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.