Posted in sewing

This writing thing

So, I’ve had a bit of writer’s block the past month. Not that I don’t have anything to write about, I just don’t like the way it reads (snarky, bitter, tired). Most writers seem to solve this with copious amounts of alcohol and a torrid love affair. Well, hard alcohol every night won’t help me get back down to my dating weight and a torrid affair will not sit well with the the boyfriend I currently have. Damn my early 30s and addiction to all things fried!!

Carolyn and my mom both gave me a needed kick in the arse about my sewing and blogging. So, I’m recommitting to work it like Tany and sew an hour every night.

Last night I started pre-treating fabric for a new dress. Yes, I know I need separates, but dresses are my friend. So, I’m making the BWOF Sherlock Holmes dress again from the September 2007 edition (above). This time the upper will be in solid gray and the bottom in this A-mazing red and black plaid from Carol.

Trena and I had to bargain with each other for this piece. I’m grateful that I am six inches taller and outweigh her by half. Otherwise, I’m not sure I would have been the victor. Speaking of Trena, after I left several messages on her answering machine and multiple comments on her blog, she made me the lovely tag cloud on the right —->>. I have a lot of tags.

And finally, some more UFO busting.

Here’s a secret. I don’t own a white blouse. Not a long sleeve one. Not a short sleeve one. I got nothing I can wear that even passes as a white blouse. I, in fact, don’t even own a white tee shirt. I think the last time I owned a white blouse it was still the Clinton presidency. Not that I have anything against white blouses. I just never find ones I like for less than $60 and I never had good white shirting (well, I do now). Why do I bring this up?
(the bias waistband got stretched out in the construction despite my use of interfacing. I’ll fix that over the winter so it’s picture perfect this summer)

I let this seersucker Patrones skirt languish all summer because I wasn’t going to have anything to wear with it once it was finished. In that vein, please excuse the pink wife beater. It’s the only thing I could dig up that I thought would work for photos. And I don’t normally wear pearls (30th birthday gift from my mom) with wife beaters. But, I was getting ready for work this a.m. and forgot to take them off.

If you are a long-time reader, you might remember this foray into Patrones back in May. It’s been a long time so my recollection on the details are dim. I do know that Lisette helped me out with the instructions, yay! As noted above, be careful with the bias waistband. Mine is all kinds of stretched out. But the fit in general over my swayback is pretty good. And, I will likely never wear this with something tucked in. I’m thinking a white wrap blouse or a white blazer this summer.

I left off the ribbon trim on the bottom because I thought the seersucker didn’t need any jazzing up. It’s totally too late in the season to wear this skirt. But, I might be in a hot climate next month for work and I’m happy to take this with me.

I have one more UFO that I will hopefully finish this weekend. By then, perhaps I’ll get my writing groove back too!
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Side tracked

Just so you know, my background music today is ‘Learn Spanish in Your Car’. I’m going back to Panama in August and the Patrones have put me in a Spanish speaking state of mind!

I never cease to be amazed by the kindness and generosity of others in the online sewing community. I must give a huge thanks to Claire who saw that those were buttons, not studs on the side of the skirt. And, really, I Y Lisette and Paco who told me that the ‘presillas lado’ that I didn’t recognize or find in the dictionary were in fact button loops.

Lisette even went so far as to translate the directions for me when I emailed her to double check the waistband construction order. Huge help. It putzed around with this for HOURS yesterday trying to get it to work. Funky looking, right? Turns out I traced the pieces wrong.

Ahhh. The good thing is re-cutting gave me the idea to change the grain direction for interest and add a few cm since the first one was a tad small.

But, I’m back on track this morning. Except. I just need to add 2 cm, so smaller seam allowances on each side. So, smaller seam allowances. Why is it small? Because I thought it was more economical to buy two 5 pound bags of Gummi Peaches and Gummi Cherries last week. I have to get these out of my house.

Something to note about Patrones that is different than BWOF. First, they just give you the general pattern outline in their layout. Second, they don’t always lay out the pattern pieces in a way to show where each connects. Third, in the layout / line drawing they DO NOT NOTE seam points like A, B, C, D (or 1, 2, 3, 4 in BWOF). Which means you must me super vigilante on checking the pattern for markings because you can’t double check it against the magazine drawing to see if you missed any points. Ask me how I know.

The pink line is my grading up to 42

I also find myself laying out the entire pattern before sewing to make sense of it.
In between all this, I helped my friend Jon finish his wife’s 2007 birthday gift. You may recall he came over last September to start it.

He’s so proud of himself.

Look at this neat trick I picked up from Sherril Miller. She traces the line drawing onto her pattern. I did it for the skirt since there were so many panels. It makes it way easier to see what you’re doing. Plus, it’s really cute.

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Otra falda y Ayudar

Last week I went in to south Baltimore to try out one of the taco trucks I heard about in an NPR story. I went with Anna from my office and ordered for both of us in Spanish. Seeing how she speaks four languages and I’m still working on my birth-given English, I was very proud of myself. I even understood his questions on condiments. What I was really proud of is that it turned out the guy spoke perfectly good English. But, my Survival Spanish was good enough that he didn’t bother switching over. Or, he enjoyed hearing me butcher his mother tongue.

Now, that being said, Patrones is even more of a challenge! Does anyone actually translate the whole directions? Luckily, this week Paco Peralta posted about the most extensive sewing Spanish glossary I’ve come across. It’s like he *knew* this was my Patrones weekend!

Today I’m working on the #52 Vero Moda skirt from the June 2007 Patrones. This gem of a magazine was a gift from Caroline G who I officially met at West PR Weekend (What’s that? You thought after two months I was done talking about WCPR?? Silly Sewist!!). I really love the three piece waistband.

Because this waist is more fitted than the Roberto Musso skirt I made yesterday, I’m doing a muslin — mainly for my swayback and because I am still sorting out the Patrones fit.

There is one part of the directions I don’t get though. If you speak Spanish or the language of Patrones, maybe you can help me out?

It says I need to cut four for my ‘ presillas lados‘. They are strips that are 6cm by 3 cm. I don’t think they are the trim at the bottom since that needs three strips. I *think* this is something I’m sewing along the side of the skirt? I skimmed and found ‘lados‘ used in the following way “con las piezas lados segun senales C-D e hilvanar los pliegues segun patrones; cerrar lados falda” Which I think means sew the ‘lados’ to or along points C & D? Then baste it closed (the little pleat at the hem of the skirt. Que?

Meh. I’ll trace out the pattern and see if I can figure out how it assembles.