We've also had a blissful fall for the kiddos - lots of emotional advances, big jumps forward in education. We almost never have to get up with them now in the middle of the night, and when I take them to dinner occasionally when Matt is out of town, it is really fun instead of exhausting. We even go to Target without much of a headache. Mimi is on the couch right now with a fever, and I can see her little eyes drooping as she falls asleep. Poor sweetie. Big sister had her 8th birthday party with a sleepover, and Mimi was right in the middle of it til 10 pm Saturday.
However, the big project for me is that I just finished a rather strange combination that I'm not sure that I'll be able to wear much, but that I love nonetheless. Inspired by the last Alabama Chanin collection, I dyed fabric to a range of burgundies and made this 2-piece set:
Bodice is from Butterick 6016, skirt is just an Aline, 4-panel skirt I drafted.
If I raise my arms, you can see my belly! I'm thinking of drafting a tight-fitting rayon knit top to wear under it, with a v-neck in the back to match the top.
Dying - I cut out the fabric pieces first this time and dyed them all after cutting. I did this since I didn't really know what colors I wanted, except that I wanted 4 distinct shades. I dyed over and over again, including with straight black to darken the bottom layers. It kept being lighter than I'd planned for. Main problem with cutting first is that the edges rolled a bit and then didn't dye as dark on the very edge on some pieces. Meh.
Painting - this time I actually painted, mostly free hand. I did the outlines of the shapes, just squinting at some of the AC pictures and trying to keep everything a little bit different from piece to piece. No bulls-eyes on my bum or breasts, that sort of thing. I used a mix of burgundy paints with water and thinned, with a little bit of gold. The water + darker dye ran into the fabric much more than I'd meant to in spots, but the gold stayed put. I used that mostly as the guide for my embroidery, and now don't mind the bit of running since it is, at least, fairly homogeneous. Most of the gold in the skirt washed out at the end, but that was kind of what I'd hoped for.
Construction - After reverse applique was completed, I did all seams on the skirt with a narrow zigzag, then topstitched by hand. Wide elastic is encased in a fold-over band at the top, which is topstitched with a stretch hand embroidery stitch.
Top was constructed more interestingly. I stitched the top and lower bits together as if the lower layer was just a lining, so the armhole and neck edges are clean finished. THEN I did all the reverse applique + cutting. Bottom edge was folded up and topstitched by hand.
Sequins - I sequinified the top! Just in about 4 places. Means I can't machine wash it!
Pocket - I put in a brass zipper with a pretty pull and then topstitched (by hand) a pocket lining behind it. I'm hoping this can be worn out to go dancing (good swishy skirt!) and I wanted to make sure I could go out with my credit cards/money and no purse to get stolen. Still not sure what to do with a phone, though.
Skirt w/ zipper
Neck edge - clean finished, then topstitched by hand. Right at edges, had to trim 3 layers of material in embroidered sections! Chose to leave an edge along all those hems rather than trying to completely remove the top layer - no other way it'd work, really.
Sequins along the lower dart edge, with hem
Closeup of zipper and topstitching along pocket.