Friday, April 15, 2016

A Frumpy Dress And An Unfinished Cardigan

Along with their snuggles and kisses, my darling grandsons shared their cold... and it's a winner... going from not too bad, to horrible, to getting better over the last week. Most of my time has been spent lying on the couch but I did get some studio time in earlier in the week and yesterday, I did some more work on the grey sweater refashion.





At left is how it started with a basic V-neck with a ribbed stitch. I started by cutting up center front after stabilizing it with some interfacing and then cut a curved hemline... which ended up looking rather chunky on me. In the video...





... I show some of the first decisions I made and how I go about starting a refashion. I made several other videos but I'm not sure they'll be of much use. First I'll have to see how the sweater finishes. It's being quite stubborn right now and not playing pretty.





I took a break from the refashion to work on a dress using the same idea of serger strips as embellishments. As you can see, I inserted the sleeves from the sweater and that part works okay... as do the embellishments... and the white top stitching... however...





... the dress is looking rather frumpy. It's a lengthened version of Marcy's Vogue 8876 that I wanted to look elegant and graceful. It's definitely not there - VBG. Because I hate matching plaids, I cut the side panels in a different direction than middle front and center back and only matched along the side seams. I have come to the conclusion that I dislike horizontal stripes immensely. The dress looks less than wonderful and this is the point at which I decide if I'm going forward or not. Probably not. Even though I've spent quite a bit of time on this dress, there is no point finishing it if I'm never going to wear it and right now, it doesn't look at all flattering and it's unlikely the shaped bottom will make much difference. I'm more inclined to start over and let this one become a learning curve.





Originally, I wanted to wear the refashioned sweater over a sleeveless version of the dress only when I tried the sweater on with a previously sewn version, they didn't work well together. The cardigan fit too close to the body to be flattering with the dress so I put it aside and thought I'd make the dress next and then finish the cardigan. Apparently I'm at a bit of a standpoint right now - a frumpy dress and an unfinished cardigan, neither of which are going where I thought they were going, however, I still want to try the dress in a longer version and I am hoping the longer pattern will also be suitable for a coat. We'll see. I'll try again.





With my cold, I haven't been out walking. These pictures were taken a couple weeks ago. They're of the walk along the lake that is 3 kilometers in each direction, six round trip, and mostly flat. This pair of Canada Geese walked part way with me. 




There are several walks that extend off of the main one. The two pictures above are of Christmas Island which is a bird sanctuary with a 1 kilometer walk around the outside edge. The Canada Geese are on a small pond in the middle of the island and the walkway is along the lake side.





Salmon Arm is located on an arm of Shuswap Lake which is a HUGE lake. There are over 5000 miles of shoreline. When I was a child, my family often camped at a provincial park on the opposite side and I walked or rode my bike along that shoreline. 





Right now, the birds are pairing off and the beavers are building big dams and there's always something happening at the lake. Contrary to what you see in these pictures, a lot of people walk, run, or bike this path so there's always someone to greet along the way. I'm so grateful to live somewhere that's creative, calm, and peaceful and where walks like this are just minutes from my front door. It's a gift.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - knowing when to call it quits

17 comments:

  1. I don't find the dress frumpy at all. It's not what I'd call elegant. (Does Marcy even do elegant???). But it looks fun. And artsy. Also, the shorter length makes you look taller.

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    1. It's definitely not what I was aiming for. I couldn't even begin to answer does Marcy do elegant. I think it's more the question can I make an elegant interpretation of this pattern? Although I think elegant is not quite the word I'm going for - more of a casual elegance, a gracefulness, feminine, along those lines.

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    2. re: elegant, just look at the all-black version of this dress on the pattern envelope.

      Myrna i am glad you are shaking that cold, not fun! I wish i lived next door, i am itching to get my hands on you and that dress! I am better it looks better on you - and with this one, little things make a BIG difference. You need to fit it well along the arms and 'girth' as Martha Myers calls it (which you do on this and all other versions, just putting for the random reader). Also it's much more flattering with collar open (on the blue one you are modelling, i would even undo one more button) and plenty of interest along center front - buttons, contrast facing/trim, ribbons, etc.

      If there is a way to tweak that seam between the horizontal side panels and front so it is less straight up and down, that could make a big difference, too. And of course applying the collar and opening it will bring attention to the face.

      But i seriously understand being over something too, ha! The thing that gets me about this is how gorgeous all that piecing and topstitching is, and how much my husband would Flip His Lid over a duster coat in this style...he wears the heck out of greys and blacks and lurves a refashion :)

      Thank you for the nature pictures too! I always appreciate those ones. Sending you a huge, germ-free hug! steph

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    3. I'm definitely not shaking it fast enough. Today is day nine and I feel like every combination of death warmed over, run over by a bus, hit by a truck, rolled into one. I'm so done with being sick but....

      LOL - guess I should send my dress to Tony. Too funny. Thanks for the hug.

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    4. oh pumpkin, those ones that hang on stink. I am going to show him your pics, he will be an admirer! Take care sweeite!

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  2. So sorry the dress didn't live up to your vision. I've had this happen too and find it best to just move on and discard the failure. I said failure and it really isn't considering all that's learned from the experimenting. Take care and recover from the nasty cold. Karen

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    1. Thanks. The cold certainly loves me but eventually it will move along... soon... I hope. The dress definitely doesn't match my vision but, as you said, it's a learning opportunity. When I compare the two, the first one is more monochromatic with less contrast between the fabrics used. I've also concluded I may as well turn all plaids into bias or something like that because I just don't like them.

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  3. having a cold, even a cold delivered to you via loving kisses and hugs, makes everything harder! I say put that dress in time out and mark it with the date. (If you have room to store it). Then look at it in 6 months. I think you're right - the panels of horizontal stripes do something to the dress - maybe later on you'll feel vicious and slash them out of there! meanwhile, feel better soon! xoxoxo

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    1. Time out would be a great option if I liked the way the fabric was preforming but other than it's wrinkles, I'm not too fond of that either so I'll remove the sleeves and move along. Today, I should be resting on the couch but I'm not. I'm doing a good clean of the studio and getting rid of potential that's past it's due date and making room for new flow. YES YES

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  4. Just wanted to pop in and say "Hi!" Sorry your dress is disappointing you. But be encouraged to know that your blog is inspiring others...after reading, I always want to go cut up something! 😃 Maybe today...

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    1. That is encouraging. Thank you so much. Happy cutting.

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  5. I don't think the dress looks as bad as you think but to my eye it is dying to be a tunic with a high/low hem. I'd cut the front shorter with a curved hem and shaping about 3" longer in the back. You can wear it over a slim skirt, leggings, jeans, etc...much more versatile than a dress. You might consider changing the cardi to a vest too. There's so much that can be done with both...don't give up quite yet!

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    1. Too fun. I love how we can all see different visions in the same thing. Thanks.

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  6. I am new to your blog and finding myself anxiously searching for your next post! I sew clothing, and while my creative ventures are growing, they are limited to fit, maybe using pieces from two or more patterns to make one item, or changing the style of a hemline. Nonetheless, I am so inspired not only by what you do, but how you own things that are not working out as par to the learning process. i am all about the learning process, yet still trying to come to grips with letting go of something that has is seemingly hopeless after putting time into the process. Yes, putting things away for 6-12 months does help me feel better about knowing it's time to let it go. I did make a sweater top using a McCalls pattern that was so not me or right for the knit I chose. I cold not let the fabric go, so I decomposed it and made a cropped cardigan using another pattern. And I am so happy with how it turned out. Anyway, I am introducing myself to you and loving your incredible world of fabric play.

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    1. Fit is where it starts and then you use those fitted patterns as blank canvasses and create into them. Sounds to me like you've made a great start. The sweater top to cropped cardigan is a definite move along that path. Keep going and have fun. For me, I don't sew because it's economical, although it is, I sew because it's how I express and entertain myself. It's my thing and the process is more important than the product which is a definite shift from how I started out.

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  7. Love your blog!
    Just wondering if you would like shortening that dress to make a great blouse...

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    1. I'm glad you enjoy the blog. I'm encouraged to keep writing every time I get a comment like that. Much appreciated. Great idea shortening the pattern to a blouse. I'll have to think about that... but not for this fabric... it just isn't working for me.

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