Saturday, August 12, 2017

A double gauze top, crinkle gauze pants, and the ACC Craft Fair

Hola! I am still recovering from last weekend. My dear friend Margy came to visit for 4 days. We had a packed schedule, including a day at the ACC Craft Fair in Fort Mason with lunch at nearby Greens.

I've also been sewing!


Double Gauze Top

A bit dark in the early morning fog

I've been buying double gauze for several years now, so I have a small stash. I most recently bought a light teal, Nani Iro, double gauze fabric for my trip to Florence last June, and then I didn't get around to sewing it.

If you aren't familiar with double gauze, it's quite literally two layers of cotton gauze fabric. It's woven in such a way that the two layers are connected every half inch or so. The main advantage to being doubled is that it's less transparent. It wrinkles, but its wrinkles aren't like the sharp creases that you'd see in linen. Another advantage is that each layer can feature a different print - polka dots on one side and stripes on the other, for example. Double gauze works best with more fitted styles, such as button front shirts—it doesn't drape very well. It's cool to wear in hot weather and is very popular in Japan, where I think it was invented. I have double gauze from Japan, and double gauze from China (purchased years ago at JoAnn's) and the Japanese gauze is higher quality.

I purchased 1.5 meters of this double gauze from Etsy. It's called Kokka Ori-some, has a double border, and comes in several colorways. The reverse side is a plain cream color. I was surprised that I purchased only 1.5 meters, but I vaguely remember that the vendor only had that much.

I decided to use McCalls 7387, a shirt dress in several lengths. I particularly liked the large pleat at the center back that tapers to nothing at the hem. This means that the hem is cut on a straight line - perfect for my border print. I wanted to make view B, the tunic view, but this view calls for 3-1/4 yards of a 45" fabric, and I had 1.62 yards of 41" fabric. I would have to get creative. I made the following changes:

  • I started with a size large and did an FBA, resulting in a side bust dart.
  • I omitted the short sleeves on View B. I would have liked to use the sleeve bands on View A, but I didn't have enough fabric, nor did I have a contrasting fabric that I liked. I just turned the raw sleeve edges twice to the inside and hand stitched.
  • I cut most of the top out on the cross grain to take advantage of the border print.
  • I omitted the bust pockets because I hate pockets on my large bust.
  • View B is designed for the back to be a few inches longer than the front. I lengthened the front so they'd be the same length.
  • I added width to the front with an FBA, but I also needed to add width to the back. (It is fairly close fitting at bust level.) I sliced the back yoke vertically where I wanted to add width and added 1". I wanted to place the bottom of the yoke on the border, so I couldn't fold out the width at the shoulder, because it would create a curve at the bottom of the yoke. I had to use shoulder darts. (This is fine, just not what one would normally do if one wasn't dealing with a border print.)
  • I decided that since the pleat on the back piece was so deep, that I didn't want to also slice that piece and add the same amount (1") that I added to the yoke. So I just made the pleat a bit less deep (2" less, to be precise). This worked fine.
  • The only thing I dislike about this otherwise cute pattern is the one-piece collar. I didn't have enough fabric for the collar, but if I had I would have swapped it out for a 2-piece collar. I would have preferred a collar, but had to make do without. I finished the neckline with self bias that I pieced together.
  • I cut the four button bands along the border, so they were cross grain.
  • The pattern is designed with a hidden button placket. One of my local peeps, Rose, warned me that others found the instructions horrible for this part of the pattern. I decided I didn't want a hidden button placket, because I really enjoy using fun buttons, but I glanced at the directions and she is right—they are awful.
  • I didn't have enough fabric for a self lined yoke. I scrambled through my scrap piles and didn't find much that was suitable, so I finally decided to cut the yoke lining from a silver poly organza. I cut it on the bias and used the burrito technique to install it. I quickly realized this wouldn't work. The fabrics did not play well together, so I cut out the organza, leaving a seam allowance that I later turned under and sewed by hand. This was fine because the yoke is already a double layer, thanks to the double gauze.

The pattern sewed up very quickly—I had no issues. I used up most every bit of the fabric. I particularly like the deep pleat at CB that tapers to nothing. For that reason alone, I'd make this pattern again, but next time with a 2-pc collar and the sleeve bands . I purchased some cute buttons at Britex with two different hole patterns. I alternated between the two buttons down the button band.

I selected these buttons...

...from this purchase! (The color in this pic is more accurate.)

I liked the final top

I purchased these fun "beaded ballerina sneaker shoes" in Florence, made by Ash

Closeup of the beading

Vogue 7387

White Crinkle Gauze Pants

I decided to experiment with some wide legged pants for hot weather. To this end, I bought two pieces of crinkle gauze—white and teal—from Etsy, to make a wide legged pant. The crinkle gauze is also a double gauze. I asked my friend Georgene how they make the fabric crinkle in a 100% cotton gauze, and she told me that "the yarn in the weft (usually only the weft) is twisted/creped, so in processing it crinkles up and makes the lengthwise wrinkles that are characteristic."

I've never been comfortable wearing a wide legged pant. I feel it makes me look short and dumpy, but I thought I'd give it a try. Be open minded, and all. I'm OK with a wide leg that tapers at the hem, with darts, shaping, or gathers. I figured that I'd try the full leg, and if I don't like it, I can always gather it or add darts at the hem.

It wasn't a huge risk plus, this fabric was pretty cheap.

I started with McCalls 7164, view B. This pattern is also suitable for a border print, by the way. Each leg, for my size (Medium), has a 27-1/2" circumference. Yowza. My changes to the pattern were minimal:

  • I shortened each leg by 2-1/2".
  • I omitted the pockets for this test version.
  • The rise was long for me, so I just turned down the raw edge at the top 1", and made a casing for elastic. Easy peasy.

These pants were a very quick sew, especially as I simplified the waistband and omitted the pockets.

What do I think about them? Well, I looked in the mirror and didn't like what I saw. These legs were too wide. But I generally hold my final opinion until I see the photos.

I tried the tunic with three silhouettes: leggings, straight legged pants, and these wide legged pants. I predicted that I would prefer the straight legged, slight cropped, pants best.

From left to right: Laura leggings (Style Arc pattern), Straight-legged stretch crepe pants (Eileen Fisher, a bit wrinkled), Crinkle gauze pants (McCalls 7164)

I was wrong.

In the photos, I think that the wide legged pants look best. I wore this outfit one of the days I was out and about with Margy. Every time I saw my reflection with those wide legs, I cringed. I really hated the look. But I accept that they look OK in person. (Margy and others certainly thought so.) But I still hate them and may contain some of that fullness with tucks.

I haven't decided what to do with the teal crinkle gauze yet.

I had fun playing with my jewelry as I tried on different pants.

Left to right: Shell necklace purchased at least 10 years ago from Dressed to Kill, Patti Wells Peacock necklace purchased at Style 16, Lampwork glass necklace purchased on Etsy

McCalls 7164

Margy's Visit and the ACC Craft Fair

A few pics from Margy's visit. It was wonderful to see her!

Our first great meal...

...but not our last!

We visited the Phyllis Boutique in Palo Alto, and saw the amazing Sandra!

Margy loved Sandra as much as I do! Sandra painted these shoes, just as she painted the shoes she was wearing on my last visit

Sandra also made her own bracelets, but she has no time to make any for sale! (We tried to convince her.)

At the ACC Craft Show we ran into Mary Boalt, who made her beautiful top! A social media person from ACC asked to take our picture and then sent it to me.

My outfit, minus hat. The shibori vest was a gift and I made the reversible 6-gore skirt using my own pattern and a Britex fabric.

I wore this hat to the ACC show...

...but Margy and I each bought a new hat from artist Lauri Chambers

I also bought a felted jacket

Which features a cat shaped pocket

The back of the jacket is beautiful, and you can see the fun heels on my otherwise black boots

Before taking Margy to the airport, we enjoyed the Queen's Tea at Lovejoy's Tea Room. My friend and colleague, Kathy, joined us and took this pic


I did something fun!

I commissioned a fashion illustration.

Oops, I forgot to take off my work badge

This illustration was drawn by the very talented Charo Cassandra. I paid for it via Etsy, and directed her to some of my photos. She chose a pic of me wearing my self-made duster. I love her interpretation!

Charo lives and works in San Francisco, so we arranged to meet in the Embarcadero (where I work) for the hand off. She is completely lovely!

I highly recommend commissioning a fashion illustration from Charo. It makes a special memento as a gift for yourself, or have her render a drawing for a friend. She sells cards of her illustrations, and bags that she sews, too. You can contact this multi-faceted artist through her Instagram profile, or put it on your Christmas list. I loved collaborating with her!

This weekend is Outside Lands, an annual, loud, outdoor concert at Golden Gate Park that I can hear from my home miles away. It's a perfect weekend to sew and not leave the house, but I admit that hours of "boom boom boom" gets old.

Rebecca L, a blog reader, came across this street sign in Winters, CA. I LOVE IT! Thanks for the pic, Rebecca! I want to see this in person 'cause, "It's Shams' way or the highway!"

Have a great week!