Monday, February 5, 2018

The Sixth Outfit

Several times last week I couldn't seem to remember what day it really was. I hear that's what retirement is like although I don't really feel retired and it's more likely about  being in the zone and really enjoying all the studio work along getting the house and studio ready for company.

The studio is painted white to help blend together the brick with the gyproc with the vertical paneling and the horizontal paneling as well as some crown molding and some baseboards but not everywhere and a the wide variety of materials that are all used in one room. It's like a room of construction leftovers. And white does a pretty good job HOWEVER... paint cannot hide these ugly boxes.

Howard helped me to hang up the curtain rod and I bought some black and white check fabric in the bargain center at the last 50% off sale. It's a curtain fabric as opposed to gingham and has a smooth surface with a sheen. I definitely should have ironed the panels before hanging them as it's much easier to do it right the first time than to get back to it. I was running out of time. That's my excuse. This rod will also be perfect for hanging different backdrops for taking photos.

There was so much fabric that I wanted to cut and serge finish the panels before washing it. That was a mistake. I am still so allergic to the finish they put on fabric that by the time I'd made four cuts, I had a screaming headache, red and itchy hands, and blisters breaking out on my chest. If you don't already, I highly recommend washing all your fabric before storing it in the studio. That cocktail of chemicals isn't good for anyone.

These shoes are ones I've been collecting from the thrift stores to paint to co-ordinate with my different outfits. I've been researching how to use Golden acrylic paints and as soon as all the garments are done,  these are next. I've also been collecting small leather purses to add fabric and/or paint details added. TOO FUN!

My friend, Caroline, arrived last Thursday from Yellowknife and is staying until this Wednesday. Mostly we're working in the studio but will spend Tuesday shopping and stay overnight near the airport as her flight leaves at eight in the morning and that's way too early for driving that day. This year will be our 40th anniversary. We met when we were sixteen. For the past thirty years, she has lived up north and this summer she'll be moving about an hour away so we'll be able to get together far more often. Friendships like this are so precious.

The confusing headline missing the post about changing my mind was about the grey floral top I showed in the last posting. It felt too light for the season and since it wouldn't look great with a cardigan, I didn't want to spend a lot of time figuring it out if I wasn't going to wear it. I'll do that later but for now, I've sewn Butterick 5786 in another grey print. I've sewn this pattern before in the longer length. I'll try the shorter one this time and compare. I think it'll look good with the pants I haven't shown you yet.

Grey buttons are surprisingly hard to find. I stopped at two different fabric stores on the way to the picking Caroline up at the airport and chose these metallic circles although I had to go to our local fabric store yesterday to get another package to have enough. There's a spot on the collar stand that I want to correct before adding the buttons but other than that, the shirt is finished.

I alluded to making a vest that wasn't working out. It's Butterick 5891. In step one, you sew the right front to the right back... which I did... and then I confused them and thought the front was the back and started sewing the wrong pieces together. Because the fabric - a turquoise raw silk - looks the same on both sides, I quickly thought I'd made more than one error and reversed the sides. From there, the whole thing started snowballing into a comedy of errors. In the end, I had to undo all the work except for that first step and then carefully lay out the pieces in order and sew them back together correctly. Which I did. And it's almost finished only yesterday I was so tired that I opted to sew two pairs of pajamas instead. Pajamas are easy, methodical, meditative sewing. This was good.

I realized last week that I actually need six outfits. The workshop starts on a Sunday and ends on a Friday and even though two of the days are half days, that's six days. I'm having so much fun that I found needing to make another outfit exciting. I can plan it around the wonderful boots I ordered. Unless I change my mind, I'll sew the Vogue 8499 pants shown center left in denim as well as a top in a similar shade of fuchsia as the boots. The fuschia fabric is silk dupioni. It was on sale buy one meter and get two free which is perfect. I'm not fond of fine slippery silk but I love raw silk and dupioni silk and I've been able to use both in the outfit project.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - good friends


  1. Beautiful material and construction on the Butterick shirt!! And great minds must think alike: I too am planning to make the middle pants of Vogue 8499. 8-)

    Enjoy your friend and's snowing in Iowa and there have been many terrible accidents. sigh. IA Bovine

    1. Thank you. I finished the pants and I'm really happy with how they turned out - fun to sew. There's been a lot of terrible weather/accidents here as well. It's nice to be in the studio.


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