Sunday, April 20, 2014

Pacific Moons, Spring Edition

Time for a new batch of Pacific Moons -- I've just finished up four more for schmeebot.  Looking back, I made her just one in December last year.  And I had to go back to May to find the batch made before that!  I can't believe I let her go without new Moons for so long.

Easter sewing FTW.

schmeebot told me recently that I had made her 21 Pacific Moons so far, that makes the ones I just finished 22 through 25.  I'll show you 22, 23, and 24 now, but I'm going to hold off on revealing 25 until after schmeebot has received it.  I tried a little experiment on it.  I think it worked, but it is really for the wearer to judge.  Plus ... 25!  I have never sewn 25 of anything before, so the quarter-centennial of Pacific Moons should have its own moment in the ... moonlight I guess.

For these three, there were no new tricks up my sleeve, so there's nothing to add with regard to the making.  They're all Ikea home decor fabric, with quilting cotton yoke and pocket facings.  (Well, one has home dec fabric pocket facings ... didn't have a good mostly-white scrap handy.)

First up ... "Onion Rings".  I think Ikea intended flowers but that is what they look like to me.  Bee fabric I've used before for the waistband facing, and I got my rings matched across the back seam.  Go me.

Next up, "Moose in Love".   We've been calling the fabric that since it was acquired last year.  For the record this does appear to be two female moose,  However, I still maintain that they are in love.   Pattern match across the back not so good this time, but the design is so busy it's hard to notice.  There are words on the inside ... the fabric's called "thesaurus" and it was on clearance at I guess people don't like to build their vocabularies while they sew.

And finally, "Leaf".  No cute name for this one.   I did have fun with the layout though.  schmeebot says this one is her favorite of the three.  No picture of the inner fabric because at the time I took the picture I hadn't sewed it down yet, but it's the same ladybugs fabric I used on the blue skirt I made in December.  How boring, but it worked best out of what I had.

For those who celebrate, Happy Easter!    I love the colors of Easter, and the opportunity to celebrate Spring.  Which has finally arrived, it seems.   We dyed eggs in the backyard, while the dog begged us to go back inside.  Some dog.   

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The House dress

So, I have found my perfect dress pattern.  Or rather my perfect dress bodice pattern, and that's the part that matters when one prefers full skirts.   This pattern is none other than Christine Haynes' Emery dress, and Emerys are everywhere on the Internet now, so clearly I am not alone.

I have now made this dress four times.  I may make it four million times, because it's the perfect canvas to show off an awesome print, and when it comes to sewing, fun fabrics make my world go 'round.   It's one of the reasons I keep coming back to quilting fabrics: it's hard to find apparel fabrics with prints that appeal to me half so much.   I should probably try designing my own someday, though with all the good stuff already out there (and the expense of services like Spoonflower) the bar is pretty high.   But someday.  Especially now that I have the perfect pattern to use the fabric for.  I think that in the coming months I may bore you with my lack of pattern variety, but long-hoarded fabrics are going to be bursting out of the stash right and left!

Anyhow, would you like to see these wondrous dresses?  I have photos of Dresses 1 and 3, so I will show you those now.  We'll start with 3, because that's where I really perfected the fit, plus I have pictures of me actually wearing it!  I shall call it the House dress, because duh. The fabric is Michael Miller's "Mod Pad".

This is at the end of a long day ... I had an event to go to downtown and this is what I wore.  (I wore it on a stage, even -- I was handing out awards.)  You can see a seatbelt crease across the front of the bodice, but trust me it fits me better than any dress ever in the history of dresses!   

I chose to leave off the sleeves.  I did muslin the bodice with a short sleeve, and it was actually not far off fit-wise, but I really like the look of the dress sleeveless better, and I always wear a cardigan or hoodie anyhow.   

I used Butterick 6075 as a starting point for fitting.  They're a little different (Butterick 6075 has no waist darts in the front) but it guided me well in my pre-muslin pattern alterations.   Based on the muslin,  I made a few more alterations, then Dresses 1 and 2.  Here's Dress 1, which is made using Kate Spain "Sunnyside" raincloud fabric, drifting through my backyard:

I think it was between Dress 1 and 2 that I doubled the width of the back neck darts -- a common alteration for me because of my shoulder blades.  I had already completed Dress 2 by the time I decided that a slightly closer fit would be better.   The only changes I made between Dress 2 and Dress 3 was to sew 3/4" seam allowances on the bodice sides instead of 5/8", and to pinch out another 1/4" from the upper center bodice, tapering to nothing at the waist.  

I decided to drop the House dress into the Sew Dolly Clackett pool, and may add Dress 4 as well if I get it photographed in time.  Some fabric came out of stash for that one!

Finally, here's a closer look at the House dress, and Dress 1 ("Stormy Dress?").  You can see my contrasting facings.  The Emery dress doesn't come with facings, but I drafted a neck facing for a little extra stability, and did my usual thing of attaching it to the lining.

When I come back with Dresses 2 and 4,  I'll catalog my pattern alterations, and show the change I made to the armscye when I went sleeveless, which I took from Butterick 6075.