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The Selfish Seamstress has been in a culling and cleaning frenzy as of late, but has still managed to find a few minutes here and there to finish The Last Dress for Now.  Admittedly, the inside finishing job on this one is a bit on the weak side. But it’s either that or pile yet another unfinished object into the big box of unfinished objects!

I used Simplicity 9482, which I had had for probably some 7 or 8 years.  It’s one of those “2 Hour” pattersn, but I think two hours is a bit of a lowball if you want to do a decent job.  I changed the shape of the skirt to flare a little bit more (the pattern is really a little more tunic-like than dress-like) and took it in quite a bit as it’s not really that fitted. I also widened the sash and used the collar, which is not part of the dress view.

The fabric is a ponte di roma I got from Fabric Mart.  It claims to be 100% nylon, which I normally wouldn’t go for, but I was seduced by the print, and at $1.99 a yard, it seemed silly to pass up and it was selling quickly. Fortunately it feels like any other rayon and poly blend ponte knit so it’s not gross against my skin and it doesn’t look too bandage-y.

This pattern has no center back seam or waist seam, so the back is just one big slab with a bit of shaping to it.  As a result, there’s a little pooling in the back above the sash. I don’t think it’ll keep me from wearing it though:

And that’s it for now. No more new sewing projects until after the move.  Until then, just finishing unfinished stuff if I have time. Or maybe making something new if I can’t resist :)

The Selfish Seamstress is officially unemployed. Surprisingly, this is not because she was dismissed on account of her attitude problem and inability to get along with others. No, nerdy little Selfish decided to change universities, abandon the igloo in which she currently lives, and head back to Europe where she can alienate and irritate a whole new set of academics. She is now in between the two jobs and in the stressful throes of culling and organizing, neither of which she is any good at. Selfish’s delightful mancessory Dan also has found exciting employment in their soon-to-be place of residence as well, and Sasa is blissfully unaware that she will be shoved into a bag and transported within the next few weeks.

As you can imagine, sewing time is going to slow to a drip, if not disappear altogether for a while. At the moment I’m working on what I’m referring to as “The Last Dress… for Now.” Made from the graphic print black and white ponte di roma that my parents hauled up to me last week using a very modified version of the Simplicity 9482 wrap dress (probably out of print, as I’ve had this pattern for about 7 years and it’s kind of not that great). Here it is in its half-finished state, looking a bit sad and droopy on its hanger:

I was going to use my beloved modified Vogue 8379 pattern, but after playing around with the fabric, I decided that the double pleats in the the Vogue bodice would detract from the strong, straight, diagonal elements of the print. I really wanted to minimize the details to keep the print as uninterrupted as possible. So I dug out the old Simplicity pattern, which is so minimalist it’s practically a bathrobe pattern. Although I graded it down to a 4, the dress has some largeness issues at the moment that have to be fixed. But other than that, I think it’s working out decently well and I’m pretty sure that this is the dress that this print was destined for.

After The Last Dress… for Now though, my plan is to not start any new projects until after the move. If I do have sewing time, I’ll finish up stuff that I started a while ago and never completed.  (That’s the plan at least. But you never know with the capricious Selfish Seamstress. She could at any point decide that she needs a new coat RIGHT NOW.)

Even after the move, it will take a while before my machine, patterns, stash, tools, and notions arrive in Europe. That leaves me with the small matter of what to do in the meantime with the online bucket of whining that I call a blog during the coming hectic and sewing-impoverished weeks (possibly months). What do you think?  Go on a blogging hiatus? Switch to being a knitting and crochet blog for the time being? Rant about all things sewing-related without actually sewing? All haiku all the time? Get by on hand sewing? I feel like I should keep it up in some fashion, especially since I don’t have any Real Life friends so you’re the closest thing that I’ve got. So, what do you want to read? No promises, of course ;)

After all, isn’t the best way to follow up an enormous pattern haul a trip to the fabric store to take advantage of the $1.99 Simplicity and New Look sale? Okay, the truth is that I would have let this one slip by as I wasn’t yearning for anything in particular from Simplicity, and quite frankly I *never* yearn for anything from New Look. Until this morning.

I was catching up on my blog reading, on which I had fallen sadly behind while toiling and shopping in Helsinki, and I discovered Amanda’s latest and greatest Simplicity 6909. And you know how I feel about a feminine dress rendered in menswear. Her version is chic and adorable, and I’m going to need my own for work. I might have put it off, as I’ve got other projects lined up for now, but when I checked out the pattern, I discovered this view:

And that is pretty much what I was envisioning for my new houndstooth that I picked up at Eurokangas. I was going to draft it myself, but I’d rather pay New Look $1.99 to do it for me.

I’ve only ever bought one New Look pattern in the past, and that probably over a decade ago. For some reason, I’m never drawn to them. But I think this may be because I have a hard time getting over the way they are styled on the envelopes. I’m often not imaginative enough to get over my initial impressions of them based on the photos, which is too bad because once I really look at the drawings, a lot of their stuff is cute with lots of potential. But I’m often not drawn in enough to take a close look at the drawings. Today I picked out three New Look patterns:

Those are 6824, 6587, and 6909. (Again, crappy cameraphone photos, sorry!).  My point about the styling is that I find that a LOT of the New Look pattern envelopes really don’t do a good job of showing off the versatility of the patterns. Instead they tend to stick to a very “Sunday Best” aesthetic of pastels and bedsheet florals for a look that emphasizes “pretty” and de-emphasizes “stylish.” I have nothing against pretty, mind you. Nor do I have anything against pastels or florals, both of which can be used to stylish effect. But somehow this aesthetic repeated so frequently and amply throughout New Look’s catalogue really make me think of an outdated home sewn-looking wardrobe. Maybe this is the market that New Look is after, and perhaps there is a vast sewing audience whose sewing aim is a closet full of garden party dresses and the pretty floral skirts of your favorite kindergarten teacher, and for whom “chic” is not of interest. But given how versatile these patterns are it’d be nice if they did a better  job showing off potential variety that they offer. You know, for the unimaginative people like me :) As it is, I find that only a handful of the photos and illustrations of the New Look envelopes look stylish (6909 is one notable exception, though I still take issue with the boxy fit of the sample), even though a lot of the patterns could probably be made into very stylish garments.

As a counterpoint, these are two Simplicity patterns that I picked up (What. I know I said there wasn’t anything I really wanted, but I was there and they were on sale, and they are cute. Whatever.) 2403 and 2648:

In terms of the patterns, these dresses aren’t that different in character than the New Look ones, but they are rendered in fabrics that make them look much more chic (and, in my opinion, just as pretty.) Look how much less home-sewn this dress looks. It could have walked out of Zara or Banana Republic:

Anyway, I don’t expect that New Look will be changing their stylists anytime soon, and if they’ve been around this long, then they must be getting through to the right people. I guess it’s up to me to develop the ability to look past the cutesy fabrics and see the potential for chic myself.

Or I can just keep relying on other bloggers like Amanda to make chic dresses so I can steal their ideas ;)

About this blog

The Selfish Seamstress loves to design and sew garments, but only if she gets to keep them. I'm Elaine, known in the online sewing world as elainemay, and welcome to my selfish sewing blog.

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