WowWee! Eight Archers. Eight Butterick See&Sew 5076 skirts. Sixteen separate garments to mix and match. My closet is happier for it. I hope I haven't bored you too much. I tried to push through as quickly as I could, photographing in between torrential downpours. I think we're having record rainfall this year. No joke.
The last 'uniform' in my series is another sleeveless Archer. I made the same changes I did on my previous version, narrowing the shoulders by two inches and tapering the side seams from the under arm out towards the hip. Now that we're finally having warmer weather, I wish I would have made a couple more sleeveless Archers. And, I probably will. Just not right now.
Right now, I've turned my focus to summer dresses and planning my sewing projects for PARIS. Naturally, I want to sew ALL THE THINGS to take with me and wear while I'm there. In reality, I'll be lucky to finish the short list of projects I narrowed down. Thank goodness I have a pile of blouses and skirts to fill in the gaps! ;-D
It's difficult to see in the photos, but this skirt is sewn using a white embroidered cotton. I picked it up at my local Joann after realizing how badly I wanted a white skirt and that I had zero appropriate fabric in my stash. There are large scale flowers embroidered on the fabric. It is lightweight and a little bit translucent, so I lined it with a white cotton/rayon blend.
I don't have anything left to say, at least nothing I haven't said before. Getting through these projects has given me a huge sense of accomplishment and a lot of confidence in my sewing, and I feel like I'm making real progress on my goal of a completely me-made wardrobe.
1. Eight Days a Week
2. Polka Dots and Moonbeams
3. The Illusionist
5. A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock'n'Roll
6. An Extra Fifty Cents
7. Sun's Out, Guns Out
Um, excuse me, can you point me in the direction of the guns show?! HAHA.
I'm in the homestretch now, with only one more Archer and See&Sew skirt left to show you... excluding today. I went the sleeveless route with my final renditions. It is summer, after all. Check out that farmer's tan- earned out in the garden, which is kinda like farming, but in an urban setting! At any rate, I clearly need more sleeveless shirts in my life.
To make my Archer sleeveless, I started with Jen's tutorial. I used generally the same concept, except I brought the shoulders in by a little more than 2 inches on each side. To do this, I shifted the entire armscye over by two inches. Then, I tapered and blended the side seam from under the arm toward the hip by the same amount. This makes the shirt more A-line than it is originally drafted, but I prefer the cut of the shoulder. I finished off my armscyes with bias binding. It's not my favorite finish, but it gets the job done and looks clean inside and out.
This skirt is linen. It's a beast to iron. It's almost not worth the time it takes to iron it, because it wrinkles every time it moves! I need to accept that it is a losing battle and deal. This fabric is on the sheer side, so I lined this skirt with a silver colored bemberg rayon. It looks a mess, but it's really good wearing. It's light and breezy and feels great against the skin.
What are you stitching this week?
Last week, I sat in the company of some, shall we say, seasoned gentleman waiting on a client. In between awkward silences, they passed the time sharing stories of Chicago and the way it was back in their glory days: the jazz clubs and movie theaters long closed, the best $9 steak downtown, the shops where you could go to buy "hot" stereos, and, the tailors that outfitted them back before retail ruined clothes.
This last story, in particular, caught my ear. I listened-on smiling as the man across the table recounted the first time he had a shirt made. He had just graduated from college and needed a suit to wear to interviews.
As the tailor presented him with options, he asked whether or not the shirt should have a pocket. The pocket cost an extra $0.50- a splurge. Wanting to look impressive, he opted for the pocket. To this day, he makes sure his shirts have a breast pocket.
This man has no idea that I sew, at least I don't think he does. He probably didn't realize how entertained I was by his account. The funniest part, as a person who does custom make her shirts, is that I intentionally make all my shirts without breast pockets. I just don't care for them. I wonder if my missing pockets prompted his story. Oh, the irony.
One of the cool things about shopping the remains of another sewist's stash is catching a glimpse into their process. It's usually pretty easy to tell what type of sewist's house I'm at based on the types of fabrics and patterns available and the ways they're stored. A lot of times, I find clips of newspaper articles or magazine pictures tucked inside pattern envelopes: RTW Inspiration. Wedding announcements. Shopping lists. Pattern 'notes to self'.
The ranges of fabrics I find can be diverse and tell their own stories. There's the family outfitter sort of sewist's who has piles of easy to wear/care knit and poly blend fabrics, usually in bulk. There are special ocassion sewist's whose collections are overflowing with trims and formalwear fabrics. There are collectors who have sought and carefully preserved vintage fabrics. The DIY couturier who buys high end fabrics and designer patterns. There are planners who spend time packaging their fabric, patterns and notions into large Ziploc baggies for future project preparedness. There's the resourceful sewist's who keeps every scrap, because they might be able to find a way to use it.
The latter sort, the resourceful one, is the type of sewist's house where I bought the fabric for this dress. It wasn't until I got home and started washing and sorting my treasures from this particular sale that I realized I had purchased a curtain panel. Just one. It was a homemade curtain panel with a channel for a rod and penny sewn into the corner of the hem to assist gravity. I can only imagine that the former owner liked the print as much as I do and was unable to toss them after she was done hanging them in her dining room. There was only one panel tucked into her stash. Maybe she found a use for the other. It's also possible somebody bought the match before I started searching.
The romantic in me likes to think that I have a match somewhere out there, like Fievel. What types(s) of sewist are you?
PATTERN: McCall's 7704