Finished: Butterick 5490

Note the fabulous (autographed!) Liberace album, complete with tribute candlesticks, on the mantle in my studio.

Pattern: Butterick 5490, view A

Fabric: Silk/cotton/lycra twill print, available from Gorgeous Fabrics here

Notes: I have a complicated relationship with stretch wovens.  They are comfortable to wear, but at best they seem unpredictable to sew.  Sometimes I wind up with crinkley seams, or zippers that refuse to go in nicely.  As stretch wovens go, this was actually quite nice.  It sewed nicely, without stretching, and the zipper went in fine after stabilizing the fabric.  But – I had to take the dress in by 2 inches all the way down after I was finished.  Did the fabric stretch while sewing, in spite of obsessive amounts of stay stitching?  Perhaps.  I did make a muslin, which fit, but the stretch factor is so hard to predict.  I will say though – the fabric is beautiful.  It has lovely drape, and it’s wonderfully cool and light to wear without being at all sheer.

It’s also possible that this pattern was drafted for a C cup.  I’m wearing my most padded bra, but I still don’t quite fill out those pleats.  I think, in general, the straps/cups are a bit large for my frame, but I should have thought of that – I know that I have to watch the strap size on sleeveless dresses because my ribcage is so small that the proportions get off easily.

I’m very proud of my pattern matching!  You can see the waistband is still a bit big.  I would add stronger interfacing to this section next time.  The dress called for a half lining, but after a pinking shear disaster I had to turn it into a facing – I used an ivory cotton batiste, and lined to the waistband, but not the band itself.  It probably needed that extra reinforcement.

Matching nailpolish again… I love this color!

The pattern was easy, but it does have quite a lot of pleats.  It is not, therefore, the most slimming thing ever, particularly in the back.  I’m ok with that, but I think it’s something to be aware of and plan for.    I didn’t follow the instructions, to be honest, because I didn’t like their lining instructions, so I’m not sure how they were.  If you’ve made a dress before this one is really straightforward.

I’m wearing this out this weekend – Hitchcock festival at the Palace theater!  They do a summer movie series every year… there is nothing like watching old movies in an Art Deco theater!

Etsy faves and 10 things about me

Above: A sneak peak of this week’s project!  It’s actually all finished, and awaiting photos this weekend.  I went with dark brown piping, as it was the overwhelming winner!   Does anyone else feel like they can never get piping the way they want?  I have the special piping foot, but my zipper foot works better… even so, it’s not as close as I would like!

I’ve been tagged by Karin at Ancien-Nouveau for the Beautiful Blogger award, and I’m supposed to list 10 things you might not know about me… here goes!

1. I’m pretty much nocturnal.  I work in the afternoons and evenings, and play gigs late at night.  I sleep the hours when most people are beginning their work days.  I don’t go out in the bright sunlight if I can help it – I’m extremely fair, and I swathe myself in spf 75 and hats if I have to venture out.  And my sewing?  Happens almost entirely late at night, or on weekends.  You do not want to see me on the Sundays when I have to get up early to play mass (fortunately not that often anymore!)

2.  I have an absolutely shameful addiction to historical romance novels, especially the regency novels of Georgette Heyer etc.  Admittedly, I will read just about anything to feed my appetite for fiction, but there really is no excuse for loving these books.  Are they formulaic?  Heck yeah.  Should they offend my feminist sensibilties?  Probably.  I don’t care though… for me they are the comfort food of books!

3.  Speaking of, I’m also a feminist.  I wouldn’t mention it, except that when people find out my hobbies, or that I teach music lessons, they tend to assume that I’m not.  I also wear a lot of dresses, and unfortunately many people buy into the old stereotypes of a feminist.   As I say, the freedom be what you want includes the freedom to follow a more traditional path (and to dress however you like!)

4.  I have a weird diet.  I pretty much don’t eat meat, though I’m not a vegetarian, and I will eat the same thing for lunch for a month running (yet rarely do I repeat recipes for dinner!)  I also like the world’s most bland snack foods – plain saltine crackers and pretzel sticks are my favorites, and I will choose them over any other snack (especially sugar… I do not really like sugar.)

5.  I like what my husband terms “old man drinks.”  Vodka gimlets, gin and tonics, rusty nails, the Manhattan, the sidecar… you name it, if your grandpa drinks it then I probably like it.  My husband, meanwhile, has never met a drink with an umbrella in it that he didn’t like… and he has a deep and abiding love for sweet madeira wine, which I think is disgustingly sweet.

6.  I am really, extremely shy with new people (and always with large groups!)  My whole life people have assumed I’m being snobby when, in fact, I am desperately trying to remember how to make small talk.  I do completely fail at small talk – I just can’t do it!

7.  My Meyers-Briggs type is INFJ, one of the rarest types.   My best friends have the same type, which must be why we get along!  The description on the Wikipedia pages sounds exactly like me!

8.  When I was a child I wanted to grow up to be a novelist.  I still love to write, thus the blog (and various unpublished stories that I write for fun!)

9.  I met my husband when we were both dating siblings (ie, he was dating the sister, I was dating her brother.)  It’s less sordid than it all sounds, really… one day we found ourselves both single, and hey – we already had something in common!  His ex (we are still friends) recently introduced her new boyfriend  to her brother’s  girlfriend as “your future husband.”

10.  I had to buy a cabinet to store my nail polish in, because I have a nail polish problem.  I can’t grown my nails long, so I like to at least make them look pretty!  Right now I am sporting taupe nails (Orly Country Club Khaki) to match the dress I just finished sewing.  My students stare at my hands all the time, and I like to think they appreciate my extensive glitter nail polish collection!

Whew… that was hard, and I bet they weren’t all new – but after 4 years of blogging I can’t even remember what I’ve mentioned before!