Friday, March 8, 2013

An Inspirational Dress Form

My brain seemed to be missing yesterday. It took forever to get anything done BUT... I did finish the Koos skirt and there is a bow on my belly. I'll need to wear it to see how comfortable that is in real life but it looks good here.




With the changes - and only one fabric - it doesn't look too much like the original and that's okay, this works for me. Unfortunately, Millicent is still somewhat smaller than me BUT... this is how it will look if I keep running and doing the work of eating the right foods. How nice to have an inspirational dress form - VBG.




With one layer of fabric and less to gather, the waistband is far less bulky. I stitched through the elastic a few - less than gorgeous - times to condense it further. It's a good thing there's a belt to cover up the unevenness.

Do we ever sew anything absolutely perfect? Does it matter? I'm not much for good enough. I prefer good and enough as in I did my best at every stage and this is as good as it gets at this point and that is enough. My aim is for progressive improvement, having fun, learning, and - a nice bonus - getting dressed. I've done the driven, perfectionist thing and I am not at all interested in going back in that direction. What about you?




Here's a detail shot of the darts and tucks I added. The double lines of stitching are the seams, the long single lines are the 1/2" darts, and the shorter, single lines are the 1/4" tucks. They have random lengths and were randomly placed.




The pattern calls for a labour intensive belt sewn from bias strips. Bias would certainly wrap around the body better only I didn't want to spend that much time or fabric on a belt I wasn't sure about. This one is sewn from two crosswise strips with the...




... selvage visible at the ends. Right now, the tube is open but I think it would look better stitched shut so I'll do that next.




The finished shape is somewhat reminiscent of Marcy Tilton's Vogue 8499 except that Marcy's skirt is more tapered with less ease at the hip. I have two versions of this skirt and wear them all the time. It's one of my favourites which has me thinking about how to merge the strips and patchwork of the Koos skirt with the shapes and details of Marcy's skirt. It could be easily done if I pieced the fabric first and then cut out the pattern pieces and left off the pockets.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - I've been running since the 11th of January and I'm up to forty minutes a day. I'm rather impressed by that fact and by how I've managed to slot running into the right time and format for accomplishing. And I'm enjoying it. All good.

26 comments:

  1. What a lovely looking skirt. Your tucks and darts and the topstitching have really given it a wonderful shape. And the bow is a nice finishing touch.

    Next week will be a year since I joined a gym, started working with a personal trainer and routinely working out 5 days a week. I am so much more fit and confident in a physical sense than I've probably ever been as an adult. It is a matter of finding the right combination of activity and timing. Keep up your good work, the payoff is worth it.

    Lois K

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    1. Congrats on a year at the gym. What an accomplishment and how nice to hear that it's making you feel fit and confident. My husband started going to the gym in January and he says the same thing and that his health issues are substantially improved. We know exercise is good but...

      Thanks for the compliments on the skirt. I'm glad the tucks and darts did the trick.

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  2. Myrna, this skirt is wonderful! Love your fabric choice, makes it outstanding in a quiet wearable way. Fun to see you at the expo, VERY fun to see how your work is expanding and developing. YOu can smooth out/flatten the gathers by putting the section over a ham the way it would be on the body and using a combo of a lot of steam and very little iron pressure, can align and minimize the gathers doing some tugging and pfutzing and sculpting with your hands. (I can show you in person in Sisters)

    Marcy

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    1. Thank you. I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I've realized how important it is for me to focus on texture as I'm more attracted to that than prints.

      I enjoyed connecting again at SewExpo and meeting Katherine and the other ladies from the Art Barn and - of course - all the inspiration and fabric. I just got back from coffee with a friend and we were talking about how I'm finally re-emerging and getting back some of that energy and passion that I had in textile art. YES YES ! ! I'll have much to share at DOL and I'll bring the skirt so you can show me how to tug and pfutz and sculpt. Thanks.

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  3. I like your skirt- very wearable. The stitching and tucks look good. I never try to be perfect any more,it makes sewing stressful for me. Instead, I try to do my best work and not worry about tiny flaws

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    1. Thanks. I've been wearing the skirt all morning and out for coffee with a friend and it feels comfortable and has garnered a few compliments which is lovely.

      I think the focus on doing our best work improves our work. It's good.

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  4. looks great, and thanks for all the tips! On the perfection front, I figure a) I am not Coco Chanel and b) this is not couture. I do the best I can. When things align just right, I celebrate; when they don't, I move on.

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    1. Because we always learn. Exactly.

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  5. Love your skirt, very wearable. My idea would be to fringe the ends of the bow a little more, When seen from a distance the little touch of light is interesting in the otherwise mono tone.

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    1. Thank you. The fabric frays quite easily so I'm not sure about fringing the end of the bow. I'll give that some thought. I like the way the soft selvage ties in with the cream thread of the tucks.

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  6. Will look forward to seeing you model this fun and pretty skirt!

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    1. I'm wearing it today. I'll try to get a picture when there's someone around to take it.

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  7. I love reading your posts. This one is a peach especially the line about how the skirt will look if you carry on running. I think exactly the same thing when I sew! Right now I am at the point of cutting out the size I think I need based on measurements and hating the finished result as they are too big. I think I may follow your inspiration since I am getting back to running after some injuries.
    Love this skirt, and the bow, you rock!

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    1. Thanks.

      Do you keep all your measurements? I have them written on patterns or pieces of paper or in my computer going back years so I know what I measured when I was lighter and I know that if I exercise and avoid the foods I'm allergic to, I'll be that light again which means I'm confidently picking styles that I can sew on the tighter side (knits and elastic waist especially) and wear the garments both now and later.

      Right now, I'm focused on four outfits - instead of single garments - to wear to DOL in June and I'll need something - LOL - for my first photo with my soon to be huggable grandbaby.

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  8. Love the way the skirt turned out and especially the way you tamed the fullness at the waist.

    I think we all have days where it takes forever and a day to get anything done or to simply get started!

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    1. Thank you.

      Yes - it all depends on the day. One day, I can sew a t-shirt in an hour and a half and another day, I can't even get it finished. Always amazes me.

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  9. Congratulations on running. It must feel very good to be accomplishing your goals with that.
    This is a great skirt you've sewn up. The color and style will allow for all sorts of different tops. I like how you stuck with it and figured out removing the second layer would help things fall better. It looks great on Millicent, your inspiring fit buddy!

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    1. What I'm especially enjoying about the running is having figured out how to fit regular exercise into my schedule. I have 30 cards numbered 1-30 and I count to 100 in my head and then pass one over thirty times. I can think and count to 100 so it's also a great planning or resolving session. Lots of virtual sewing going on.

      Thanks. I like the way the skirt turned out too. I wore it today and it's good and it'll be even better when Millicent and I match again.

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  10. Myrna, I too have started running, but on the much hated track right outside my house that is so hilly. One day when it was drizzling I thought I would run in place inside like you do, but ended up just going out to run outside. But the act of running inside was what made me just go out and run. Very inspiring. I hope to lose some of this weight I have been carrying around for 5 years. I don't know why I have kept it around for so long, but I am tired of it. Hopefully this will be the "rehab" that sticks. ;)

    Love your skirt!

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    1. YEAH - good for you. I remember when I was power walking YEARS ago and I moved from a flat area to a really hilly one. That first hill just about did me in. WHAT a workout. I'm lucky to have an extensive view in front of my window that gives me a lot to look at including people watching which I quite enjoy. I think that helps with running inside. Either way - bye bye pounds. Best of luck. It'll stick if we're disciplined and we can do this.

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  11. Congrats on running for 40 minutes a day -- wow! Your skirt is wonderful -- I love the bow detail and all of your tucks and darts. Can't wait to see it on you!

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    1. Thank you and thank you. I didn't get a picture yesterday and may wait until I lose a bit more weight. Apparently I looked a little "fluffy" in it - VBG. I did ask ! !

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  12. Wonderful skirt! Can't wait to see it on you, too :) Your comment on how you're getting interested in texture, and seeing how you really balanced the design elements in this garment (big focus on texture and on a great silhouette, while toning down pattern, color, 3-D details such as buttons and doodads) brought to mind my 'outfit checklist'. Basically, i've observed that people with awesome style tend to really concentrate on and finesse two or three style 'elements': like color or silhouette or pattern or texture. To keep things from getting too overwhelming, and to bring the spotlight to their 'preferred' elements, they deliberately tone down the other 'tools in the toolkit'. I wrote a post on it if you're interested:

    http://dashingeccentric.blogspot.com/2011/04/intro-to-my-outfit-analysis-checklist.html

    But to sum up i think you did a masterful (mistressful?) job of taking Koos' original maximalist design and pulling out the elements which spoke to you while toning down the elements you were not interested in for this piece....the result is great just in itself, and also inspirational for showing how a person can take a very strong artistic statement and use it as a jumping off place for their own unique vision.

    Plus it looks awesome on!! w00t! re: exercise. The best thing i ever did was get into the habit of walking every day when i was in my late twenties. Now at 50, it's automatic and happens with very little effort. Your future self is thanking you :) !!! Happy Saturday!!! steph

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    1. Very interesting post. I'd agree and I think it's that fine tuning of focus that creates the recipe of our style and then - a comment I used in teaching art - once you've practiced your skill enough your hands flow with ease while your mind bubbles with creativity. That when you start to mix it up and make it more. For me, its starting to feel like I've put in enough time reconnecting with my sewing skills and my dressing ones (moving beyond jeans and a t-shirt) that I'm getting to some kind of "real" me in terms of what I'm wearing. I hope so.

      Thanks for the compliments on the skirt. I can see taking those same elements and playing with them some more. Again from my art career - working in series. Taking an idea, trying it, building on it, evolving it, trying it again. It's the T & T plus creativity basically. Such an amazing concept. LOVE it.

      I've been tossing around the question do I want to pick a small number of patterns, fine tune their fit, and work with only them for a specific length of time and if I do, which patterns and for how long? I think it could be stretching, growing, learning challenge but I want to be sure I'm ready for it and that I pick wisely. Typically, I'm not good with being boxed in so the possibilities need to truly feel endless.

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    1. Very Big Grin - meant to imply the comment includes humor. I'm funnier in person than my writing so I try to find ways to indicated I was laughing when I said that.

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Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.