Monday, August 29, 2011

Linen Dress Finished and Adorable

This J Crew dress was my inspiration:

And this is what I ended up with:

Looks like the dress form has been wearing it all day. (It was me! I love this dress.)

Looks like someone had been riding around with the windows down and the sunroof open, oh yeah, I love my new car and my new dress. Good thing my camera takes blurry pics.

Another blurry one (bad camera, I'm dreaming of DSLRs), but I found some gorgeous silk bias trim at Waechter's, hand dyed, and I just looped two pieces together to make the closure. So cute.

I bought the linen at Gail K in Atlanta when I took my recent whirlwind fabric road trip. The pattern is the Origami Blouse from Twinkle Sews, sans origami. Have you seen this book? I turn to it again and again for inspiration and my dream is to work my way through all the tops and dresses (I'm not crazy about any of the skirts except the English Garden skirt.)

Anyway, like I said, I just love this dress and I wore it on several outings this weekend. Perhaps I should have taken photos before I wrinkled it all up. Note to self for next time.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Stash Pics

From Gail K in Atlanta, blogged about HERE:

2 yards of gorgeous drapey silk, with a complimentary orange silk for accent pieces. I am thinking this Maxi Dress from Sew Serendipity Studios.

Then there was this light cotton lawn, which quickly became a summer tunic from one of my Japanese Dress Books.
This amazing cotton lawn a la Liberty of London is still percolating in my stash. I love it so much it will probably take me years to choose the perfect pattern. I got two yards in case it wants to be a dress.
This is a great linen, and I've already sewn it up into a really cute dress.

Finally, from Whipstitch in Atlanta. They specialize in cottons like these, and I've been wanting to get better at combining fabrics. I know, the fabrics practically combine themselves, but it's a start. I've cut this out already. It's destined for Claire Camidom!

Fabric Road Trip

A few weeks ago, I headed down to sweltering Alabama to see my folks and on the way home, instead of blasting through Atlanta at 80 mph, stopped to visit fabric stores and add stash to my stash. First stop, Whipstitch, a glorious little shop close to Georgia Tech
in the Brickworks development.

They specialize in bright cottons perfect for quilting or making eye-catching clothing. And they have a roster of fun classes at their
"Atlanta Sewing Lounge." While I was there, a sewing camp for girls was in full swing and there was lots of mad dashes around
Whipstitch to pick out the perfect fabrics and trims. I so wanted to dash madly with them, but that would have been creepy, so I pondered quietly instead.

I don't use quilting cottons much, but I've been inspired lately by The Snug Bug. She is so great at combining fun fabrics into cute dresses and tops. So I bought two fabrics with the idea that I would make a Claire Cami top, probably my last summer top before I dive into purple wool for fall.

Whipstitch has a beautiful space with high ceilings, exposed brick and lots of fun examples of garments and quilts
made with their whimsical fabric. Put it on your to do list if you ever find yourself in Atlanta with
an afternoon to spare. Then try a very respectable Thai restaurant called Spoon just up the street. It hit the spot and fortified me for my next endeavour...Gail K.

A right royal mess in here!
Where Whipstitch is new, dignified, well-organized, and devoted to "modern prints, Gail K at 2216 Cheshire Bridge Rd, NE, Atlanta, is a chaotic madhouse of fashion fabrics--piled, stacked, leaned, buried, mixed and mashed all over the place. Not much to look at from the outside, once inside, a girl who relishes fine fabric could do some damage to her checking account. Honestly, I was there so long, at one point one of the clerks said to me, "Are YOU still here?" It was heaven. But the kind of heaven you have to be in the right frame of mind for. Sort of like the flea market. Or IKEA. Easy to get sucked into the undertow.

Like I said, I don't sew much with quilting cottons and even less with Home Dec fabrics, so anytime I don't have to
eliminate half a fabric shop automatically, it's
right up my alley and I'm already planning when I can return before I've even hand
over my credit card. Gail K is like Mood of the South with everything from linens to silks to wools, cottons, novelty fabrics, knits, shirtings, you name it, it's there. Good luck finding it, but it's there. Actually, there were plenty of people working and the staff is helpful and friendly even if they get tired of seeing you after three hours. Customers come from everywhere, too, and now I know why. Gail K rocks!
HERE is a stash post to see my lovelies from Gail K.

And look at these buttons!
Way more where these came from.

On another note...does anyone besides me get frustrated with Blogger's photo upload deal? Why can't I just put the pictures where I want them
and not where Blogger put them out of order and weird? Any hin
ts anyone? Somebody help me!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Chickens and Bear

I mentioned chickens and bears on an earlier post. What's in your backyard?

Chloe and Clancy love each other.

Ferdinand chases cats.

He was so quiet, we would have missed him if the crows
had not been so stirred up.

Summer Top 2

I have cranked out several light weight cotton summer tops (but I'm still sweating, dios mio, que calor hace). I'm still cranking, and still obsessed with Japanese Sewing Books. This is fromTunic Tunic, which I found on Etsy at Pomadour24's shop. The link will take you there. The books are all written in Japanese, but if you have some sewing experience, you shouldn't have any problem. The pictures are quite good and the garments simple enough so that they almost sew themselves. If you do have problems, though, check out Label Free for some guidance and inspiration. This is the second top I've made and I've got another on the cutting table. Don't hold your breath, though...I always have more on the cutting table than I can comfortably sew in a reasonable amount of time. It's like reading 4 books at once. Is there a problem?

The fabric is a lightweight cotton with just a tiny hint of metallic thread strategically placed throughout. I found it at Gail K in Atlanta when I popped in a few weeks ago. What a fun store, just prepare to spend hours! And hours. At one point, the clerk really did say to me, "Are you still here?"

Summer Tops

My go-to summer work uniform is shorts and a cute top (I'm a home health physical therapist, and I could find myself in almost any type of home, from single-wide trailer with holes in the flooring, chickens out back and no air conditioning to multi-million dollar mansions perched on top of a mountain with bears in the backyard. (Oh wait, we have chickens out back and an occasional bear in the backyard.) I have a few pair of cargo shorts I wear (because they have extra pockets), but I needed MORE CUTE TOPS! Who doesn't?

Now that I'm sew-obsessed, I can't even bring myself to buy a cute top at Target because my new mantra is, "I could make that!" So here is my summer of 2011 cute top catalog.

Here's the collection and below are some details of each top.

This one and the next one are New Look 6891. I modified this one so that the front has pin-tucks instead of gathers. It was meant to be a wearable muslin made of something inexpensive from Hancock's, but I do love it and have worn it several times this summer. Ditto the version below, which was my first version, and which I also wear almost every weekend I work. I'm looking for the perfect fabric to make a non-work version (because once something is designated "work," no matter how cute, it's over. I'll never reach for it when I'm just out and about.

But look how cute that tie sleeve is! I've been looking for the perfect pattern for a Liberty of London cotton. Once I find that perfect pattern, I'll splurge. Any suggestions? This fabric is a swiss dot from Hancock's. The more I wear it the more I like it, but I find I can't ever say I LOVE anything from Hancock's. That's because we have an amazing fashion fabric store here in Asheville called Waechter's Silk Shop. Definitely worth a special trip to Asheville.

This lovely blouse is the Origami Blouse from Twinkle Sews by Wenlan Chia. Oh how I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book! And this top. So much so, I'm making a linen dress from this pattern now. Stay tuned, it should be ready in a few days. This was also a wearable muslin. I had the fabric in my stash for a long time, so I can't say for sure what it is, but it is probably a linen blend, blue and white striped, great for summer in the South.

Another wearable muslin (all my wearable muslins turn into work tops). This is from a Japanese Dress Book (my latest obsession thanks to Karyn over at Make Something. I'm trying to plan a PT course in Toronto just so I can go shop some of her Nani IRO japanese fabrics.) Oh, anyway, the book is called Happy Homemade Volume 3. I just love the neckline and the simple. The fabric is another something inexpensive from Hancock's. And yes, this top would be great in and Liberty of London tana lawn.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Beginning

Hello, world! My name is Deane, I live in Asheville, NC and I am recently obsessed with sewing. Like a good Home Ec teacher, my mom taught me to sew when I was 12 or 13. I remember that first dress I made and deigned to wear...a blue polyester knit print with a ruffled edge hem and hardly long enough to cover the important bits. I didn't wear it much. Polyester was so wrong for so many reasons, but in Houston, where I grew up and where polyester tends to stick to ALL the bits, it should have been banned as a "fashion" fabric. Mom wasn't one to splurge on fabric. Nowadays, though, I am quite the opposite. I love a good Liberty lawn, a drapey linen or a gorgeous silk. Not that I actually cut into some of my fabric splurges that often. You see, I still have the problem of not wearing my creations that much. Sometimes it's the fit. Sometimes the wrong fabric choice for the pattern. Sometimes it's the mistakes. But here is what I've begun to celebrate. Since I rediscovered sewing about a year ago, since I've been on this obsessive tear to make things, a lot of things, I've realized that as with most things, it gets easier and more successful with practice. And with each success, I get excited to try new things and take new risks. And since I don't have a picture of that first tarty dress from eighth grade, I've decided to start this blog so I can chronicle my creations and see progress. That way, I stay excited!