Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Honolulu Kimono Tops

...and a birthday library tote.  

Tomorrow, God willing and United flies...I'll be in Honolulu with 3 of my Munchkins!  Cannot wait.

I wanted a few new things so I drove over to Colorado Fabrics and picked up some rayon knits--all the flat folds were 50% off.  This happens twice a year and is a major score.  Worth the drive.

So, I made up all 3 in Maria of Denmark's Kimono T.  This is my all-time favorite go-to T.   Perfect with my Magic Pencil skirts in stretch denim and twill.

Hmm...I pretty sure I put this on the dress form backwards...
Then, Kelby's mom said he could really use a new library tote--they  pretty much go every week :-)

I used outdoor fabric--50% off at Joannes and scored a piece of bright orange (his favorite color) on the 50%-off remnant pile.

another pocket on the back

Inside pocket for library card
I'm pretty pleased with this project :)


Monday, July 18, 2016

Morning Sewing Sessions

Busy but good week--AND got quite a bit of sewing done!  I had a cutting-out marathon last Sunday so was fun to sit down and just sew the rest of the week.  

First out was this whacky number that I plan to sleep in with a pair of Jailie pj shorts I made to go with a sister top from the same pattern that I made last year in an equally crazy print that I feel ridiculous wearing out.  But it's been great to sleep in on hot nights! 
Hey look how that big motif ended up in a perfect spot top center front.  Total accident, there!
This was made from a cotton voile from Butterick 6215.  Last make for it I think.  The pockets are cute but take longer than the whole rest of the shirt.  I slit the sleeves just because.

Also,  I started sewing in the mornings instead of waiting until afternoons after everything else is done.  There is just something about afternoons--they tend to unravel.  And change with every phone call.  And I get tired and hot.  Then there is my new little sewing buddy, Sarah,
who I never know exactly when in the afternoon she will show up.

Anyway, mornings have been magic.  Just birdsong and my machines.  The hard part was giving myself permission!

Second up:  yet another Silhouette Classic Blouse #600 this time in another piece of my precious linen from Hong Kong.  This time I didn't take the front vertical darts and I added 2" in length and added side slits.  Long and loose for upcoming trip to watch the Honolulu Munchkins while their parents escape to another island for their anniversary.  Hardship, I know ;-)

 Look at these buttons!  Aren't they the cutest?!  I got them several years ago in a hole-in-the-wall store in UB and have been saving them for just such a shirt.  Done.  Aside:  why are buttons so expensive here??  In Mongolia I paid pennys for them.  They all come from China, right?  Granted they were in bins and not packaged and hanging on hooks...hmm.
 Oh and I got just a little artsy here with white-on-white machine embroidery and...
 A little tag on the back that I'm hoping will fray around the edges when washed.

I also completed another top for HI, but needs a tiny tweak and this post is plenty long.  So, I spare the reader--thanks for reading :-)

Monday, July 11, 2016

A Tale of Two Kimono

What to do with 2ish yards of silk?  Make a kimono!  ...and I was so attracted to Simplicity 1381 out of all the kimono patterns available.  View C, the one being modeled, in particular. 
The silk was purchased during a trip to Hong Kong --at the Western Market (insert long sigh of fond longing) and was gorgeous to work with.  I did have to purchase more silk here for the bands as I was short.  
I flat felled the seams and turned and hand stitched the collar and wrist bands, which I regretted.  Big pain.  

I really like this make and it feels so luxurious to wear.  The drape is really nice and I like the length, too--for either pants or skirts/dresses.

I liked it so much I made another out of cotton gauze from Joannes, using leftover embroidered cotton batiste, also from Joannes.  
umm...not sure I like it.  I have yet to wear it out even though I've put it on several times to do so.  I thought it would be a great light-weight shrug-ish thing to wear in aid conditioning, etc.  I guess it feels a bit like a lab coat.  Maybe it will grow on me.

This time I stitched and then serged the bands on.  Much faster.

So, end of story:  I love Kimono #1 and I do like the pattern and might make a travel robe from it in the future.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Silouette #600 Classic Blouse

Shirt love.

In my long blogging absence I have actually been doing a lot of sewing and just general living.  While still pursuing the Perfect Pant (and making progress!), I have veered off that road into Shirt Land.  After watching countless YouTubes done by Peggy Sagers of Silhouette Patterns, I finally ordered up her  #600, The Classic Blouse.  After sewing 40+ years, I have to say I've picked up many new ways of sewing--and thinking about sewing & fashion from Peggy.

 Anyhoo...the pattern is amazing!!!!  Silhouette patterns come in cup sizes and while the C cup fits me perfectly right out of the envelope!  I tweaked the armhole for sleeveless and the coverage I like there but other than that:  perfection.  Love the collar/facing methods.  Love the length and gentle shirt tail hem.  

I've been so excited I've made 4!  Skirts (Magic Pencil of course), tops and sandals are my uniform for summer so all are sleeveless so far and I just throw on a gauzy shrug or sweater when need to cover those arms ;-) Here they are in reverse order, sort of.  Shirts not arms.
This was Make #4 in a cotton sari length I got in Singapore ages ago and this was the perfect make for it!  Love it.  

Make #3 in a black lightweight cotton from stash.  I narrowed the shoulder in a bit and like it even better.

Make #2 in a cotton print from Joannes.  Getting lots of wear.

Below is Make #1--a wearable muslin!  The stretch cotton was from UB and the fabric was just too crinkly/bubbly for a good collar so used a print that goes perfectly with a bright blue pair of ankle pants I have

Since doing all these button downs and I have a bit of wrist issues, I invested in a button foot for my new Pfaff.  I mark, put a bit of fabric glue on the button to hold it in place until the foot takes over.  Worth every penny (plus coupon).

Friday, March 4, 2016

Pant Project Round 1

I choose to always be a student of what I love

That's a quote from Adriene Mishler from Yoga with Adriene.  Not sure if that's original with Adriene, but I love, love her yoga on YouTube and I love that quote.  

Well...this is a journey.  Of making my own pants.  I do have two pair of wearable pants to show for recent effort.  Mostly for wearing around the house I think.

First, Burda 5/2013 117A  I made up in a very soft cotton pin wale corduroy.   I've made this up twice before in linen.  I think the corduroy is just not the right fabric.  But soft and comfy.  Not bad.

Then I made up another Style Arc Barb Pant in Ponte Rome.  Hmm.  Not the fit/look I was aiming for and the ponte stretches out.  But again, they're soft and comfy and will get some wear on stay-at-home days. 

No pride, right? I think the flat bum needs to be addressed horizontally through the hip instead of shaving the upper inner back leg.  I plan to give that a try with this pattern in a stretch woven. You know, finding the right fabric is key I think.  
No pride, right?  ...those drag line; yikes.  But I pay good $ for ready made just like!

With top down, not too bad.  Still...

So, I've got  Vogue 2948 ready to muslin and vague plans for  Vogue 1411 v I (Both by Sandra Betzina and both OOP I'm afraid)  Then there is the Jailie pattern...

I also have sewed up some quick knits.   I've discovered something. The Art Teacher look is not for me.  Sigh--the time.  The fabric.  But it's about the learning, right?   

Onward ho

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Pants, Pants & More Pants

...and, OK, another vest.  We'll get this out of the way first thing:
McCalls 7290

I'm not sure about this one.  The fabric is an oh-so-soft rayon/spandex knit from Joann's.  And oh-so-stretchy.  We'll see how much it gets worn.  Looks a bit like a lab coat.  Hmm.  But it's so soft!
McCalls 7290

On to pants.  

I am determined to get a decent pair of wovens with a contour waistband this year.  I no longer want to spend big money on pants that really don't fit so hot.  I just spent untold time on McCalls 6361, a Palmer Pletsch offering.  I even have their Craftsy class.  I've had great success with other PP tissue fitting projects, but I guess I'm a bit dense because tissue fitting pants was nuts.   I'm going to skip the trauma and just state that the whole mess, including the muslin, ended up in the bin.  

I've actually had reasonable success with pants in the past few years.  I've made Burda 5/2013 117A  up twice in linen and that I love and have worn tons in the last 2 summers.  

So, today I cut another pair in lovely light gray baby corduroy that is super soft to touch and drape.  From a clearance at Hobby Lobby.

I also cut my 4th pair of Style Arc Barb Pants.  This is a winner pattern that, like the Burda, has required minimal flat butt adjustments.  I wear the past makes all the time.  That said, I'm still trying to get just the right fabric.  Stretch woven is good.  Anything with 2-way stretch does just that:  stretches both ways.  A lot.  I did read about high end RTW using clear elastic in the crotch seam.  Note to self.  I wonder how twill tape would work?  Anyway, I just picked up some navy Ponte Roma from Joannes to see how a one-way stretch will do.  I'm thinking this is the best of both worlds.  I really want to add navy to my wardrobe.  It will be a nice addition to all my black and gray as neutrals.  Keep me from looking like crow.  This ponte has a beautiful hand unlike Joanne's usual fare.  We shall see.

On to Sandra Betzina's method.  I have her Craftsy class and I have the pattern that goes with it:  Vogue 2984, a Today's Fit pattern.  I've had Sandra's books, "More Fabric Savvy," "Power Sewing" and "Fast Fit" for a long time and use them constantly.  So, I don't know what's taken me so long to focus on her method.
Pants patterns...Pants patterns traced...Pants cut...
Stay Tuned!  Thanks for coming.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Wardrobe Architect & Recent Makes

Hey, there is dialogue between others like me who are 2 years late in joining in Collette's Wardrobe Architect!  I'm really pleased to see this as I had just planned to do this on my own and had even downloaded the worksheets in late December.  You can find more info on  Collette's blog

I have to say that I have been reaping the rewards of narrowing my color palette the last few years.  Now everything seems to go together color-wise.  It's a little trickier with shapes, lengths, etc.; so am hoping to work on that with the Wardrobe Architect info.

All that said, last week I finished up Vogue 8793 in gray & pink.  This is my 3rd make of this pattern though I don't get as wild and crazy mixing prints as the pattern suggests :-)  The fabric is a super soft cotton jersey from JoAnn's.  You know, I've had great luck with their line of sew classic cotton knits.  They're great to sew and wear really well

I think that's the chair back in the way here, sigh
Then, I put together covers for two naked Euro pillow forms that were laying around.  We really needed some extra reading pillows (though Randy totally rolled his eyes at more bed pillows--but he uses it every night to read with, ha ha).  I checked around about buying some and covers for this size pillow are just stupid expensive.  The fabric is a lovely tapestry from Hobby Lobby and I used a couple of invisible zips I had on hand on the backs.  

Then I made coasters with the leftovers.  To replace the annoying wooden rounds we are currently using in the living room--so easy for stuff to fall right off them!

The wrong side was pretty, too, so I made them reversable!

I'm working on a vest (!) right now that is a bit fiddly.  Hopefully it will be a success story for next week.

Happy Sewing!