Tuesday, April 8, 2014

McCall's 6436

I've been in search of the perfect button-up pattern for awhile now, and have collected a few. McCall's 6436 has had many favorable reviews, and has a lot of the qualities I was looking for: front and back darts, collar with stand, button placket and longer length. After reading in those reviews that this pattern ran big, I did not make my usual adjustments and sewed this gingham up as a test garment right out of the pattern envelope. I really want a gingham button down(!), so I'm glad I have more fabric as I need to tweak the pattern in some areas.
Looks great on the dress form, yes?:


Us usual, I'll need a little more room in the front:

And we can all see those sway-back wrinkles:

Garment details: 
Black and white gingham from Fabric.com
PerfectFuse sheer interfacing from Palmer/Pletsch
Buttons from my collection

The alterations needed next time: shorten sleeves 1", adjust for broad back, sway back, and FBA.
Once those adjustments are made, I hope to have the perfectly fitted button-up!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Vogue 8731: They all can't be winners

I love the way Erdem utilizes border prints, especially this one worn by the Duchess of Cambridge.
This fabric has been in my stash for awhile, waiting it's turn. I was initially excited to order it, but as it sometimes happens with online fabric purchases I was a bit let down. It is a very thin, clingy knit. Vogue 8731 was my pattern choice, since I had great success with it right out of the pattern envelope, as you can see here. Unfortunately, I had to scrap my plans for the longer, tunic length due to this fabric's clingy nature. The sleeves are made using a thin, burn-out knit off of the Red Tag table at JoAnn's from a year or so ago, which I also used to bind the neckline.

Too bad my inspired design fell short.....as is obvious below. This top does nothing for me!

(Photo taken at the Saturday knitting group at the local Tim Horton's)

Even with my disappointment, this top isn't a complete wadder, tho not sure I'll wear it outside the privacy of my own home  :-)!

Final thoughts: great pattern, pretty fabric but poor quality. Win some, lose some.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Simplicity 1796

Simplicity 1796,view A, fabric from JoAnn: a poly crepe of some sort.
I made this dress last August for my trip to Paris, and wore it out to dinner at Le Train Bleu.
Boy, was it hot that evening.....much different than today's 14 degrees F! I haven't worn it since, as I needed to revisit those neckline gathers. So I ripped back some of the neckline binding, took out the gathers and resewed them. Much better :-)
I love this pattern and the many creative options that are available with it. I've already pulled fabric for another version.....thinking Spring!

Simplicity 1796
Simplicity 1796 Misses and Plus Dress Line Drawing

Stay warm, all those in the Midwest!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Make a Garment a Month: February McCall's 6460 & Vogue 8151

I am happy to say that I have TWO! garments for this month, using what I think is my favorite fabric of all time: this large houndstooth knit from Haberman Fabrics in Royal Oak, MI. I purchased this fabric at the Sewing Expo in Novi, MI 2 years ago, I believe, and it was just waiting for the right project(s). Enter: McCall's 6460 and Vogue 8151. The use of leather and it's cousin, faux leather/pleather, has been everywhere this year, and though I'm a little late to the party I wanted to jump on board. 

McCall's 6460 was the perfect choice, and a great pattern to work with since it is drafted with different fronts for the A/B-C-D cup sizes. The only alterations I needed were my usual sway back adjustment and to lower both the bust darts and the front darts by @ 3/4". 

Line Art

(SO hard to photograph dark fabrics indoors.....winter....I'm over it !LOL)

There was absolutely no need to use a zipper here so I didn't. I would have cut this out as one piece if I had known. I just wasn't sure how the sleeves would affect the neck opening. I applied a narrow facing using a black knit fabric to the neckline and used topstitching to finish it off. 
I don't have a Teflon or roller foot for my sewing machine, which is necessary when sewing the faux leather, but I had great success placing a piece of thin baking paper (brought back for me from Germany by one of my quilting buddies...thanks, Birgit!) both on top and below the fabric and then sewing through those layers. The paper tears away cleanly.
I also stabilized the knit at both the neckline and the hem with some Design Plus fusible bias stay tape.

The sleeve area was the perfect place to try using the faux leather, and initially I wanted long sleeves. I wish I would have grabbed a pic of how awful that looked.....like I was wearing two rumpled garbage bags! There is just not enough body in the fabric to support the sleeve. Tho I like the short, almost cap sleeve, I need to wear a sweater while we still suffer through the harsh Midwest winter of 2014.
The other cute sleeve detail is the small pleat at the sleeve cap, which isn't too clearly seen in the photo below:

Loving this fabric so much, I didn't want to put it away until I used it up, so on to Vogue 8151.
I've been having lots of fun with this pattern this year: one time with a lace overlay and the other in a cotton knit for PJs,
This is now my TNT pattern for Tshirts, and I can make one up in an hour or so from start to finish.

As you can see, I used the houndstooth fabric for the front, and the sleeves and back were cut from a black mystery knit that I picked up at an estate sale. The black is a beefy knit, sews like a dream, and was a great fabric to pair with the houndstooth. The houndstooth itself is interesting in that consists of two layers "bonded" together. 

I still have a small amount, less than a yard, of my favorite fabric left, which may find it's way into a pencil skirt sometime soon. And even though it is just the tail end of February, I've been dreaming of sewing Spring & Summer clothes: bright and cheery!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Monday, February 3, 2014

Quilt Guild Paint Chip Challenge

My local quilt guild, the Loose Threads, has a challenge this month: the Paint Chip Challenge. We were to choose paint chips that started with the initials of our name: first, middle/maiden/, last. And not just a simple color name like Pink, but more like the Pleased as Punch that I chose.
Below you see the paint chips that match up with my initials: Pleased as Punch, Tree Fern, and Providence Gold (PTP). An additional same # of fabrics could be added, and I just needed to add one, my favorite white: Kona cotton in Snow.  The only restriction was one of size: the piece needs to be at least 45" on each side. I just made the cut with my 50" X 50" baby quilt. We have our monthly meeting next Monday when all will be revealed! After that I will post a finished photo.

It will be fun to see what this creative bunch of quilters has made :-)


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Polar Vortex Mittens

More Polar Vortex sewing:

The fingerless mitts I have been wearing  just haven't been warm enough while we suffer through the Polar Vortex this winter.
I used a wool sweater that I had felted when it got tossed into the donation bin, and this online tutorial. Instead of lining with fleece, I used a cotton knit. It sure is a lot quicker to SEW knit mittens than it is to KNIT them!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

New PJs: McCall's 5248 & Vogue 8151

In need of some new pajamas, I pulled out McCall's 5248 (bottoms) & Vogue 8151 (top). I have used both of these patterns before, so I could go right to cutting them out and sewing them up, which I did last night. The fabric is a cotton knit from Fabric.com, which I purchased a couple of weeks ago when I needed some yarn and had to fill my cart to take advantage of free shipping....you know how that is, right? I also found a black cotton knit in the stash for the neckline binding and hem band....needed to break up that jazzy print LOL! With the COLD temps we are having in the Midwest due to the polar vortex, these are just what I want to climb into at the end of the day.

Guess I'm on a roll with two garments sewn in January, and this one meets the Jungle January challenge!

Monday, January 20, 2014

McCall's 6711 Garment a Month: January

January's sewing challenge was to try a new technique, and so I chose to sew this more constructed jacket pattern out of a soft sweater knit, using McCall's 6711.  Lori noted that this pattern ran large, and I should have taken her recommendations to heart. I did my usual FBA, made an adjustment for a broad back, and also added one inch to the jacket length. Adding the length was necessary, but the FBA and the back adjustment were not. The armscyce seam falls off my shoulder now, and I'll need to go back and take that in a little. In the future, I'll need to pay more attention to making the broad back adjustment without adding to the neck-to-sleeve width.

Even with the adjustments to the fit, I am happy with this jacket. The fabric is a very soft, double-sided sweater knit with minimal one-way stretch. I paid all of $1.50 for the 2 yards when I purchased this at an estate sale a few months ago.
 I used a soft interfacing at the 2 fronts, along with a narrow strip fused to the side and back hems. I left this jacket unlined to maintain the sweater-like feel.

Belting this jacket didn't work for me, not figure-flattering at all! I was much more comfortable wearing it open like a sweater. 

Now that I think I have the 'bugs' worked out of this jacket pattern, I plan to revisit it in a lined version sometime soon.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas preparations

It has become a Thanksgiving tradition for my daughters and I to work on our handmade Christmas cards the day(s) after Thanksgiving. We are NOT Black Friday shoppers! With the TV on and football games playing in the background, we get out all the paper crafting goodies
 and go to town :-)
Unfortunately this year Kristen was unable to make it home: as a Labor & Delivery nurse now she had to work over the holiday, but Libby and I were very productive:

I have also been very productive with my Christmas knitting....but of course, those pictures can't be posted until AFTER Christmas LOL!

Most Monday nights I can be found knitting with my dear knitting friends at Panera. And tho I can't show you my Christmas knitting, Karen shared with us what she has been working on for holiday gifts. See her amazing work below:

I just love a handmade Christmas!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Garment a month, November:Simplicity 2451

I have finished my November challenge, and challenge is the right word for this skirt, Simplicity 2451.
It is a great pattern, and one I know I will use again. It's just that this skirt had a mind
of it's own and didn't want to cooperate :-)
First off, I wasn't excited about finishing this stretch cotton sateen skirt in November....
and I won't wear it again until next summer.
In the cutting phase of the project, I miscut for the lining. Re cut.
The zipper application is pretty ugly, so no pics of that!
Not enough length for a decent hem.

What I do like, and will bring me back to this pattern again:
-the side pockets
-the small pleats below the yoke
-and on this particular skirt, I love the polka dot lining :-)

Tough to photograph this bright red on such an overcast day:

Quick, but blurry, photo before I started my work day this morning:

I'll be picking something fast and easy for my December Garment a Month Challenge,
lots going on with the holidays and all.....