September 22, 2014

Lady Skater Hype Train not stopping here, unfortunately.  At least not yet. The Lady Skater pattern was essentially the entire reason for buying Perfect Pattern Parcel #1.  Then I remembered how much of a hassle PDF patterns are for me.  I finally got this printed, trimmed, assembled and traced recently.

I have really been digging wearing skirts and dresses more regularly, so I really wanted my first Lady Skater to be a staple. This navy blue medium weight knit seemed to fit the bill, and I wanted to make the 3/4 length sleeve version to make it a little more wearable for Wisconsin.

Problems I have with it:

Fit at the waist: Totally not the pattern's fault, just that I have a huge difference between my waist and everything else.   The problem is, I actually like leaving things a little loose in the waist to camoflauge some of the difference, but with the way this waist seam works, it really needs to be close to the body or else it goes all wonky.

Back view weirdness: This is half swayback and half me sewing the clear elastic to the wrong side and therefore stretching out the bottom of the back bodice more than was necessary.  Again, it also doesn't hug my body so with the clear elastic in there it looks funny.

Too short:  Also my fault. They told me it was drafted to hit at the knees for someone 5'5".  I'm 5'7" so I should have added length.  Duh.  Although it did allow me to be extra lazy and leave it just serged at the hem because I didn't want to lose any more length.

The waist seam:  This is actually my dealbreaker right now,  I understand the logic of having the waist seam in this dress, but with absolutely no other seaming present, it looks weird to me.  The BF who notices nothing clothes-related asked why I'd put the seam there, and it just bugs me.  I thought I might be alone, but one might notice if one googled Lady Skater pictures that ~2 of 3 versions are worn with a belt.  This is all personal preference, but I'm just not diggin' it right now.

In conclusion, this is a perfectly functionable lab dress, especially with a sweater worn over top as I'm likely to do anyway.  But this is not a likely TNT for me as it stands.  The waist seam means I'm not likely to do the tweaking needed to get it where it needs to be fitwise.  Live and learn and onto the next pattern!

September 6, 2014

#OONABALLOONAPALOOZA (just a little late)

    So I actually completed this dress BEFORE oonaballoonapalooza happened, and if I'd had my shit together, I might have entered.  But I didn't, so whatevs.  Too busy doing important chemistry things, yo.

Last round of hotel selfies, I promise.  Next time we'll be back to my equally bad normal photos. :)

     This was basically meant to be a test run of Vogue 8379, and a way to use up this crazy fabric that I got in the massive auction haul of 2013.  It's not all that well finished (for instance, the self-facing on the wrap side is just raw), which I think could be part crappy instructions, part me ignoring said instructions.  But once I got it all put together, I liked what I saw.  I'll be honest, it took a  bit of working up to it to wear it in public, but once I did, an amazing thing happened.  No less than seven complete strangers came up to me and told me they loved my dress.  This has never ever happened to me in the history of ever. I even went to get my hair cut and got talking to a woman who was in the process of making her daughter's wedding dress who told me it looked nicely finished. No, I didn't let her look at the inside, otherwise she would have backtracked so fast it would have left skid marks.

The only real change I made to the pattern was to extend the sleeves by some random amount that was as much as I could squeeze out on my fabric (I know, the precision is astounding).  I really hate cap sleeves so I knew I would want more length there.  I could use a little more bust room, but the wrap style is pretty forgiving in that regard.
Guys, taking a picture of your own back? Hard.  But I wanted to prove this is all one print. One eye-searing print.
    The test run being a success, hopefully sometime soon you'll be seeing version #2, in something a little more subdued.  However, there's already a Ruby Slip in progress, and I finally got the Lady Skater cut out.  If the Lady Skater works as well for me as it seems to for the rest of the blog world, there's a distinct possibility you may see nothing but those for a good long run.  I am really making an effort to use both patterns and fabric I already have, because I've (hopefully) got less than a year before graduation, and the less boxes of fabric I have to pack, the better.

   Speaking of real life, I'm in the highly stressful stage of starting job interviews for jobs next fall. So far, I am 4-for-4 on getting first round interviews, but that still doesn't get me great odds for getting an offer out of it.  If you all would like to cross your fingers that I can get a little bit further in the process, that would basically be the best thing ever.  I'll have been in school for a solid 21 years at this point (oh god, that's depressing), so the idea of finally getting a job where I can use what I've learned to solve real world problems is massively exciting.  Not to mention getting evenings and weekends off. (As I write this, I am eating breakfast in my office at school.  I had to get in early because there's a football game and the buses are completely overloaded with drunk people later in the day.)

   Anyway, any opinions on this garment?  My real life peeps have a pretty wide range of opinions about this print, and I'd be curious to hear what you think.  Off to lab!