I love sewing--any form of needle and thread makes me happy.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

With Deepest Sympathy

                                             Out thoughts and prayers are with Manchester.

Friday, May 19, 2017

My Failure-- McCall's 7542

McCall's 7542, everyone who sews it seems has made this pattern or used the sleeves from it.  It's just so cute I had to jump on the band wagon, too.  My version, however, did not result in a top I can wear.  On the bright side though, someone bigger than me can so it will go into the charity pile.

The top didn't fail because of the pattern, it was all operator error.  The first and biggest mistake was the fabric.  It looks oh so pretty doesn't it?  I got it from Fashion Fabrics Club and have found them to be a hit or miss in their fabrics.  Some things are great, some things leave a little to be desired:  not quite as described or too thin.  That sort of thing.  This was described as poly crepon.  What the heck is that?  I had no idea but decided it was so pretty I decided I'd buy it anyway.  Total dork attack. It arrived as a polyester, wrinkled crepe fabric 60" wide.  After the washer and dryer, however, it was about 47" wide!  I figured an unstructured top might be best as it was too thin for a skirt and I had another skirt in similar colorway planned. 

I cut a size 20, my usual these days, with a C-cup and used the tulip sleeves.  When I pin fit it, the neck was too high for me.   I lowered the neck by scooping it out 1 inch making a new matching facing (my first time. Yay!  It came out correctly.)  I also did a narrow shoulder adjustment, despite there being a back shoulder dart.  This, too, is normal for me.  I'm just short enough that the length was good for me without being cropped.

The End Result:  it grew!  It's still too wide in the shoulder and way too wide in the body.  The neckline is slightly too wide, even though I didn't do anything to that.  I'm swimming in the tulip sleeves.  They're just too much fabric and come down below my elbow at the inner arm. 

Lesson Learned:  I still like this pattern and still want to sew a manageable version of it.  I need to use a stable fabric, though.  I could stand to go down a size I think width-wise.  It literally swallows me whole.  The C- cup works well; the dart was in the proper place. The tulip sleeves are lovely to look at but not to wear.  Next time I will a more formed sleeve.  Either View C or D appeal to me.  I'll need to double check that shoulder width next time, too, to see if it was fabric vs fit.  So I still come away with I think a very workable pattern.  I just need to incorporate the lessons learned.  Now to find the right fabric. :)

Happy sewing!

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Embroidered Top-- Burda 6502

I saw this pattern and fell in love with view A.  It just a plain little peasant top, intended to be sewn with an embroidered border fabric like eyelet.  After looking for a little while, I found this stunning denim chambray with lace and embroidery by Telio from Fabric.com

According to the pattern measurements, this size 20 was going to be a little snug in the hips.  I wanted it to be loose and flowy.  So I added 2½ inches to the center front of the gathered section and 2 inches to the back.  I left the neck yoke the same size as that part fit great. 

The pattern photo shows this top ending at the mid-hip line.  Mine ends at the lower hip line, but I'm quite a bit shorter and prefer this tunic length.  The directions are rather sparse and illustrations for the few steps they outline.  It's a quick, easy sew that makes sense on its own, though, without a lot of help.  I love how neatly the neckline lays. It's been perfect for some of our warmer days already.

This is my last entry for Faye's Tops That Pop Sew A Long.  I'm sure going to miss this.  It's been a real motivator for me and I've loved seeing all the different tops that have been made.  So many awesome entries! 

Well, on to the next project, a much needed nightie.  Happy sewing all.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Cat Lady Blouse--Butterick 6185I

Although I do love cats, I'm not a cat lady.  We recently lost one of our fur babies, so we now have just the one.  If not for the wonderful judgement of my husband, however, we'd have every stray I meet.  So this top will suffice as it has kitties galore!

The cat fabric is a rayon challis from Fabric.com and the black is rayon challis from Fabric Mart.  I was very upset when the cat fabric arrived as it had a 5" inch cut in the middle of the selvedge.  That was an obstacle that had to be worked around and necessitated a change in plans.  Enter Butterick 6185 with its cute little sailor collar.  That cute little collar took some work, though, and it's thick.  There are 6 layers of fabric at the roll of the collar:  2 for the cat collar, 2 for the black collar, 1 for the blouse body and 1 for the facing.  It took some serious pressing to wrangle it into behaving. 

I did make 2 departures from the instructions.  The first was on the sleeves.  They would have you just turn and stich a hem.  I used a bias binding for a cleaner, more professional finish.  I also found it a little short on me, so instead of turning a hemming the bottom, I did a faced hem.  It gave me a little extra length. 

This is another top for Ms. Faye's Tops That Pop Sew A Long.  There are so many wonderful tops being sewn.  I really encourage you to check them out.

Parting shot of my little sewing kitty.  Happy sewing all!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Just a Simple Knit Tunic--Simplicity 8337

I got this wonderful brown ITY from Fabric Mart.  It's very thin, however, and quite clingy.  I made it up in the gray colorway into Vogue 8534, blogged here.  I found it too clingy, hugging every lump, bump and bulge I've got.  This fabric needs more room to "float".    Enter Simplicity 8337, a series of loose- fitting pullover tips with neckline and sleeve variations.  I made view A because I thought that ruffle on the front would add to the tummy camouflage. 

The ruffle is left raw per pattern instructions.  I thought this would bother me, but I actually like it.  Anything else would have been too heavy for it and it wouldn't flutter as nicely.  The neckline is more than a bit fiddly.  It's a bound seamline with a bias strip (not included in the pattern, they have you use purchased bias binding).  This requires basting and much stitching to get it in but it looks so nice, lays so smoothly and feels so nice on. 

I didn't have to do my usual narrow shoulder adjustment as it measured fine across the top and is cut in a little in the back showing my bra straps.  Really need to get a racer back bra for tops like this.    The loose tunic styling makes it comfortable summer wear falling close to the body without clingy to those parts I really want to avoid.  Unlike the last top from this fabric, this one's a winner. 

Faye at Faye's Sewing Adventure has a great sew a long called Tops That Pop.

  It's been a great motivator for me as I have sewn and entered this top and the last top.  I also have another top in the works to be blogged tomorrow.  The sew a long ends on the 30th still time for more. Happy sewing all!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Floral Peplum Tunic--McCall's 7390

Originally, I purchased this pattern for a different view, view A for it's clean, lean lines.  A girl can always hope that it will help.  However, the fabric that I purchased for it came in a 45" instead of 60" (my bad) leaving with insufficient fabric to make that top.  Moving on, I picked up this lovely floral challis lawn from Fashion Fabrics Club from the same shipment.  So much fun I had to jump in right away!  I didn't really like it for the peasant top I got it for, but seeing this pattern out, loved it for view B with it's angled lines, little peplum skirt and hi-low hem. 

I cut a size 18 in the neck and bust, and a 20 in the waist and hip.  I did my usual ½ inch narrow shoulder adjustment.


The pattern instructions have you hand stitch the front facings down but I topstitched them down and they look great and saved a ton of time.  The armscye is finished with self bias binding.  My neckband came out a little uneven but that was operator error and isn't too bad or noticeable.  I love how loose and flowy this is and it looks great with jeans.  The fabric is so cool to touch, too.  It will be a perfect top for this summer and I look forward to giving it lots of wear.

  I still hope to make view A; I just need to find the right fabric.  It will have to wait a bit as I'm on a bit of a fabric diet for a while.  Too much spending and accrual; need to sew some of it down.  Happy sewing all!

Friday, April 21, 2017

A Simple Cardigan--McCall's 5890

I needed a light cardigan for spring weather fluctuations and had this lovely lightweight sweater knit from Fashion Fabrics Club.  It really called out for something with simple lines. After searching through my patterns, I came up with the cardigan/jacket from McCall's 5890, now OOP.

The pattern is one of Nancy Zieman's 10-20-30 minute to sew patterns.  A theory I did not incorporate into the sewing of this top.  I sewed as I was able, as usual.  The pattern contains a knit travel wardrobe of cardigan, pants in 2 lengths and dress/top.  The cardigan has clean, simple lines and called for a knit so it fit the bill. It features a shawl collar extending from a pleated back neckline.

I sewed a sized 18, narrowed the shoulders by ½ an inch, lengthened the ¾ sleeve to a full-length sleeve, and tapered the wrists for a snugger fit--they were quite loose.  The fabric was just dense enough that the pleats do not show as pleats but smoothed out to nothing.  (The pattern calls for a stable knit and this is a looser weave.)   It doesn't really matter as it doesn't really change the purpose or aesthetic and doesn't show anyway because of my hair.

I love my new sweater.  It's perfect for layering on cool spring mornings and evenings.  It was a quick, easy sew, too that may well be repeated in the future. 

On to the next project, a tunic top.   Happy sewing all!