Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Economies of Scale

I fell in love with today's fabric as soon as I saw it on the sale upholstery rack at Mill End. It had so many colors that I like: green, yellow, and dark pink. But what I think really attracted me to it was its size contrasts: it was basically a bunch of huge polka dots surrounded by tiny dots. As you can see from the measuring tape, the "sunbursty" circles are about 3.5 inches in diameter! This is a much larger scale than I usually get in fabric. I find myself drawn to upholstery fabrics often for their fibers and feel but just as often for the sheer scale of their patterns. Big! Bold! Prints! AND upholstery fabric tends to be 60 inches wide, which is becoming increasingly important to me as I want to make very full skirts and dresses without lots of piecing.

Since this fabric was already on the sale rack, I was tempted to buy it (at Mill End, if you buy everything left on the bolt in the upholstery sale section, you get it at 50% off). When I saw the sign saying that they were taking an additional 20% off of all upholstery fabrics, I was sunk. I just HAD to get this fabric. I believe there was approximately 4 yards left on the bolt, and it ended up being around $6 a yard. The fabric is a medium heavy cotton twill. I intend to make a full-skirted halter-style-with-waist-yolk dress out of it, as soon as I am allowed to start new projects. Since I can't actually stand the way halters pull at my neck, I will probably convert the pattern to a cross-cross back. Here's hoping I can get to this project before the weather turns rainy and cold again around here.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The final episode of the trilogy

So, back in May I did a couple of posts about how I was inspired to make a dress. Well, I did, in fact, finish that dress in time for my cousin's wedding in June, and I thought I should show off the final result. Ignore the squinty eyes, and concentrate on how pleased I am with the result of my labors!

I used the pattern pictured in this post, and of course used the fabrics featured in this and this post. Overall, these were excellent fabric choices. The polyester silky is actually cooler to wear than I had been anticipating, and once the teal stripes have some lightweight interfacing, they are also the correct weight. I did cut the Vneck a little higher than the pattern calls for, and I eliminated the back zipper (I detest center back zippers. I think they are so ugly). Because the pattern is meant to be loose, I actually just pull the dress on over my head. I even took in the side seams at the waist about 2 inches, and can still just pull it over my not-very-small bust. Once one understands the geometry of how the neck band fits into the front, this is a very easy pattern to sew. I will probably make another one in the future, maybe with winter fabrics. I do still need to add pockets to the side seam of this dress. Maybe next week.....

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Yipes! Stripes! Part 1

I enjoy stripes. Not nearly as much as I enjoy Polka-dots, but that's ok. I especially love when stripes are used creatively, going different ways in one pattern or garment. However, I have not done too much sewing with stripes, so I can't moan and complain about how difficult they are to match. Yet!

The top fabric is one that I only have about a foot of. It was an interior design sample that was given to me when the fabric was discontinued. What you can't really see from the picture is that the blue stripes are actually chenille, which adds a great texture and draws me to the fabric. I also like the width of the stripes. The rest of the fabric is just a medium-weight cotton. I could see making a fun summer suit out of this material, especially one with tails.

The second fabric is a very light cotton, and is far more subtle than my usual taste. However, this fabric has proved to be a great complement fabric for me. I have used it in a couple of patterns where the main fabric is so crazy that the edging or bands should really be solid-colored. However, just plain solid is so boring, and !volia! the color-on-color stripes are the perfect solution! One layer of this fabric is very see-through, so I tend to double it. I believe I still have about 5 or 6 yards of this left. I started out with at least 10 yards that I inherited from a friend about 10 years ago.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Blue cravings....

I'm Back! I haven't posted here in a couple of months as I have had lots of changes going on around me that kept me hopping: new part-time job doing alterations, family visiting, some decent weather around here finally, new church, some new friends, developing some new bag patterns for me business, injuring a thumb, just all sorts of new things. However, I am excited to have carved out some time three times a week to post here (probably Tu/Thurs/Sat). Anyways, enough about me, back to the fabric!

This beautiful fabric is one that I found at Bolt Fabric Boutique (see link in sidebar) a couple of months ago when they were having a sale. At first I was going to buy 5 yards of it because I thought it was on sale for $5 a yard, but then it turned out not to be (I believe it was more like $12 a yard), so i just bought 1 yard. It is a lightweight cotton or linen, 60in wide, and the colored rectangles all have eyelash edging, which makes my texturephillic hands very happy. Can't you just see this as a cute summer halter dress? Or a short-sleeved button-down man's shirt? I can! Maybe when I have more money I will go back and buy more so that I can make that dress....