A few small updates in one long blog post...
I've been bucking wardrobe tradition this summer and wearing more shorts than dresses. And I don't have enough voluminous tops to coordinate with short shorts, so I went to the fabric store Sunday to see what I could find. McCall's has released some... um... unusual top / shirt patterns recently, but M6566 was pretty basic. Boxy and shapeless, but not insane.
The shirt on the model looks like it's a raglan sleeve pattern, right? Wrong. Dolman sleeve. The lace is cut out to suggest it's part of a raglan top. I've always wanted to sew with lace. Over the years I've collected some interesting lace remnants to mess around with, so I had a few to choose from for this shirt. I picked a polyester lace, which may be bridal judging from the sheen, and which I am certain to never, ever purchase again. It had a scalloped border and I decided not to cut it off.
As for the body of the shirt, I picked through some fabric from the last fabric swap I attended, and there was a pretty, dusty pink, almost sheer rayon knit. I may have just seen Black Swan and had that (as my friend calls it) "naughty ballerina" idea in my head when I decided to take it home. Or, more likely, it was on the "about to go to Goodwill" table at the end of swap night and I couldn't resist its softness. I am very tactile!
I hadn't used it yet because it was so sheer, so with a lace overlay it would be perfect. There's nothing to say about construction -- so very easy and simple -- except that I did remove 1/2" from center back and another 1/2" from center front. The neckline is perfect: open and comfy but doesn't reveal bra strappage. It's great to wear with short shorts, but the cheap lace has snagged twice already! I have a couple RTW lace tops and they don't snag. I'm debating whether to sew another one. Maybe in a print.
Today I finished a tote bag for a male colleague / friend, as a thank-you gift. Brown fabric paint, freezer paper stenciled onto this hardy, unbleached natural canvas. (Does that description sound manly?) I'm sure my friend will appreciate the time and thought and effort that I put into this -- but secretly, I really really hope he will use it! My husband didn't seem hopeful, as it is still just a tad too feminine in his eyes. Ah, well.
The same friend for whom I made the bag tipped me off to Fabric Place Basement when my son and I were in New England a few weeks ago. Awesome place and I was thrilled with its fabric selection. It's located about 30 minutes west of Boston, in Natick, and you can bet I drove my rental car there (twice) to get some yummy fabric goodies. From top to bottom, there's a bright cotton ikat; a yard of Liberty-wannabe floral cotton called London Calling; a fun-colored cotton plaid shirting; and a heavy woven polka dotted cotton:
Their swimwear knits feel just divine -- substantial and flexible and just really high quality compared to the swimwear knits in the big-box fabric stores in Austin. This one had a super-cool geometric print in fun colors with this black and white border print. I'm not sure I've ever seen a swimsuit with a border print, but I should Google that before I cut into this fabric:
And the rest of the haul is here, which includes a floral swimwear knit, 80's style rainbow elastic (Olivia Newton John much?), 1" wide cotton elastic for dyeing, and a USA patriotic heart appliqué:
I'm making plans for my newest fabric acquisitions, esp. since I will get to revisit NYC next month with my Jersey sewing homegirl, Kyle, and buy even more fabric! Mwah ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!! (Greedy, fabric-hoarding laugh.) Mwah ha ha ha ha ha ha..... (deep breath) ha ha ha ha ha ha......