Thursday, March 19, 2009

Not Quite Novice

I had a sudden realization that I have made a few - a very few - garments over the past 20 years that are note worthy.

The Wool Skirt
This past winter, I wanted a wool skirt. I searched the stores in my small city to no avail. One day, on a whim, I made an almost illegal u-turn to pull into the JoAnn's. With a mental image of what I wanted, a subtle wool in brown tones (I have a brown turtleneck sweater I wanted to match to the skirt), I wandered the aisles. To my delight, I found just what I'd imagined!

It wasn't too difficult to find a simple pattern, Simplicity 4881. With the help of a delightful salesclerk, I bought a good quality elastic in a wider width than the pattern indicated. I realized I'd have to tweak the pattern a tad, which I did without much ado (I must have learned to do that in a GStreet class 20 years ago) by eyeballing what was needed and cutting out the alteration.

A simple skirt, but perfect for my needs.

And without much ado, a few other projects I've made.

The Pink Silk Dress
First up, a pink raw silk dress, needed for a formal dinner in celebration of my mother's 60th birthday. Again, even though I lived in DC at the time with access to the nicer stores, I did not find what I wanted. I hired someone from GStreet for an hour to tutor me through the selection and sewing process. It looks awkward hanging here, but it fit perfectly and I felt lovely. The fabric was a vibrant purple pink (but not garish).
I lined the dress, but did not turn the skirt part inside-out, so that the raw edges of the skirt lining show. Furthermore,, now that I am looking with a critical eye, I can see that my thread tension was probably off, as the seaming and zipper show puckers (I don't know why I didn't use an invisible zipper).

The pleats: The difficult shoulder points. I got them fairly accurate, but I do remember suffering over them. This photo also shows a bit of the lining and my very uneven finishing. The vent lining. I was so proud of this effort. I had no clue. Remember, this was before the days of the internet blogging showing what this SHOULD have looked like. The Flower Girl Dress
My daughter wore this at age 4 or 5. It has been hanging for 15 years and I took the photo without steaming. I remember this was far more elaborate than what was available in the stores at the time and it was perfect for the very formal wedding.

The flower girl and ring bearer (her brother).

Over the years, I've made bedskirts (with pleats), oodles of decorator pillows (ah, those yards of bias for the cording), curtains and these plus a few more garments. Can't wait to see what the next year holds in store for my closet.

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