Five for Friday 4.24

1. After spending so much time on those unwearable culottes (part of the problem, I realized later, is that I sewed one of the pockets in backwards. Fixing it would mean taking so much apart though that I don’t think I’m going to bother; I don’t think they’d be much better after) it’s been hard to work up a lot of excitement about sewing. This is especially true since I don’t have a lot of time to sew. I use our little office/soap storage room to do it and that only gets sunlight first thing in the morning. I should probably invest in a couple of lamps so I can be in there in the evenings, but until then, I only have what little time I can fit in before work or on the weekends. I decided that the next project I wanted to tackle is this terrific dress, another one from Liesl. This is one of her Lisette patterns that she publishes with Butterick and the terse directions and complicated cutting layout and basically everything about it makes me really miss working with indie patterns, but I love the dress and want to to wear it and will persevere. I had initially wanted to do the sewalong with her (how gorgeous is her hand-dyed silk fabric?), but underestimated how much time it was going to take to cut out the pieces, so I’m behind. It’s helpful to have the write-ups to refer to though.
I’m using double gauze that I bought from Fancy Tiger Crafts. I initially had ordered a blue-gray, but they sold out of it before my order was processed and I substituted this indigo color instead. It’s a really gorgeous shade, a very green-toned light navy that absolutely no thread matches.

2. Speaking of Fancy Tiger, visting their site is dangerous. How gorgeous is this linen gauze?
It reminds me of the work of one of my favorite lettering designers, Eva Black, who’s started selling paintings recently.

3. This site superimposes a map of New York City over maps of other cities. It’s pretty interesting to compare, especially since they also provide population numbers.

4.Emma Thompson interviews Hugh Laurie, wins hearts.

5. Clickhole’s oral history of Mad Men is pretty hilarious. “Elisabeth Moss (Peggy Olson): Even for scenes he wasn’t in, Jon would burst into whatever room we were filming in and shout, ‘No, I’m not Don Draper! Don Draper exploded! I’m Dick Whitman instead! Yowza!'”

Spring/summer sewing

This is the time of year when I get excited about sewing all over again. Partly it’s because I’m looking ahead to warm-weather clothes, which are so much more conducive to sewing than most winter clothes. And partly I think it’s just part of the year’s cycle; after months of rich braises and knitting, I crave crunchy salads and sewing. Turn turn turn and suchlike.

So I’m drawing up a sewing list, based on what I’d like to be wearing this summer. I’ll probably make a couple of Staple Dresses and Everyday Skirts. There’s a muslin of the latter mentioned in the post linked in the last sentence, and I have one in the same black cotton/silk twill fabric as that dress just waiting to be hemmed. I think both of those patterns would be nice in a fairly large-scale print, something like this Charley Harper nuthatch print, which marches right up to the too-whimsical line, but stays on the right side, I think, since it’s so graphic.

I have a muslin of the Scout Tee on my kitchen table waiting to be sewn together; once I have the sizing nailed down, I’ll make several in simple graphic patterns like these (both from Purl). It seems like an incredibly versatile pattern; the shape looks like it’ll work with skinny or slouchy pants, full or narrower skirts.
41366_zoom41369_zoomThe directions call for sewing the shoulder and side seams before setting the sleeve caps in, but I’m used to doing it the way sweaters are assembled: sew the shoulder seams, set in the sleeve cap, then sew one side seam from the lower edge to the sleeve cuff. It just makes so much more sense and seems so, so much less annoying. I think I’m going to try one sleeve each way on the muslin and see how it goes. I can’t see any reason why the easier way wouldn’t work just as well, but I guess I’ll find out.

The Gabriola skirt from Sewaholic is really chic and pretty. It would be a stretch for me to actually execute–there’s some fancy piecing business around the waist that calls for precision and attention–but I love it.
IMG_9274__06181.1391810470.1280.1280I’d also love to make a version of this Mociun dress, which is no longer being produced, but I can’t find a pattern that really looks like it.mociunsilkdressPlenty of people have adapted existing patterns to make their own. I’m not sure my pattern fitting/drafting skills are there yet, but maybe I’ll give it a shot. It doesn’t seem that complicated.

knit topCarolyn hipped me to this top, which I love unreservedly and would wear constantly. It looks a lot like a warm-weather version of a tunic from Uniqlo that I’ve been wearing at least once a laundry cycle all winter. The only thing stopping me from buying the pattern and enough fabric for three or four versions is that my sewing machine isn’t great for knits—the zigzag stitch doesn’t work and the repair guy I took it to said it would be more expensive to fix than to replace the machine—and I don’t have a serger. I do have a few friends who do though…