Friday, August 31, 2012

Presents from Egypt

Over the summer, Gus went on a whirlwind adventure to Egypt - touring the pyramids, the white desert, the Nile.  While sleeping in a dorm at my summer job, I awoke to a text from him at 4:30am - a picture of his head in front of the Sphinx.  You can imagine my jealously.

But leave it to Gus...all my jealously evaporated when he arrived home and showered me with gifts... most of them of the fabric variety!  This fantastic printed fresco fabric has the feeling of lightweight cotton, but is considerably more durable.  Fresco is a very lightweight wool...I found a good description at The Gentleman's Gazette.  I guess its no surprise that Egyptians have perfected hot weather fabrics.  Sorry this picture is so yellow.

My current philosophy of sewing patterns is to choose something with elements I haven't tried before.  With that in mind, it was time to add a wrap dress to my repertoire.

Pattern: Vogue 8646
Fabric: Fresco, gift
Belt: Banana Republic
Closure: Tie on the inside panel, hook and eye on the outside panel.

I finished this dress last Saturday and I've already worn it twice.  It debuted at the Ira Glass event at LSU on Sunday night.  Three cheers for public radio!  Then I wore the dress to school on Monday (the day before Hurricane Isaac put us out for a week.)  It did very well in the humidity.  I did have to pin the neckline together.  I plan to add a snap at the neckline to keep it in place without worry.

I'm excited that my sewing fluency is growing.  I was happy to be able to look at this fabric and decide what to make with it - sans agonizing over pattern choices and worrying about the quality of the finished product.  Now if only I could get my blog background to stop changing to random things...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Navy Blue Licorice

So yes, it's been quite a while since I've posted.  Between a job change, a summer away from home, and a broken sewing machine, both sewing and blogging have been on hold.  And now here I am, off work for Hurricane Isaac... hoping I can finish this post before the lights go out.

Good news... my wonderful boyfriend has agreed to be my blog photographer.  He did a great job last Thanksgiving and shares his work again here.  Neither of us are masters of the Nikon D40 yet, so it took us a little while to figure out the manual focus was off, but alas, the photos still look nice.  The wine prop was his idea.

This is my first project from the Colette Patterns Sewing Handbook - which, sigh, I got for Christmas from my brother Bob.  It's taken me way too long to get started!
Pattern: Licorice Dress - Colette Patterns
Fabric: Brocade (is what it said in the store. It feels like Silk Crepe.)
Lining: Bemberg Rayon (best lining EVER - breathable, washable, seriously check it out)

I bought the fabric at Fabric Place Basement in Framingham, MA back in December when I was home for Christmas.  Fabric Place was this old fabric store in downtown Framingham that was around since the 1940s.  I remember wandering around the winding rooms as a kid, getting lost, bugging my mom, etc.  It recently went out of business and Fabric Place Basement opened... which I must say is AWESOME.  I spent way too much in way too little time there.  I would get a part time job there cutting fabric if I still lived in Massachusetts.  Just for fun.

I've got to say... this dress is the best thing I've ever made.  It was intended for the First Day of School, but would have been too warm given the lining and Louisiana weather.  It fits perfectly (I cut a 6 top, 8 waist, and 10 bottom) and feels comfortable and professional at the same time.  I'm smitten.