Grayscale - Amy Schmitz

Grayscale

Sept. 17, 2018

If you'd rather click through the photos in a gallery, go here.


Ugh, you guys! I edited these photos in May! And I made most of these pieces last year! I've already written about how hard it is to stay indoors here, and my poor blog has suffered so much for it!

Although I've written about only one short summer adventure, I promise there has been lots of time spent on trails. But more on that in a later post. This is one is a catch-up on winter through spring sewing (as fall is arriving).

I guess Seattle made an impact on my color palette. Although I've really been trying to add more color into my wardrobe since I started sewing, the neutrals took over last winter. 


First up is Sorbetto, the free tank/tunic pattern from Colette. Colette originally released this pattern in 2011 and updated it last year. I hadn't been terribly interested in the pattern until the company added a tunic option and other new details.

I sewed Version 2 in size 0, shortening the length 2 inches before I even cut out my fabric. In fitting, I took in the shoulder seams 5/8 inch and side seams 3/8 inch.


The fabric is from Fabric Recycles and it's meant to look like silk, but it seems to be a blend of natural and synthetic fibers. A burn test was inconclusive, it wrinkles a little, and the seams didn't press well. (I topstitched all seams to deal with the bad pressing.) It frayed terribly, so I used French seams. They're a touch bulky but not really an issue.

Because the fabric frayed so easily and wouldn't press for shit, I couldn't use it as binding. I found this beautiful contrast cotton bias binding at Esther's here on the island. I love this binding. It is seriously the nicest store-bought binding I've ever found. So much better than the prepackaged poly crap everyone else carries. 

Oops, when I was trimming the seam, I accidentally snipped the binding and had to machine mend it. I honestly forgot all about this and haven't noticed it once while wearing it!



Version 2 includes a front pleat. It took me a couple of tries to get it right. The first time I stitched it backward. But that didn't matter because I would have had to rip it out anyway. The stitch line was not clearly defined, according to my notes. I'll have to watch for that next time.

I think I'll stitch the pleat before the darts next time. It was really difficult to get it to lie flat for a straight line. I'd also like to add a contrast trim to the pleat in a another version.


I had already cut out the hem facings before fitting the side seams, so I had to add 3/8-inch seam to the center front and center back. I also wrote a note about there being a mistake in the back hem facing for sizes 0 to 4. But I don't remember what that was. Guess that's what I get for typing this nearly a year later. 

Mikey says he really likes this top, and although I don't love it, I rotated into the work wardrobe a few times this summer. It would have been terrible in Kansas City's humid summers, but here it was a nice option on a warm day. I'll definitely choose a drapier fabric next time.

My end-of-year project was, yes, all white. Mikey's work party had a white theme, so I made myself two pieces I thought I had a shot at wearing again. (White in winter here is tough because, you know, rain.)

The jacket is the shorter version of Papercut Patterns Bellatrix Blazer. I love my first version, and it's a fairly easy-to-construct jacket. I paired it with Colette's Beignet skirt, which I haven't made since my first year of sewing.


Trickiest part of sewing these two pieces simultaneously was they had different seam allowances. I really appreciated the 3/8-inch seam allowance for the jacket, as it made sewing the princess seams sooooo easy.

I made little changes in construction since their first iterations. For the skirt, I extended the top of the pocket, so it would get caught in the waist seam. It made the pocket opening hang much nicer. I figured I'd make the jacket sleeves a little longer after the first version but chose not to because I thought the white fabric might stay cleaner a little shorter.



I wanted to make myself something from wool but couldn't bring myself to pay for it when I knew there was a good possibility I wouldn't wear this outfit much after the party. Instead I found this cotton during one of the last weekends Nancy's Sewing Basket was still open in Queen Anne. The store was closing, and Mikey and I headed over to add to my stash from the store-closing deals. The cotton worked rather well for the jacket, which I suspect will get more wear over the years. (I'll probably end up dying the skirt.) But the waist tended to collapse a bit after wearing the skirt for a few hours. Lining is Bemberg rayon.

Just like with the first jacket version, I topstitched all seams, so I carried this over to the skirt. Buttons are from Esther's.

Less frumpy as a separate than as a white cotton suit.


The outfit in action. (I didn't make any of Mikey's clothes for the party, BTW.)



We left straight from the December party to visit family and friends in Kansas City, so we rolled our fancy clothes up and stored them in Element's roof box for the road trip. I use heat-erasable pens to mark my clothes, and I'd read on Amazon reviews that if you put the garment in the freezer, the ink would return. Well, 0- to 20-degree weather proved it true, and the marks I made for the button holes returned! A simple press with a hot iron made them disappear again!

I started out 2018 with the Cowl Neck Dress from Sew Over It. It's probably the most weather-appropriate article of clothing I've created since moving here. In fact, I bought this French terry from Modern Domestic in Portland, Ore., on our second PNW trip in 2015. 

I made the shirt version of this pattern in 2015. I cut the same size, 8, and ended up taking it in the same as last time at the bust and underarm. I kept the size 8 in the sleeves down to the wrist and let the dress out at the top of the pockets. I also cut 1.25 inches off the length and finished it with a wide hem. Next time I'll shorten the pattern at the the chest or waist to solve all or most of the fitting issues.

I added my usual pocket pattern (same as my maxi dress and Renfrew hack). The rounded corners really did not want to press well with the thick French terry, so I had to manipulate them a bit as I pinned the pockets to the front.

Also, my friend Sam made me another necklace. It's the last puffer I had in my aquarium!



This is such a cozy dress. I finished it in March (after starting in January, yikes!), and I've worn it on lots of cool, rainy days, always with merino wool leggings. 

Summer ended abruptly last week, and the rain returned. Just in time for me to finally finish my only summer project, a rayon dress that I will try to write about this week!


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