to a Javascript conference last week — I hesitated a tiny bit about wearing something so flat-out girly, as the gender ratio at these things approaches that of your typical offshore oil rig and/or professional football team (only with more ironically-worn mustaches and skinnier jeans). But it wasn’t as if I was going to magically become any less of an outlier in a plain denim dress (choice #2) than I was in this one, and since I hadn’t really worn it yet (and really wanted to), on it went.

Honestly, since I’m not looking for a job, I have a whole lot less risk in wearing something super-girly at tech conferences. And if I wear something like this, I can set some kind of upper bar and make other people look moderate in comparison, and gradually move the whole bar of “conference wear” further in my direction, right? That’s the plan, anyhow.

It was a total luxury to be able to go to this conference, by the way. I’ve been dabbling in Node.js for a bit and have finally reached the stage where a tiny archipelago of scattered knowledge is emerging from the receding seawaters of my ignorance. However, I am still looking for navigable channels between the islands, and a conference is one of the fastest ways I know of to connect the dots.

There’s something about going into a talk where you know nothing about anything in the description, grabbing onto the first idea tossed out by the presenter that connects to anything you know, and following along, knot by knot and intersection by intersection, until you have a lovely net with which to catch the entire topic.

Usually when I learn anything new it’s like taking the Tube in London: I get on at one subterranean stop and clamber back up the light in a completely different place, and couldn’t for the life of me say how to get back to the first stop overland. Going to a conference is like riding around on the top of a bus: I can finally see how all the different neighborhoods join up and how to walk between them. And coding is such a lovely city …

 

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Today’s Pattern Story

by Erin on July 24, 2014

McCalls4312

 

Claudine: Move it a little more … a little more to the left.

Claudette: My left, or your left?

Claudine: Um, his left? Oh wait, he’s left. Smoke break.

Claudette: Goddamn illustrators. Bunch of nicotine fiends.

Claudine: Might as well put it down before you get dizzy from the rubber cement fumes.

[Pattern is here if you want it. Thanks to Tammy O. for the suggestion!]

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Book Review: Super Stitches Sewing

July 19, 2014

When you’ve been sewing for as long as I have (30 years!), it can be hard to discover the gaps in your own knowledge. You have your own routes to the places you need to go, and time doesn’t always (or even usually) permit the kind of aimless wandering that leads you to new discoveries. So when […]

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Piping Merrily Along

July 16, 2014

This dress is all about the piping: Okay, it’s also about being in one of my all-time favorite Liberty prints, Mark, but mostly it’s about this gathered-shoulder silhouette: And if you’re going to pipe the shoulder seams, you must pipe the pockets as well (it’s the law): The shoulder piece makes this really nicely satisfying […]

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Cinco de Mayo Simplicity 5238

July 13, 2014

Here’s a more true-to-life (or at least, true to the pattern illustration) version of Simplicity 5238: I actually bought this fabric yonks ago. I bought it in early autumn and thought it was too summery, and then it suffered from a lot of being “too” other stuff, as well. It was too heavy for a […]

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Another Frankendress

July 7, 2014

So this is the same pattern (or lack thereof) as the last dress, only in this Liberty fabric that I adore. Look, they’re little matches! (It’s called “Strike” and Shaukat still has some in the green colorway which is *almost* as adorable.) Because Tana lawn is so light, I piped the pockets: The zipper’s not […]

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Conscious Incompetence

June 3, 2014

This photo was taken last Friday by the very nice Leslie Dela Vega, of OZY, for this article. She was super-nice about taking photos, and I hope I was nice back, even though I really really hate having my picture taken. I’m glad she took this photo, even though I don’t think it’s all that flattering, […]

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Hats, Ranked By How Much I Enjoy Seeing People Wearing Them

June 1, 2014

Church Lady, in Church Crowns-style hat. Bonus points if the hat is part of a monochrome ensemble, where the hat was clearly decided upon FIRST. Old dude wearing a Kangol. Extra points if it’s with a suit and tie. Unironic Stetson, when paired with a belt buckle that was achieved through some display of testosterone. Smiling […]

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Today’s Pattern Story: Vogue 8946

May 27, 2014

  “Yes, we do have one of the new robotic mannequins in stock, but I’m afraid it’s a refurbished version. It looks lovely, but thinks it is Grace Kelly. But as long as you call it ‘Your Serene Highness’, you should be fine … oh, and don’t make any sudden movements, or it will stab you […]

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London Calling

May 10, 2014

[Photo of Liberty of London by Stuart Pinfold, on Flickr] So I’ll be in London the weekend of May 24-25, and wondered: would anyone like to get together to do sewing-ish type things? Like, perhaps, a fabric crawl or a trip to the V&A, or both? I will 100% absolutely be going to Liberty, Shaukat, […]

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