Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bats in the Belfry Update

There were no entries for the blog's birthday giveaway, so there is no winner.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bats in the Belfry (Plus: Announcements and a Giveaway)

Firstly, on the which dress pattern to make for my younger brother's wedding, I think I'm going to go with McCall's 5269.  I had originally planned to go with view B, but view A is starting to grow on me. Hmm...

Secondly, Cuz I Said Sew turns one today.  Happy birthday, blog!  It's been a weird year for me; most are filled with ups and downs, but this year has seen higher highs and lower lows than usual.  But whatever doesn't kill me can only make me stronger, right?  I hope the coming year is more stable.

Moving on, as part of my resolution to work my way through the stash is to use up the scraps from other projects.  I still had some glittery bat fabric left from the overnight bag and the clutch, and I enjoy making stuff for other people, and the blog's birthday was coming up.  When such factors converge, it seems like fate, or close enough for me.

Best picture EVAR!  It's not this twisted IRL; this is just
a really bad photograph
Simplicity 9949 has a nice assortment of bags.  I made views H & K.  Let's start with K, the tissue holder.  This really is super simple.  Like easier than curtains simple.  It's all straight lines.  This would be an excellent first project.

View H is a cylindrical bag.  Once again, this fabric is not bidirectional, so I split the outer part of the bag on the bottom seam line again.  The lining is the same green I used for the clutch.  The ends were supposed to be piping (a cord encased in bias tape), but I used the bias tape to just cover the ends.  If you go that route, you'll probably want the tape a little wider.  This one is a little harder, but still easy enough for a beginner.

I'm giving away both of these, as well as some other assorted spooky goodies, as a thanks to my readers for sticking with me over the tumultuous year.  To enter, just leave a comment to this post.  You don't have to be a follower of this blog, or even have a blog of your own.  One entry per person, please.  The contest will run until 2/27, when I will pick someone at random as the winner.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

T Time

This month's CorpGoth status report is Love What You Do.  There are a lot of things I love about my job: it's interesting, it's challenging, I have some great co-workers, and the pay is great.  But one of the things I love the most about my job is the lack of dress code.  Even the president of the company wears shorts.  No one cares that my hair is purple, I'm pierced, or that I have visible tattoos.  People might not understand my spooky weirdness and Halloween addiction, but they accept it and admire how I express it with sewing.

So for this entry, I've indulged my passion for stripes and made a long-sleeved t-shirt.  The fabric is a thin black and orange-striped knit I bought a while ago in a lot of end pieces on eBay.  A burn test revealed that I don't know how read the results of a burn test, but I think this is a poly-cotton blend.  The pattern is McCall's 4261, in a mix of view A, view B, and my own crazy head.  It was harder to find a long-sleeved t-shirt pattern than you'd think.  I was resorting to looking at PJ patterns before I remembered I had this one in my (embarrassingly large) pattern stash.  And, may I please state that this was probably the most wrinkly, poorly folded pattern I have ever encountered?

The sleeves from view B are only three-quarters, so I used the sleeves from the jacket.  I should have redrafted the sleeve from the jacket to fit the armscye of the t-shirt, but they were pretty close to begin with and it's a knit anyway, so I just plunged ahead.  I stupidly forgot to lengthen the sleeves (which is stupid because it's my #1 complaint about RTW garments), so I instead lengthened the cuffs.  They still aren't as long as I would like, but not too ridiculously short.

The collar of the t-shirt is just meant to be stitched under, but I used the leftover rib knit for the cuffs instead.  I decided it should be 3/4" (1.9 cm), plus the seam allowance.  To arrive at the length, I found the percentage stretch of the cuffs to the sleeve and just applied that to the collar.

The difficulty here is minimal.  View B has only four pieces: front, back, and the two sleeves.  Sewing knits can be tricky; you have to stretch them a little when you sew (but not too much, as you can see the puckering a bit on the bottom).  I was completely fearless when I began sewing, so would sew knits all the time, not knowing it was supposed to be more difficult.  So this would probably be a good pattern for a beginner with no fear.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Gargie Award

The lovely Laura Morrigan of Roses and Vellum has nominated me for the Gargie Award!  Thank ya, ma'am, this is my first ever award.  In return, I nominate:

One little announcement: I have been getting a lot of spam comments lately, so I am turning word verification back on.  Sorry, I know it's a pain.

Another little announcement: the one year anniversary of my blog is coming up, and I will be doing a giveaway as a thank you to my readers.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Assistance Requested

My resolution to work my way through the stash is not going well.  First there was the was the vest, followed by the purse (I actually don't feel too bad about because the purse because it was made from the leftover fabric from the vest - fabric that would be otherwise occupying my stash).  Then a friend from grad school asked me to make her a custom swimsuit.  This all would have been fine, but then I remembered my youngest brother is getting married this May.  While I do have dresses I could wear (and a tuxedo I made for the wedding for one of my sisters), I would prefer to make a new one.  This is where you come in, dear readers.  Due to a situation in my personal life, I am the victim of indifference and indecisiveness, so I would like your assistance in selecting a dress pattern.

There are two things to note here:
  • For anything sleeveless or short-sleeved (i.e., pretty much everything), I will probably need some sort of wrap or shrug.
  • Footwear is a bit of an issue.  I don't do shoes without socks or hosiery, unless it's sandals.  It makes my feet feel gross if I do, and I get nasty blisters.  While it won't be super hot in May, I am not sure that I am going to be comfortable in hosiery.  On the other hand, ankle socks with heels might be fine for work, but that might be too informal for a wedding.
Here they are, in no particular order:

via Butterick
Butterick 5814

  • I'd be supporting a fellow blogger and sewist Gertie.

  • I don't have the kind of curves a dress like this needs, so I might just end up coming off as pathetic.
  • Not sure how this dress would look with tights or socks.
  • This might be too risque for a wedding.
via McCall's
McCall's 5954 (view B)Pros:
  • Looks comfy.
  • Probably easy to make.

  • I think it looks a little too bridesmaid-y.
  • Might be too plain.
via Simplicity
Simplicity 1875 (view C)Pros:
  • Very interesting cut, I think.

  • This has all the problems of a short dress and a long one.
  • Boned.  Ew.

via Simplicity
Simplicity 3784 (view A)Pros:
  • Probably my favorite of the bunch.  Simple, yet elegant.

  • I freaked a little when I found this used horsehair braid.  It turns out that it isn't made from horsehair anymore, but I still haven't worked with it before and this would be quite the project to mess up on.
  • Also has boning.
  • Not that I'm known for busting moves at weddings, but this would be difficult to dance in.
via Simplicity
Simplicity 4401 (view D with E or F)Pros:
  • I've been meaning to make myself a long black satin skirt anyway.

  • It's a bad sign when the clothes don't fit the model all that well.  The top worn by the model on the right gaps in the upper chest.  Or perhaps I am just put off by her deer-in-headlights look.
via Vogue
Vogue 1176Pros:
  • Another simple, yet elegant dress.
  • No boning!

  • I generally don't do Vogue patterns because I feel they're more work but usually don't fit any better.  I have been meaning to give them another go though.
  • Anything I said about the wiggle dress applies here.
via Vogue
Vogue 1296Pros:
  • This skirt.  I LURVES IT.
  • Vogue again.
  • The top looks more like a jacket.

via Vogue
Vogue 8852Pros:
  • Likely my second favorite.

  • It's Vogue.
  • Looks difficult, and possibly uncomfortable to wear.
via Pattern Review
Simplicity 3785Pros:
  • Long sleeves, therefore no shrug required.

  • This might be too informal for a wedding.
  • I fear this would make me look shapeless.

via Ten Thousand Hours of Sewing
McCall's 5269 (view B)Pros:
  • Looks easy.

  • The tights/shoes situation.

So, readers, what do you think?  Which of these patterns do you like, and which fabrics and colors would be best?  Any other patterns out there that you would like to suggest?