Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Vogue 9081 - Marcy's Block Dress

This is my second version, this time in - surprise! - linen. Marcy calls this the Block Dress, for obvious reasons. The versions on the cover of the pattern are pretty with the color blocks but I had all this orange linen. The lines of the dress are still visible but not so obvious. After all, it is orange.

I don't know why I bought a piece of bright orange linen, but I do love the vibrant color. This orange is most definitely NOT the new black. It is not subtle, or particularly versatile, or ubiquitous. But that color - oh, my - it makes my heart sing. So I guess I'll wear it. For now, I am content to have it on my dress form with my Anne Williamson scarf at the neck. A cheerful companion in my workroom.

For both of my versions, I have raised the neckline by about 1.5 inches.

The cuffs are a nod to Lucille Ball who wore the house dress so beautifully. A friend wears knit shirts sporting the Pam Emy *Split Cowl Collar.* I wondered if a similar idea would work for cuffs. I like the result.

Adding my Ann Williamson silk scarf is almost too much. It is such a gorgeous scarf and the complementary blues in the scarf are just stunning, I think. No wonder Ann is so successful. She has such an eye for color.

But will I wear it?

I think so.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

More Linen for Summer 2015

This time a royal blue. Luscious fabric. Enough to make one of the tops in CLD's Simplify Your Life, and a pair of pants, Hudson pants from the Sewing Workshop (TSW). This will be a staple in my wardrobe.

Just a few changes to the SYL top: omitted the button shoulder, so scooped out the neckline in the front just a little, added two chest pockets and a small bias patch at the back. No changes in the Hudson pants.

And a TNT pattern also from Cutting Line Designs, Hearts A Flutter tank top:

Monday, June 22, 2015

White Linen

Is it possible to let the hot, muggy season go by without a white linen project? Oh, I hope not because it is the best possible warm-weather fabric to sew and then great to wear too. There is something about the texture and the way the soft white works with summer light. The camera cannot capture it but here is my best try:

This shirt is based on an older pattern from The Sewing Workshop (TSW), the Mix It Shirt. The pattern contains a straight 3/4 length sleeve. Yawn. But it fits through the shoulders and stands away from the rest of my body.

The sleeve change was easy - I just lengthened it and used Cutting Line Designs (CLD) The Blouse Perfected pattern to make a placket opening in the sleeves and a cuff. As usually I was short on fabric by the time I cut the cuffs, so they have a little different shape. 

Now if you do not have CLD's shirt pattern, then you must simply go right now to the website and purchase it. The instructions are just wonderful for anyone interested in classic shirt details. One day it will be out-of-print and you will be so sad if you have not purchased it yet.

The Mix It Shirt is also an nice little shirt to make. I especially like the little collar:

I like it quite a lot and look forward to wearing it. So, any white linen in your future? Next up for me - royal blue linen!

Monday, June 15, 2015

A Wing and a Prayer

Two years ago I purchased a panel of fabric containing one of Diane Ericson's paintings, titled *A Wing and a Prayer.* I displayed it raggedly in my sewing room.

Then I decided it should be incorporated into a jacket, a Tabula Rasa jacket designed by Fit For Art.

The panel piece from Diane is a medium-to-heavy weight cotton, very much like denim, and it washed softly. The piece was just barely large enough for the front and back pieces of the jacket pattern. I love the combination of colors, as well as their proportions and shading that Diane used. And the bird is lovely, I think.

I'm really pleased with the way the bird sits across the shoulders.

Changes I made to the pattern: I had to shorten it because of the size of Diane's panel. The original Tabula Rasa jacket pattern has a kimono-type collar band running down the front and around the neck. I changed that to a round neckline, adding a stand-up collar. I more-or-less kept the front bands, adapting it to my scarce fabric. I added an angular pocket, based on the shape of one remnant from the painted panel

You can just barely see *and a Wing and a Prayer* above Diane's signature.
The gray is a medium-weight linen and the flat piping is light-weight navy denim. It is lined with white China silk under the cream colored pieces and gray rayon Ambiance under the gray portions. The pants are entirely lined with the gray rayon Ambiance. 

So I don't need a lined jacket and pants, a suit of sorts. But it was fun to make. And it will work with a lot of other things in my closet - a white, cream or navy shell, navy pants, and many future pieces.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Like Facebook

Mindless. But more relaxing.

A while back I posted about this vest for travel. A layer to have handy and something to stitch in airports or riding in the car. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Warming Up

It's been a while since I've posted. I've been sewing, but it's been different. Some travel to visit the grands. Two weeks of sewing camp - one for teen girls in a temporary home and one for the youth at my church. And now I'm catching up on my beloved sleep.

This is a warm-up exercise. The shirt is a very old cotton-linen blend ordered from Lands End back when they were just a catalog outfit somewhere in Maine.

When I took the indigo class with Roland Ricketts, I gave it a few dips with some resist paste. Kind of cool, but one sleeve was torn and punctured, probably from back when I gardened.

So I removed the offending sleeve and used it as a pattern for a new sleeve. The new sleeve is a cotton batik. I pulled out The Blouse Perfected from Louise Cutting to create a tower sleeve placket and for a couple of pockets. I also shortened it by about 5 inches. It may need new buttons next.

It was a fun warm-up. Now I'm ready for some summer tops and pants.

So what are you up to? Summer sewing? Other fun projects?