Friday, June 29, 2018

Show Notes: Episode 37

This week, I did a lot of sewing, a tiny bit of knitting, and a lot of living!

I mention these two books:

Becoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nutt
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

I show you my in-progress Groovy shawl

and two sewing projects:

the Metamorphic Dress (pattern available here and a detailed post including photos available here.)

I also ramble on about touring a house for sale, parent orientation day at our son's college (and a disappointing experience involving a fellow parent), and a bit about parenting kids in the second half of their childhood.

Hang in there, everybody!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Sewing Project: Metamorphic Dress

Metamorphic Dress from Sew Liberated

Time to Complete: About 7 hours

 2.25 yds of Purple Fabric (97% Rayon / 3% Spandex)
2.5 yds of Tie Dyed Red Fabric (100% Rayon)

Machine Wash Cold, Hang to Dry, Cool Iron

Both fabrics were washed twice and hung to dry before cutting pattern pieces.  I didn't want to take the chance that the red tie dyed fabric would bleed onto the purple fabric because I didn't want the white dots in that print to turn pink.

I have been dying to make this project for a few months now, but I had put it off because I had a little trouble finding a good pair of fabrics.
The "underdress" (in my case, the red tie dye) needs to be reversible, because as you can see, it will show on the back side (under the peek-a-book hem) and on the front side (when you turn the dress inside out and wear it as a solid color.  I knew I didn't want a solid color, so it just took a minute to find something that wasn't a solid that looked basically the same from both sides.  Anyway, I found both fabrics at my local JoAnn Fabrics.

I got the nudge I needed to make this dress when I read on Instagram about the "Summer Dress-along" that was being led by Sew Hungry Hippie and Modern Sewciety.  I purchased the dress pattern on-line and was pleasantly surprised that it was pretty easy to tape together and cut out.  And I actually love using regular computer printer-weight paper instead of the typical tissue-thin pattern paper that store bought patterns are made from.  If I accidentally let my cat walk across a thin pattern piece that is laid out on the floor, there is a 89% chance that my 21 lb. cat will punch a hole in it with his foot.  So A+ to cutting sewing patterns from regular paper!

Following the advice of the chart, I made a Size 14.  The bust for that size was drafted for a person with a 39" bust, and mine is about ¼  of an inch larger than that.

I found the pattern instructions to be very easy to follow except one step - the part she describes as the "burrito method".  Luckily, the pattern writer has a video on the You Tubes that illustrates this step quite well.  Definitely watch the video and save yourself re-reading that section of the pattern dozen times like I did!

What I like about my finished dress:

• The relaxed fit
• The length of the dress, and that the hem is a little lower in the back
• That the dress (overall) came out to be the size I expected it to be
• The back neckline
• That the dress has pockets whether you wear it with the top dress showing, or just as a plain underlay dress
• The shoulder straps have plenty of width to conceal a bra

What I didn't like / would do differently if I made it again:

• Side pockets for the underdress are about 2.5 -3" too low.  They are awkward to reach into because they are too low, and if I put my phone in one, the stretchy fabric allows the pocket to poke out under the hem of the skirt.  This wouldn't happen with a more rigid fabric, but the placement is still an issue.

• The front neckline is about 1" too deep for my taste, and the shoulder straps are slightly wide for my frame.  Looking at project pictures from other people on Instagram, this seems to be the rule rather than an exception.
• The arm hole depth is so low that this dress wouldn't be practical to wear without a tank top / shirt / fancy bra that you want to display underneath.  Since it's already a double-layer dress, I don't really need more layers beneath it for Illinois summers.  So in the future, I'd raise the arm hole depth about 2.5".  I'm hoping that doing this won't make the dress hang funny in the bust area, but I won't really know until I start experimenting.

• The patch pocket in this pattern looks fine, but if I made this dress again, I will probably substitute the pockets from Simplicity Pattern #1080 because those pockets are adorable.

Where I deviated from the pattern instructions this time:

I'm pretty sure that the only thing I did that wasn't in the pattern was that I top--stitched around the neckline and both arm holes.  I just felt like both my fabrics were unstructured enough that they wouldn't ever lay quite flat at those seams unless I pressed them and stitched them into place.  Now that I've done that, they look great to me!

Out of the 10 or so dresses I've made for myself over the past 3 years, this is definitely one of my top 3.  I am sure I will wear it often, and I can see wearing it over leggings and a long-sleeved t-shirt when the weather turns cooler, too.  I will definitely make it again in the future, and look forward to seeing how my future tweaks might make this "solid A" dress turn into an "A+" for me!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Show Notes: Episode 36

On today's episode, I talk about:

Interviewing a family member and recording stories "for posterity"

I give you a sneak peek of a new product that will be available in the Trappings and Trinkets Etsy Shop by Monday, June 18th

A great dairy-free ranch salad dressing I found at my local Kroger

Sewing Projects of the Future:

I'm planning to make a Metamorphic Dress soon as part of the sew-along that's being hosted by Modern Sewciety and sewhungryhippie.

I show off a couple sundress fabrics, one of which I plan to use with McCalls dress pattern #7350.

...and I talk a bit about a plan I have for a summer nightgown

Knitting WIPs:

Another Groovy Shawl, this one made out of Dream in Color Smooshy

and I show you a lace pattern that I'm swatching for use with the sweater pattern I am currently working on writing.

Welcome Blanket is once again accepting handmade blankets that they will give to refugees.  This year's collection point is in Georgia.  More information, including the address where you can send your handmade blanket, can be found here.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Show Notes: Episode 35

There are a wide variety of topics discussed in today's podcast!

Mother's Day
a recent U2 concert

A couple snack recommendations:
Frozen Yogurt with crunch coating at Sweet Cici's (or maybe your local froyo shop!)
and Gary Poppins Classic Caramel Popcorn!

The two sewn shirts I wear / show were made from Simplicity's "New Look" pattern line.  The package says both "S0184" and "50184" on it, and unfortunately I can't find it anywhere on the web to give you link.  I bought it at JoAnn Fabrics  (and accidentally again at Walmart) in spring of 2018.

Faux-Fragment socks are based on this pattern by Helen Stewart.
Vanilla Socks are made from this gorgeous yarn from Brew City Yarns.

Here's a link to the article about your teenager being a cat.

And if you haven't checked out The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu yet, you're missing out!

Finally, here's a link to the tile I used for my easy new kitchen backsplash.