The Elusive Dress Form, The Shop Company, And Me. part 1

I finally got the dress form ordered from The Shop Company again. I purchased it earlier this evening and left them a few questions in their contact drop-down. I requested they contact me back this weekend or Monday.

Back in May 2014 I tried to order a dress form (Size 12) from The Shop Company. I actually completed a purchase with them through Sears for the exact form I needed but sadly my money was returned and the wait was on. I waited FOREVER checking their site daily for a few months to see if it ever came back in stock. I know, some of you probably had your math skills kick into high gear and may be thinking: May 2014 is hardly FOREVER… But it’s still a pretty darn long time to wait…. When all this was going on I had left a message with someone there and they said someone would call me as soon as the size 12’s came in.

I stopped checking eventually (until today…) and that call never did come. I’m not entirely sure when they got in their shipment but since it took an extremely long time for them to restock the 12’s in the Professional Female Dress Form w/ Collapsible Shoulders. I suppose I can understand them loosing my information. I think I stopped checking 3 or 4 months after my money was returned. Each time I have corresponded with any of the employees or owners there, they so-far have been very nice. In their defense have even contacted me outside of their normal business hours at least twice on their own time, to answer a question, or to let me know what was going on with my order. That gives them big-time brownie points in my book. They do seem to care and try to help you so you can get everything as quickly as possible. When the old order went south they did try to suggest a different model that they did have in stock at the time, but it didn’t have the collapsible shoulders so I decided to wait.

I’ll keep this updated. Take care for now!


Walkaway Dress

I saw the pattern a while back for the re-issue of the infamous Walkaway Dress by the Butterick pattern company. ( Here ) I looked up blogs and forum posts about it from people who made the dress and saw that mixed success and disaster ensued.

The 50’s artwork on the pattern packet on the re-issue of the Walkaway Dress. B4790

At the time I researched it there was quite a few more disasters then there were successes so I passed on buying the pattern. Another reason I passed on the dress is because I don’t exactly have a 50’s figure either… The re-issue supposedly changed the pattern some from the original 50’s pattern to suit today’s “modern” figure. From some of the many many blog posts about the dress, some adjustments will be needed to make it fit how the wearer might want it to fit.

Earlier yesterday evening I took the plunge and ordered the pattern. Both sizes of the pattern…. I am fairly confident I fall into the 16-22 size category according to my regular bust measurement and the upper bust measurement directions from Edelweiss Patterns. ( BUT A lot of people say they had to go larger or smaller due to the way the parts of the dress fit them. I didn’t want to order the pattern packet I thought I needed and find out the fit I want lies in the smaller pattern and have to try to heavily modify something. Heavy modifications equal definite disaster in my book! I have never successfully altered a pattern yet, so this plunge might prove to be a disaster regardless. I hope I can just take it slow and get it right. I’ve really liked this dress since I first saw it. I’m not super crazy about the bias binding on it, but after learning I can hide the bias binding on the inside of the dress, and saw the finished dress on other people with a similar body type to me, it made me REALLY want to finally try the pattern.

The pattern packet photograph of the dress Butterick worked up. Still not super crazy about the visible bias binding. I am going to sew mine on the interior of the dress, which should still work.

I hope to try to do french seams, or maybe some kind of enclosed seams on the interior if it’s possible. I need to deepen, and maybe change the shape a bit on the neckline. I’d like to make the front closure more V shaped like the 50’s artwork, rather then the more U shaped closure the pattern provides. The large openings under my arms where the two pieces wrap may drive me crazy. I may modify the fabric in that area to provide a bit more modesty depending on how that area actually fits me. The underskirt may be a must, I’d like the dress to be shaped at the bottom. I may have to add more fabric to the back of the sheath dress area depending on how it fits. A lot of people complained about wind picking up the very “twirly” skirt, and perhaps showing off a little more back there then they would have liked to show.

Season 3 of The Great British Sewing Bee also featured the contestants making this dress on Singer Featherweight sewing machines! The Butterick site links to a YouTube video that I can’t watch since I live in the USA or something. I personally think it’s stupid that people can’t watch global TV programs! The contestants apparently hated sewing on the Featherweights which I find hard to believe, but I suppose vintage sewing machines just aren’t everyone’s cup-o-tea.

Anyway Butterick should be shipping my patterns soon. I’ll have to start looking for fabric! The 201-2 is in working order now, and I’d love to sew this dress on it as this sewing machines first major project. I also plan on trying the cut-work embroidery on it soon too!

Colorful Crochet Baby Blanket

So. My niece is having a baby shower and I wanted to make her a baby blanket for her baby boy. I didn’t want to go with the usual “baby” colors either. I found out this makes yarn selection difficult! The softest yarns marketed for babies are all in pastel shades, at least the yarn for sale at local craft stores around me.

Knowing that I would NEVER get a knitted baby blanket done in the time I had, I chose to crochet one. Thinking back when I was growing up I used to lay under a crochet afghan. It was like the afghan on the TV show Rosanne that they had on their couch…. Anyway, I remember snuggling up under it and watching TV, and because it was crocheted using the granny square double crochet clusters there were holes in it that I would stick my fingers and toes through.

A while back I had picked up one skein of Red Heart Super Saver Mexicana. When I had picked it up in the store, the blue and purple on it looked black, and I didn’t really examine it. When I got it home I was a little shocked to find out it was a Crayola rainbow. I had tried to knit it into a few different projects and the color changes were too short. I had tried to crochet it into some lacey hearts I was making at the time too but I had the same problem with the color changes. Back in the stash it went to sit until I decided on this granny square blanket. My original thoughts to make the blanket were to go with Purple Green and Gold. Mardi Gras colors. Purple for Justice, Green for Faith, and Gold for Power. I hadn’t actually made a granny square before and grabbed the Mexicana since it had those three colors in it. This yarn seems to have been made to make granny squares. As I got a few rows on the square the colors started pooling in stripes. I showed it to a few family members and they all said they liked it so I picked up a couple more skeins of it and kept going.

Finished blanket

Finished blanket. It took three skeins of Mexicana and a small amount of black for the border.

I think it might be the blue, but I think of the cookie monster when I look at that blanket.

I had seen a project using that yarn with grannies sewn together and wasn’t really impressed with how the colors looked when they were sewn, so I just kept going around in a giant square. I chose to crab stitch the edge, since the other edges were kind of girly. I had never crab stitched before, and it shows! I ended up putting on that edge like my life depended on it and it kind of pulled the blanket out of shape… I tried to put that edge on 4 times and finally decided that’s how it’s going to be.

Crab stitch edge

Crab stitch edge

I hope he enjoys the texture of the blanket like I did on the afghan. Even though the crab stitch edge is REALLY tight, I think he might get a kick of how it feels. The colors should be interesting to look at too. One person said he saw a sun in the color pooling and the rays were coming out of it. Overall I’m happy with the project. It’s my first big crochet project, and the first blanket I ever made. Before this I just had made small quick things out of crochet!