Posts Tagged ‘ Minna ’

sew frustrated

I had a minor wardrobe meltdown this morning. Couldn’t find anything that worked. Granted, it wasn’t my usual office situation. I had to go to a writing conference full of people I’d never met, and I was riding my bike into the Loop instead of taking my car to the usual suburbs.

Nothing fit quite right. Most skirts were out because I couldn’t find any plain black tights without any holes. Wide pants are too tricky to bike in. Finally I came up with something, but it irked me that despite a closet of clothes, nothing was right. I think there’s too much clutter in there, too many distractions that seem like feasible options but for some reason, aren’t.

I’m going to an awards dinner tomorrow (Friday) night. A story I did at my last job – a piece I’m so proud of about notoriously and heartbreakingly corrupt suburban cops – is nominated among Chicago media. Sweet. But that same anxiety is kicking in – how do I look as proud as I feel, in bike-able gear?

I thought all week about making a dress from black jersey I bought in Philadelphia and am crazy about. But I haven’t been able to make anything right lately, and I’m so scared of ruining this chunk of fabric. My Minna top zipper broke so I’m going to have to redo it (no, it won’t repair. already tried that). And I made up a cute cap mockup in scrap denim but it was too small. Tried to do it again, paying closer attention to the pattern, but the second one turned out too small too. I’m scared of spending precious free time on projects that will leave me more frustrated than when they were still optimistic possibilities.

Maybe it’s just one of those nights.

minna… finished!

This Minna #6007 (shortened to a top) is an ancient refashion. It’s my first completion of a BurdaStyle pattern, and I like it a whole lot. I cut it short, and changed the neck trim to a lined fabric facing.

To cut the dress into a top, I pretty much used the double lines marked on the pattern around the hipline for lengthening or shortening. And instead of using a fancy trim to finish the neck, I used the cutting guide to make bias strips. The print is already so fabulous it doesn’t need any sparkly help.

I had bought a fluorescent print maxidress at the Salvy during my later high school years. Think 1993. I wanted to chop off the skirt and the top of a pair of thrifted overalls and make a kind dress the kids were wearing then (I promise!). Chopped the overalls, chopped the dress, got caught up in something else, and then realized what a ridiculous trend it was. My sister (10 years my junior) then raided my sewing stash and pilfered a strip of the skirt. I remember throwing a fit, but not what she made, it was that long ago.

It took some doing, but I managed to cut out the front and back so the pattern goes the same way, and the back pieces nearly match. Only enough fabric remained for one set of bias strips, so I cut another set to line the neck piece out of plain black synthetic fabric. Sewed the fabric pieces together to form a V, ditto for lining, sewed them together along the top, right sides together. Then I popped in a movie to handsew the bottom side of the lining invisibly.

When I make another Minna – and I certainly will – I’ll gather the front and back tighter to leave more room in the armholes. I’ll also copy the neckline since I liked the smooth, neat finish inside. (Will post the steps on BurdaStyle – this time was too trial-and-error to photograph.)

Next on the list: Ellinor #8516, using brown clearance cotton from a Joann sale, and brown sparkly eyelet from the Hobby Lobby clearance wall. Not too late, I think, to Sew Along With Nikkishell on the BurdaStyle site.

planning to win

Home tonight on a Friday. Sort of weary and uninterested in dealing with the outside world. My Minna top is coming along nicely, but I’ve reached the point where I’ll wreck something if I push this fatigue. The fabric looks spectacular. I added a lining to the placket and will post the steps once the top is finished. So exciting to finish a pattern enough to love the fit!

Instead of more sewing tonight, I’m planning what to do next.

This little number was going to up for sale in my etsy store. But then I tried it on and it looks like it was made for me. Super flattering cut for my shape. Time to learn to copy clothing with muslin patterns. I’ve been reading here and here about how to do it. I’m scared is the problem – scared of wasting precious spare sewing time on something that won’t work. But I have a few fabrics made for this dress style and I hate pulling together work ensembles once the weather gets warm. Easier to toss on a dress and go.

Think the best way to process is to start a list of crafty things I keep thinking about.

That list is now here.

my friend Minna

The thing I like about this Minna pattern from Burdastyle is that it gives a girl a little shape.

Can’t stand the preggers-chic of all the babydoll tops and big blousy things that just make me look like a whale. I have a bosom and hips, so once my waist is lost, so goes my self-esteem the way of the blob.

I have this chunk of fabric (feels like the stuff of a real Hawaiian shirt) from an ancient high school shopping trip to the Roxborough Salvy. Think 1993.

I bought the maxidress it was part of wanting to chop off the skirt and the bib of a pair of thrifted overalls and make a kind dress the kids were wearing then (I promise!). Chopped the overalls, chopped the dress, got caught up in something else, and then realized what a ridiculous trend it was. My sister (10 years my junior) then raided my sewing stash and pilfered a strip of the skirt. I remember throwing a fit, but not what she made, it was that long ago.

Finally, I pulled out the remnant with Minna in mind. Ignored the directions to use something fancy on the neck, since the print is already so… fabulous.

The mockup using Freecycled fabric seemed to work. The size I cut fits me. Style works, too. No bulges.

I’m ready to take the BurdaStyle plunge.