Wednesday, February 27, 2008

What to sew next?

I'm a little torn as far as what I want my next "big" sewing project to be. I did promise David that I'd make a pair of pajamas for him, and I do want to sew a couple of bras using the pattern/manual that I obtained in a recent bra-making workshop (more on that in another post). However, in early April, one of my best friends from college is getting married, and I'd love to sew up a new dress for her wedding.

The dress that I'm leaning towards at the moment is the Wong Singh Jones wrap dress from HotPatterns (at right). I'm fairly new to HotPatterns, but I've had fairly good luck with them so far. Their drafting seems to be pretty friendly to the curvy figure--I'm not running into the large back/ shoulders/ upper chest-but-made-for-only-a-B-cup issues that I've had with other patterns. And given that this is made for a knit, I could probably get away with a fairly small full bust adjustment with this dress or even just go up a size and sew it straight out of the envelope. I've had fairly good luck with wrap styles that I've sewn, so I think that this would be a fairly safe choice for me.

I doubt that I'd have time, but I'd really love to be able to sew two dresses and wear whichever one turns out the best and/or is the most flattering on me. The other dress pattern that I've been eyeing is a dress from the Spring/Summer 2008 issue of Burda Plus magazine. I really loved several of the dresses in this issue, but this one with the slightly empire waist and princess seams really caught my eye.

I love that the contrast band on this hits right at what is the thinnest part of my torso. I think that this could be really flattering on me.

On the other hand, my one experiment with a princess seam FBA didn't turn out so well. I did get a bit of feedback from my sewing teacher, so I think I know what went wrong there (and how to not make the same mistake again). This dress would be a bit more difficult for me to sew, but with my fabric choice for this (a stretch, stylized black-and-white floral sateen), I think it could potentially look pretty decent on me. I love that this dress is already drafted for a "petite" also. (Granted, I'll probably have to lengthen the bodice as part of the FBA, but in theory, I like the idea of the pattern already being petite.

So, this isn't as "safe" of a choice as the wrap dress, but I think the payoff (at least in how I feel about how I look at the wedding) could be greater. However, if I screw up, I'm sort of screwed. You'd think that it wouldn't be all that big of a deal to try to sew two not-overly-complex dresses in a little over one month's time, but given the everything-is-an-emergency mentality at my company, I can never count on having much time in the evenings to sew. And, as I mentioned before, I figure that the next week or so of sewing time will be taken up working on David's pajamas and trying to get another bra or two that fits decently into my lingerie drawer.

The line drawing gives you a little better idea of what the dress could look like. I love the flare out of the skirt, and when they *do* fit me, princess seams are usually flattering on me. On the other hand, this dress has double princess seams (or whatever that additional seam is called). With my fitting skills, I'd be tempted to avoid doing an FBA on this (too many moving parts with all those seams) and just going by my full bust when I pick my dress size...and hope that I don't have a ton of extra fabric or gaping issues in my upper chest area.

I already have fabric bought for both dresses. I guess I'll have to see how I feel and how much of an adventure I'm looking for when it comes time to trace a pattern for one of these.

After the fire...

I need to get better about this blog thing...

It's kind of strange looking back and seeing that the last post that I made here was on October 19th. That was a few days before one of the worst firestorms in California history broke out and tore through the neighborhood where I grew up. Several of my friends' parents lost their homes, and my own parents nearly lost theirs--the house that they've owned for 20 years and where I grew up. Our neighbors on either side of us lost their houses (from what we understand/saw, the fire tore through our backyard, but our house never entirely caught fire). The photo below shows my parents' side yard (and part of the house) next to what's left of our neighbor's yard.

In this picture, you can see the mini-blinds in my childhood bedroom...they're melted from the inside of the house:

And here, you can see the Red Cross relief supplies on my parents' lawn. This is certainly something that you never expect to see in a boring suburban neighborhood...

And finally, here's the view of what's left of our other neighbors' home from my window. The streaks in the glass aren't a result of my mediocre photography skills--the glass cracked from the heat of the fire. (Note all of the news crew vehicles...)

I haven't really wanted to blog about this since hundreds of families *did* lose their homes. On the other hand, it's hard not to talk about since it's been heavily on my mind for the past few months. For the first couple of months, the whole neighborhood looked like a war zone. It's depressing to see my old neighborhood look like this, even if some of the homes are starting to be rebuilt now. Sometimes, I tear up just driving through when I stop by to visit my parents, or if I see news footage on tv of a street or a house that's near them.

Hopefully, this will help me to get this out of my system (although this might not be my last post about this), and I can move on to blogging about important things like jewelry making or fashion again. ;)