Tuesday, November 23, 2010

That shirt

Well let's see, it's only been two months since I last blogged here. Good grief. But in the meantime, I ran an election (and lost) and learned a whole lot (and blogged over there). And I started novelizing the emails I wrote in 1995-6 when I was in London for a year (for NaNoWriMo). And yes, I finally finished that shirt:
I can't believe the rookie mistakes I made on it, which came from not being able to tell the right side from the wrong side of the fabric. Only I can tell where the errors are but I do know what I did. I used to sew the collar and cuff facings down by hand but for some years, I've been attaching the whole thing by machine. I describe the process here where I attach a collar to one of my husband's shirts. What I did with this shirt was attach the band to the right side (instead of the wrong side) and now I have to deal with the machine stitching being more visible (to me at least) that I would have liked. C'est la vie.

So, now I'm free to start a new project, and I don't know what yet. I was making this template shirt in anticipation of wearing the finished gold silk one to my charity gala, but as the date got closer, I knew I wasn't going to get it done, so I looked at some of my "old" fancy dress things to see what I might wear instead. I had made a "Chinese" dress quite a while ago (I don't think I blogged about it so it must have been before 2005) and used a new pattern to do it. When I tried the finished dress on, I was shocked that it didn't go over my butt and so I never wore it. I kept it because it looked so cute, in red faux Chinese embroidered satin, and because I had hopes that I would lose ten pounds or so. When the Oriental theme of the gala was announced, I hauled it out of the cupboard, dusted it off (literally) and tried it on, thinking I'll finally give it away to the Sally Ann. Imagine my surprise when it fit! My husband has been cooking vegan for the last few months and I have benefited by losing enough weight that the dress now fits. So that's what I wore!
I told people that I have lost ten pounds because of my husband's cooking but that never does come out right. He has lost over 25 pounds. It's cutting back calories of course, but also no saturated animal fat that makes a big difference. These two photos are a good contrast too, showing me tense in one and relaxed in the other. The camera does not love me, I know, but it is interesting how some pix are so much better than others. Plus you get to meet my hubby, although you can do that more at his blog which he kept nicely over the summer when he was biking to work and taking photos. Now that he is on the bus for the winter, he is not taking so many pix.
So there, I am mostly caught up to date. Oh yes, I had to take my sewing machine in again to be repaired, as it was breaking threads yet again. Most aggravating and disappointing, as I bought a Singer to have a better quality machine.


Marty said...

A Singer USED to be a quality machine, but not anymore. You will continue to have trouble in the thread department, sorry to say. I have a Viking, actually two, but a Bernina would be a good choice, too.

My mom bought a new Singer in 1963 and I think that was the last year they made a decent Singer.

The shirt looks fine, though. Only you will see the boo-boos.

Anonymous said...

Hi Julia,
Good to see you again...finally, lol.
You are looking great with and without your hubby.

I am thinking that it's time you looked into a vintage machine, either a Pfaff 262 or my new favourite vintage Necchi Julia or Necchi Supernova. The Julia is a fabulous machine. Take your time looking, and choose a machine in a very nice condition with little use. No need to frustrate yourself from the beginning. These machines will run forever, or almost with good cleaning and oiling, and will sew through almost anything.

Where is the final picture of your niece in that second dress you made so long ago? Would love to see the end product, dress of course.

Again, good to see you back and sorry that you didn't achieve your election goal but maybe the next round.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and Marty has it right too, an older Bernina is also a wonderful machine. I have a fleet and I've never purchased one that didn't stitch perfectly from the first time I threaded it.

Chicago Sarah said...

Julia! Glad to see you back at your sewing blog...I missed you. And congrats on your dress. Such a happy thing, and timely!

1 Second Needles said...

The shirt and dress you made look really neat. People may think that sewing a Chinese-style dress could be difficult but through your blog, they can get a better understanding on how to go about it. Thank you for sharing.

sewnsan said...

I love seeing all of your shirt projects. I sewed many shirts in my early days of sewing, but haven't made any for a very long time. You have given me some inspiration to get back to shirt-making! I've been into heirloom sewing and serging for the past 5 years and am now teaching at a local dealership. Check out my blog at http://sewnsan.blogspot.com to see some of my recent projects.