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

Saturday, June 2, 2018

The Jane Austin Project-- So It Begins.

It's that time again--The 10th Annual Jane Austen Festival takes place on the 2nd weekend in July in Louisville.  Daughter Anna and I had such a good time last year, we're attending again this year.  This year's theme is Persuasion.  In preparation, we're both re-reading Persuasion, Anna's favorite Austen book, and I'm sewing new costumes for the both of us.

I'm off to a rather slow start.  I wanted to do Anna's first, but I have yet to knuckle that girl down for her current measurements.  I'm trying to make stays this year, too, so the measurements are critical.  So I began at the beginning--the chemise for me.


I'm using Sense and Sensibility's Regency Underthings Pattern.  I love these patterns.  They come in a full range of sizes, 6-26, in one envelope.  The instructions are usually easy to follow, too.  The pattern pieces, though hand-drawn are on thick paper with very bold lines for tracing ease. 


As you can see, this is a very simple garment to construct.   It has a drawstring closure at the front neck; I used a pretty, narrow satin ribbon for the drawstring.   The sleeves are simply rectangles.  These are then closed and attached to the gown with a gusset.


I've never sewn a gusset before, or seen one in a garment other than in photos, so this was my head scratcher with this project.  It took several tries to get it right.  Finally looked at the pictures of the finished gusset and how it was situated then it made sense.

The fabric is a very thin voile from Fabric.com.  You can see Zelda's padding through it but it is going to be mid-July after all.   Temps are already hot and humid here and due to get hotter.  Next up are the stays.  This is my first effort at any kind of corset work so it should be interesting.  It has 3 layers of fabric, boning, and some kind of eyelet holes.   I'm intimidated but forging ahead.  Will keep you posted.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

A Lace Tunic -- Simplicity 8016

There are so many cute lace tunics out there, I finally decided it was time to make one!  Simplicity 8016 was in my pattern stash and it even shows view A as a lace tunic!  The black stretch lace (from Fabric Mart)  was already in my stash, too.  A plan was in motion.



The pattern has lots of sizing options ranging from XXS to XXL in one envelope--I made the size XL. I didn't care for where the sleeve ended so I borrowed the lower sleeve band from View D.  Folding it over and tapering it made it the perfect length.




The neckline is finished with very narrow black bias binding.  I like the neat finish it gives the neck.  I used the same bias binding for the hem treatment, too.




I love how it looks with different colored camisoles under it.  This turquoise is my favorite.  I really like it with my black one, too.  This was such an easy project.  I'll definitely be looking at this pattern again!  So many cute tops in it!






Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Playing a Little Catch Up: Simplicity 8059, Burda 6501.

Well, its been quite busy this past 2 weeks here.  I didn't get quite as much sewing done as I had hoped for Faye's Tops That Pop Sew-A-Long. In fact,  wasn't able to get them sewn and pictures taken in time to participate at all.  Boo-Hoo!  Do check out the blog and the Pinterest board, though to see all the great tops that did get sewn!

First up was Simplicity 8059. view C the duster.   I needed a pattern with nice, simple lines to show off this great crochet sweater knit.  The make things a little more complicated, I only bought 2 yards of it from Fabric Mart limiting my options more.  Simplicity 8059 actually requires 2 and 3/4 yards but I'm much shorter than it's designed for.  After shortening 5 inches at the hem, and using a 1 and 1/2 inch hem you see it comes to knee level on my 5'3" frame in the large size.


There was just enough fabric to match the stripes.  I also omitted the back waist elastic treatment.  I felt with this fabric it would be clinging since its a knit instead of the woven that the pattern called for and be unnecessary.


The elastic casing would have been difficult to apply to this crochet-like sweater knit.  As it was it was very touchy to work with.  It really wanted to fray where cut.  It needed as little handling as possible and the serger to finish the seams.  I top-stitched the front facing  down as a feature and used some scraps of navy blue jersey for the ties.  It's been a great transition piece for our cool spring. 

The second piece I got done was Burda 6501, view C--a sleeveless, bias top with a ruffle hem.  




I didn't check the length on this before I cut it out.  It looks like a tunic on me and looks high-hip length on the pattern.  I'm not sure What I think about this length yet.  I may shorten it later.  It's in a navy blue cotton voile from Fashion Fabrics.  Cotton is always such a palate cleanser after a tricky fabric  This is a navy blue cotton voile from Fashion Fabrics.  It was such a pleasure to work with.  I didn't check the length of the pattern against me before a stitched it up though.  On me, it a low-hip tunic length.  The pattern photo shows a high-hip length top.  I'm still on the fence about the length.  the conscientious sewer in me wants to take it apart, shorten it, then re-attach the ruffle, while the lazy stitcher in me says it's ok.  We'll see after a wear or two which wins out. 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Going Camping in Vogue 9205

Last month, I mentioned that Hubs and I were going on a camping trip soon.  I made a new shirt for both of us.  Then, the vacation got cancelled.  We were so disappointed but I still have the 2 tops for the next trip.

I made mine using Vogue 9205, a pattern I used before in the black wool/lycra.   Last time I made up this pattern I had trouble with the pleats  on front.  I didn't pay attention and sewed them up as darts.  So much work with the seam ripper!  This time things went so smoothly!


I used some active wear fabric by Judy P Apparel from Fabric Mart.  This is such great stuff.  It has a beefier feel than most active wear does and a tremendous recovery.  It would make great yoga pants.  I'm hoping it has wicking properties, although Fabric Mart did not state that for this fabric, they did for another piece in her collection that I got about a year ago.

Adjustments: there were quite a few this time.  The last top was rather more of a tunic than I wanted for this one.  So, for this top, I shortened the waist 1 inch, shortened the hem 2 inches and did a 3/4 inch narrow shoulder adjustment.  I'm 5'3" tall.  I think I got a much better fit this time around.  This is also the short sleeve version as opposed to the long sleeve version last time.


The pleats came out so nicely and are so easy to do.  They really add a lot of interest to a plain t-shirt.


With the side view you can see that it hugs the body without clinging tightly.  I'm also trying to work on my posture.  I've noticed in the past few pictures, that my shoulders are trying to roll forward.  Too much computer time probably. :)  This pattern is a definite winner and I'm sure I'll have more in the future.

You may have noticed a new badge in my side bar for the Tops That Pop Sew-A-Long.  This is hosted by Faye of Faye's Sewing Adventure.  It runs from April 15 to April 30.  The goal is to sew as many tops as you like and post them either on her blog or Instagram.  If you don't follow Faye, she's a fun blogger that makes great clothes; her coats are especially wonderful.  So, if you need a jumpstart to your spring sewing, this is a great place to find it and a warm, fun host to cheer you on!  I hope you'll join in!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

More Leggings --Simplicity 1280 Again.

I'm really enjoying my black leggings; and decided another pair was in order.  I had this maroon double knit in the stash that I thought would work nicely.




The double knit is a little lighter in weight than the scuba of the last pair.  I think they worked up a little bit looser than the black pair.  Once again, I used an XL waist and hip, then graded the leg and ankle to a Medium.

There was too way too much fabric in the front rise and I removed 2 inches.  The first inch was planned from last working this up last time, but ended up needing a second inch removed to keep it at my waist.  The hem line was also shortened 2 inches. 


These are so comfy to wear.  Although burgundy may sound like an odd color to choose, I have a couple of winter tops and spring/summer tops that go with this color.  So they're going to get some wear!

Hubs and I are going camping soon, so some active wear is on the agenda next.  Happy sewing!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

The Fabric Made Me Do It--McCall's 6964

I love this pattern; it's a true TNT for me.  I've made it 6 or 7 times and it's been a winner every time--until this time.  This time, however, was my fault and maybe the fabric's. The fabric is a pretty jersey knit with mesh strips sewn on top with stitches, braid and some sequins from Fabric Mart.

The problem started out with the lay out.  I couldn't be sure which side was the selvedge. I couldn't tell the selvedge from the cut edge.  Typically, with these ruffled fabrics, the ruffles run horizontally.   With this fabric, there is no stretch crosswise with the ruffles running horizontally and the stretch runs vertically.  If  I put the ruffles vertically, the crosswise stretch is going across the body.



Thinking that maybe it was designed to be different, I went with the crosswise stretch and the vertical ruffles.  I cut my usual size 16 neck and 18 bust, waist, and hips.  Looking at the finished product, all I can see is a blue hot dog that's been microwaved and split open in several places.


Apparently, I should have treated the knit as a woven and gone with the no-stretch ruffles on the horizontal and a pattern for a woven as well.  The top doesn't work on me, but it may for someone else so it's going into to donation pile.  

The pattern remains a favorite; the fabric made me do it.  It was a learning  opportunity and several lessons were learned.  So on to the next project.....more leggings!