Summer Clothes, one from a Remnant

Subtitled: More clothes I’ve Made for Myself that I Wouldn’t Be Caught Dead Wearing…

🙂 Confession: I’m not the greatest seamstress in the world. One reason why is that I don’t get enough practice. And I’m very dyslexic when it comes to reading pattern instructions. I can read a line of instructions over and over again, and still not get it. I can grasp the idea if I have a picture to look at. Some patterns leave a lot out, either in the picture or the text. Perhaps early Alzheimers? No, I’ve always had this problem with sewing…

Maybe this goes back to my traumatic years as a junior-high home ec student. I think our teacher, poor Miz Thomas, retired or went into the nursing home after our class graduated. She certainly had a nervous tic and gritted her teeth all the time when we were on deck. But that wasn’t solely our fault; her daughter, Lucretia (I’m not making this up) was getting married and so she wanted us to go through all the trousseau-building exercises a debutante could possibly undertake in the late sixties/early seventies, along with dear sweet Lucretia, and to do it all up in style. We had to choose ourselves a silver, china, and crystal pattern for our own virtual registry. Miz Thomas did not like that I chose black crystal goblets from the Lenox catalog. From then on, she saw me as The Devil. The A-line skirt I made in class (well, to be honest, my mom finished it because I was totally inept) was one of the best articles of clothing I’ve ever owned. I chose the color (fire-engine red) and the fabric (a bottom-weight cotton blend that maybe had to be ironed a little?) and it fit me perfectly. Thus began my career of thinking up great things to sew. But unfortunately, my best-laid plans often (always?) fell short of perfection. Sigh.

Here is the remnant that started the Summer 2014 sewing binge:

denim remnant

stretch denim remnant

It’s a 2-yard, 60-inch-wide piece of stretch denim I got at a yard sale YEARS ago that was held in a retirees mobile home park. Retiree=hence, the very organized packaging in a labeled zip-lock bag. I needed to use stretch denim for this project, #113 trousers from Burda Spring 2014 magazine.
Burda trousers

Burda 113 Trousers

I finished them pretty quick, and they turned out fantastic except…they don’t fit me in the waist. I don’t know if I misinterpreted the sizing, if I gained way, way too much weight on my recent road trip, or if I neglected to add seam allowance (I thought it was supposed to be included in Burda’s printed patterns?)
trousers

Burda trousers

This is the blouse, or rather tunic (because it’s longer) I chose to make to match the remnant trousers. I bought the fabric at Joann’s (not a remnant) thinking I wanted some more feminine casual wear, rather than my usual sweat-hoggian t-shirts and cargo-shorts. The pattern is view A of Simplicity 2254.

tunic

Simplicity tunic

This also didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped. 😥 For the hem, I used my Blind Hem Foot. The results are less than perfect but with the busyness of the fabric pattern, you don’t see the blips too much.

And then there was this other outfit, also bought the fabric at Joann’s, a beautiful peach stretch cotton sateen for the pants, Burda 144 trousers, and a stretchy knit jersey coordinating print for the top, Very Easy Vogue V8534.

top & trousers

top & trousers

These pants fit very well, anyway. Stretchy, great length, taper in the legs, pretty color. Not sure about the top; it fits well but it makes me look like Shamu…I do have a back-up semi-sweat-hoggian tee-shirt that will also serve…

I snapped this of a woman passing by in Charleston when we were there…nice to see women in lovely summer dresses at work, out to lunch, walking around town…so feminine, so “Southern Living”…but for me to wear a dress somewhere casual other than church, doubtful!

Charleston

fleeting glimpse of Charleston woman passing by

OK, so I fixed the waistline: there were 4 rather large darts, so I re-made them each a bit smaller and added a piece of denim to the waistband, making it a few inches wider. The piping is a day-glo orange, I guess it looks white with the flash.

Burda trousers

finished trousers with piping

Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts

Persimmon Café

yep, a café inside a laundromat. contrast. Charleston, SC

for more Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts look here.

Weekly Photo Challenge 2: “Between”

Charleston SC

Charleston SC

Couldn’t resist. Tangerine, beloved ballad from the shadows of my youth…”and now a thousand years between!” For more WPC look here.

Things that make you go “MMMMMM…made in America…mmmmm”

I got an email from the Gainesville Handweavers Guild to be on the lookout for a new, made-in-America quilting cotton fabric. AMB’s web site said that the fabric could be found at a couple of shops in the NC – SC area where I happened to be for a few days, visiting while a family member attended Evolution2014 in Raleigh. IMG_1841

Cary NC Quilt Shop

Quilt Shop in Cary, NC

I stopped by here and snagged some fat quarters of the American Made Brand fabric, which my email said is from cotton grown in Arkansas, milled in SC…and then apparently marketed out of Seattle.

While in the vicinity of Raleigh, I was by no means subject to any sort of sensory deprivation. The beautiful sights, flavors, and atmosphere had me swooning with summer joy!

Raleigh Convention Center

View of our hotel from inside the Raleigh Convention Center

Convention Center artwork

Convention Center artwork

For more art on display at the center, click here.
Raleigh Convention Center

Raleigh Convention Center

One regret: the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo is coming to Raleigh, right here at the Convention Center, this weekend, and I will be long gone by then! If only…woulda, coulda, shoulda….sniffle…

We got take-out from The Pit, a famous North Carolina Barbecue place that has been featured on Man V. Food and Bobby Flay’s Throwdown. My favorite: the mashed potatoes with spicy gravy. Another: Soul Rolls, a deep-fried egg roll stuffed with smooth, piquant, mellow-seasoned chopped pork and collard greens and tender-crisp shredded carrots. We sampled a lot of delicious food in this town.

So what do you think about AMB: American-Made Brand fabric? Everyone I’ve spoken to about it is excited that there’s an American-made cotton quilting fabric on the market now. Is anyone up to their Farm-to-Fabric challenge? Hurry, there’s a deadline to register.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Between

Just visiting on thee border, Pedro…in that place between the states of Carolina, where ordinary things may at times appear to take on unusual size and stature…

IMG_1807

For more weekly photo challenge at WordPress look here.

A Size 18 Tee from Sightly Less Than .9 Yard

Yes. Well, now I know I can do it, but it’s not the best top I’ve ever made for myself!

tee shirt

Remnant tee top

First: the SIZE issue. A mature woman with a size 40 bust measurement can have a number of designated sizes. In ready-to-wear, lately a 14 does it for me. But when you make the jump from young, lean and lithe in figure to…ahem…mature, weighty, gravity-affected, your bulk may not be located in the same area as others who fall into the same measurement slots. I have relatively wide shoulders, and not a voluptuous cup size. My waist measurement is never what the patterns say it’s supposed to be compared to my bust measurement. And I’m shorter than the average woman, too. So according to sewing patterns such as Vogue, Butterick, Simplicity, I should be a size 18-20. My Jalie pattern size would possibly be a Y. Burda size: 23 Petite (best case scenario) or a 46 (adjusted for height). For this tee top, I used Emma Seabrooke’s SewkeysE Claire pattern in a size A: her size 10 shoulders with CD cup size.

remnant tag

remnant info tag: end price was 50% off this

Next: the FABRIC. To make a top with set-in sleeves out of less than a yard of fabric, the remnant has to be pretty wide: this one is 57 inches. And the sleeves are very short. The last top I made with this pattern was from a knit remnant that had some lycra in it, so it looks and fits differently than this one and is stretchier. This fabric, a Nipk Caviar Glitter Tie-Dye in shades of yellow, orange and peach, is 100% polyester and the label says it must be hand-washed. That’s because it has thousands of little glued-on metal dots and hearts cascading over the fabric, that glitter in rainbow colors when the light hits them. Really pretty, but once I tried it on, I didn’t so much like the color on me. It’s also more see-through-ie than I thought it would be. 😦 I feel good in peach and orange, but yellow does not flatter me. See what you think from the picture.

tee shirt

Claire Tee in remnant Caviar Glitter Tie-Dye Knit

BTW, this is my 200th post on this blog! I think a celebration may be in order!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Room

Room

Room

The central air conditioner is broken. We are holed up in our bedroom which, having purchased a portable air conditioner and set it up within, has become our living, dining, and everything else room until we get it fixed.

For more weekly photo challenge: Room look here.

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