Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sunday, June 15, 2014

McCall's 6308: Maxi dress

Realizing that the maxi dress continues to be a summer staple, I decided to jump on the bandwagon, using McCall's 6308. I had this very drapery black & cream rayon in my stash, and it was a perfect pairing of pattern + fabric. I now understand the popularity of the maxi dress....seriously, wearing this is like wearing pajamas, it's that comfortable!

I made a few adjustments to the pattern: a smaller than usual FBA since the top has a lot of gathering, I raised the neckline by 1 inch, and also added 1 inch to the length.
A quick and easy project yielding great results!
The back neckline vee is cute, but was a little "fiddley" to get to lay right. Redrafting to a more rounded/scooped back neckline would be easier.

Fun dress to wear on the perfect Father's Day Sunday in Michigan!

 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Rupert the Bear: a baby's playmat

I picked up this pattern a couple of years ago at a quilt shop near my home, after seeing the shop sample. The Rupert playmat is made with the quilt-as-you-go technique, using fleece as the top layer, cotton batting in the center, and quilting cotton for the backing.


                              I think the detail in the face and paws (felt appliqued with a satin stitch),
                                                              makes this so darn cute!



(baby Thomas: 10 days old!)

Cute little playmats like Rupert, and this one and this one are fun
gifts for the new baby/parents, and have been well-received by the new families.
I see more of them in my sewing future!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Vogue 8667 - Happy Easter!



Vogue 8667, View C (pink) without the sleeves:

V8667

Line Art

This bright, cheery, yellow fabric came out of my stash (again! I feel like I am making some headway sewing through the stash). It is a pique/waffle type of fabric, with a subtle white, shiny thread woven in. It is fairly "beefy", but I liked it for this pattern, and it was a pleasure to sew and is comfortable to wear. The full Bemberg lining of course feels wonderful.

As you can see in the first pic, I did cut out the sleeves, then lined them and attached them to the dress. It just didn't look right... so, off they came!




On my way to Easter Vigil Mass:


This will be a great addition to my work wardrobe this summer, and the cheery color really lifts my mood!

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?:



Well.......

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!