September 30, 2012

slow and steady is the mood


well.  y'all had some excellent suggestions on getting the sewjo mojo back, many of which i implemented to get this dress past the "folded up and staring accusingly at me" stage.  in fact, there were so many great ideas i'll be doing a little credited wrap up on le blog later, a mojo-maker, if you will.  (oh now come on, if that isn't a cocktail waiting to be made i don't know what is.  must get ruggy on that.)


speaking of ruggy, my reluctant photographer was unavailable this weekend, so i had to go all self timer on these shots.  wanting some natural light, i turned to that old standby, the alley of my building.  you don't go teetering around manhattan by yourself and expect your camera perched several feet away to remain where you intended. or expect to be left alone in a snazzy getup like this.

speaking of get ups.  this is one of victory pattern's latest releases, the nicola dress.  I LOVE THIS PATTERN.  the pattern itself is as beautiful as the story behind it.  it's a deliciously forgiving wrap dress, with six darts at bodice front, two in the back, and simple tucks on the skirt portion.  if, say, you happened to grade from a 6 to an 8 at hips, and really should have cut a straight 8, well then, you could just rip a dart n' a tuck out and give yourself a little more wiggle room.  but of course one could avoid that problem by MAKING A MUSLIN.


if i'm not going to get behind a muslin when i'm working with fabric like this, i'm truly never going to get behind it. but i did tissue fit the pattern (read: hold it up to myself and call it good) and tried it on multiple times during the process.  the carnival spiral staircase in our apartment got a workout on this ride, our one full length mirror being below ground.


speaking of below ground.  at this point, i'm glancing up the alleyway stairwell at four men getting ready to move many large pieces of furniture directly onto my camera.


aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand in i go.  had to get a last shot of the back for you, i'm in love with it (and no, not just because i am a cheerleader for my badonaka booty).  behold: no center back seam!  mount crackatoa doesn't stand a chance!  smooth as a baby's bottom.  you'll forgive the pun.  
   

as for the precious yardage: i knew this fabric was not going to be a stroll in the park.  but i fell in love with it immediately.  in a previous post, i dubbed it burnout velvet, but i think it's a laser cut.  i think.  i really should listen more, because the lovely peeps at mood LA certainly told me what it was.  sheer as a moth's wing.  little furry velvet patches flecked with gold.  my floors look three hundred fairies went crazy with sparkly dust.  

i cut the fabric on my twenty dollar ikea low pile carpet to keep it from shifting around, magazines holding it in place.  look, when you don't have fancy pattern weights, you do what you gotta.  there were a few wonky cuts i had to deal with on the large skirt panels, but as it turned out i tapered the skirt in anyways.  this does not bode well for me, as really i need to just get some good pattern weights.  i don't need any more encouragement in the "do it wrong and make it right" department. 

but i'm learning.  just a few months ago i would have made this jammie up out of the sheer fashion fabric only, and thrown a slip on under it.  in fact i struggled with that decision here.  taking the time to do it right, instead of do it quick, is something i have to constantly pummel myself into.  i think that years of buying cheaply made, inexpensive RTW produces a need for immediate gratification.  why go for quick now, when i have control of the wheel?  i may want to cut a dress saturday morning and have it ready by happy hour, but i'm always happier with the outcome when i take a more leisurely drive.   

sunday driver oona won, and i decided to underline it with a satin i had in my stash.  but i did forgo a lining, since i didn't want to add any more bulk.  instead i serged the seams in a complimentary shade.  sleeves were left sheer, with a gold open weave ribbon as sleeve binding.  the bodice is attached to skirt at waist, snap closures.  i considered upping my sunday drive with buttonholes... but i'm a belt girl anyway. 

(and i do believe i will always be race car oona in the case of buttonholes.  but hey, i've been wrong before.)

how bout you?  speed racer, or sight see-er? 

78 comments:

  1. Something in between. Perfectly capable of handsewing eyelets, but wishing to speed up through all the seams...

    Beautiful dress from a beautiful fabric. It looks very classy. I think it's a dress that requires a dinner, or something.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks hana! i'll get ruggy on that...

      Delete
  2. gorgeous fabric, beautiful dress!!

    I think you hit the nail on the head with buying cheap rtw and wanting instant gratification as I'm the same! it's all about the fix! I'm trying to slow down though and it's working too as I realise I get much better results. although there's still nothing like a quick make.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The fabric is so beautiful and of course it looks amazing on you! I'm typically a speed racer when it comes to sewing. I hardly have time to weigh down the pattern before I cut. I find that eyeballing it is (usually) fine. Of course, lining this dress instead of wearing a slip was a great decision. I love how it turned out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks kristin! i like how it feels with a lining, too. substantial. and... i'm an eyeballer as well...

      Delete
  4. What a beautiful dress! Great fabric choice, glad you underlined/lined it, simply stunning!

    ReplyDelete
  5. That is one amazing Nicola! Such a great pattern paired with a most gorgeous fabric. I am reformed of my old speed racer ways. This happened when I used to do a lot of furniture painting/makeovers. I still like to do one from time to time, and I have learned to do all the prep and finish work properly which is about 80% of a project's time investment. I think that has carried over to my sewing, as well. I always still have moments where I want to rush to the finish line, and I'm able to talk myself down to do it right!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ooh, you're back in New York! I can't keep up. Looking lovely, my friend - that fabric is gorgeous and well done on taking your time with the make. I hope you are happy and well, back in your NY pad. It's really odd to see the photos back there!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love your new dress. Amazing!!!! The belt is perfect with it. Great use for that gorgeous fabric.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Gorgeous. Such a flattering design and the fabric is amazing.

    And yeah, I am a speed racer too. Once I see something coming together, I want it. Right. Now. So hard to fight that urge!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh, the last few seams are really the hardest...

      Delete
  9. Love this dress! That fabric looks perfect with your pattern choice. Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Your dress is simply beautiful. The perfectionist side of me makes me a sight see-er.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ooohh that is one sexy-time dress! Damn those Victory Patterns are good! Shit, now I gotta go buy this one, too. I love your subtle stink-eye at the furniture-moving-men. And I love that fabric. Love, love, love. That is all.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This dress is stunning! Very worthy of your special fabric.

    ReplyDelete
  13. People are going to crumble into cinders, that dress is SO HOT. And your ass looks awesome. (Does that sound creepy?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. not in the slightest. which prolly makes ME creepy.

      Delete
  14. yeah, thats a hot dress to spice any sewing mojo! I love how it turn out with the fabric.. I love the shape of this dress, ohh how I wished the winter wasn't around the corner and i could make pretty cute dresses

    ReplyDelete
  15. YOU LOOK AMAZING. I LOVE this on you - my goodness, this fabric is perfectly paired with this pattern. Everything about it, from the sleeves to your styling with the belt is spot on! This might be one of my favorite things you've ever made, simply because you are rocking this style x 1,000. Well done, my stunning friend, and I'm glad you've gotten your mojo back :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you shoulda seen the crazy necklace i had on, but i decided y'all would prolly want to see the front of the dress :)))

      Delete
  16. Wow! What a perfect pairing of pattern and fabric. I was wondering how you were going to use this fabric, and I'm so glad you chose this pattern. Bravo! Now go rule the world!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Gorgeous! That is some very special fabric- makes a very special dress. Tell Ruggy he need to take you out on the town in this dress.

    ReplyDelete
  18. That fabric is rad! I am a total speedster with my sewing but I am trying so darn hard to slow the heck down. It's great to knock something out lickety split (did I just use that word?) but things I am proudets of are slow and steady...

    ReplyDelete
  19. Really love this dress, it came out pretty awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Bring in the firemen! It's hot and burning!

    ReplyDelete
  21. You're so HAWT!! The dress is beautiful. A sight-to-see indeed! I'm going to try and develop go-slow sew-jo.

    For patternweights, use cat-food tins! Full of cat food, unopened of course. Or, you could literally make them for pennies. Do you have a penny jar? What you do is, get a whole bunch of jar lids, put pennies in them, then duck tape shut. Or, these are prettier:

    http://www.ohfransson.com/oh_fransson/2011/04/fifty-cent-weights.html

    I wanted to do something like it, but Australia got rid of all pennies years ago and our lowest denomination is five cents. So its catfood tins for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i am totally a tin girl, oh yeah, but guess what...... tins leave marks!! the spensive stuff, she no lika the tins. i'm thinking of getting bacon presses.

      Delete
  22. Fabulous dress... Love the shape and the drape of the fabric.
    Speed racer usually.. And wine makes it worse!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm slowly getting better at sewing more slowly. I just seem happier with the results that way, so I try to remind myself of that along the way. On another note, I'm not sure if you eat fish, but after much research I've decided tuna cans make the best weights! :)
    (Why is it so hard to remember to get pattern weights when I'm at the hardware store??)
    I love that fabric and that it looks like there've been fairies in your home!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. blergh. fish. i am constantly told i don't eat enough of the stuff...

      Delete
  24. W.O.W!!! You are SO pretty & HOT, I LOVE that dress on you!!! Lookin VERY good!!! Thanks for sharing your creativity & your Beauty!!!
    kweenbee_612@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. Look at you! Stunning dress as usual, and you have just sold me on the Nicola pattern. I was going to buy it, but now I wants it!
    As for the sewing, heck, until recently I was the dangerously veering learner driver that the other cars stayed well away from. In real-life driving I'm a nana driver, but sewing-wise it's a case of watch this space...

    ReplyDelete
  26. Oh this is just delicious! I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  27. That is a beautiful dress! I love the fabric, and the color suits you very well.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I'm in between- I work my speed based on the fabric. If it scares me I approach with caution and a white flag. I love this dress- how functional is the sitting in it? Are you full display? It's gorgeous on you. No fair that you can wear any color?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. good question, i didn't even think of sitting till you mentioned it! took it out for a test drive and sitting is A OK. but, you can only cross your legs in the direction of the wrap. that said-- i took the side seams in about 2 inches from hem to mid thigh to give it more of a curvy look, i bet if you skipped that you could ambidextrous cross those gams.

      Delete
  29. Gorgeous dress! Those sleeves are to die for.

    It depends on the project for me. I've become a slower sewasaurus, partially out of necessity (read: lack of sewing time, waaaaa) and partially out of a desire to do it "right" with well-finished seams and a great fit and all that. But sometimes I just want some instant gratification, so I'll go for something like a knit top I can just serge up and be done with it.

    ReplyDelete
  30. You know I'm a sight seeker. That's for damn sure! I take me pretty ole time with almost every project - I get wrapped up in details - I can't help myself. I'm glad you took the scenic route for this project because I think if you didn,t it would have shown. That fabric can't be dealt with like a speed racer.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Love the dress and that fabric - WOW! :) I'm a Sunday driver; I know if I'm getting impatient I have to stop or it'll be an ugly car accident lol

    ReplyDelete
  32. First: lovely dress. I think I will definitely be purchasing the pattern in the near future.

    Second: I'm very new to this sewing this and I am having the same problem as you. I want to take the scenic route but I always end up in the fast lane. So usually my pieces end up with a few problem areas that don't really impact the overall wear of the piece, but they mean that the piece isn't as good as I like. No one notices, but it sure as hell bugs me. Any advice to stop being a lead-foot?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. none whatsoever, isn't that awful?! for me i just had to decide i was going to really try and enjoy the process and how it came together, instead of wanting to wear it THAT NIGHT.

      Delete
  33. love the decision you made on underlining and binding. the entire thing is so flattering on you!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Nice work Oona! Your dress is darling on you.

    As for your Sunday drive, there should be a "slow sewing" movement just like Slow Food, right? At least one of the reasons we like sewing is because we enjoy the PROCESS as much as the outcome - so what's the hurry? Go ahead, just enjoy the whole ride! I have actually even started enjoying ripping out stitches. NOw that was unthinkable 10 years ago!

    ReplyDelete
  35. oolala, beautiful Oona!! I'm somewhere in between when it comes to driving and sewing. I like to skip the muslin, and usually pay for that choice, but I do opt for lining and buttons, zippers, etc where needed.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I was really curious about what you were going to do with this fabric and I think you made a perfect fabric + pattern sewbaby. SUCH beautiful fabric on such a beautiful lady.

    Kudos for Sunday strollin - I'm taking my time these days on almost everything (witness: me sewing welt pockets and bound buttonholes for 12 HOURS STRAIGHT on Saturday, on a cape that I am at least 30 hours into....) I find taking your time is infinitely more satisfying in the end...

    ReplyDelete
  37. So I nose-crinkled at the velvet when you gave us the peek. It's gorgeous and I knew you'd make something spectacular, but I couldn't figure out what that something would be. Well, it's THAT. That exactly.

    Also, cute shoes.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Oona, The dress is deeevine! So flattering on you!
    I have to say with a good amount of shame that I am a speed racer.
    I drive in the slow lane on occasion, but I just can't help myself sometimes...

    ReplyDelete
  39. Gorgeous!
    I also wage the constant battle between speed racer and Sunday sightseer. I more and more take my time with projects because I want to be proud of them and have them last. But sometimes it's just too tempting to whip out a skirt in time for work the next day. I think it will be a neverending battle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. well, if you whipped your avatar dress out as speed racer, (?) why EVER slow down...

      Delete
  40. That is one sexy dress, M. Well done you. The colors are so pretty on you.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Bee-you-tee-ful! Fairies everywhere are green with envy.

    Pattern weights are totally overpriced and ridiculous to ship (their only purpose is to be heavy). I use large washers from a hardware store bought for 75 cents each.


    ReplyDelete
  42. Oh, I'm a speed-racer through and through, and I really have to get on my own case to make myself go back and seam rip to fix things I messed up the first time around. I've been getting better, though!

    I am in love with the sleeves on this dress. I had no idea Victory Patterns had a new line out, so thanks for cluing me in!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Wowsers Oona absolutely smashing, I love it, perfect union between fabric and pattern. I can't wait for Sew Weekly to be over so I can stop with the speed sewing, I'm really looking forward to delving into 'The Details' just have to get past this years personal challenge. Nice work, you look so fancy.

    ReplyDelete
  44. How did I manage to not comment on this yet? Oona, this is probably my favoritest dress yet. And slow and steady is the way to go. While I've gotten almost NO sewing done recently (my boy's shirt took a month to finish, but actual time spent was like four hours), I've been writing and editing my list of what I want to make.

    ReplyDelete
  45. This is BEAUTIFUL! I'm glad you didn't go flouncing around in it on the street. Dangerous! I'm trying to be more slow and steady. Too many of my race-car fast me-mades are starting to fall apart. Slowly, I'm learning to do it the right way:)

    ReplyDelete
  46. Wow, such a gorgeous dress, and it looks fantastic on you!!

    ReplyDelete
  47. What a gorgeous dress and you look absolutely stunning!!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Hi Oona, Love, love, love your dress, great job!!!

    I’m a bit of both speed racer, and sight see-er depends on what I’m working on.
    At the moment I’m sewing some office getups so I tend to go as a speed racer. But when I'm working on dresses I like to sight see, when all eyes are on your dress you don't want any flaws!

    Looking forward to your next sewing adventure!!! always inspiring!!

    Ruth

    ReplyDelete
  49. damn, sis, you went all old hollywood with this one, i knew you gonna amaze me, but i'm just amazed how much you amazed me :).. your new dress is to die for.. it requires fancy dinner with full jazz orchestra playing, and you sipping champagne cocktails.. and ruggy wearing white tuxedo hehe..
    i have to admit, i'm a speed racer, and often regret it, but can't help myself :) i've never made muslin in my entire life, i use anything i lay my hands on as weights, i'll cut trough vintage silk without hesitation.. it all may be really stupid, but i don't give a damn..
    also, i want fairies to dust my house with magic powders too.. damn, when you see them, send them here pronto!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i'll catch some in a jar for you, lovely mokosha.

      Delete
  50. perfect fabric for this style! It's got a bit of Studio54 going on. Well as you would guess, in sewing I'm a big time slow-driver but definitely not that way in a car any time of the week. That's probably because I'm from Detroit. Pretty pretty underlining...

    ReplyDelete
  51. I think you should slip this gorgeous dress on next time you're in a sewing funk. You'll be either inspired to sew or dressed for drinks. (Or both?)

    ReplyDelete
  52. Beautiful dress and fabric - but beware, you'll be finding velvet fluff everywhere for weeks, that stuff sticks around forever!
    I want to be a speed racer, but I can also be quite the stubborn perfectionist which forces me to be a Sunday driver. Once you can get past the butIwantitNOW frustration, the slower techniques can be nice, relaxing, and therapeutic - even doing buttonholes by hand! But it takes time and effort to fight through that frustration.

    ReplyDelete
  53. LOVE this dress! It's kind of disco-fabulous! Those sleeves are amazing! I've been trying to take the time to do a good job, but not get paralyzed by perfectionism, either.

    ReplyDelete
  54. This is gorgeous and SO OONA. And I love the back alley shots...and totally sympathize about the shock of moving from whole house back to teeny space.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Amazing! I was lukewarm towards this pattern until you!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Oh my god this is awesome. I love it.

    strugglesewsastraightseam.wordprss.com

    ReplyDelete

i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied if not always written!