Pink Bird Dress Bodice!

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Hello Everyone!

This dress is going to work! Hooray! Here is a picture of the bodice (sleeves unfinished and facings needing to be tacked down). These are mirror photos taken in my bathroom. Please excuse the reflections of water splatters.

I thought I would also include a photo of the inside of the skirt. Here you can see the point where the godets meet the main gores of the skirt.

I now have almost everything completed. I need to finish the topstitching on one sleeve and add in the final godet (I left one whole side open to install an invisible zipper). Then I have to hem the dress. I have no idea how I am going to actually determine the length and mark the hem.

Any suggestions?

The Shopping Trip


Last Sunday my fabulous friend took me to a couple of shops to try on (literally) piles of clothing. I took sneaky dressing room photos and we irritated the dressing room staff significantly. It was so much fun!

We focused mainly on shapes and styles rather than colors. When I made my fashion collages, I was very focused on a lot of volume on the lower half and a trim, maybe a little edgy upper half. My idea being that this is both dramatic and gives the illusion of having a waist. I am also open to tunic/short knit dresses with leggings underneath, as they seem comfortable, but I didn't find any images of these that I liked.

After trying a few things on, my friend's recommendation was to go for slimmer pants and more flowy, feminine tops. Our first stop was Zara (watch out! it's flash-heavy). We were both drawn to the floaty airy tops, but most of them do not define the bust at all. But they were interesting and a little dramatic and quite possibly "toddlerable", though they are not anything that I would wear in a professional setting. It's possible that something like the last one would work with a jacket.

Zara, by the way, has harsh overhead dressingroom light and very stringent dressing room policies.

Then we went down the block to Banana Republic. Here there were more grown-up looks without being too boring. The coral print top below looked better in real life than in that photo. And I have a pattern for a similar top (which I could make to fit me better - I hope) in a recent BWOF. (Although it is such a seventies comback - I don't know if I can handle it.) The two sweaters I loved dearly.

Banana Republic has a far more pleasant fitting room policy and better lighting, but they did get a tad annoyed with me for not finding anything that worked.

I also tried on a couple of blouses at both Zara and Banana Republic. One wasn't photographed and the other two photos didn't turn out well. These tops were also too small, but you can get the idea that if they only had my correct size that these would be flattering.

The last several items are fairly toddlerable and spinnable as professional attire with an added jacket and/or fabulous accessories. I have already downloaded the JJ blouse from Burdastyle, which could be a good start toward a fitted blouse.

I need to think more about how I really want to look. It's hard for me to think about swapping very wide legged trousers for narrow ones. Maybe this indicates the difference between warmer weather clothing and cooler weather clothing.

The Jalie Top and a New Project

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I told you already that I love my Jalie sweetheart top. However the next time I make it I might make the front a little narrower through the bust and I will add a bit of clear elastic to the front neck band to help it stay snug even after the fabric warms up and loosens. I already have new fabric and elastic just waiting.

My current project is the Simplicity wrap-front dress (made out of the pink fabric with blossoming branches and birds). Of course the bird fabric turned out to be a tad sheer, so I had to go back to the fabric store to pick up something to underline it. I am going to use the underline and finish method that Summerset describes here.

Things always seem to get more complicated...

Sewing Success!! Jalie 2794

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Hooray! I tried out my new Jalie pattern today. It's been reviewed by more than 30 people over at Pattern Review, and it is worth it! This went together so quickly and looks so nice. I'm going to make several, I think.

Here are two photos. Pardon the lighting and my tired-looking self. The fabric is from a remnant bin and is super thin. I would like to buy a more sumptuous knit and try it again. I still have to hem the sleeves and the bottom and fix the front band so that the seam allowance lies flat. But LOOK!!

I love it! Hooray, hooray, hooray!

My Latest Non-Sewing Project is...

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Trading cards. Let me explain.

There a crowd of kids at Peter's school who trade Pokemon cards. They seem harmless enough, but something about it bugs me.

Maybe it's the way 15 or 20 kids would rather sit on the cold hard asphalt on a winter day rather than running around playing on the, erm, playground. Or maybe it's the haggling over any given trade or that the kids who have the most cards are usually the ones whose parents have more expendable cash. It could just be my dislike for licenced characters of any sort.

My kids don't watch tv or very many movies. So often they are in the dark a bit when it comes to popular culture stuff like Disneyland and Pokemon. Peter would love to start trading Pokemon cards, but I am hesitant (especially since he can't read and he could easily get ripped off since he has no idea what he is doing or what the entire premise of trading cards is about).

We talked about it on the way home from school a couple of days ago. He knows that Pokemon are licenced characters and that our family doesn't do licenced characters. He also recognizes that he doesn't really know what all is going on with the cards except that there is some fighting between the different characters (this would also not be ok in our house).

As we were talking, and it did get a little heated and emotional at points, Peter spouted out,

"We should make our own trading cards with pictures of our friends and write down what they like to do!"

Well, yes. Yes we should. And not only could we make sets and give them to our friends as gifts, we could play all sorts of card games with the sets of cards - Go Fish and Rummy immediately come to mind.

To this end I have searched for an open source desktop publishing software and have downloaded Scribus. I have been happily fiddling away at this program trying to come up with some card templates.

I love that boy. He's always thinking.