Sew Paradise

Denim shirtdress

I started the shirt dress. I even had a beer, sewed after dinner, and after the baby went to bed! I’m still not as talented as my friend Sue (who watches movies while she sews) or even my home ec (see below) teacher who used to READ while SEWING at the machine. With a book propped up in front of her machine! But it’s a big step for me to sew with alcohol and after dinner when I’m more tired. We’ll see if I can repeat this after a full workday (probably not.)

So far, I’ve got the pockets sewn but not sewn on, and the basic body of the dress sewn (no sleeves, cuffs, collar or hem). So I’ve made good progress. I need to trace off the marks for the pocket placement, then move things around for MY body (short waisted that I am) and sew the pockets down.

But I’m pretty pleased so far! I will be doing Pam Erny’s (Off the Cuff custom shirtmaker) Collar Tutorial for this collar this time. Pam makes the entire collar first, including a nifty ‘collar sandwich’ to sew the band on, and then sews the entire collar down as one unit to the garment. If I get this right, it will be my first shirt collar since high school Home Ec (yes, Virginia, they used to have Home Ec in high school back in the 80s.)

I’m still going to make my Great White Shirt project using the Elizabeth Lee Nursing Classics 307 view 2 with added pintucks on either side of the button placket and flared sleeves, because I think it’s distinctive. A plain white shirt, no matter how perfectly sewn, is still a plain white shirt.

Tomorrow the weather here will be hideous – remnants of Hurricane Gustav – so rain, 30mph winds, and 60 degree temps will keep us all indoors (and me sewing).

I must admit, sewing in my bathing suit, with my sunglasses propped up on my head, has been kinda fun. I didn’t need to strip down to try things on, and I could duck back outside to the sun at a moment’s notice. And if you’re going to have a sewing vacation, try to schedule one where the sewing room you take over is fully stocked. So far, I’ve used mom’s interfacing, buttons, tape measure, hand sewing needles, several spools of thread AND her black serger cones! You’d think I didn’t come prepared to sew or something! But, Mom comes through with a well-stocked larder.

There’s a pretty good darn-tootin’ chance I’ll finish everything – right down to the batik pillow covers with invisible zippers!

Before I turn in to bed tonight I think I’ll go mark the shirtdress for the pocket placement. That way I’m ready to sew when it’s naptime tomorrow.

By paradise

I'm Ann. I've been sewing since I was 9. My first project was a denim wrap skirt. Thrifting is a way of life for me - both eco-chic and financially savvy.

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