Revving Up

by Charlotte

I spent a whole day two Sundays ago cutting patterns, prewashing and pressing fabric, and generally trying to ready myself for the onslaught.  Then. . .nothing.  Well, three muslins and two completed dresses in two weeks, but it felt a bit insignificant to me.  Perhaps it’s because I’ve been having such a hard time with seemingly small details.  Specifically, I can’t seem to attach pleated skirts to waistbands.  So much fabric!  The weight of it keeps getting the stitches uneven.  I suppose I’ll get better at it with practice, yes?  For some strange reason, I’m beginning to think that my machine (a Singer Curvy 8780) might be to blame.  I’m giving her five more dresses before I make a final decision, but given the amount of hours I’ve sewn relative to the amount of troubles she seems to be having, I think it might not be me.  Apparently, choosing your machine because it’s on sale at Costco might not be the best plan.  Shocking, I know.

In a bid to get a bit more inspired, I’ve decided to look forward to the fall.  But you haven’t even started the spring!  I know, I know.  I really wanted to participate in the Colette Spring Palette Challenge, but by the time the semester was over and I had all of my summer plans squared away it was in week eight!  If I were to wait for the fall challenge, I’d be in similar straits.  It makes more sense for me to sew for fall during the summer, and to sew for spring in December.  Luckily, I suffer from Ants in Pants Syndrome, and am beyond happy to fantasize about changing leaves while all of New York is stifled with humidity.

Even so, I am torn between two palettes.  The first is a dovey, heather-ish gray, charcoal, a color I’m just going to call citrus (maybe lemon, maybe lime), and the brightest pink.  I’d likely make a party dress, a pair of bright-colored Colette Clovers, a few silk blouses, a structured dress, and a coat.

[Maintenance!]

Images clockwise from top left: Kate Spade F2011, Belgian Shoes, J. Crew Cafe Capris, loads of fabric from Mood, the J. Crew Origami Dress, Milly F2012 runway image, coral peonies from Design Sponge.

I think it would be a lovely palette.  Sweet and sharp and modern.  Yet!  Yet, I think of my to-sew list and it doesn’t quite jibe with the above.  I’m dying to make a dress with lace overlay, a classic Chanel bouclé jacket, armloads of pencil skirts, tie-neck blouses, and enough coats to warm a city.  I want tweeds and cashmeres and silk lining.

[Under construction, y’all!]

Images clockwise from top left: A boucle and tweed from Mood, a navy boxy jacket from J. Crew, Oscar de la Renta (OdlR) lace overlay dress, OdlR tweed jacket (on sale for a spell at Net a Porter!), OdlR F2012 runway image, OscarPRGirl in all of her perfectly coiffed glory, black suit from the Bottega Veneta F2012 runway show, Sarai’s short camel coat from the Coleterrie, and my beloved Ferragamo Varinas in tortoise.  Do you sense a theme?  OdlR.  In a nutshell, it is the Upper East Side.  Polished and tasteful and bordering dangerously on boring.

Before we go any further, I should probably acknowledge that my Photoshop skills leave something to be desired (specifically talent), but what can we do?  I’ve just resigned myself to the fact that all of my collages are going to look slight ghostly and out of whack.  We’ll call it charm.  In any event, this palette is classic camel, navy, charcoal, olive, and black.  Cold-weather dressing at its best, if you ask me.

I’m probably not going to adhere strictly to the palette challenge, anyway, as back-to-school sewing takes precedence (shirtdresses, ahoy!), but I do hope to actually eek something out of either of them.  First comes the palette, then comes the Proper List (capital-P, capital-L), then the fabric buying, then the sewing, yes?  Let’s get to it, then!  I don’t know how the Great Destashing will survive, but that’s a thought for October.

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