Thursday, January 17, 2019

England! Again!

We are back in England!  And I'm ALMOST finished with the Alabama Chanin-style t-shirt refashion that I started last time, 3 years ago.  By almost, I mean that I only have to stitch on the binding on the armholes, which means I'm really close!

I liked it so much, that when I noticed that there was a tshirt printshop right near my workplace (University of Bristol), I went in and came out with 6 tshirts for use in another project.  My goal is something like this:

I want to use as much of the original as possible this time, i.e., the neckband and possibly the binding that covers the shoulder seams.  I've been deconstructing tshirts (Gildan brand, not QUITE as soft as the other ones I used) all week and have really developed an appreciation for how they are put together.  The above photo was just for overall shape and color/pattern - I'm planning on draping and pinning the tshirts (xlarge) once the sleeves are removed.  So far, for the top, I may actually just fold beneath the armpits and leave the shoulders as is for kind of a cap-sleeve look.  

For the skirt I'll actually use 2 shirts (double layer, so 4 total), so there will be a horizontal seam around knee-level.  I haven't decided how to involve the transition from tube with armholes (big u-shapes after the shoulder is opened up) into skirt with narrow waist.  I pinned a bit this morning and think I can seam the sides to a point and then leave it open below that, without adding too much bulk at the hips.  But I'm not sure if I want an actual side seam, a pleat, or an overlap that is stitched down.  The lower layer will be a dark olive, for a little bit of contrast when I'm sitting/crossing my legs.  At least I THINK I'll do two layers - could still change my mind.

Since I have 3 chocolate shirts total, I have plenty of necklines to use two of them on the armholes, which is what I'm doing with my previous, almost-finished top.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Fortuny gown, take 2...

Yup - pleating stretch silk charmeuse appears to be a no-go.  I THINK it's the "stretch" part that does it in.  I still plan on trying this out someday with real silk charmeuse.  I do like the full gown version in some ways a bit better than the 2-piece. 

Bubbles, bubbles, everywhere.  It's ALMOST homogeneous enough that it is wearable, but I think not quite.  It does look pretty with a belt on, though!  Perhaps I just now have the world's most luxurious nightgown? (that I can't wash?)

Friday, November 30, 2018

Halting progress on my two Fortunys, with pictures!

Slowly making progress on my two garments!

First, here is the silk habotai set - It's not my favorite color, but at least I match all the woodwork in my house!  This is AFTER I lowered the neckline, so you can see that it was quite high before.  There are some bulges right under my breasts that I'm going to try to attack by pinning the pleats to my ironing board and then doing a light iron over the whole thing.  I'm wearing my currently favored set of shoes for both outfits.

With the coat.  I think I do need a closure. 

Then on to the charmeuse stretch silk one.  See the puckers?  They are all over the whole thing.  I'm going to try two things - first I'll try to stretch the whole thing lengthwise (with the pleats scrunched up) and iron it.  Then I'll try rewashing and repleating the whole thing.  It's pretty much unwearable like this.

Another view - it is still very pretty!  I love this color.

Here's what the sack dress looked like before pleating.  It's a lot of volume.  I wanted to get a "before" shot since there's a pretty big difference!

And, after pleating, also with the hem shortened by 2".  I have a bit of silk velvet in almost exactly the same color that I'll use for a belt.  I really hope I can get out the bubbles since I do really like this one more.  It matches the lining on the coat, so it goes together really well. Apologies for the odd pose-  I was trying to show the shoes AND had a 6-year-old coming in to talk at me.

It feels AMAZING.  I mean, you're wearing silk.  My kids kept rubbing themselves all over me.  If this doesn't work out, I've got a pretty amazing nightgown out of it!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


Oh my goodness - I've discovered the process of adding gussets to existing trousers that I've made, and that have ALWAYS been tight in the crotch.  I use Jalie 2907 (?) for all my trousers, even though I'm often using wovens and end up with garments that are too tight in the crotch.  The last couple I added some depth and they're better, but I have a bunch of older ones (3?) that I really like except for the tiny little fact that I want to tear them off for most of the day while I'm wearing them.

I just added an oval gusset to the crotch of an older, navy corduroy version, since I happened to have a bunch of corduroy left over from a 2nd project.  I CAN WEAR THEM AGAIN!  Now I'm going to go after two other pairs.  Yes, if you sit in front of me and stare at my crotch, it may look a little bit odd, but no one EVER does that.  Except my children.  They are interested in everything about me and it's sometimes exhausting.  :)