Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Heirloom Chemise/Cami

First, I'd like to thank you for your comments on my Ruana shawl.  I love hearing from you all.

Warning:  this post is very photo intensive! LOL.

Okay.  Now I know I've been promising this for a couple weeks and I'm finally getting around to posting it.  LOL.  I'll say this one more time.  I've no children or grand children but love heirloom techniques and try to translate some of them into grown up garments.  The following garment is really pretty simple.  I started with New Look pattern #6104 view D - the sleeveless one in violet. 
Any fairly simple pattern will do; this one caught my eye when I got the Simplicity email announcing new patterns for spring.   This pattern is deceptive.  I found it to be rather on the large side.  I cut my usual 16 at the neck, shoulder & bust blending out to a 20 at the hip.  I wound up making 1 inch seams at the bust and tapering down to normal at the hips.  Using some lightweight off-white linen (because quite frankly $30 a yard for Irish handkerchief linen is more than I want to pay) from Fabric-store.com.  They will send you a swatch card of their different weights and colors of linen which I find invaluable for planning.  This particular linen is IL20, in white, was just under $8 a yard.

First thing I did was layout the front pattern piece & mark all around it with an iron-away marker.  After marking where the darts were on the fabric, I plotted out an embroidery design to go the length of the front.  This particular design was repeated 3 times and you see the results above.
After the embroidery on both front pieces was complete, I sewed in 3 - 1/8 inch tucks with my edge-join foot.  Above is the second tuck being sewn.
 The second tuck sewn but not yet pressed.
Both fronts sewn and pressed.  Remember when pressing your tucks each side is pressed a different direction.
Now the really fun part!  Lace!  What you see above is called insertion lace.  Insertion has 2 straight sides.  Also pictured above to the left of the lace is entredeaux which I had to tea dye.  I tea dyed it because I only had white on-hand and it was a brighter white than my linen.  And since I was using ecru lace I dyed it to match.  Then I starched and pressed the "you know what" out of both the lace and entredeaux.  The starch give it enough body so you can sew it easily.   I trimmed the fabric header from one side of the entredeaux.  Using the edge-join foot, I start to sew the lace to the trimmed side of the entredeaux with a tiny zigzag stitch. 
 These are the zigzag settings on my Babylock Ellegante.
 Here I've trimmed the second piece of entredeaux and am sewing them together.
The completed piece of lace and entredeaux.  One piece like this will be inserted between the embroidery and tucks on each side of the chemise.

After trimming the entredeaux header down to a fat 1/8" and cutting the tucks and lace apart (take a deep breath here because a lot of work goes down the drain if you don't measure and cut correctly) I've pinned the two pieces together.
 First sewing with a straight stitch.
 Then with a tiny zigzag.
Viola! Completed fronts and the pattern pieces cut out, darts sewn.  I mocked up what it would look like on Ruby.  Ruby is a little perkier than I am in the boob department.  LOL.

 And the side view.
I used my embroidery machine to sew the buttonholes on the front.  I get perfect buttonholes every time using this method.  Then I hand embroidered golden bullion roses with pale green leaves into the buttons.
A close-up of the front.

That's all I have for today.  Next up will be a T-shirt for Alan.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ruana Shawl

Alan finally took a break from painting the garage to take pictures of me wearing the shawl.  As usual I'm squinting into the sunlight.  LOL.  At least it's a little warmer than the last time I managed to get Alan to help with pictures.  

It goes great with jeans which are my 3 season pant of choice.  And of course, it's all my favorite colors.  I know it looks like a poncho but it's really a great big square with a slit in it.  You put it on and just throw one side over your shoulder (or not).  It's light and airy, providing a little warmth without being hot. It's made from 95% wool and 5% silk.

Friday, February 24, 2012


After a day of sewing and after dinner, we usually plant ourselves on the couch and watch a couple of TV shows.  I don't just like to watch TV, I have to be doing something with my hands.  So I knit.  Easy, no-brainer stuff, like scarves and shawls.   I just finished blocking this Ruana shawl and I hope to get Alan to take a picture of it on me.  I love the colors and it looks great too.  

I went to an estate sale a couple of days ago and picked up a bunch of knitting needles for cheap.  I also put in a bid on a Babylock Imagine serger.  Hope that works in my favor.  But I won't until Saturday when the sale is over whether I had the winning bid.  Keep your fingers crossed. 

I'll be posting shortly about the heirloom camisole.  I've taken lots of pictures, so be warned; it will be pictured heavy.  LOL.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Second M6244

The pictures don't really do the color of this Tee justice.  It's really very silvery without actually being a metallic fabric.  Its a nice stretchy poly/lycra.  I have another piece in a pretty, dark purple.  I'm starting to think this will be my TNT Tee shirt pattern.  It's a really flattering fit around the shoulders and bust while skimming the lumps and bumps no one else really needs to see.  LOL. 

I'm planning to trace the pieces off again with a different hemline to make it more versatile.  And I'm investigating the possibility of fabric painting or stamping.  And the reason I'm checking out fabric painting/stamping is I've tried embroidery and this fabric is really tough to embroidery without tons of skipped stitches.  And frankly, I don't want to work that hard.  LOL. 

Okay...now you've had a chance to look at the pictures, do you see anything different about the hemline compared to the raspberry Tee?  No?  Well...both the hem points are on the same side of the garment instead of opposite sides.  I had one pattern piece turned wrong side up.  Grrrr.  At least you know the pieces still work well when you do that.  LOL.  All the seams still matched; I didn't have to do anything other than sew it up.  I was grateful.  Again, I sewed the hem with my coverstitch machine.  I like how it turns out.  The only thing I sewed with my regular machine was the top-stitching around the neck band.  Otherwise I sewed the whole thing with my serger and coverstitch.  Pretty cool, eh? 

My next project will be an heirloom tank/chemise that can be worn under an overshirt.  I've just finished collecting all the lace, entredeaux, and the fabric has been laundered and pressed.


Friday, February 10, 2012


I'm always on the look out for a great T-shirt and I must have 1400 t-shirt patterns. I was looking through them the other night and thought it might be fun to make M6244.  I thought view B, the one with the diagonal hemline, would be interesting and out-of-the box for me.  But I didn't want a sleeveless version.  So I made up view B with long sleeves.

This pattern is sized S-M-L-Xlg.  I usually make up a large but I wound up taking it in majorly under the arms - 2 inches on each side.  So I probably could have gotten away with a medium.  Woohoo Vanity sizing!  LOL.  But I have to tell you I really like this pattern.  Next time I'll make with 3/4 sleeves.  I have several cotton knits and a couple of jersey knits I think would look great in.  Oh...I almost forgot this tee is seriously low necked.  I raised the front by 2 inches and the back by 1 1/2 inches.  So be aware.  LOL.  A couple more changes I made were to use my coverstitch machine on the hem and to add a bias cut band around the neckline.  This added a little and didn't feel quite so bare. 

More later!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

New Vogue Patterns

Last week Vogue introduced new patterns and a couple of them appealed to me.  The first is a Katherine Tilton T that I just love.

 I have several fabrics already in my stash but I think I need one more to tie them all together.  I love the idea of using zippers around the collar.  At first I was hesitant because I thought they used metal zippers but reading the pattern shows plastic separating zippers.  I could see those zippers catching on everything - including the delicate skin around your neck.  LOL.   So I just need to pick up a couple of zippers, one more knit and I should be good to go.  The fabrics I purchased last fall intending to make a layered T but I held off.  None of the patterns I had inspired me.  With the introduction of the pattern above, my mojo has really taken off.  LOL.

I love the lines of this jacket!  I reminds me of a jacket I saw from Roland Mouret's Spring 2012 Collection.

The technical drawing shows much more detail.  

Sorry the picture is so small, I couldn't find a larger one.  But isn't this a really gorgeous jacket?  And I love the shoulder emphasis...us hippy chicks need to balance it out.  LOL.  

And no...I DO NOT WATCH football.


Friday, February 3, 2012

Finished Jeans & a new scarf!

I guess this makes 5 pairs of jeans now from the Burda pattern (7863).  So this makes it a TNT (tried and true) for me.  I love how easy it is to fit.  Of course what makes it easy is the fact you are dealing with stretch fabric and its a fitted pattern.  Fitted but not tight.  Here's another grey pair; a brushed twill with a touch of Lycra from the Cloth MerchantsShown in one of the pictures is the top stitching thread I used.  I've picked up several colors from B-Sew Inn and I'm happy with the results.  

As you can see, I've gotten brave didn't chicken out and used a contrasting color to topstitch again.  LOL.  One other change I've made to the jeans is narrowing the waistband to one inch.  Wearing them feels better with a slightly narrower band.  

I've also had time to play with knitting again.  I was browsing around one of the local independent yarn shops, when I spied a cool shawl-shaped neck scarf.  I love the look.  So I guess I whipped this out in a week with a little help understanding the pattern from my good friend Teresa.  This is an easy pattern too, so you understand how beginner I am.  Teresa is constantly knitting/busy with something.  She never seems to take any downtime.  LOL.  My hat's off to her.  If you are interested in the pattern, it was a free download from Ravelry.com and it is called the Minnie scarf.

 I can see myself making this up several times.  If I can find the right color teal yarn, it will be next.  It's also has the same shade of grey the pants have and will look nice with the t-shirt I have up next to sew.  It's cut out and I hope to get it done today.  'Course, I said that yesterday too.  LOL.

That's all for today...