Monthly Archives: May 2018

A farewell project

One of my final projects, taken out right before the news about our store closing dropped, was Butterick B6556, a newish pattern from Gertie. It’s a cute retro style and I loved the square neckline. And it was PERFECT for this linen-rayon blend border print.

I often struggle with gathered skirts on me, but pleats can be an ok substitute when you still want a straight edge to use with a border print.

It was fun to tackle a VERY limited amount of pattern matching—just at the center back of the bodice. I used the print upside down in the bodice so the flowers would trail down from the neckline; a bit more flower might’ve been nice though.

I ended up with a serviceable lapped zipper in the end, but it was a struggle. I should’ve interfaced the area to stabilize it—with the fabric cut on the cross-grain, it stretched out like crazy! And then there wasn’t enough fabric for the overlap I wanted, so I added a little facing piece to the upper edge. And THEN when I was topstitching somehow things got misaligned and the whole bottom half got stitched closed. Grr. Not aided by being in a hurry, of course. Hand-picking it might’ve been faster.

And yes, it has pockets!

Other than the zipper, there was not much drama. I made my “usual” size 10 bust and shoulders grading to size 12 at the waist. I did wind up fiddling with the dart tips a wee bit but that’s easy enough (and I think again had a lot to do with the vertical stretch from being cut on the cross-grain). My only fit change was a small swayback adjustment on the bodice only. I love the length as drafted (especially since it fit perfectly on my double-border-print fabric, so zero-waste skirt!)

The pleated skirt is too narrow to go over my crazy crinoline! I’m wearing it here with my “everyday petticoat”which is fine but not crazy exciting. Maybe I should have a “mid crazy” petticoat. Actually, I do but it’s black and a little bit longer, so not right for this dress. And I’m not inclined to find space to store another one!

All in all pretty excited by this dress. Perfect work dress for summer! Even while I’m very, very sad that my Fabricland projects will be coming to an end.

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Me Made May 2018

I just missed out on the first Me Made May back in 2010—I had just started sewing seriously, had made about three things for me that actually worked out, and only became aware of it partway through the month. But the idea resonated. That first year, Zoe did a bunch of me-made months, and by Self-Stitched September I was IN. You can still see the photos here. (Incidentally it’s actually pretty neat to have that record of how I was presenting myself at that point in time in my life. Even though the answer is: weird) I went on to do several more Me-Made Mays, because they are super fun. But the last one I did was spring of 2013. After that, I started working two jobs and life was this insane slog where I just had to keep my head down and survive. Doing anything extra was not possible.

Which is still kinda the case now, but a few things have changed. My position at my day job is different, both less stressful and more fulfilling. I have a house with bits that actually look nice without massive effort. (Yes, that makes a big difference for these kind of challenges. Also for my mental health.) And, a week or so ago, after years of rumours,we learned that the Fabricland where I’ve been working for the last five and a half years is closing this summer.

There are a LOT of feelings about that, but chiefly a deep sadness. I have met so many wonderful people through working there. Anyway, that’s a whole nother post. Working at Fabricland has had a profound impact on my sewing, as you may have noticed—a substantial chunk of my posts in the past five years have been shop projects. But the projects also influenced WHAT I chose to sew, both in terms of fabric—many of which i wouldn’t’ve been able to afford otherwise—and the patterns. Having the pick of anything ButMcVogue or Burda envelope, really let me try out a lot of new things, and I probably sewed a lot fewer TNT and Indie patterns than I might have otherwise. It also reduced the practicality of my sewing—instead of focusing on basic wardrobe needs, the party-dress temptation was pretty much irresistible.

Anyway, the upshot is that I have decided to take another stab at Me Made May 2018, with a focus on wearing things I’ve made as Fabricland projects. I want to document them, as kind of an homage to my time there, and also as a way of looking at their place in my wardrobe more critically. Do they work? Do I keep them? Or was it a poorly-judged whim?

I’m going to aim for daily outfit shots of some kind (probably mostly crappy mirror pics like above). I’ll post daily over on Instagram (@tanitisis) and probably make a Flickr album again. I’ll try and do a wrap-up post here at the end of the month but I kinda suck balls at those so who knows.

I’m hoping this will help me sort out some of these feels. I guess we’ll see.

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