Monday, January 23, 2012

Butterick 5246

My favorite outfit to wear to work is a knit dress with tights or leggings and flats or boots. Having made Butterick 5246 a couple of years ago unsuccessfully, I thought I would give it another go. I loved the boat necked cowl, and the empire waist. I purchased this beefy knit from Haberman Fabrics last fall, and I was excited to make it into a dress. I had notes about what went wrong with the fit last time, and now that the FBA and swayback adjustments are ones I know how to do, I was excited to move forward. 
Looks cute, huh?

I like this boat neck cowl!

                            This time I made about a 1/2" swayback adjustment, and the back fits better.

Well, there are issues.  I wish I would have looked a little closer at the armhole draft on the pattern! I thought the tightness in the bodice was from the lack of an FBA, but I think the armhole draft contributes too. I compared the armhole for this dress, B5246 on the left, with the armhole on the knit top I had just made, V8731 on the right. Then the light went on for me......that L-shaped armhole just doesn't fit. Evidently I need the more 'open' curve as on the V8731. After ripping out to get more 'room' in the armcyce and the side seam, I was able to make it fit good enough, but this dress won't be one of my favorites to wear since it is still a little uncomfortable. Too bad, I L.O.V.E this fabric.

I think I will remedy the situation by reworking what I have. Although I like the cowl, this fabric is white on the wrong side, and I had to remove the necklace since it kept pulling the cowl down and exposing the wrong side. The armhole area  just isn't going to work either. I'll remove the cowl and make a scoop neck, and remove the sleeves to make it a sleeveless jumper that I'll wear with a T-shirt or turtleneck. If that doesn't make me happy, there is plenty of fabric there to refashion it into a skirt. Lessons learned :-)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Simplicity 2700

One thing I wanted to do last year, and didn't, was to fit a pants pattern for dress slacks for work. Years ago (many, many years ago!) when I could sew a pattern right out of the envelope without any fitting alterations, I had a TNT pattern that I used to make all of my slacks (narrow waistband, side zipper). I was feeling a little daunted by what I thought would be a big project, so I have been sewing dresses and skirts....but no fitted pants. Well, I am happy to say hurray for Simplicity 2700!! The pants below were the first attempt, and I used a stash fabric so old that I have no idea where or when I purchased it. I truly thought that these would be a practice pair, and maybe my wearable muslin if all went well. It did! 
This pattern by Simplicity is from their Amazing Fit line, designed with fitting options and instructions in mind. This style of pant is exactly what I like, and mimic my favorite pants made by Liz Claiborne. This pattern has a 4-piece curved yoke for the waistband, side pockets and fly front. The alterations that I needed to make included scooping out the crotch depth by 1/4" and narrowing the leg width below the hip using my favorite Claiborne pants as a guide.  

I don't know why the left side looks so pointy?! Must be the way the shirt is tucked in,....

Shown on my dress'll just have to take my word for it that the back lays flat like this on me too!

                                      Can't remember the last time I sewed a fly-front zipper, but this was easy,                                                        
                                               thanks to the clearly written directions.

                                             Look at that pocket: flat and no gaping!

Nice to have this goal met, now I plan to use another Amazing Fit pattern to make a skinny, cigarette pant.      With me luck!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Vogue 8731

 Looking for a quick and easy project for some sewing success, I turned to Vogue 8731. This pattern lived up to the positive comments I have seen bloggers post about this cute top. I used a 'snakeskin' ITY knit from since I knew that it would look best in a more drapey fabric. It was a quick and easy project indeed: no darts and no zipper, with an added bonus that no fitting alterations were needed. This is cute at dress length, which is how I initially cut it out, but I really wanted a tunic to wear with leggings and boots, so I shortened the length to just above mid-thigh.

I chose to raise the neckline by 1/2" or so, and sewed on a self-fabric binding at the neckline. Although those front pin-tucks were a little tricky with this knit, I really like the design element and it really works in place of more traditional darts.

Nice project to start off the New Year!

UPDATE: pics before a night out, dinner and theater, with my daughters in Chicago:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

GO BLUE! and Happy New Year

I'm proud to be a Michigan Wolverine!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year - New Goals: 8 for 2012

I don't usually "do" New Year's resolutions, but I think setting down some attainable goals at the start of a new year might be interesting. It will be fun to check back throughout the year to see how much I've thought about those goals and worked toward meeting them.
Since I hit my mid-50's with my last birthday, a more healthy lifestyle all the way around is at the forefront of my thoughts these days. And not just including a more healthy diet and more frequent exercise, but more thought and consideration to the choices I make each day: what TV shows I watch/don't watch, books I read, words I choose to say/write, people and activities I choose to spend my time with. 
With that in mind, here are my 8 goals for 2012, in no particular order:

  1. Meal planning with an eye toward keeping it more nutritious. Looking at the week ahead instead of cooking meals by the seat of my pants.
  2. Consistent exercise is a battle for me, and I'll continue to strive for at least 30 min 4X/week.
  3. Less TV watching, more book reading. 'Nuff said.
  4. On the garment sewing front, I hope to sew down my stash by making more and more of my wardrobe and purchasing less. 1-2 garments a month should be easy enough to accomplish, and still leave room for sewing for family members and home dec too.
  5. Keep pushing myself to become more proficient with my knitting/crochet. I'm proud of the pieces I've made over the last year, but I know that there is always more to learn.
  6. Clean closets and purge the extra. I like to hang on to 'stuff' way too much, and I'm feeling the need to downsize and release some of the clutter. 
  7. Journal more.
  8. Plant and maintain a vegetable garden this spring and summer. I love our local farmers' market, but I want to grow more of my own.

I'm sure that this list could grow from the 8 goals listed, but I think it's a good start. These are the things that are always on my mind, and I hope by writing them down and coming back occasionally to reassess how I am doing will help bring an peaceful order to my days. 

So, on to the New Year and all the ups and downs ahead!

2011 in review

Happy New Year: 2012 is here!
I always enjoy reading my fellow bloggers' posts when they summarize their sewing/quilting/knitting/crochet projects for the year. I've always wanted to document my projects too, so here we go!
In 2011 I completed:

-14 garments
-1 bag
-5 quilts
-15 knitted/crocheted items

                                             Simplicity 2212                                                         McCalls 5893

                                          Butterick 5491                              
                                                                                                                              Simplicity 9825

                                                        Indygo Junction Midtown Trench                                

                                       Simplicity 2224                                                            Butterick 5244  

                                    New Look 6969                                                      Simplicity 2205

                               Simplicity 2584                                                        New Look 6802

                              KwikSew 3240                                                       Vogue 1182

Simplicity 2896                                   Ottobre Woman 05-2010

    Kauai Shores wallhanging                             

Baby quilt for Conor                  March wallhanging of the month                        
                                                                                                           February wallhanging of the month

                             Crochet scarf for Special Olympics     2010 BOM Afghan w/ Sweet Pea's Yarn Shop
(1 of 2 scarves for Special Olympics)

                         Rusted Root w/ Lion Brand Cotton Ease    Scarf knit with Sparkle yarn

                                Crochet: Gap-inspired Infinity scarf                                   Total of 4 Infinity Scarves

                         Traveling Woman Shawl                       Vanilla socks w/ Regia sock yarn

                           ChicKnits Mondo Cabled Cardi                               Lion Brand Mesh Tank CAL

                                                      Manly Mitts (pictured one of 2 sets)        

                                                     3 X 1 Ribbed socks w/ Patons wool

So, what's on deck for 2012? I plan to make many of the bags from this book that I received for Christmas: 

Sew Serendipity Bags by Kay Whitt

I've cast on for a baby sweater, I plan to knit a skirt for myself and finish the knit hoodie that I started awhile back. I am also knitting another afghan with my LYS, but need to seam up the blocks made in the 2011  BOM. I know there will be more scarves, mitts and socks as requested by my family....I'm so lucky that they love and appreciate my handknits.

Here's to another year of wishes for good health, happiness, and lots of time to do the things we love!