Thursday, August 15, 2013

My Horse Is A Dress

The blouse is finished... sort of. It has no buttons. When I tried it on to confirm the button placement, it fit BEAUTIFULLY through the waist and hips, nicely over the bust, and horribly through the underarm and shoulders. Raglan sleeves are not for me. The collar is lovely. It is - however - too wide for me. As we determined with the skirt, I seem to both look and feel better in clothing that is closer to the body.





When I told my son that I'd sewn three garments in a row that didn't work out he said, That sucks. You've really hit rock bottom now Mom. Not only are you allergic to the fabric, you can't sew anything either. Yes... well... hmm... so this is what rock bottom looks like in a sewist's life - LOL. He then said there's no where to go but up and to get back on my "horse".




I sent a picture to Caroline and she replied with I LOVE THAT ! ! ! ! can you send it to me so it's on its way up north... to my friend... who looked better in the other two (of the three wadders) as well. This is NOT a good trend. It is not my intent to sew for Caroline. I'd prefer to sew for me. LOL - I sent the Vogue 1333 skirt too!




HOWEVER... in case you think it was all bad... I did get a few pictures of happy "events". You'll have to trust me on this. It's a bit like an infomercial. This is the edge of the sleeve cuff before hammering. It measured 3/8".




And this is the edge after hammering (with a press cloth over top). It measures 1/4". I know it looks like I'm holding it down but I'm not. I'm just trying to figure out how to hold the measurement tape and the camera and get the angle.




AND... this is the inside of the sleeve. It gives me a huge sense of satisfaction to see neat, well pressed seams. The cuff was hand stitched in place and then top stitched. I know some people would have skipped the hand stitching. I can't do that. I want the edges to line up and lay flat.




SO... of the six patterns I pulled to experiment with one was a success, three looked better on my friend, and there are two left to sew - Sandra Betzina's V1297 dress above and Lynn Mizono's OOP V1113 coat below. Lynn's coat is a long shot. I'm pushing the edges on that one. Sandra's dress has a fighting chance of looking good on me and since...




... we're going to a wedding in a few weeks and I'm not sure what I'm wearing yet and I could really use a success right now, I'll try it next. My "horse" is a dress ! ! ! I'm not sure what fabric I'll use yet. First, I'll trace the pattern and figure out how to add the sleeves from my T & T t-shirt. More later.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - I am rarely a quitter. This is good. I am grateful for perseverance - or stubbornness - whichever you prefer to call it.

22 comments:

  1. To GRATEFUL, I would add "having an appreciative home for my wadders"!!!

    It's part of the process.

    Brenda

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    1. LOL - well.... hmm.... I wouldn't exactly call it grateful however, it is nice to know that they will be worn by someone who appreciates the effort.

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  2. Any scientist knows that we learn more from our failures than from our successes! You have eliminated a whole world of hurt from your life by learning what silhouettes are not worth your precious time to bother sewing. Most of the stress in my own life comes from having to constantly make decisions. The fewer decisions, the better. I'm learning that I have to treat myself as I did my toddler all those years ago: "Yes, honey, you can make your own decision. You can choose THIS one or you can choose THAT one." Sadly, it is still up to me to whittle down the choices to only two ... .

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    1. And "failures" are what happens when you push the edges and attempt to discover new frontiers. There is (I'm hoping because I want to try this some time too)an equally exciting frontier about re-interpreting the same silhouette in numerous directions.

      The great take-away of the garments that haven't worked out is "closer to the body". FABULOUS phrase to keep in mind.

      LOL - when I finish these six, I'll chose another set that are lines I know look good on me and tell myself you can sew this one or that one... like a toddler... good advice.

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  3. Too bad about that blouse....it looked like fun!

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    1. It's very VERY cute and totally not the blouse's fault. It's me. I'm rather (and I'm sure this is no surprise) picky about my clothes.

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  4. Hey, it's just fabric, right? First, I know you've stated you dislike "copying" things, but perhaps more "homages" to styles you've tried on and liked (in rtw) might be a good direction for you. Second, I wonder if pattern drafting might be right up your alley--you've the patience and focus for it, and drafting a pattern to your personal measurements could be just the horse you're looking for.

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    1. EXACTLY - and experimenting... and learning... and pushing the edges... and enjoying the proess... and I do have a fabulous new pair of pants so far.

      I knew that I didn't like raglan sleeves but I was curious to see if I could like raglan sleeves if they had a "balancing" collar. Not in this scenario. Perhaps if the collar had been not quite so wide and the armhole was more fitted. See - the idea still tickles. You never know. I may try again. I'm insatiably curious.

      This set of patterns was about pushing the edges and about not letting those possibilities sit unexplored in a drawer. I have a LOT of patterns. They attracted me for some reason and it seems like I should take the opportunity to explore some of those reasons and in the process weed out what doesn't work and add in what does.

      I've done some personal pattern drafting and you're right. I find it challenging and fun. Mostly, I've knocked off a RTW garment that I saw and liked and could try on first. The majority of my limited experience is working with a prefitted pattern like my T & T t-shirt. I find that's a good base to begin from and drafting (and draping) is something I'd like to spend more time on.

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  5. Your sense of humor is still intact, and for that I applaud you! I have loved reading about this particular journey as I think everything you make is so wonderful. It is good to know that people who I think of as pro sewers have "days like this".

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    1. Life is better with laughter.

      It's not like I didn't know the pattern might fail. Since it was an experiment to see what might happen, so I set myself up for potential failure. Even though I didn't like the raglan sleeves or collar, I did learn that I love the fit of that waist/hip and LOVED the top stitching details. I'll use those again.

      I'm just going to pause and savor that you see me as a pro sewer. What a compliment. Thank you.

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  6. Not to butt in here on CAroline's good thing she's got going, but she's not the only lady out there with big shoulders ;) heehee!

    This is a ***super*** cute top, and i love the idea of this type of femme little top in denim with spicy topstitching. Cute and super wearable! i need to make a note....

    Well, you know how i am - if it were me, at this point i'd set my right brain for 'recognize patterns, prepare to send to left brain in understandable format'. I think that your impasse here (or whatever you want to call it) shows how that type of, well, anal thinking about your sewing and style choices can be worthwhile as it can help you hone in on what makes successful garments for you.

    For instance, 'closer to the body' is helpful - but i don't see you running around in catsuits ;) So, where exactly do you like your clothing closer? What i've seen on your blog seems to indicate you like that fitted feel from the shoulders down to hi-hip. You'll take it down from there to mid-thigh or knee, and you don't need things all kind of 'socked' on to your bod (catsuit again!) but you like that definition from shoulder at least to hi hip. I don't see you 'surrendering the waist' as Angie of You Look Fab puts it. But you'll wear a trumpet skirt like no one's business, and look just lovely in those bell shaped Marcy skirts.

    anyways, my two cents. I really like this idea, hmm, i've been planning to buy Colette's patterns new Hawthorne dress and make it up in a darker chambray. Some lime topstitching would really give that garment a fantastic edge - now to find the perfect snaps ;)

    Have a great day Myrna! Your taking the time and effort to really take us along on your sewing process, instead of shining it up and making it all pretty, is just so helpful and also rare. heehee, tell that to male offspring (and send him a hug from your readers!). steph

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    1. LOL - I'm pretty sure my intention is not to sew for Steph either. Sew for Myrna sounds good.

      Thank you. I think it's super cute too, just not on me, and that's more about being particular than anything else. Can't stand all that fabric under the arm and don't like the feel of too much neck/shoulder/chest on display.

      The goal wasn't to aim for success - although I was hoping for a higher ratio - but to try out some different styles and see what happened along the lines of what Caroline experienced last week. She tried on quite a few garments from my wardrobe that she thought were too far out there for her and discovered some styles and sizes that worked really well - surprises she hadn't anticipated. Might be cheaper for me to try them in RTW but not nearly as much fun even if my wearability ratio is low so far.

      Vogue's definition of close-fitting is pretty close. I really do prefer minimal amounts of ease but... as you said... not cat suit... way too revealing... I have lumps... and bumps... and bumpy lumps.

      You're right that shoulders to high hip is where I prefer to follow the body for the most part. Trousers that fall from the hip are my preferred choice although I do like a narrower knee with a bit of flare below - the trumpet version of pants. I prefer dresses and skirts that follow the hip slightly before falling otherwise I look like a teepee that gets wider all the way down. A-line isn't my favourite style although it's recommended for my body type all the time. I find it has to be a REALLY soft fabric for me to like it - one that will follow my shape - LOL.

      I'm glad you're enjoying the sewing process - beautiful, average, and ugly included. All shiny would be boring in my books. I'm not saying I like to fail but I do like to experiment and push those edges in some way. If those experiments are helpful to others, great. I let his highness know that the blog appreciate my rock bottom experience.

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  7. Myrna,

    Just a thought (and you've probably already thought of this yourself)...could you take Butterick 5678 and morph the details from the McCall's blouse onto it? I think the blouse would look really cute if it had set in sleeves instead of raglan. Raglan sleeves need to fit close to the body (!!!) not to look sloppy, imo.

    Just thinking :-)

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    1. Great idea. I sent the pattern along with the blouse so Caroline could trace the changes I had made if she wanted to. When she sends it back, I can try this. I agree - raglan sleeves need to fit close to the body - and there's that catch phrase again.

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  8. I can't wear Raglan either. Caroline is lucky to have a sewist friend. Good luck on your next project.

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    1. LOL - yes, she is. Nice to know I'm not alone with the raglan thing. My dress is turning out fabulous. Details tomorrow.

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  9. Your son is hilarious. Sounds strangely like something my daughter might say. Kids.

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    1. Ah... yes... but he gets his great sense of humour from me - LOL.

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  10. Repeat after me - "I am not a quitter. Just because a few things did not work out, I get brownie points for trying new silhouettes. I have learned what does NOT work and now I can move forward, closer to what does work. This does not make me a quitter, but someone very smart, who now knows something that does not look right on me." Feel better? I cannot wear raglan sleeves unless I get the shoulder pads especially for raglan sleeved garments. I have sloping shoulders and have learned the hard way what doesn't work. Drop shoulders don't work for me either. It is a good thing that I like pretty traditional, classic clothes because that is what works best for me. You are fortunate in that you can wear things that are different. So a few don't work. No biggie. You are a winner!

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    1. LOL - I'm repeating. Thank you.

      Interesting how many of us can't wear raglan. I don't think that's a discussion I've ever had before. Part of it for me is definitely preferences. I do prefer a more traditional shoulder. Interesting that you think I can wear things that are different. That's the envelope I'm trying to push and I am learning things that will work.

      Thanks for the encouragement.

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  11. You are most welcome. I think the general shape of the blouse was lovely and perhaps with a traditional shoulder, it would have been your favorite. You are brave enough to adapt patterns and I am not. (Hmm, wonder where the 16-year-old girl went who was brave enough to take a cast off pleated skirt, steam the heck out of it to get rid of the pleats and turn it into an A-line back in the 60s.....") Not so brave anymore, been knocked down too many times - but I keep getting up and that is all that matters. I will look forward to seeing a blouse with a similar front and shaping, but with traditional sleeves. I cannot even wear a dropped sleeve. I look like a bag lady. I was a teenager in the time of Jackie Kennedy and that is the kind of clothing I still prefer. I detest lapels on jackets and cannot wear collared shirts anymore as my neck seems to be disappearing by the day, and one's lower ear lobes and earrings do not show to their best when hidden inside a collar. (Read Nora Ephron's "I Feel Bad About My Neck" for a chuckle). So, I stick with collarless everything, and make variations of the Chanel jacket, sometimes changing it to a V-front, but always traditional and feminine. You will succeed. I can sense your determination!

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    1. Not sure when the blouse will appear again. Depends how long it take Caroline to send the pattern back and where I'm at then but some time hopefully. Isn't it interesting how as we get older we get a much clearer list of what we don't wear but we're still on that journey to finding out what we do? And then there are all the ways to interpret the same scenario. YEAH.

      I hope you allow that 16-year-old girl to come out to play. All she needs is a chance. Do one thing. Risk a little. It's only fabric. I understand knocked down. Been there, done that BUT... we CAN pick ourselves up. Knocked down only wins if we let it.

      I read Norah's book. She had a delightful sense of humour. I remember seeing her on Oprah as well.

      I'm thinking about your collarless comment. I wasn't conscious of making that decision but now that you mention it, I don't do a lot of collars either. Wonder why. Have to think that over. Thanks for the thought to ponder.

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