Sunday, April 20, 2014

Anne Klein at EasterTime....

Do you remember getting ready for Easter?   I do...!

It was the one time in the year when my hair was curled and my whole family dressed up with hats and gloves to celebrate the holiday.  I don't really remember if I concentrated on the true meaning of the holiday, but I remember practicing over and over in the weeks preceding it to commit to memory an Easter verse of some length (depending on my age), and being celebrated as smart and articulate following my recitation in front on the entire congregation at our church or Sunday School class.  I remember the great Easter meal that waited at home.  It always included deviled eggs, a ham with pineapple and maraschino cherries decorating the top, and plenty of home-made rolls....hot and buttery from the oven.

I no longer give Easter speeches or visit the main street or parks of the city to participate in Easter parades, but I seem to always prepare a dress to wear in celebration of the day.  This year, my fabric came from FabricMart, and was actually on sale for only $2.40 per yard when I bought it a few months ago.  My pattern selection took a lot of fabric (in my size (16) it took 3 1/2 yards of 60" fabric) because of the dress details, so I was looking for a low cost fabric to make this outfit.  I purchased 4 yards and felt I did a good job in reducing the cost of this project.


Vogue 1358
Courtesy of McCalls Pattern Company

I used Vogue 1358, and made no changes to the pattern in the process of completing the garment.  I do wish I has lengthened the hemline, though.  Vogue seems to be making them shorter and shorter nowadays.  The dress was one of the things I cut out on my one of my cutting marathons, and the garment required a lot of single layer cutting, which as you know, is tedious and time consuming.  The fabric is a lightweight burnout, and a good substitute for the silk, chiffon, charmeuse and crepe de chine fabric the pattern recommended.  The dress is fully lined, and I wish I had lined it with a fleshtone lining instead of the snow white poly I selected.  With my dark skin, the only unlined portion, the burnout area in the sleeves, contrast with the other sections of the garment, and could have been handled differently.  But, at least it will be cool and this summer will not require a slip when I wear it.



White/Black/Brown Animal-like Print Burnout
Poly/Cotton Shirting
from FabricMart

What may not be obvious is the dress has a pointed collar with a stand and a separately added facing at the ruffle that closes the bodice with a hook and eye.  The front of the dress joins with differently-shaped left and right skirts at the waistline, but the back of the dress has only a center back seamline.  I would suggest anyone trying this pattern to MARK THE PLEATS CAREFULLY.  There are a lot of them all close to one another!  Also, take the time to baste the narrow hems required around almost every piece of the garment's raw edges (including the lining).  Turning these raw edges evenly and carefully will determine the final finished appearance of the garment and will keep it from looking "Becky Home-ecky."  The interior seamlines are joined with french seams, keeping everything neatly finished.  Practice making them and remember to begin the first stitchline with wrong sides together!  I had to pause often because the right and wrong side of this fabric was so similar.  I can't imagine how it would be looking for the 'right' or 'wrong' side if I had used a piece of silk or charmeuse.  I'm sure I would have had to employ painters tape to mark them, but with this fabric I put the non-shiny side of the fabric outside.  Sewing at night was the only time the differentiation presented a problem.  

Will I make it again?  Probably not....This pattern was a lot of work for what was rated as an average-level challenge.  I did learn something new, though.  I put the collar together using a method I've learned since I began blogging, and I am very pleased with the finished appearance of the collar and stand.  I will be using it from now on and recommend this method to other sewists, too.  

I have also learned the secret to the success of a garment is to not be fearful of trimming the collar (and other interior) seams.  I've never trimmed confidently or thoroughly before.  If the instructions told me to trim to 1/4", I would probably trim it to 3/8" and would rarely grade the seams if there were multiple layers of fabrics in the seams.  But, I urge you to do it!...It makes such a difference in your finished garment!  I love when each sewing experience teaches me something new about sewing more expertly and confidently.  This dress taught me two good lessons.


Hung in front of the light
to show the sheerness of the fabric and lightness of the dress

Button and Loop at Dress Waistline
from G Street Fabrics

My local Hancock Fabrics just did not stock the proper button.  A black button seemed too dark, and a white one was too stark.  So I ventured on my second driving expedition in the DC area to reach G Street's famous button wall.  I just knew they would have a transparent button with black striations....and they did!  They cost $1 each (I needed seven...including the extra one I always purchase to hide inside an interior seam allowance), and their total was almost as much as what I paid for the fabric!  Do any of you do the same thing?  I will always pay the cost for the perfect button....they always make the outfit.


Finished Product

I wish you could see the detail on this dress.  I still am not expert on photographing garments in my sister's house....so I apologize for the repetitive surroundings.

Close-up of dress bodice

Dress Back

Dress Interior and the Shoes

Thanks for coming along for the ride.  I've got so many other garments to finish before the end of the month.  It's getting warmer and warmer, so sewing will lighten up, too!  Drop me a line if you have any questions.  I love comments, so feel free!  'Til next time....take it one stitch atta time!.....

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Okay...Where Were We?....

Have you been thinking of me?  I certainly have not forgotten you!  I've been busy and sewing between the holidays and regular days since my last post.  It's now about time I brought my friends and readers up to date on the specifics of these activities.

One thing I've begun since moving cross country (about a year ago) began because I currently have no dedicated sewing space.  I now have begun to work on multiple projects simultaneously.  It's only because when I cut something out (my least favorite part of the process), I must clean up and return the area used back to its original appearance.  So, I seem to have begun to cut out multiple projects at a time.  It's fine, but I've always been a 'one-project-at-a-time' sewist, so it seems to be taking me a longer time to get anything to the point where I can blog about the process.  I rarely hoard fabric or purchase it without a specific project in mind.  I worked at a fabric store during my son's last two years of high school and accumulated a lot of fabric at a substantial discount during those years.  Moving (and paying to move) lunks and trunks of this yardage cured me of hoarding.  Don't misunderstand, I still love beautiful fabric, so when the fabric is purchased, the next step is to cut the project out, organize it with the associated notions, and work on it with the hours or minutes I have available.   With that as a background of how my life currently works, I will share with you how my current minutes have been spent.

The things I seem to sew are things that make me stretch my talents and keep me open to new sewing experiences.  Most of the time, the projects I select appear nowhere else on internet blogging sites (like patternreview.com or the personal blogs on blogger.com or wordpress), so there are very few sewing hints or completed examples of identical projects posted by others.   I feel more like a pioneer in the sewing world.  Part of that is because I have been sewing for so many years, the 'standard solid-color-shift-dress' sort of sewing doesn't seem to interest me any more.  New and interesting designers do, though....and working with new and interesting fibers and textiles....and incorporating my other talents (cross stitch/embroidery/silk ribbon embroidery/quilting) keep my creative projects interesting.

I did take everyone's lead and create a dress from the ever-popular Vogue 1314 by Tracey Reese.  I bought an ideal  soft, patterned knit fabric from the local Hancock sale table for it.  My sister (another seamstress) copied me and rushed to the local store buy two yards for her own version in another color.  I had no problem with her actions because we've had many, many sewn items in our closets that are from the same pattern since we were little girls.  We always end up in identical clothing in different colors, and the picture below proves how proud we were of my mothers sewing talent (and our new bicycles). lol  



'The Girls'
Back in the Day in Nebraska

Weren't we adorable?????  Bows and all!..hahahahaha!!!!!...My sister would die if she knew I posted this pic, but you won't tell her, so she will never know...right?  I would have rather shown another pic of us at Easter in some identical frocks we wore that year.  She and I recently laughed long and hard about our holiday outfits as tried to remember which color hers was versus mine.  She didn't have a copy of the picture and mine remains packed away.....so, instead you get this little glimpse into our history.  We are a year apart in age and a size apart in clothing.  I think her interest in sewing no longer keeps pace with mine, but, she remains a creative individual and my creative backboard with a very good eye for style and 'the arts.'


Vogue 1314
Photo courtesy of McCalls Patterns

This pattern had been produced many times, so I was able to incorporate some design changes to improve the fit.  Invaluable were the suggestions made by Sarah, one of my favorite bloggers, posting to Goodbye Valentino. I had already completed my dress by the time she wrote the blog about this pattern, but I went back and opened the side seams to incorporate the changes she suggested.  It improved the garment dramatically, and I plan to make it again with the RTW changes the designer made to the original dress. Also...thank you, Andrea (posting from Knit-Knac.blogspot.com)  for the inspiration for my second version of this dress....I love this dress and the changes she plans to make to it; I am currently seeking the ideal fabric to duplicate the new version of this pattern, too.


Vogue 1314
Front Neckline

Wow!...my blogs are too long....but I can't leave without telling you about a couple of other projects 'in-process.'  This second one is taking a long time to cut out.  It took a long time to find the fabric and a few additional days to read the pattern instructions to make sure I understood the construction process.


Vogue 8957
Image Courtesy of McCalls.com

I LOVE this evening jacket!   I am making View B (shown above) which is sleeveless by design, but I will be adding the tiny cap sleeve from View A.  The jacket is fully lined and is put together by joining a series of split circles lengthwise (the number depending on the size you are creating).  The pattern in my size required 5 yards of fabric 60" wide.  The instructions suggest a template be made for the three circles, and they be cut from the yardage a total of 68 times...that's right....no typo...sixty-eight times!  The circles are joined by french seams (my choice) and the edges of each ruffle are to be double-rolled after staystitching.  I don't recommend this project to anyone fearful of handwork or as I've seen it called "fiddly" handwork.  It will be beautiful, though....and I will keep you posted on my progress.


Vogue 8957
Over 60+ pieces of fabric!

My non-sewing machine handwork includes cross stitch.  My current project is a little black girl in a yellow dress.  The pattern was purchased from an Etsy vendor, and I am working diligently on this every day for the past month or so.  She reminds me of my childhood when the neighbors used to refer to me as that 'big-legged girl.'  As you see, she has braids and ribbons, too, so she holds a special place in my heart.  I'm not sure if she will become a pillow or be framed on my wall, but she will be one of a pair of little black girls whose charts are waiting to be completed.  I know, more of tedious work that calms me and currently strains my eyes.  I am getting older....


Little Girl in a Yellow Dress
Cross Stitch
Okay....that's all for today.  This post has taken too long to compose.  I hope you enjoyed the update.  I haven't told you about my Easter dress because its soo springy and the weatherman is predicting another snowstorm tonite in my area.....sigh!  I will also include my completion of a summer version of the ever-popular Vogue 8728.

Vogue 8728
Photo Courtesy of McCalls.com
I goofed putting together the belt buckle, so I am re-doing that portion of this project.  It also includes a lapped zipper....I still detest the invisible type, but, I am getting better at them.  This vintage dress required an old fashioned installation at the side seam.  I'll show you the result on my next post.  It's been fun!...comment any time.  If I've omitted anything, please ask....I love comments and appreciate hearing from everyone who visits!

Remember....Keep going....one stitch at a time!....





Thursday, January 30, 2014

Moving On....Donna Karan Collection - Vogue 1341

My posts could easily slow to posting once in a blue moon, but I don't want to do that again!  I keep sewing and cutting out and ordering more fabric, so I must stay ahead of the curve by sitting at my computer to post what I have done to my blog.  Anyone who does this knows how long it takes (if you do it well), and for me....getting it right takes longer because I am not a writer.  I just wish to communicate with fellow sewists and give back to the community that has informed and improved my sewing experience.  So, here goes....another dress by Donna Karan.  I sewed this dress around Thanksgiving using a beautiful double knit purchased from Gorgeous Fabrics specifically for this pattern (just 2 yards).  Because the fabric is black, taking photographs that show the dress details is very difficult unless it is lit in bright lights or direct sunlight.  It also hangs funny on the hanger (highlighting my need for a dress form here) because the front bustline is full and has no rigid shaping beyond the tucks.

Vogue 1341

Vogue 1341
(back)

I really do like how the dress turned out; it could have been labeled one of those 'Easy" patterns, but it did have some sophisticated details.  For instance, there are no side seams and the zipper is to be placed in a seam with a curve which can be seen on the left back in the picture above.  Insertion of a perfect invisible zipper is critical here, and no place for anyone who has not mastered this art.  When you install the zipper, I recommend you place iron-on interfacing strips in the seam allowance.  Make sure it ends at least 1/4' beyond the seam allowance for a smooth appearance along its curve.  I usually avoid invisible zippers, but this dress requires one even though the notions listing on the envelope back does not specifically say it.  The curve of the seam would not work with a standard zipper insertion, so do yourself a favor and take this recommendation.

The dress also has a one-shoulder lining (not essential, but desirable in my opinion).  To put this design together, you need diligence in marking the tucks that define the dresses shape.  There are only a few, including a couple on the sleeves, but the many pattern dots can be confusing if you don't color-code them or pay attention to which way the folds should lay.  As I removed each pattern piece, I immediately handbasted the tucks and pinned them in the correct position.  This one process was one that made putting this dress together much easier than it might have been otherwise.

As a designer, Donna Karan feels a woman's shoulders (including her collarbone) are one of the last things to go as we age.  If yours haven't disappeared yet, you may wish to take advantage of this dress' design details to show them off.  Don't look for the inward fit at the waistline you see in the pattern picture, the pattern doesn't allow for the close fit the picture purports it has.  It just means those of us with a little more waistline will create a dress that fits just fine without any adjustments.  I find that is what happened with me although I wish it had a closer waistline fit.  I made no alterations there or at hemline or bustline, either.  The pattern pieces are such unusual shapes, I wouldn't have known where to begin on either.  The pattern is no longer available on the McCalls/Vogue website, and for such a recent pattern, the lack of easily made alteration points may be why it was discontinued so quickly.  I would recommend this dress be made from a knit with heft and weight.  The fabric needs weight to hold the designs details and not have the tucks collapse on one another.  I will be trying this one again, though.  The second one will be in a brighter color.  Looking for a coral or turquoise double knit, perhaps.


Vogue 1341
(technical drawing)

Vogue 1341
(dress zipper in curved seam)

Vogue 1341
Slip/Lining


Nice label, huh?
Thanx Ann!

Vogue 1341
(dress front)


If you decide to try it, drop me a note if you feel my comments were validated in your sewing experience.  I'd love to hear from you....til then, keep sewing....one stitch atta time!



Monday, January 20, 2014

I Sew Quite a Few Vogue DKNY Patterns....

My recent pattern selections include a lot of the designs of Donna Karan.  Other than the 'shorter than (personally) flattering' skirt lengths, this particular designer seems to focus on the structural details that appeal to me.....i.e., tucks, pleats and the neckline and shoulder details that attract my attention.  The next project I recently completed falls right in this line.

Vogue 1287
Photo Courtesy of Vogue Patterns

This dress surprised me.  The fabric suggestions on the pattern back were all very light-weight fabrics like silk crepe, charmeuse and lightweight jerseys.  Because these are such delicate and 'summery-weight' fibers, the pattern also included a separate slip Vogue suggested be made from crepe de chine.  My fashion fabric choice was very different for the dress I constructed.  I chose what FabricMart called a black/white giraffe print stretch knit.  It was 60" wide, and would not require any under-slip for modesty or warmth so I didn't include making the slip in my version.  Of course the fabric was on sale for some ridiculously inexpensive price per yard (less than $4), so I began my project comfortable I would only need the interfacing, thread and elastic for notions.  I did a standard FBA, and lengthened the hemline one inch.  The photograph's fabric doesn't reveal the design details, but should you peek at the technical drawings, you will see a pocketline that wraps and moves the dress side seam more to the rear of the dress.


The dress was very simply constructed, with many flattering pleats at the shoulder seam and waistline above (and below) the waistband.  The back waistband is kept snug against your body with a small length of non-roll elastic 1-1/2" wide.  The hemline has a facing, which was a pleasant option from the standard 'turn-it-up-5/8"-and-stitch' instructions that have become so prevalent.  

The only instruction confusion occurred at Step 16.  The picture that accompanies the verbiage was confusing, so just remember the shaded (right side of the fabric) is only a part of the right side of your garment and not a strangely shaped pattern piece.  There are very few interior seams to serge or finish, and I put lightweight interfacing in the pocket facings and hemline.  All in all, I think I will make this one again....right after I go through all the other DKNY designs that are waiting.  lol


Dress Front
Vogue 1287

Dress Back
Showing Pocket Position

As I said, I liked this pattern and recommend you create one for yourself.
I thank you for stopping by.  I hope to get better and better at posting pictures of my garments without an available dress form.  My sister doesn't have one, and although I have two, neither are available until I stop moving cross country or buy her one.  She doesn't sew as much as I do, and I certainly do not need a third dress form!  Sigh!....lol

I keep going....one stitch at a time!  You do the same!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Do You Remember the Selfish Seamstress?

Do any of you remember the posts of the Selfish Seamstress?  If you've been reading sewing blogs as long as I have, you would miss her as much as I do.  She was a fabulous exceptional seamstress and had a witty sense of humor that left you panting for her next project and post....which always included a tongue-in-cheek rant that reinforced her commitment to sewing only for herself.

This past year or so, after moving cross county to be with my recently-widowed sister, the pressure to sew for her friends and the new people I meet became intense.  Although the Selfish Seamstresses posts had become infrequent (following her marriage and move to Europe), I sought out her blog just to purchase one of the coffee cups she offered with her original haiku poems that politely discourage the begging.  The one I chose says, "Sew something for you?  It's not that I don't have time...I just don't want to."  (teehee)  I keep it on my sewing spot filled with the small notions I constantly reach for.  In spite of her blog's inactivity, all of her items are still available and can be purchased to support St. Jude's Hospital for Children, and include a variety of tote bags, tshirts and customizable mugs with similarly unique haiku.  (Check them out....and if anyone knows of her whereabouts, tell her we miss her!)

I had gotten pretty good at dissuading the begging babble that surrounds accomplished sewists, and had gotten really good at politely rebuffing their offers of payment, no matter what the project.  This holiday season was very discouraging, though.  Because of a very limited budget, I chose to make presents for my immediate family and the results reminded me of the reason I had refrained from sewing for anyone except myself.

The niece I had made things for all her life now had an opinion and seemed not to like what I created....she didn't take it out of the box or say much about it...not even a mumbled, "Thank you."  She sorta sniffed at what I described as the 'difficulties' I encountered making it.  (I lengthened each 3 inches, the horn buttons came from China via an EBay seller and I quilted the inside lining.  I was really pleased with the long-haired fur, which had been ordered from a website:  imstuffedfur.com)  The special length zippers (my niece is 6'2" barefoot) were ordered from an Etsy seller (Zipit) and I enjoyed look;ing for the special zipper pull placed on each one.  This niece has lupus and recently had knee surgery, so she needs to keep her joints warm as she performs her work-related duties.  I thought this was going to be a great present., although my sister predicted she would not like it and suggested instead that I ask my niece what she wanted.  I was too far in, too much time had been spent, too much money had been invested in the project.  I had only enough time to finish it before the holiday, and no time to rethink the process.  Did I have enough money to purchase whatever she would say she wanted?  No....so I plunged forward to complete the project.  I just hoped she would be gracious, and watched if she keyed on my sister's reaction...it was disappointing.

McCalls 6809


Very Easy Very Vogue 9427

My sister didn't goo and gush over her gift either, in spite of the effort and details I put into the project; she sews as well, so has knowledge of how time-consuming my efforts were.  I made the jacket from a plush deep purple fleece.  I quilted the inside hood/jacket facing and made cording for its edge.  Not sure if she liked it either, beside it being extremely soft and warm.   She did say thank you, however and has been wearing inside the house.


Purple and Warm

I know, I know....I have learned that you should give a gift for the pleasure of giving it, and that's what I am concentrating on.  I have made the decision not to put as much work into gifts for individuals that don't express an appreciation for the effort.  Maybe I do better at gifts for the little ones in my life.....i.e., my great nephew and 3 grandsons.  They seem to give me the big smile and thanks for the puppets, stuffed animals and aprons gifted them this past year or so.  I'm trying to be more understanding for my relatives who benefited and felt entitled during the years prior to the U.S. economic hiccup and the salary of a seasoned employee vs. the beginning salary my son and I began with.  Now, instead of getting what you may want, you should develop the skill to appreciate what you are given.  I can't be the only person who feels this way.

I've suddenly become a fan of the proverbial innocuous gift card....I'll be giving them more as gifts in the future.  I marvel at a fellow blogger who cheerfully accepted the fact that his mother did not like the housedress he made for her and (seemingly unaffected) he bounced out to get more fabric in an effort to please her with another effort.  I pray I can cheerfully try, try again.  I'll begin that journey tomorrow.  But, today, I am more like the Selfish Seamstress.  It seems safer....

I continue my journey....one stitch at a time....

Friday, January 10, 2014

Finishing Last Year's Projects....Vogue 1268


I have so much holiday sewing to complete!  And with it being so cold out here in the eastern United States, I can find few valid reasons to leave the house other than work or walking my dog, Domino.  Yes, I have finally purchased a few pairs of socks to wear in this frigid weather, and it now takes less than two hours for my feet to warm up after coming inside. lol  My hands stay busy, and this post is to describe the last step taken to complete a sewing project begun over a year ago.

It turned out pretty well as far as sewing goes, and I have just sewn on the single button, the finishing touch to this fully-lined synthetic suede dress.  I have seen a few versions of Vogue 1268 on Patternreview.com, and only one seamstress completed  her garment in a similar weight fabric as mine.  We also had a similar assessment about the final results of the Guy Larouche pattern style and final fit.  

Vogue 1268
Image courtesy of McCall Patterns

I purchased the fabric I used (from either fashionfabricsclub.com or fabricmart.com) before I moved from California, and completed the dress not too long after arriving here in Virginia.  I had gained a bit of weight in the interim, so there was no trying it on until recently, after dropping approximately 25-30 lbs.  Now that I have returned to something closer to my 'normal' weight, I have sewn on the statement button and am ready to place it into my very limited wardrobe rotation.

Diamond-stitched Microsuede
Photo courtesy of Martha's Fabrics

The dress was cut in a size 16 with a FBA for a DD bustline at the time.  I now am closer to a size 12 or 14 and my ribcage is 2" smaller and only a D cup at the bustline.  I did no other adjustments to the pattern, neither lengthening the dress at the hemline or changing the sleeve length.  I worked hard to get the one buttonhole as perfect as I could, seeing that it was a focal point of the dress and almost as large as a small welt pocket (overexaggeration) and difficult to ignore.  lol

The pictures below show the selection I made for the single buttonhole.  Yes, it is a large one....about 1-1/2" across.  It was one of the largest available from a website called As Cute as a Button based in San Diego, CA.  I was pleased that I was able to get the button through my bound buttonhole, which I made approximately 1-3/4" wide.


Button from "As Cute as a Button"


Dress Front


I also added an heavy duty hook and eye to hold the front of the dress stable.  I am very pleased with the finished product.  I chose a pair of heels from Sole Society to wear with it.  They are taupe and dark brown with a gold-colored piping around an edge that ties the ensemble together.  I plan to wear this with dark brown tights as soon as an appropriate occasion presents itself.  Hopefully, soon!

Sole Society Shoe


Dress Front
Vogue 1268

Dress Back


Just before the New Year, I also finished a gift for my middle grandson.  He seems to have become obsessed with PacMan, so I took it upon myself to order some custom-designed fabric from Spoonflower that had the colorful representation of that game.  Are you familiar with Spoonflower?  We'll discuss that experience in the next post!  I hope all of my readers return to hear and see the details of that experience.  Happy New Year to you and all my fellow bloggers.  I'm trying hard re-kindle my blogging desire and post more this year.  I learn so soooo much from reading all the blogs I follow, I feel obligated to contribute my two cents.  Please write me back!  I enjoy your comments

'Til then....keep sewing....one stitch at a time!
P.S. .....Domino says Hi!



Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I Won, I Won!!!!!!.....Downton Abbey, Here I Come!


I've always felt like a fish out of water, someone with eclectic tastes and unusual interests cultivated in a midwestern childhood and an adolescence basted in California liberalism.  It makes for strange bedfellows and friends, and leaves me alone a lot of the time.  As I get older, it doesn't bother me half as much as it used to.  I do a lot of reading, sewing and solitary television watching.  Most of the shows I watch are not of interest to a majority of those I encounter IRL (in real life) (lol).  Since I've begun blogging and become involved in the internet, my world has expanded to introduce me to more people like me.  Sites like Pinterest and Facebook help begin conversations with interesting people and connects me with organizations and groups who are no longer satisfied to sit alone at home and bay at the moon.  

I remain a lifelong supporter of the Public Broadcasting System, and for the past three years have become an avid fan of their Masterpiece Theatre show: Downton Abbey.  Are you?   Oh, I hope someone (maybe a few of you) out there is/are as fascinated by the clothes, decorum and storyline of this captivating saga as I am! I digress....

This January, the fourth season of this show begins, and all Downton fans are holding their breath and waiting to see what happens following the sudden death of one of the main characters at the end of last season.  I follow the show for 'behind the scenes' articles on the PBS website, and they recently sent me an email asking if I were interested in attending the local premiere preview of the first episode of the upcoming season.  This will occur just a few weeks ahead of the show's national premiere date!  Of course, I said I would LOVE to!   I quickly submitted my name as one of the group of thousands who must have responded, and lo and behold....about a week later I received an email advising me that I had been selected!  I think it was because I was a party of one....having no clue as to who I would ask to go with me, I submitted only myself as an interested party.

So off I'll go....alone into the Washington night.....wending my way through the dark streets of DC in early evening....carrying a shower gift for Lady Mary's baby (which will be donated to the National Center for Children and HOPE in Northern Virginia, Inc. on behalf of WETA-TV supporters).  Oh my!....What shall I take (or make) for the baby???....homemade or storebought????  OMG!!!! So second issue is...what should I wear!!??....what would you wear!!!!????  I've been sewing like mad, so I do have choices....just which one?  

I've decided it will be what I made from this Suzi Chin Butterick Pattern 4978.. The Washington Metro area is COLD right now....so I am delighted to own an appropriate heavy wool winter coat and have decided to walk from the self-park garage nearby to the hotel event ($34 valet parking they warned!) in a pair of black booties I ordered from Sole Society.   I will wear black hosiery and my earring choice remains open.  I'll toss my black Pashmina over my shoulders and carry my black kidskin gloves.  

I know....I wish I could wear anything Lady Sybill wore (before her untimely death), but this ensemble will have to do.
Full Length Dress
(Tea Length)
                                        
Dress Inside Lining


Dress Front with Bow at Waist

Dress Back at Zipper


Just to add....making the dress was not difficult, and was made with $2 per yard fabric from (FabricMart, I think).  LOTS of handwork and basting on the chiffon, but handwork is something I have never minded doing.  I was more delighted to find the lining in the perfect brown at my local JoAnn's.  That brown lining in straight grain and stretch is soooo hard to find!  It is my goal to gather my coins and purchase a bolt of each as soon as I can.  I was also proud of my regular zipper.  Zipper insertion is so important to a new sewist, when I began to sew I practiced and practiced until I could insert them perfectly (lapped, centered and hand-picked).  Now, this was waaay before invisible zippers were even invented, and I still strive to master invisible zipper insertion today.

The only real question I encountered on this dress was figuring out which way the finished side of the lining should face.....which way would you have done it?  Choice one is to have the finished side of the lining facing your body.....choice two is to have the finished side of the lining facing the underside of the chiffon.  Is there a rational choice?  Chime in.....which way would you have completed the garment?  After the event, I'll tell you which way I finished mine and tell you what I chose to take as a shower gift for Lady Mary's baby boy.  Will I meet any blogger friends or sewists there?  Let me know if you will be there, too!  I'm so excited!

'Til next time....
Keep sewing....one stitch at a time!...