Saturday, September 17, 2016

Teal Stripes in Wool (Dress) and Other Stuff



Teal Stripe Dress

I purchased this teal and black stripe fabric from Sewing Workshop last January or February. (I see it's still on their site!) It's a wool and acrylic blend and pebbled on one side. I'd been trying to decide how to use it when I realized that it would be perfect for one of my sheath tunic dresses.

I used the Style Arc Adele pattern to make myself a black wool doubleknit tunic dress a couple years ago. I wear that dress so much that it's pilling. I should really make another.

In fact, ironic aside: I recently learned that there's another sewist in my neighborhood—just a couple blocks from my house. I met up with Carrie for coffee and we realized that we were both wearing the Style Arc Adele! Hers really looked like an Adele (and very pretty) while my black tunic version only retains the neckline and armhole, but it was still funny! I wish I'd gotten a picture, but next time!

I dug out my pattern and, chop chop, had a dress in an evening. This is a great basic for me and I can layer many things on top.

A couple things to note.

Matching stripes:
The FBA I added to this pattern means that the stripes won't match up perfectly at the side seam. I handle that by matching the stripes at the hemline and as far up as possible. They won't match at bust level, but that's pretty much right under my arm. Why are you staring at my armpits? I would wonder. That's kinda weird.
Neckline finish:
I often finish my knits with a visible binding but, on these tunic dresses which are made with beefy knits, I like a cleaner look. The Adele neckline has a nice shape and uses narrow facings. Because I use a substantial knit, I whip stitch the facing to the body. The stitches are hidden in the knit, and the facing never flops around. You could also topstitch by machine.
I used a ponte for the facing, which is fused with interfacing, serged, and stitched down by hand. You can see the pebbled texture of the fabric on one side and the smooth texture on the other. I noticed that the smooth side snags fairly easily, so I'm glad I featured the pebbled side.


Koos Scarf

I had a half a yard of the teal and black stripe left over, so I decided to make a Koos infinity scarf! I've made several of these scarves and I love wearing them. The advantage of using the same fabric is that, when worn together, it looks like a cowl neckline. But sometimes you don't want a cowl, so I can have it both ways!

I had thrown this fabric into the washer before I remembered that it contained wool though, to be honest, I probably would have done it anyway. I love throwing wool into the wash. Before washing it was 52" wide, at least according to the Sewing Workshop website. After washing it was 45"—perfect for a Koos scarf!

A Koos scarf, so named because the technique was commonly used by Koos van den Akker, uses a half-yard rectangle of fabric. Koos' rectangles were collaged and embellished with bias strips. The rectangle is sewn on the bias. Kinda sorta. It's hard to describe and requires a leap of faith to sew. You can introduce one or more twists into the infinity scarf. I always use a full twist (or two half twists). This results in a scarf that lays very nicely on the body. The last time I made a Koos scarf, I blogged about it and linked to Linda Teufel's directions. Linda wrote a book about Koos, and she published an article in Threads Magazine about this scarf technique. See my post for more info.


Duster, Second Try

You might remember my heathered blue duster. I wore it on 4 different days since making it and I decided that it really was too long. One evening last week, I chopped it off. I removed 9".

I then realized that I should have more carefully checked the length.

It's now too short!

Oh well, I'll still wear it—I love how snuggly soft the fabric is—but I do wish I'd left it a couple inches longer!

And, yeah, I went to the bank and the grocery store dressed just like this! Hats rock. :D


Flaxseed Therapy Pillow

I'm sure you've heard of rice bags, yes? You heat them in a microwave and apply them to where it hurts. They are therapeutic except, over time, the rice dries out and the bag no longer holds heat as effectively.

My daughter, who is at university in Canada, accidentally left her heating bag behind, so I did some research. I learned about the superior effect of flax seed in re-heatable pillows. Flax seeds contain oil, so you can heat, and reheat, them endlessly. The oil does not evaporate and they continue to hold heat (or cold, for that matter).

I found this tutorial and here, where she talks about why flax seed is better. I whipped up a flax seed bag using some very soft denim, 2 pounds (more or less) of flax seed, and 1/2 cup of dried lavender.

Wow, it smells fabulous!

The flax seed pillow is part of my first care package to Canada. These items, along with two bars of fancy chocolate, cost $44 to ship. Ouch.


Artistry in Fashion 2016

So, local sewing friends, will I see you next weekend?

Next Saturday is Artistry in Fashion, one of my favorite days of the year! The featured guest is Sharman Spector, owner of Britex Fabrics. The Designer Showcase, a fashion show styled using clothing and jewelry from the vendors, is at 11am. I hope to see you there!

And, speaking of Britex Fabrics, did you see that they launched a new website this week? They are also hosting an event on Friday evening, PROJKT Maiden Lane. I'm not sure if tickets are still available, but I'll be there, too!

I have a boatload of sewing to do this weekend. I hope you have a great one!

And please join me on Patti's Visible Monday and Judith's Hat Attack!


45 comments:

  1. I live in NC but will be in CA, so with your recommendation I am going to the fashion show and Artistry in Fashion. Thanks for your blog...I've learned a ton from you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How excellent, Belle! Please say hi!!

      Delete
  2. I'm totally loving your teal collection; only wish I could afford those boots!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww, thanks, Mountain Woman! I got them on sale after the season was over.

      Delete
  3. So beautiful! And you can wear the jacket as is, I love it. Also the hat. Also the boots. Also the scarf...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great pictures and inspirational. Thank you for reviving my interest in style. I am not too old to shine.

      Delete
    2. Oh, Julia, you are NOT!!! Fashion is so much more fun for me now that I'm in my late 50s!!!! I expect it to continue to get more fun!

      Delete
  4. Thanks for another information-packed blog entry! Those shoulder seams on your dress are placed just right for maximum flattery, IMO.

    Corn is another possibility for filling heating bags. Really effective, I think the larger size of corn means more heat is retained -- several hours, in my experience. It's getting harder to find corn in an urban environment, though, so I have a spare gallon jar of it waiting for the next bag.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carol! I always move the shoulder seams on most every garment I make! Good to know about corn. I guess corn does contain oil, as in corn oil. :)

      Delete
    2. Just be careful that it isn't popcorn!

      Delete
    3. So true, bdejong! I'll probably stick with flax seed, but it's good to know of other options that aren't water-based!

      Delete
  5. Thanks for this post. I will definitely be making an Adele. And the scarf. Love it!

    Re the heat/ice pack: I have a cherry pit pack that I keep in the freezer. After years, it smells. I've thought about making an inner bag of something soft and maybe open weave to hold the cherry pits or rice or seeds and a removable outer bag that would never go in the freezer. I'll be interested to hear your daughter's or others' experience with odors in these bags if stored in freezer. Again, thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jan! I don't think DD2 will be using the flax bag in the freezer so much, but I'll share any info that's relevant!

      Delete
  6. I'm am so jealous of the sewing universe you are orbiting around. Such opportunities! Your tunic fits so impeccably, love it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Bunny! Yes, I feel very lucky. :)

      Delete
  7. I made a great eye shade with flax many years ago. It was good because you could move the flax around the shape of your eyes to keep the light out. Great outfit too, looking great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that would work well! I might have to try that. :) And thanks!

      Delete
  8. I love the dress and OMG the boots!!!! But together, exponentially stylish! Thank you and also for the tip on flax seed. Makes for a pretty expensive heating bag though. We use wheat over here and it works a treat, but I think it has to be treated to not sprout? Hmm.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mrs C! You can buy flax seed in bulk at some stores. Wheat, like rice, will dry out over time. The finished bag had such a lovely weight. I was tempted to try it in the microwave, but I thought DD2 should be the first. :)

      Delete
  9. Great looking dress and I love the way you style it. I'm sorry that I'm going to miss Artistry in Fashion but I'll be at PROJKT Maiden Lane on Friday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope to meet you on Friday, MLAwS!

      Delete
    2. I don't know - I like the duster with just a little of the tunic peeking out, that porportion really works! You look fabulous! And those boots are the bomb - love, love, love.
      And yes, hope to see you at Artistry - don't buy all the great stuff before I get there!

      Delete
    3. Thanks, Kathleen! Don't worry, I won't be doing lots of buying at AIF! :)

      Delete
  10. Beautiful colors on you, Shams. Especially the teal. And the scarf is great, love the twist in it, gives it body. Thanks for posting the links. I make up quick rice packs, and have been considering using flaxseed instead. It's good to know that they retain heat longer. I use my heat packs on my eyes, so I like to make a cover, which is then washable. It keeps the rice (or flax) pack cleaner, especially if another family member uses it also.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Andrea! Yes, I did consider making a cover, but I decided in the end that if it really needs washing, I'll just remove one seam, take out the seeds, and wash it. Hopefully it won't need that. ;)

      Delete
  11. Paris will never let you go, with every outfit being out of this world fabulous! I rather like the shorter version of the jacket.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, thanks Rhonda! I admit it, I'm having way too much fun. ;)

      Delete
  12. I will give that Koos tutorial a try. I love how yours drapes, and as you say, it's nice to get a cowl or not a cowl by using the same fabric. Your boots are fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Elizabeth! Good luck with the scarf!

      Delete
  13. You're such a talented sewist and I love your choice of colors and fabric here. Great scarf! Thanks for linking, xo
    Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love the dress, but that you made that infinity scarf makes the dress an all year round!

    ReplyDelete
  15. fABULOUS MAKE! Love everything about it.....and all the styling versions....with wearing leggings...the length is right LAURA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like short dresses, but I really wear them as tunics. I don't do the bare legged thing. ;) And thanks, Laura!

      Delete
  16. The stripe dress is so cute & stylish ! Love all these items . It was so nice to hear you are human when you felt you cut off the sweater too short - I disagree with you BTW😍

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL. Thanks, MaryEllen! I guest I should post my mistakes more often if you think I'm not human!!!

      Delete
  17. Love the stripes and I have only made the "traditional" twisted infinity scarf so will give that tutorial a try....once our weather gets cooler. Having Artistry in Fashion envy so will look forward to your report. Enjoy!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jane! You'll have to make the trek to San Francisco one of these days when we have a good event going on!

      Delete
  18. As always, your posts are inspiring. You look fabulous with the cowl, dress and duster. I think the proportions work, and would work with a longer tunic as well. But the piece de resistance is the cowl. I'll have investigate---usually cowls look too flat and draggy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, 365! Yes, I LOVE this cowl technique! Follow my links and check out the dimensions I use. Give it a try and let me know!

      Delete
  19. I just have to ask, if you think the duster is too short - which I don't think, why not sew some of the fabric back on that you cut off?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chris, I'll still wear it, but not with this tunic. Probably. :)

      Delete
  20. Love it with the snood! I'm a little envious of teal and black stripes - its a hard colour combination to find.

    ReplyDelete