Friday, April 5, 2013

What If and Why Not?

There are so many reasons people chose to make their own over buying. Be it weaving, sewing, knitting, quilting, jewelry making, painting, gardening and on it goes. Some have very real utility and savings but mostly we love the creative process of our chosen passions. It makes us stretch, mentally and in skill set improvement. And each creative process is as unique as the person wielding it. My Dad, the engineer, approaches his weaving much differently than his artsy-fartsy daughter does and in many cases is much more creative than I am!  Most everything we learn can in some way be applied in other areas of our life whether we know it or not. Learning itself is a skill and the curiosity to continue to learn and be taught are the things that keep us young and engaged no matter what our chronological age. Two self imposed questions have always been a mainstay of my creative process. What if? Why not? I've asked these when developing a new payroll protocol and working a horse, in weaving, quilting and garment sewing. The answers don't have to be big. Small differences are cumulative. Tweaking here and there yields just as pleasing an outcome (and oft times better), as huge global changes. So those two questions came up on the latest sewing projects.

The first was the tried and true Connie Crawford/Butterick blouse B5365, now OOP. Summer is a coming and there right on the pattern front is a short sleeve version with pin tucks instead of the 3 shoulder darts.

Small changes, so off I went with the bolt end length of a light and pretty woven India cotton plaid. No mistakes allowed, this was the last of the fabric. So, sides and shoulders are sewn up, pin tucks in and Rhonda is doing duty as model. I'm thinking I like it without the collar. What if and why not? Why not indeed!

 A summer top with a self bound neckline is cooler and lighter and just as practical.

 Really I sew because I can have it my way. I think you'll agree, less is more with this one.

The second top is the new fun, fast favorite Indygo Junction Retro Raglan. Why do I like this simple pattern so much? The answer is easy. I have broad shoulders and they have never been something I'm fond of. I usually have to go up a size in RTW clothing just to get the shoulders to fit. But the combination of the two piece raglan sleeve and the large open collar do visual magic in making those shoulders look narrower.

Simply put, it's a flattering style so one I want to play with more. What if I could translate this into a blouse rather than a jacket. Why not? So I did and I had great fun adding in some creative details that the fabric design offered. The fabric is a polished cotton and was a bit pricey. I bought a minimum of what I thought I might need with no real pattern in mind. When I settled on this pattern I did not have enough for sleeve matching, so I grabbed the line of writing down by the selvage edge and used it over the two piece sleeve seams.

 The left over bit went onto the right cuff area only. This is a bold print and the pattern offered a bold style to match. With the new Judi Dench haircut, it looks pretty darn good.

The collar lining is some leftover from another sewing project last summer.

 I was surprised I had such a good match for this unusual print.

The last bit of sewing was of a simple shrug/poncho thing. Two rectangles, one longer to provide a drapey neck area. The sides are sewn up only 9 inches to provide an arm hole and keep it from moving around.

 The fabric dictated something simple. This is a waffle weave silk fabric. It was hard to work with and on its own so beautiful I felt I didn't want to torture it into something.

 Best to let it be what it is, soft, springy and with lovely drape. A perfect little neutral cover up for spring and summer. The silk looks it's natural color, a bit towards a soft ivory yellow. Classic and comfy style paired with some loose linen pants. The pictures do this no justice at all!

Parting shot: More from Beaster Day! Thank YOU Valerie for coining that!


  1. I am in LOVE with your shrug! How perfect to throw on for a chilly evening....and it will pack like a dream.

  2. Haircut? I want to see the haircut!

  3. Such beautiful pieces! Your use of the selvage on the Indygo Junction jacket is so cute. Also, love the first shirt with the windowpane plaid (which you matched!) and the silk shrug.

  4. Love, love, love the new things! Your writing down the sleeve and hem are just pure inspiration! The shrug could also come in handy on the plane trip back East if the air flow is too cool, you could even put it over your head and face for a nice dark nap in private.

  5. Two of my favorite questions. Agree 100 percent on learning and curiosity. It is one of life's joys. Love the Indygo Junction jacket/top redux. Looks very chic!

  6. Once more you have delighted and inspired me- always adding that little somethin' somethin'!