Sewing along…

In the past week I’ve signed up for not one but two sew-alongs! I’m getting a little nervous about reading sewing blogs…who knows what else I might commit to???

The first is Sew Colette 2.0.

I’ve been watching all of the lovely creations that have come out of this sew-along, as well as peeking at those from the previous sew-along, but I wasn’t planning on participating. I’m currently working on four sewing projects, with varying degrees of success, and that seemed to be quite enough.

Then I saw Colette’s fall patterns and spent just a little too much time admiring the Peony dress. It’s not really my fault – I’m a sucker for polka dots.

Not only have I signed up for Sew Colette 2.0, it seems only fair that I should catch up with everyone else and not sneak in late and start with the current pattern. This felt like quite a challenge when I thought I was only one dress behind, but it turns out I’m actually behind by two (Hazel and Macaron). Fortunately I took advantage of my enthusiasm before realizing the enormity of my undertaking, and went shopping!

I’d been eyeing the Colette Sewing Handbook for months, but kept putting off purchasing it because I own plenty of other sewing books and couldn’t figure out how to justify yet another. Apparently all I had to do was think about buying it for the five patterns that come with it! It was a relief to finally come up with a rationalization that worked.

Of course, the first time I opened the book it happened to be to the page on which Sarai talks about ‘the dark side of fashion,’ where fashion ‘can also fuel an almost endless desire to consume, to buy more things and to buy them less thoughtfully.’ Momentarily alarmed, I realized this of course did not apply to me because all of my purchases were related to things Sarai herself had created. Plus I’d thought about everything I’d bought for at least an entire day beforehand.

I snuck in Jasmine and Anise because they’re so darn cute. I’ll make them if I survive the sew-along.

Happy with my latest over-commitments, I bought some fabric that might or might not work for Hazel and Peony. And then I signed up for another sew-along!

Karen, whose blog Did you make that? is one of my favorites, announced an Apronalong a few days ago. How could I resist? I did just make an apron, but you can never have too many! Besides, not only do I have one more apron pattern that I’d love to try out, I also got to put another cute badge on my blog:


Now I just have to make three dresses, an apron, finish my novel, study Italian, and then there’s the day job. Something is clearly going to give, and your guess is as good as mine as to what!

I can say with certainty that there’s something – or perhaps I should say some things – that won’t be shortchanged no matter what…

New Look 6354 – Daisy skirt

This is a skirt version of the seersucker shorts I posted about a while back from New Look 6354. I made view E, partly because I didn’t have very much fabric, and partly because the fabric I used is a medium-weight cotton and is therefore a bit too thick to work well in view F’s wider skirt.

Alas, that fabulous view is not from my house. We spent the last week in a cabin in Marble, Colorado – the white blob in the background on the left side of the picture is the marble quarry. It was a lovely vacation, made even lovelier by the fact that the nearest cell signal is 30 miles away. Of course, the nearest gas station is also 30 miles away, which was a bit less fun.

I adore this fabric, and even though there wasn’t much left on the bolt (maybe a little over a yard) I knew I’d come up with something to do with it. I didn’t put much (okay, any) thought into the weight of the fabric, but after I’d finished the skirt and started reading up about cotton I ran across a Tilly and the Buttons post about sewing clothing with quilting cotton. I would happily make this skirt again from the same fabric, but I have learned that there is one thing you run the risk of when using a cotton like this one…wrinkles!!! I made the mistake of wearing the skirt for a few hours before the first round of pictures, and I now have a nice collection of wrinkled skirt photos. (For the record, it took three sessions – partly because I neglected to bring my iron on vacation.)

As long as I’m not being photographed, I don’t seem to mind the wrinkles. The daisies are so happy there’s no way you can look at them and be upset! And if I have to avoid sitting down when I wear this skirt, I’ll just wear it to events where there aren’t any chairs.

This skirt was the inspiration for sewing machine #2 – that was before I discovered the Rocketeers and brought my total to the current somewhat ridiculous four. While the daisy skirt is held up by elastic, the pattern calls for a decorative ribbon as well. It had been probably ten years since I’d made a buttonhole, and it turned out that my 25-year-old Kenmore is no longer willing to make one-step buttonholes. I didn’t even know there was a way to do them in more than one step! The very nice technician at the sewing shop offered to show me how, but I was thinking about everything I had in the queue at the time that needed buttonholes (four patterns, for a total of 14 buttonholes), and the three extra steps per hole! felt insurmountable. I mean, really – that would have been an extra 42 steps! I struggled with the concept of practicality for a minute or so, then came home with a spiffy new Janome:

It sews lovely buttonholes, and I don’t even have to be sitting at the sewing machine while it does all the work! How awesome is that?

The Mister was a bit alarmed when he walked into the room to find me ten feet away from the Janome while it was industriously making a buttonhole, so I promised to stay closer to it “just to be safe.” But – wow! And look at those buttonholes!