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Solid Skirt

August 8, 2015
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Well I warned you that I’d be M.I.A. for a bit.  We moved to a townhouse about 4 blocks from our old house.  I really hate moving, but this new place is really nice so maybe we’ll stay here longer.  Anyways, I finished this skirt in June (before the move) and it’s my go-to skirt for work now, it goes with everything and it’s comfortable! Yay for butt princess seams!

SolidSkirt (1)

Not the best pictures, I had to bump up the contrast on them. I really need to figure out how to use my phone with a timer because it has a better camera than my actual camera!

Pattern: M5817, out of print

M5817

Fabric: Stretch polyester twill, poly lining

Design Likes/Dislikes: Simple lines and NO DARTS OR PLEATS! I don’t mind darts, although they’re annoying to sew, but I hate pleats on my skirts, they’re too poofy on me.

SolidSkirt (2)

Sizing and Fit: I made a size 10, should probably reshape the hip area a little next time. It’s just a bit more curvy than me. My hem is 3″ so next time I should also probably shorten it at the “shorten here” line so that my back vents are longer, oh well.

SolidSkirt

Changes: I added a lining by just cutting out the skirt pieces again.

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Love this skirt, now I just need it in some cool prints to go with solid colored tops.

~Molly

Summertime and the Linvin’s Easy

June 13, 2015
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Haven’t blogged in a month, don’t feel bad one bit, in case you wanted to know.  What have I been doing? A little sewing, plenty of work (but it’s light out before and after work now, summer is really amazing), a little travel, and reading.

Sewing: I made two Tiny Pocket Tank in one weekend.  I like them, but I’ve decided the Tiny Pocket Tank is not my soul mate.  I had to use 3/8″ seams and I think the neckline is a little too low.  It’s nice that it’s loose and swingy, but I feel like it hangs strangely on me.

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Tank Top Guts! It’s a really cool lace I’ve had forever (but only 1 yard) over layered on top of plain cotton. Kindof thick but it still looks good I think

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Chess print rayon! super wiggly

I also FINALLY finished the monk robe costume for my dad! This has taken forever, I think we first dyed the fabric in 2013.  I had to try it on and take pictures because I think I look like a dementor or the ghost of Christmas future in it.  I should be able to get pictures of my dad wearing it later this month.

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I am not the same size as my dad obviously, so it will look better on him with all his medieval accessories

Travel: I visited Pedro in Denver and we drove from there to the north rim of the Grand Canyon for some cold, wet camping!  There was snow on the ground the night we got there.  The views were pretty terrifying because the canyons were filled with clouds so even though you couldn’t see the drop offs half the time, you still knew they where there.  It really felt like a suspense/horror movie at times.  But when the clouds did clear it was really awe inspiring.

Snow covered trees in late May!

Snow covered trees in late May!

Scary drop offs that you can't see...

Scary drop offs that you can’t see…

But it was worth all the rain I think

But it was worth all the rain I think

Reading: It really must be the year of reading for me this year.  So far my favorite has been Vermilion, so much fun!  It’s a fantasy steampunk version of the late 1800s, set in San Francisco and then Colorado and Wyoming, lots ghosts, monster hunters, talking bears, and lots of action.  The main character is a half Chinese half English, 19 year old woman who dresses like a man and gets into way more trouble than she can handle most of the time.  I so hope this becomes a series, I had book depression after I finished it.

 

click image for link to the author’s website

 

 

I also finished reading that Magic of Tidying book by Marie Kondo, and while I think some of her ideas are good I don’t think she addresses the “don’t bring more crap home after you’ve cleaned up” part.  I also think she’s truely a little crazy.  I’m hoping to do a review of it in conjunction with Pedro at some point.

I’m working on a black pencil skirt right now, not too exciting except it has a green lining.  I’m having a hard time picking the next book to read, I tried to read The Swiss Family Robinson but it was pretty horrible and I had to stop (why is it a classic!? All they do is kill every animal they come across without a second thought!).  And we’re moving to a different house next month so I’ll probably be light on posting for most of the summer.  Blogging feels a little boring lately, maybe just because the sun is out.

~Molly

Professional Scrap Wrangler

May 11, 2015

Now that it’s finished this shirt looks kindof western to me.  I was thinking the black and white color blocking would make it really modern looking, but the curved yoke kindof kills that.  Oh well, I still like it.  Lightweight long sleeve shirts are always needed in an office environment, no matter what season it is outside, so I’m sure this will get plenty of wear.

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Pattern: V1387 by Rebecca Taylor

Fabric: Rayon challis scraps (so little what left that I actually threw away the rest of the black! woohoo stash busting)

Design Likes/Dislikes: There are a lot of cool details in this shirt, some of which might be a little fussy though, like the bias strip between the front yoke and the main front piece.  But I like the split collar a lot and the sleeve cuffs (first time doing sleeve plackets like that and only one was lopsided!).  The pleats on the front are fiddly, and I don’t understand why they can’t be gathers like there are on the back.

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WesternBlock (1)

Sizing and Fit: Overall it feels a little big, for reference I made a size 10 like I always do.  I know I’m short so I’m not talking about the length, but I think the shoulder seams hang maybe 1/2″ off where they should.  This is a very long shirt though, and the curve of the hem is pretty extreme in my opinion.  The front pleats are the only bust shaping so if they don’t lay correctly it can be annoying, and the button placket doesn’t help either because it’s actually cut straight the curve only comes from the other front pieces (and my boobs).

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Changes: I had to the piece the sleeves together, down by the placket, but I don’t think anyone can tell.  I didn’t use snaps, just because I didn’t have any and I’ve never used snaps before.  So the button hole placement might not be completely even, they’re surprisingly hard to place without marks.

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For Next Time: I seriously doubt there will be a next time.  This is a very nice shirt, but it’s pretty fiddly in general.  A great project for anyone who wants a bit of a challenge without too many fit issues to work through.  IF I made it again I would gather the front instead of pleats and change the hem curve.

~Molly

Reorganizing the Stash

May 6, 2015
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I like to organize my stuff, because I’d probably be a hoarder if I didn’t and I think it’s fun.

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Earlier this year I cataloged all the books I own (well, I’m actually not done yet, but text books didn’t sound like much fun so I haven’t done those yet), and now I’ve just finished refolding and cataloging all my fabric!  I’ve always had my fabric in storage tubs by a general category, like woven and knit, and that same system is still basically in place.  I really needed new tubs though, one of my old ones was literally crumbling when you tried to pick it up (the handle snapped off when I was taking it out to the recycling).

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Now my boxes are so pretty to look at!  The giant box with the red lid is all quilting cotton, “someday” I want to make a quilt… don’t hold your breath.

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FabricStorage (1)

Mr. Husband kept coming down to the cave and asking what I was throwing away, my response was empty boxes.  I think he thought I was going to purge.  Ha, no.  I did throw a couple little pieces of fabric that I just couldn’t see a purpose for and were really small scraps, but not much.

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While I was refolding everything I cut off a little corner and stapled it to one of these cards you see above.  I just made them up on my computer and printed them on some business card paper I had.  This is the first time I’ve ever tried real cataloging of my fabric, so we’ll see if I keep up with it or if it helps.  I think it will be nice to have the length listed there.  I still need to hang them on a string or something, maybe tie them to the box they correspond with.

Do you try to tame your stash in anyway?

~Molly

Aspirational Patterns

April 29, 2015
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For Decoration Only.

M7154

 

Well, not really, but that’s the way it ends up most times.

Yes, I purposefully buy patterns that I know I’m never going to use.  Doesn’t everybody? Well at least where I live in the US, Big 4 patterns are cheap.  Like less than a small cup of coffee cheap.  So why not?  I’m pretty sure M1754 above is going to be an aspirational pattern for most everyone that buys it (although if you switch out the skirt, it could be a really cool everyday dress)… because I’m totally buying it so I can look at the pretty picture.

Some other aspirational patterns have are these:

V1177

V1248

S1755

It’s harder to justify buying independent sewing patterns just for the sake of having because they’re more expensive, but there are plenty I’d love to have (the problem really, is that Big 4 patterns usually have a good substitute for any indi pattern I really like. And practicality tends to win that battle).

Do you buy patterns for inspiration even if you know you’ll never make them?

~Molly

A Spring Wreath

April 25, 2015
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I made another wreath.

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I think they have really awesome crafty potential, although I have trouble narrowing down what I want to make sometimes.  This one mostly turned out the way I planned, but kindof not at the same time.  Originally I had wanted big black letters stuck in with the flowers that said something passive aggressive like “Go Away,” since these things are usually hung on front doors (like mine) as a sort of greeting… but my sarcastic humor isn’t most people’s idea of funny, so I was afraid it would just sound mean (even though it was surrounded by flowers).  Instead I found a cheap little chalkboard and wrote something geeky on it.  The message can be changed too so that’s a plus.

I’m no expert on wreath making, but it’s stayed together so far.  All I did was paint a white styrofoam wreath base to black, then added some green on top of that.  Next, I artfully arranged some fake ivy vine and tied it in place with wire.

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SpringWreath (9)

Then I just started sticking fake flowers in, some woven through the vines and tied on with the wire, some just hot glued on.  And lots more hot glue to secure stuff in place, but you have to be careful with hot glue and plastic flowers… they can melt.  I had to get out the big giant wire cutters to trim excess off some of the flowers, those things are thick!

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And the final product:

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Maybe in the fall I’ll get the wreath making bug again, I’d love to make one covered in random, discarded toy parts (yes I have a little box full of those because I’m weird) and little plastic toy soldier type things.

~Molly

Inside Molly’s Head – April 2015

April 10, 2015

So I’ve done some link oriented posts before, but I’m never sure if other people care about them.  I like sharing the things I think are interesting because they’re usually offbeat or related to some other interest I have, not the typical sewing themed roundup of favorite projects or new pattern releases (I would get too snarky talking about pattern releases). I also can’t come up with an awesome name for these posts, it’s a problem…

  • How Superhero Costumes Are Made, ‘nuf said.  I am not impressed with the new Supergirl costume, it’s stuck in the 50s
  • Myra Chung won first place in the studend category for Hand & Lock’s embroidery contest. Until maybe last year I’d never heard of Hand & Lock, but it’s pretty awesome that they’re keeping highly skilled embroidery in the public eye.
  • I’m sure you’ve heard about the Mary Kondo tidying kondomania, and at first it sounds great, but the more I learn about it, the less I think it really fits with the ingrained American (and probably other countries) idea of using “all parts of the Buffalo.” This article from NYM’s The Cut sums up my feeling pretty well.  Even still, Pedro bought the book and will be giving it to me when she’d done with it (and her tidying).  I think she’s planning on doing a review in the future too.
  • The Threadcult podcast is not new, but I don’t hear much word-of-mouth about it on the blogosphere which is really a shame.  Personally I really dislike most of the sewing podcasts out there, they’re all just some random lady having a chitchat with another lady that happens to do something sewing related. It’s like gossip almost. And most of the time it feels like the host just wants to shower their guest with compliments, not have a meaningful conversation.  Anyways, Threadcult is more my speed: technical, experts, historical facts, and all about textiles and sewing. There hasn’t been a new episode in a while, but I’m sure it’s not an easy job.
  • This is kindof disturbing, it will definitely make you had main stream advertising even more.
  • And because I don’t have enough books to read as it is*, here is the top novels of the 21st century, so far.

Thoughts?

~Molly

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