This weekend will be a sewing weekend and I have already started happily plotting in anticipation. Last night I looked through my box of patterns to find my next project. Selecting just the right project and fabric and notions can sometimes lead me into analysis paralysis so I have decided to just march forward and focus on making something fun, not making something perfect.
The first project I’ll take on this weekend is an alteration to my pajama pants. I like the way the Captain’s pants fit, but the pattern I used was too roomy and blousy so I’m going to alter them down the legs and take in the side seams. My machine is still threaded up with the grey spool and bobbin and a yellow-band ball point needle so it should be a quick fix.
After that I want to make a few little zippered pouches just to dust off my zipper skills. I haven’t put in a zipper in a while and it will be fun to practice while also making a few whatnot bags in cute fabric.
Once I’m warmed up, I’m itching to make a dress! The weather isn’t autumnal yet in Los Angeles but still I’m fantasizing about dresses I can wear with tights and boots. Or maybe something versatile enough to wear now but can also look good under a cardigan (with tights and boots) (apparently I really really want to break out the winter clothes!)
At first I picked a cute Burda dress pattern (Burda 6591) that looked pretty simple and has exactly the slim A-line style I love most. But then I started hunting for the size chart and it was nowhere to be found. There are no body or garment measurements anywhere on the packet! So I pulled out the instruction booklet and nope, nothing. Finally I pulled apart the pattern and there, printed right in the middle of one of the pieces, is a table of body measurements.
I’m still not sure if the finished garment measurements are hidden in here, too, but I fell a little out of love with this pattern in that moment and decided to go with a similar style dress from NEW LOOK (pattern 6500) which is an A-line dress with different sleeve details and optional sewn-on pockets.
This one has a nice size range on the pattern — sized from 10 to 22, as opposed to patterns that are 10-14 only. I cut out the paper pattern last night and had so much help. Frankie managed to sit on every part of this pattern including the instruction booklet, pieces, and the pattern envelope. All now officially cat-tested!
After I cut it out, I remembered I had also purchased a Colette pattern online, the Colette Laurel Dress, and it’s very similar in design. It’s a PDF pattern and if I don’t work too late tonight there’s probably enough time this evening to glue stick it together and cut it out, too. I’m excited to try a Colette pattern. I love the idea of supporting an independent pattern company and I have heard amazing things about their instruction booklets. Plus, the PDF aspect is pretty cool. Once you find a style you love you can keep printing it forever if you want to alter it or hack it into some wild variation.
Also! After you make your first purchase online with Colette, they send you a coupon code for 20% off your next order. Good to know if you see multiple things you like on the site.
Friday is a work-from-home day, so my lunch break will happen at the fabric shop. There won’t be enough time to drive downtown to the garment district, but I have a 50% off coupon at JoAnn Fabrics burning a hole in my pocket. I like the challenge of trying to find a fabric gem hidden in their bolts of random novelty cotton. The shopping basket can add up terrifyingly fast at JoAnn’s, so I try to timebox it and practice restraint, but it’s close by and will do for my current “make something fun not something perfect” approach.
Ellen Bloom mentioned in the comments that she’s into sewing right now, too, and making tunics (she has a beautiful one on her blog today!) I think that’s kind of the vibe I’m going for with my dress… something short that can be worn over leggings or tights much like a tunic. And preferably it will be a simple A-line, my favorite shape. I love dresses and skirts, and the fun of customizing them with my own fabric.
It feels amazing to be sewing again. Even with all the feline assistance!