Archive for March 2018

My Thoughts on the Pant Suit

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Experiment:
Vogue 9103
View C
Size 8

Materials:
3.5 Yards of Cotton and Steel's Moonlight Tangrams in Navy
3.5 yards of navy batista
22" Navy Invisible Zipper
Navy Blue Thread

Procedure:
I fell in love with this pattern because the dress looked so chic on the pattern envelope (Gah! Sound like a groupie fan girl!). If I had to come up with two reasons to really appreciate the pattern it would be the bodice and the back gathered skirt.

As a professional, I am always looking for fashion forward work appropriate clothes (What a mouth full! Can I throw in any more adjectives!?!).  I must say that every fiber of my being rebels against the drab pant suit. As a field scientist and grad student, I could wear what I wanted. Most of the time, even though I love girly dresses, I needed to wear jeans or cargo pants when doing experiments especially in the field.  Flash forward to my first gig as a professor -- even there, I had freedom to wear what I wanted -- jeans on cold days and dresses on warm ones.  Then I transitioned into full-time administration (Some would say going to the dark side!) and my wardrobe has morphed into a variety of dresses with some skirt separates and the casual jeans on a Friday. What I cannot come to wear is a pant suit. I am sure the pant suit is absent in my closet. Now I can rock separates -- a jacket and pants or a jacket with a skirt or a dress with a cardigan et cetera -- but the pant suit!?!
I have been to several conferences within the past year and I always feel like the odd woman for not prescribing to the standard pant suit. Then I get extremely self-conscious that I won't be taken seriously. Silly but we all have hang-ups. I thank all strong women who have paved the way for other generations of women to lead, innovate, create, discover, or engineer. I respect all women who wear dresses, jeans or pant suits. But I don't feel any connection or desire to wear the pant suit.

My vibe is a fabulous dress. I would never consider myself creative, I am analytical. One reason I love to sew is to be creative...to fabricate all the lovely clothes that make me feel confident, empowered and allow me to express my voice. And to make something that fits me perfectly.
No pants suit for me. Sorry for the long diatribe. I just keep noticing the pant suit and it has been on my mind. This Vogue pattern is opposite of a pant suit. It is described as having a deep v-neckline. It is a deep deep neckline. I added a detachable modesty panel. Detachable because I didn't make it until I tried on the final dress and was shocked at how low the bodice hit. For me, it was slightly below my bra... the easiest, quickest fix was small panel that I could attach to the lining of the bodice.
Clothes like this dress make me feel confident. Beautiful. Strong. And pretty bad-ass since I made it! In my opinion that is what clothes are meant to do (There was a TV show dedicated on how to dress -What Not to Wear - whose purpose was to empower people through clothes!). I highly recommend Vogue 9103. It was a challenging sew since I had to read the directions. And it is a great alternative to a pant suit if that floats your boat. One of the speakers at a recent conference talked about empowering other women so if a dress is not your thing and you love a suit, I am with you and I know you rock it!  What are your thoughts on the pant suit?


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Belcarra in Bloom

Monday, March 12, 2018

Experiment:
Sewaholic's Belcarra Blouse
Size: 2

Materials:
2 Yards of Art Gallery's Ink Outburst Atelier Voile
Light gray thread

Procedure:
This past week was insane. The previous weekend we traveled for soccer -- had a lot of fun, won all three of our games, saw the sun in what feels like ages but had to endure lots of driving (from north to south Louisiana and back again).  Midweek I got back on the road to attend a conference -- totally worth it as the guest speaker was Sonia Jackson Myles (She was so inspiring and such an amazing speaker!!). I chalk last week up to a whole lot of miles with little pockets of sunshine here and there. When I did find the time to sew over this past weekend, I wanted simple to amp up the sewjo.
I read Melissa's blog post (she blogs at Mahlica Designs) about her spring sewing plan.  I was impressed but then I was immediately depressed as I do not have the planning power or commitment to come up with a long term sewing plan. I challenged myself to plan but I reminded myself that Comparison is the Thief of Joy (One of my favorite quotes!). My way of planning (or sewing) is usually just turning to my stash and hoping the sewing muses grace me with an ounce of creativity. This is the exact method I used for my Belcarra.  Those spring blossoms in the Ink Outburst voile were calling my name.
The Belcarra is an easy beginner sew.  I estimate the total time I spent sewing was around 3 hours -- that is being generous and accounting for tea breaks and kiddo interruptions. The neckline is wide (Why didn't I remember that!?! I have a blog for heaven's sake!) -really wide. Somehow I don't mind it too much. I do like the way the design curves in at your natural waist and flairs around the hips.  Sewaholic is known for keeping the pear-shaped gal in mind.
And you can style the Belcarra with jeans or a skirt. This is my first attempt in 2018 to get back to basics. Look at those flowers!
I really do have spring on my brain. Let's bring on the sunshine!

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Everything's Coming Up Roses Emery Hack

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Experiment:
Emery Skirt (Size 0)
Simplicity 2444 Bodice (Size 8)

Materials:
3 yards of Katarina Rocella's Flowered Engrams Ornate
Scrap fabric for pockets
22" Invisible Zip in Navy Blue
Mettler Gray Thread

Procedure:
This week has been a week of milestones. I am now the mother of an eleven year old. He got a vanilla bean cupcake for breakfast and he wanted steak for his birthday dinner. Birthday dinners are a must in our household and this was our goofy selfie commemorating his birthday while waiting for our dinner at the restaurant. Here is his serious 11-year-old look.
Annnndddd, I had to attend an event where my husband was recognized for his job (great event, crap food, good company). Would suffer crap food over and over again for this guy!
Then to cap it off, after what feels like a never-ending week, last night we had a spring baseball scrimmage in between the spring rain storms.  It was a long evening and the rain held off for the game --worth it until the mosquitoes started to bite!
I had plenty of dresses to wear to this dinner event with Mr. Chemist but what is a girl to do when she looks at all dresses and can't decide!?!? She decides to sew another one!! I turned to my TNTs because I can crank out a dress rather quickly. And I had this gorgeous fabric hiding in my stash. I am in love with Art Gallery Fabrics and I have several of Katarina Rocella's designs. The Art Gallery Fabrics has a great weight and vibrant colors. Soooooo nice. I chose this digital rose print to use for my latest dress hack -- Emery skirt paired with Simplicity 244 bodice.  It is meant to channel spring.
And I went to my TNT bodice Simplicity 2444.  I have lovingly tooled this bodice - I mean, WOWZA -- it fits oh-so-nicely with the right amount of ease.
I used the Emery skirt as a base and added 4 inches in length to the pattern. I wanted to the skirt to hit below my knee.  I am probably going to retrace the skirt pattern and add at least two to three more inches so that is will be a true midi-skirt.
This fabric is really lush -- dreamy and drapey. I love how it goes with my clogs. Am I channeling spring or what?  Rain, rain go away -- I want sun and comfy temps to enjoy the outside. 
I need to make some pants. My closet is now almost bursting with dresses. I see some staple sewing in my future -- any suggestions on go to patterns for wardrobe staples?

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