11.06.2013

roseate spoonbill

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I can't say I've ever had a particular affinity for birds. Growing up, the only birds I could actually identify were Canadian Geese, of which there were an abundance of.  I also got pretty good at identifying goose poop... of which there was also an abundance of... Which is why it's pretty remarkable that these days I'm able to recall the names of a lot of our feathered friends that I see about.  Galveston has some pretty spectacular birding, and I guess it's the sort of thing that just rubs off after spending time in a place.  But of all the birds I see about, there's really only one that I get super excited about when I spot it, and that's the Roseate Spoonbill.

I remember the first time I saw a Roseate Spoonbill I was driving across the causeway that connects the island to mainland Texas, and out of the corner of my eye I saw this flash of pink in the sky.  It was shortly after we had moved to Galveston and I remember coming home and saying to my husband (not totally sure if I had imagined the whole thing or not) "Nick, I think there are pink birds here..." He, of course, already knew about the pink birds, being much more... well... just generally better informed about these things than I am.  To me, living in a place with such technicolor fowl flapping about, makes me feel like I'm in the most exotic place in the world, even if it is just costal Texas.

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So why am I waxing romantic about pink birds today? I swear there's a reason, and that reason does indeed tie into one of my two newest makes. So let me introduce you to...

My second Archer, made up in a silk crepe de chine.  This silk started it's life as plain white, and I was truly this close to leaving it white, because there is something pretty classic about a white, silk, button-up shirt, is there not? But I felt like maybe I could love it a little bit more if it was, I don't know, a little pinker.  So I dyed it.  Easy peasy.  Just a one step, good ol' fashioned, dunk-it-in-a-bucket-and-swish-it-around dye job. I mixed just the teensiest amounts of chocolate brown and coral pink dye (both from Dharma) to get the color I was aiming for.  And the color on my mind, my inspiration, was the pale shade of rose that the Roseate Spoonbill displays on it's soft, downy feathers.  See? Told you I had a point with all that bird nonsense!!

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As this is my second time making Grainline's Archer, I won't go into too many details here (to read about my first Archer, go here). And while I wear my first Archer a ton (like, multiple times a week, sometimes) I did make some changes to the pattern this time around to get the fit closer to how I like my button-ups.  I've been very jealous of the fit on all of Andrea's Archers, and so decided to take a page out of her book and decrease some of the width through the shoulders (I used this tutorial) and take in the side seams a bit at the waist for a more feminine shape.  The changes were subtle (only half an inch at the shoulders and about an inch at the waist) and I think my finished shirt keeps some of the 'boyfriend' vibe that I love so much about this pattern, while making it just a bit more flattering on my body.  Score. 

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Sewing this was also one of those experiences that sewists simply live for.  Everything came together absolutely gorgeously, the silk pressed beautifully, and because this shirt has so many sweet little details on it, it was one of those makes where you can actually see that you've made progress with your technique.  Very satisfying indeed.

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I also made up Tessuti's Suzy Pants pattern in this navy and white patterned silk crepe that I scored while in NYC.  I can't remember the name of the store, because I was in such a post-blogger-meetup euphoria that I wasn't really paying attention, but I do remember that I spotted it and immediately thought, "Suzy Pants".  I've been obsessed with Kelli's Suzy's since she posted them, and felt like they would make the perfect transition pants for fall.

I had already made one of Tessuti's patterns (here) and found them to be perfectly delightful to sew with.  I think much like Kelli, I was drawn to the Suzy pattern because they closely resemble a lot of the pleated, lightweight trousers that I've been seeing a lot from ready-to-wear lines.  While I probably could have done the work and converted my beloved Built By Wendy pants pattern to this style, it was much much easier to just download the Suzy pattern! I made these in a size XS, based off of my measurements and the finished garment measurements, and the fit was just what I was hoping for, loose, but not baggy. I also took a page from Kelli's book and made my Suzy's with a flat-front waistband and just elastic in the back.  I tapered the leg towards the ankle, and cropped the length, as well. I always think a tapered leg looks most stylish when it's cropped, plus, now they're the perfect length to wear with my fall/winter staples - my black booties! 

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I made these a few weeks ago, now (they go together super quickly) and have worn them at least twice a week since (and sometimes I change into them when I get home from work, because they are just that comfortable). So I guess that is testament to how much I love them? My husband kind of chuckles at me when I wear them and refers to them (fondly I'm sure...) as my fancy Zubaz pants.  I mean... I guess they do sort of have a '90's Mom' vibe (maybe in a cool way???) but definitely not a bad 90's pants vibe... right?? Right???

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Man, taking blog photos is just always awkward, right? Today the weirdos were in particularly rare form (or am I the weirdo in this scenario... so hard to tell...) While I was darting back and forth between my posing and adjusting the camera I noticed that there was some old dude in a BATHROBE standing on his porch watching me!! Just, like, leaning up against the post, giving me an eye-full of his silvery chest rug.  So I say, "Hey there" and kind of wave, and dude just growls at me in the thickest Russian accent, "Are you Russian?? You look like you could be Russian..."  Um. Huh? So I smile and say, "No, I'm not Russian"... And my man just keeps on standing there, smiling and staring!! Thus, the incredibly uncomfortable look on my face in that second-to-last picture! So finally I ask if I'm bothering him, and he says 'no' and goes back inside (to continue to creep at me behind his lace curtains...) but not without leaving a strong whiff of heebie-jeebies in his wake! Granted, I was taking pictures on the sidewalk right in front of his house, so, yeah... not really sure who's the bigger weirdo in this scenario... I mean, I did just shame a dude off his own porch so I could take pictures for my sewing blog on his private property.... Like, clearly  the robed Russian is the weirdo... right? Right...?

xx

41 comments:

  1. Absolutely gorgeous combination Sallie - as ever oozing originality and class. Even with creepy chest wig guy. I particularly love those trousers - they look soooooo comfortable. I'm tempted... I'm so tempted...

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  2. love the birds story, i wish we have pink birds around here.. that archer is gorgeous, and every time i see one of those, i ask myself why i haven't made anything similar.. cool pants, too (made similar ones.. something that's never gonna get worn or documented, totally wrong type of pants for my body type.. but you sure do rock yours)

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  3. And that is why my lousy blog photos have a boring backyard fence in the background. I wish I could be brave enough to just keep taking photos in better locations, even with onlookers! That bird is spectacular, I can see why you like it so much, and your new clothes are also spectacular! Being in head-to-toe silk must feel so luxurious!

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  4. Love the way you always use the best fabrics. Silk is so wonderful to wear and you have made a great job of both. Do you do anything in particular to make working with silk easier? For instance - using paper sandwiched with the layers to cut out, or soaking first with gelantine to stiffen the fabric?

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  5. Wow! What a great outfit! It's the perfect mix of chic and loungey. Love the pinky color, too... your bird inspiration (birdspiration, if you will) is pretty amazing! Crazy pink birds?! Me gustan!

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  6. completely in love with the whole outfit! the silk archer is beautiful, and i've been wanting those pants as well! the pants would probably happen sooner if i could figure out what type of fabric to use--rayon seems perfect, but i couldn't handle the super wrinkliness from sitting... yours are perfect!

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  7. Wow, I really love the silk archer! That pink hue is truly lovely.

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  8. Great outfit, I especially love your Archer, it looks yummy... Silk crepe de Chine, so gorgeous. I keep going on Dharma site , but then I run away because so many options. Great job.
    I like that you are chasing people off their porch, nice!

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  9. You nailed the color Sallie, great job!!!

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  10. Thanks Sheree! I really do love working with silk. I have to say, though I've read all the tips for making silk easier to handle, I personally don't do anything special when I work with silk. I found that fabric stiffeners can sometimes stiffen the fabric off-grain, which causes more problems than it solves, and I very rarely have enough paper around to use for cutting. I will say, that my favorite silk to work with is a crepe de chine, which has all the beautiful drape of light weight silks, but because it's yarns are twisted it has more 'grab' than the slippery silks, like charmeuse, making it easier to handle. I generally wash my silks in cold water in the washing machine and hang dry. I press them on high heat with a TON of steam. I DO spend an inordinate amount of time lining up the grain. I cut on the fold because I don't have a huge cutting table (and I find that letting too much of your yardage hang over the edge of the table just pulls the grain off that you worked so hard to get nice and even) and I use a rotary cutter. But I think the best thing I've done is to work with silk A LOT, pretty much since I started sewing. I also buy cheap, un-dyed silk from Dharma, so that makes it more economical.

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  11. That color is sublime! And birds have the best damned names. I'm so impressed with your silk skills, by the way. I have a crepe de chine blouse that I'm afraid to bind the armholes on. Your lovely Archer is motivation to finish it up!

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  12. Haha, i always love reading your posts, very entertaining, and they read just like you are sitting across from me, personally telling me everything. Great job on the shirt and pants. Both are on my To Sew list. Being a Melbournian, and physically close to a Tesutti, i feel it is my duty to buy that pant pattern and sew it up and wear it constantly this summer!

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  13. Gorgeous all around! I love the fit of your Archer and you completely rock those pants. I just made two more versions of the Suzy Pants after my initial muslin [http://www.kollabora.com/projects/shiny-suzies-tessuti-suzy-pants-and-burda-7203]. I worried about the 90's Mom vibe, particularly since I WAS a 90's mom (!), but rest assured that there is nothing 90's mom about yours!!

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  14. Ooooh what a beautiful color! That is one good looking archer, and I really like the pants too! Bravo! :)

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  15. I love the slightly more feminine silhouette of your Archer- without it being too over the top. We have had spoonbills arrive in my city in larger numbers (royal spoonbills) over the last few years and as a bird nut I am thrilled to see these strange looking creatures in city limits.

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  16. Bahahaa, thats so random about being Russian. I don't think you look Russian, whatever that is. Sal, these two pieces, wow, so beautiful. I need to make an Archer, and hook into those suzy pants. Was it hard to change the waist band over?

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  17. Love the top! So neat, and it fits you beautifully.

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  18. Not at all! I just cut doubles of the waistband pieces, and interfaced one of the front pieces. Then sewed pretty much as normal. I created two channels in the back for elastic since I only had 1" elastic and inserted two rows of elastic. One would have been fine, but I like the look of two. One thing I will say, is that omitting the elastic in the front pushes the side seams a bit towards the back (maybe about 3/4" on either side) which I find a bit annoying because now my pockets sit a little further back than is comfortable (but still totally usable). I figured this would happen, but since I wasn't sure how these pants would work I didn't want to fuss with them too much. Next time I will shave that width off the front and move it to the back.


    And yeah, totally random about that Russian comment! Haha! Not really sure how one "looks" Russian... but I actually get those kind of comments a lot! Weird...

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  19. Sallie. They're both gorgeous. A silk Archer might be the epitome of sewing for me. Those pants are rad and perfect for fall. I may snag the pattern later today...

    SO CREEPY!

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  20. You're not the weirdo - you're the arteest!


    You're dyeing is rubbing off on me, Sallie! Mixing chocolate and coral to obtain this color. Genius!

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  21. What a perfect color match to those feathers. Wow. Once I get through this pregnancy thing, I want to try my hand at dyeing. (Dyeing? Dying? The latter just feels sad, so I'm going with the former!) Right now I think my big belly would just get in the way. Not to mention my husband would have a fit if I were cooking chemicals in the kitchen while incubating our little one!

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  22. OK, I'll step into the breech here. You do actually have what could be confused for eastern European/Russian features, in a good way. You have a lovely face, so I am sure he meant no offense, well maybe he meant no offense! I love the outfit. It's just lovely, like you!

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  23. I am OBSESSED with your Archer! That is the most perfect color of pink. I love you and your dye skills!

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  24. Ha! I snorted at "silvery chest rug." He was totally the weirdo in that situation, don't you worry. Beautiful, beautiful color. I'm curious about the bird, now. All the details in you archer are just fantastic.

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  25. Love reading your blog! Such a beautiful shade if pink! Bet you made the old guys day!

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  26. Thanks Becky! That's very nice of you to say! I often get comments like "Are you (insert random ethnicity here)" - and Russian is certainly not the weirdest!! I think my favorites were Brazilian and Pakistani (big old question mark on that last one!) I might just have one of those faces...

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  27. Well, birds freak me out but this shirt does not. Neither do the pants. So perfect. It's been way too long since I've made pieces I can wear together, feeling totally inspired by this outfit!

    The Russian man story just had me laughing like an idiot, excuse me while I recover. :)

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  28. Such a stylish outfit! I love the color pink of the silk that you dyed, and you have sewn it so beautifully. Both are on my list of makes soon, so thank you for the adjustment advice.
    I agree, good thing you didn't turn out to be Russian, then he would have been really obsessed!

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  29. Ah yes, 'aristocratic' thaaat's it! Haha!


    And I was going to write about that stellar Zubaz prank (Frank prank?) and about how mean my siblings are (hehehe) but then the creepy Russian dude happened and the Zubaz story got booted... I'm also not totally sure how well that story would translate to people that A) don't know Frank and B) don't know Zubaz... perhaps it's just a funny memory best held close to the hearts of the people who were there...

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  30. It was only funny up till the 3rd box...

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  31. I love everything about this post! - the story of the birds, the beautiful light in the photos, the creepy Russian neighbour (sorry) - but of course the outfit especially. The prettiest Archer I've seen, and I'm so obsessed with printed peg-leg pants right now. Good stuff.

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  32. This outfit, oh my Gosh! It's so perfect that it's making me sick! Love everything you do lady.

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  33. Loving this Archer!! You are incredible for going out into public and taking these photos. I think it's so brave! I'm going to vote the robed man is the weirdo and you are just awesome. Anyone else second that?

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  34. I love all birds and those are particularly great!

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  35. That color is glorious! And you dyed it too! Awesome job. Love the pants, so cute.



    I have a tiny little pet peeve though. Not to do with your sewing of course 8-). The breed of bird is the Canada Goose or Geese, not Canadian geese, Canadian indicates citizenship, which of course geese don't have. Sorry to be picky but I see this all the time and it is one of those things that drives me crazy crazier.

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  36. What a pretty colour, you did a great job with the dying :)

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  37. Love all of it! Beautiful shirt, and the pants are perfect. And your booties...who makes those?

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  38. Drool - this is so softly stunning. The pale pink is so much more than white! And your sewing skills have seriously gone up a notch - all the details and top-stitching are perfection! There's something about the whorly texture of crepe-de-chin that I just adore - the colour and the fit is just gorgeous - as are you :)

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  39. A Stitching OdysseyNovember 19, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    I love, love, love that you're cool enough to rock this ensemble Sallie! The shirt is so light and delicate, with an underlying masculine vibe...and I love the pink bird story behind it. I wish we had pink birds where I live. And the trousers are awesome and definitely not 90s in a bad way! As for the creepy old dude...wow!

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  40. Well, now that you say it, you do look Russian, tall and noble with those dark eyes. Still I've had my share of weirdos and this one in a bathrobe is just... weird. I love taking time to read your posts, sitting here on my porch, thinking about coral pink light and feathers, how fun it is to try and capture colors in nature, the translucence, and you have done it! Gorgeous, gorgeous color and shirt.


    And I so remember your Zubaz pants post. I think that was the first post I ever read on your blog! I loved those because 1. I'm a fan of the pleated carrot pants and 2. When I was in college I worked every summer in Ocean City for a chef who was a body builder. He wore those in the kitchen single day. (See, I still remember the post! It struck a memory chord.)

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  41. Ha!! I'm so amazed that someone actually remembers that! I was going to tell the story again, but, well, the post was already a little overly wordy! Body builders in Zubaz... everyone should have an experience working for that type at least ONCE in their lives!! Or maybe not...

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