Schmaltz and Wedding Planning

I’m writing this post from my couch with a glass of chocolate wine in hand and “Christmas in Connecticut” on the t.v. Thanksgiving is next week, and yet, I can’t help myself from busting into the schmaltz. While in reality, things might be getting a little hectic, I can still count on these old gems to calm my nerves and distract me a little bit from the unnecessary ugly we’ve all been subject to as of late.

Just last week, I busted out a little bolero I’ve had my Pinterest eye on for a while, a 1950’s cropped number from Simplicity.

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Literally all that was left after cutting. Diane Keaton’s book was pretty good, btw! 

Because I don’t take suggested pattern yardage on these things too seriously, I went ahead and began mapping things out with a half yard less than it supposedly needed. I was able to match the plaid on the back, side, and center front, but the facings (needing to be pieced) had to be sacrificed. Oh, well. I’m still pretty happy with it.

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Did I hear you wanted a crappy dirty mirror selfie? Well, you got it, sweetheart! 

 

Being that I can’t leave well enough alone, I cropped the sleeves a smidge, but the rest of the topper is original to the pattern!

My current knitting project on the needles is a vintage cardigan pattern available from http://www.freevintageknitting.com. Because all pieces are knit separately, then seamed in the end, this has been a great portable project as well!

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This is my first experience working from a vintage pattern, and I gotta say, things are going well! I might even say this is a nice gateway into knitting more ribbed sweaters. Maybe I’ll eventually work up the nerve to knit up another sweater out of lighter weight yarn. Some day? 😉

I lucked out by just-so-happening to have matching vintage buttons in my stash! And, what’s this? A nice coordinating ribbon for the button bands? Shut it down!

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Button hoarding does have its benefits. 

 

I also have a few projects set up in the queue for wedding good times!

Since I’m not making my wedding gown (totes fine with that, btw!), I’ve decided to make the somewhat more comfy “after party” ensemble. Something to wear while I traipse about downtown and enjoy bourbon and tacos. I’ll be tying the knot in March, so layers are going to be key for this! I purchased a lovely Kidsilk Lace from Hedgehog Fibres at my local yarn shop, with a long-sleeved bolero in mind. Something that will keep me warm during the transitional weather, but will look decidedly bridal-ish when worked up in the proper yarn.

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So much pink! 

To complement the look, a full-brocade skirt (a-la Gertie’s B6285) that will be underlined and stiffened with horsehair (cuz yaaass horsehair). Fancy, no?

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I did some swatching through Mood.com while ordering bridesmaid fabric, but haven’t settled on a fabric quite yet. Since the yarn is somewhat variegated, I’m waiting until I have enough knit before I take the plunge on some pricey yardage.

Did I mention I’m making my bridesmaid dresses? Yiss. Tis true. All in good time. Four months to go, so there’s plenty of time, right?

Well, I’m off like a dirty shirt!

Alaina Jane

Bless This Mess

Happy Election Day!

Like many other nasty women, I cast my ballot this morning, then came home to stress sew until the polls closed. There’s something so great about having a hobby that takes enough of your mind power that current political drama can be pushed aside momentarily. Today, it was cutting a jacket that required over 2 yards of fabric that I stubbornly decided to cut using a 1.5 yard chunk I had in my stash. Also it’s plaid. More on that in a future post.

Anywho, I have a FO to share!

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 I made a hodgepodge version of Vogue 8772. With the resurgence of bow neck blouses (yaaas!) I decided to get in on the trend and make my own! The pattern of course needed a little tweaking, mainly shortening the waist 2″ for my lack of torso, but also to fit on one yard of fabric. To make it work, I needed to shorten the ties and cut that piece on the cross grain instead of the bias (I’m so wild).

And Voila! Kitteh blouse of much sparkle!image

I found these rhinestone buttons at a thrift shop for a measly $2! With the fabric being a yard of Mood clearance around $5, this little guy was a steal! Quite the little stash buster. Never mind the clutter.

Speaking of clutter, how ’bout a little tour? I’m always curious about where creative people work.

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 Though I love my cozy little craft room, I must admit that it has become quite the little habitrail with my stash busting out from every direction. But I’m never going to stop buying materials, so best to get used to it!image

 I sew on a Janome Skyline S5, which I feel was a very appropriate 31st birthday present to myself. I previously stitched using a Huskvarna Daisy (for which this sewing cabinet was actually purchased to house), which is why the desk can’t close and the bits are all out.

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My cutting table folds out to fit pretty much the entire length of my craft room, which is SUPER helpful when cutting huge pieces, but pretty impractical for everyday use (so much shimmying to get around it!), so it’s typically in this formation. Yes, that is a hotdog costume underneath it.

Well, there you have it! I’m about to pour myself a little bourbon and stress knit while watching these results come in.

Til next time,

Alaina Jane

On Resolutions and Keeping Them

Today is the day! After opening this account over a year ago, I have decided to type words onto the screen.

The whole point of this blog was to motivate me to keep my artistic side alive, and to document my progress. Unfortunately, it had taken me a while to finally work up to doing much of anything creative in the past couple of years. Why? Relationships, work, moving, all of the excuses that anyone uses to not do anything they’ve promised themselves. The exciting ideas come only sporadically, and everything is super unorganized. I would be too burned out on sewing all day to even think of pulling out the shears at home. Then the sewing room would be a mess. Then Christmas. Then wedding planning. Then guinea pigs on tumbler. Then guinea pigs posing in costume on tumbler.

But, today I say: no more.

With a schedule to keep tabs on this sucker at least once a week, to start, I’m holding myself accountable.

xo

-Alaina Jane