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

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Easy Fall Jacket; Butterick 6065

I'm finally sewing for fall and this little jacket was such an easy sew.  Just a few seams and a hem.  It's got a cocoon shape, darts for the shoulder seam, and a front band.   I made it up in a sheer knit mesh from Fabric Mart and just love wearing it.  Casual and relaxed with a dressy vibe.



I made a size large with no alterations.  It's only two pieces;  the body and the front band.  In such a sheer fabric and such odd-shaped pieces, it would be easy to get lost in the puzzle, so I cut it out using additional notches where there were circles or dots.  This worked out great; it came together so easily.  



Since the fabric was so sheer, I opted not to serge it.  Instead I zig-zagged the seam allowances and then trimmed.  For the hem I just turned and stitched.  

This is such a great little jacket and such a quick sew, too.  I may have to make another.  Maybe one for my daughter--I have enough fabric leftover as Fabric Mart sent so much extra.  

Till later;  Happy sewing all!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Seeing Double, Burda 7509

I don't usually sew duplicates of a pattern but this was good enough to repeat right off the bat.  I first became aware of this pattern by several great looking reviews of it on Pattern Review so I purchased the pattern.  It's a sleeveless tank cut on the bias meant for lightweight wovens. There are darts above the bust which is unusual but makes for a great fit.


This first top is sewn in a rayon challis from fabric.com in a size 20 to get a finished garment measurement of 45¼ inches.  Although not a recommended fabric, I love the drape and feel of this top.  I used French seams on the shoulders and side seams and self-fabric bias strips are used to finish the neck and armholes.  


This second version was sewn in a cotton voile from Fabric Mart.  I always forget what a joy it is to sew with cotton.  I love the finished product of challis and knits, but there's all that slippy-slidey business going on while you sew it.  That bias binding went in lickety split.  Again I used French
seams.  You'll notice that the voile top looks smaller than the challis top even though they're both the same size.  What a difference fabric makes!

Next up is the topper I made to go with the brown voile top!  Happy sewing all! 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

McCall's 7571, Another Cat Top

I hope you dog lovers can stand another cat top.  I loved the fabric so much of the last one , but ended up donating the top because the bulk of the collar and facing disturbed me too much.  So like a true fabric fanatic, when Fabric Mart offered it up for one their challis sales, I grabbed some more to make a different top.  Enter McCall's 7571, view A. 



The pattern says these are loose-fitting pullover tops with a gathered neckline and little V-neck opening.  It also has a gathered waist.  When they say loose-fitting, they mean it.  I sewed an 18 based on my measurements, wanting a loose-fitting summer top.  I could have easily gone down a size and still be loose.



The neckline was especially huge.  I thought, "No problem.  It's going to be gathered onto a bias binding strip."  Despite careful handling, the rayon challis grew.  The bias strip was near-equal measure to the top's opening.  I decided to continue sewing it down and made a narrow tie to go through it to pull it all in.  This ended up working well.  The top was so comfortable for a hot day at the zoo with the grandkids. 

Lessons learned for next time:  go down a size and use a firmer fabric than challis which grew a little at the neck and neck binding. 

Next up a couple of Burda tops....

Monday, August 7, 2017

Yet Another Button-Down Shirt--Butterick 5526

I'm acquiring quite a few a these button-down shirts the last few months, but I'm loving them.  They're pretty versatile; alone or with a top underneath or like this one, in a lighter fabric with the sleeves rolled up for summer. 


I started this top in June but it got side-lined by the shirts for the boys and the Jane Austen Project.  I was so happy to get back to it.  This fabric, a cotton shirting from Fabric Mart, was a dream to sew with.  It did everything asked without a hiccup or pucker, even the set-in sleeves and the collar.

The pattern is reviewed 65 times on Pattern Review and I can see why it's so loved!  The instructions just make sense and the pieces fit together so nicely.  The fit is good, too.  I cut a size 18 neck, shoulder, cuff and sleeve and used the size 20 for the bust, waist and hips.  The shoulders run a little wide, according to reviews, and I found that I had to do a slightly larger narrow shoulder adjustment than usual. 


The pockets have this cute little pleat in them that makes for a nice detail.  I even managed to match the stripes of the pocket to the shirt. 


The collar and band went together like a charm.  And it lays so neatly in this fabric. 


The tab was a cinch to make and install.  I really like the feature, too, however the rolled up sleeves hit me just below the elbow and always inch their way up during the day.  I also made it with the traditional cuff and placket so I can wear my sleeves down this fall.



The fit on the front, I think, is pretty good.  It could use some shaping in the back waist area, though. It looks pretty boxy in the photo.   Maybe fisheye darts.  Or try the view D with the princess seams next time, which I'd really like to do as so many have raved about that view. 

I had a remnant left over, so I made hubs a pocket square for one of his suits that he wears with a lavender shirt.  They look so nice together. 

Well, back to sewing.  I have a new McCall's in the works.  

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Jane Austen Project -- Finished!

Well, the Jane Austen Festival in Louisville, Ky was held this past weekend and daughter and I made it there in style--in an SUV not a carriage.  The Festival was full of sights and sounds and a veritable feast for the eyes.  We only went on Saturday, but we got to see a duel, the Navy, a Regency Fashion show, catch the Promenade, visit the shoppes,   have a lovely European tea and more.  Our  tea time overlapped the Promenade so we were not able to take part or see it all.  I'd say at least 3/4 of the attendees at the Festival were in period dress.  It was wonderful to watch and be a part of.   On to the sewing now.


As stated in my prior post, I used Sense and Sensibility's An Elegant Lady's Closet Pattern. For my daughter's dress I used a size 26D and graded the sleeve up to a 28.   (The pattern size is 6-26DD.)  The pattern is designed to be worn over stays, a type of corset, but I had read in an old review that a good minimizer bra would work as well. We went with the bras, but the silhouette was a little off compared to other ladies there.   Her dress is sewn in a blue floral cotton from Fabric.com.  Cotton is so friendly to sew on and it took a press so well, too.   


The drawstring is ingeniously done:  it runs under the dress front in the seams, comes out the side seams, and ties in the back adding to the fullness of the gathers there.  The dress front is rather flat and the bodice front is gathered on the inside neck edge by a drawstring of ribbon. 



My dress was done in a size 20C with a size 24 sleeve.  The sleeves run small and tight I found.  I did raise my neckline about a ½ inch, as the muslin was so low.  The "real" dress didn't need it after all.   My dress is made from a gold cotton lawn also from Fabric.com

I also sewed up reticules, small purses, included in the pattern to hold money, keys, and of course, cell phones.  I forgot to get pictures, though.  Rats.  Mine is done in a brocades with yellow and gold tones.  My daughter's was made of navy blue twill that I embroidered a ring of pale blue flowers on.  Just a simple lazy daisy stitch but it echoed the flowers of her dress and hat beautifully and looked charming.

The hats.  After looking at so many photos of past Festivals, and seeing so many bonnets in use, I decided it would be fun to wear bonnets as well.  After all, it's July in the South--a girl needs some shade.  The bare straw hats were purchased from different vendors on the internet then I trimmed them out one evening with goodies we got at Joann's. 



My daughter's bonnet is trimmed with an ostrich feather, a sprig of forget-me-nots and ribbon.  There's a small bee charm in the center of the ribbon "flower".   The other side features a simple flat bow. 

 
My bonnet has the white ribbon, a dragonfly on the front brim, and 3 white roses on the back brim.  They were surprisingly easy and fun to do; a combination of sewing things on and hot gluing.  Where would we crafters ever be without our glue guns!?


It took a month of sewing and prep work, because I actually made muslins to try the fit this time, but it was so worth it!  She was so delighted all day by all that we were seeing and doing.  And she got to play dress up while doing it!  We had such a great time, we're already planning on going next year!




 

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.