Last summer I joined the dress making bandwagon and churned out a half dozen stretch woven sheath dresses McCalls 6201 sheath and a few empire waist knit dresses Simplicity 3678. I liked how easy they were to wear in the summer and decided to try a few more dresses this summer.
I made size D, cut the neckline about 1 1/2" deeper, raised the armhole depth about 3/8", otherwise I used the given two armscye darts and two back shaping darts. Bias trim the neckline and armholes, stitch a baby hem and it's a cool, lightweight way to get through summer.
Here are the four versions that I've sewn in the last four weeks....with a few more in mind.
The first picture is actually my third one. It's a denim/navy colored linen and I am wearing it with a handwoven silk shawl from Mekong River Textiles Mekong River Textiles I added a band of trim around the neckline, some blue toned braided mini soutache from the PA Fabric Outlet that I hand stitched in place after I had bias bound the neckline.
Since our temps were in the 100s in late June and early July I planned on wearing this outfit to an outdoor wedding in the country two weeks ago. But then that little thing like the derecho storm hit that Friday night and all bets were off. We missed the wedding, about three hours away, and lost power for four days. Thanks, however, to our more than generous next door neighbors we were able to hook up our refrig to their generator and keep food safe, a fan or two running and by Monday I was even hooking up my sewing machine and doing some sewing. But that's another post for another day. In the meantime, here are the other three versions.
|First version in camel linen with some strange light reflections from that mirror|
|Plain black grey linen|
|mini check cotton rayon shirting fabric|
I also think I can slash off about 18 more inches and have a nice bias top pattern. I am one of those people who loves a new TNT pattern and doesn't mind making a few versions once I get the fit refined. I know others find that a little too factory-like or just dull. I love those people because they keep sewing new things that make me ooooh and ahhhh all over the internet. I'm not one of them but I sure appreciate the work that goes into sewing, reviewing and posting pics of the process. Here's hoping your sewing is fun which ever way you do it.
Last post I promised to share what other activities were diverting my attention from sewing. I love summer for reading....oh, heck, I just love reading and here are my most recent recommendations:
I believe Anna Quindlan and I are about a year apart in age and this book deeply echoes my feelings about aging. I have been very fortunate (hence my blog name) that major tragedies have not stricken my life so I've enjoyed getting older without huge diminishment in my quality of life Do I have regrets? Yikes, of course or I would hardly be human. Do I sometimes envy today's thirty and forty year olds because they will see more of the future than I? Again, yes, yes. I am so curious to know how the story continues. Do I spend my time worrying about my wrinkles, bumps and sags? Sure, sometimes, but most of the time I'm thrilled to be where I am in life. This book was a celebration of all that is good right now...all the while knowing that it will not last forever and may not last for long. That's what makes me grateful for each and every day of so many blessings.
I've enjoyed Adriana Trigiani since I read her Big Stone Gap trilogy years ago (start there to get a good flavor for her) and then loved, loved, loved, Lucia, Lucia a few years ago. Lucia, Lucia Amazon blurb and reviews Sewists, grab that one and enjoy the pages of custom sewing descriptions for gowns in 1950's and 60's New York City.
The Shoemaker's Wife is another wonderful story, almost prequel to the characters of the of Lucia, Lucia. It combines true historical characters, the opera singer Caruso, for example, with a fictional account of two immigrants from the same northern Italian region who come to America at the turn of the century. Sweet, romantic, entertaining.
This last selection came from my monthly book group. One of the guys in the group had read the new Stephen King novel, 11 22 63 which sets up various alternative endings to the day that President Kennedy was shot in Dallas. The book group member had heard an interview with Stephen King who described the book below as the best time travel book ever written and he suggested we read it. Well, in my case, that would be re-read it. I loved this book when I first read it in the early 1970s and this is the copy still on my bookshelf. I was curious to see if my opinion would hold up over time and it has. It's a very detailed account of Simon Morley who volunteers for a government experiment to test a self-hypnosis version of time travel. Not particularly fast paced but it combines a mystery, a historical novel, again blending real events and places with fictional ones, a romance, perhaps a little improbable but charming nonetheless and it has illustrations. The book group participants generally enjoyed it and I was thrilled to have a reason to read it and love it all over again. Most of the the books' action takes place in the Manhattan of 1882 which the author is constantly comparing to the Manhattan of 1970. Since I was working in NYC in the summers of 1970 and 1970, these were places that were familiar to me daily and I greatly enjoyed such a lively account of what it had been like almost a hundred years earlier.
Thanks for sticking with me so long this time. Now let's get back to what we really love to do....dream up that next sewing project.