February 28, 2011

Taking care of business...

First of all, since there were requests and posts with pictures are more fun, me wearing recently made stuff in real life! These are all from Saturday--me wearing my Waffle Hat and Constellation Gloves while a friend and I were enjoying the view by the Chesapeake Bay...


....and the recently refashioned shirt, while at my birthday dinner with five of my closest friends and my sister-in-law. (They took me to a creperie, and it was delicious!)

This was the best I could do for a full-length shot--after dinner, we went back to one of the girls' apartments for dessert, and then goofed off a bit with a Wii dancing game. Thus the super-grainy quality of the pic--it was screencapped from the video one of the other girls took on her phone. It turned out to be a really fun day overall, and thanks for all the birthday well-wishes!


Second order of business: I've been going back and forth on whether to do Me-Made-March this year. I finally decided that I'll regret it if I miss out, since it was fun to participate in the project back in September, so here's my rather last-minute pledge:

"I, Becky, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-March '11. I will endeavor to wear one handmade piece of clothing each day for the duration of March 2011. In addition, I will endeavor to add handmade accessories as often as possible."

(Stepping it up from September by trying to actually wear handmade clothes each day--there were a few days then that I only made it because of a necklace.) 

Finally, to answer a few recent comments:
From this post: Christina, the beret is black. Carolyn, I do know the word beanie! Though I'm not sure if that's how we'd term this sort of hat. And Liz/Anoriell, not a bad idea.... I'd have to figure out what to do about stitch counting, since so far what I've been doing is using an app on my iPhone to track that, and it's worked really well for me so far. But I can only do one project at a time on that. (Of course, it was a free app...since it seems I'm going to stick with knitting this time, I may check out the paid stitch counter apps to see if they'll support multiple projects.)

So far, I have cast on the beret, but not the wrap. We'll see how far I get on the hat before I need to be ready for that weekend hangout thing.

From this post: Sarah-- perhaps. That's the main problem with my addiction to crazy print fabrics--they're so distinctive that I never know what to do with the leftovers! Don't want two shirts that look the same, you know? Though, Anoriell, your idea about a knitting accessory bag type thing could work-- I actually am currently working on a case for some circular needles, since I got that multipack of them off of Etsy, but I'm using the leftovers from this instead since there's more of them and I wasn't sure I'd have enough of this fabric to support that many pockets. But I may have to whip up some stitch markers, since the beret is going to need multiples of those, and will need somewhere to put those. So far, I've been using random toggle clasps that didn't get put away after my pre-craft show jewelry-making binge. (Yarn storage won't be an issue-- my mom's actually making me a nice bag to haul that stuff around in, since she's been on a bag-making kick.)

February 25, 2011

My first knitted hat....awwww.

Actually, this one wasn't bad to make. I wanted to use up the two mini-balls of yarn from the Constellation Gloves, and this pattern seemed to be a good match. Since the handwarmers helped me to get the hang of circular needles, the hat was super-easy. At least until I got to the decrease rows... then I got about four rows in and discovered that several stitches had slid off of the double-pointed needles I was working with at that point. I tried to pick them back up, but I think I must have messed it up, because when I got to the end of the fifth row, I had one stitch too many. So then I had to unravel all of that to find where I had things right again (with much moral support from a friend I was chatting online with at the time) and basically start that section over. But I was able to get through those last 13 rows yesterday with no more trouble, though I was very careful to make sure that the stitches were nowhere near the end of the needle once I was done with it!

It fits well, too, though I have to be careful how I wear my hair with it. Makes my head look a bit funny when my hair is behind my ears!

So now I'm trying to figure out what knitting project I should work with next. It's either going to be this beret, which I bought the yarn for at the same time I bought this chunky stuff, or this wrap, which I bought the yarn for on Tuesday. (Organic cotton, on sale at Michael's, and sooooo soft. Yum.) I'm kind of torn. It's starting to warm up here now, slowly but finally, and so I won't get much use out of the beret if I make it now. But it should also be a fairly quick project. On the other hand, I want to have the stitches I need to make the wrap (the new ones being yarn-over and some slip-knit 2-pass over thing) at least figured out by the second weekend in March, and preferably the wrap cast on. Doing another crafty-game-geeky weekend thing with my 2 crocheting buddies, who are quite excited that I've finally joined them on the yarn side, and I figured this would be a good project to take since I likely won't finish it that quickly. Plus it's repetitive enough that hopefully I will be ok to pay attention to chat and whatever sci-fi marathon we're having. So maybe I should try to get that figured out first? I do still have sewing that needs to get done in the meantime....and that Etsy shop to keep adding things to...and, you know, those things called "work" and "friends". So I probably wouldn't get too far. Choices, choices...

February 23, 2011

Wardrobe Refashion Wednesday #7: It's baaaack!

 Though, technically speaking, I made this one on Sunday/Tuesday. Just didn't take the pictures till today. But it's still Wednesday, so it counts!

Anywhoo..so I have this birthday thing coming up on Saturday. The big 3-0. And to be honest, I haven't really been looking forward to it. The last several years have been kind of rough on a personal level, and there's so many things that I wish had happened in my life by this point that didn't. Sometimes it's really hard not to let that bum me out. But I do have some really great friends and family who are ensuring that pretty much every moment of my weekend is filled with fun things, so I should have a good time. One of the events is that several of my closest friends are taking me out for dinner in Philadelphia (a pretty big deal, since it's about an hour away when traffic is good for some of us.) And so of course I wanted something new to wear. Or at least new to me. (Prepare to be bombarded with pictures.)

I had this slinky polyester wrap-type dress I picked up awhile back on one of my thrifting excursions. I liked the print. And the colors. But it was pretty much unwearable as is, because this thing was huuuuuge on me. You can't really tell so much in this picture, except for extreme bagginess in the armpit area...

So how's this, now that the wrap is undone? Toga party, anyone?



Plus it had this ridiculously long tie on one side--after several attempts, I still couldn't figure out how it was supposed to work with the 3-times-as-short second tie. Because wrapping it around a couple times just didn't seem to cut it.

One last before shot on my dummy, so you can get an idea of the bagginess of this thing.

I ended up taking it in several inches on both sides--the construction looked fairly simple, since it was one seam up the sleeves and down the side. I managed to work it so that I could keep the original sleeve hem intact, with perhaps just a slight bit of flaring. That's ok. I like flared sleeves. But here you can get an idea of just how much I had to take it in. Of course, it ended up being more challenging than I thought, mainly due to the mock wrap section. I ended up sewing it in wrong the first time, and the dress was hopelessly twisted when I tried to turn it right-side out! So I had to rip that part of it out and resew that side.

I also ended up chopping off a significant portion of that extra-long tie (which happens to be the perfect length for a skinny headband!), and about 8" from the hem. I don't know where dinner is going to be (they won't tell me), but my best friend said nice top and nice pants, so I wanted more of a tunic-style thing. I'd get more wear out of that than a dress anyway. So here's what I ended up with:
So there you have it--a tunic that looks not very different at all from the original dress! But I'm sure it will fit me much better. No pictures of it on me yet, of course, but hopefully I will have some after Saturday. So I can update this post with pics later if people want.

February 21, 2011

Guess what I finished today?!

That's right--after about 2 1/2 months of planning/cutting/muslin-making/basting/more basting/actual sewing/more handsewing than I thought I'd ever do on one project in my life, my LBD is finally done!!  (And yes, I do plan on taking pictures of it on me at some point--there's just no one home to do it now. So you get the lovely Donna instead, for now.)

Back view--all fitting tests show that this lays way better on me than the dummy.

A little side ruching action...

And a very well-finished hem, done with hem tape and everything! (Which I've never really used before, and this project made me realize that it would really only work on projects with underlining. Otherwise the stitches would show through the front anyway, so what's the point?)

I used Vogue 8556 for this, with lots and lots of tweaks-- mostly of the fitting variety, but there was also the chopping about 2 feet off the hem bit, as well as changing the pleats in the bodice to darts. And I don't think the pleats in the top near the halter straps show as well on mine as they do in the drawing, but I had to shorten that a couple of inches from what I had on the muslin in order to get it to fit right. I'm mostly pleased with how it turned out-- I do wish the ruching in the front lay better, because it's pretty much amazing in the back but it's just too wide of a piece for the gathers to hold well in the front. And I am having a little bit of trouble with streaking within the fabric itself--it got kind of wrinkled when I washed and dried it, and the wrinkles aren't quite ironing out (at least in the skirt) and seem to have lost a bit of dye. I don't know if that's just a characteristic of the fabric--it's not even really noticeable from the 5 feet away that I'm currently sitting from it, so I think it'll be ok. Guess we'll find out-- I think I may have just enough of the silk/cotton blend that the outer layer of the dress is made from to squeeze out some kind of sleeveless blouse, and I'm sure that will get washed and dried far more than this.

So wow, what a learning experience! As I said before, I don't think I would put this much time, effort or handwork into any one dress again, unless it was my wedding dress. But I'm glad I did this project-- I feel like I have so many new techniques to play with now. And I'm sure I'll be using some of them again-- I'm really pleased with how the hand-picked zipper turned out, and I have a blouse in mind for this spring that I'm already planning on fully underlining. I got to work with some fabrics I don't normally get to play with, because silk hasn't really been something I've had opportunity to use much. Though I'd like to change that, because the crepe de chine and the silk/cotton poplin were SO much easier to work with than the charmeuse I originally tried for the sister-of-the-groom dress from hell. (I do have a couple of thrifted blouses in my reconstruction pile that are 100% silk, so hopefully sooner rather than later!) And hopefully I'll get some good use out of this, at least as far as my occasional music gigs go. And the occasional girls night out. Or wedding, which is what its debut is going to be. (Family evening one in mid-April. Which means I need to make a wrap to wear over it, for the dual reasons of it'll be too cold around here for sleeveless and my cousin's bridesmaid color is black, so I need some color! But it looks like I have just the thing in my stash.)

So I'm hoping I can get some easier, less time-consuming projects knocked out now that this won't be hanging over my head anymore! Although it's looking like I'll be doing something rather unheard of around here before long: sewing a dress for my mom to wear to the same wedding. Which is weird, since she used to make a ton of my clothes. It kind of feels like now the circle is complete and I'm the master and all that other Darth Vader-ish stuff.

It's a mod, mod world

Finished this one up at pretty much the stroke of midnight on Thursday (I guess Friday, technically), but didn't get the pictures taken until today. I couldn't pass up this knit print when I saw it at Joann's sometime last year, and this pattern clicked almost instantly as the one to use--the lines were simple enough that I knew it would be perfect for it.

So here's my quick and dirty pattern review:

I made this from Simplicity 2852, view E. Though I made a few modifications--lengthened the sleeves, and I ended up taking it in along the sides. Probably about a total of about 4" all the way around, and it still hangs pretty loosely on me. Which makes for a pretty comfortable shirt, actually.
I also made the neckline out of a contrasting solid instead of a print, because the print was way too big for it to work on such a narrow piece. Unless I turned it sideways, and then things would be all screwy with the stretch. In the interest of using what I have on hand, this black knit is actually part of an old bedsheet! (The same one I cut from when I redid the Megatokyo shirt. And would you believe I still have quite a bit of it left? Good thing, since I have something in mind for it...)

Actually, I think that knit worked better than anything I could have easily bought for it. The solid knits at Joann's tend to be a thicker interlock, and the weight of the jersey bedsheet worked much better with the drapey jersey knit print. So hurrah for recycling!

I wore this for the first time yesterday--as is for when I was bumming around the house, but I met up with some friends for dinner and threw on the belt for that to help cinch it in. Probably not the best one for the job, since I feel like the buckle is a bit distracting, but it was all I had on hand. So I may have to craft a thinner belt for things like this.

I think I'd use this pattern again, at least in the square yoke incarnations. Though I'll have to remember to take it in, possibly even more than I did this time. And, should I decide to do Me-Made-March (I'm still wavering), this will give me a nice comfortable shirt for it!

A final note: one of the things I'm really trying to focus on this year is using things in my stash so I can try to get it down to a manageable level, so I'm going to update from time to time.  As I figured out earlier, I started off this year with approximately 273 yards of fabric. So far, I used about 1.7 yards of fleece on the boot stuffers, 2.5 yards on the Pendrell Blouse, and since I'm left with largish scraps but no actual yardage, I'm going to say that I used up the 2 2/3 yards of knit on this shirt. I'm not counting the knit used in the Winter Beauty top, because that was already cut out when I sorted through the fabric and so that fabric wasn't counted. And I'm also not counting anything from my scrap bin, because that's just way too anal for me. So that means that so far this year, I've used up nearly 7 yards of fabric, which gets me down to approximately 266 yards, give or take a few inches. (Technically, a little less, since I did have the LBD fabric in there, but I'm not sure how much I have left.)

So now I just have to figure out what to do with what's left of this knit fabric....they're large enough pieces that I feel bad about throwing them out, but I'm not sure I have enough to even squeeze a cami out of it.

February 17, 2011

leap of faith, knitting style

I ended up taking today off from working the Etsy thing again, mostly. Got some shop feedback from a free critique, and it looks like I'm going to need to entirely redo the 200+ photos I took on Saturday. Good, honest critique, but a bit frustrating, especially on top of what was already a rather frustrating day for multiple reasons. Not the least of which being that I somehow lost one half of a pair of earrings I made back in the fall, which I just realized that I forgot to actually post on here, but it was made to go with this shirt. Just fell right out of my ear, and I have no idea whether it was here, a parking lot, or somewhere in the church building where the school I teach band at is in, because I didn't notice until I was up in the loft. That makes me sad.

So needless to say, I wasn't really in the mood to work on anything connected to jewelry. So instead, I knitted up some gauge tests for two hats--this beret, and then I found this hat to use up the rest of the Constellation Gloves yarn on. The chunky yarn swatch went great--fits exactly on the needles it was supposed to, according to my little gauge tester card thingy. The beret is being a little more difficult. I tried a swatch last night on size 7, which it called for, and it was half an inch too small just going across, so I didn't bother checking the height. Tonight, I tried size 8, which ended up being too big. Apparently, size 7.5 doesn't exist. So I think I might just end up trying the 7s and hoping for the best.

I also took a leap of faith that I'm going to stick with knitting this time--tonight's swatch test just confirmed what I already suspected, which is that I reeeeeeally prefer bamboo needles to aluminum. The latter are just way too slippery for me. And I already knew that Joann's doesn't have the circular needle size I need, at least as far as the cord length goes. There's not even a spot for them at my local store. So while poking around online, I discovered this shop on Etsy that sells a set of 15 bamboo 16" circular needles, ranging from sizes 0 to 15, for about the cost of buying 3 pairs of bamboo needles of whatever brand Joann's and a lot of my other usual craft haunts is. It sounded too good to be true, but I checked the feedback and it was all positive, and in sufficient numbers to convince me that these could actually be decent. So I splurged and bought them. (And if you told me 3 months ago that I'd be building a stash of knitting needles, I would have laughed in your face.) So that'll cover what I need for both hats....and I've heard it's a good size for socks, too, which I wouldn't put it past myself to try, since my feet get cold inside my boots in the winter! If I can find sock yarn that's wool-free, anyway...

At least, I hope that I find things to make with these needles other than 2 hats!

Off to bed with me....definitely need to sleep off this day.

Edit: Yeah, changed the background again. I wanted something springier!

February 15, 2011

What I've been up to....

First of all, wow-- I have to say I'm kind of overwhelmed by the response to the post about the Pendrell blouse. I think that may actually be the most comments I've ever gotten on one post! And since the overwhelming consensus was to keep the ruffles as is, the ruffles will stay.

Secondly, I still haven't quite settled on what to do with the rest of the yarn from the Constellation gloves. Though yes, cheesepirate, I have found Ravelry--that's actually where I found that handwarmer pattern in the first place! And Hana, I'm not sure there would be enough for socks. Unless maybe it's the kind that don't cover your ankles. I haven't started another knitting project yet, either--need to check and see if I have access to the right size needles before I start on that beret.

I've gotten lace to extend the lining hem for the LBD, and gotten the outer skirt measured for the length, though not pinned up at all beyond the one pin in it to mark the length. I've also gotten a knit shirt cut out, and was originally planning on sewing it together over the weekend, but ended up not touching it.

What I have been doing for the majority of the last several days is running with the inspiration I had to finally get my Etsy shop rolling, so I can do something about all of that jewelry I made for the craft fair that's been sitting here in my room ever since. It's something I've been meaning to do for, oh, the last month and a half. Admittedly, the LBD kind of took over my entire non-working, non-social life and kept me from doing a single thing about it. But since I'm not working a whole lot right now due to my retail job being non-winter seasonal, I've been taking advantage of the extra time. So my store policies are written. I've made a complete guess at shipping prices, which may have to be tweaked if I have opportunity to test that theory. I spent hours and hours on Saturday photographing every single piece of jewelry I made for that craft fair that I didn't sell. And I've figured out my packaging, though I still have a lot of it to go. So I have been sewing. But it's been several of these:

They're not all that size. Some, which I mean to use for the earrings that don't accompany necklaces, are smaller. These were actually a bit small for most of the necklace cards I've had made up so far. So I'll have to choose a few necklaces to fit these, or use these for bracelets (once I figure out how to actually package them). It's been a lot of trial and error. But it's good, because other than the ball of cotton yarn I got to make drawstrings out of, the packing materials are all things I had on hand--breaking into my big stash of white cardstock pulled out of scrapbook page dividers, and decorating them with (mostly) scraps of paper that I wouldn't be able to use for much otherwise. But I'm especially proud of the bags, because now I finally have a solution to a problem I've been thinking about for years: what to do with my muslins. Because I've never liked just chopping up large pieces of fabric only to throw them away at the end. It seems very wasteful and not very eco-friendly. There is still a little bit of waste involved in this, because I can't entirely cut rectangles out of irregular-shaped pieces, especially when I have to occasionally avoid Sharpie marks. But I've been amazed at how many of these little bags I've been able to get so far out of one clothing muslin (in this case, the LBD one), and I'm still not even done chopping it up yet!

If I counted remotely close to right, I still have a ton of these I need to make in order to just package up what I have made so far.. Fortunately, they whip up pretty quickly, and I've been able to get quite a few done. Though I may need to take a break sometime this week and whip out that shirt, just so I don't start feeling too much like a one-woman sweatshop! That, and because I've also been pondering signing up for Me-Made-March--kind of like the Self-Stitched September thing I did, though obviously a different season. And a more challenging one--this past September at least was pretty summery for most of the time, but March around here can range anywhere from the 30s to the 70s, often going from one extreme to the other within a matter of days, with the occasional freak snowstorm and an almost guaranteed chance of high winds and torrential rains at some point. Ah, life in the mid-Atlantic. So it would be interesting to see how I fare with that sort of challenge, but I definitely would need to get a couple of things knocked off my to-sew list! At least this and the jacket I'd like to make before it gets warm. So that will need a bit of thought.

To backtrack for a moment, the good thing was that I did finally manage to get a couple of pieces up in the shop today. I'm not going to talk about that here very often, because I felt it would be more professional to keep that separate from this blog (especially since this blog focuses more on my sewing projects than anything else, which is completely unrelated), and therefore made a separate blog just for that. I don't want this blog to become a constant advertisement, anyway. But figured it wouldn't hurt to let people know it now exists, right? If you want to check out what I've got in there so far, you can either check it out at the shop's blog or Etsy. Not a lot, only 2 things as of this post, but I'm planning/hoping to make a nice dent in adding those things over the next several weeks. And that is all that I will say about that here for the moment.

And one of these days, hopefully sooner rather than later, I will have clothes to show here again!

February 10, 2011

We'll make our own constellations...

As of last night, I finished my third knitting project! At least, my third successful one. And haven't thrown in the towel on yarncraft yet--this is definitely a record for me!

This time, it's the Constellation Gloves, which was a free project on the Lion Brand website. I liked that they were long, which means no chance of my wrists getting exposed to the cold, and it looked like the perfect project for my chunky-weight yarn that I snagged as soon as I decided to give knitting another go. A good choice for my hands, since they're nice and thick and warm-- I'm looking forward to wearing these to Bible study tonight, since the basement we meet in was really cold last time! (Also, I know this is a bit of a silly picture, but taking pictures of both of your own arms is hard!)

And here's what the whole thing looks like. I had to learn how to do a lot of new things for this one--first time doing ribbing, first time knitting in the round (on both circular and double-pointed needles), I had to bind off and add on stitches up at the top to make the thumb holes, I had to learn to increase....definitely a good skill-building project! I ended up making several changes to the pattern, which surprised me since I'm new at this. Nothing seriously major--things like, since they were ending up too big, I had to go down a needle size from what I'd come up with in the gauge test. The pattern called for making them about 10" long before starting the increases for the hand, but I ended up opting for about 8" instead. (After measuring my arm after I started, I realized that 10" would result in these shoving up against the bend of my elbow, and would probably be rather uncomfortable. Not to mention annoying to deal with for sleeves.) I also ended up making the top shorter than it called for. It wanted a total of 3" above the thumb hole--about 2" for knitting and then the 1" ribbing. I realized that doing so would take this about to my knuckles, which would make them rather non-functional for actually using my hands while wearing them--and isn't that the point of fingerless glove-type things? So I only did about 1/2" of the knitting post-thumb hole and then the inch of ribbing.

I do wish they were a little more snug around my wrists, but my wrists are also super-skinny  And since the ribbing at the bottom and the hand section fit just about perfectly, I really can't complain.

So now there's just one thing left to do....figure out what I'm going to do with these two orange-sized balls of yarn I have left over, since leaving several inches out of the pattern means that I didn't use nearly as much as I thought I would! I thought about knitting the second from the partially used ball, even started to do so, but was really afraid that I wouldn't have enough to finish it. So I ripped it out and used the second skein instead. I know I don't want a scarf, because I have a lot of those. A hat, maybe? Though I was already planning to make/got yarn for a different hat... I liked this beret that I saw listed under the easy patterns on Ravlery, and generally prefer that style of hat because it's looser around my hair. So I end up with less tangling. (I have the sort of hair that tangles if you do so much as look at it funny.) But I guess I can have more than one hat, right?

(p.s. To give credit where it's due, the title lyrics came from "Constellations" by Jack Johnson. A fitting choice, I thought, considering the name of the pattern.)

February 6, 2011

A tale of two cases

Doing this as a separate post from the blouse...easier this way.

This was this afternoon's work. My birthday's coming up, and my present from my parents came in early, so they went ahead and gave it to me so I could start using it--they got me a Kindle! I am most definitely NOT planning on getting rid of all of my paper books, but I do have a largish collection of classics that I've picked up from the thrift store, many of which are not in the best condition, and can actually replace a lot of those for free through the Amazon store. (Everything published before 1923 is in the public domain, and so Amazon has a lot of those free of charge. So I spent a good chunk of time browsing through the store and picking up several of those, as well as a few newer books that were free on special. Haven't actually purchased a book yet.) So I'm going to donate those books back to the thrift store and clear up some room on my overloaded bookshelf--I've only had it for about a year and a half and one of the shelves is already visibly bending from the weight of the books!

Of course, having the Kindle means I needed something to protect it when carrying it in my bag. So I found some fleece and fabric in my scrap bin and got to work...
...and came up with this. Sadly, I slightly underestimated how much extra room I'd need for the zipper, and while I could get the Kindle in and out, it was an uncomfortably tight squeeze through the teeth. Plus the zipper went kind of wonky in the top, anyway. What can I say....this is what happens when I try to sew on 4 1/2 hours' sleep.

So I got some more fabric and fleece out and tried again...




...and ended up with this. Different direction on the zipper, slightly bigger this time.
It's still a bit of a tighter squeeze to get the Kindle in than I'd prefer--which I don't understand, because I specifically tested how it would go passing the thing through after I had the front all sewn together! But it's workable, at least for now. Not letting the other case go to waste, either--during a recent Joann's trip, I picked up my first pair of knitting needles (some double-pointed size 10 ones, because I thought there was a chance I might have to use larger needles to get the gauge to work. So far, I knit very tightly. And shows what I know, since I had to go down a size to get the thing to fit better!) So I stuck those and the yarn-weaving needle in there. Less chance I'll lose the needle that way!

Pendrell Blouse!

First of all, the LBD update: the machine work is done! And I've finished all of the work of attaching the lining to the outside of the dress, so all I have left to do is hem the outside and the lining, add a hook and eye at the top of the zipper, and it's done! Though the lining will be a bit of a time-consuming hem, because there's enough of a length difference between that and the skirt that I'm going to have to add a bit of lace to even things up more.

So, since I had a free Saturday yesterday, I caught up on my Pendrell Blouse sewalong work--the finishing post went up on Friday, and I was about 3 posts behind. So, other than removing a few remaining basting stitches, this one is done.

 I like the pattern--the directions were very good, and though I spent a huge chunk of the sewing time paranoid that I wouldn't be able to get it on, the FBA turned out beautifully, and I can still pull it on even though it's zipperless. Sadly, I'm not convinced I like it on me. Part of it is the looser fit....

...though belting it in makes a huge difference, I think! (I need something to wear this belt with anyway--I've never actually worn it out of the house, because I've discovered that it doesn't like to stay closed when over layers or clothes that have any bulk, i.e. everything I wear this time of year. But this blouse is thin enough that I think that it won't be a problem.)

The main thing is the ruffles. I don't mind the sleeve cap-like one, but I'm not entirely certain I like the look of the one in the seam. It's kind of prominent, and I'm not generally a ruffle girl. In fact, I was originally going to do it without the seam ruffle, but ended up changing the plan at the last minute so I wouldn't end up with a half-yard of fabric left to try and find a use for later. So I'm trying to decide whether to leave it and see if it grows on me, or try and remove it. (Removing it would be rather difficult, since this fabric frays quite a bit, and the edges are finished in a serged seam.) What do you think?