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The gun that is introduced in Act One . . . .

Sorry to have disappeared on you folks!  I keep doing that, don’t I?  I’m going to have to get a regular weekly-or-so thing going again . . . .

Anyway, the good news is that I am better at sewing than I am blogging, and work on my Destination Happy and Healthy collection has been coming along well.

You’ll recall that I wanted to make a slightly-slouchy turtleneck using this vintage pattern and some black cotton knit I got from SCRAP.  What I was going for was a top with lower armholes, a looser fit, and a softer, less constricting neck than the base-layer-type turtlenecks I see in stores.

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I wasn’t sure how much ease I’d want in this, so I tried to err on the side of more–about 5″.  That was pretty close to perfect; I just increased the seam allowance a bit on the side seams to get it just the way I wanted it.  I also shortened the top and raised the shoulders so that the seams weren’t halfway down my upper arms.  And the collar piece was just ridiculously long–something like 13″, I guess for those women with “swan-like necks”?–so I shortened it, folded it in half, and sewed both edges to the neck of the top.

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Dropped shoulders still dropped, just not as far.

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Loose, comfy fit, but not sloppy.  Win!

 

I’ve also finished my black jumper!

My goal with this was to make a plain black dress that I could wear with a blouse or turtleneck underneath (and maybe leggings also) and accessorize with my VAST collection of hefty “statement” necklaces (see a small portion of said collection in the top photo).  Which I seriously love but never get to wear because I don’t have anything plain enough to serve as a good background for them.


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I’ve had the lightweight, stretchy black denim for this in my stash for a couple of years now, but I’ve been putting off making it, I think because I was afraid it wouldn’t work.

But we have a success!

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I really like it!  I was going for “Art Teacher” and hoping to avoid “Nun” and “Dystopian YA Novel” and I think I’ve done that.  (I have some experience with nuns and they don’t generally go for statement necklaces.  I just hope I don’t look like an extra from “The Handmaid’s Tale.”)

I was surprised when I first took the pattern out of the envelope–I had already cut it and had totally forgotten.  I suspect that project was a wadder; this dress is fairly fitted and I had cut out a 20, which would have been too small.  This time, I graded up to a 22 at the bust and hips, 24 at the waist, and the fit was right on.

This is a really simple style, but it took some time to complete because the denim frays like you wouldn’t believe, and I had to finish all those long, long seam allowances.  I didn’t want to use my usual French seams because of the bulk of the denim, so I chose two different finishes:  for the princess seams front and back, I pressed the seams open, folded the seam allowances under, and stitched them down about 1/4″ from both sides of the seams.  I also changed the back zipper from a lapped to a centered style so that I could approximate the look of the topstitching on the back seam as well.

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You can see some zig zagging there; I initially hoped that would be enough to tame the fraying, but no way.

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I inserted pockets of black rayon-poly into the side seams (YAY POCKETS), then bound the seam allowances with some bias fabric strips I had cut the wrong size some time ago and never used.

Somewhere in the midst of all this, my sister and I signed up for an “Intro to Beading” class at the new Makerspace that opened up here recently.  And I made this:

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I’m pretty sure I was the only one in the class that didn’t think it was weird, but it reminded me of a Mid-Century Modern walking tour I had done not too long before.

I was thinking of that black jumper as I was making it, and then I remembered that I still had some of that fantastically-soft purple knit in the stash.  So obviously I had to make a purple turtleneck to go with my black dress and purple glass necklace.

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AND, as if that wasn’t enough, I’ve also taken my first stab at making leggings!

Which . . . didn’t work out so well.  I need to take them in at the waist and, I suspect, add some elastic to the yoga waistband, so I’ve set them aside for now.  I’ve still got about 2 yards each of the black and the purple knits, and definitely want to turn those into leggings once I have a pattern that works for me.  I’m going to have SO MANY cozy warm layers to wear this winter!  I’m really pleased with how my fall sewing plans are progressing.  I’ve now got 6 wearable items done!

Next up may be the vest, now that I have the turtleneck I wanted to wear under it.

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I hope that your creativity is flowing in dramatic (and well-fitting) directions.

Talk to you soon.

STH

ETA:  I have linked this post up to Crafty Quilter’s October UFO Linkup.