Spring Fever!

This weekend we had what might be the final snowstorm of the year in CT. I love a good snowstorm – and this brought a perfect fresh white cover over all the dirty mounds of left over snow from the last storm – but I’m ready for spring!

Earlier this month, distracted from all things work and sewing I was supposed to be doing, I wondered over to the Mood Fabrics website to take a look at what I might find. While shopping around I found 3 fabrics I thought would be perfect for some of the spring sewing projects I have in mind. I took the plunge, placed the order and here they are!

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It can be tricky ordering fabric online. Since you can’t actually see or touch the fabric, you don’t really know what you’re going to get (and no, I’m generally not patient enough to order swatches and wait for them to arrive!) Anyway, with my order from Mood, I got 3 winners!

First up is this stretch white pique. It’s a bit lighter weight than I had hoped, but it will work great for a pencil skirt.

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I’m hoping to perfect McCalls 3830 with help from Diana Rupp’s Sewing Studio online class at Craftsy.

One thing I have to figure out is the lining. I ordered this white lining when I ordered the  pique, but I think it’s too heavy.

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That begs the question – how do you know how to select the proper lining? I need to do some reading up on this.

Next up, check out this navy blue textured  piece.  I LOVE this fabric.  It has a bit of depth in color with the texture – I think it will be a fabulous pencil skirt. Here’s a closer look at the texture of this fabric – it’s going to be really great.

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Last up is this navy stretch sateen. I’ve been Vogue pattern 1220 since last year and had ideas of making it in a stretch sateen, but never really found anything I was crazy about. Then, I found this one. It’s a really dark navy. It has a good stretch and some heft.

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Now here’s my dilemma. You may have seen this post about my experience with Vogue 8784. My fear is that this dress with all the fabric in front it might be, hmmmm, let’s say less than flattering.

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On the other hand, this pattern does not have 4 layers of pleats. It does have some pleating in the front, but they seem to be rather flat – so maybe it will work?? I’ve read many reviews about this pattern and it seems to work on many body types, so I’m staying hopeful.  I guess that’s another thing to learn – how do you select patterns that work for you? There is trial and error – is there a better way?

So, here are my 2 questions…

  1. How do you select the best lining for your project?
  2. What’s the best way to judge if a pattern will work for you? While it’s nice to undertake a project and learn something – really annoying when you can’t wear it!

Anyway, with my Mood order, I’m getting “the fever” – I’m ready for spring!

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8 responses to “Spring Fever!

    • Thank you! Any input is welcome! Good luck on the pants…keep us posted on your progress. BTW – where did you end up finding the fabric?

      • Right, I’ve had a bit of a think. Let’s see. . .
        1. How do you select the best lining for your project?
        Well, I approach that mostly by asking a few more questions:
        What’s the lining for? Ease of wearing, opacity/modesty, warmth, an elegant finish? (a personal favorite)
        What does it need to do? Move, stabilize, absorb, cover, add depth/dimension?
        In answer to your question of the best lining for your white stretch pique skirt (LOVE it) – you want something for modesty that can move. There are several weights of tricot available that would work well. Anything used to line a ponte knit garment would be what you’re looking for, I think. I use tricot a lot, it’s very versatile, doesn’t shrink or cling, machine washes and dries beautifully and is easy to sew with. So, I’ll say a mid-weight tricot lining for your skirt.
        2. What’s the best way to judge if a pattern will work for you? While it’s nice to undertake a project and learn something – really annoying when you can’t wear it!
        Oy. This is a tough one in that I’ve had many a failure in the past few years. Oh, I made it up beautifully, but ugh – it’ll look terrible on me. While my workmanship improves, my choices not so much. Things that once looked great on me now look awful and I’ve no idea now what does. It’s very frustrating getting older. However, that’s me. The general guideline is to start out choosing what you normally would at a department store with the added advantage of if you’ve always wanted to try something out of your comfort zone, now you can because you can make it to fit you! Use up some old sheets – that’s what I do. It will give you an idea of the fit, the line and proportion, etc. of a pattern. And you’re likely to give a rusty or new technique a run-through without any performance anxiety. This aspect is really a treat. I think only us sewing nerds can understand this. I’ve no friends who sew, so their eyes just glaze over if I start waxing poetic about my outstanding zipper insertion(s) of late. I practiced welt pockets yesterday thinking I would be using them on my next project only to decide against them. I haven’t made welts in 20 years, but it all came flying back after the third one. (Although, I don’t know what I’m going to do with a pillow case with such nice pockets. . .) Occasionally I’ll snag one of DBF’s beat-up old shirts to practice on. However, he has started asking where his laundry has got to, so perhaps I better put the brakes on that. My point being, go ahead and make whatever you like with the caveat of if you hate it, it’s just a old sheet. But you’ll know with more certainty if you want to invest your fine skills further.
        As for the white pants – I recycled them from a pair of RTW fancy-pants lined white trousers that a) were too big for me, b) tended to get bigger as the day wore on, c) too formal with lots of construction, and d) zipper front trousers don’t really suit me – plain front, zip on the side suits and fits better. They were virtually new after being worn twice in 2 years. So I took the seam ripper to them – for 3 hours! That should tell you just well constructed they were! Then pressed the pieces and re-cut them to my own self-drafted pattern I like better. I DID triple-check them first against my own pattern to ensure I could re-cut them before making a mess of it. And I ditched the lining as I just wanted casual washable white pants for the summer without all that construction and “elephantitis” they (and me) suffered from being too big. Yes, they are shearer now than with the lining, however I just wear ol’ lady nude Bali Skimp Skamps for enough coverage.
        I envy your courage to order fabric online. I’m too chicken. I have to feel and see a fabric to know I want it. I love your navy stretch sateen. I can’t say I’m a fan of the Vogue shirtwaist. I see the navy in a simple sheath, say New Look 6155 (which I want some white pique for so perhaps I’ll try yours from Mood!). I don’t know if the pattern is still available, but I happen to have it. But that’s the joy of sewing isn’t it?! You can make it yours and no one will have one like it. I try to follow the advice of MGM’s Adrian (he of Judy’s slippers and Joan’s shoulders) “Any woman can wear anything. It’s all about proportion.”
        Thanks for your time as I blathered on. I’m off to run with some scissors now. Rock on and happy sewing1
        Coco

      • Coco –
        THANK YOU for your wonderful and thoughtful suggestions and input – and humor! I have not been able to find a tricot lining. Instead, I picked up a very lightweight rayon lining from my local high quality store (Banksville Fabrics) that will work – it doesn’t have any stretch, but there is not lots in the pique, so I think it will be OK. Far better than what I bought (to your point of buying fabric online!) I’ll keep looking for tricot. As for patterns – good idea on the sheets! I do tend to stay somewhat consistent with what I would pick in a store – most times they work, but not all (ala the blue dress!). I also find it’s so inspiring to see all of the pattern options, it makes you want to try new things – which also don’t always work out! That said, based on your suggestion, I’m going to use a sheet to make the Vogue 1220 and see how it turns out – the navy sateen just may end up as something else! Besides, I need to clean out my linen closet so this is a perfect excuse to be ruthless!
        As for your pants – nice going! And, if you are really interested in the pique – here’s the # of what I bought from Mood – FC25598C White Solid Pique – it was a bargain – $8/yd!
        Thanks again!
        Laura

  1. I’m not sure I can answer any of them . Re. lining – perhaps consult a book that specialises in fabrics and their uses – Claire Schaefer has written a good one (on my birthday list, I don’t have it otherwise I’d look up the info for you). Re. style question – I think this is the big question we would all like answered – I suppose the muslin helps answer the question, but then, that is also a lot of work and money. I guess it is a matter of knowing your own body shape and dress style. I’ll gradually be blogging about these issues. The dress with front pleats is lovely, but I suspect the bow could add a bit of dimensionality. Hard to know. What sort of thing normally suits you?

    • Thanks, Sarah Liz. I usually go for more classic styles – I’m not a “frilly” person. I love that this is a shirt dress with a “twist”. You know, I might just make a muslin vs. use my good stretch sateen and see how it works out. Funny – I think you and I have opposite body types – so anything that doesn’t work for me would probably be great for you!

      • Yes, I think a muslin might be a good idea! Tedious, but at least you will know if it is worth perservering with the dress. I like classic clothes too – we are quite different builds, I think I read that you are about 6′ tall – I’m the other end of the height range. You are curvy, I am not! Still, all body shapes have challenges and different styles suit different body shapes. I’m not a frilly person either.

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