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I am a mother, a grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon



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Saturday, August 4, 2012

A suitette and some housekeeping

The house-keeping first.

Thanks you all so much for your helpful comments under that last post. I have replied there and am going to experiment with your suggestions and post the results.

The comments are the best part of this blog so make sure you read them and my responses there when useful.

Of course this whole blog needs a big clean-up and redesign, but right now with all my courses this would cut into my sewing time, but I will get to it. One thing I did today was delete the comment sidebar because I couldn't figure out how to clean up the mess it made of punctuation, you know the $#%! stuff. If someone smart can tell me how to stop that, back the comments go, because as I said they are the best part of this blog.

Now onto the suitette.

The fabric was ponte knit from Fabricmart and lighter than I would have chosen except for a wearable muslin. I used Sophia knit from for the black knit skirt I made last weekend, and think that worked better. And I need to get my hands onto some wool double knit.

I used the Magic Skirt again and here it is without a belt so you can see how the elastic waist actually looks:

Yes those are tummy drag lines but what the hell. I earned that belly. I could wear Spanx, which I believe are somewhere in the back of the drawer, but probably won't.

The jacket for this suitette experiment was the StyleArc Cozy Cardi. I cut off the button overlap because I wanted to have it trimmed and closureless but feel I need more room. 

I am most definitely doing a FBA to that pattern, the rest of it fits very well, but you will note those are skinny sleeves, since I have no upper body strength whatsoever this is fine for me but may not be for other people - so I feel i should point that out.

When I first made this I thought to myself it should have been made in something heavier and I will file this under Good To Know. I interfaced the hem with a fusible tricot interfacing (I did this on all knit versions of this skirt) but even still the hems show more than I would like.

I did considerable trying this on in the bathroom and staring at it for long periods of time while people were waiting for me to do other things, and I slept on it last night.

In the end I have decided:

1. It is super comfortable and is a good semi-disguise for professional wear even though it feels like jammies.

2. It looked better than I thought the next day.

3. It really needs accessories. I am thinking a knit top with a bow at the V neck, a brooch, belt and I will wear this with black tights and heelish shoes.

Bottom line.

Suitettes have potential, particularly if you are time crunched like me (I needed to spend all yesterday morning with Miss Scarlett carrying stones in spoons and throwing them into a pail of water, I really needed to do that) and if you have become committed to comfortable clothes and there is just no going back.

Once I have figured this concept out, you know this is a one hour skirt and a two hour jacket. 

Think that through.

And to be totally transparent about this, it really isn't that I don't have time, as much as I am always thinking of the next project and don't want to be held up too much.

I already have an idea for the next suitette I am pretty excited about.

But first lace skirts.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Stretch lace

Flushed with the success of the Magic Skirt I detoured myself for a stop at the fabric store at the bottom of the street yesterday in search of some decent stretch lace to use for a fancier version of this skirt.

I like all the lace yardage I see around for fall.

I thought it might not be a bad idea to have something in the can in case my life gets unexpectedly more glamorous.

Of course all the lace sitting out for bridal season was not stretchy at all, and this pattern requires that, but I did find some ends of cotton, wooly looking stretch lace marked down to about $5.00 a piece.

So I got those. I think they can be turned into some lace skirts that I could wear to work, which is a place I go to more often than out on the town:

The one on the left is actually more purple than pink in real life and there is a bit more black thread in the more cotton looking one on the right.

My plan now is to line both with black something but I am torn about what to use to do that.

Here are my thoughts:

1. Light weight black knit of some kind but that might stick to these textured knits and ride up. That's the kind of thing you don't discover until you are on the bus or stand up at a meeting.

2. Nothing. And wear a black slip under them. Which might ride up. Or might not.

3. Underline with black knit.

4. Underline with black slip like tricot.

I have a ton of work to do today so I am going to percolate this huge issue in the back of my mind.

What would you do if you were me?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Magic skirt in a stretch woven

As promised here is the Magic skirt in a stretch woven. 

This is some $5.99 stretch satin I was astute enough to buy from Fabricmart last year with no purpose in mind when I was going through a phase of thinking since I was a big person I should wear more big prints.

I think I am going to stick with this idea until I decide it is a dumb one. 

Once again this is a wonderful skirt IMO as it doesn't look like an elastic waist skirt but feels like one. The elastic is almost 1 to 1 at the waist so even when it is on the hanger there is hardly a ripple. And of course with the high waisted version this belt stays put.

I also made a RPL stretch woven in black but I didn't get a shot of that - this black skirt would look about the same as the one in last shot.

This pattern has really got me thinking about simple sewing and definite fabrics. I really wonder if sometimes we, or I in this case, work harder than we need to with some of our projects.

This really is a one hour skirt and you know it just doesn't look to me to be 1/10 as nice as a skirt that took ten times as long.

I am definitely going to be making many more of these, in fact would like some heavyish stretch lace to make a lace skirt. Anyone know where I can find that stuff?

More sewing I hope before the weekend. Unfortunately the full time job is kicking back in and that is going to compromise my time for myself, but I always find some sewing to do.

I am dying to get going on the suitette.