Friday, December 25, 2009

A Very Merry Christmas, and a Happy SWAP year!

Merry Christmas, everyone! So, you know that lovely SWAP plan I posted about a month ago? Well, it's a goner. Not a complete goner, mind you, but at least a partial goner. As I watched Christmas-y things (ok, and not-so-Christmas-y things like the new Star Trek movie) with my family tonight, I was browsing the web and kept finding lovely things about Steampunk, and my little brain started a-whirring. For those of you unfamiliar with the term (as I was until recently), steampunk is a style of clothing (and, for some, a lifestyle) that combines old-fashioned, Victorian styles with a mechanical sci-fi tech of such things as time machines, dirigibles and ray guns. It usually looks a little like this:

Isn't that cool? As those of you who read this have probably figured out by now, I really like Victorian-styled clothing, and I really like sci-fi, so this style is a natural fit for me. As such, I'm moving my SWAP towards a steampunk feel, with lots of buckles, hook-and-eyes, keys, and gears. (I've got my eye on a large set of watch parts on eBay right now, as a matter of fact.) I'm ditching the blue and making it gray, black, and white, with one plaid that has a hint of brown in it. But never fear-it won't be boring, I can promise you that!

I'm actually not starting sewing on my SWAP until January 5th, because I'm going to Atlanta tomorrow to visit my lovely distant cousins/best friends, (Hi, Cody and Suzanne!) and I won't be back until the 3rd, then I'm going to stay with my brother in Denver for a day to do a little shopping and have some fun together. That's ok, though, because unlike the last SWAP plan, I won't be able to just pop color in some pattern line-art and call it a day- I'm modifying/inventing almost every pattern I'm using in this SWAP, so I'm going to hand-sketch and color in all of my designs. It'll be a great way to kill time on the plane, and I might draw the designs on cute little chibi characters just for the heck of it. I haven't drawn in a while, and once I started sketching out ideas for this SWAP, I was surprised by how much I had missed it, so y'all might be getting some crazy-elaborate art pics serving as a storyboard when I get back from Georgia.

How crazy am I about this idea? Well, here's a picture of one of the skirts I want to copy:

I really, really don't like installing zippers. They kind of scare me, so I avoid them whenever possible. In the past, I have made fitted non-stretch woven dresses without a zipper. This results in the necessity of painfully pulling them down over my boobs while sucking in and completely displacing my strapless bra (if the dress requires one) in such a way that I have to reach down and pull it back up lest I go through the day looking like I have mutated and sprouted a second pair of bosoms somewhere about my bellybutton every time I put it on-just so I won't have to put in a zipper. And yet, here I am, really, desperately wanting to make a copy of a skirt that has not one but three completely unnecessary zippers. Installed in LACE, yet. And I'm actually looking forward to making it! Yes, I am insane. But you all knew that already, didn't you?

Friday, December 4, 2009

More Fabric, And More SWAP

This Tuesday, I was on extreme tenterhooks, waiting for the UPS truck to come so I could get more fabric-yay! Everything (well, almost everything) looked even better than I expected, so that was very nice. Here it is:

This is a beautiful pale lavender embroidered cotton eyelet, and its sister fabric in light yellow. As much as I love winter (Velvet! Snowball fights! Hot cocoa and Christmas!) , springy fabrics like this always make me long for warm days where I can flutter around in a pair of cute sandals and a light dress, no cardigan or thick tights necessary. I just got a really lovely New Look sundress pattern that combines two of my favorite elements, surplice bodice and princess seams, and I'm really feeling it for the lavender. For the yellow, I'm leaning towards a fifties-style dress with scoop neckline, cap sleeves, midriff band and full skirts.  

This is a great satiny stretch jacquard. The images on showed it as more of a red-on-black, but I actually like the brown a little better. I'm thinking this is very much a sixties dress, with a boat neck and slim skirt- a simple style to better showcase the elegance of the fabric.

These are both what called "Lamour Dull Satin"- they are lovely and heavy, with a very subtle sheen to them. Not at all shiny-tacky, like cheap satin. One is nude, the other silver. The silver is going to be used in my SWAP- it coordinates really well with my other fabrics, contrasting nicely with the blues and complementing the grays. I think I'm going to be replacing the stripy grey and shiny purple-gray with it and the gray crushed velvet I got at JoAnn's Black Friday sale- those were nice, and I'm definitely going to be using both of them in the future, but these cool gray fabrics fit a little better with my plan than the others, which had reddish undertones that might have clashed with some of my blues.

This is the only one of the bunch that was a little disappointing; it's called "Caribbean Interlock Knit", and it's quite a bit thinner than I thought it would be. It is, however, a very pretty color, and very soft- I'll probably make a casual dress or a nightshirt or something out of it, and I can always use it for lining fabric if that doesn't work out.

This isn't fabric per se; it's actually a very large, '80s style blouse I thrifted for $2 from Downtown Duds in Brush. However, the fabric is wonderful, matches with my SWAP perfectly, and I just couldn't pass it up. I don't know yet if I'll try to make a whole garment out of it or just use it for an accent fabric, but either way it is very cool.

Now I know some of you out there are probably saying, "Yawn. More pictures of fabric and yammering about plans. Does this chick ever actually sew anything, or does she just buy fabric to look at?" Well, I do indeed sew actual garments, I just am not very good about getting pictures of me in them. I know some people use their sewing dummies, but mine belonged to my great-grandmother, and it's not in such a pretty condition that I want to post pictures of it all over the web. I like seeing pictures of garments "in action" so to speak, and I refuse to do crappy mirror pics with flash whiteout, so I have to get other people to take them for me. (My brother is a professional photographer and I can't figure out how to use the self-timer on my crappy little Nikon. Go figure.) I also have done a lot more thinking about sewing and planning what I want to sew than actual sewing in the past few months, due to the fact that I'm a senior in high school and juggling college classes, scholarship applications, and loads and loads of activities, leaving me not nearly as much time to sew (and blog about sewing) as I would like. A lot of my stuff is winding down, and I'm hoping next semester will not be nearly as busy- so I hope I will have more time to devote to doing the sewing that I love, and sharing that with all of you. In the meantime, thanks for bearing with me and my irregular blogging, dreaming and scheming- I promise it will pay off into real projects soon!