Monday, October 31, 2011

Winter in the Snowiest City in New York State: A Preparatory Guide

Winter in Syracuse is cold.  It is awfully, awfully cold, and awfully, awfully snowy, and if you measure the season by "first snow to last snow" it's about five months long here.  My wardrobe has adapted appropriately: I own a pair of snow boots, and a knee-length down coat, and a warm hat with earflaps, and gloves, and a variety of scarves, and a clear zippered container full of sweater tights.

Here's a typical late-fall, early-winter outfit, not counting under-underthings (bra and panties and so forth):

Winter Wardrobe

Friday, October 28, 2011

Wardrobe Planning--It's a Pain in the Ass

Inspired by The Wardrobe Reimagined, I've been thinking a lot about my closet this week.  My wardrobe is fairly small, as a matter of necessity--I've moved eight times in the past five years--and my everyday wardrobe is even smaller than that.  However, there are still things I can and will get rid of, and some things I very badly need and don't have--particularly in my winter wardrobe.

Here are the things I wear at least once a week, often more (fall and winter edition):

Tops: I have a bottomless wardrobe of stretched-out Old Navy v-neck t-shirts.  I also frequently wear this dress under skirts and sweaters, so it works as a top sort of.  I also borrow Dear Partner's extensive wardrobe of plaid flannel button-up shirts.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

This Lining is Not Bagged But Is Instead Something-Elsed: A Tutorial.

Readers, I have probably not really invented a new method of lining a jacket, but I'm sure you will excuse me for wanting to claim that distinction.  I have read literally four million tutorials on how to insert a jacket lining (not really).  Not one of them made any sense to me.  As a concept, lining a jacket is even less intuitive than rolling a men's dress shirt up into a giant sausage and stitching the yokes together!

So here's what I did, for a collarless jacket with contrast lapels.  Take it with a grain of salt, because as usual I'm making it up as I go along, but hopefully this will be helpful to at least one other person!

First, assemble the lining, sleeves and all.  Press the seams open, so they lie flat against one another when the jacket and lining are sewn together, but don't bother to finish them unless you're a completist like that.  It should look like this:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fall Essentials Sew-Along

My relationship with the rest of the sewing-blog-o-sphere is a complicated one.  I'm always stumbling across challenges or sew-alongs and thinking "wow, I'd love to do that!" and then realizing the post I'm reading is from February of 2009.  Well, this time I'm only a month and a half late, so I thought I might as well sign up anyway!  And I realized, glancing over my handy-dandy sewing spreadsheet, that I've basically already been participating (click to enlarge):

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Reading List Part Three: So You Want to Learn to Sew Historically

You, too, could embroider napkins
with your four identical friends.
Step one: acquire a historical sewing manual!  I'm lucky enough to have access to a university library of some size, with a large textile arts section, so I've found most of my favorites by just browsing the TT 500's.  I've also tracked down some gems by requesting an inter-library loan at my local public library, so that's an option if you know what you're looking for.

Here are a couple of my discoveries:

Authentic Victorian Dressmaking Techniques--more accurately titled Authentic Edwardian Dressmaking Techniques--is a reprint of a Butterick pamphlet from 1905, and oh how times have not changed.  Sleeve cap ease?  Check.  FBAs?  Check.  There are even pictures of a pleasant-looking woman with very big hair having her measurements taken, from which we modern readers may learn that the 'bust' measure at that time was actually what we'd call 'high bust' or 'chest'--good to know, if you're sewing from a very old pattern.

Monday, October 17, 2011

What I Am Now Calling "The Dustbowl Skirt"

 Front view:

and back view:

 Skirt: tea-length full skirt in charcoal wool flannel, with narrow waistband, side zip, and two-button closure (worn layered over this dress/slip/nightgown hybrid).

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Dressing-Gown You've All Been Waiting For

Isn't it glam?

Dressing-gown: plaid cotton flannel with long sleeves, turnback lapels, patch pockets, and a wrap-style button waist.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I Bet You're Feeling a Little Neglected Right About Now

Lovely readers--

I haven't abandoned you!  I've been sewing like mad this last month or so, but between teaching and my coursework and working on a novel (eek) I haven't had time to blog.  I especially haven't had time to do photo shoots--unless you'd all like to see poorly lit flash photos of me with dirty hair against the backdrop of my messy, messy apartment.  Maybe you would.  I shouldn't judge.

Anyway!  I'd like to get the camera out this week and snap some photos of my recent projects, which include:

  • That apron for Dear Partner that I mentioned like two months ago and just finished recently even though it's a three-hour project at best.  I am forgiven, though--she loves it and wears it all the time to wash dishes in.
  • A flannel dressing gown!  It's brilliant!  I like to swirl around in it like Sherlock in this video:

    but without the gun obviously.  It's like--think these lapels with this button waist style and these voluminous sleeves.  You'll love it, I promise.
  • And lastly, a full wool flannel skirt that I'm stalled on.  I had originally planned it with a skinny waistband, but wool flannel is bulky and every time I try it on I look-- waistless.  So maybe a wider contour waistband would work better?  Or I could just slap a wide belt on that shit and call it a day.  That's honestly sounding more and more appealing.

Of course, I've got more projects in the works, because I don't have enough to do in my life.  I'm planning a wiggle dress in this wool suiting I got in a small blue plaid, and then there's a bolero with the same wool flannel from the skirt lined in cream polka-dot cotton, and another dress/slip/nightgown in bleached muslin,  and a hat with earflaps for Dear Partner... and so it continues.

Stay classy, y'all.