Monday, February 22, 2016

Mortem's Tricks or Treats: Simplicity 8019

Since my last post, I have begun to experience what others have dubbed life.
I am actually living, as any homosapien must do-- it's exhausting and wondrous... and of course expensive, heh.
The life of a hermit has not been entirely for my benefit, though I did live exceptionally comfortable and embedded within my means.

The most exciting though of all the happenings is the joyous and infinitely desired news of all, news of my mother's official remission! I believe we've doused ourselves with a healthy dose of hope after that. We're drenching ourselves in all the relief that is possible for such news, while still having two feet planted on the ground about such matters.

That being said, with some emotional weight off my shoulders, and as little as the year progressed, I have been able to make leaps and bounds with my bat fit goals already, but I wanted to break this little pause I've taken from blogging this time with the one and only sewn project I've done for what is now behind us in the current year.

That's right, I've been up to my ears in things to do that sewing has actually taken a back seat... for now. So sewing productivity may be down, but it is certainly up in other equally important affairs.
What began as a simple visit to the fabric shop to find something for my pattern, literally turned into an opportunity for work-- but before all that, it was the simple gesture of revising my sewing list that was the catalyst to what is now yet another way for me to give back to the shop I now work at all the money I earn from it hahah!

I figured I better adjust what kinds of garments will be on that list, as I estimate by the time I get to finish all of them I might be well enough into the hot and humid summer months that anything for cool weather will be a completely moot point; the hot weather lasts just too long here, and I'd hate not to be able to wear what I finish right then for that length of time. Two of the patterns have been with me since the time I lived in Hellbrook (aka Holbrook, Arizona)-- it's about time I start working from where I started with this now gargantuan collection of commercial patterns!
Anyway, even from my own point of view I sometimes ponder how my brain functions; making a list is a methodical thing to do... and yet, somewhat surprisingly, I didn't start at the beginning of that list.
In a very similar fashion, much of the inner machinations of my creative laboratory work much the same way; I can't begin with a chaotic space, so I first clean every nook and cranny before every project... yet during the process I don't quite mind the torrent of scraps and thread strewn about.

I digress (immensely). I started with a retro reprint of a button up skirt: Simplicity 8019; originally printed in the 70's, and reprinted sometime in the past year or two. It took a while to get this one done, in fact it wasn't officially "done" until last week! Talk about procrastination; for myself, that is a highly irregular pause between start and finish that wasn't deliberate. I called it done before actually being so, because I had simply but to sew on buttonholes and buttons to call it complete.

At first, a halloween print was crying out to me... but I remembered one of my bat fit goals; to ease up on making everything from Halloween prints and use more "mature" fabrics, as was once the case. I took to the fabric store and found a beautifully (mature) purple and black plaid. I found some nice black buttons that I assumed I would still love by the time I got to that point. This was not the case.

I cut out a size 14 at first which brought me to the realization that I gained weight; so I graded up to a 16-- still not quite enough. Finally, I landed on 18. I wanted it in view C which was a midcalf length, but on me it would look more like D-- I had to go all the way up to A for me to have that mid calf length I wanted, with some of the bottom hem unused for just a touch more length to make it right. Yeesh, I'm short!

During the process of matching my plaids up on my pattern pieces, something stopped clicking with my choice of buttons; I no longer wanted these black with crystal rhinestone ones.
It felt at that moment in time, like a frenzy had overtaken me... and before I knew it, I had purchased dozens of new buttons in an attempt to satiate whatever hunger overtook me.

What inevitably won were little metal skull shank buttons that I failed to properly take a photo of. I guess I wasn't fully over the concept of adding some Halloween flair to my stuff!

I put off sewing on the buttonholes until I was sure which buttons were the "perfect ones", because it was no longer an easy task to pop and sew a buttonhole; I decided to take the plunge and try the contraption I was so afraid of using since its acquisition; my Singer Buttonholer.

I'm not gonna lie, this thing is as scary to work with as it is to look at; I broke four needles just troubleshooting it with the machine, heh... but once the trial and terror part was over, I was able to produce the best buttonhole I have ever witnessed made!

I was a lazy bum and didn't contrast the thread for your guys' sake, and yet clearly there's a huge difference between the top, which was made with my Brother (not unlike many other of its ilk manufactured after the 80's and forward), and the bottom which was produced with the singer and the buttonholer gadget. The only problem I've noticed is that the keyhole templates don't go any smaller than 7/8th's of an inch-- which is the benefit of the sliding buttonhole foot of any everyday machine these days: any size, any time, quick, painless, and sufficient for most needs.
However, I needed something with a little more umph for this project, since the design and weight of the fabric would swallow up the button holes my Brother made.

Back to the pattern, it was very easy to dish out; I sewed two others up as a mock up before I got to making my final garment. No significant adjustments were made-- any width sizing issues I had were simply because I was trying to shortcut my way out of actually having to remeasure myself for all the weight I gained hahah! The vertical length was something I simply wasn't paying attention to when I made the two mock ups before the final one; so really pay attention to that finished length measurement on the packet. I know it seems obvious to mention it, but a lot of people including myself tend to gloss over it, heheh.  Next changes made were simply design changes,  I extended the grain line markings so it would be easier to match my plaid, and to create a directional focal of the waistband.

You'll have to excuse the wrinkling-- another momentary lapse in foresight. This was moments after a cat nap after work in my clothes and on my way to class! Heh.

The top button looks so misshapenly sewn in this photo, and yet this was the best shot I got of the buttons... still hard to see them. Boo! I wish I still had a functioning camera, instead of my phone. Seems like the kind of thing I should invest in.

Till next time, my lovely ghouls!


  1. That's great news about your mum! :) I'm happy life is better for you. Your skirt is so sweet looking, I love the silver buttons down the front!

    1. Thank you!
      I'm still being cautious about everything, but yes things have been very pleasant :)

      I thought so too, and I wish I came to that conclusion before I convinced myself I needed all the buttons I bought lol

  2. HUZZAH about you Mom! Oh honey, this is such wonderful news! :) And I have to say, between this post and your FB updates, you sound ... alive and happy. And WAHOO about Bat Fit! :D

    1. I do feel so good, and my mother has been doing much better spiritually. It was really tough seeing her in such a dark place... I am glad some of that has cleared up and allowed her to see the second chance that has been given us. Going to be going up there this spring, and I will get to enjoy some good quality time with her =D

  3. You look gorgeous! It's funny cos I found a hoody at the thriftstore with the same print as your skirt! Love this!

    1. Thank you *blush*
      Oh goodness, I have been quite obsessed with plaids and stripes lately... I can't even explain it! Lucky! That hoodie must be so pretty =D

  4. So glad to hear the news about your mum! <3

    I assume working in a fabric shop would be much like working in a bookshop, all your money going straight back into the shop!

    It's hot for so long here, too! Australia really only gets cold for three months if you don't live in the mountains (in my opinion, I am sure a few less warm blooded people disagree).

    The skirt looks great!

    1. Thank you! It feels good to hit this point-- it felt like it was forever that we were in the dark.

      Oh yes, in fact I have debated leaving this job for another less tempting one. I can't seem to help myself, hehe.

      Yes! We have three maybe four months of cool weather (and by cool weather I just mean rain and nothing more lol) and then it's back to hot and hotter o.O
      On the brightside, I love the heat!

  5. You are so much more organized than me! No wonder that you make such pretty garments! I love the skirt, it has a certain lumberjack feeling, at least to me! ^^


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