Advice, yo!

Note: It’s midterm season so I’ve completely given up on decency and coherence.  Arguably, that ship sailed a while back, but at least now I have an excuse.

I went home this weekend.  It was absolutely fantastic, no question about it.  I got to show a good friend around Ye Olde Garment District and the madhouse that was Mood.  I’m back in Washington and already jonesing for a trip home.  Now I’m going to boss you around because I need to live vicariously through you.  Game?

– Fabrics for Less and Chic are both owned by the nicest man on the face of the planet (well, maybe he’s tied with Kashi).  For that reason, you should totally go to Fabrics for Less, claw your way to the middle wool clump-type thing near the $15/yd sign and buy some of the wool/cashmere/mink blend coating.  It’s so beautiful I could weep.  I left it behind because I couldn’t decide on color (also my mum tends to negotiate with Balal and I am just the worst at that sort of thing).  They have midnight blue, forest green, and camel.  Do I have photographs for you?  What do you think I am, some type of blogger?  I’m hoping they have enough of the camel left for when I come back home around Thanksgiving, but I sense it won’t last that long.
– I can not, shall not, will not ever go to Mood on a Saturday ever, ever again so help me Claire Shaeffer.  In the midst of the madness, there was a woman with a DSLR shooting macros of fabric bolts and notions at all sorts of angles.  Ladies and gentlemen, she is a Blogger—Capital-B badge-wearing and all.  I am someone who requires smelling salts when there are more than three people in my immediate vicinity.  Lo siento, reader.
– This all has a point.  I have taken photographs a few hundred miles away from Trixie and my mama’s camera.  What does this mean, you ask?  I am an absolute Luddite and am not in any way willing to buy a camera.  At least I wasn’t until I tried to photograph this dress in my roommate S.’s wee Target mirror with various lighting combinations.  Bathroom, bedroom, desk, and staircase lights were all in play; I’m sure roommate #3 thinks I’m a nut.  Now I’m actually considering taking the plunge into cameraland like one of those people who isn’t mortally afraid of electric outlets.  In the mean time, I have crappy photographs, but need uncrappy advice.  Ready to see the subject?  Let’s hit it:

And so I had a brilliant idea.  Simplicity 2444 on the top with Simplicity 2215 on the bottom.  You might know these patterns by their alternate names, Best Bodice Ever and Best Skirt Ever.  I used this blue eyelet from Chic Fabrics.  (It’s still there, and was the only eyelet they had in stock as of Saturday, 6 October,  $7/yd.)  I had a second brilliant idea (I am full of them) and decided to fully line the dress in the standard batiste.  Instead of underlining the eyelet, I used the eyelet as a shell and did some creative-for-me lining insertion.  Now I find myself with a bit too much bulk around the pleating at the midsection.  When the outer bits were just a shell, the skirt fell better and the pleats were more defined.  Now they’re just rather stiff and bulky.

The color in this photograph is much closer to the real thing, I think.  Notice the bulge?  It’s partially me (gastrointestinal turmoil, for the win), but partially the lining.  (Yes, I’m on the telephone with my mum discussing what to do with the dreaded lining.  Yes, it’s super professional.)  I sewed the lining bodice to the shell by sewing the shoulder seams for lining and bodice respectively, then stitching the neck and arm holes right side to right side, flipping the whole thing right-side out, then stitching all four side seams so that they face another seam.  Then, I inserted the zipper leaving a bit of space so that I could attach the skirt shell and lining in two big old circles, again with the ugly bits facing one another.  (I should make a career out of describe sewing processes, I know.)  If I nixed the skirt lining completely, I could just seam rip that circle, hem up the bottom bit of the bodice lining and anchor it to the shell around the bias-taped midsection seam, I think.  Maybe.  Sort of.  But then what would I wear underneath it?  Would it be weird to just toss on a nude-for-me slip with a bodice that’s lined in cobalt?

Also, there’s the matter of the pocket bulge that won’t quit.  I could always either close up the pockets or rip them out in favor of a fabric with a bit less body.

Looking over these admittedly awful photos, I realize I don’t think it looks too bad.  At least not as horrid as I think it does in person.  Now I have to go study.

The saga will continue.  Eventually.  We hope.

who are those capable people, anyway?

I can’t make any decisions.  From the title of this blog to the use of my fabrics, I just waffle away.  (Seriously, though.  The Stitch, really?  Doesn’t that sound far too much like I’m positioning myself as an authority rather than a bungler?  Ripped Stitches is more like it.)  I have tons of posts in draft mode, but I haven’t finished any of the projects to which they’re attached.  Not to mention, I’ve suddenly lost all ability to insert an invisible zipper, which is usually my favorite part.  I’ve decided to just go with it.  Care for an example?

I have two Simplicity 2215s dresses that are almost done.  One needs a zipper, and both need buttons.

The first is with a black-and-white printed Marc Jacobs cotton.  It’s from Fabric Mart, so I’m not thoroughly invested in its future.  The question is about button size.  How much is too much?  The pattern calls for four 1/2″ buttons, though that strikes me as odd on a bodice that long.  Six, maybe, or four 3/4″ buttons.  Then again, I can’t quite gauge scale.


See?  It’s a nice, petite print, but I’m not quite sure of how the (black, average-looking) buttons will work out.

I also made it up in this pink ikat that I love.  I am not married to button size on this one.  Originally, I was planning on self-covered buttons, but that might be a bit much.  Maybe solid, hot pink fabric-covered buttons?  What about the exciting world of brown?  Leather or wood or metal?
Pink Ikat Fabric Buttons

I just can’t decide, so these projects live in limbo with the dress that refuses to just take a darn zipper, the one for which I haven’t topstitched the arm facings (I can’t decide whether or not I want sleeves), and the one that just sits there all cut out and basted with a missing sleeve and an off-the-market fabric.  Is there a sewing muse?  A sewing god in some sort of obscure mythology?  Whose candle do I have light, is what I’m asking.

Line drawings from Simplicity, buttons from M&J Trim, awful Photoshopping and even more awful fabric photography by yours truly.  Fin.