Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Just Whistle Dress

Things have just been non-stop hectic around these parts.  I, for one, am delighted that we've actually gotten some rain and cooler weather today.  I guess that means I'm becoming a true Pacific Northwesterner!

The intense (for these parts) heat and humidity have pretty much sapped my motivation for sewing.  I have a couple of completed projects, and my Anna maxi dress cut out, but I just couldn't bring myself to sit indoors with fabric piled on my lap. And with the One Week, One Pattern challenge looming, I need some chill and rain to get me behind the machine again!  I also got my new toy - a Janome DC4030 - that I'm desperate to test drive.  My Viking is a great machine, but it's really aimed at quilters, which means it's large and has about 100 stitches I will never use.  I'm going to try out a smaller machine and see how I like it; this will also give me an extra machine to take to classes and have mini sewing bees.  Well, after the drum kit vacates the corner of my sewing room that is...

I've been busy, if not overly social, the last week.  Which I'm totally OK with.  I've gone biking (I REALLY need a good skort/culotte pattern for riding), been to the gym (my tennis game needs some serious work), and a bit of brewery time with friends (trivia at The Pig!), and it's been lovely.  But with the pledge to eat at home at least three nights a week going strong, the heavy duty bar time has dropped - no regrets there, I've already lost 3 pounds!

The Seattle Cider Summit is coming up in a few weeks, and our intrepid band of heavy drinkers is gearing up for a hop across the Sound and day spend sampling the areas finest cideries.  Should be a blast - if I can remember to buy my ticket... 
Then shortly on its heels in the Pumpkin Beer Festival, mmmm, pumpkin spicy deliciousness.  Night Owl from Elysian Brewery is truly heavenly.
I've also discovered a magnificent offering from Smirnoff.  They have a low-cal line of vodkas, and I found a mango-passionfruit that is DELICIOUS.  At roughly 50 calories per shot, it's a pretty dangerous concoction!

On a non-alcohol related front, I did manage to finish Anna #3.  A few months ago, I ordered a gorgeous Michael Miller print from - Eiffel Towers in a black and white color combination.  Mostly prompted by the impending OWOP deadline, I decided last week to make it up in an Anna variation, instead of my umpteenth 2444 variant.

This is such a simple and well-drafted pattern that I don't have any real construction notes, other than replacing the facing with bias binding (my standard deviation).  I also used one of my favorite skirts, the Simplicity 1418 flared skirt with two big pleats front and back. Aside from the 5 gored Butterick skirt, this is my firm go-to, as it's fairly conservative on usage but looks impressive.  It's also incredibly easy to put together, which is a huge plus!

Again, the seams are pinked and the hem is serged.  I left the hem alone because I think I want to go back and finish it with a bias bound end as an ornamental treatment.  Jury's still out, though.

I wore this to the office yesterday, still unsure of what to name my newest creation.  Then I heard the news of Lauren Bacall's passing - she, along with Audrey Hepburn, has been one of my style icons most of my life.  Classy but ballsy, gloriously feminine with an edge, she was a true example of a woman of strength and elegance.  The lines of Anna's bodice have always evoked an air of the 1940's to me, and suddenly it could be no other name the Just Whistle Dress.

You know how to whistle, don't you?
You just put your lips together, and blow.

Yeah, totally not giving up my day job to model.

Now go watch a Bogey and Bacall film, people!

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