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27 December 2011

The archives: while at university

When I first went to University I didn't have a stash. In fact I didn't even have a sewing machine, since until then I had always used my mother's Singer. I can't really remember when I bought my little Singer, but I had it already before my senior year in college. It served me very, very well for  the next 10 years and moved with me throughout the US and Europe.

I didn't sew regularly at all in those years, but miraculously, everything I sewed I actually did finish.

Evidence 1: a party dress of simple princess seams in red Bengaline.


I sewed this dress during a couple of days when we were snowed in after a storm. No classes and nowhere to go? Sewing was my coping mechanism... I couldn't quite sew the invisible zipper at the seam so it gapes visibly, but aside from that, the dress is quite ok.

Evidence 2: a velvet bolero, to go with the party dress.


with sleeves
Well, I didn't really sew this myself. I got the velvet jacket from my aunt because it didn't fit her anymore. It was perfectly new and it fit me like a glove at the shoulders. But my aunt is 15cm shorter than I and so the waist was all wrong for me. Solution? Hack it off at the middle and convert it into a bolero. Voila!

Evidence 3: Missoni top

This beautiful knit I bought at G-street Fabrics, the second summer I spent in Washington DC. I loved the Missoni-like zig zag pattern and the browns and blues colors. Plus it is a bit shiny, what more could I ask for!

I copied another knit top I had that fit well. I had already cut all the pieces when I realized that the fabric was a bit too loosely knit and would hang too limply. I then interfaced each piece to give the fabric more body. That worked well, except that the fabric became a lot less stretchy and the top didn't fit anymore!

I added the two central strips to make it wider and disaster averted. I was so proud of how well I managed to match all the stripes!

The buttons are mother of pearl and they match beautifully in color and shine, but they are a bit too heavy. I keep thinking that I will change them, but never do...

I still wear it, and I get lots of compliments when I do.

Evidence 4: ballroom dancing dress


I made this dress my second year in grad school. I had joined the ballroom dancing club and I needed a dress for the weekend trips to the dance hall. The dress of course needed to have a wide skirt and be comfortable enough for some serious physical activity without straps falling or worse. The pattern was McCalls I think, I wonder where it is?

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