Farewell To Arms, now closeted

Farewell to Arms, finished Farewell to Arms, finished back

This one’s got to go into the magic closet for a while. Then, it may come out and vanish quickly into the Goodwill truck. Right now I can’t see myself wearing it, but I’ll reserve judgement until later.

Farewell to Arms, finishedI had fun making it and will review at PatternReview soon. Other people need to see what they are getting into with this. It’s really nice to have photos of real people wearing these designer patterns if you are considering sewing one.

The line drawing, while giving me a good idea of what to expect, didn’t really drive home the sack look of this garment.

My stamping on this dress turned into stenciling, which was a blast. I had purchased a couple of Linea by DMC stencils on clearance a few weeks ago. They are (apparently) designed to penciled onto fabric then stitched. I’ve gotta say, they work pretty well with paint!

The paints were the same ones I used on my stamping projects, and I applied them with the same bit of upholstery foam. I had to be a little careful about the paint bleeding through. Thank heavens I practiced on scraps, so I knew that ahead of time!

You’d be surprised how many different elements you can get out of one stencil sheet.

I used three areas of the same stencil for different effect. The lower portion of the stencil was my main motif, but I was able to tape off various areas to get something that looked entirely different. In the photo where I’m leaning toward the camera, you may be able to make out the section that looks like a brooch. That was the ends of two of the motifs. Then, I took half of that, which looks something like a heart, and put it on the collar.

Of course I used the full motif, as-designed, several times.

Farewell to Arms, finished

When I review this at PatternReview, I’ll put a link in here. There were several alterations that need to be considered on this dress–especially if you are built like me. I missed one of them, and boy am I sorry now!

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Happy Memorial Day

Memorial day ribbon

On Saturday I picked up several books on wardrobe planning that I’d ordered from our library system. One is In the Dressing Room with Brenda by Brenda Kinsel. Ms Kinsel’s writing style puts me off a bit, but overall the book is entertaining and I think I’ll get a some useful tips from it.

In the “Fashion Fung Shway” chapter I learned that my primary element was Earth, with a splash of Water. “The earth element is stable, likes to conform, likes to nurture, is down-to-earth. Earth people want to be comfortable and would definitely consider elastic in their waistbands.” Although I’ve always known about my comfort-loving tendencies, I don’t really like the idea of my fashion sense being aligned with that of Barbara Bush and Rosie O’Donnell.

It might be time to encourage my splash of Water, which is “self-expression oriented and likes to be different.”


I’m reading the chapter on proportion now, which brings me to my current project–the Farewell to Arms dress. It’s been really hard to make the thing work for me. The proportions are definitely for a much taller, less rounded person. At Stitcher’s Guild, Louise explains how to divide the lower part of your body for various lengths (scroll down about halfway–look for the red header).

I used Louise’s guideline to determine the length for this dress, shortening the skirt by five inches. I’m sewing with the XS pattern. Even so, the dress makes me look like a waif, or one of those skinny flappers in the sack dresses. Brunhilde says it’s not so bad. She kinda likes it:

Farewell to Arms

It’s done but for the hem, and perhaps a little stamping. More (and some photos of it on me) tomorrow.

FTA, continued

The dress is moving along slowly. It’s as simple as can be, and should be closer to completion than it is. If only I could stop reading the directions!

If I had drafted the thing, I would zoom along, and it would be finished by now. In fact I’d probably be wearing it today. Since Louise Cutting (may I call you Louise?) wrote the directions, I don’t want to miss anything.

I paid $20 for her expertise, so I’m reading carefully.

She has you put plenty of topstitching on the dress, which makes it really nice. I’m slavishly following her suggestion of stitching along the seamline, then a presser foot’s width away. My Bernina is in the shop for its annual service, so I’m sewing on the Singer 401 which doesn’t have nearly as many nifty feet for nice topstitching. (That’s another slowing factor.) The 401 does make just as nice–if not better–stitches, but they are a lot harder to keep straight! (Some of them may not be straight, but I’m not pointing that out to anybody.)

I’ve changed the sewing order some. Mostly, though, I’m doing it exactly the way Louise says. This morning I got up early and sewed on the sleeves so that I could try it on.

I think I’m really gonna like it!

I’ll leave you a photo of our deck addition-in-progress. Mr H surprised me last Friday night by announcing that he was enlarging it by about 300%. Yay!

Deck in progress

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Hello, Hello!!

Farewell To Arms bodice front Farewell To Arms bodice back

Before I left, I started work on Cutting Line Design’s Farewell to Arms dress. I don’t know if it will be the most flattering dress I own, but the color knocks me off my feet!

I found the linen/rayon blend at JoAnn’s a few weeks ago. There must not be too many people who like this color, because the bolt was almost full. Since I couldn’t remember exactly how much the dress required, I bought 3 1/2 yards. The pattern wanted 3 1/8. Perfect. There’s enough left over for a bag or hat.

I’m enjoying handling the fabric, which presses nicely and stitches rip out cleanly–always important for me! There has been one major boo-boo to rip already.

Lest you think I’m a wonderful woman who always does exactly what she should, I must confess that I suggested to Mr H that we skip church on Sunday and go to the Waffle House before I went out of town. (My exact words, I’m afraid, were “The Youth are leading worship this morning and you don’t have a job to do. Let’s blow it off and go to the Waffle House.”) Just as the words left my lips, I clipped a hole in back yoke below the collar seam allowance I was working on.

Punishment? You tell me…