this labor day weekend, i did little else than labor on my msn round of anna. in new york, if you don't get out of town for labor day, you get out of the way. the people who stay behind on the last few free days of summer are always furious, for real. so staying indoors and hammering away on bathroom and silk was just the ticket.
i lie. THAT PART KINDA SUCKED. it was nine hundred and eight degrees, power tools blared, and as each minute passed i became more and more certain i would never finish. i was reminded very much why i hate sewing deadlines. i composed mental emails of defeat to silk conquerors sonja and lauren, filled with home improvement excuses and plenty of swearing. i took cocktail breaks with ruggy, he in his contractor's mask, me in various forms of underwear for easy access. (to the anna. sweaty-and-unable-to-shower equals little time for that kind of play.) but the french gimlet worked its magic. oona, ruggy said, i would wake you up with a cocktail in the morning instead of a cup of coffee, if i didn't love you and your health so very much.
once, i even thought i might cry.
especially since this is another out-of-the-park pattern by the fabulous creatures that are by hand london, but y'all know that very well by now. this has been the summer of gloriously long annas and beautifully brief bombshells, hasn't it? (that bombshell is next.)
having been warned days before my homecoming that coming "home" was going to be a bit more stressful than expected, i really did plan on making this challenge simple. i did a wearable muslin weeks ago, in the form of my sew weekly reunion dress, so all i needed was an easy silk, maybe a twill or a blend with pretty insides, and i'd whip this out in half a day!
but after a full saturday of putting out more home fires, i arrived at mood 15 minutes before closing time, and it was a race against the clock. none of the online silks i'd pinned to my mood board were on the shelves, something to be said for the site-- there are finds that only exist online, so us store-bound birds don't have all the luck! i flew through the aisles, and flew though my story to anyone who would listen. i gotta get a silk for a mini MSN challenge helphelphelp! kooan, full of energy and with his eyes on the prize, led me to the shelves that housed this whisper thin beauty.
i love it, i breathed, knowing it was one of the toughest silks i could possibly pick. yeeeah! kooan pumped his fist. this could be soooo beautiful, you can underline in silk charmeuse and layer with taffeta-- my mind fritzed at underline. kooan, that sounds AMAZING. i am so not going to do that, i said with a shit eating grin. he grinned right back as eric entered the aisle. both men immediately draped themselves in bolts of silk. my mind changed gears to the sexy see through version on by hand london's preview page. whaddaya think? maxi dress, totally sheer! male models audibly swallowed and raised their eyebrows in uncertainty.
three yards later, i skipped into the subway, off to find a bottle of mezcal and a pail of grout. you couldn't bring me down with ANYTHING. i had Fabric Of The Gods in my purse and an alcoholic errand on my mind. and what was even better, at that point in time, the bathroom was promised to be 80% done that very night!
and there endeth the floaty happy part.
booooooy did i have to take my time on this, and booooooooooy was my time limited. getting this stuff on grain was a bear, especially since the only cutting surface was a large piece of drywall. the metallic stripes on the crossgrain were a great help. going to home depot for more grout, twice in the same evening, was not.
i french seamed every bit of it, and hand stitched the thigh high slit with invisible nylon thread. that was after i ripped out all of my very visible cotton threaded blind stitching. blind stitches on sheer fabric are not blind, big surprise. i even did my first hand picked zipper…which will almost certainly be carefully removed in favor of a hundred tiny covered buttons and loops.
even though i stay stitched the neckline, she still went droopy on me. (closing up those pleats a bit more should help.) many factors played into that, none of them pattern error. this fabric is far too light for that zipper, and i knew that. i knew it and did it anyway. BECAUSE I AM STUBBORN. you know that bows out in the back, right? YEAH RUGGY I DO. YOU KNOW THE BATHROOM'S NOT DONE YET, RIGHT?
the fact that my silk was left in front of a fan on high speed for three hours while we were out shopping for silicone caulk may have also had a hand in that.
ah, home improvement.
minutes before embarking on photos, i lopped 4 inches off a blue silk slip, and slipstitched my thigh high split closed by another 2 inches. apparently i was going for slut. my wedded contractor, completely devastated at the state of things, was suddenly my very willing photographer. he snapped 74 pictures. that is simply unheard of. how long do you think i can ride that gravy train?
if you've jumped on the anna bandwagon and i haven't caught it, please do tell! and if you aren't in an anna, what are you waiting for. the gals at BHL are hosting a sewalong quite soon...but take it from me: choose a silk with a little meat on its bones.