Monday, January 25, 2016

Yo Dawg, I Heard You Liked Sewing

For those of you who haven't heard, the greater DC area, was the center of a major snowstorm over the weekend.  I don't know what our official totals were, but the meteorologists were projecting two to three feet, and I had a snow drift up to the top of garage.  Thankfully, I didn't lose power, and I'm waiting for the plows to come through (which they haven't since Friday night).

This fabric was a gift from The Boyfriend.  We had gone to Joann's shortly after Christmas because he wanted to peruse their outdoor fabric for his boat.  I saw this and cooed over it, but declined to buy it.  I ran off to work the next day and he went back and bought it for me, leaving it in my sewing room.  I only discovered it a week and a half ago, which tells you how frequently I go in my sewing room these days.

So the combination of being snowed in (I couldn't open my door because the snow was piled so high.  I had to take the glass pane out.) and four yards of lovely fabric in the stash that was calling to me makes for Snow Day Sewing.

The first task was to find a pattern in the stash that used four yards (ish) of fabric.  It's a weird amount; they're usually 2 to 2.5 or 5+.  I ended up settling for an old favorite, Simplicity 2884, which was also the Nevermore dress.  This was View A, as opposed to B.  The differences are the halter (A ties and B attaches with buttons) and the skirt (A is longer and pleated, whereas B is gathered).  This one went together much faster, probably only slightly from previous experience with it, and mostly because I am not suffering through a divorce like the first time I made this.

I did change how the bodice was constructed so I can slip in bra cups later, so the lining isn't entirely sewn in (which is why the bodice looks somewhat, um, deflated).  I'm going to need to get the beige-ish ones, because white will show through the cream-colored fabric.  Surprisingly, I had cream thread in the stash (not sure from what).  The zipper is actually white, and it came from a pillow cover that had torn.  I ripped the zipper out before throwing the cover in the compost, originally intending to throw it away.  The fabric might have been shot, but the zipper as perfectly functional, so into the stash it went.  Good thing too, because I have a bunch of black zippers in the stash and one in navy blue (the doomed zipper from the elf dress).

 Thank you, The Boyfriend!  If you can't be snowed in with me, making a dress out of your thoughtful gift is a nice substitute.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Jareth III: The Jarthening, Featuring Toby

I had originally written this post in November, with the exception of adding the pictures, intending it to go up immediately.  And then I was going to post it some time in December.  And then I was going to post it last week for David Bowie's birthday.  And with his recent death, I decided that now was the time.

The Boyfriend and I went to Muppet-themed party in November.  When the party was announced, I was in the middle of frantically finishing the dirndl.  He asked what sort of costumes we should wear, and I gave him a dirty look.  Since I already had the Jareth costume in the closet, I told him we were doing Jareth and Toby and I wasn't going to be making two new costumes on top of everything else.  The Alamo Drafthouse was showing the movie last winter, so I had thrown together a hat for him then (which I had mentioned but never did a post about).  This time around, he asked for pajamas too.  In a fit of madness, I agreed.

At first, we were going to emulate the movie costume: one-piece footie pajamas with a boat-ish neck with snaps.  I pointed out that would make bathroom breaks a bit difficult, so we changed it a zip-up front, maybe with a drop seat just to be ridiculous.  I ordered the fabric with that in mind.

...And then The Boyfriend decided he wanted a two-piece, which uses more fabric.  I managed to get it all in, but it was tight.

The pattern I used was Butterick 5572, which I picked out of a number of possible candidates because it had all the adult sizes in the same envelope.  The Boyfriend is very tall, but slightly built, and I'm not very experienced in sewing for him, so I wasn't sure what size he would be.  We also only seen each other on weekends, so getting measurements easily wasn't going to happen.  And, just like me, we carry our height in our limbs, which means sleeves and legs need to be lengthened.  We ended up deciding on an adult medium and added two inches to the sleeves.  For the legs, I just cut them the extra-large length and that was perfect.

This pattern is size for knits, which are super-duper fun to sew.  This isn't a difficult pattern, but I did have some tension issues because the fabric I used wasn't as heavy as I would have liked.  Surprising, considering it was a Riley Blake (and not too cheap either).

So when it came down to it, I churned this out in about five days, finished seams, pockets, at all.  The Boyfriend said they're comfy enough to use as, well, pajamas.

As for my costume, back when I made this, I was still married to the old stick in the mud.  I had intended to pack the crotch, because, well, it is a pretty essential part of the costume.  Not for work, of course, but for the party at my house.  The ex was very upset with that idea and damn near flipped out. he never really explained why, so I still don't know to this day why he was so upset.  All he said was that it would make people uncomfortable.  Butthead.

Anyway, the party goers were the type to be amused by such things, so I decided to stuff.  I was going to use socks, but then I remembered I had this little item in my drawer.  (Ironically, given to me by my ex-husband.)  It's soap, which he bought for me as a gag gift when I saw an ad and found it amusing, but never used it as I'm more of the shower gel type.  I shoved it down my pants and swaggered around.  After a few hours, I was tired of adjusting, so I hung it around my neck.  Which actually worked out pretty well with the costume.

The death of a celebrity never really seems real, because they never seem like real people.  David Bowie, in particular, seemed so far beyond common experience that it was a real shock to me.  To his family and friends, I extend my deepest condolences, and hope he knew in the end how much his art touch other people.