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

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Jane Austen Project

It recently came to my attention that there is a Jane Austen Festival in Louisville, Ky in July. Now I really enjoy Ms. Austen's novels, but my youngest daughter adores her!  Being a good mother, of course I called her immediately and asked if she'd like to go.  She was thrilled!  We've not had a mother-daughter outing for a while and this looks like a blast for two Austen nerds.  While checking out their website, we found all kinds of things going on and made reservations for the tea and one of the classes.  Then we read that the public is invited to wear Regency dress, too! Of course we must!  The excitement is too much to bear!  But what to wear?

Some searching lead me to Sense and Sensibility's The Elegant Lady's Closet pattern. 




This pattern has sizes 6 through 26DD included.  My daughter is petite but larger than most of the Big Four patterns so this one will do perfectly and the FBA is already done!  The first obstacle was underpinnings.  The pattern is designed for stays to be worn.  I don't have time or skills to make stays!  After reading some old reviews of the pattern, one lady said a regular bra won't work but a minimizer--something that lifts up and squishes--will work nicely with this dress.  Saved.  We both have one. 

Now on to the muslin.  Yes, muslin.  I actually made muslins for both of us since this is such a different company and fit. I found that I fit a size 20C with a larger sleeve band and she fits a size 24D with  size 26 sleeve and larger sleeve band.  I have to go out of town today so tomorrow I'll be cutting into the real fabric!   And yes, I'm re-reading Sense and Sensibility to get in the mood.   I just finished Northanger Abbey.  Daughter is reading her favorite, Persuasion. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Unselfish Sewing--New Look 6404

On the rare occasion I can sew for others.  I'm just intimidated  by the fit issues of the daughters and  the pickiness of the boys.  But this time I felt emboldened to try to make camp shirts for the men of the family for their upcoming camping trip.  I settled on New Look 6404 for its loose fit and  raglan sleeves. 

This was such an easy-peasy make.  I was done in just about three hours from first cut to last stitch and I'm a slow sewer!  There's just a front, back, sleeve and neck binding. Hubs wears a XXL and the pattern only goes up to XL, so I had to grade it the extra bit. I think the sleeves are too large but he likes them roomy--better for canoe paddling he says.   The instructions were so easy I didn't need them at all for the second or third versions. 

The second version, not pictured due to time constraints--trying to get packed, is light blue with dark blue sleeves.  The third version, not pictured due to bashful son, is a Large in the tan with a maroon stripe across the base of the sleeve for interest. He like his clothes rather plain and conservative. 

The fabric for these is what I liked most.  It's light-weight knit from fabric.com that's moisture-wicking so it's perfect for activewear in the heat.  Both boys were thrilled with their shirts, and I hear from the camping adventure that the shirts are performing well.  I see more of these and more sewing for the boys in the future.  They were so excited and appreciate for their shirts.  It's nice to be appreciated. 

Do you sew for the men in your family?  What kind of clothes do you make for them?  Happy sewing!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Floral Voile Skirt-- Butterick 4811

I found this beautiful embroidered voile on Fabric Mart and just had to have it for a long, flowing skirt.



The picture doesn't really do the fabric justice.  It's white, pink and  peach, with tan embroidery.  Just lovely stuff.   Here it is in a blue colorway.

I used Butterick 4811 now Out Of Print.


 
I used a size 22 and moved the back zipper to the side so accommodate my fabric limitations.  I also trimmed 4 inches from the hem; partly because it was too long, and partly because I didn't have enough fabric. 

The voile stitched like a dream.  I used a plain white voile for a lining; the embroidered stuff is very sheer.  I love wearing this during our warmer days and it was an easy sew. 


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!