Crazy Cat Lady Sewing Challenge – So Close, And Yet So Far

Hola!

Since my last post, I got to thinking about the state of my original cat lady skirt and decided that I just couldn’t see myself wearing it and being happy with how it turned out. So I bit the bullet and ordered more fabric and redid the damn thing. This time, I followed the cutting layout for napped fabrics provided with the pattern, and I’m pleased to say that things are coming along swimmingly:

Got the official seal of approval...

Got the official seal of approval…

Hand-picked lapped zipper!!!

Hand-picked lapped zipper!!!

Ta-da!

Ta-da!

I’m really excited about this now that it’s fixed. (I know, I know–should have followed the cutting layout from the beginning!!) I managed to salvage the first skirt and make a crop top using my Scout pattern, too! How these will look together on my body is anyone’s guess, but I can always take in the side seams on the top if I’m not crazy about the volume paired with the skirt.

You may have noticed that I used the phrase “lapped zipper” in the zipper photo caption. These have previously confounded me and I have avoided trying them in earnest, but somehow everything clicked last night. I didn’t want to mess with my machine, so I opted to handpick the entire zipper application. (Bonus: hand sewing means I can sit in the living room with my family, which I like.) It turned out GREAT, if I do say so myself. =) It got fiddly with pins and lining stuff up so that I only picked through all layers at the bottom of the zipper, and I kept pinning the overlap to the already-attached side of the zipper for the first 15 minutes (UGH), AND I stabbed myself with pins about 145,923,760 times, but I got it! The waist looks like it will fit (I put it on and zipped it up), so I’m going to try attaching my waistband this week and see what happens. I’ve also decided to up the ante and add horsehair braid to the hem of the skirt. Since my fabric is pretty light vs. what is recommended for this skirt, I want to give it a little more body and shape. I think I’ll go with 1/2″ braid since I don’t want anything too crazy, but I’m hoping it will look awesome. So yeah, I am jazzed about this project now that everything is coming up Millhouse…

With respect to the title of this post, I’ve accomplished a lot but still have some things to wrap up: hem the shirt sleeves, bind the neckline, attach the waistband to the skirt, add the buttonhole and button, add the horsehair braid, and sew the hem. I’ll have to machine sew the hem this time with the braid, but given that this is a damn circle skirt, I’m totally okay with NOT having to do this one by hand!

I haven’t done anything else with my practice version of Tom’s overshirt, but hopefully once I finish this project (and its ~9 feet of hem…FML) I can get back to it. What is everyone up to out there??? Been busy with Fall projects??

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Crazy Cat Lady Sew-Along – IT’S ALIVE!!!!!!!

Hello, friends/enemies/casual WordPress skimmers!

I’ve been busy as an understaffed hive of bees lately, with two sewing projects cut and in-progress, Halloween season kicking into gear at the store (which means I work every. single. day. that the store is open), and regular work from 7-4 every weekday. I also found the time to turn 29 yesterday! I’m torn between not being bothered (after all, I look the same and feel the same) and panicking about it being my last 20-something birthday. I spent a good chunk of the day running errands and arguing with the county auditor’s office, but everything got done that needed doing and I got my nap in the afternoon and my steak dinner (albeit at 3PM, like an 80-year-old).

I’ve been working on my Crazy Cat Lady outfit, and it’s coming along! I haven’t started the top yet, but I’ve decided to scrap my original plans for a formal blouse and go with a crop top instead. I’ll likely modify my Scout pattern to accomplish this, but I haven’t really put much thought into that piece yet. The skirt was by far more exciting for me, because the fabric is AMAZING:

Sebastian Ghastly skirt

Sebastian Ghastly skirt

Now, I waited about 2 weeks for this material to arrive. I was beyond excited about it, and loved it in-person. And then I miscut half the skirt. Can you see it?? The left half of the skirt above has the kitties upside-down, and the right half has them upright; the back half is the same way. I do not have enough fabric to recut half of the skirt, and I’m beyond bummed out. My only options are 1) to order about 1 1/2-2 more yards (at 45″ wide, I need a lot of material for this type of skirt–I’ve eaten up most of the 3 yards I ordered initially) or 2) to live with it as-is and try not to GAF. This stuff isn’t cheap, so option #2 is probably more likely, but I just don’t know if I can live with it. The worst part is that I thought I was being careful when I cut it out. It never occurred to me that half of it would end up upside-down. =( Any suggestions or opinions??

I have struggled a bit with the other project on my table as well: McCall’s 6613, a Palmer/Pletsch pattern for unisex button-up shirts. Fortunately, I seem to have done a pretty good job with plaid-matching on that project (maybe my brain can’t handle two print projects at once…), but I had lots of issues with interfacing. I had barely any of my 2-sided fusible web left, but figured I could make it work by piecing it together. Nope. NOPE. Every time I tried to iron a piece like that, stuff shifted and wrinkled all over the place. (To use this interfacing, I have to place the interfacing between the back side of my fabric and a corresponding pattern piece cut from muslin. Shifting should be avoided in such cases.) And of course, the pieces I am referring to are the fucking plackets. Which are cut on the bias. Which makes them the fabric-eatingest small pieces of all time. I had to recut one of them TWICE. So three total plackets to get ONE proper placket. By the time I finally got the interfacing finished, my iron had lots of melted interfacing/glue all over it and stunk and I was ready to throw stuff at other stuff. So now I need to clean it up before I can press or interface anything else. The good news is that, on that project, I am finished with the interfacing stage and can start sewing shit together. I hope it turns out okay, since it’s for Tom and it’s a surprise…

Speaking of Tom, he was a dear and took me to Joann’s before dinner yesterday so I could buy more interfacing. I got more of the fusible web stuff, since I am used to that technique and like the amount of stiffness it can give to collars, waistbands, etc. I know there is “better” stuff out there, but I’m a creature of habit and have liked the results of this particular method, so w/e. I got an entire 20 yard bolt for 50% off–yay!! Good thing, too, since my kitty waistband will definitely need this treatment.

What are you folks up to lately??

Crazy Cat Lady Sew-Along!

Yes, you read that correctly: there is a cat-themed sew-along happening on the sewing blogosphere! The delightful Miss Crayola Creepy had a stroke of genius and is hosting this shindig over at her blog (which you should absolutely be reading) and is keepin’ it casual. Entrants have until the end of October to complete their cat themed garment(s), and there is a Flickr group that you can join to see what kind of feline-infused insanity everyone comes up with during the sew-along and for sharing your own creation(s). I’ve got my blog button around here somewhere and am ready to rock this shit.

I’m afraid that I’ve already gone a little nuts over this challenge (offerings to my cats and the building of an altar around my Crazy Cat Lady action figure notwithstanding) and ordered not one, but TWO different fabrics. I also got 2 buttons because I couldn’t make up my mind. And yes, all four of these items are cat-themed and scream, “This woman has an unhealthy obsession with cats and probably makes yarn out of their shedded fur and should be removed from polite society.” (Spoiler alert: at least two of those things are true.) Having said that, I consider the fabrics I ordered to be very wearable. They’re quilting cottons, but given what I have planned, I think they’ll be well-suited to my purposes. I can’t decide whether to reveal them now or wait until I’ve started working…Eh, fuck it: here they are!

"Sebastian Ghastly"; photo courtesy of www.felinedrive.com

“Sebastian Ghastly”; photo courtesy of http://www.felinedrive.com

"Geo Cats"; photo courtesy of www.felinedrive.com

“Geo Cats”; photo courtesy of http://www.felinedrive.com

For the sew-along, I’m being very ambitious and planning 2 garments. I’m using two patterns I have made before: vintage Simplicity 1281 and vintage Simplicity 1089, both of which I have blogged and consider to be successful sews. I think the skirt pattern is perfect for a quilting weight cotton because it will require that little bit of body, and will be easy to work into my normal, not-covered-in-cats wardrobe. The top will be wearable as well, though I suppose I’m just naturally more excited about the skirt because that fabric (“Sebastian Ghastly”) is much more, um, audacious and unnerving than the one I picked for the blouse. Mr. Ghastly really appeals to my inner Jhonen Vasquez, which I love. The skirt and top probably won’t be worn together after we do the Ultimate Blog Post Final Outfit Photoshoot, but whatevs. I’m saving the button reveal for the end, though–gotta keep y’all comin’ back! =)

So in honor of this amazingly exciting and quirky sew-along, I leave you with this:

A literal "Crazy Cat Lady" action figure, given to my by the hubs

A literal “Crazy Cat Lady” action figure, given to my by the hubs

Join us, won’t you? >=D