Hi, Blogland Buddies! It has been a while! I've missed you! :)
Since my last post, which was just before Christmas, I've worked extensively for two very cool new clients and other very cool current clients, seen the Austin school district undergo a massive budget crisis which resulted in the threat of my son's fantastic public school being closed, lost myself in the ensuing drama, pulled myself back out with the help of good friends, and finally gotten back to sewing and life in general.
After a 2-month hiatus from sewing, I jumped back in by skinnifying 2 pairs of jeans for family members and mending a pair of Louis' shorts. Easy stuff, projects to dip my toes back in the water. Then came Book Character Day at school. Louis wanted to be Curious George (again) so I made a (bigger than last year) monkey suit. I took a McCall's boys shirt pattern and pant pattern and traced around them both, matching at the waist and (as best I could) aligning along the grainlines. I've always appreciated those Simplicity Jiffy patterns from the 60's and 70's, with one main pattern piece, so I blended the front and back so that there was no side seam. Et voila! A one-piece pattern for a monkey suit:
I found a thin, medium-brown cotton twill from Hancock's and bought what was left -- about 1 1/2 yards. Not sure why I forgot my son has grown since last year and that I'd probably need more than that. I just eked out the main pattern piece, and nothing substantial was left for the hood. Back to Hancock's I went at the last minute, though they only had a dark brown. But when that's all you've got, that's what you get. BTW I have a new sewing injury to add to my repertoire: pulling the monkey tail inside out, I lost grip on the tail and banged my forearm on a closet door! At the time, I thought it would be a little knot, but it turned into a huge knot and awful-looking bruise. Much better now, a week later. I'm laughing that I didn't even take a picture of Louis in the suit when it was done. Oh well, he will wear it again and I can photograph it then.
It inspired me to take on a challenge that had been brewing in my head for a while: What if I could modify an existing pattern for myself so that I could eliminate side seams, and end up with a dress that has one primary seam (the opening to get in and out), and would only use a yard of fabric? Using an old self-drafted pattern, I rotated the bust dart from the side seam to the armhole. Drew new side seams to run perpendicular to the grainline, overlapped the front and back pieces at the side seams, and then traced around the whole thing:
I also drafted a coat collar from this book and put the simple dress together from a remnant of fine-wale corduroy, finishing off with purchased Wrights red piping and leftover black and white gingham from this dress. I kind of like this reverse ladybug dress and anticipate it will get lots of wear this spring and summer:
It already made its debut at the annual kite festival:
I look forward to easing back into Blogland, seeing what you've been up to. Thanks for sticking around and reading while life deals its bit and I roll with the punches.
Welcome back! I missed you....ReplyDelete
that dress is so cute and so mod! Love it! good to have you back...ReplyDelete
Hi Antoinette!! So good to see you back! The dress? Genius. Seriously. There are some super mod prints out there this spring, and all would look great!ReplyDelete
Spring has sprung up here in north Texas; we're sneezing our heads off.
that dress is so sweet! and kite flying - you're making me wish for spring up here.
I love piping, I love 60's style dresses and I love dresses that can be worn as tops.
Very clever with the one seam goal, clever girl! The red piped collar really makes that dress!! Love the reverse ladybug!ReplyDelete
Sorry to hear about your sewing injury. Hope it improves every day!
Very cute! We were at the Kite Festival too! (along with 30,000 others :)) Too bad we didn't run into you!ReplyDelete
so cute! i love the polka dots and the cut of the dress.ReplyDelete
Welcome back! And the dress is very cute and clever (fitting, given your blog name!)ReplyDelete
Wow, that is a neat trick!ReplyDelete
Do we get to see the Curious George costume?
so glad to see you back--skinnifying jeans, curious george costumes, and reverse ladybugs, oh my! I love how that dress turned out, very awesome.ReplyDelete
I'm in catch up mode in blogland. Your dress is perfect for having fun in. You and Lewis must come to Sydney and fly your kites at the Festival of the Winds on Bondi.ReplyDelete
Welcome back! Great dress and can't wait to see the monkey suit! :) I know what you mean about the school drama... we had our own since my husband's a RR school teacher. Hope to see you soon!ReplyDelete
You are the MacGyver of Sewing. Seriously. Your wily ways with patterns always makes me pass out. And I super dig the polka dots. Welcome back. :)ReplyDelete
welcome back! how awful about the school -the world truly is going mad. love the dress.ReplyDelete
What a beautiful mod dress..love the polka dot, so cute..love it!ReplyDelete