Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Fabric Haul: Plaid Wool

My local fabric store--the Fabric Warehouse--is creepy enough that I try to stay away. However, when I received a 50% off coupon in the mail, I couldn't resist.

I went to the Fabric Warehouse with the intent of "just browsing"--I feel like my fabric stash is out of control as it is. I need a pink cotton to line a dress I plan on making this summer, so that's what I was looking for.

I seriously underestimated the extent of the "Winter Clearance" listed on the coupon. Normally, the Fabric Warehouse doesn't have a good selection of wools. But right when I walked in (after passing the gaudy sequin trim and strange selection of Spiderman-themed baubles) I spotted a table piled with wools on sale for $2-4 a yard!

Turns out they didn't have any cotton, so I had to get some wool. I began creating ideas for my wool purchase. I've been wanting to create a Portuguese Folkloric Costume that fits me, so first I went searching the pile for anything solid. I found a blue wool that matched the traditional color--but its quality was sadly lacking: it was stiff and seemed to grab onto every hair, dust mote, and speck of glitter. Yuck. Then, I figured I could find something for a kirtle or something--everything was either too thin or too thick, or not enough yardage.

And then, peeking out from the pile, I saw this beauty:

My camera captured the color all wrong. The actual color of this plaid is olive and cream, which is one of my favorite color combinations! The remnant only had 2 yards, and the total came to $6.

Immediately after, my eye fell on another of my favorite color combinations--navy, purple, and cream! This plaid seems more modern in its aesthetic, but I love its Ralph-Lauren-esque feel. The 2 1/2 yard remnant cost $12.

The true color of this plaid

I have long harbored a love for pleated plaid skirts...a love that has for far too long been unfulfilled. The RTW pleated skirts are either too short, too unsubstantial, too long, too large...not a perfect love match for me.

I have a few designs in mind for these plaids, and now, I am torn between several different aesthetics that I think will all work well in my wardrobe.

- an a-line or circle knee length skirt
via Etsy
- a short pleated skirt with a wide yoke
- a long pleated skirt with a narrow waistband

So many lovely options, so much diverse inspiration! What to choose, what to choose?

via Rusty Zipper

via ikat bag

Monday, March 17, 2014

Completed Edwardian Drawers

Last night I finished my Edwardian Drawers! They are far from perfect--I really did not have enough material to make them as full as they needed to be. These drawers were an exercise in compromise: despite their inadequacies, they are lovely and wearable. If you squint from a distance, they might look pretty decent!

The waistband is sewn with the legs sandwiched between. I figured that if ever I made new drawers, I could use this waistband. Having just one line of stitching to remove makes that easier! I used fabric loops instead of buttonholes because my handmade buttonholes are atrocious, my machine-made buttonholes are unreliable, and I can easily remove the loops later when I redo these drawers.

The legs overlap and are attached in the front by a few inches of surprisingly neat stitching.

The bottom button could've been placed lower...oh well.
Since I had so little fabric to work with, the drawers must sit low on my hips in order to fit. I made a boo-boo when sewing the leg seam, and didn't realize that the seam came up too high. Because of this, the top of the seam rolls toward my backside, and the front of the drawers has unattractive gathering.  I can fix this by inserting a triangular gore in the back in the future.


The back also gapes a bit.
Historical Sew Fortnightly Information

The Challenge: #4 Under It All

Fabric: Poly-Cotton blend for the waistband, cotton curtains for the legs
Pattern: Self-drafted
Year: 1900-1910
Notions: Embroidery floss, 2 purple buttons, single-fold bias tape, thread
How historically accurate is it? 50% -- They're not made with enough fabric, and the fabrics have synthetic content. If you squint from a distance, they might look decent.
Hours to complete: Not sure--it was worked on during short bursts during the semester
First worn: For pictures 
Total cost: $0 -- All stash materials

Friday, March 14, 2014

Historical Sew Fortnightly Late Challenge

I love the Historical Sew Fortnightly: the challenge themes, the inspiring entries. Except no matter how many great things I can think up for the challenges, I know I won't be able to make them (2 majors, a minor and a part time job do that to you....).

However, I convinced myself to complete at least 2 HSF challenges this year. I initially intended to submit my Edwardian Drawers Made from Curtains for Challenge #3 Pink, because of the pink embroidery. When that deadline came and went, I figured I'd have them completed by Challenge #4 Under It All.

Yeah. The deadline for that challenge was several weeks ago. I've been so swamped with midterm exams and projects that I haven't even touched the drawers in that time. My Spring Break has officially began, and in between catching up on homework and doing those things I don't normally get to do during the semester--dust my room, manicure my nails, clean the crumbs out from the bottom of my purse--I want to work on several UFOs, including the drawers.

At this point, the embroidered monogram on the waistband of the drawers has been completed. My next step is to attach the legs to the waistband, sew the waist darts to the waistband, and add buttons and buttonholes!

The color of the embroidery is actually pink, not orange!

The embroidery is done in split stitch, french knots, and lazy daisy (detached chain) stitch. I was going to have leaves on the outside too, but I thought it looked too cluttered. The thread is a pretty soft, baby pink, but shows up as sorbet in my camera.