Friday, 29 July 2011

Thought I'd make a Tutorial.

'Cept I didn't really take enough pictures for that. Not a picture tutorial anyway. So instead I'll just post a few of my work in progress pics for the Cream-Soda Shorts Mach 2: Castaway Marianne. And I'll include verbal instructions on how I made it work. If anyone who reads this wants a copy of the pattern, let me know on facebook or twitter and I will scan the pattern in so you can print it off of your computer and you can give it a whirl to make your own Cream-Soda Shorts.

These are the materials I started with. 2 meters of the navy fabric, which was way more than I needed but it was in the bargain bin so better safe with the extra than needing it and not having it. 1 meter of heavyweight iron on interfacing, and one spool of navy thread and one of white top stitching thread for the detail work.

 I cut all the pattern pieces out, and didn't take a picture. 2 pieces of the back of the shorts, 2 pieces for the front, two pieces for the back waistband and one of the front waistband, and eight placket pieces. I had to cut these out in such a way to match up the lines of the corduroy fabric. Then I cut out the iron on interfacing for the back waistband, front waistband, and placket pieces, and ironed them on. Next time I do this I'm going to cut the interfacing pieces without the seam allowance to make it easier to sew.

I then marked the placket cut line and the darts in the back piece. I reinforced the front placket area before cutting it with a wide machine stitch, and sewed in the darts for the back. I ironed the darts flat and facing the back seam once the shorts were mostly assembled. I did not trim the darts, as I was using them for part of the detail top stitch later.

 I then sewed the shorts front and back together, starting at the inside seams, front piece to back piece. Then I sewed the inseams together, matching front to front right sides together and back to back right sides together, and then I stitched the sides together. I didn't take pictures of all of this, but I did take one after. See?

 The plackets are probably the trickiest part.  First I cut the line for the plackets on the shorts front. Then I pinned the plackets together, right sides together, and sewed two along the inside curve and over the placket points, and two along the oustide curve and over the placket points. This creates the two shapes for the inside plackets and the outside plackets.

 I then trimmed them down very close to the edge and sniped the corners and turned the plackets right side out. I used a pin to pull the corners out to make them nice and pointy looking.

 Then was the fun and slightly more confusing part. This took me a few minutes to work out. For the outside plackets which in the end will have the button holes, I had to open one of the placket pieces that had been sewn along the inside curve and match the outside curve's right side to the wrong side of the shorts front. You have to really manipulate the fabric to get the two sides to match without twisting or pulling, because the curves are not the same, but when you flip it over it gives you the right shape. It would have been so much easier if I left the plackets straight and not curved at all. But I love to make things more difficult for myself.

 Then I sewed the placket on from the inside, even though I pinned the outside of the fabric. It was easier to manipulate the not interfaced shorts front, which is why I did it this way. Kenny doesn't like sewing over pins, but he didn't get too caught up on them this time. I took the sewing right to the corner of the point, and made sure to really reinforce this by backstitching. Then I trimmed the excess fabric and flipped the placket over and ironed it so it had a nice fold over the outside of the fabric.

 I hand stitched this down with a slip stitch to secure it, and I hand stitched down the point of the placket to give me a guide line on the other side to create the inside placket where the buttons go.

The inside plackets got tricksy, and I was so intent on making them line up nicely that I forgot to take pictures. First I realised I had to cut some extra fabric out near the point to make sure they would sit flat and the points would line up. I did this by taking the inside placket and pining the point to where it was directly under the point of the outside placket, and then pinning the tops together. I traced a line on the shorts front matching the inside curve of this placket. I then cut along this new line. I know, writing it out doesn't make a lot of sense if you can't see what I'm talking about, and I appologize. Anyway, I matched them up as described, and then, using the same technique as the outside placket I created the inside one, sewing the open inside curve to the fabric front, matching the right side of the placket to the wrong side of the shorts front. I ironed it, and then hand stitched it down. Then I did it all over again for the other placket on the other side.

At this point I top stitched each placket, starting with the inside placket I stitched very close to the edges using a decorative stitch on my friend's sewing machine that she let me borrow. Then I did the front plackets, then I sewed down the points. I also top stitched down the darts in the back, and the side seams.

The fly of theses shorts then becomes a front flap that if you unbutton both sides just falls down. You only really have to undo one side to slide the shorts on.

Then I did the waistband pieces. First I sewed the back waistband pieces together at the back seam, and ironed them in half, wrong sides together. I wasn't thinking clearly when I made the back waistband pieces, and it wound up creating an interesting V shape. I decided I liked it so I kept it. Then I flipped the fabric so the right sides were together and I sewed them with a 4/8" seam, trimmed it and clipped the corners. Then I flipped it right side out, and pulled the corners out with a pin to create the nice square edges. Then I matched the back seam of the shorts to the back seam of the waistband, and pinned it together with the right side of the waistband to the wrong side of the shorts. I sewed it down, flipped it and ironed it. I could have at this point hand stitched the waistband down, but that seemed like too much work. So instead I just made sure it was very securly pinned and I top stitched it down using the white top stitching thread. I sewed all the way around the waist band, so it had the pop of white detail. On the front waistband piece, which is much smaller than the back, I ironed the thing wrong sides together, then I flipped it over right sides together and using a 4/8" seam allowance I stitched it up. Then I trimmed and flipped it, pinned it right side to wrong side of the shorts front, and sewed along the seam. I trimmed it, flipped it and ironed it. Then I hand stitched it down and then topstitched around the edges.

Wow! So close to completion! Lastly, I measured out my button holes and very carefully this time created them. On the first version of the shorts I grew very impatient, and wound up making a lot of mistakes on the button holes. This time I was extra careful to make them evenly spaced and straight on the placket flys. I only had four buttons for each side as apposed to the original shorts which had 5. Once I had the button holes sewn in, I trimmed out the insides and marked where the buttons needed to go, which was very close to the edge of the inside plackets to make sure they didn't pull funny. Then I hand sewed all the buttons into place.

 THEY ARE NOW SHORTS! I steamed them with my iron (yaay I got the steamer to work again!) And they were DONE!

It took me 2 days of sewing for about 4 hours to complete the Marianne shorts.

Yesterday I bought some very awesome printed satins to make a skirt with, and a lovely silky-touch lining fabric to line the steam punk jacket I`ve been dreaming of making for awhile now. But I think the skirt is going to be super easy, and I wont need the jacket until the fall, so I`m going to make the skirt first.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

A stray thought is better than a stray thread...

I was thinking I didn't have a top to wear with my cream soda shorts. Then I remembered I had this fun pretty knit fabric in my sewing stuff and I still hadn't found a thing to make out of it. Also, my sewing machine, Kenny, hated the fabric so much he tried to shred it. My friend left her sewing machine here, and Moira is a lot nicer to knits than Kenny is, so I borrowed her to get this project done. Took approximately 2 hours of work. So I decided to whip up a quick peasant style top, it looks great with the cream soda shorts tucked in, or with a belt sinching it up. I thought about adding an elastic waistband/built in belt, but then it wouldn't look as nice with the shorts.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Cream Soda Shorts!


A few reminders to myself: On the next pair, make the plackets approximately 1/4" wider. The button holer had some hate on, kept gumming up. I'm sitting here fixing the button holes by hand as they are already unraveling. Also: the waist band needs to taper in for more shape. Again, I forgot about the curve of my lower back. I tried to throw a dart in, but it pulled the whole shorts out of  shape. I'm just going to leave it being slightly square on this pair, and fix it up for the next pair.

The next pair I say? I say indeed!

The fabric is navy, if you zoom in you can see the wonderful and oh so subtle pinstripe. It's a polly blend, so they wont be quite as breathable as the pink ones. But, seeing as they are the mach 2 version they will have some of the little details I mucked up on much less mucked up.

For my first ever shorts pattern, I think I did pretty decent!

( PS Plackets need work. Need to be less bulky in the corners/seams and stiffer!)

Thursday, 21 July 2011

How I do It

Today I'm going to tell you all about how I learned how to do most of the things I know how to do.

Step one: Think to yourself "Other people can do that. I am also a people. Therefore, I can do that!"

Often times we see things other people have created, and become envious of their abilities. I have to say, I used to be far more envious of other peoples abilities. I used to think that if I did a thing it was less of a thing than if someone else did it. IE My talents are lesser because they are mine. This is something most people have to deal with in their lives, in one way or another. Very closely related to a common condition known as Imposter Syndrome. But, it's like people say when they see that strange expressionist piece of modern art "My 2 year old could paint better!" And often times, that statement may be true, but we invalidate it by rationalization. Generally, the rationalization has to do with a dollar value attatched to the thing in question. "Yes, I could make something similar on my own, but I could never sell it. I could never make money off of it. It's a waste of time." It's these kind of thoughts that stand in your way. If you want to do a thing, why not try? Forget all the excuses, and give it a whirl.

Step Two: TRY IT!

Yes, that's right. If you think you may be able to do a thing, why not give it a try? Why not use your thinky brain for something that might make you happy, fulfill you creatively, and perhaps do something you may not have thought possible. This is not the hardest step, because trying once is easy to give up from. Especially when you aren't exactly sure what you are doing. The worst thing about trying is often times we know someone or of someone who we are trying to emulate when we are attempting to try something new. What happens when we attempt to emulate people is that we compare ourselves directly to that person, and when we aren't immediately as profficient at the thing as that person, we think we suck and walk away. This is not cool!

Step Three: Don't talk yourself out of it

I'm gunna be brutally honest, no matter what you are doing someone has probably already done it first. There will always be someone who's better than you at it, but they are not you. They won't give it your unique spin, your own sense of pinash that makes it your item, your thing, your creative outlet. Just because you aren't immediately amazing at a thing, doesn't mean you aren't talented. It just means you haven't done that thing as often as others, and really all you can do is keep trying to get better, and you will. It's inate. It's muscle memory, it's part of being human. We can all learn to do the same things that any other human being can do, it's just a matter of persistence.

Step 4: Don't Fear Questions!

When you are learning something new, you have to ask questions. If you know someone who does a thing you want to try, ask them to teach you. If they don't want to teach you (don't be offended by it! Some people don't wanna teach other people things because they are jealous and don't want to share their thing) go to somewhere where knowledge is free for all. I suggest the Googles. It taught me how to crochet, how to sew, how to knit, how to draw anime, how to make a proper capucinno, how to fashionably accessorize, how to cheat at video games, how to make home made bombs, how to spy on my neighbours, how to bake banana bread, how to eat healthy, how to excersize, how to hula hoop, how to walk in high heels, how to dye and cut my own hair, how to set up my home network, how to purify water, how to keep long distance relationships, how to crush my enemies, how to use a bow and arrow, how to dance, how to keep a fish tank, how to make websites and blogs, and so many other things I don't know if I could ever possibly list it all. The internet is the bestest tool ever for people who want to teach themselves how to do a thing. And litterally, you can find a tutorial for anything you could possibly think of online.

Step 5: Inspire yourself!

When you want to do a thing, you have to inspire yourself to do it. Again, the interwebs are the best source of inspiration for those of us on a tight budget. If you are interested in fashion, and want to know how to sew, and want ideas for what to make, go to any fashion website and steal ideas. Seriously, take those ideas note for note. You're not selling this thing, so it's not like your doing anything exactly wrong. You're borrowing to learn. And really, because you are just learning you're never really going to be able to exactly re-create that new Phillip Lim design. And if you do, holy shit you're a genious, pat yourself on the back and realize you have already completely learned this thing and are amazing. And besides, you don't want to start with something that ridiculously difficult. You want to look, you want to imagine, you want inspiration.

Step 6: We all start with baby feet for baby steps

"Before you must run, you must walk. Before you must walk, you must crawl" This is how it is with everything. Start small, small projects. Some of my first sewing and design projects were barbie clothes. I'd hot glue 'em right to Barbies bod. Or I'd actually sew them. Either way, it was small, wasn't it? And then, when I wanted to start sewing clothes for myself I would buy patterns. Then, after I got pretty comfortable with most patterns and terms I started drafting my own patterns. See? It's sequential. It's logical. It works. For everything. You want to know how to do leather carving? They got kits for that. Wood burning? Same deal. Wood working? Make a birdhouse. You want to learn how to do your own taxes? They got kits for that too. See? Anything you want to do, you can find a way to learn it.

Step 7: Don't listen to anyone but yourself. Actually, don't listen to yourself either.

People say things, with all the best of intentions most times, that might throw you off your path. You may want to keep trying things, and they may tell you not too. Don't listen! If you really want something, fuck everyone else. You can do it. And sometimes people's encouragement can very easily discourage you. Trust me, one wrong word and you can feel like no one will understand your art ever and there's no point. Well, don't listen to encouragement either. Like when I write, I get a lot of positive feedback. I am at the point of hating it. I hate it when I give my work to someone for critique and all they say is "Good job! That's awesome!" Seriously, it makes me think they didn't think about it all. But, whatever. It's what people say when they don't know what to say. They like it, but they don't know the way I know. So I don't listen anymore. I know when I've screwed up, and even if people like what I've done I know there is room for improvement. That drives me forward. And don't listen to yourself when you start getting hung up on the little errors either. Because that's the shit that makes you quit. So listen to yourself when you're positive, and even a little when your negative. But beware the overconfidence, or the pit of no confidence in yourself at all. It makes it easy to walk away when you listen to yourself being negative, and it makes it even easier to walk away when you think your all hot shit and couldn't get any better.

Anyway, I was just trying to give myself an ego boost, a morale boost, and some energy to keep going today. I'm in a blah space, and I really need to get out of it. I'm gunna go start the dishwasher, start an episode of Mad Men and finish my pink shorts. I've named the pattern "Cream Soda Shorts" because they are the kind of hot shorts you wear out on a date to the malt shop. And they are cream soda pink.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Damn, I'm Good!

So I meant to be cleaning my house today, I really really did. But then I thought to myself, "Wouldn't I much rather be sewing?" And I answered with a resounding "Absolutely!"

Last night I whipped together a quick pattern, drafted it based off a pair of jeans I have that fit me really well in the tush. This is for my high waisted sailor shorts I was talking about making. So far I'm ridiculously impressed. I made the pattern pieces first by taping 4 sheets of lined paper together keeping it nice and square, and using the lines to give me some added guidlines. I folded the pants along the sewn seams to give me the shape for the front and back pieces. I measured the "waist" of the front of the jeans, which actually are low-rise. So I had to add about 3 inches up to create the high waisted look I was hoping for. The front was really easy to draw out, even the placket fly, but I had a bit of an issue with the back pieces. But that will all work itself out in the fitting. I already know I have to take it in almost 4 inches, I didn't quite account for the curve of my lower back. Other than that, in the first fitting the shorts fit quite nicely, and don't look like a weird diaper like I have seen so many times on Project Runway.

Some work in progress pics! (Yes, I decided to make these bubblegum pink. I figure, if the pattern works well enough I can always just re-use it and have a second pair in navy for my Marianne costume.)

The pattern! Sans waistband, because that doesn't really need to be drawn out on paper. As you can kind of see, the angle isn't right at all on the inseam at the back, but the front is pretty much perfect. I need to increase the darts and also increase the angle on the inseam. 4"!
 Here are the shorts so far. I've got them pretty damn close to completion already. It took me a while to reason out the way to sew the curved plackets I wanted. The look is very nice when on the bod.
(Oh man I really need to wash my mirror)
 Look at that awesome placket front detail! Curvacious! Add the waist band and they will cover my belly button for highwaisted smexyness. All the stitching is beind done with black thread. Tomorrow I'm going to buy some black top stitching thread to reinfoce the side seams and do the the detail on the plackets. The buttons are also going to be 6-8 black buttons I have kicking around here.

They look pretty good on the tush so far, but definately need taking in at the waist so the sides don't keep sliding down. They are being hemmed up about 11/2" so they will be shorty shorts! And now I guess I should clean up my sewing for today and get ready to head out to the inlaw's place when Mr. C is offa work!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Ah, the bitter-sweet satisfaction of a job well done.

Only bitter in the sense of wondering "what next?" I've spent a few days over the last few weeks helping friends create dresses for the '50s pinup burlesque night tomorrow. Wondering why they went for '50s pin up, when I can gaurantee the majority of people involved and dressing up to go will be wearing '40s styles... because the most recognizable pin up girls were all from the 40s. ANYWAY that's not my point! My point is...


For the last few weeks I've been "helping" with this black and red cotton dress and two others (which I didn't take pictures of but really should have) while making my own. I use quotations around helping because in the end, I wound up doing a lot of the work. But I'm not bitter about it! I'm the only one not working, and also factor in that Miss S is moving on Friday, so I felt it was my duty to step in, and make magic happen. Actually, I feel like I can take credit for the achievement of awesomeness that these 4 dresses are, and I'm vain enough to do it. I'm not going to take all the credit, the owners of the dresses put in their hands and needles and helped with all aspects. And everyone made their own crinolines. These two dresses are based off B4790, but both have alterations. Obviously Miss S's red and black beauty has some paneling taken out of the front to give it a more belted look, and they both have V necks instead of boat necks. Loving them so much I vomit from glee.

The other two dresses I will post pictures of after the show tomorrow. One is another fun alteration of the B4790, with sleeves and a collar to look like a coat dress, the other is drafted straight from my brain, with no reference material. I hope they look great on stage, and I hope the lights don't show any of the flaws (because when you are rushing to complete 4 dresses and 4 crinolines over the period of 5 working days you are bound to make a few mistakes, even if there are 4 people working on them with 2 sewing machines going.)

Next project! We have now altered the B4790 for coat dress awesomosity, and I have approximately 5 yards of cotton blend suiting fabric. I redrafted it to fit the lines of a coat better. This is going to become a steam-punk inspired fall/winter coat for myself for this up coming winter season. I'm going to need to purchase some awesome lining fabric, and perhaps I can manipulate it into becoming reversable. We shall see.

As I'm working on this long-term project I'm hoping to make up some cute high-waisted sailor shorts, perhaps placket front. My family is doing a theme night at our reunion in a few weeks: Cannibals and Castaways. I'm going as Marianne from Giligan's Island (trust me, there's a super lol in this). I have almost everything I need, but some of those shorty shorts with the high waist would be super to complete the look. And I love the style. However, the only fabric I currently have with which to make these shorts is really bright pink denim, and I'm just not sure how flattering that will be as shorts. And the last time I made shorts was in grade 8 sewing class, when I made a pair of boxers. Which didn't fit. And I don't have a pattern. This is going to be too much fun!

Bright pink enough? Approximately 5 yards of bubblegummy goodness. Okay for shorts? Or should I get something else (very tight budget for new fabrics. I was really hoping I'd have something that would work for this in my remnants...)

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Laptop Is Working. Weather is Warm. Life is accelerating.

This morning I was having a very strange dream about my sister not having made a back-up copy of her eldest daughter, when I was suddenly awoken by a tickle on my arm. I thought it was one of the cats bugging me, so I brushed at the tickly spot and realized it had now transfered to my hand. Opening my eyes I yelped when I saw a spider almost the size of my thumbnail climbing up my wrist. I brushed it off and reached for a tissue with which to squish it, but the damn thing scrambled under my pillow. When I lifted said pillow, the mysterious spider had vanished. Grrr.

Needless to say my arachnophobia kept me from falling back to sleep.

So now I'm awake and updating my blog! After having made Mr. C a capuccino and feeding the cats of course.

Lots-ish has been going on. I've been accepted into school, which means I have about a month and a half to work out how I'm going to move, where exaclty I'm going to move (obviously I know which town, but not which house on which street in said town), and how I'm going to get the money to go. I need to get my student loan papers printed and signed and sent off express post ASAP. I need to get in top gear for research to see if I qualify for the provincial SDEB funding program. I need to so many things I think I might have an aneurysm. But I'm pretty determined to leap these hurdles. I'm waiting on the school to process my deposit so I can start choosing classes. I feel like I might not be able to get everything I need if it takes any longer for class selection. I'm worried all the courses I want to take are going to be full. But all the worry and stress of it aside I'm pretty pleased that I got in, and like I said, I will make this work.

I will admit - there's been some bitter sweet to this whole thing. Hearing from my mom that she isn't in support of me going to take this course was a real let down, although I honestly expected as much. As much as she is great at encouraging words for the most part, she's not always the most active in supporting me in the things I try. And the six week time frame I`ve been left with to figure things out as a result of the postal strike delaying me getting any correspondance at all until they were mandated back to work is making my ulcer throb with agony. And there`s been a kind of general lack of physical help from anyone to make this easier on me, but hey. I`m used to flying solo when I come up with a plan. And this time I`m determined to stick with it, funding allowing of course.

On the flip side, knowing I`m going to be leaving kind of has changed my attitude in the last few days. I feel a little like I have limited time to see all the people I hardly go out and see, and it's made me very aware that my anti-social tendencies kind of get in the way of my good friendships. Not to mention how I seriously have a tendancey to take friendships for granted, making me think I need to try a little harder at being a good friend. Although I'm not the kind of person to think just because we haven't talked in 5 years we aren't friends anymore. Actually, for me it's much the opposite. If you were once my friend, you will always be my friend, even if we haven't talked in five years, you can call me any time and we can pick up right where we left off. So going for lunch with a couple of the old highschool crew was a lot of fun for me yesterday. Felt like nothing had really changed, though so much really has, and in some ways it made me feel old. Old, because of all my friends who have families and babies running around, and all the stuff people have done since those days of youthful insanity. We were a motly crew back in the day, which is really what made us awesome, and its very good to know that at least that hasn't changed a bit.

In one week one of the bars downtown is having a 50's pin-up themed burlesque night. A few friends and I decided to make some pretty dresses for it. Using the night as an excuse, really. At least for the two of us not involved in the show at all. I decided to make some evening wear out of a retro 1952 wrap dress pattern, and so did Miss. S, although she decided to go with a more traditional daytime look of cotton gingham as opposed to my mixed pattern paisley and plaid teal and green satin. Then we decided, before actually making the dress and seeing how it fit, to make some crinolines to wear under them. Unfortunately, after having made the crinoline first, I realised it will not work with my dress. It makes me look lumpy and weird. I think I'm going to just not wear the crinoline, rather than try and alter the dress to work with the crinoline I made, or to take the crinoline apart. Now I have a grass green crinoline with a black waist band and no skirts or dresses that it looks good with. I might have to take the extra teal satin fabric and make a circle skirt to wear over it on another occasion.

I forgot to take pictures of my work in progress. The dress is nearing completion, I just have to hem and bind it and then alter it where I want the neckline a bit different, and I may have to adjust how the arms sit, because the straps might be a little wide. I'm torn between going for a v-neck look and sinching the straps in with a bit of the bias tape, or going for a scoop neck or even a low boat neck similar to the paterns original neckline. Miss. S is going to do hers with a low princess neckline, and we're going to attempt to add some cap sleeves, which I fully approve of. I also love how we worked out getting the crinoline to work with her dress! Because she did the dress with the front panel in gingham and the outer shell in black, she can actually wear the crinoline on top of the front panel (my pattern is just too loud to do the same. And my crinoline doesn't match the main colour in the pattern, where her crinoline matches the red in the gingham), so the skirt wraps around it showing some of the gingham and crinoline in a super cute and I think ridiculously fashionable way. She's already picked out the shoes and vintange gloves to go with hers. Super cute and I'm almost more excited for her version of the dress than mine at this point. Almost. I friggin' love my satin monster. <3

My other friend, who shares a name with Miss S, so instead we will call her.... Miss SF for her first and last initial... is going to be a part in the production. She wanted a teal blue "Alice" kind of dress. So I used my so-called "amazing talent" to speed-draft up a fitted 4 panel corset bust with a gathered skirt daytime dress with cute little cap sleeves. We slapped together the bust piece before they left on Saturday when we last worked on them, and they are coming over again today to work on the dresses some more. Hopefully we will be able to get them all finished, especially seeing as I'm likely to go ahead and finish mine after I'm done posting this while I watch some Mad Men. Anyway, we have some fitting left to do for Miss. SF's dress, and we did the fitting on Miss S's the day before yesterday when she popped by for about two hours to work on it. I do have concerns about the gathered skirt on the dress I helped Miss. SF with. She also made a crinoline and now I'm thinking it would have been smarter to have done her skirt as a circle skirt as well, to get the right drape. But we already cut the fabric! If the skirt decides it wants to turn itself into a bell skirt I may just cheat and add some triangular inserts to give the bottom of the skirt some more flare. I'm very excited to see how this dress turns out too, with its cute little eyelet lace details and my first attempt at a detachable front panel apron.

And finally, Miss F, who is also in the show. Unfortunately we didn't get around to her dress much yet, although she started by hand sewing a black crinoline for under hers. She wants a red-silk Canadian Mountie dress. I have some ideas how this should look, despite the fact we didn't even really look at her inspiration and ideas yet together. I'm thinking it shouldn't be too dificult to draft up something that will look spectacular, rather than trying to find a pattern to finagle into working. I kind of have it in my head that it should look like an elongated version of just the mountie jacket, with buttons all down the front and the bottom part of the dress as a circle skirt, with the buttons left open at the top and bottom to expose some of the crinoline and some cleavage. I would totally wear that, and might seriously consider making a version for me if the pattern is workable. Maybe in a different colour than red silk. Would be lovely in some blue and white pin stripe cotton blend... oooh or maybe something to match the grass green crinoline I made...

As you can probably tell, having people to sew with is making me even more excited about sewing again. I love to do it, I love working with beautiful patterns and fabrics and designing beautiful silhouettes. I think I'm going to go make me some coffee or maybe some tea, and get to work on my research NOW so I have more time to sew this afternoon!