Here, Oonapalooza NEVER ends…

So, I missed Oonapalooza… Even though I was so stoked when it was first announced, I just couldn’t wait to celebrate the wonder that is Oona, in global unity with other sewcialists. But what can I say? I had ridiculously busy summer so far, and the dog ate my homework, and blah blah blah. But it does not matter, you know why? That’s right, the title says it all.IMG_1301

This skirt was conceived in April. See, waaaaaaaay before Oonapalooza was announced. Because the hotness that is Oona is seared deep into my brain. I bought this fabric when there was still some snow on the ground. I desperately wanted to drape myself in some serious colour, hence the idea of a maxi circle skirt. I drafted the circle part, and to my horror I discovered that I was seriously short on fabric. At least 4 inches (10cm) in the waist (the waistband is the waistband of the hight-waisted pencil skirt from Gertie’s book).  Two weeks ago I happened to accidentally fall into a Fabricland, where they had this fabric on special. I cut that extra wedge that I needed, inserted the zipper (horror!), and discovered that now the band was too large… By about 4 inches… WTF? How??? I inserted a wide elastic into the back portion of the waistband. I feel like a toddler, but hey, it works…

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PicMonkey Collage

 

So, by now you’re probably all dazzled by the lovely colours of the skirt, and the awesomeness of the greenery in the background. All the tomatoes, and swiss chard, my forget-me-nots, and the clematis, am I right? And you probably wonder how in this world can I maintain all that so effortlessly, right? Well, check out my ride, a huge help in my agricultural efforts.

 

IMG_1310And this is how I roll…

If you can’t eat ’em, wear ’em!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI went to Fabricland yesterday, came home with 3 meters of this. I just had to… Nuff said…

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Self drafted. Yes, I can draft rectangles! I put in such large pockets that I could easily transport in them all the required ingredients for the pictured cupcakes.
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So light!

I will share the rest of this deliciousness with my son. I’ll make him a shirt from what I have left, and then we’ll wear them together in public. It will be funny yummy!

We don’t need your education!

…actually we DO need that education, we’re just too eager to get started on the project to sit through all the lessons. I’m referring to “Design & Sew an A-Line Skirt” on Craftsy. I watched 4 episodes (out of 11) and then my fingers got so itchy that I just had to make that skirt NOW! I mean, how could I sit through all that, when the fabric that I purchased at the annual Yardage Sale at Textile Museum is burning a hole on my cutting floor?  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADo you ever feel like you transform  into one of those seek-and-destroy acquire robots, whose eyes lock on the target, and then pursue the target until it’s in the robot’s hands? You know that feeling? That was me when I glimpsed this cloth. I loved everything about it: the cozy but cool and light texture, the colours, the print, the informative selvage, and then the whole “one of a kind” aspect. It’s a screen print, so it’s possible that each fraction of the fabric looks slightly different than the other, right? Originally, I wanted to make a top out of this fabric, but I have been worshipping at the altar of Stacy and Clinton (of TLC’s What Not To Wear), and I’m sure they would recommend going crazy fabric on the lower part of my body, and something more subdued on top (deemphasize bigger chest, and balance it with more visible bottom yadda, yadda, yadda). So that’s how I made the call to use this print for the skirt.

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In the process of making it, I was impressed with myself how good I got with inserting zippers. Even though the instructor called for an invisible zipper, I put a standard zipper in, and you wouldn’t even know that there’s a zipper there. Also, I matched the horizontal big navy line pretty well. Not so much with the rest of the print… Instead of doing regular hem, I used bias tape. I adore this skirt, but after wearing it for few hours I realized (yet again) that the recommended 1 inch ease in the waist is not a good idea for me. I just don’t need it for functionality, it only makes the skirt slide down and turn on my body…

I would love to watch the rest of that class some day. And maybe even insert pockets into another A-line skirt… Because there will be more A-line skirts! I do have more batshit crazy fabrics in my stash, and I’m not afraid to use them! I’m going home now, see you later!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPS. If you’re ever considering watching this course, the instructor has you draft the skirt in 2 pieces (front and back). I decided to add a bit more volume at the bottom, so I used the slash-and-spread technique, and I thought it would be a better idea to do it in 4 pieces… BTW, they cover this in another lesson, but I couldn’t have been bothered… So really, I have no idea how they do it.

Joan Dress (well, kinda…)

Oh, where do the best laid plans go? While pink-eye ravaged my household since last week, I found the time being in short supply here… I had to scale down my grandiose plans for Julia Bobbin’s  Mad Men Dress Challenge and work on Joan dress only, instead of Joan’s and Megan’s, as I was planning to sew earlier.

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Since I decided to get in the challenge so close to the deadline, I’ve decided to make the dress out of knit fabric, because I anticipated a lot of fitting issues and I thought knit would be more forgivable. Also, I happened to have some yummy chocolate brown double knit in my stash. I am sure that the dress in knit turned out way better than woven would have, but still there were issues that I should have addressed. Of course I realize all that now, that the dress is finished… Oh well…

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I’m wearing the sunglasses not because of the sun, but because I do not want to gross anybody out with this pink-eye…

Essentially, I started with a t-shirt pattern, I simply added 10 inches to the length. I nipped in the waist just slightly, made a small side slit (just in case I have to chase the offspring when I wear the dress), added the collar  and “ties” at the back, and added narrow cuffs at the sleeves and turned them up. And made the belt.

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There were many “firsts” with this dress. I drafted the collar and the ties, which was fun. I really wanted to duplicate the look of Joan’s collar, and I think I succeeded somewhat. Considering that I made a collar only once before when I was sewing a pirate shirt for my hubby, I am not displeased with this effort. I also made my own belt. I had no idea how easy and fun it was to make your own belt, including the belt-buckle!

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Another “first” was doing a swayback adjustment. The fabric pooling at the back is the reason why I cannot wear any RTW dresses (unless they are wraps or knitted), I was really shocked when I discovered that I needed to take off 4 inches from the back… And now when I look at the pictures I realize I should have taken off more! And since we’re talking about “shoudda’s”, there’s the issue of much needed darts in the bust area, but i thought that I was being crazy wanting to put bust darts in a t-shirt…

Sometimes it surprises me how much I like to cut some corners, but I go waaaaaaaaaaay beyond whatever is needed with another thing. For example, I decided that I did not want to fit the bust, but I absolutely did not want the  machine stitching to be showing on the hem. I just knew it would look awful, and my machine did not like sewing this material at all. So I hand-hemmed it. Misplaced my thimble, poked through my sewing callus on the middle finger, bled all over the place, but the hem is just beyond words… It’s just so beautiful!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs I was sewing I did a lot of pondering about this and that. I came to realize that Joan Holloway and I are not so different after all. With a huge small difference: she is the girl that is willing to go all the way and give 100% to make things happen. I am the girl who gives 75%, as illustrated by this dress. So I raise my glass to you Joannie, and to me, hoping that some day soon I can give maybe 85%! At least in the sewing department…

You’ve been zigging, when you should have been… painting!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYesterday I had a day off, which was supposed to be spent painting the bathroom. Instead, it got claimed by my sewing affliction. The zig-zag knit, which I got from Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow during the GTA blogging sewists’ swap, was really exciting me. I love the energy of the zig-zag, I don’t own any zig-zaggy clothes (not even chevron-y, which will probably change soon), and I though with black and white you can’t go wrong. I leisurely drafted the pattern from a raglan sleeve dress which I made last summer, and the kitties helped: Mingus, who is a very quiet intellectual, was reading my newest purchase and giving enlightened comments.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMe-Me is a cat of action, he was very hands-on and super-helpful as a pattern weight. He also “calibrated” my measuring tape, so now most of my tapes are more or less equally stretched.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Generally, I am quite pleased with how this top turned out. I drafted the front and back exactly the same, which might have been a small mistake. I also took too much ease off at the back. But considering that this is my first self-drafted pattern of this kind, I’ll let it slide. I will be doing another top of this kind for sure!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASee? The back looks a bit too tight…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI wonder if I accessorize it, will it look less pajama-y? Or is it that I think it looks pajama-y because it feels like PJs? It’s soooooooooooo comfy…

So Gillian, you think your knit found a suitable home?