Holiday weekend update

31 May

I hope you all had a great holiday weekend –   We’ve had a very eventful time!  First of all, we’ve been painting and tiling in our laundry closet, preparing for a new washer and dryer on Wednesday.  I’ve been suffering with a truly awful model from the 70s, so I am very excited!

I did manage to make it out to the memorial day sales and Joann and Hancock’s.  I picked up a few Simplicity and Vogue patterns that I’ve been waiting to go on sale, and I got this pretty charmeuse fabric to make a blouse.  I think it will go nicely with my yellow Beignet skirt.

I mostly resisted the online memorial days sales, but I did order two gorgeous cotton satin prints from Elliot Bermann.

The pink roses will become a sheath dress (I am thinking of Vogue 1137) and the one on the right (which is from JCrew) I am going to save for fall… I am thinking of something with a full skirt and 3/4 length sleeves, like Vogue 8615.

I also was able to work up a muslin of Simplicity 2497.  The sizing on this one is really strange – I looked at the finished measurements, and decided on a 6 in the bodice, 10 in the waist, and 8 for the skirt.  Here is the first result, minus the neck ruffles (excuse the mess… the big mirror hangs on the door of the laundry room, so you get to see our painting debris!

A few things:  the neckline is quite low, but I think I am going to leave it.  I don’t want the ruffles too close to my face, and for a formal dress I don’t mind a low neck.  The bodice is too big – I need it to be 2-3 inches smaller.  I’ll go down to the 4, and perhaps take slightly deeper side seams.  The shoulders will be better in the size 4 too.   The waistband could be a little smaller, again by about 2 inches.  The skirt is fine, though it could perhaps be slightly smaller in the back.  I also plan to shorten the skirt by about 3 inches.  Luckily, with no darts etc this dress is very easy to alter. Here I am with the waist and bodice clipped:

Much better I think!  I know the style is supposed to be blousy, but the proportions don’t work on me with that much ease.  I think with a smaller top and the ruffles it will be super cute!  I’ll go ahead and do another muslin of the top only, since I need to remove so much ease, and when I’m satisfied I will cut my fabric.  This is the fabric I am using, which is actually a synthetic shantung – not usually my thing, but the color is pretty.

Oh, and I forgot the other bit of excitement in our holiday!

You may know that we live in an old Victorian neighborhood.  It’s a mixed bag, with extensively renovated mansions sitting next to converted apartments that haven’t seen paint in decades, and we love it!  One of the main reasons we were probably able to afford our house, which was larger and nicer than we thought we could get, was because there was a particularly nasty example of the latter type of building a few doors down.  It was abandoned, and the city was very slow to figure out who owned it so they could auction the property.  Well, they finally did, and work started on the house in January.  We were very excited first, as the house had been a constant source of worry.  It quickly became apparent that the new owners had no clue what they were getting into, and they proceeded to gut the house (including many of the exterior walls) and then left it sitting that way.  Last week it started to develop a noticeable list.  We contacted the city and our alderman, to no avail – it seemed it would have to actually fall down before anyone would do anything.  And last night?  It did.  We heard a terrible crashing noise that went on forever.  I turned to my husband and said “the house fell down” and immediately called 911.  Luckily, no one in the surrounding buildings was injured, and we have one house between us and the collapsed house (our neighbors were not home.)  It makes me so sad to see that beautiful, once proud Victorian home, destroyed by years of benign and a few months of willful neglect.  I am involved with the local historic preservation organizations, and this is why!

It’s back to work tomorrow for a shortened week – I am looking forward to June!

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12 Responses to “Holiday weekend update”

  1. Sherry May 31, 2010 at 10:30 pm #

    Absolutely love your pink/grey floral – it will make a stunning shift dress!

  2. Amanda S. May 31, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    Wow! What a story! Well, love the color you’ve got planned for the new dress, and can’t wait to see it all made up.

  3. didyoumakethat June 1, 2010 at 1:51 am #

    What a fascinating if sad story about the Falling Down House. I love that blue polka dot.

  4. Bex June 1, 2010 at 8:30 am #

    It has been a long time since I’ve done any patterns shopping, so thanks for pointing out Vogue 1137 – I think the pockets are really cute. It will look very good in your chosen fabric, with or without the pockets.

  5. Ivy June 1, 2010 at 8:55 am #

    Oh, that’s so horrible about the house! I love old Victorians and would love to be able to afford one some day. So tragic that someone would just let one be destroyed like that. The cynical part of me wonders if they were just trying to avoid any scrutiny/costs associated with demolition, and that was their plan all along…

  6. Tasia June 1, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    So sad about the house, it sounds like you live in a really interesting neighbourhood though! Love the dots and LOVE the purpley-pink floral print too.

  7. martha-caknitter June 2, 2010 at 3:39 am #

    It’s unfortunate the old Victorian house fell down. Let’s hope they build another beautiful home in its place.
    I really admire the effort you put into your muslin garment samples. I have no patience for it. I just go in and start cutting and sewing, altering as I go along.
    Can’t wait to see your new dress.

  8. Debby June 2, 2010 at 8:15 am #

    I love your new polka dot and rose fabrics!!

    I’m sorry to hear about the house falling down on your street. I adore old houses and it feels like someone has died when one is taken down, or in your case, falls down. Such a shame! I’m watching a gorgeous Victorian here with a bright yellow cupola that has been neglected for decades.

  9. jayayceeblog June 2, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

    That is just crazy about the house falling down – and so sad. I am really just a trying-to-start-up-again sewer that is fascinated by the lovely things you make. So a couple of questions for you … do you just have miles of muslin … and what do you do with all the muslin samples you make – do they become your patterns? Sorry if these are stupid questions, but I figured I’d never know if I didn’t ask! ;-D

  10. sophiekingo June 4, 2010 at 6:05 pm #

    So glad I stumbled across your blog. I’m a novice dress maker having made 3 dresses and 1 skirt since my first wrap dress in February last year.

    I love the charmeuse fabric above. And thanks for the links to the patterns. If you have any good blouse/top patterns please post them up!

  11. Amber June 6, 2010 at 10:51 pm #

    I had no idea what Elliot Berman was, but now it’s going on my list of favorite fabric haunts. The pieces you got from them are so great! I also love that polka dot – it will absolutely be adorable with the yellow beignet skirt. :)

  12. Belly June 7, 2010 at 3:30 am #

    Wow, what a story. Sounds like you live in a very interesting neighborhood.
    The fabrics are gorgeous, and thanks for introducing me to the Eliot Berman store!

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