A Project A Week, #4

Finished up the 18th of the month —


In the picture, you can see many a thread hanging from the buttons.  That’s cause I worked on this sucker for, aaagh, maybe three weeks, and jussst squeaked by to finish it in time for the week’s deadline.  I just couldn’t get it together.  And I can’t say why – there was nothing particularly hard about this; but it IS a shirt, a traditional button-up, even though it’s jersey and has the gathered bust thingy and a one-part collar.  It still has cuff plackets and all that other stuff that makes button-up shirts a bit of a PITA.

Not much to say other than – this is an Ottobre shirt, the fabric is a super-cheap single jersey from the Mill End Store’s flatofold section, and it fits rather well:

Ottobre Woman jersey shirt

The gathers in the pic are still starched stiff.  The shirt’s been washed since then so it looks rather better. Buttons, by the way – ah, the buttons have a backstory:Buttons in pill bottle

I bought these buttons as you see them, in pill bottles, at a neighbor’s estate sale.  The name, date, prescription, etc. are all clear … 7/27/70. Who was this woman, who kept old buttons and old pill bottles?  And put the two together?  I’ll never know.  But she could really sew.

The Third Project-A-Week

Branched out a little here – still a BWOF, from 2/2008: a shirt, 123 to be exact.  Check out the A version in the Burda archives – and be sure to check out the B version of the same.  What’s happening with that shoulder!?!?

Anyway, I used a knit, a terrific print I bought off the ‘Bay two years ago.  I must exploit my NEW! (new to me anyway!) serger’s hemming capabilities.

WOF 2/2008 123

Soooo … that neck.  I don’t really know what to do with the neck.  I know the advice given to us short ladies: no wide necklines, no round necklines.  And this shirt breaks both rules. But it’s just a weird neck is all. I think that’s why the fashion model in BWOF is wearing it pulled down in that off-the-shoulder look (that totally distorts the shirt) : it’s just an odd neck.

WOF 2/2008 123 side view

I’m not sure how to wear this, honestly. And I wish I’d cut the waistband narrower, so that the shirt was gathered more into it.  I’m liking that lately.  But, regardless of its imperfections, it’s on schedule, it fits, and the print is fantastic.

A Project A Week #2

You’ll recognize this fabric methinks.

Project #2, finished October 4.  Burda WOF 6/08, shirt 105.

Burda Easy Shirt - May 08

Sorry it’s not ON me, or on a human anyway; I always find these dressform pics really hard to parse.  What does the item actually LOOK like?  And you really can’t understand the sleeves of this baby until there are arms inside.  But this is the twin sister of a seersucker version I did last year.  Differences?  A few; the fit has been a bit fine-tuned (the 1″ shortening trick between shoulder and bust is absolutely NOT OPTIONAL for me with this shirt – which is a little odd; you’d think I could just sew the side up higher, but no, it made a drastic fit difference.)  Lessened the flare at hem, and left off the collar for a mandarin look.

May 08 shirt - Closeup

And the contrast inner collar.  I love doing things like that.

Buttons are vintage, mostly shell and all slightly mismatched, from the Knittn’ Kitten fabric thrift store.  Yeah baby, a fabric thrift store! Only in Portland hmmm?  Srsly we have the best fabric stores in P-town … but I digress. Anything else?  The fabric is, if memory serves, Katie Jump Rope by Denyse Schmidt.

Sewing.  Of late I’ve been more-or-less seething over things political — well, less political, frankly, than cultural.  Sometimes over this summer it seemed the country had gone mad.  Dangerous, feral.  Death threats and – oh, I don’t want to go into it, but so very ugly.  Not the world, not the country I thought I lived in.  I am not much prone to depression; if anything, I have a strong case of whatever the opposite is (a persistent sense of irrational, buoyant cheerfulness … you’re right, I must bug the CRAP out of people!) But that’s not at all the same as not feeling sad.  Because, the whole tag end of summer, did I ever feel sad.  Sad isn’t like depressed.  The color didn’t seep out of anything, I didn’t sleep more or less, food didn’t taste less delicious, gray fog settled over absolutely nothing.  I just felt an aching, fresh sadness, as if over a death. Sadness over the malignant forces still alive and virulent in our society.  But sewing – and gardening, and making art, and tickling my little bug Echo – ah, words do me no good here.   But working with my hands, and feeling confidence in an earned skill, and watching some THING come together under my hands:  that is the best medicine I know for my sadness.

The First A Project a Week!

Kind of like A Dress A Day.  Except, mostly not dresses, and definitely not every day …

Here’s my goal: to finish a project, every week.  Every week dang it!  And I’ve been doing well, and suddenly it hit me: Perfect blog fodder!  So here goes: Backtracking on A Project A Week.

There were some other super-adorable clothes for Echo that got finished just at the tail-end of summer, but this skirt was a real labor of love, and the first one that I officially made a mental note of.

Ottobre Design “Sudoku” Skirt: finished Sept. 27.

EchoSkirt1 Sudoku Skirt with Belly

OK, so she’s the most reluctant model in the history of reluctant models — what matters a lot to me about this skirt is that she loves it, wears it, brags on Mama about it.  I have not had her willingly wear one of my creations since she was 2.  And she really loves this one … aaah, I’m so happy!  And of course I too love the skirt.  It’s designed for jersey, which would make it much lighter and more swingy, but this is all quilting cotton.

At her feet you can see a different dress: the Flower Girl dress we last saw in silk taffeta, done up in a quilter’s batik she chose herself, thus bringing the grand total of Clothes I’ve Made that Echo Likes up to … 2.  But hey, it’s 2 of 2, so I’m feeling good about it.