Sunday, October 30, 2011

"Back to School" shirtdress

"Back to School" shirtdress

As autumn rolled around this year, I realized I have a gap in my wardrobe of casual cool-weather dresses. I'd been wanting to try Simplicity 2246, so I ordered an autumn-hued plaid shirting from Mood Fabrics and got to work.

"Back to School" shirtdress collar closeup

I used view C, but switched out the sleeves from views A and B. I also used the collar from view B, but added a ruffle of my own. I lengthened the skirt by two inches so that it would hit me below the knee. I also cut the button plackets on the bias to take advantage of the extra interest that the bias plaid would create. Oh, and I cut out the pattern a size smaller than I normally would choose, based on the finished garment measurements (included in the pattern) and other pattern reviews floating around the Internet. The fit turned out fine!

"Back to School" shirtdress

By the way, I've needed corrective lenses since I was 10 years old, but I usually wear contact lenses. The last time I got new glasses was about 13 years ago, so my frames were a little out-of-date. I recently got this new pair for free, courtesy of my ophthalmologist uncle, so I've been wearing my glasses a lot more frequently. I think they fit the academic look of this dress, don't you? ;-)

Another off-topic note. The first time I wore this dress I managed to get French fry grease on two separate spots on the skirt. I have tried rubbing the spots with Dawn dish detergent and then laundering as usual, which I think helped fade them, but they are still there (probably only noticeable to me, but still!). If you have any great methods for removing grease stains, lay them on me!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Banbury Cross cardigan, revisited

Banbury Cross cardigan

I have a backlog of sewing projects to share, one of which is this new version of the Banbury Cross cardigan I designed last fall. The old one still fits Edmund, but there are a few "issues" that I was able to fix with this new one. The biggest thing I learned was that I needed to stabilize the button plackets, which I did with strips of interfacing.

This one was made from a thrifted, oatmeal-colored men's sweater. I used leftover herringbone wool for the elbow patches, and cute little leather-look buttons. I'm quite pleased with the way it turned out!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Au lac de Wallenstadt

We've been quite busy around here with preparations for Douglas' weekend piano recital. Douglas has been devoting many hours to practice and I'm doing my bit by preparing for out-of-town guests and baking up dozens of refreshments. He did take the time to record my favorite piece that he'll be playing, "Au lac de Wallenstadt" from the Années de pèlerinage by Franz Liszt. Click here to listen or download. Enjoy!