In my last post I had a list of projects I was going to choose from. But that was before I got distracted by this fabric. (I had to use flash to take the pic otherwise it looked black, but it’s really a very dark blue black. It’s also much less shiny.)
Since it has a good amount of stiffness, similar to taffeta, I decided to use it for a maxi skirt. I’ve been working on it for the past few days so now I just need to finish the sash. I tried it on with a crisp white blouse (I was feeling very Carolina Herrera) and it looks fabulous if I do say so myself. It also looks great with my white peasant blouse I think I’m going to get a lot of wear out of this one.
Then I got sidetracked by this polka dot spandex that I bought at Spandex House. I’m using it to make the Classic Pinup Girl Full Band bra pattern from Bra-maker’s Supply. The rest of the supplies (elastic, straps, etc.) I bought from Merckwaerdigh on Etsy.
Confession: I’ve had everything to make this project for well over a year, but I kept pushing it back. When I came across this fabric again, I decided to just jump in without overthinking it.
Before I cut into my fabric, I made a muslin and it was an unmitigated disaster. I used non-stretch fabric for the cups (I read that somewhere on the interwebs) and it looked and felt terrible. For the second go-round, I used my spandex and it was much, much better. I still need to make some adjustments to the pattern, but I bought one yard of the fabric, so I should have enough to make a few more muslins and fine-tune the fit.
The biggest surprise was how quickly everything came together. I was pretty intimidated by what looked like an extremely complicated process, but like a lot of things, thinking about doing it was much more difficult than actually doing it. Now that I’m finally getting the bra done, I’m going to just go ahead and make some nice knickers to go along with it. Then I’m going to prance around my apartment in my new matching handmade undergarments. Or not.
Anyway, that’s what I was up to this week. Oh and I started a new job in my other life so I’m super excited about that too.
Today I wanted to share something personal with you: I’ve been working on losing weight for the past few months and it’s affecting how and what I sew. As you can see from my prior posts, I like clothes with structure. I much prefer woven material over knits. I enjoy making clothes that skim over my body and fit me just right. Which brings me to my current dilemma: many of the dresses I made no longer fit me and I don’t want to make any more because they’ll have to be altered later, and that makes me a bit sad.
I remember every detail of the dresses I made and how much work I put into them. When I made my polka dot dress, it was in the middle of a series of blazing hot summer days. I didn’t have air conditioning, so I had the window open and used my cheapie box fan just to get air circulating because I thought I’d suffocate otherwise. I dreaded every time I had to press a seam because it mean adding more heat. Even worse, it would overload the circuits, dim my lights and occasionally shut off the electricity. Good times. I also remember the hours I spent getting my floral strapless dress bodice to fit perfectly by making changes to the pattern, doing (and redoing) my first real FBA, making tons of muslins and then using boning to build an infrastructure. I remember the details of many other dresses I never wrote about and I feel like I’m leaving old friends behind.
I suppose I could alter them, but that’s unlikely. Some of them are just too complicated. Others I want to preserve because I’m so proud of my work.
As a compromise, I’ve been sewing with more knits. I’m trying to love them. Really. But I miss the structure of wovens. I learned pretty much everything I know about sewing by using wovens. I love all the couture details that I can use and I’m not sure they’re adaptable to knits. (Kat at The Couture Academic is also pondering this question, so I’m not alone.) Sewing with wovens also taught me so much more about my body and how to fit my clothes so that they complement me. (Sidenote: I just started reading The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made American Stylish by Dr. Linda Przybyszewski and I’ll review it at another time.) On the plus side, knits are much more forgiving; if your skirt is a bit too small it may still be wearable. Wovens, on the other hand, are not as kind. Too small? Too bad. Go get the seam ripper and start over.
So here I am in a grey zone between my old size and my new size and I don’t have a major project. I decided to put my French Jacket on hold because I want it to fit me at my goal weight. However, I will start my bombshell dress and draft a swimsuit. I’ll also be working on some knit dresses and sharpening my handsewing skills so I can keep busy (and productive). But between you and me, I can’t wait to get back into my woven stash.