September 06, 2010

Happy Home-making

The beauty of this holiday weekend was that despite having spent all of Sunday at the office, I still managed to get a real weekend in. While I probably should have been cleaning [but laundry counts, right?], I spent my energies on other more enjoyable domestic endeavors.

I think the last time I sewed any kind of garment was probably when I was in junior high, when the Home Ec lessons were fresh in my mind and my mother's assistance a mere holler away. Clearly at some point, I became distracted and my interest in sewing dissipated.

A few years ago, I told myself I was going to sign up for a sewing class. Still, I lacked the motivation (and time!) to get myself enrolled. Then came Jenna forging the way getting us all hooked on sewing and teaching me how to quilt and a long-forgotten skill set came to the forefront. It occurred to me that with the vast amount of information on the internets (gotta love YouTube!) and my vague memories of lessons past, I just might be able to get away with jumping right in.

Well, sorta. I bought Weekend Sewing quite some time ago, in part due to a fleeting moment of inspiration but mostly due to its aesthetics - it's just so beautifully photographed.

I found this print on sale at JoAnn's a few weeks ago and figured it might be a good one to start with and settled on the Trapeze Sundress. I failed to heed the comments posted on flickr about how large the dress ran and went about my way.


It's a pretty straightforward project, though not without its hurdles. I was careless either in my cutting or my piecing, because one side of the bodice section is slightly narrower than the other side, so I fudged the topstitching a bit (there are four rows on one side and five on the other). The hemming is also a bit wonky. I think I was just so excited it was almost done, I rushed through the pinning and sewing and it wasn't till I got to the last stretch that I realized it was slightly off. I pressed the heck out of it to try and straighten it out, but this dress definitely screams home-made!

And the part about failing to heed those that pioneered the way? Well, when I tried it on before attaching the back straps I was stunned at just how large it ran. So then I spent a good couple of hours trying to figure out which would be the best way to adjust the size - Rip the seams and re-cut? Just chop off the excess and re-sew? Ultimately I settled on two additional pleats in the back which also seemed to help slightly with getting rid of some the bagginess at the sides, but it's still a bit tent-ish.

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I will say though that it is rather comfy, so this may end up just being a laze-around-the-house dress. Unless I can find a belt I can wear with it.

All in all, this was a good experience and I'm excited about sewing more. The dress took up all of Saturday and a few more hours today, which was interspersed with breaks to keep up with the laundry [I will forever be grateful to my friend and landlord for installing the washer and dryer in this place even if I have to hear about how horrendous it was to bring that thing up three flights of stairs]. But before the sun set and before my tummy got growly for evening chow, I even started piecing this quilt which I'm making for my cousin's new baby:


Speaking of chow, I'd been craving blueberry muffins ever since smitten kitchen blogged about them last week. Since I seemed to have most of the ingredients in the house and a nice lazy holiday morning, I whipped up a batch for breakfast and finally got a chance to use these darling measuring cups I picked up a few months ago.

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I didn't have any lemons in the house so I subbed 1 T orange juice for the zest and made the sour cream version.


Mmmmm. Delish!


So, all in all, this was a good, home-making weekend.

1 comment:

jenna said...

I love it! But I love tent-like clothes. You could sew a matching belt with your leftover fabric, although sometimes a "real" belt helps detract from the homemadeness. A long, buttoned up cardi might help shape it a bit and get you a couple days with the dress this fall, too. Also? I have the same measuring cups! :)