I didn’t say anything on the blog, but I suffered a fairly extreme disappointment a few weeks ago, and I bought this pattern to make myself feel better. I showed y’all a sneak peek on Saturday, and here is the final (and modeled) product:

This is going to be a picture-heavy and word-light post (unusual, I know) because I made the dress almost exactly as written…and taking photos of myself wasn’t as difficult as usual, owing to the cooperative weather.

I really, really, really love it. I took a chance and bought a 30.5″ bust because I’ve been getting so irritated by the amount of ease in the bust in vintage patterns, and it fits like a charm. My only complaint is that the skirt isn’t lined, just the bodice, and after wearing it once, I really think the skirt needs a lining.

The flowers are obviously a “modification” of sorts. I omitted the self buckle belt because once I got the flowers on, it just seemed like too much, so I made a thin fabric belt that snaps in the back. It’s nothing special, but I think it adds a nice extra touch.

The flowers were honestly a burst of inspiration halfway through the process. I used Calamity Kim’s tutorial, which was great. She’s right, though; you have to make a lot of flowers to come up with a few good ones. I made six to end up with three nicely-sized rosettes.

Onto the boring parts. This was actually a wearable muslin, but I’m not motivated to make the pattern again right now, so I’m not doing it. But I’m so happy with it, it doesn’t matter! The pattern is versatile and fits well (for once!), so I’m sure I’ll make it again another time. My zipper is hand-inserted, as usual. This time, I did it while sitting next to an old lady in the library watching Lost on abc.com…but it’s Harvard. Nobody even looks askance at me. My stitching looks great this time…can you even tell it’s hand-stitched? I’m so proud of it.

The fabric is a linen/ rayon blend in a lovely, bright, coraly red. It’s very vibrant, and it’s a nice spring color for me. I used to really avoid reds because of my hair, but I’ve realized it actually looks good, not scary!

I’m planning to enter this in the Pattern Review vintage competition. I’m hoping they will accept modifications (the flowers)…please tell me if you know they don’t! I am so excited to have something to enter. For some reason, I like entering competitions, but I really don’t care about winning. Plus, how could I? Have you seen the Slapdash Sewist entry??

I hope you all had a lovely weekend! I’m taking time off for the first time in a year this week, but I spent almost the entire day learning how to do bound buttonholes, so sewing progress is slow…

ETA: I can’t contribute to the PR competition because I’ve been a member for fewer than three months!! Oh, well…maybe next time!

Vintage modern fusion

April 22, 2010

I’m almost finished with a lovely new project made from a vintage pattern, but with a modern update…I hope to be able to share FO shots with you soon!

Thanks for all your comments and feedback on my blouse! It was so wonderful to hear everyone’s opinions on Simplicity and to feel such support from all of you!

…and I really hope y’all enjoy it, because it may be the last one I post for a little while! I’ve been incredibly sick and, accordingly, so slow and unmotivated. Every time I sit down at my machine, I start falling asleep.

Yes, it’s the (finally) completed Building Blocks quilt! See those splotches? That’s the backing fabric shinin’ through. It ruins the effect, but I can’t get too upset at the lovely morning sunlight in the park 🙂

the back, so you can see it in all its glory and brightness!

I quilted this with invisible thread.

“That invisible thread?” you say. “You mean the kind nobody uses?”

Yes, that invisible thread.

“You mean they still sell that stuff?”

Yes, they do. At Winmil. And I was naught but its latest victim.

I finished this only by quilting for about fifteen minutes every day, which was all I (in my sickness) and my machine (in its wisdom) could handle before the thread started bunching and creating these tough little plastic balls all over the back of my quilt! I at least had the humility to listen to the shop owners when they told me not to even attempt to wind it into a bobbin, so I used white. You can’t tell. The back is pretty dramatic, even after being subdued by stippling (seriously, you can’t see through the quilt that much in real life. But now I’m debating switching the brand of batting I use.) The back is an apparel fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics that I bought because I didn’t click the “view fabric with ruler” icon (duh) before I added it to my cart. I didn’t like it for a garment, but LOVE it for a quilt.

Relevant info:

1. Block fabrics are Paula Prass Wild Thyme (the tulips); AMH Little Folks Voile; Yuwa/ Kei Honeycomb (obvi) in Steel; Kona Cotton in Ash, Coal, and Charcoal; and a Windham red dot pattern.

2. Threads were Dritz invisible thread (stay away!!!) and Gutermann 20.

3. Size is about 62″ square (a tiny bit too small for my taste).

4. Sashing fabric is Kona Bone (love this and have bought it for another upcoming quilt).

5. Block technique is very elementary…squares drawn on posterboard, lines somewhat randomly drawn (it still has to be a nice, uniform size, y’all…can’t get too crazy!), and templates cut out. See the post about the top for more info.

I hope I’ll have some energy tonight…wish me luck!

When I came home from the first NEMQ meeting a few weeks ago, I challenged myself to make a quilt of my own design, on the spot, using only fabrics from my stash. Result:

(Sorry for the shadows cast by the monkey bars!) Y’all can probably guess that I love, love, love this top. I used Kona in Ash, Coal, and Charcoal; Yuwa/Kei Honeyomb (of course) in Steel (both directions–gray dots on white and white dots on gray, though they read similarly in the finished blocks); AMH Little Folks Voile; Paula Prass Wild Thyme; a Windham red-and-white polka dot; and a giant, bold, red floral from Gorgeous Fabrics (which has also become the back). I used every scrap of fabric I had in my stash and had to use one teeny piece of Midwest Modern when I did not have enough gray fabric to finish the last piece in the final block. Hopefully it isn’t too noticeable (to you…it is screaming out at me from its resting place).

After I finished this, I learned that the block is called Map of the States and was invented by Elizabeth of Oh, Fransson…with a much more sophisticated and easier method of piecing than I used. Yes, I used old file folders.  I fussy-cut every piece of fabric in these blocks (that’s about 400 pieces of fabric, if you’re interested in knowing that sort of thing).

fabric and block detail

There are actually four different blocks, which I worried wouldn’t be enough to differentiate them…but now I think it was unnecessary even to make four! Once they’re all sewn up into the quilt, they look completely different anyway.

I absolutely love this and, accordingly, made the sandwich immediately, only to run out of quilting thread a few minutes later. Not wanting to waste precious weekend quilting time going all the way to the store to buy thread, I began a new top instead. I’m going to try quilting with invisible thread for the first time, because I don’t think any one color will do justice to every patch. I can’t wait to quilt it, and plan to stipple it, as usual.

In other news, I spent some time making some great blocks from Modify Tradition this weekend…you should check it out! The site and tutorials are wonderful and the blocks are a perfect complement to my newly acquired library of Profiler DVDz (thank you, Katie P.). I’ll post some blocks later this week. Until then…