Wednesday, April 15, 2015

McCall's 6801: The Pizza Dress

I was contacted by another blogger and friend-of-a-friend to see if I was up for an interesting project; The Pizza Dress!
Rachel is a blogger in Virginia, pens the blog Pie Me To The Moon, and has spent the last year on a pizza "journey", eating and evaluating pies in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area, blogging about the experience and the people that participated. 
The last 52 weeks were wrapped up into one big pizza party which happened to coincide with Rachel's birthday (smart girl!), and she wanted a special dress for the celebration.
Rachel had ordered a knit jersey fabric from Spoonflower, printed like a pepperoni pizza, and had chosen  McCall's 6801  for the dress design.

As I live in Michigan, and Rachel lives in Virgina, there would not be an opportunity for a fitting appointment, and the time constraints did not allow for mailing a fitting muslin back and forth. Luckily, her measurements fell right in line with the pattern measurements. Below is the finished dress on my dress form: no changes or alterations to the pattern.

I used a swimwear lining with approx 1 inch negative ease for this form-fitting knit jersey dress.

Below are some pictures that Rachel shared from her fun evening, and I think the smile on her face indicates that she was happy with her Pizza Dress!
Thanks, Rachel, for a fun project!

You can read all about her pizza journey at Pie Me To The Moon.

Friday, April 10, 2015

T-shirt Quilt for Notre Dame alums

My nephew and his wife are both alumni from Notre Dame, and have been collecting ND T-shirts for several years. They've seen a few of the T-shirt quilts that I've made in the past, and wanted one for themselves. Their requests: 1) use all 26 T-shirts 2) add 4 tartan plaid blocks and 3) add shamrocks in the block corners. I was able to add the same cozy plaid as backing for their quilt.

This was a fun project for a special couple, and I mustered up all my professionalism to look past all that GREEN(!), as I am a die-hard Univ. of Michigan alum whose blood runs Maize & Blue LOL!!
Looks like they love their new custom quilt....perfect for snuggling!



Thursday, April 9, 2015

HotPatterns 1170: The Blouse-back T

This is my second Blouse-back T from HotPatterns....I really liked the first one, but it was a little too big. I found these two remnants while shopping at Haberman Fabrics in Royal Oak, MI with the plan to make the T in a size smaller. The solid is a stable knit, the floral a semi-sheer...both poly.

I am very happy with the way it turned out! No alterations, a quick cut out and sew project with great results.

Some not-so-great photos is still SO COLD in Michigan!:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

McCall's 5974 O-O-P

We are in the midst of The Wedding Year at our house, with 3 weddings in 9 months! I wanted a new dress for our son's and his bride-to-be's wedding shower last weekend, so I picked McCall's 5974 out of my pattern stash. This pattern has SO many rave reviews on PatternReview, and I don't know why I haven't made it before! 

I chose to sew up View C, which is the same as View D: just has 3/4 sleeves.
This looks so much like the iconic Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress!

I went stash-diving for the ITY knit jersey fabric that I knew I had:

Some of the notes I made with this project:

                                     -1 " FBA, added 1" at waist & hip
            - no zipper needed
                                                  - stabilized the shoulders and midriff with
                                       fusible tricot interfacing
                        - sewed the sleeves in flat
                                                                        - serged, turned and stitched down neckline, sleeve &                         skirt hems 

(The snow might be gone in SE Michigan, but it is still C-O-L-D!)

I can see how this pattern became so popular, too bad it has gone out-of-print. There are a couple of changes I'll make next time, tho. I need to add a bit to the length for hemming. and need to add to the ties: I liked the wrap and tie, but if the ties were longer I could wrap them all the way around front to back to front for a more cummerbund/ruched look.

L. to R.: daughter Kristen (Aug wedding), daughter-to-be Cassie (June wedding) my mom Shirley, son Kenny, daughter Libby (married last Nov).

Monday, March 23, 2015

Wedding shower crafting

Yesterday was the wedding shower for my son and soon-to-be daughter, and I made up a few decorations.....thanks to inspiration from Pinterest!

I found this lace in my stash cupboard, most likely from one of my girls' First Communion dresses.
Using it to wrap the wire frame, I then hot glued the flowers on in the colors the kids chose for their wedding: champagne, blush pink and latte. The little chalkboard served to identify just who would be sitting next to Kenny....the Bride-to-Be!

I also have this 'thing' for letters. I had made some black ones last year for my daughter's wedding shower, so this time I painted the letters C & K in gold metallic paint, with a little glitter for bling.
They added a cute touch to the table in the foyer which featured pictures of the kids...a gift from one of the shower guests.

The Bride-to-Be's aunt is a professional chef...lucky for us! The food was to die for, especially this sweets table. Making the chalkboard was a lot of fun:

A lovely day for a lovely couple!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Quilted Lattice Ascot

Last night at my monthly knitting group, I was able to finish up my Quilted Lattice Ascot by designer Pam Powers. I knit this using Jasper yarn from Berroco, which I have plenty of in my stash. The three buttons came from my button collection. 
This pattern calls for two strips of snap tape to be sewn under the lattice square for closure, but I found it easier just to sew the scarf closed, and just pull it on over my head. The buttons are sewn down, and while they function to close the top of the scarf, I find they are more ornamental. And that is what I like about Pam Power's designs: her use of buttons and other closures make it feel like you are wearing jewelry! 

Quick pic to show the neck-hugging style of the looks and feels great under my down coat: a necessity this winter in Michigan of day after day of subzero temperatures.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Kwik Sew 4083

The clothes I sew for myself are often made to wear to work, and I've noticed that my more casual wardrobe has needed some updating. Wearing tunics/longer tops with leggings is so comfortable, but I don't have too many choices in my closet. Enter Kwik Sew 4083

K4083, Misses' Tops

Line Art

I pulled a double sided brushed cotton plaid from my stash (?JoAnn's red tag table?)  to use for a test garment, as I haven't sewn many Kwik Sew patterns. It has the large plaid on one side, and a small check on the other:
(pinning stage)

 Looking at the measurements, I cut a size XL....way too big. I like the fabric, but I'm not sure using it for this top does my figure any favors...even after taking it in, and taking it in some more, I did wear it over the weekend. I still have plans to take out some of the extra at the front princess seams, and that will make it wearable weekend wear. I think I erred on the side of caution as I have been sewing mostly with knits, and was worried about ending up with a top that was too small. 
(impossible to match the plaids with the peplum cut on the bias)

Alterations made with this top: added 1 inch to length at dropped waist/peplum,  raised shoulder seam,  reduced armsyce, took in @1" at front princess seams. 

I have plans to revisit this pattern, using a stable knit like ponte, thanks to Lori's inspiration:


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

McCalls 6996

My first finish in 2015 was McCall's 6996, a longer, drapey cardigan made with a thin ribbed sweater knit that has a subdued "sparkle" to it. 

I went right to the serger for construction, as this is a very forgiving knit and I didn't anticipate any fit issues. Speaking of construction, a few things of note: I serged in a light weight woven fusible strip at the shoulder seams to support the seams. I also decided to finish the raw edges with the serger, after spraying the edges with spray starch and pressing. That seemed to stabilize the edge a bit before serging. I didn't want to weigh down the drape with a hem of any kind, and that has seemed to work, tho I may go back and add a small turned-in & stitched hem at the sleeve edge. 

I find I like wearing the skinnier pant silhouette, along with leggings on occasion, but only with a top that has a longer length and plenty of drape for balance. 
McCalls 6996 is a quick and easy pattern with great results for the beginning sewist as well as for the more experienced. And as both of my daughters have asked for one for themselves, I believe this is a design for both the young and young-at-heart!
Happy 2015!