Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Fen by Fancy Tiger Crafts

I'm baack!!
And with my first make of 2019.....the Fen dress by Fancy Tiger Crafts.

The style of this dress has everything I love: 2 neckline options, boxy shape, cute hemline choices, and ... POCKETS!
This was the perfect project to jump start my year of sewing, even though it wasn't in my #makenine2019 
plan. It is a great pattern, easy enough for a beginner, but still very fun for a maker like me who has been sewing for many years (ahem!).

Here I am at work yesterday:

I wore my Fen all day and then later out to Knit Night with my knitting buddies.

I used what I am calling a "Mystery" fabric from JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts....my receipt from J said this was a Rayon Spandex...but I don't think so. No stretch at all! And doesn't wrinkle a bit. So, I'm guessing it's a polyester of some sort, and has a black denim look to it. It served my purpose for this wearable muslin in that it functioned like a light woven, with the drapey quality that I think this dress needs.

It may be difficult to see, but the back has two perfectly placed darts that run into the waist, which would allow for any needed back adjustments.  The front also has darts that come up out of the waist. I am happy to say that the only fit adjustment I made was to add 1 inch to the length of the bodice, although my next Fen will have an adjustment at the neckline/shallow upper chest region where there is a bit of excess fabric.

Oh....and look at that cute hemline! There is also an option for a shirt tail hem, which would be so cute for summer.

Below, you can see the various ways I styled this dress: first with a simple necklace:

Then with my Hermes scarf:

And then for these cold Midwest days with my Suburban Wrap:

It feels great to be back in the sewing studio again after a short hiatus. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Stitches Midwest recap

I think it was 10 years ago or so that I last went to Stitches Midwest, so I thought it was time for another trip! First stop was at Honey Biscuit in Mount Prospect, IL to fuel up for the fun day ahead.
Yes, that is one delicious cinnamon roll pancake on the right.....heavenly!

                         After a couple of hours of shopping the vendors, and soaking in the colors and textures of so many beautiful yarns, it was time to take a break and sit in on Karla Overland of Cherrywood Fabrics lecture on the color challenges for quilters that she has facilitated over the last few years.

               The first time I went to Stitches, I was a bit overwhelmed at the offerings there....so much yarn! So many colors and fiber choices! Patterns with samples to consider and try on! THIS time, I made a list (yes!), and only veered from it a little
               Below, you can see my haul for the day: the green and gray bulky Valley Yarns from WEBS are for two donation toddler sweaters, the Neighborhood Fibers trio is earmarked to make Joji Locatelli's Suburban Wrap, there is a skein of sock yarn from Northern Bee Studio for a pair of socks (for me!), the handy-dandy sock ruler, and 2 skeins of superwash merino from Rhichard Devrieze (the nicest guy!) for a baby sweater that my daughter purchased for her baby due in November. A couple of patterns and a set of ChiaGoo size 1's to add to my ChiaGoo set round out my purchases.

So much fun at Stitches Midwest! The best part?
 Spending the day with one daughter, and then dinner and a girls' night out with both daughters, of course!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

July 2018 American Sewing Guild: East Side Garment Group Meeting - Refashioning

A  challenge was proposed by our ASG group leader to refashion a garment for our July meeting. It was suggested that we visit a local thrift store, such as a Salvation Army store, or even search in our own closet for a garment, men's or women's, that might benefit from some refashioning.

 As an avid Pinterest pinner (LOTS of ideas for refashioning on Pinterest!), I had once considered remaking a men's shirt into an apron for myself, and had already purchased two shirts from Salvation Army for that purpose. But...that was a couple of years ago, and the shirts sat on my shelf, untouched. 

So, I decided to use this blue oxford stripe shirt in a Men's XXL for my ASG Challenge. I knew I wanted a summer tunic top, and I knew that I didn't want to cut up the shirt to use as fabric with a commercial pattern. I wanted to challenge myself to use the basic structure of the shirt and work from there.

First thing I did was cut off the sleeves and remove the chest pocket:

Taking in the side seams by 3 inches starting at the armhole and tapering down to the hem helped to eliminate some extra bulk, and closed the large armhole a bit, while still allowing for hip room.

I cut off the collar, and used my French Curve ruler to cut out a rounded neckline.

Since it was going to be impossible to place side darts, I decided to gather up the shoulder line to allow for more fabric to drape over the bust line. I love using shoulder pleats to achieve this in other garments that I make, but it was not going to work with this top due to the back yoke. Gathering up with narrow elastic worked okay.....
It did allow for some gaping at the back of the armhole though, so I took up some of the back by tucking it under the yoke and restitching.

This shows why I always need to make a sway back adjustment, but couldn't with this project without taking the whole shirt apart.

                                          Remember that chest pocket I removed? I reused it!

           This turned out to be a fun way for me to think out of the box  for a change! Though far from a "couture" garment, it is a fun summer top that I think I'll actually wear!  And I have some ideas for future refashioning that I'd like to explore......

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Oriole Bag by Sew Sweetness

My dear friend Margaret celebrated a milestone birthday this year, and I just knew the Oriole Bag by Sew Sweetness would be perfect for her!  I found this cute purple cotton print at my local JoAnn Fabrics store, as well as the purple lining.
I tried my best to match the fabric pattern, and was pleased with the result  :-)

I liked that the pattern had instructions for an adjustable shoulder strap, which can be worn as either over the shoulder -or-as a crossbody bag. The necessary hardware included the rectangular strap holders, the adjustable strap slider and the twist lock closure. 

Two types of interfacing were used, both Pellon SF-101 Shape Flex fusible woven interfacing as well as foam headliner fabric.
One inside pocket was placed for either a phone or set of keys.

A fun project for a special friend....Happy Birthday, Margaret!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Butterick 5246 (O-O-P), Vogue 8731(O-O-P) and a FabricMart precut!

A tale of two dresses and one fabric pre-cut: 


My daughter asked if I would sew up a dress for her, using ITY ("so comfy - like wearing pajamas")
that would be work appropriate after she saw the one I made for myself for in March for Easter.
After looking at the fabulous pre-cut sale at FabricMart Fabrics, she chose this print, a 4 yard pre-cut:

Butterick 5246 , though now out of print, is a very comfortable dress to wear, and indeed "fast & easy" as the pattern states. I had made View B for myself with the cowl neckline, but I'm not a fan of that style and I 
find that I'm always fussing with it when I wear it. My daughter wanted the scoop neck version.

And even though this is NOT a maternity pattern, it works great for those early months of pregnancy!
(Woo-hoo, I get to be a Grandma again!!!!)
I'm so pleased that she has worn it several times now, and that it is work appropriate.

Having about a 1 1/2 yards left, I decided to sew up one of my TNT patterns, 
Vogue 8731, also out of print.  I've sewn this one twice before, both as tops. This time, I decided I wanted one of those summer staples: the knit tank dress...and had JUST enough fabric left to do just that. (I am trying to avoid putting project remnants back into my stash!)

This was the first time I used fold over elastic for binding both the neckline and the armholes.....WHY did I wait so long? Quick, easy, and comfortable to wear.
I have to admit that it took a couple of attempts:  note to self to reduce the seam allowance first.  :-)

And in this family photo from Easter Sunday (one of my favorites: so much love and happiness!)
you can get a glimpse of my dress using Butterick 5246

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Monday, April 9, 2018

HotPatterns HP1203: Fast & Fabulous Kimono Blouson T

HotPatterns HP1203:  Fast & Fabulous Kimono Blouson T is another home run from Trudy at HotPatterns!
I made this one using a lovely charmeuse which I think was a remnant from Haberman Fabrics a few years ago. 
This is a fun, easy and clever design. No bust darts, but the slight front gathers at the hip band allow for the fullness needed. This fit perfectly out of the pattern envelope without any alterations....what a treat!
Interfacing was used in the hip band and the sleeve bands from Fashion Sewing Supply.

Yes, I still had to style with a sweater, since it was 25 F degrees here in Michigan this morning! 
Spring.....where are you???

I'll be making this one again, I'm sure!