Sunday, September 8, 2013

Not quite Project Runway!

It was like my own little version of Project Runway in my new art studio today - the only thing I was missing was a dressmaker's dummy and the drama!  (Are you a Project Runway fan like I am?  If so, who do you like so far this year?  Kate? Helen? Or one of the boys? I change my mind every week, it seems.  And what the heck was with Alexandria and those ridiculous pants in this week's show?  Was anyone else surprised that Heidi actually LIKED them and said she'd wear them?  Hideous!!!) 

Anyhow - back to MY one-day sewing project invention (finished product pictured below).  I hadn't really thought about my art studio as a place for my sewing machine, but my husband suggested it and he was right -  it was a wonderful place to work - I had great light, a good worktable, and I didn't need to move everything for dinner!!  I listened to public radio podcasts all afternoon, and refused to make dinner until the sewing project was complete.  Here it is, from my backside:
I neglected to take any before pictures, because this project has been sitting around SO long.  I started with a little black and white patterned tank top that I bought probably three or four years ago, because it was on a TJ Maxx bargain rack and I figured I could 'make it work'.  But the neck was way too low, and the armholes were too big, so I had raised the shoulders, and cut and reshaped the neck.  And it just didn't look right, and it was a little short on the bottom and I didn't like the fit of the armholes either.  Sigh.   And while you can't see it in the crappy photos, the printed fabric is thousands of tiny pleats, going in and out, making it a real challenge to sew.

So it had been at least a year, maybe more, since I touched it.  Last week I bought pieces of silky black fabric and white fabric, and today I went to work.  I traced some sleeves from an old pattern, and then altered the shape a bit.  I sewed in the sleeves and added a trim cuff of black, and then the big challenge - the bottom.  It was originally curved, longer in the front and back, shorter on the sides.  I cut the fabric straight across, very challenging due to those pleats!  I experimented with sewing the pleats shut on the bottom, but that made it too tight, so in the end I stretched out the pleats to sew on the black fabric on the bottom. which gives it a very forgiving-on-the-hips slightly gathered drape.  (Why didn't my husband remind me I had on that dumb headband when he shot the photos?   And no earrings - I am usually NEVER seen without earrings!  But he's no photographer - I had to TELL him to turn the camera to take the picture vertically!)
Anyhow, I'm thrilled with the way the project turned out and I can't wait to wear my silky new shirt!  Not too bad for an afternoon's work!  I hope it holds together - the white and black fabrics seem to fray very easily.  Meanwhile, I have another similar project, also sitting around for years, and hopefully I'll get to that one in the next week. 

So back to the real Project Runway - who do you think is on track to win? 

14 comments:

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    1. She's definitely a favorite of mine, too!

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  2. I love your resourcefulness -- you should definitely sign up for next season of PR!!! When Project Runway switched channels I sort of lost track of them. But this season I am back on track and love following the progress. I am with you, I sort of change my mind each week. I don't see a clear frontrunner yet.

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    1. Ah, Christie, I wish my sewing skills were good enough to sign up! But I don't know how to pattern, I can't sew worth beans on stretchy fabrics (knits), and I'm clueless when it comes to anything with any complexity. I have the ideas but not the know-how! But in good with a hot glue-gun, so I'd probably be ok on some of the crazier challenges. But my biggest downfall is an absolute inability to make decisions - I have shopped in Mood, and I spend HOURS making (and changing) up my mind! I'd freak out when Tim says "everyone at the register NOW!" I'm embarrassed to tell you how long I was in JoAnn's for hose pieces of black and white fabric. I ran into a former sub of mine, and she helped me narrow down the choices (I also had considered color instead of the black & white).

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  3. Wonderful Phyl! Sewing has never been a strength of mine. I don't know how I managed to get the badge in Girl Scouts quite frankly. ;) I am a big Project Runway fan. Yes, what was Heide thinking?! Those exercise pants were horrible. I think Kate is very strong, but it seems as though it's anyone's to take this season.

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    1. Thanks! I remember in Girl Scouts, working in that sewing badge, we made little emergency repair kits, and I sewed mine to my skirt by mistake. I guess my sewing has improved since then!

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  4. Loved reading about your new sewing creation from the black and white top.

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  5. And I was worried you'd be bored when you retired! Ha! Why am I not surprised you've turned into a high fashion designer? Very nice deconstruction/construction! Black/White patterns always catch my eye and your is no exception!

    :)Pat

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    1. Haha Pat, I'm NEVER bored! Too many works-in-progress!

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  6. Hi Phyl
    Kate, Bradon and Dom are the top designers. I think Bradon will win. Did you see that wedding dress he made during the unconventional challenge?
    I'm such a PR nut I own a PR designer dress from season one. Wendy Pepper designed it and it was sold through Banana Rebuplic. Dark blue silk, it would look good with your hair :)

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    1. I can't say I own a PR dress, but I do have a Mood T-shirt! And kitchen curtains made with fabric bought at Mood!

      I change my mind about who I like best each week, but I'm clear on who I DON'T like! (Isn't it funny how all the men are the drama queens this year? The women seem to get along so much better!) I like the three you mentioned, plus Helen, plus Justin... so I don't know. It's not like the year when it was clear that Mondo should have won (and he didn't) or the year Christian won, when I felt the winner was so clear. Some years I can't stand the winners they pick!

      Sometimes I wonder about Heidi's taste - how could she have liked those hideous drop-waist exercise pants last week? And last night - I thought Ken's purple dress revision was just plain slutty! I thought it was time for him to leave, after rolling his eyes at Heidi and gang.

      Fun show!

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  7. So cute and you are adorable! I love this AND that beautiful hair of yours! I don't have cable so my mom keeps me in the loop on project runway...I LOVE that show! Your top is divine :)

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    1. Your approval means a lot, since you are the queen of crazy sewing projects! But oh, no cable?! I love Project Runway! And then, of course, there was Breaking Bad, and I have to admit a TV addiction. But PR is my absolute favorite.

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