Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Working basics

Lately I've been inspired to make some simple, versatile work clothes that can withstand being thrown into a tote for my hilly, windy bike commute, and it seemed like a good time to finally make a pencil skirt out of this remnant of nearly-black denim I've been stashing for at least two years.

I used McCall's 5590, which is now OOP despite being wildly popular a few years ago. I made this skirt back in the day, and though the skirt fit well I decided that I like my skirts to have a waistband, and I never really expected to make it again. Well, apparently waistbands take a tiny bit more fabric than no waistbands, and I just didn't have enough fabric this time! This pattern is really worth keeping around for those scraps of skirt-weight fabric leftover from another project.

Image from Pattern Review

I don't have that first skirt anymore, and I totally forgot how high the waistline is on this pattern! Super high waists were trendy a few years ago, and it didn't bother me at all back then. Now I think it looks kind of silly, especially since I'm on the small side. Oh well, this will only rarely be worn with anything tucked in and the slight stretch in the fabric makes it super comfortable. It's interesting how styles change so quickly!

No side, back, detail, or shots that show the ridiculously high waist - I was lucky to get photos at all! July has been so busy over here, and my sweet photographer and I see each other so rarely these days that blog photos are not exactly a priority. I don't expect my blogging to magically improve in frequency or quality anytime soon, but I do hope to at least start commenting on your blogs again - that's the reason I started blogging in the first place!

In closing - have you ever made a pattern for a second time several years after retiring your first make, only to discover that the style that you thought suited you just doesn't work as well as you remember?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Amateur Costumer

I've been kept busy at work these last few weeks with our conservatory program (more like a day camp, really), which culminated in a performance of a short opera last night. The students and staff all did so well - I was very, very proud to be working for this organization! As happens when putting on shows, the last week was a bit frantic and our costumer asked for some sewing help on a few of the costumes. It was my first time doing any sort of costuming, and I quickly learned to lower my construction standards, stitch as fast as humanly possible, and embrace polyester and sparkles.

I just hemmed this, but isn't it the coolest fabric? It's the sort of thing that you could never use in everyday life, but it's SO perfect for use as a fairy tale costume! It really looked amazing on stage.
I hemmed and made casings for four pairs of knickers, hemmed a robe, made a skirt start to finish, and then stitched numerous sparkle trims, buttons, and so on by hand on location. The robe and skirt sewing occurred late at night, and these photos were all taken in the wee, small hours of Thursday morning, hence the poor lighting and disheveled look. I'm glad this sort of frenzied sewing doesn't happen too much, but it was really fun to be a part of it all!

I made this one! Simple, floor-length pleated skirt.
It's also fun to have a job where my sewing skills really do come in handy. I've always totally ignored costume patterns and fabrics, but now I'm thinking a few basic patterns may need to make their way to my collection, just in case!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Trail Review: Local Beaches

We haven't been hiking in so long! Well, we actually did take a couple nice, camera-free trips to Mt. Tam and the Purisima Redwoods since I last posted a trail review, but even that was a long time ago. Sadly, there are no real plans for hiking in the near future either, but even when we can't find a moment to get out of our little corner of the peninsula, there is always time to go to the local beach!

I can hardly even believe that I have a neighborhood beach. How did I get so lucky? Our home is at 500 ft. above sea level, and though the beach is only a quarter mile away as the seagull flies, there is a steep, dangerous, eroded cliff to get down and I only found a good way down that doesn't involve driving a couple weeks ago. It is certainly a good way too, with the *best* wildflower display I've seen in the Bay Area yet. It's not even really wildflower season anymore! I can't wait until next spring.

Monkeyflower | Paintbrush
Buckwheat | Milk Thistle | Moonwort
Birdsfoot Lotus | Yarrow

Friday, July 5, 2013

This month

I disappeared there for a bit! I wish I could say I have exciting things in the works that have kept me from posting, but that's simply not true. Really, my other main hobby groups - music, plants, and long walks on the beach - have gotten in the way of dedicated sewing time. It seems as though I never have enough time for anything, but I love sewing, guitar, beaches, hiking, plants, making things, taking care of home, reading, and so on, almost all equally! Do you ever feel like you have too many hobbies and interests to really be effective at any of them?

Anyway, this is what my June looked like:

sunset from the neighborhood cliff | fireworks seen from the living room | my #1 time consumer
fog rolling in | future projects! | gray beach evening
embroidered flowers | a very happy jade plant | my sewing corner

Even though I sometimes feel like I'm spread too thin, I'm so happy with all the little activities that make up my life. Seeing these images all together makes me feel rather accomplished, even if I don't really have anything to show for the last month.