Holiday weekend update

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!