02 August, 2015

An Ode To Pencil Girl

 It is almost impossible to sew for oneself without a tailors dummy. I'm this close to making a duct tape one - except I hate the smell of duct tape.
The almost 100' heat wave continues here in Oregon, making it impossible to be outside except in the early morning hours. Thank the lord we have air conditioning. And a fan. I have been sewing.

Not easy projects either.
Look - I sewed work shorts and a tank top

I succumbed to a craftsy deal a year or so ago where I bought this pattern and fabric for $25.
Even I know it was a good deal. A yard and a half of Anna Maria Horner's  "Field Study" Rayon Challis plus a Simplicity 1614 paper pattern.
{It's title is "Sinister Swarm" which I didn't know ('cuz that's just scary).}

This fabric is so soft.

I'm using Front D and Back B.

This Sinster Swarm fabric is so busy, that sewing random lines would never appear in the finished item. Plus that yoke bit in front - not so easy to fit on my adult girls. 

Pencil Girl and I met up last May and she tissue-fitted me with these pieces.
Once I cut out the fabric, I pinned the fabric pieces to my tank top I was wearing.

I dealt with an extra inch at the top front by creating 2" of tiny gathers. I also had some armhole gaping in front so I pinched a small 3" dart in as well. This fabric is so busy, I can't even see these seams, so I was doubly glad we opted out of extra seams in view A and B.

Other than that, her tissue fitting was spot on. I am very appreciative that she offered.

Here's the back view below - I think I was leaning forward fruitlessly forgetting that I had my hair chopped off a couple of weeks ago and there was no need to lean my head down.

My daughter was home for a quick weekend wedding and I made her pin my hem and take photos.

Combining different views created a weird hem and I didn't want it straight across.
Originally, I was going to put a small handkerchief hem with points at the side seams but my daughter who has way more style sense than me pinned this instead.

You can see my work shorts too. Three sets of pockets. A buttload of top stitching.
And finished!

Still have chalk marks but the first wash should smarten these up. I'm curious to see what the first wash will do for my rayon challis tank top. I think the bias tape that got a wee bit  stretched  will resume it's proper shape.

Swarm of pretty butterflies...

The top edges and the armholes are all bound with bias tape which is secure. That rayon challis on the bias stretched every which way and I might have had a few words with it before we finished. I almost went with some commercial black  bias tape but decided against because this fabric is so soft and commercial bias tape is not. At times while wrestling, I cursed my decision.

I hemmed this with a simple double hem and grabbed the photographer right before she left.

Not sure why top is rucked up on front right but you do see what's behind me?
The fuselage for the Piper J-5.
In my garage.

Thank you PENCIL GIRL!
I couldn't have started without your help and encouragment.
This tank top is so soft and comfortable. No pulling when I sit down.

*** I didn't have to re-thread anything as Navy Blue was in both the serger and the pfaff.
Me and my lazy ways...

****Pencil girl is just a code name for a dear friend. (I've known her since college!) Those friends of mine who don't blog have a screen name as my internet protection method is one of confusion.

***** Did you notice the wonder clips in the hemming process???


  1. Kudos to you for making your own clothes. That's nice of your friend to help you so much. Wasn't it nice how cloudy and cool it was today? I never expected to say that. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

    1. Shock to me too. I looked up from being in a seeing daze to find it never got past 82'.
      Weird and humid.

  2. Your new outfit looks great and I love the detailing on the shorts!

  3. Squeal! I love this blog post! And your new outfit looks "wonder"-ful on you!

  4. Oh wow, get you - *real* dress making, I am in awe! Both items (and you) look fab, well done !

  5. Hi Kathy, I'm new to your blog (I think!), found you via Teresa (Kasner) whilst blog-hopping. You are a similar lovely curvaceous shape to me, my girls are also adult in size and I have yet to brave making a top for myself! Yours looks fab, I might look out for that pattern :)


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