Good morning! Has it really been two weeks? It’s all a muddled blur in my mind now and I’m still racing against the clock to get stuff done, but I’m happy to report that I’ve been working hard behind the scenes, but I’ve been playing hard too (in a boringly wholesome way, I should clarify – no tossing back of jagermeister jello shots or misguided pole dancing involved).
I have a lot to share, but for today, I’m going to focus on this li’l outfit. It’s from this new book I got as part of my birthday stash:
I’m officially in love with this book. I want to make every single thing from it, and what with the hubbub of back-to-school ads inundating me at every turn, I may just try to sew exclusively from this book for the next few weeks — my newly minted eight-year-old needs a bunch of Fall clothes. The book has a wide range of adorable woven and knit patterns and some good solid basics along with pure frivolity like a faux fur vest. Who doesn’t love a good fur vest?
But more on the book later. K and I browsed through it together, and I asked her if anything struck her fancy. She immediately stopped me on this page:
“But can you make the skirt extra long? With that pink fabric from Ba-chan?” she asked. But of course.
The pink fabric from Ba-chan turned out to be a rather small piece, and I had to make quite a few adjustments, but it was as though this skirt was meant to be made from this bright textile with a distinctly ethnic/boho vibe. Except for a two-inch strip I had to cut to straighten the fabric, I used the entire thing. Here are the changes I made:
– I had to turn the fabric crossgrain to get the length she wanted (i.e. imagine that each of those shapes is a jeweled sweet potato – the “correct” way to use the fabric is to have them line up side by side wider than it is tall, how a potato would naturally rest on a surface; instead, the way I used the fabric makes it look like all the potatoes are magically held upright). I also used the wrong side facing outward because the other side had a lot more flourishes and busy design elements.
– I kept the more decorative section you see above straight grain and lengthened this section by about an inch too.
– The fabric is quite sheer (a cotton voile, maybe?) so I added a quick poly lining. K loves the extra swishiness the lining gives the skirt. I was displeased by how the elastic kept shifting in the casing, so I ended up zigzag stitching the elastic to the casing at the top to secure it. Not the most elegant solution, but it works.
As for this charming lace-trimmed top, swiss dot was the obvious choice. I’ve had this pretty white summery-ness for a long time…I have a thing for sheer fabrics, I’ve realized, and to keep the top from immodesty, I underlined the front cross-over pieces with the same swiss dot fabric. Easy. The cotton lace is also from my mom, and wouldn’t you know it, I had just enough for the top. Kismet all over the place.
K’s super happy with this ensemble and it warranted a dance.
So. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking these last few days, and I had to make some choices. Working on two books is an honor and a privilege, but I’m no Beyonce, and my 24 hours is sadly inadequate for my to-do list, which I’m sure is about 1/10,000th of Beyonce’s.
But not keeping up the blog space is a little like asking me to stop shaving my legs – smooth legs are not strictly an evolutionary necessity, but it’s part of my non-negotiable routine (and you know how I love my routines) and somehow it makes me feel more put together and better in a general sense. Plus I have the kind of overactive follicles that require strict maintenance, and things tend to spiral out of control quickly. I’m afraid that once I stop, I’ll be so overwhelmed that I’ll just give up and let myself have yeti legs, so the extra effort is totally worth it to me even in the dead of winter. I wish I could have come up with a deeper, classier analogy, but this pretty much represents my state of mind: scattered and a bit off the mark and obsessed with hair. My goal is to test out a Monday-Wednesday-Friday blog schedule for the rest of the year (my final manuscript for the sewing book is due December 15th). Let’s see how this works, shall we?
I almost forgot! The giveaway! See how out of practice I already am? Due to a series of circumstances, I ended up with an extra copy of this lovely book I’m planning to sew a lot from. I don’t need two copies, naturally, so I thought one of you would like it?
To enter the giveaway, please leave me a comment with your best stress-busting tactics. Are you a yogi? A meditator? A cleaning machine? Baking used to be my favorite way to de-stress, but the caloric overload added more stress so I’ve cut way back on it. I still hate to exercise, but I’m slowly incorporating it more regularly.
The giveaway will be open until this Thursday, August 14th and I’ll announce the winner the next day. International participants are welcome, of course! Good luck!
P.S. I’m catching up on comments….thank you for all the loveliness!