Thursday, 29 December 2016

An unexpected start to my holiday break

I'm trying to post once a week, and I was expecting to have some sewing content this week. Unfortunately I ended up in hospital on Boxing Day, thankfully only overnight. However I left with 2 different antibiotics plus a strong painkiler, and a letter to take to my doctor in 3-4 days. I'm seeing him tomorrow, and i'll be seeing the specialist in the hospital again in 6 weeks about managing a new chronic condition.

It could be much, much worse, and I'll be on the waiting list for a test to ensure its not masking anything worse.

I'm disappointed but can deal with it - especially compared to the big C, which wasn't excluded until the specialist examined the CT scans the next morning.

So much unwanted drama, and it's interfering with my holiday plan to finish the last unpacking and sew some pretty dresses. I'll get to that next week, though I suspect at a slow pace than I hope for.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Another vintage half size pattern for my collection

I'm counting down the work days until I can catch up with friends, relax and get some sewing done in my 2.5 weeks off work.

I took the reins off my impulse control for another half size vintage pattern from Etsy. I like the neckline and hope to use it for one of my dress-a-months ... I've now more choices to make me dither when it comes time to cut out the lobster or any of the other fabrics.

First step is to finish the August martini print dress first, and the last steps on the extremely overdue March dress.

Then I need to use the nautical tattoo fabric, as it had a must-use-by December concept attached to it's purchase, still an achievable goal. I had played with the idea of using a sailor collar pattern, but realise that style is more youthful than myself.

After that the lobster fabric, so it's finished well ahead of the concert. Then the mermaids, and I want to wear the aqua/blue dress to work the first day after our unit moves to head office next year. Deferred to March, and if it's pushed back I'll wear it anyway. It goes with the colours selected by the project design team and someone else joked that we should co-ordinate our clothes. The mermaid print is an equally good choice, but it's not really suitable for the office.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

off topic - popsicles for the grown ups

or at least, for those of a legal drinking age.

We just had a couple of 38C days, and luckily Kmart has icy pole (or ice block) molds in stock, at a cheap price. After work last night I stocked up and I'm looking forward to trying one or two of these recipes over my holiday break (I'll be having 2 weeks & 2 days off)

Cucumber Ginger Gin Popsicles

Lime-Basil-Gin Ice Pops

Gin & Elderflower

Gin & Tonic Ice pops

Mohito Ice Blocks

Creamy Margarita Popsicle (though I'd need to make a lactose free version)

This is the moment when I wish it was feijoa season (4-5 months away, cos these sound delicious
Feijoa Gin Ice Lollies

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Another new-to-me half size vintage patternpattern

I'm continuing to pace myself with the unpacking and have finally passed the point where it felt like it would never end.

I've found even more fabric to go into the cupboards. Fabric that I knew I had but was still in plastic tubs somehow, and last night I opened a box of books (I knew I had it!) that was still unpacked from when I moved into my previous home ... back in 1997.  I discarded all but two of them, one that I kept was a prize for coming 1st in 7th Form Accounting for my school.

The pattern drawers are in place, and the tea chest of patterns unpacked into it. I'm sure that I have more patterns in another box but I'll get to them soon.

I got the nautical/tattoo print and the lobster print fabrics out to remind me why I need to keep turtling my way to unpacked. Slow & steady will get there soon enough, and I've taken a rest day each weekend due to exhaustion.

I've bought a couple more vintage patterns, including this Marian Martin #9056 - a half size.

This Anne Adams pattern #4973 isn't half size but I like the bodice detail and can frankenmorph it onto bodice pieces that already fit me.

Monday, 5 December 2016

A sewing increment and another half-size vintage pattern

I'm counting down the days (or big sleeps) until I get my iron injection and it's 3 to go.  I'm hoping that it kicks in as quickly as the previous ones did and that the unpacking gets solidly kicked along as a result.  My unpacking has reached as far as my current/summer sewing boxes of stuff, which was timely as I was rescued by a good friend on Saturday. The sewing guild group I'd usually have gone to was cancelled as the venue wasn't available so instead I took a load of laundry and a couple of sewing projects to my friend's place.

I made a very very casual pair of shorts for around the house wear - cotton rugby jersy in a wine red with an elastic waist and unhemmed.  Summer has arrived and I wore out my previous house-shorts when I moved. I'll possibly add a photo soon - they're purely functional so I've something cool to wear when I go hang out the laundry or take out the rubbish.

I also took the March dress, that has been neglected since I realised that I'd also need to make a slip or half slip before I wear it. However, it was easy to reach and so achievable in the circumstances.  As my friend Colleen said on the day, I am unlikely to get around to making the slip until the dress is finished and I want to wear it. She's right.

Unpacking the tote bag I realised that the bodice wasn't with the skirt & sleeve pieces so I wasn't able to get much further than cutting out the shaped band for the sleeve hem. I'm fairly sure that the bodice is in my sewing machine trolley from my last sewing guild day, where I made the new collar/facing. It must have been in September, as I got the microdot fabric at the end of August.

Because unpacking the stash has made it even more real that I need to shop the stash first, I've used vintage pattern buying as a substitute for sewing during the moving process. I bought this one on ebay AU last week, even through I could draft the collar myself this way I don't need to.  The button on each collar is a simple way to draw the eye up the body ... I hope.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Slowly unpacking (first the stash)

I definitely felt more swamped with boxes from the stuff in storage, than I did with the initial move of the home stuff. I was equally exhausted from this last pack of things + clean up of the old space. I also realised that I'm back under the line of iron depleted and will hopefully be getting an iron fix in the next 3-4 weeks.

There's a massive cull to be done as I unpack, and I can't get into my built in cupboards/wardrobe as there are boxes of 'stuff' in front.  I decided that it would be smarter to unpack the fabric first because (1) the cupboards are in place, (2) they will take up the same amount of space empty as full but the boxes with fabric won't.

I've got 3.5 cupboards full of fabric and there are more boxes. The 5th non-matching single door cupboard that I had used as a linen cupboard is now going to have fabric also if it needs to. Then I can move the pattern/costume sets of drawers into place and unpack the teachest of patterns, and the suitcase+ of costumes.  I've got misc sewing stuff to sort through too.

I ripped a hole in one of my linen skirts, and the other is getting a bit too snagged, so I'm going to have to make a couple new skirts fairly quickly once I can access the machines etc. Currently there are boxes & the pattern drawers between me & them.

It'll all work out soon, I just have to keep plodding.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Buying pattern as a sewing substitute

I have succumbed to the lure of vintage patterns in lieu of actually being able to sew. A bit foolish, as they were from the USA and I had moments of paranoia that they would end up at the old address having been missed by my mail redirection. Thankfully not & here they are.

First another half size pattern

With a plus size Anne Adams pattern, mainly for the collar

Friday, 11 November 2016

Plodding through the moving stages

I'm half moved to my new home. That is my living area has completely moved and the store-room I have/had at the old building is yet to move. I literally ran out of boxes to pack stuff in, and their truck also ran out of space for the downstairs stuff.  Paddington is full of narrow streets, having evolved in the pre-motor vehicle era so the big trucks don't really fit. My old street was technically a 2 way dead end street, but only one car could drive up or down with no room for a car going in the opposite direction.

So, I've unpacked enough boxes to finish packing the stash stuff. The fabric is 95% packed but the patterns and small tubs of notions aren't yet.  I also have a pile of stuff to cull, and I've not yet decided if I cull before or after packing.  Part of me says before. The rest says "eh do it in comfort at the new place. Just get out of here".

I'm getting antsy to sew, and will get a fix by visiting my sewing guild group on Saturday morning. I miss my people.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Fresh paint & carpet

I remembered at last that I took a photo last Saturday when I'd moved the sewing tables & machines out to the new place. I managed to leave the overlocker cover at my old home so used a green supermarket bag over the top as a dustcover.

The curtain rods are also in the wardrobe so I'll have to put them back so I can hang curtains. The bedroom I'm sleeping in will be my first priority, and I'll need to make curtains for my sewing room and lounge.

I was waiting til I moved to buy curtain fabric until I remembered that I have some rayon faille curtaining left over from my Sleepy Hollow costume a couple of years ago.  I bought a 9.8metre piece listed on ebay, as it was cheaper than buying 3-4 yards of silk for the costume, and nothing else had come close enough. Actually it was cheaper than buying 2 yards of silk taffeta so I'm sure the approx 7 metres I have left will be ideal for the window/doors onto the balcony from the lounge and also for the sewing room. Pale blue/green goes with chocolate and cream as far as I'm concerned.

The movers are booked for Wednesday so I need to keep building that wall of boxes - it's getting fort like rather than wall.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

First things to move, sewing machines

A friend has lent me their car so I can still go to a friend's party tonight, & take awkward to pack stuff on the way there. It's amusing me that the first things into the boot are my retro sewing tables, & a couple of sewing machines. Also in this trip are baskets with re-enactment accessories and my vintage parasols. Clearly my priorities are defined.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Dear Epicurious - you're doing Fairy Bread wrong. Very Wrong.

If you're not aussie or kiwi and have seen anything about Epicurious' article this week, then you might just believe them. Here's a link in case you're interested at all.

Facts about what it's not:
It's NOT toasted (that's the most hilariously wrong part of the article).
It's NOT a breakfast food
It's NOT typically a snack food outside of children's parties.
It's NOT rainbow sprinkles on fancy bread.
It's NOT sugared toast.

What it is: 
Mainly depression era or post war creativity. Such as how Iced VoVos were around for decades at the fancy end of the commercial biscuits. As far as I'm concerned, the less said about them the better unless it's your aussie childhood comfort food.

  • Cheapest soft white bread, buttered to all the edges (or margarine) with hundreds and thousands sprinkled to a solid layer on it. 
  • The quality of the butter or marg is irrelevant, it's simply there to enable the sugary balls to remain on the bread. Enough butter/marg for the little sugary balls to stick to. 
  • Crusts may or may not be removed - just expect children to not eat the crusts if you leave them on.
  • Cut into triangles (halves or quarters)

To reiterate - rainbow sprinkles are not in the spirit of Fairy Bread. Just NOPE.

A more recent (than my age group's childhood) who are familiar with using nutella instead of butter, but that's fairly fancy and not an essential component.

Monday, 17 October 2016

I might have a lot of sewing stuff

Another friend came over on Sunday afternoon to help me pack things - she worked on my books and I continued with sewing things, and started on the wardrobe.

I've faced the concept that if I didn't sew (real life clothing and/or costumes) then I'd be packed up already. So far upstairs, I've filled 4 half-teachests with sewing items and realised that I still other items like my sleeve board, pattern rulers etc to pack. Painting/packing with insomnia is a tough gig, but I'll get there.  I'll turtle my way to the finishing line. 

Here's a pic of the wall of boxes I've been building.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Painting is done

Thank goodness for great friends, as we were able to smash through the second coat in all the rooms yesterday afternoon. The landlord is replacing the carpet on Wednesday (rather having it done by another).

So, now it's packing stations. Another friend is helping me pack stuff today, so I'm hoping she can pack the books & some kitchen stuff. I'm launching at the wardrobe & more upstairs sewing stuff

Thursday, 13 October 2016

This month is all about painting & packing

Thankfully the approval to paint, and the colour to paint it was easy for my soon to be home.  I've been out 3 nights this week doing prep work & then painting. The only rooms that I'm not painting are the bathroom (already an OK colour) & laundry cos the walls are a very uneven surface that a light colour will highlight, & the paint has flaked away from the render in a couple places.

I've had 2 fabulous friends help me paint, and I threw out the first paint roller I'd bought as it was cheap in all the wrong ways. The significantly more expensive replacements have been working fabulously, and we got everything but the larger bedroom done last night in about half an hour longer than it took to do the bedroom (to be my sewing room) the night before.  As I'm going from donkey brown to a cream it's taking more than one coat. I'm leaving the first coat to cure and will do the second coat of everything on Saturday

New carpet goes in next week, now on Wednesday. I'm not moving for at least a week to avoid the worst of the out-gassing of paint & carpet fumes.

I've started packing at my current home & holy crackers batman I have so much stuff. No need for any more furniture at the new place, just expand into the new rooms. I'll be doing a better cull of things as I unpack at the other end. I'll to a quick cull of everything but fabric as I pack, but I don't really have time to do everything.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Packing+moving this month, no time for sewing

I got the place on a 1 year lease :) I'm hoping to paint this Saturday and I have approval to do that. It's better to paint now as the carpet may be replaced next week. I have to give 21 days notice where I am, as my lease has expired (& that was approx 17 years ago LOL). 

The new place is right across the other side of Sydney, in Werrington so very outer suburbia compared to inner city where I've lived most of my 28 years here. But so much more space at the same price. Rent + commute total is about 30 a week more, but I'll have space to have friends over for dinner unlike here where 1 guest is the comfort limit. A dedicated sewing room (using the larger bedroom), as well as my own bedroom, an internal laundry and a pocket balcony. 

It gives me time to pack & possibly get to the steampunk day the following weekend. I'll see how it all goes, cos that may be an over-reach.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Possibly moving home well before December

My aim was to move before December, and I made two Saturday trips out to walk around the suburbs I was thinking of moving to, and get an idea of which I'd prefer.

The pocket of streets that I'm looking at got narrowed down, partly due to local shops and getting to/from the station AND the massive hedge in blossom early in one cul-de-sac that would = dreadful hayfever. Given my body can over-react to pollen allergies with asthmatic-bronchitis there's no way I could afford to live with or even walk past that hedge twice a day. It was so large you couldn't even see the block of apartments behind it. Nuh-uh.No way.

On Saturday I went to a viewing of a flat/unit/apartment that I could see myself living in. It's in that  smallish area that has some units, some town houses and about half are houses. I liked it enough to see myself living in it so I'm applying by email tomorrow. There's a chance that another one that I like won't become available in the next 2 months, so why wait for the sake of waiting. I don't have a scanner at home, so I'll send it all through from work first thing. If I get it, then I'll move in a couple of weeks not a couple of months.  It's quite a jump across the city, so I made sure to chat with the real estate agent explaining that I know the area enough (my grandad lived in the next suburb when he was alive). I'm on the train out here more than anywhere else (other than my sewing guild group) and my friends are all near here & the blueys (mountains). I also managed to slip in that I'm allergic to cats. Sad but true these days.

I mentioned that I sew a lot so that I want a separate sewing room ... and she responded that she sews on her dining room table. I've also checked out sewing guild groups, and there is a local group but it meets on a week day, so that's a bust. Getting to my current group is feasible, it's not to difficult so long as I'm organised. Getting to Rhodes (my original and now sometimes group) would take longer despite being geographically closer.  There's another couple of groups that i can try going different days but there's a long wait between train & bus, so we'll see. I get as much from the social aspect as the productivity so its in the 'see how it works out' basket.

Fingers crossed that I don't melt my brain if I'm packing everything up to move in the next 2-3 weeks.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Buttons as nemesis

Perhaps nemesis isn't the right word but so far with my dresses, finding the right button (or even a good enough button) has been a challenge.

It used to be that matching thread used to be the challenge but this year it's the buttons. The raspberry dress was a shocker. The navy of the dress was impossible to match. Ditto the strawberries and though green buttons were the best choice to make the collar not seem out of place, they were really hard to find. I wasn't convinced they were/are exactly the same green, but they work so I'm happy. 

Mermaid buttons, not too hard but the fabric grey isn't the same grey as 99.99% of the buttons.  Even the March dress buttons are niggling at me. Black is too contrasty, the vintage white ones feel the opposite but will likely be the ones I use. I might still end up making covered buttons of the microdot.

The cocktail dress - aiyyy. Navy, who knew a different navy would be just as hard to match as the strawberry dress.  Pale creamy yellow - I found a single one on Satuday, as in one button left in the tube, and it was cracked.  I ended up buying a couple of green buttons, as they were inexpensive and work when I wasn't considering green for a while. That they're not a solid green helps. If I find the holy grail of buttons for this fabric then I don't mind a couple of buttons for waistbands etc.

I always sew a spare button into the side seam allowance, so that it gets laundered as often as the garment. After once losing a button, and getting the spare out of the button box it was obvious that it had faded/changed a little. Enough for the perfectionist streak to be uncomfortable using it and to motivate me to stitch the spare button into the side seam. Given my dislike of hand sewing, that's how you know it really bothered me back then.

I need to look for buttons for the lobster dress, so maybe I'll visit the Newtown button shop on Thursday next week.

Monday, 26 September 2016

More about my sewing derailment

I've been able to use the left foot on the sewing pedal, though I kept starting with my right out of habit. 40+ years of habit isn't overcome quickly. It's why I got my knee control machine[s] when it happened last time.

I thought I'd finish early enough last Thursday to get to My Hung Fabric in Hurstville before they closed but the workshop thing I was at ran late and I hadn't realised they're now open until 8am on Thursdays. I thought they closed at 6pm so I didn't even go to the station. I was hoping to get the contrast collar fabric for my mermaid dress, and if I'd had the martini fabric with me I would have gone to the button shop in Newtown as they're open til 7pm on Thursdays.

The plantar fasciitis is still almost but not quite better, so I need to make sure that I don't stress it. Maybe I should dredge my Elna Grasshopper out of the upstairs wardrobe and use that for a while. D'oh, my Bernina IS upstairs, on the shelf behind my front door.

The other thing that derailed me from finishing the pattern work on the martini dress pattern is that I got a heads up from the real estate agent that I'll need to move home early next year (I'm a renter not owner) so although I've not been given a written notice I know that's coming.

To stop myself from panicking - even though I'd already thought about moving next year -  I started thinking of about how much I have to pack, plan the culling of things and think about where I want to move. I even wrote up a list of all my furniture so that I can get an idea of what removalists will cost. I've a couple friends who've offered to help but (1) they've their own physical limitations and (2) this time I just want to pay fit/strong people to move all the furniture and heavier stuff. My physical therapists both said "don't move yourself this time" as it will re-injure the foot. It's a little weird, cos I'm still strong enough other than the foot. I've already spent enough fixing my foot, and it'll be cheaper to plan to pay professionals to move me than try myself, reinjure and have to pay someone anyway.

Back on track, I'm not staying in the same area as almost all my friends are between Parramatta & Katoomba now, or close to that train line.  The last friends I have in the broader eastern part of sydney are already selling up to move up the mountains. As a result of this news, on Saturday instead of going to St Ives Medieval Fair I caught the train westerly and went to a couple of viewings and for a walk around to get an idea of the suburbs I'm considering. Suburbia is going to be a culture shock after most of the 28 years in the inner city. However you don't even have to dig very deep down before you find my inner pragmatist self, so if I'm going to have to move then I'm moving closer to my friends; moving from a bachelor flat to a 2 bedroom with the largest becoming a dedicated sewing room; being a short walking distance to a fast stops train station; and realistically if I want space for a sewing room then I can only afford suburbia.

I'm going to start culling & packing up my storeroom first as boxes of things make me unsettled & twitchy. My mother's an extreme hoarder and my childhood home was full of boxed up 'stuff'. I'm fairly sure that one of the reasons I've stayed put so long was that facing boxes of things isn't good for my mental health. Seeing as my work is relocating at the end of January or early Feb, then I'm planning on moving my home before Christmas. I don't want both happening at the same time.

I'm still planning to sew a dress a month, so I'd better work on returning to being organised and productive after work instead of my winter self pictured in this comic by Loryn Brantz back in June.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Morphing the August bodice front

After work yesterday I used the table to cut out most of the August dress pieces. Thankfully I noticed that the fabric is a single direction print - the half lime doesn't rotate unlike the other markings. I cut the AA4571 skirt (without the CF box pleats), the sleeves, and the bodice back - counting on it being an easier morph of the two bodice pieces.

It's been longer than I thought since I frankenpatterned something for real life clothing. My more recent eyeballing & educated guesses have been for costumes instead.

Today I got all the main seams on the skirt done, and finished cutting out  the bodice back. The easiest of the bodice pieces to adapt.  Then I started moved onto the front bodice pattern. I decided to morph the collar onto the front and rotate some of the crazy large side darting I need to the neck edge.

I started by tracing the top half of the Butterick bodice.

After folding out the neck edge pleats I then traced the neck edge onto my fitted bodice pattern piece, marking where the 2 pleats are on the neck edge.

Next I traced off the top half of the base already fitting bodice piece, making sure that I had enough matching points that I can overlay the end result back onto the full piece. I'd have copied the entire piece if I'd taken my wide tracing paper roll with me instead of the sandwich paper I packed. Then I rotated some of the side dart to the neck edge, aiming to have a similar portion of the pie wedge of darting taken up in these 2 pleats as in the Butterick pattern.

Comparing the two pieces I rotated less than the original, but hopefully it won't matter that much. I'm going to finish making a full copy of the base bodice piece and then match this back using CF and waist dart ends and the lower arm of the side dart.

Tomorrow I can out the front bodice pieces, the front neck [cut out V] facing, the front+back neck bands, and the band's interfacing. I'm also hoping to visit the button shop at The Rocks and get a single button for the neckband.

I'm also working on the March dress. Today the replacement revere/facing were cut out, interfaced, stitched to the back neck facing and once I got home overlocked where needed.  I want to finish the March dress before I switch overlocker threads back to navy for the next 2 dresses. Tomorrow I also tackle attaching the facing/collar to the bodice. After that it's a pretty fast progression to a finished dress.

Other half size patterns in my stash

The lobster fabric arrived so quickly from the east coast of the USA, despite oddly being tracked going to/from Jamaica.  I could afford to let that amuse me as the deadline for needing this fabric isn't until February next year.  I pre-shrank it today, so whenever I'm ready to sew, it is too.  The crays (crayfish/lobster) are more orange and less red than I expected, but shopping online has this risk and it's not going to stop me from using it - though I'll need to be very careful to make sure I wear the right makeup when I wear the dress. I think I'll make this version button through the front rather than just the bodice.

I have other half size mail order patterns in my stash that I had to pick from when planning the next 9 months dresses.  All of these I bought at affordable prices - I find most mail order pattern designs to be great every day styles. Not the cutting edge of fashion from the day, but they suit my sewing purposes well.

These are the ones that haven't been selected so far.

and these aren't half size but over time I added these to the stash because they appealed.

and a couple of larger size petticoat/slip patterns - I need to make one of these soon

Thursday, 15 September 2016

The foot improves - I can have a sewing day

I've had 5 treatments of my foot in 15 days (2 specialised massage & 3 with Kathleen the foot guru) and it's significantly better.

I'm going to my sewing guild group on Saturday, and will use my left foot on the pedal.  I need to remember to bring the cocktail fabric & pattern pieces to work tomorrow so that I can cut them out on the long meeting room table.  It'll be faster & easier on my foot doing this on a board room table that seats 12 people than on a smaller one at home.

I don't think I'll get my georgian costume done in time for St Ives, but I'll give it a go. I had thought to do some sewing each night, but I needed to ice/rest it most nights. I'd rather have a shorter injury time and miss out on fun things.

Monday, 12 September 2016

raiding the stash for 1740s underpinnings

I raided the stash for fabric to make the bum pad using the Simplicity pattern by American Duchess.

I was looking for a 1.5m piece of grey linen with a woven self-stripe that is in my discard pile. If I can't use it soon, it's going to a craft charity shop.  Before I found that piece I came across a piece of wide ribbed twill pink cotton (2m x 150cm) that I don't even remember buying. It's lighter than drill, but more robust than the swiss cottons I have so it's been selected. I even preshrank that this morning before coming to work.

I'm also going to use any left over from this to make a boned stomacher (?) piece to go under the stays that don't really fit. I'm hoping that's a quicker easier fix than making new stays cos I just don't have time. My brain can't quite remember if stomacher is the right word, it is for a gown, but for stays I think it is too.

Something like this one in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Item: C.I.39.13.206 1750-75.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

an outline for nine months of dress a month

In my mind I've got a loose plan for the order I think I'll use the fabrics, and the pattern I'll use with each.  Except for me plan sounds too close to rules and as said by Captain Barbossa of the Pirate Code these are more what you'd call guidelines than actual rules.

I do have some self imposed deadlines for a couple of fabrics.  The retro nautical print slated for December has to be used before I go to Canberra in late Dec/Jan to see the Versailles exhibition. That was the actual rule I imposed so that I could buy it (photo below). I don't want it stashed and I promised a bestie that I'd use it by then. This week I ordered a 5 yard piece of large scale red lobsters on black cotton to make a dress that I'll wear to see the B-52s in concert later this summer (can't remember the February date right now).  I'm looking forward to wearing it long before the concert though so I picked November because right now the mermaid, martini and vintage blue/green cotton have an emotional priority.

In brackets after the month, print & pattern are fabric amounts and when I bought them. EG 13Q3 was bought in the 3rd quarter of 2013 (between July-Sept).

August - Inky Martini, frankenpattern B9796 bodice with AA4571 (8m of 150cm, 14Q2)

September - Mermaids, AA4571 (4.5m of 112cm, 16Q1)

October - vintage green/blue abstract, AA4843 collar on AA4571 (5.5m of  90cm, 16Q2)

November - red lobsters on black, AA4571 (4.5m of 112cm, 16Q3)

December  - retro nautical, bodice 4803+skirt4571 (4.5m of 112cm, 16Q3)

January - brown with mint, NY 1930s wrap dress (4.0m of 150cm, 14Q4)

February - vintage maroon floral, AA2163 (5.5m of 90cm, 16Q2)

March - grape/purple splodges, AA4483 (4.0m of 112cm, 13Q3)

April - teal flowers on black, MO 9030 (5.5m of 112cm, 13Q4)

Most of my dress lengths are more recent purchases - recent compared to the bulk of my stash. Partly because when I first thought about making a couple of dresses I realised that I didn't have much in the way of dress lengths in the stash. In fact at the time, I literally had hundreds of metres of fabric but only two pieces long enough for a non-costume dress. Plus the long in progress before being tossed Lilly Rose dress. I'm sad about having to toss that but it didn't fit and was a series of one mistake after another. I think that even if it had fit, wearing it would only be a reminder of them.

Back on topic, I gave myself the option to buy a couple more pieces and the impulse to buy was under pretty good control until I got my Dress a Month idea. Of course I  then had a couple more purchases to replace those I'd cut out and *boom*. My job uncertainty hit and the mojo did a runner.

If I include (and I should) this year's January dress that is barely started, then I have 10 dresses to make from fabrics I already own.  No more buying dress lengths until I've 3 more dresses in my wardrobe.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Frankenpattern concept for the cocktail fabric

I'd forgotten that I have this (maybe 1960s) Butterick pattern in the stash. There are 3 for sale on Etsy at the moment so it's not that rare.

I'm strongly inclined to use the bodice details from Butterick 9796 and merge them with the AA4571 (eliminating the centre front pleat on the skirt).

As an unrelated side note, every time I look at this 1960s pattern cover I think the woman on the left looks like Sarah Jessica Parker.