Saturday, November 12, 2011

Beautiful Disaster

I live a block away from this vintage shop, Via's Vintage and I love seeing their new window displays go up.  The other morning I was all agog over this little number.  I'm not sure what about it has captivated me so, but I had to go back and photo it yesterday to share.

On a certain level, it's too much with the palette of orange and strawberry sherbet..certainly the tulle sleeve/wrap has aged awfully, to the point one can only imagine how it hugged the shoulders when it was new and spandy.. Clearly this isn't made of fine fabric, it's definitely all nylon tulle just waiting to eventually fall to pieces..

When you get down to the details, which accentuate the "you look like a beautiful blonde pineapple" effect of the dress (bonus points to people who can identify the quote!).  Although the gathered ruffles of tulle are too much for the elegance I believe this dress is trying to achieve, the effect of the bands of satin trim on the tulle is lovely.  Upon closer inspection, they must have been handsewn with a zigzag stitch.

I guess the minutia of almost anything can sometimes take your breath away..  I'm still not sure whether I think this dress is fabulous or truly awful, but I kind of love it like sherbet balls melting into 7up punch...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Random Things by Request

Kwik Sew 2957 in Joel Dewberry Marquis Gold. A pencil skirt I whipped up for a class I taught. 

Lavender at threadsquare was lovely enough to tag me with a Versatile Blogger award. Thank you Lavender!  Apparently the rules are as follows:
  • Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post;
  • Share seven things about yourself on your blog; and
  • Pass this award along to recently discovered blogs.

1.) I like to wear cotton kerchiefs in my hair (made by me of course!) if I want to hold my bangs back, because scarves are too silky and slip right out.  My ex used to say when I wore them I looked like a schmatte, so I began to call them that since "schmatte" actually means a "ragged garment" or "any garment" rather than someone who works in the garment district.  I named the blog "schmatte" because of this lyric from "Shattered" by the Rolling Stones-

"All this chitter-chatter Chitter-chatter, 
 chitter-chatter 'bout schmatte, schmatte, schmatte 
 I can't give it away on 7th Avenue  
 This town's been wearin' tatters, uh-huh"

2.) My first sewing project was a yoked nightgown that we had to make in flannel.  I took a class with other girls in my 8th grade class at the high school I was thinking of attending.  I did not finish the nightgown, but I did end up going to the high school.  I didn't really start sewing until I was 20, and I did so voraciously.

3.) I'm the oldest of 4 girls.  My sisters are 3 yrs, 10 yrs, and 11 yrs younger than me, respectively.  I did a lot of babysitting as you might imagine with the age difference.  I am mother to 2 girls, ages 15 and 13.

4.) I've been a blogger since July of 2003 when we called them online journals.  I started because I had given a baby up in a direct placement adoption and felt weird not talking about it.  My first blog "Bad Luck on Tap" was at diaryland, and can be still be perused by interested parties.

5.) I moved at least once a year from the time I was born until I was 6.  That year I asked "Daddy, can we live here another year?  The trick or treating is SO GOOD!"  During a brief follow up interview it was revealed to my father that I remembered my birthdays by the color our house was that year.  I am happy to report we lived in that neighborhood (Ham Lake, MN)  for 4 years before moving to glorious South Minneapolis when I was 10.  I've lived in the Twin Cities ever since.

6.)I used to manage a comic book store, The College of Comic Book Knowledge from 1989-2004.  In later years I wasn't the manager anymore, but the assistant to one of the owners.  I still love comics, but I'm too poor to buy them weekly and I usually check them out from the excellent Hennepin County library system.  If you haven't ever read a comic (or graphic novel), you really should.  I recommend Love & Rockets, Ghost World or this quite highly.

7.)Orange has been my favorite color since I was at least 6.  I asked for my room to be painted orange, and got walls the color of baby aspirin instead.  The room was, however, carpeted in awesome bright orange sculptured shag.  Later my walls were painted bright yellow which I loved.

Now to tag!
anywhere I lay my head
Nikol Creates  
high plains thrifter
Sweetheart of the Rodeo

Thanks again to Lavender at threadsquare for the tag!

That's right, it's an Elvis skirt.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Autumn Leaves Fall Gingerly

from Amy Butler's Twilight Peony in Saffron, available here
Finally squared!

I finally used this fabric as the centerpiece of a garment.  I used it as the hem band on my favorite summer dress, Serendipity Studio's Claire Cami  and continued to obsess about it and love the colors for Fall.  Because they go with my Fall Palette, I decided I must use it again.  So I FINALLY made Colette Pattern's Ginger skirt!

I went with version one, and really loved sewing the pattern.  It's super straightforward, and was very easy to fit and make additional design choices on.  I felt like my busy print didn't show off the pointed waistband enough so I added some contrasting topstitching to help outline it.

I already miss the warm weather that allowed for stolen sock-free days in October..

I will say that I find the wide waistband very flattering, but feel that because of the extreme difference between my hip and waist measurement  (it goes from 49 to 38 in less than a 6" rise..) I wished for a way to "snug up" the waistband so it doesn't feel gapey.  I don't believe it looks as if it gapey, but there's room there..  and I recently did faux shirring effect on a yet-to-be photoed project that should do the snuggy trick.  The shirred effect is created using wide sport elastic and the same technique Peter describes during his Boxer Sew-Along, only I do this only on the back waistband.  I did this on a 3" wide waistband, and am excited to try it again with another of the Ginger pattern's fancy waistbands, view 2.  I may even venture waaay out of the box for me and make this in A SOLID WOOL.  I pause as you all gasp of course, but I don't know how else I can rationalize adding any more skirts to my Fall Palette Challenge.  I have some lovely double-faced wool to choose from in plum, peacock, or a coral I'd like to say is akin to sunburn.  If I use the peacock blue it will go with the Winter palette of jewel tones I'm already fantasizing about...

In conclusion I love the a-line of Ginger, and this colorway goes with so many of my favorite sweaters and tops that it soothes me over my sadness over putting away my favorite summer dress for the season.  It looks great with my favorite Campus boots as well as the manly brogues pictured here.  A wardrobe staple worthy of every season!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Gossip Tree Circle Skirt

I muse upon circle skirts...

When Casey announced her Circle Skirt Sew-Along, I was very excited, because I love the blank canvas of a circle skirt.  Plus ever since Patty created her Circle Skirt Calculator, I've been plotting to add circle skirts to my wardrobe, so Casey was just adding to my motivation.

Note my awesome caramel super shiny vintage men's loafers..
Now truth be told, this adorable Tina Givens print (Gossip Tree from her Treetop Fancy line) was supposed to be a full circle skirt with 4 gores. The way the one way directional repeat worked in this print, I felt like it would be maximized by centering the gores on the directional (ironically, this attention to direction was paid immediately after cutting out my "Everyone Makes Mistakes" skirt, but before said mistake was discovered.)

Unfortunately, I cut out my last gore overlapping where I cut out the waist on my third gore, making it appear to have a butchered scalloped edge.  So it became a three-gore 3/4 circle skirt.  So it goes.

Honestly I love the way it hangs.  I finished the waist with bias tape cut from the same fabric and used an invisible zipper in center back following the great tutorial on the Coletterie.  I absolutely love how a shirt looks tucked into this non-waistband finish.  I have been so in love with belts and wide waistbands lately, I was surprised at how flattering this looks.

I finished with a simple rolled hem pressed 1/4", and then rolled another 1/4" and sewn once. My skirt is still plenty swingy as you can see.

So in recap here are the 3 circle skirts in my Fall Palette Wardrobe...


3/4 circle cut in gores!

Full circle (fully lined in medium weight cotton)
Who can pick?  I love the economical use of fabric in a half-circle, but that extra quarter step to a 3/4s is so lovely in the draping.  It occurs to me that the soft fluid drape of the plaid suiting in my full circle is far less dramatic than the results with the stiffer fabric cut into gores with the 3/4s.  No matter I love them all.

But here is the true bliss of the circle skirt, no?

Friday, September 30, 2011

Everyone Makes Mistakes

Made from  Suzanie Cotton Linen in Licorice from Tina Given's Pernilla's Journey line available here
I made a half-circle skirt with a black knit elastic waistband- so easy and so flattering.  I lazily did a serged rolled hem too, making it a super fast project - less than one hour, if you don't count the time it took to hang it before hemming.  But maybe I should have made it more thoughtfully.  Perhaps you can find my mistake...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

More Fall Palette Reveals- Calliope Still Crashin'

I have two versions of Kwik-Sew 3758 completed, and am still of the mind that I would like to wear nothing else but this dress all year and see if anyone notices. 

I made a plaid circle skirt with a contrast lining for the Circle Skirt Sew-Along..

the calliope crashed to the ground..

photo inspiration giving me opportunity to quote Springsteen in my Fall Palette

It's been fun refining my Fall Palette, but it's has been less inspiring to write about apparently.  Also I am mad at Colourlovers for only allowing 5 colors in a palette..Here's my final Fall Palette I guess.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Successful Half-way Mark (Self-Stitched September)

Here's a collage I made featuring most of the outfits I've worn for Self-Stitched September.  This has really been fun, and not as much of a challenge as I feared.  Even the repeat outfits were worn again for the love of the garment more than my running out of options.  Also it's been cool to re-use things as weather turned abruptly cooler in Minnesota.

Here's a collage of some of my repeated outfits.  I try not to completely replicate the outfit when I've replicated the garment.  The Yabba Dabba Do skirt has actually been worn 3 times because of it's casual comfortable factor.  I haven't really tried to dress that one up, and will strive to do so before the end of the month.  The third showing of that skirt was an absolute replica of the first outfit I created with it, brown hoody and moto boots.  I've also worn the Claire Cami dress twice, and because of the warm weather it was essentially the dress; once with boots, once with manly wing tips.

I actually have garments completely unworn thus far, some because they are samples in the shop- some just overlooked.  My gold cafe dots tee hasn't made an appearance, nor has the Park Ramble Wrap.  I am clearly skirt-centric.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Self-Stitched September Day 13

Just some pictures of Froggy Went a Courtin' with a cardigan I took in yesterday's blissfully autumnal weather.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Froggy Went A Courtin' Dress

Last week I finally made Kwik Sew 3758, and adorable pattern used by Patty for her "No Fuss Knit & Cotton Dress" class.  It's a pattern of genuis because it appears to be separates, but is a knit top with a gathered skirt (not a full dirndl- more of gathered to the amount of a classic babydoll) and an obi-style wide belt.

Available online here, ask for Indigo!

I'd been contemplating which fabrics from my stash I might use to make a version of this up, when we got Tula Pink's Frog Prince in stock in this Indigo colorway.  I had been charmed by the other colorways we'd had in stock, how could I not be?  Not only is it a frog prince, it has a fly in the middle of what looks like a sacred heart to me, and when we got the Indigo in, I fell hard.  I decided to make the belt in one of the Prince Charming coordinates, Turtle Bay (also in Indigo) available here online..

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Simplicity 2655, the "Yabba Dabba Do " Skirt

Simplicity 2655 in Dagmar by Alexander Henry
On Tuesday I was slummy again for my day off, but I didn't look slummy in my recently finished "muslin" of Simplicity 2655 (view E).  I say muslin, because I was really just testing the pattern for size/etc, but wanted to be able to wear it.  Since I wanted a skirt to ride on my hip, rather than much higher on my waist- I decided to make this pattern up in size 22, but since I sewed most of it on the serger, I could have sized down to 20, because this skirt certainly does have a low rise now.  It's impossible to call the yoke a waistband yoke, since it falls a good inch below my belly button, and my natural waist is about 4 inches above my belly button!  It's a hip-yoke, I guess.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Basic T-shirt

Featuring  Kwik Sew 3036
This is what I wore to sit around with my nose running on Sunday.  It was comfy.  It made me really, really happy that I had ever made something as simple as a plain white t-shirt too.  I will say that I doubt I would ever give up my store bought tees, so soft,cheap and plentiful at superstores, but this t-shirt was cheap and easy to make and I love how thick and lofty the Micheal Miller interlock is.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Denied! (wherein we come to a fork in the road toward my Fall Palette Wardrobe)

My Fall Wardrobe Palette has been thwarted!  I was planning most of my separates around this Anna Maria Horner velveteen, of which I was going to make a jacket and yesterday I watched a lovely customer buy all we had left.  Stupid me, I could've controlled my destiny, but instead I lost out.  Boo.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Soul Blossoms Claire Cami Dress

This is my favorite dress of the summer.  It's the Claire Cami Dress by Serendipity Studios, and it's so comfortable and flattering that I would mow the lawn in it.  Oh wait, yesterday I did mow the lawn in it..

Improving My Mettle

Reproduction picture of  9/2/2011 outfit.
'I, Laura of ‘schmatte?' blog sign up as a participant of Self-Stitched-Sept '11. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade item, more if I can, each day for the duration of September 2011′

I think I can...I think I can..

Yesterday I wore 2 different me-made outfits (one while mowing the lawn!) but I was a picture-taking failure, since I didn't get home to my photo studio (the front porch) until after dark.  I will strive to do some recon with that today.  I was so sad yesterday that it was too hot for boots.  Today it might be too wet, but I might just push it anyway,

Update:  Here's my carefully reproduced outfit.  Anyone in my bias skirt class last night can vouch for its integrity!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's Windy! (everyone knows)

Who's peekin' out from under a stairway? 
I haven't been in flurry of creation, but I have been documenting it well, suddenly.  I think it's wanting to wear Me-Made things to work at the store, and then also realizing I should quick take some pictures.  So without further ado, let me show you my Macaron!

When I finally decided this dress would work for my figure, my main goal was to make a version I liked as much as The Sew Convert's Festivity Macaron.   But without copying it.  And to make it in time to wear to the Frocktails launch for the Summer of Dresses on May 3rd.  I cut it out around April 24th.  By May 3rd, I knew my harebrained idea of making the bodice yoke out of interlock would require some refining.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Voile -la A Wrap Skirt!

Anna Maria Horner Voile- Slow Dance in Heather available online
Have you recovered from the horrible warping of the English language I perpetrated in the blog title?  No?  Here's another pretty picture then!

The Wrap Skirt is often touted as the perfect beginning apparel project.  And technique-wise, it really is- although I think the optional button-hole to thread your tie through makes it more complicated unless you happen to have a one-step buttonhole.  But let's be honest, even a one-step buttonhole function requires a special presser foot, and for some beginning sewers that's really scary.  In any case, the button-hole is optional on Kwik Sew 2954, (the pattern we use for our Wrap Skirt Class) although it an option that really adds to making a flattering fitting skirt.  I wanted to see how using lovely silky cotton voile added to the flattery and sure enough- it turned out pretty slinky.

It's kind of the perfect skirt to transition into colder weather, since I think it'll look smashing with knee-high boots.  I used the repeat of the pattern, almost like a border print, or rather, I hemmed the skirt right under the bottom of the pattern, which was pretty easy to do while laying out the pattern and turned out really cute.  I was lucky that it fell right into my 22" ideal I guess.

I also used a french seam to make the insides extra special.  Be sure and peek to check them out if you come into the store!  In this pattern, it was a super easy application.

The skirt makes you magically transparent!

This was a sample for the upcoming Wrap Skirt class at Sewtropolis, which I'll be teaching on Friday, September 9 from 6-9.  There's still room in the class, and you can register online!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Skyline Circle Skirt

I've been thinking about circle skirts a lot lately.  I have several plaid suiting/wool skirts planned for Fall/Winter wardrobe building, and although I am an impatient girl, and you have to let your circle skirt hang before hemming,  I do feel like there is no substitute for how you feel when you rock a circle skirt.   Casey is having a sew a-long, where she's showing how to draft a circle skirt- and Patty recently posted a fantastic Circle Skirt Calculator showing how to alter and or draft full circle, 3/4 circle, and half circle skirts! 

Here's my favorite skirt of the summer, my half-circle skirt made from fabric with a printed panel just made to create a border!  On a circle skirt, since the entire hem is curved, you can't use regular border fabrics to decorate your hemline with a mid-century style illustrated skyline, so when I was at Walmart 5 or 6 years ago, I couldn't resist adding this panel to my stash. 

Simplicity 4236 still available!
It must have been a cross-promotion with Simplicity, since the printed panel is represented right on the Simplicity pattern envelope, but it was ever so easy to make the skirt without any pattern, since the panel did most of the work for me!  All I had to do was measure the length I wanted my skirt to be from the hemline to find my waistline, and mark that width accordingly!  I used packaged piping to face the hem, to accent the skyline illustration, and to add some body to the skirt much like horsehair braid would.  It worked really well!

A circle skirt just makes a girl FEEL angelic. 
I used 1 1/2" black elastic to make the waistband.  I sewed it on like a facing, and I can wear it up with the black showing, or turn it all the way in like a facing.  I've been wearing tucked in shirts with this all summer, so I've really loved the belt-like effect of the solid contrast waistband.  The quality of the black elastic I used, is sadly lacking, however.  It's already showing threads, and I will have to replace it soon.  It was packaged elastic also bought at Walmart, but it's Dritz, and I am confused as to why the Dritz elastic by the yard would be twice as sturdy.  I am sad, because this elastic is very soft and comfortable.  It will be easy to replace, but boo for having to do so.

Other than elastic quality issues, there's nothing I don't really like about this skirt.  I have a black tulle skirt to layer under it as soon as I can stand to wear something lined in nylon poly again, and I think the lines of this skirt are immensely flattering to me.  I feel so girly and angelic too!  I guess technically, since this is a half-circle skirt, I feel like half an angel.. But stash busting totally made me feel like I brushed that l'il devil who constantly encourages me to buy new fabric right off my shoulder!  For one project anyway...

I'm really excited to be sewing along with Casey too!  In the combined interest of stash-busting and wardrobe building, I'm hoping to add one full circle skirt (in an awesome red and blue classic wool plaid), a 3/4 circle skirt (yet to be determined), and to finish a half-circle skirt I cut out last Fall that is completely Anthro-inspired with a contrast hem facing..