Wednesday, June 27, 2007

FO: Butterick 5046 (Garnethill knockoff)

Butterick 5046 is finished! I like it. I think it came out pretty well, and looks very like the inspiration dress.

As usual, I will talk briefly about my experience making this dress, but save most of the details for the PR review.

This dress is rated "very easy" or some such wording. It is very easy, but, in the words of Burda, "more time consuming." This dress took me a lot longer than it should have, probably, and it wasn't all due to procrastination! The interfacing stuff took forever. Then with all the smocking I added (which I didn't know how to do to begin with), it took forever. Or at least felt like it.

I think the style of this dress is very cute. I remember seeing this pattern when it first came out and thinking it was adorable. Seeing the similar Garnethill dress sealed the deal. I loved it, but could I wear it? I hope I can pull it off well. It's not the type of dress or a color I would normally wear (oh wait... I don't normally wear dresses), but change is good, right? As I wrote on the review, I think the long version of this dress would be in danger of looking matronly, and I hated the thing before I added the sleeves - it looked very unbalanced. This probably wouldn't be a problem for a different figure type, but for mine it was bad. It made me look like I had huge hips and boobs, and no shoulders at all - and I don't think I have narrow shoulders. At least, I think I look like a linebacker in puffy sleeves. My dress hits a little above, almost right at, my knees. I don't have access to a full length mirror right now, so that is subject to change if I end up thinking it looks bad once I can see my legs.

Anyway, here are the pics! I took them with the self timer, and they aren't very good, but they are the best ones I got out of the short photo session I did.

Hopefully this one shows the smocking a little.

Oh, and in one of the pictures on the Garnethill website, the model wearing the pink version of this dress is wearing a green cami underneath. How cute! I am thinking of trying a very pale pink cami under my dress instead of the white.

And finally, the inspiration dress is priced at $98. My cost, including fabric, notions, and pattern at regular price (well, the "40% off" price, ~ $10), was around $25. Yay!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

FO (?): Simplicity 4076: Wrap Top

So I finished this about a week ago, but have been hesitating on calling it "finished" because it's a little too tight. I mean, it's pretty tight, and I like to wear my clothes fitted, but I think this one might be too much, if ya know what I mean. I've decided to wear it a couple of times and see what I think. I left big seam allowances, so I can make it looser if I'd like. I love the fabric, and it was only $1.99. I love this pattern - it's so easy, and the results are great! Link to the review at PR is here.

As usual, the quality of these pictures is poor. I had to take them in the mirror with no flash, so I apologize for the blurriness!

Also, I've been meaning to post these for a bit, but had been too lazy to upload pictures from my camera until tonight. I didn't use a mirror for these but had to turn off the flash, and I haven't figured out how to get a clear picture of small objects yet, so I apologize for the quality of these pics as well! These are earrings I received from Susan of Sulu-design! The black ones I had ordered for graduation, but they never arrived, so she kindly sent me another pair and two extra pairs, all of which I LOVE. The pink and black are just perfect to match the fabric I got to make the Vogue dress for. I really appreciate the great service and beautiful earrings, thank you so much, Susan! I didn't get to wear the graduation earrings for graduation, but I've gotten a lot of wear out of them since then!

She's got some more great designs in her Etsy shop. I particularly like these three pairs.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

I got nothin'

Yeah, so I haven't even the linen yet for the Butterick dress. But I hope to get to it today, and then I hope to work on it a little next week. It's rated as easy, so hopefully it won't take me TOO long to get it finished.

I've knit maybe 3 rows on Rapunzel. Whoop-dee-doo. I'm really sorry to be updating without ANY interesting progress to discuss! It's not completely out of laziness; I have been working, too.

And I'm SO SAD! I missed out on this amazing fabric. I didn't find the link until it was sold out, and now I wish I hadn't seen it at all! WAAAH! Ha. It's the same stuff that is in the new Burda, and I'd admired it then. Maybe it will magically pop up again somewhere... if it does, please let me know! :-)

I want to get Fitted Knits. I'm dying to make the drop stitch lace tank. Gorgeous! And maybe airy enough to wear it in the summer, if I do the drop stitch pattern on front and back.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Vote or die! ;-)

No, this isn't a political rant. I shall always try to keep those to a minimum, since that's not what this blog is intended for. Actually, this "issue" is rather on topic. Garnstudio's Drops Designs is having a vote for the new patterns they will release. I thought those of you who didn't know about this already might want to get your vote in. My personal favorite is the red cropped cardigan near the bottom of the page, z-284_278. It's SO Delphine-esque and I MUST HAVE IT! It even has that cable I particularly adore. So if you vote, please include that one in your vote!

Also, the new Knitty is out, and I just love Marnie's Chapeau Marnier hat. Now I must get my hands on a skein of Lorna's Laces sock weight in periwinkle, asap! This is one of the cutest hats I've seen, and my favorite thing in this issue. Gorgeous!

Also, check out this vintage dress pattern. The number looks to be M4425, and it's apparently from the 50s. I am on the hunt now. I want to find this pattern, or something very similar! :-D

Isn't this jacket from Burda June fabulous?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

New project: Butterick 5046

Rapunzel is going well, but right now I am S-L-O-W-L-Y wading through an ocean of seed stitch, so I really don't have anything interesting to report! I'm so sorry, y'all. I only brought 2 projects, and need to get yarn for the third (a test knit), but haven't been able to yet. So yet AGAIN, I've nothing interesting to say about my knitting on my KNITTING blog. Argh! I can say that I'm a little worried - the back of Rapunzel is looking kinda large. :-(

So, remember the Garnethill dress I posted about last time? Well, check out Butterick 5046. Very similar, no? A few details are different - the obvious length and lack of cap sleeves, and the Butterick pattern doesn't have gathering on the shoulders or a bias strip on the edges, but aside from that, it's the same dress. So I got this pattern and some beautiful linen... it's between a deep turquoise and a deep jade. Sometimes I see the green more and sometimes the blue stands out more. I really love the color! So, I'm cutting this one out next. I need a break from working with knits! I really like them, and they are easy to sew... but annoying as all get out to cut. Well, better than chiffon. But more annoying than a woven, because if you're not careful, you'll stretch the fabric and cut your piece too small. I "finished" the wrap version of S4076, but I feel it's kinda tight so I think I'm going to need to loosen it up (fortunately I left enough hem allowance to do so).

I'm going to shorten it to the length of the Garnethill dress, or maybe even right above the knee - I'm short and it seems that's the best length for me. In the tissue fitting, the shoulders were too wide by quite a bit... can I just use that extra space for a gather, or will it not work because there's no curve? I'm also wondering how to add the cap sleeves. I really can't afford to buy more patterns to add shoulder gathering and cap sleeves from them right now, but I definitely don't know how to draft my own! Any hints? There is a sleeve in the pattern, but it's definitely not a cap sleeve.

I also picked up, at Hancock's, the pattern I never received from eBay, Vogue 8386! I filed a non-receipt claim with Paypal, so hopefully I can get the money back on that. But yeah, so I will be using the pink/black/white flowers for this dress! I'm pretty nervous about this one because I don't want to ruin that wonderful fabric, so I'm going to wait until after the linen dress and the "Stacy Shirt" (made of the same gorgeous chain link fabric she used!) to give the dress a try.

Finally, another pattern I'd been coveting since it came out, and got awhile back at a sale, was Simplicity 3797. I'm enamored of the dress view! I had some cotton that might work, but I'd originally planned it for other projects. What do y'all think? Should I use this for the dress or for the projects for which it was planned (a blouse and a skirt, not to be worn together)? I've also thought of making this dress in pink, just as shown. This, by the way, is the reason I chose the teal/jade linen for the GH dress instead of going for pink - I figure that although I can't see how, it probably IS possible to own too many pink dresses.

And, I finished another book, The Hot Zone by Richard Preston. It's non-fiction, but presents itself very much like a fictional novel. It was very good! I am extremely interested in viruses, so I expected to like it, but I think someone who isn't necessarily interested in microbiology would enjoy it as well... especially if you like thrillers, or Michael Crichton (though, of course, his sci-fi IS fictional!).

I started The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle. I own this dvd, and have always wanted to read the book. So far, it is, of course, better than the dvd. :-)

As an aside, I am not in any way affiliated with Amazon. It's just the first site I could think of where I knew I'd be able to find these books. Buy them from anywhere you like, or borrow them from the library. :-)

Edited to add: Stacy, I am all about a Vogue dress sew along, but you may not want to wait for me to get to mine - it may be a week or two. I want this dress to turn out as RTW looking as I can get it (well, expensive, well-made RTW looking... not cheap, badly made RTW!). That's a general goal for every project, but this one in particular! So I want to get a couple of other projects done, because I'm using a different sewing machine and learning how to work it. It is quite different from mine and, while nicer, is harder for me to control the speed (a big thing for me, since I still have to go more slowly to keep a straightish seam).

Atajev, thanks for the advice about using a cap sleeve from another pattern. I DO have one pattern here (aside from the knit tops I just made) that has cap sleeves, but it is Simplicity. I'll cut it out and see if they match.

Also, I forgot to mention this. Yesterday we went fishing and I caught an eel. That was neat, but I didn't think to bring a camera on this little adventure, so I don't have a picture. I now have a pretty good list going of weird things I've caught when fishing: 2 stingrays, a shark, a sheepshead (and if you don't think that's weird, check out its crazy teeth!), and now an eel (link is not to my photo, but it looked like that except it was green and fatter, with a pointy nose). Wonder what strange creature will hop on my line next!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Oh no!

Evidently, I will not be getting my Vogue 8386 dress pattern from eBay. It looks more and more like I've been screwed over on that one. This is my first transaction in which I paid but didn't get my item. I've emailed the seller several times (at least 3) without receiving a reply, and the seller has 7 bad feedback comments within the past couple of weeks. I am VERY disappointed... I guess I'm going to have to file a report with eBay and Paypal to get my money back, and I wanted this pattern so badly! I really wanted to work on this dress soon. ARGH! And it figures the Vogue sale would pass, and there is no where around here that sells patterns... there is a store about 40 min away, I think (I don't know the area too well yet), but it will do me no good if I can't get over there during a sale... and I'll probably be working that weekend. And I also feel bad, because what if something bad happened to this person, and that's why they haven't sent the things out, and here I am whining about a sewing pattern! :-(

In good news, I actually worked on Rapunzel some last night and got to the armhole shaping. It feels good to be knitting again after my hiatius.

Thank you all for the great comments on my recent projects! I am going to be doing some more knitting and some sewing, so I will have more to update about... but not the dress! So disappointing.

Speaking of dresses, there was a Garnethill catalog in the mail, and I fell in love with this dress. I really want to copy it, anyone have pattern suggestions? It's linen.

Also, I have a book recommendation for you! I am calling it a recommendation rather than a review, as I am neither a writer nor a critic, just an avid reader. I just finished The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I loved it! It is about a boy who ends up stranded on a lifeboat with a tiger and three other animals. It is charming and a well thought out story. It is not "action-packed;" it is more of a thinking type of book, yet there is still some exciting action in it, certainly enough to make you fear for the main character's life many times, and it is a very original story. Pi is such a real character, too... so well developed. I highly recommend it! :-)