Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Midnight Myrtle

Midnight black Myrtle

My lovely Myrtle

I finished my black textured Myrtle, and I love, love, LOVE it! The fabric is so luxuriously soft and drapes so beautifully. It is a joy to wear, wearing it literally feels like I am wrapped up in the world's softest blanket. I will say, this fabric was stretchier than the fabric on my test Myrtle. At first the stretchiness was a real problem - when I sewed the back neckline hem, it got a little stretched out. To remedy this problem, I sewed Stay Tape to most of my seams to keep them from stretching out of shape. It helped a lot with keeping the shape of the dress from getting all wonky-tonk.

Myrtle back

Myrtle emotions!

 My silky textured fabric

Aside from the stretching fabric, I really enjoyed sewing the dress. There aren't many pattern pieces and they come together very quickly. If you do decide to try the Stay Tape, always keep in mind that using it will keep that fabric from stretching (seems obvious, but it's easy to forget). If you really need the fabric to be able to stretch in a certain area, be careful about using the tape. I was hesitant to use it on the waistline, but it ended up being fine - especially since the waist is so gathered. I used my dressform again to help pin the elastic around the waist, just as I did with my practice Myrtle. It worked really well to help stretch the elastic while I pinned.

Pinning the waistline

Josh and I walked around Richmond Sunday morning and took pictures of my dress. We found lots of great photo-ops on the walk from our apartment to breakfast. Earlier in the week I was starting to feel the coming of fall in the air and I wanted to incorporate that into the photos, but when Sunday morning came along, a heat-wave came with it. There was a high of 90 degrees! So I kept the sweater + Myrtle photos to a minimum (but I did include them  :) because I love fall and I can't wait to celebrate it!).

Our neighborhood is blessed with many cats

Breakfast time!

Czeching out the menu

Lots of photos to share this time, but that's what happens when you have a lovely dress and a lovely morning walk  :)  And as promised the ode to fall...

Mixing it up with a striped sweater and vintage cap!

Then I saw the book I was grabbing was about graphic design - awesome :)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Skillet Lickers

My Dad loves tees! For gifts, I often look for fun tee-shirts for him, but I'm sometimes conflicted because I like the idea of making most of my gifts. This year for Christmas, I designed my own tee! My Dad and I are both fans of the band Gid Tanner and the Skillet Lickers, a bluegrassy folky band from the 20s - perfect fun tee idea. I took an old sketch I did of a banjo and mandolin (my Dad plays the banjo & I play the mando) and I updated it to put on the shirt. First I scanned the sketch and brought it into Adobe Illustrator, then I just added more to the sketch and added the circle and text around it.

Skillet Licker style

After I was happy with the Illustrator file, I saved it as a jpeg and uploaded it to an online tee-shirt company. They had a nifty program that allowed me to see the jpeg on the shirt and adjust the image size to my liking. I gave my Dad the shirt for Christmas, and forgot to post it till now  :)

In other news, my beautiful black Myrtle is almost done! I finished the waistband two nights ago, so now I just need to hem it. I'm planning on having pictures up by Sunday night  :D

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Historic Jamestowne + Myrtle beginnings

Model of historic Jamestown

Ever since I found out I would be moving to Virginia, I've wanted to visit the Jamestowne historic site. After months of living here, we finally made it out to this amazing place. I loved it. Living in Richmond I'm surrounded by history everyday, but standing in the same place John Smith and Pocahontas stood hundreds of years ago was thrilling!

Statue of Pocahontas

Recreation of the original palisades

Pretending to be John Smith.

The area inside the fort is fairly small, it's crazy to think about all the struggles and pain those early English settlers went through. Archaeologists are still excavating the site and making new discoveries about what all happened there. They have an archaearium on site, where we were able to view many of the artifacts they have found thus far.

Dig site

Screens for sifting out archaeological finds!

Burial sites inside Jamestowne

For more info on historic Jamestowne, you can check out the museum's website. There website isn't very pretty, but it's pretty informative  :) 

I also started sewing my new Myrtle this weekend!! I was mostly happy with the fit of my practice version and ready for the real deal. My only change to the fit was making the bodice 1" shorter. The fabric on my new version is stretchier than the practice dress, so it's a bit of a pain to sew. I've started using "Stay Tape" to keep the fabric from constantly stretching as I sew (which it really wants to do).

Stay Tape on shoulder seam.

The tape is helping a lot, I would have probably lost my mind by now without it. As you can see, I'm using a beautiful black textured fabric  :)  :)  :)  It's soooo pretty and soft! I hope I can get the the waistband to work because I really want to wear it (the waistband is the trickiest part of the Colette Myrtle). I'm hoping to have finished pictures up later this week!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Vintage Myrtle

Back of my practice Myrtle dress

Last weekend I finished my practice Myrtle dress. I wasn't sure if the cowl neck would look nice on me, but I love it! I bought some beautiful textured black fabric for my Myrtle, but I decided to make a practice version first. The only knit fabric I had on hand was some vintage fabric that has been in my stash since I first started sewing. I almost didn't have enough - I had to do some creative cutting, which is why the stripes on the top of the dress are perpendicular to the stripes on the skirt. 

This was a very enjoyable pattern to sew. With only a few pattern pieces and less fiddling with finishes, it came together very quickly. The most difficult part was encasing the elastic with the middle fabric fold. I had trouble pinning the stretched elastic band around the top of the skirt. My solution was to put the whole dress on my dressform and use the dressform to stretch the elastic while I pinned. It worked so much better, I was getting nowhere trying to stretch the elastic and pin at the same time.

I used my dressform to stretch the elastic while I pinned

Stretching the elastic band while sewing - only slightly tricky

On my next attempt, I'm considering making the bodice an inch-or-so shorter, but I'm not sure if I need to. What do you think? The bodice is a little baggy and hangs down slightly over the elastic. I don't think it looks bad, but it might be better if it didn't hang down.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Ruffliest Ruffle Pouch

Ruffle pouch coin purse.

Several weekends ago my friend Jessica and I had a craft day  :D We made these cute ruffle pouches, following a blog tutorial from See Kate Sew. For some reason we didn't look closely at the cutting directions beforehand, so we hand no idea how big they were going to be. We were imagining clutch size pouches, but they actually turned out being cute little coin-purse sized pouches.

Inside of ruffle pouch

Jessica and I had a fun time picking out fabric. Cutting and sewing the pouches together went fairly smoothly, we only had a few moments of utter confusion. We were mainly confused about attaching the lining and zipper - but overall there were no tears and we ended up with two cute pouches so it was a successful craft day   :)

Back of pouch - love the textured fabric  :D