The One That Got Away

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I thought I would post about the one that got away…the one that I spend days and nights thinking about, yearning for, wishing I would have done things differently….

Vogue Special Edition S-4270 A
Vogue Special Edition S-4270 A

What, you thought I was talking about a man?!  Silly goose…

I stumbled across this beauty on eBay several months ago.  It was love at first sight.  I ooh-ed.  I aaw-ed.  I didn’t even blink at the $100+ current bid…it was love after all…you can’t put a price tag on love.

Then, as often happens in could-have-been-great relationships, reason got in the way.  Logic came between us.  Sure, it’s an EXQUISITE dress.  But when would I ever have an occasion to make and wear this beauty?  I have exactly one formal event each year – my company Christmas party.  And the dress code for that is more cocktail than black-tie.  This masterpiece is only fit for a red carpet! 

My mouse hovered over the “place bid” button for what seemed like an eternity.  Then, I tearfully clicked on that giant red X in the upper right corner of my screen – my love was never to be seen again. 

I often replay that moment in my mind…if I had only done things differently, would we be happily together today?  No one knows.  And even though I know it would be foolish to buy this pattern, I can’t get it out my head.  I can’t say what I’ll do should we ever meet again, but I tend to think I would push reason aside and leap forward with my foolish heart.

Do you have a pattern that you couldn’t turn away, even though it had no place in your life?  Or did you pass up on your chance to buy a pattern or some fabric and you can’t stop kicking yourself?  Let’s hear about the un-happy endings today to balance out all the gushy mushy lovey stuff.

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY EVERYONE

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Sew Slow…

You may be doubting me, but I really am working on a project.  I promise!  Look, proof:

Taking Flight
Taking Flight

This was taken a few days ago, but I’m horrible about taking “in progress” pictures, so it’s all I have for now. 

I’m currently making a blouse out of the beautiful Britex printed silk that I mentioned before.  It is such a gorgeous fabric…and I only have one little yard of it…and they’re sold out now!  So I’m going very slowly to make sure I don’t mess up.  And…let’s face it, I’m just a slow seamstress. 

I absolutely admire those of you who whip up 7-10 garments per month!  You definitely need Super Sewist capes!

Conquering the world one garment at a time!
Conquering the world one garment at a time!

Which brings me to a topic that I’ve often wondered about – how do you find time to sew as often as you like?  I struggle with time management.  I leave my house before 6:00 AM for work, get home around 5:00 PM…then there’s exercising with Mr. Thimble…dinner…cleaning the kitchen…every-day household chores, and early to bed so I can wake up at 5:00 the next morning.  I only have a couple of hours that I could possibly spend sewing during week nights, and usually I’m so exhausted I can’t force myself off of our oh-so-comfy couch to do it.

 Should i just accept the fact that I’ll never be a Super Sewist?  Or should I learn to adjust to less sleep?  That option is dangerous though…I closely resemble this lovely creature when I am sleep-deprived: 

Head of Medusa. Marble, 1630.
Head of Medusa. Marble, 1630. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Please share your words of wisdom!

The Blue Sonja Dress

Do you ever start a project that you think will take just a few hours and will be instant gratification…and then you hit road bump after road bump and two weeks later you’re STILL not finished?  This was one of those projects…but now that I’m finally done, I’m really happy with the results!

Elie is my best model
Elie is my best model

IMG_0076

I’ve wanted to make a skater dress for a long time, and when I found the Sonja pattern on Burdastyle I knew it was the one.  I really liked working with this pattern, and the instructions were easy to follow.

My problems came when I tried to fit the bodice.  I spent some quality time with my muslin – took in the side seams; shortened the bodice; etc – and it finally fit perfectly.  But for some reason, when I constructed the bodice out of my fashion fabric, it was way off!  I ended up having to re-fit the bodice in the final dress.  Still, I finally got a product that I’m mostly happy with…although there are definitely a few things that I would fix if I could…but when is that not the case?

A little bunching at the back...sigh
A little bunching in the back…sigh

I tried some different seam finishes in this dress.  I couldn’t find the right seam binding in my local fabric stores, so I tried my overedge foot for the first time.  I love it!  Although, I’m not convinced that was the best finishing technique for this silk…but it worked.

Zig Zag Overedge
Zig Zag Overedge
The old fold 'n stitch
The old fold ‘n stitch

I hand-picked the zipper and the lining on the inside to keep it in place.

Hand-picked Zipper
Hand-picked Zipper

I really love this dress, and I think I’ll be making a few more.  I definitely want one in a print for a casual day dress…maybe my Spoonflower designed fabric!

Ta-Da!
Ta-Da!

In other news, my Britex Flocking Birds printed silk arrived, so I’ll have to make a decision on what it should become when it grows up – blouse? skirt?  Any suggestions?  I only have a yard so I’m pretty limited.  Apparently it’s now sold out and they will not be getting it back in stock, so I need to do something special with this precious yard of Italian finery…

What will I become?
What will I become?

Emerald is my Favorite Color

http://www.pantone.com/pages/pantone/index.aspx
http://www.pantone.com/pages/pantone/index.aspx

I realize this is old news, but when I heard that emerald was named the official color of 2013, I knew it was fate smiling down on this green-loving-girl.  Emerald has long been my favorite color!

This year, Emerald is playing a particularly important role in my life.  My too-incredible-for-words hubby and I are going to IRELAND for our anniversary! 

The Cliffs of Moher in Ireland.

English: Trim Castle, Co Meath, Ireland, at su...

I’m not a person who needs to travel to feel satisfied in life.  But Ireland has been calling me since I was a wee lass.  It’s truly the only place that I’ve ever felt the need to see.  I listen to Irish Traditional Radio all day at work and I would give my left ear to be able to dance like Coco Rocha.

http://irishamerica.com/2011/12/coco-rocha/
http://irishamerica.com/2011/12/coco-rocha/

I’m finally going to see the Emerald Isle this year!  I’m so excited I’m actually tearing up..pathetic much?

English: Ring of Kerry - Derrynane Bay
English: Ring of Kerry – Derrynane Bay (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ancient fort, Ring of Kerry, County Kerry, Ire...
Ancient fort, Ring of Kerry, County Kerry, Ireland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ll have to get started on some emerald-inspired looks to wear on our vacation!  Maybe an emerald green coat?  I’m loving this Britex wool!

http://www.britexfabrics.com/heathered-emerald-textured-wool-blend-coating.html
http://www.britexfabrics.com/heathered-emerald-textured-wool-blend-coating.html

A Fabric of My Own

I’ve only been a part of the blogging world for a very short time, but I’m already in love with you guys!  You have introduced me to so many amazing things.  My favorite find of the moment?  Spoonflower.com!

Gertie gets credit for this one.  She mentioned Spoonflower in a post recently.  It’s an amazing website where you can design your own fabric!  When I read about it, I couldn’t wait to jump right in – I felt like I was in the Project Runway fabric challenge!  But…I was having trouble coming up with a design that I really loved. 

Today, I stumbled upon the talented Lauren’s blog, A Stitch Too Few, and she mentioned Colourlovers.com for creating color palettes to use as a guide when sewing a wardrobe – genius idea by the way!

Colourlovers solved my Spoonflower problem!  It’s just the coolest website.  Besides allowing you to create color palettes, they have pre-made patterns that you can color and save, or you can create your own patterns if you wish.

I used a couple of their pre-made patterns, colored them to my heart’s content, and saved them as a photo.  Then I uploaded the photo to Spoonflower and BAM!  I’ve created my very own custom fabric!  I can tell right now that my wallet will not find this discovery quite as amusing as my sewing machine will 🙂

I have many hours of tinkering ahead of me, but here are a few patterns that I’ve created so far and how they translate to fabric:

Lilac Fields Lilac Fields Fabric Peacock Stripes

Peacock Stripes Fabric

Spring Chevron

Spring Chevron Fabric

 Tribal Miranda

Tribal Miranda Fabric

I’m not very experienced in sewing with prints, and honestly, I just don’t wear them very often.  I’ve always been a solids kind of gal.  But I’m feeling like livening up my wardrobe a bit and this seems like the perfect way to do it!

Does anyone else have some good Spoonflower or Colourlover tips?  Are you dying to design your own fabric, or do you feel that you can easily find whatever you’re looking for in fabric stores already?

The Settle Down Dress

Since I’m still working on my Blue Sonja Dress and don’t have a finished product to reveal yet (I know…what the heck?) I thought I would do a post about the garment that I am most proud of: The Settle Down Dress.

I became quite obsessed with the singer Kimbra last year, and I fell in love with the dress that she wore in her Settle Down music video:

http://letsgetthrifty.wordpress.com
http://letsgetthrifty.wordpress.com

It was fun and flirty, but that sheer panel in the front added just the right amount of sexy sass! Since I wouldn’t have any occasion to wear a dress like that myself, I decided to make it for my friend instead.  She was getting married and this seemed like the perfect dress for her to wear to her bachelorette party.  A Settle Down dress before she settled down!

 Alix Kimbra

I followed Susan Khalje’s Craftsy class – The Couture Dress – in making it.  We fitted her in a muslin to make sure it was absolutely perfect.

Since I was making this from a visual inspiration and didn’t have a pattern for the dress, I made what I like to call a hybrid pattern.  I took pieces from several patterns and merged them together to get exactly what I wanted.  I never could find a good guide for the center illusion panel, so it was a product of experimenting and lots of trial and error before I got it right.

Kimbra FrontKimbra Back My friend looked spectacular in her dress, and I loved getting to give her a custom garment for her party.

Kimbra Inspriation and MuseAlix Kacie 2 I spent a good part of last year making gifts for others, so I think this year I’m going to be a little more selfish 🙂