Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Double Duty - S1615 & B5924

Hey...I know its been awhile but blogging just hasn't been on the agenda lately.  Just too much going on.  But, I do have a couple of tops to report on. 

Simplicity 1615, a cute loose fitting, uncomplicated summer top.  It was very easy to make and I'll probably make it again next year.  I chose view B, the one pictured in a purple print, and made lace collars on my embroidery machine.

Here they're drying on a towel after first having the excess stabilizer soaked out.  It's been quite a while since I've made any lace.  Pretty.

And here is the finished top.  Totally easy, with the easiest raglan sleeves you'll ever install.  I think if I hadn't piddled around, I could have finished it in one short afternoon.  It's very comfy and the fabric I used was a really light weight cotton I found at Hancock's.

Now for Butterick 5924.  This is a close fitting top.  I choose to make it a size larger than normal so I would get the looser fit I prefer. 

I made my version out of two colors of linen.  The solid blue I had leftover from a past project and it just happened to go perfectly with the striped linen I found at Joann's. 

As you can see, I choose to embroider mine to keep it from being so plain.  These designs are called Sepia Petals and I purchased them from OESD.  I really think they set it off.

A side shot of the gently curving shirt tail hem I prefer.

And finally the back showing the bottom pieces turned on the bias.  I'm not sure I like the way it hangs but there it is.

I nice shirt.  Not really sure whether I'll make it again but it was fun to put together.

That's all I have for now.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Tee Shirt Weekend

I know this might be a bit boring but there is a lesson here.  LOL.  Have I said lately how I love KS3801 view B?  How many of you have a couple of patterns you make over and over again?  I've made this particular pattern 10 times now in slightly different versions.  I haven't blogged about all of them, just the more notable.  I've got several long sleeve versions in a heavier cotton knit for winter.  A couple with 3/4 sleeves, and several made just as shown on the pattern.  I've made a long sleeved one with Pam's cowl neck tutorial.  I've even copied the pattern and created diagonal color blocking.  That's how versatile this pattern is.  This weekend I decided I needed some simple short sleeved tees for summer wear.  I made 3.  LOL.  Seriously, this tee takes me 2 hours from cutting out to the last touch up press to make it up.  It's very similar to some I used to purchase at Chico's.   Those tee's cost upwards of $90; especially if it had a really great graphic print.  That's a lot of green that I could have used to buy FABRIC!  I use less than 2 yards ( 1 1/2 yds if you seam the back) and at most pay $20-25 a yard for a pretty print.  Everywhere I go, people ask where I got the tee I'm wearing.  They're so disappointed when I say I made it myself.  LOL. 

They are so simple but I love them!  I just used my serger and coverstitch machines. 

You know...I used to be so afraid to sew with these slinky, thin knits, but I actually find them easier to sew with than slinky, slippery wovens.  Ain't that a hoot?  LOL.

This is a lovely ITY knit from The Cloth Merchants and I think was $12 a yard.

The fabric from this tee was from Fabric Mart and cost me all of $1.99 a yard on one of their sales.

And yes, if you look closely, the lady on the front of this tee has a martini glass in her hand.  LOL.

Two of these, the top tee in teal, and this bottom one go very nicely with the knitted sweater I shared in my last post.

This fabric was also from The Cloth Merchants and I think it was only $14 a yard.

I've purchased some really cool graphic prints from Sawyer Brook.  A little more expensive but the fabrics are usually from France and are really beautiful prints.

Onward and Upwards!  I'm tissue fitting the next pattern and hopefully will have something to share in a few days.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Other things I do...

I started knitting when I was in my late 20's.  Sweaters; sweaters with lace.  The only thing I remember was Vogue Knitting magazine.  They're known for rather challenging knitting.  LOL.  I didn't know I should start with a scarf, etc. when learning to knit.  I just jumped into the deep end with cables, lace and mohair yarn.  So I made sweaters (from the same pattern) for everyone around me. Then I took a loooong break.  LOL.  About 20 years.  I started with scarfs! Lately I've really been wanting to up my game when it comes to what I knit.  I joined Ravelry and found some great free patterns and I'm taking lessons from Michele at one of our local knitting shops.  We have 3 really good ones. We only have one independent fabric store but we THREE independent yarn shops!
Michele has really helped me obtain a good working gauge.  Apparently I'm a very loose knitter, so I went down 2 sizes in needles to obtain the proper gauge to make this little number.  I also learned how to read a chart!  They have always intimidated me in the past. 

This free pattern came from the Cascade Yarns website and is called Go To Topper DK156, if you're interested in trying it. 

I used an Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in emerald green.  It's more a teal not emerald but so be it.  LOL.  I love the sweater.  It's so light weight, it just about floats.  This the first sweater I've made for myself.  Everything I made before was for someone else.  I just need to find 3 matching buttons and weave in a few yarn ends.  The shirt you see underneath is a knit fabric I just have draped to see how it looks.  Pretty nice, eh?  I like it.  LOL.  I'll be looking through my pattern for a cowl neck pattern, so you'll be seeing this soon.

Ta ta for now!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Not only Done, but done, done. LOL

I really like this tunic.  I'm not much for them but I do love this one.  It's really comfortable and cool.  I wore to my OK in Stitches group and got the nod of approval.  LOL.  Most of them said they would not have made it just from the patterns photos.  And they've now changed their minds from seeing my version. 

As you can see, I did a little embroidery with some candlewicking designs I had laying around.  They're very light, airy and don't change the hand of the fabric.

I did make a couple of minor changes.  I put in a shirt-tail hem and took a couple inches of length off the bottom.  I narrowed or straightened out the sleeve.  Bell sleeves and I don't get along.  LOL.

The only thing I want to mention is the collar.  There are two; one lies flat and the other is a stand up collar.  I choose the one to lie flat.  Well it tries.  My collar lies flat all the way around until you get to the center front.  Then it pooches out.  I tried everything I could think of at the time.  The only way to really correct it is to change the shape of the collar.  And frankly, I had the lining already in place.  NOT going to happen.  LOL.

Other than the collar, it's pretty straight forward to sew.  I probably won't make another though, since it's pretty distinct.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Summer Tunic...

I've started Vogue 1345 a nice lightweight summer tunic that should be a fun sew.  It's a Sandra Betzina pattern and the description says loose fitting, pullover shirt has collar, front and back pleated into lined yokes with sleeve variations and a narrow hem. 

I'm going to make a high-bred of view A & B.  I'll start off with view B; I won't do the organza overlays but I'll use piping (probably baby piping since I like the look) and I'll use the view B sleeve but slimmed down a bit.  I don't care for bell sleeves.  And I may just take an inch or so out of the length too.  We'll see.  The finished length for my size is 31.5 inches.  I typically like things around 27-29 inches for my height so I'll probably be lopping off a few inches.

This tunic is pretty long.  I'm betting you could add a few inches (well okay maybe 12 or so) and get a nice looking dress too. LOL.  I usually don't have to take length away.

My fabric is a blue & white jacquard stripe; it's probably polyester and is from Hancock's.

Right now I'm thinking of lime green or a darker red piping to set it off but that could change.  I'll see how it looks with a mock up.

That's all I have for today!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Have you ever done this?

I was thinking about this Kwik Sew pattern as I working on it and it seemed somehow familiar.  And when I finished it and tried it on and it was just Meh.  I've made a McCalls pattern, I think, several years ago and probably before I started blogging, that was very similar to this one.  I didn't really care for it then either.  I do have to say this about it.  I was a fun make; I'd never inserted gussets before and all I have to say about is mark accurately.  It goes together very easily.  Something else; I don't like the 1/4 inch seam allowances.  There's no suggestions for finishing seams.  I used my serger on most of them.  And boy was that fun around those gussets.  LOL.  It really looks like a nice tunic but its not something I'll wear.  Soooo, my good sewing buddy Carol is now the recipient of a new top.  SHE loves it.  LOL.

Here's a couple pictures:

That's all I have for today. I'm going to see what other kind of trouble I can get into.  LOL.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Kwik Sew 3377

My next project is this Kwik Sew tunic with interesting lines. With the short spring we have here in Oklahoma, its time to start thinking about light weight, comfy items for the long summer.

It looks fun to make and has an cute little underarm gusset.  You can just make it out in the pictures.

It says its designed for lightweight woven fabrics like cotton, cotton types (what?), handkerchief linen, georgette, crepe, gauze, challis, silk.  I'm using a linen-tencel blend I've had in my stash forever to test out this pattern. 

That's all for now.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Out of the Ashes...

Don't you love that title.  Well I do.  LOL

So if you remember, I've already had my first dud of the year.  I decided to save the fabric and use it on another pattern I've had for some time just waiting for the right fabric to come along.  I'm using an old Marcy Tilton tee pattern Vogue 8497.  I've been wanting to color block this tee and finally had a fabric combination I really liked.  The black is a nice ponte knit from Sawyer Brook.  Actually I've had this tee done for over 2 weeks but didn't blog on it because some of my students read my blog and I wanted it to be a surprise.  Yes, you know who you are!  LOL.

Warning:  This particular post is quite picture heavy!

My first issue was, of course, the length.  I had to add 3 inches and the easiest way was to do it was just add it on the bottom following the pattern of the zig zags. 

You need to make the pieces match up.

I have the pieces cut out and glue sticked together, pressed the glue with an iron, and finally pinned for added insurance.

I turned the piece over and added strips of very thin tissue paper to support the stitches I was preparing to add.

Here I've dropped the feed dogs on my machine and just did a bit of free-motion sewing/quilting whatever you want to call it all along the zig-zag.  It was fun!

All 4 pieces of the front and back are put together here.  And looking pretty good.  This pattern runs true to the sizing I've come to expect.  I choose my normal 16 down to the bust out to a 20 at the hips.

I've got the neckline done here.  Its a raw edge application, but in my case, I've folded the neck band in half because I didn't like how wide the strip was.  Very easy and a nice look.

This side view shows the longer length of the back.

Close-up of the neckline.  I really like the Tee and I'll probably make view B next. 


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

First dud of the new year

I suppose they all can't be the great garments we envision when we purchase a pattern, so I now have my first dud of the new year out of the way.  LOL.  The top fits me just fine but there are two real problems.  First and to me the most serious is with the structure of the shoulder and collar.  If you take a look at the line drawings of the top, it has a forward shoulder - by 2.5 inches.  That combined with the partial collar makes it hang back on your neck.  The few minutes I had it on, I was constantly pulling it forward.  Gah!  The second issue is the depth of the cowl is too low.  If the shoulder/collar thing had not been an issue, I would have lived with this version and used a decorative pin or something to take care of the low cowl.  But as it stands, for me, this is not a viable top.  It's too bad really, its an easy sew.  I did finish it and I like the way it looks just not the way it feels.  LOL.

Here are the pics:

It looks nice doesn't it?  It's just too bad its not very wearable.  I still have over a yard of this left so I'll probably use this top to make another.  Oh well I'm going to check out what I'd like to make next. 

As superman would say "Up, up and away!"  LOL.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

McCall's 6604

I've had this McCall's pattern hanging in the "to make" pile for a couple-three months and now is its time.  I'm going to make up view B, but with a few changes.  LOL.  You know me; I can't make something up without a couple of changes.  That's what makes us individuals, right?

Nice, right?  I really love a nice cowl neckline.  I'll have to watch and sew how low this one is though.  McCalls says it was designed for light to medium weight wovens and stable knits.  I have a nice black & white Missoni-ish ponte I picked up, of all places, at Hancock Fabrics.  I'm really loving sewing with knits this winter. 

The model above looks bone thin and with the funky way she is posed, you really can't tell how the shirt hangs on her.  Is McCalls trying to copy the weird poses Vogue was doing for a while?  Don't they know they are a pattern company?  LOL.

Take a look at the technical drawings here.  The pattern says its a fitted pullover top.  HUH?  I find it hard to believe that's going to work well.  So I'm betting that neckline is huge.  I'm going to give myself a bit more ease at the side seams.  My lumps and bumps don't need to be on display.  LOL.  I'm also going to narrow the sleeves and shorten them to a 3/4 length.  I already have a shirt with the rollup tab thing and I don't need another.  I test fit the tissue to Ruby and the length is right.  I can't believe that. 

I've finished altering the pattern and I'll get it cut out and started either tonight or tomorrow.


Thursday, January 31, 2013

UK Visit...

Well, we're back and I've been so wiped from the flight and the time change! LOL.  My butt does not care for sitting on a plane for 8 hours.

So we arrived early Sunday morning and after getting checked into our hotel - the Daresbury Park, we decided to grab a taxi to Chester. 

It snowed every day.  I mean EVERY day.

We explored Chester and when to the gorgeous Cathedral that used to be a Benedictine Abbey.  I took lots of pictures but here are a couple of my favorites.  Can you see the little man sitting in the picture playing the pipe organ?  He's about 40 feet off the ground.  How cool is that?

Like I said, I took lots of pictures.  I'll probably create an album on Facebook or something as a place to host them all.  Hmmm, maybe I'll just stick them in Flickr. 

On Monday we went to Liverpool and explored.  I got sick, miserably sick.  Running desperately  to every restaurant we could find for a bathroom sick.  Ugh.  So embarrassing.  We finally found a pharmacy where I could find something to fix my tummy issues.  It took a couple of hours but it finally subsided.  Sigh.  It figures it would be me.  Gah!

Tuesday the traveling caught up with me and I just took it easy all day. 

Alan's UK counterpart, Michael, took us to a couple of wonderful restaurants and I had Rarebit for the first time.  OMG!  It was so good.  I'd always heard of but just never knew what it was.  They just call it cheese on toast.  I'd call it a very sophisticated cheese on toast.  Yummy!

Did I say it snowed all week?  LOL.  Because of the weather reports and all the snow, we decided to move to the Manchester Marriott airport location on Friday.  We spent the day exploring Manchester, hitting a few pubs and then finally a Spanish tapas restaurant.  Yum!  OMG! The pork cheeks were to die for!  We had them twice.  I could have made a meal out just the pork cheeks.  LOL.  Silly me but I thought out restaurant was beautiful so I took a picture of it.

So now I'm back and I'm waiting for the sewing mojo to tell me what to do next. LOL.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pam's Split Cowl Collar

I just had to make Pam's collar on my favorite tee, KS 3801.  You've seen me make several versions of this tee and now here it is having added her collar and using her tute.  It was so EASY!  If you like this sort of collar (and I can't see why you wouldn't), you have to try it.  The fabric is a nice purple ponte knit from the Cloth Merchants.

I swear...this is my 3 hour Tee.  It's great for summer or winter.

The color is really a dark purple.  By now you know my sewing studio has terrible lighting, so it is what it is.  LOL.

I love how it turned out.  Easy peasy!

I had to lighten these guys so you could hopefully see the details.

If you have this pattern, try the long sleeves on version B instead of the cuff as I have here.  The sleeves are very narrow (but comfy) and flattering.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Stick a fork in it!

Sorry...that's my silly way of saying my jacket is done.  LOL.  I'm so pleased with this pattern and the resulting jacket.  I will make it again; not this year but possibly in a year or so.  I'd like to add a couple of things next time around.  I'd love to add an inside pocket to the lining and a hanging chain.  I totally meant to add one this time, but just forgot.  Shrug.  There's always next time, right? 

This is how I chose to sew on my large snaps this time.  It's very secure and you can sew it from the top side of the garment. 

After seeing this picture, I suppose you've guessed I chose to use decorative buttons and functional snaps.  These snaps are large, about the size of a quarter.  

HA!  You didn't think you'd get to see me did you?  LOL.  Well I grabbed Alan from his shop and made him get a few shots this time.  

Love this coat!!!!  I think the length is right for me, the style isright for my laid back lifestyle with the fiber content (wool & cashmere) making it a little luxurious and the color is yummy.  And it only took about 2 weeks of off and on sewing to complete it.

No, I don't have a stomach ache; that's my normal face squinting into the sun.  LOL.  These aren't great shots and we were hurrying because we were loosing the late afternoon sun.  

In summation, followed the pattern directions pretty much.  The extra things I did were:  added 2 inches in length, narrowed the sleeve by 1.5", added underlining and catch stitched the seams and added snaps.


Friday, January 11, 2013

So close...

The jacket is coming along beautifully.  I really like working with wool; it's such a behaving fabric.  LOL.

These are the sleeves all done up and a picture of the new label I had to make since I ran out.
I lightened this up quite a bit so you could see the catch stitching I did on all the seams in the jacket. 

I'm at the point where I have both the outer shell and the lining stitched together and turned.  I've pressed the heck out of it, again using my clapper for those really thick areas.
Now I'm working on all of the little invisible attachment points inside the jacket.  The picture to the left  is the pattern showing you lifting the lining up and loosely sewing the upper and lower collar sections together.  Well I find this terribly tedious and awkward, so I changed it a bit.
Here I've aligned up the seam lines of both collars and am using a loose back stitch to bring them both together.  This the same method you use to attach a shoulder pad through the shoulder seam.  By stitching it from the outside, you can still make your stitches invisible and take away the strain of the inside finish.  So much easier for me.  Hopefully I'm not breaking any sacred rule.  LOL. 

Oh, btw, I should mention I did install 1/4 inch shoulder pads too.  I thought it looked so much better with a slight padding to the shoulder area.

I'm hoping to finish up this weekend as I have a couple of tee shirts I'd like to whip up to take with me to the UK.  Oh, one is the new Vogue 8854 and I've already been warned the sleeves are really long.  LOL.