Vacation thoughts

I’m on vacation! That is, I’m in St. Augustine, Florida, with my mom, sister, and son (and two aunts who arrive today), and my brother and his fam this weekend. So far I have inhaled most of the Atlantic Ocean, neglected to pack sufficient contact lenses, been terrified by animatronic instructors, and answered far too many work emails! But still: vacation!

On vacation I tend to think that I will have TONS and TONS of time to do project-y stuff, forgetting that the whole point of vacation is to NOT do stuff. So far I have only done a couple baby projects, like finally transferring my iTunes library from an external drive to my new laptop, and tidying up my Pinterest boards a wee bit, and minor-league things like that. I’m also reading this fascinating book about the Mitfords.

Another thing I always do on vacation is think of new and exciting projects for when I get BACK, which so far include:

— making another 9929 and covering it in TINY MULTICOLORED BUTTONS (<– I will never do this, I actually dislike sewing on buttons, but it would make an amazing dress).

— deciding on a MAXIMUM NUMBER of patterns I can own, and culling the rest ruthlessly (any suggestions as to what’s a good number?). And, oh, by the way, I have purchased three patterns online since being on vacation …

— hiring someone on TaskRabbit to take pictures of everything I’ve sewn but don’t have pictures of yet, since this taking the darn pictures is something I always put off doing. I will justify this by calling it an “insurance record” for when my house ultimately burns down from me leaving the iron on.

— doing a tutorial video (probably with my son’s help, he’s very good at making videos) of each step involved in making a shirtdress. I know there are tons of things I do when I sew that aren’t in the pattern instructions … and probably more helpful things I could be doing, if only I knew about them (which the comments on the video would help with).

— figuring out how to make the Vintage Pattern Wiki have better category search, so you can search for “1960s” AND “Peter Pan collar” together.

I am now taking bets for when these projects actually happen. Anyone want to put their money on 2017?

All tied up and nothing to sew

Robin sent me a link to this dress on Etsy, isn’t it marvelous?

dress from Wishflower Vintage on Etsy

It’s got such a great shape, not to mention the topstitching (I’m such a sucker for topstitching) and that little bow at the neck … very inspiring, don’t you think? I went trolling for patterns that have this same design feature — hard to do, even with the Vintage Pattern Wiki! (I have to do something about that … there’s no faceted search. Hmmph.)

This is my favorite, so far …

Vogue 9525

(I haven’t found too many copies of this pattern — but Sheila at OutOfTheAshes has one, and is running a sale, too! And speaking of sales, there’s one at Little Hunting Creek as well — buy three or more patterns, get 15% off. Use code LABORDAY through, well, Labor Day.)

I feel like this pattern might be a good candidate for some of my hoard of dotted swiss

(Re)Work it!

So somebody (please take credit in the comments if it was you!) let me know about Field Day Wearables in Oakland — they make adorable things like this out of reclaimed materials:

Field Day Pea Soup Jumper

The suspenders? Are genius, right? Definitely that falls in the “wish I’d thought of it” bucket. And if you are not near Oakland, California, fear not: they also have an Etsy store.

I know, I know, it’s very bayareaish, but their stuff is 1) adorable 2) wearable and 3) not ungodly expensive (of course still more expensive than making it yourself, but …). I think my favorite is the Black Sheet Dress (more pockets!). Plus, their models look happy and like women you’d like to talk to about sewing and comic books and the etiquette of using the swings at the playground when there are still small children there (my take: you can swing as long as there is at least one empty swing besides the one you use, and you relinquish your swing as soon as that empty swing is filled), instead of like they’re practicing their bitchface while wearing shoes made of broken glass and fire ants.

I just don't know who I am anymore

To wit: I am hungrily awaiting the arrival of this fabric:


That, my friends, is metallic silver seersucker. It’s very subtle, but it is definitely metallic. I also bought some light-gray seersucker, which was also described as having a metallic silver thread:


and I’m eyeing this dark-gray version, too:

And this is despite my long-held conviction that metallic fabrics ARE NOT FOR DAY. This opinion may mark me as the oldest living resident of Getoffamylawnville, but I think that metallic fabrics in the daytime are tacky. (There — I said it. Other things I think are tacky: visible dark bras under white tops; high heels with shorts; giant designer logos … the list goes on.)

Now, just because I think some things are tacky doesn’t mean I don’t love them to death … on other people. In fact, I should probably replace the word “tacky” with “not for me.” If you rock out in your short shorts with skyscraper heels and a black bra under your white tee, carrying a bag with huge initials on it that aren’t yours, I will probably say “Damn, she really owns that look.” (Which I may or may not follow up with “Bless her heart.”) But it’s not a look I think I can own.

But maybe this fabric is a way for me to um, rent-to-own metallics in the daytime? I have absolutely no idea what I will make with this fabric (other than another 9929, thank you). Or where I would wear it. It’s not suitable for a guest-at-a-wedding dress (too white); seersucker is too casual for most evening events (and I don’t go to many fancy evening parties). The only place where I think this might be appropriate is a restaurant with an outdoor patio, for a late-night summer dinner. With a silver lurex cardigan (or a white silk one) and flat silver sandals. Which is EXTREMELY SPECIFIC, for dress planning, isn’t it?

The white-and-silver version would also look good in this dress (which I did eventually find in my size), and would be ideal for a 1970s summer disco party. Which I’m invited to all the time, aren’t you?

Where do you fall on the burning question of metallics in the daytime? What should I make with this fabric, whenever it shows up?

Back! With Dots!

Another 9929

So I made another 9929. I promise I will start putting up more pictures of these dresses — including one in lined black eyelet! I swear it takes me nearly as much time to blog about them as it does to make them — they are just THAT FAST.

Since the 9929 takes so little fabric, I have been having enormous fun rummaging through my stash for fabric that has always been just a little less than adequate for other projects. (Which rummaging means my sewing room looks even more like a still life entitled “Fifteen Minutes After The Bomb Disposal Unit Came Through”.) The pile of fabric waiting to be turned into 9929s is a little scary — who knew I was hoarding so many 2-2.5 yard pieces? Okay, maybe y’all did know.

I’m pretty sure I’ve had this fabric since Methuselah was a pup — does anyone remember when this pattern (I think it’s called Disco Dots) was the rage? I know that, at the height of its popularity, you could have dressed yourself, your house, your baby, and your dog in various colorways and weights of this design. This particular piece is actually terrible — it was subtly off-grain, which I didn’t realize until I was cutting the last piece. So I completely biffed matching the side seams (which — among other reasons — is why you’re not seeing a profile shot).

Accessorized here with red Keds and a red Swatch, but not red glasses — I think that would be maybe a bit too much coordination. Ideally I’d have a baby-blue belt to wear with this, but I haven’t found one I like yet. (Surprise: I’m also really picky about belts.)

Sorry for the dearth of posts — this is how I spent last week. (It was really, really fun.)