Saturday, March 23, 2019

I Miss Hancock's...

Once upon a time, it was possible to run out to the local fabric store and grab notions if you needed them. There used to be a lot.  Depending on your locale;  Cloth World and So-fro Fabrics were two chains from my youth but there were a number of indy fabric stores.  But, even if a fabric store wasn't close by, most department stores had a fabric and notions department; some even as late as the mid 1980's.

Alas, it is no more so.

I needed buttons for the green cardigan.  The only fabric shop in town is Jo-Ann's, which is on the other side of town. But, I had a couple of errands to run so I decided to hop on the parkway to the interstate to the exit that would take me to the last standing retail space for serious home sewing enthusiasts.

I walked past the fleece and the craft supplies to the back rack of the store before I found what I was looking for.

Y'all, it's a fabric store.  I expected one full aisle's worth of space dedicated to buttons.

You know, La Petite, JHB, La Mode, in a decent range of sizes and colors.

It was one short aisle, and 2/3 of it was dedicated to large quantity containers of crafting buttons.

What do people do with crafting buttons anyway?

There was not a single card of 1/2 inch green buttons.  Not one.  There was one w/ 9/16" buttons, but they were dark forest green, not the olive-y green I needed.

I ended up with two 6- button cards of 7/16" metal gold buttons at $5/card.  They were La Mode buttons; at least I knew they were real garment buttons.  It was the best I could do.

On the way home, I swung by Hobby Lobby since I had to go to another store in that shopping center.  I didn't have high hopes for quality buttons there, but there was a package of various-sized green buttons w/ sparkle in them from Sewology.  I counted at least 7 of the small, half-inch-looking ones.  It was two bucks, but the packaging did not say how many buttons of what size were in the package.  They will likely be what I use on the sparkly cardigan and I'll save the metal buttons for something with a little more backbone.

But as I drove home I wondered what was going to happen with the future.  Fabric is pretty easy to buy online...but buttons are hard.  The sites that offer buttons (at least the ones I've found) are not easy to navigate...I would like to be able to type in '1/2" green buttons' and see a selection of...1/2" green buttons.  (Just for grins, repeat my little experiment and type  '12 mm green buttons' in the search bar on the JoAnn's website).

Etsy and Ebay are possibilities, I suppose.

Do we need to start buying up thrift store clothing and salvaging the buttons for a stash? LOL.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Change of plan...

I have been slowly altering up the Tahoe Pants and I finally got the fronts finished up today.  Then I matched them up to see how much I was going to need to reduce the pleats so that it would fit at the waist.

I had already reduced the back pleats...not the overlap bit, but the pleats...from 3" each to 1" each.

But, being wider in the front than in the back, I discovered that I was going to have to eliminate the front pleats entirely and maybe even reduce the overlap.

I had what's known in the South as a 'come to Jesus moment'....face to face with the truth, I couldn't keep going.

And I truly believe that's why it was taking me so long to do those pattern alterations.  Deep in my heart, I think I knew that the shape of it wasn't going to flatter the current shape of me.

So, I folded the pattern and put it away, and pulled out the McCall's culottes pattern I picked up a couple of weeks ago. It has a semi-elasticized waist so I think that will buy me some fudge space.

And I'm still going to use the Tencel twill.  If/when I get down to a shape that suits the flat-fronted Tahoe pants better, I'll find something drapey and make them up.

After all, they're already altered. ;-)

On top of that, something I meant to post and just hadn't gotten to it...

Early in the  month, I started having second thoughts about my choice of fabric for the twinset.  Yes, if I looked at the green at the very center of the leaves/birds, it was a close match to the green knit I'd pulled.  But the overall effect of the green, which has tan/brown mixed in it, is olive green, not emerald.  On a whim, I perused a few fabric sites and spotted something on Emma Onesock's Roll End page that I knew would match.  I ordered that piece of fabric and, as she had more available, a bit more so that I had enough for a twinset.  Sure enough, when it got here, it matched spot on.

I dug around and found a scarf that has a bazillion colors in it, including black, royal blue and the olive green, as well as both silver and gold metallic threads.  I think it was a Christmas gift years ago.

SO...I have about 9 days left in the month and I'm back to square one.  But the hubs is going to be out of town next weekend, so I'll likely do a sewing marathon.  The only thing that might hold me up is finding buttons for the cardigan.  I may look for gold metallic instead of trying to match the green; just depends on what I can find.

Friday, March 08, 2019

The March 'Skirt'

I decided to pull out the Sewing Workshop Tahoe Pant pattern...I made it years ago, and loved it; bought more fabric to make the pattern up again and it sat in the stash.

For reminders, I shortened the pants so that it looks more skirt like.  Here's the original photo:
That's shortened about 3"; I'm going to shorten it another 3" to make them even more skirt-like.  I'll want to wear them with flat shoes, and that means they need to be a little, um, farther from my ankles.  I couldn't find a photo of them from the front.  I will not be brave enough to get a photo from the side  with the new makes as that angle shows the most clearly the difference between the then (2002) and now size, lol.

They aren't going to be as hard to grade up as I thought.  I'm only going up one size, since my hips have not expanded nearly as much as my waist, and it is pretty easy to see what the difference in grading is.  The pleating is the same for all sizes, which kind of surprised me.  But I am going to adjust the pleating as my waist is not the correct proportion to my the difference will be adjusted out of the pleat depths.  And I will leave it a little big and then elasticize the waistband a bit.

The Tencel twill that I bought to use for the second set is now very, very deep arrived in 2003 from Fashion Fabrics Club for something like $7 /yard.  Hooray for stash busting.

I really liked wearing the Tahoe Pants; they were fun and funky and different and I was sad when middle age spread made them too small.  I think I still have them...hope springs eternal, lol.

I'm going to be glad to finally get the second pair made.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

12 Months 12 Outfits - March Assignment

I have been really frustrated in trying to generate a palette from the photo of the scarf; I just can't get a good enough photo to pull accurate colors.  This is my latest try, using a pic I took of the scarf hanging from the slatted door.  The colors are better than the retail image I've been using...not so muted...but the slats do show through the scarf and I think the shadows behind make the colors a bit muddy when I try to copy them out.  But this is the gist of where I think I'm and denim blue as the neutrals, with royal blue, green, white and red as the accents. 

The green reads as an olive because it's blended somewhat with a tan the spots where it's pretty much solid, it's more emerald.  But that makes it hard to match up. 

I'm thinking it doesn't have to match up dead on.

Anyway, this is all important because in March I will be branching out beyond the three basic colors I started, white, and royal.  And I am resigning myself to the fact that this is not going to be a 'get dressed in the dark' wardrobe; some of the things will likely not lend themselves to pairing up with other things. But that's ok.

I've been perusing the March Outfits that Janice posted and trying to see what I think I can do with my wardrobe.

The March outfit is, in a nutshell, a skirt, a sweater, canvas shoes, another scarf and a watch.

I really like wearing skirts but have found that, since menopause obliterated my waistline, skirts are not terribly flattering.  Like wide legged pants, they tend to just make me look kinda stumpy. I've kinda moved towards dresses that don't emphasize the waist for my dressy outfits in the past couple of years.

Except for my Hippie Earth Mother skirts, which I wear with cheerful abandon.

Hm.  Could I use another one? Maybe? 

If I had enough yardage in the right color in the stash I just might.  But I don't think I do.  Those skirts use about 6 yards...gathered bias tiers and all...

Back to the plan.

So, I thought, maybe I could make a set of culottes that look like a skirt?

Hm.  I went looking through patterns and found McCall's 7131, which is pretty much exactly what I would be looking for, should I decide to do culottes.  Side seam pockets and everything.  And I so happened to have the chance to run over to JoAnns on the other side of town to pick up the pattern.  Just to show the blessing of the pattern, McCall's were on sale for 1.99.  And I also found some cotton/lyocel denim chambray, light enough for a skirt...or culottes.

So.  Back to the picks for March.

In all but two outfits, the skirt is the basic wardrobe neutral...and the neutral is predominant in both those skirts, one being the neutral w/ white stripes, the other being the neutral w/ an ombre into the accent.

So that means a black...or basically black...skirt/culottes.  Unless I want to introduce the second neutral that I would use for the 2019 SWAP...denim blue. Because, in all honesty, if I weren't doing the SWAP I could very possibly just pull one of the black/basically black skirts that are already in the closet.

In the same two wardrobes as the skirt variations, the sweater is a repeat accent color that has been used already.  Both of those wardrobes still only have basically 3 colors in them, although one of the scarves is a print w/ more colors.  The other 4 outfits introduce a new accent color, and the scarves in those outfits repeat the new color.  For the most part, the canvas shoes also repeat the accent color, although two of the wardrobes have shoes in the neutral., I have issues with sweaters.  I love wearing them, but my office is in a 50 year old building w/ a 50 year old HVAC system.  A boiler and a chiller, to be exact.  Which is either ON or OFF.  And our particular corner gets less than optimal air it's pretty much an oven year round.  In the summer, other parts of the building...with better ventilation...are downright cold. Which all boils down to LAYERS being the name of the game.  Instead of a sweater, I'm going to do a twinset. And I have a goodly chunk of emerald green jersey knit that would do.

I don't wear a watch anymore; the Fitbit serves that  purpose.  But maybe I'll get a new band to go with the outfit if it looks like it would be cool.

I have some fairly hefty black Tencel twill that I bought absolutely ages ago to make a Sewing Workshop Tahoe pant...which is a pattern for funky culottes that look like a wrap skirt.  I'd love to make that, but that pattern is so old that I actually CUT IT OUT instead of tracing it...and I'd have to grade it up now.   And it's a tricksy asymmetrical pattern.

Or, I could make the new McCall's pattern up in the new chambray. Bonus for that: I already have a scarf with a blend of greens and blues that would work.  Green canvas shoes in a size 7 WW are not likely to be found, however.  I'd have to go w/ denim blue, which is slightly more likely to exist.

So...think, think, think...

Saturday, March 02, 2019

12 Months 12 Outfits - February

 Alas, it's a black shift.

Which photographs like a black sack, lol.

You can't see the darts that shape really can't even see the neckline.   It's from the Sept 2012 issue of BurdaStyle magazine, with a modified neckline and sleeves, made from Telio Jockey ponte...nylon/rayon/lycra  and it is extremely comfy to wear.

You all know I waffled quite a bit over what to make; I finally decided I wanted a 'blank slate' dress that could be dressed up or down...and this is it.  If I could FIND some nice black pumps that don't make my toes cry, it could be a very dressy dress done up with pearls and such.  It also looks great with tights and boots.  Maybe someday I'll get pictures of me wearing it, but today I have a bad headcold and could not do it justice, lol.

Anyway, here's what I've matched it up to for the February Outfit challenge:

Pearl stud earrings, which are lying on the dress.  I don't like to wear dangly earrings w/ large scarves...they either drag on the scarf or at the worst, snag on it.  And the scarf, which is rolled up, is QUITE large...almost a shawl.  I should measure it, just for documentation, but...bad cold, I'm too lazy to run upstairs again. Anyway, it's a rayon scarf that I got at Talbot's a year or two ago. The shoes are Cobb Hill ballet flats w/ some detail on the toes; not as dressy as I would like but it's what I've got.  Believe me...the UPS guy wore a path to my door with Zappos boxes this month but I could not find a good fit for dressy pumps.  The bag is not quite what Janice posted, I know, but the truth is I really, really do not like carrying clutch bags.  Just the same, I thought I had a black clutch from, oh, 30 years ago. But when I looked in the purse bin it wasn't there; guess I did give up ever using it some time ago.  So, the leather hobo from Novica is going to fill the bag spot this month.  If, in the future, she posts an outfit that that bag would suit I will get a small bag that would work for this month so there will be a small black bag in the wardrobe by the end.

So, here's my composite of everything so far:

 At least it all works together as of this point, lol.  March, well, that may be something else...

Friday, March 01, 2019

I'm not looking...

Lol, it's March 1, so I'm sure the March wardrobe options are listed over on the Vivienne Files.

But I'm not done with February yet.  It is, after all, a short month.

I got my dress done to the hem after church on Wednesday...which meant I could finally try it on.

The petite adjustment to the armsceye and uppper chest/back made a huge difference.  That area looks much tidier now.

And the sleeves are fine under the January cardigan.

I didn't trim the facing/neckline seam enough before understitching and it wants to roll out.  Remove understitching, slash some more, and re-stitch.

The big problem is the pockets.  They are too low to be used comfortably, and they flop around enough that they don't want to lie nice and flat, with  a less than attractive look.  I just put them at the same level as the patch pockets, thinking that would work and it didn't.  I tried on the first dress again and realized that the patch pockets, while visually nice, are a little low, too.  But the dart ends right at the top of where I put the pockets, so raising the pockets would mean the dart would end in the pocket opening and I don't think that would work.  So this dress really is not a candidate for on-seam pockets.  Unless I actually put the pocket in the dart. 

So I am in the process of performing a rather tedious double pocket-ectomy.  Once they are removed it will be a simple thing to close the seam back up and hopefully nothing has been stretched overly much and all will be well.

Then I just need a hem on the bottom.

So I'm not letting myself go look at the March wardrobe pics until I have my dress done.

I have officially given up...for at least the time being...on new shoes.  I can't tell you how many pairs I ordered and returned (2 boxes are in the car now to get dropped off).  Either too little or too big.  Nothing just right.

Anyway, I should have pics of the finished dress tomorrow.