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

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. 

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.