Mads vs. Glazed Linen, Round 2

Good Morning!

Thanks to a planned cut-back in my hours at my second job and a well-timed wife-less outing on the part of my spouse, I was able to venture into my sewing area last night. (Well, let me amend that: I was able to venture into my sewing area to WORK rather than just add new patterns or fabric or someone else’s circa-1950s UFOs to my sewing area and then back away slowly…)

My original plan was to start a muslin of my much-beloved vintage pants pattern, which I have never gotten around to messing with since it came to me many months ago. But then it occurred to me that I had never gone back to the black glazed linen version of vintage Simplicity 1281 that I’d tried to make a while ago, and I felt guilty and blah blah blah. So after about 5 minutes of frantic digging and hunting, I found the rest of the linen and started ironing. (I. FUCKING. HATE. IRONING.)

I was really careful when cutting this time–didn’t want any stupid mistakes like the last time I attempted this project, or the time before that…

After cutting 4 measly pieces of fabric, it is clear to me that I 1) need to lift more weights or 2) need a new blade for my rotary cutter, because I had to basically retrace my cuts for the whole first piece and then make sure I pressed really hard for the last 3. I mean, this linen is beefy, but this seemed unnecessary.

I sometimes (okay, often) wonder what the fuck I was thinking when I made past decisions. I think I ordered 4 yards of this linen, which is about 60″ wide. My original plans for it were a sheath dress (thank hell I decided against that…) or a pencil skirt and jacket, neither of which would have required nearly that much yardage (thanks, acquired sewing knowledge!). So not only have I now cut 2 skirts out of this stuff, here is what is STILL LEFT OVER:

One actual fuck-ton of linen, coming right up...

One actual fuck-ton of linen, coming right up…

Plenty for a jacket, so I guess that part of my original n00b plan will come to fruition. And once that is done, I am probably setting the remaining bits of this fabric on fire because I am just over it and its abundance and its linen-y-ness. OVER. IT.

In interesting (well, to *me*, anyway) sewing developments, that joke above about other people’s vintage UFOs wasn’t a joke at all. A lady brought lots of her mother’s hand-made vintage clothes to the shop a couple weeks ago, and her mother was very excited to learn that we all sew; her daughter returned with piles of sewing patterns and several unfinished projects in tow. Most of the patterns were circa-1970s but I did take a few home. The UFOs were all from the 50’s, and were wool. Very finely made, even in their incomplete states. I was given custody of the UFOs, and they’re hanging out until I feel brave/stupid/worthy enough to attempt to finish them. Apparently my house is now the Mads Home for Wayward Sewing Bits and Bobs…

Anyway, this skirt will be the first item of winter sewing for me this season–have any of you (in the Northern Hemisphere) started winter projects? Or are you just cuddling your winter-weight fabrics for warmth?

A New Tool and A Half-Assed Project

Have I mentioned how wonderful the online sewing community is? Because seriously, it’s great. Someone, somewhere, pointed out that JoAnn’s was having a sale on Singer dressforms on August 1 only. The husband happened to have the day off, and went to the store for me and picked one up. I paid 40% of the retail price! I’ve wanted a dressform but didn’t want to spend the money, and this sale was the perfect opportunity. So, without further delay, meet “Alice”:

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“Alice,” being indecently naked

It’s been handy having her around already: she wears my Hawthorne for me so that I don’t have to keep it in the closet!

On Wednesday, I stumbled across the Sorbetto pattern from Colette. (Again, I have no idea how or where, but thank goodness for other sewists!) I downloaded and printed it and decided that I would make it out of some Hawthorn scraps so that I could wear it for an out-of-town thing we had this weekend. I cut everything out on Wednesday night and did all my sewing on Thursday. Unfortunately, I hit many a snag during the course of this project. First, my scraps were not nearly plentiful enough to make this entire tank top–I cut the back on a fold, but couldn’t do the same for the front. I gonzo’d my way out of that by squeezing the front pattern piece onto the fabric twice and letting the pleat section overhang the edge. Since I had some other scraps (thank goodness I didn’t throw them out!) from another dress I’m working on, I substituted a strip of that for the pleat section. I measured it and cut the appropriate width, and sewed it to the front pieces just inside the pleat area; the idea was that I could then sew the pleat on the original pleat line without having bulky stitches. It worked! I gamely proceeded forth, getting so far as to attach the neck binding (in the contrasting color again) before trying the top on. BIG mistake. It’s super tight across my chest and barely goes on over my head! I cut the size 0 because that’s the size I wore in the Hawthorn; I assumed (dumb of me, I know) that the 0 in a 60’s-style swing top would also fit me. Nooooooooope. Not only that, but when I ironed the pleat and basted it, I apparently did it off-center. Since the color is contrasting, it’s pretty obvious. Lesson learned: don’t “eyeball” stuff, even on a quick project!

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The sad Sorbetto

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At least my binding looks kind of okay!

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It may not look like it, but it’s super snug. In a bad way.

After trying it on, I stopped working on the project. The armholes aren’t bound yet, and the hem isn’t done. (Speaking of which, it’s already too short without being hemmed. I can’t win!) I did French seams again, and I’m thinking I will need to let them out and use a very small seam allowance instead to ease the pressure around my bust. I haven’t even tried this on with my bras, and it barely fits; adding the bra would probably pop the seams! I’ll also need to realign the center pleat, which means unpicking the very center of the neck binding. Needless to say, I headed out on our road trip wearing one of my RTW tank tops and a scowl!

I’m trying to make myself feel better by finishing my other project and planning the next one. They are both from vintage patterns, and I’ll post more about them another night. Since we were so busy and sleep-deprived this weekend, it’s past this blogger’s bedtime!