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

Monday, August 31, 2015

Pink Peasant Top

Like so many other sewers out there I'm a huge fan of The Great British Sewing Bee.  I enjoy it so much I'll re-watch episodes just for inspiration and to enjoy their camaraderie.  This particular episode dealt with chiffon and so inspired me I dug out my own chiffon and a pattern, New Look 6891, a set of loose peasant-style tops.

Years ago I got 4+ yards of this fabric at a thrift shop.  I tried to make a top of it but botched up the cutting so badly I abandoned the project.  Fast forward several years and a little more experience and knowledge and cutting out wasn't so difficult with great care and lots of pinning.  No sliding, shifting or distortion.   The last New Look I stitched up was a size 16 and ended up too small to wear.  I wanted this to be loose and flowing, so I cut a size 18.

I used French seams through out, even the arm scye.  The bias binding at the neck was just too narrow for my machine to I just turned it under and slip stitched by hand.

The pattern is listed as easy, and I guess you could say it is, it's just very fiddly what with the fine bias binding at the neck and the little ties at the wrists. If I ever sew it up again, I will cut a 16 at the neck and an 18 at the waist/hips as the neckline is very roomy.  All in all, I love this top.  It makes me feel so feminine with its sheer flowiness and delicate pink coloring. 

The next project is a little more masculine and difficult for me.  Happy stitching.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

New Cross Stitch and The Floral Dress

I've been a bad girl in several ways.  First I went trolling on Ebay--always gets me in trouble.  Where I purchased this:
Titled Everything Stops For Tea, its a cute little sampler torn from a British magazine then sold online.  Given how much hubs and I love a hot cuppa, I thought it just too appropriate for the kitchen. Here's the progress so far, most of one section, still lacking the backstitching.

It's sad to say, but the Flower Box Cats have gone by the wayside for the time being for this project.  I seriously needed a break with something a little more straightforward. So it's gone for the moment but not forgotten and will be picked back up again. I hate UFOs.

In garment sewing news, I've got a new dress for the last of summer, Vogue 8382.

This pattern is now out of print but is a gem.  I made it up once before when I was a size larger and loved it.  It's easy to sew and so easy to wear.

I thought it was the perfect match for this floral print from Joann's silky collection a year or so ago. 
I love the freedom of dresses and just can't get enough of them.  This one was sewn in a size 16 with no changes. 

It has an empire waist, deep front pleats extending from the darts in front and long darts in back for shaping. 

I went with a zipper I had on hand, a 14 inch, when it called for a 22 inch.  I should have made the shopping trip, as its a little snug getting it off and on.  The bodice is lined with white Bemberg instead of self fabric as the floral would have shone through. I'm really enjoying wearing  my new dress even though I couldn't get a photo of me in it.  Zelda has filled in nicely.

Next up-- a new chiffon top. Happy stitching all

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Asian-inpired Cross-over Top

I'm getting more time in the sewing room these days. So I'm getting a little more accomplished as well.  The Asian-inspired Top is Butterick 5046, which is now out of print, using view A. 

As you can see, it's a simple little crossover V-neck empire top that buttons just below the bust then falls into a tunic-length skirt.   I used an Asian-looking cotton print that's been in the stash for several years.  ( I'm trying so hard to sew from stash.)  The only modifications I made were a slight forward shoulder adjustment and used 2 buttons at the waist instead of just the one the pattern called for. It just looked more balanced that way.

The lack of any gathers under the bust give it a flat front so no preggers look--I'm just fluffy but it would lie flat on others. I also had to place a snap on the neckline to prevent gaping.  I was flashing everyone every time I moved! And it's just too hot here to wear a cami underneath it.  The armholes are bound with purchased bias binding. I'm so proud of how neat it came out. 

I've made this once before in a voile with beading all around the neckline but alas, it's too big now.  I considered adding sequins to this one but couldn't get the motif centered in a way that it would make sense with sequins.  I think I works as is though.  It's certainly comfy and cool in our humid Kentucky summer.  Next up a dress and some cross stitch.   Happy stitching.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Purple Fan Top

Catching up a little on my sewing projects here.  Also recently finished is Butterick 6187 a Connie Crawford design.  This pattern as short sleeves, empire waist, and an asymmetrical hem in the front.

The package would have had me sew a large, but the garment's finished measurements on the pattern pieces put me at a medium, which worked out beautifully. The pattern says its based on "Modern Sizing" which included a fuller figure, and rounder shoulders.  Go by the finished measurments, there's still plenty of ease.  I have a 38½ bust and the medium has a finished size of 42 inches.

The fabric is a silky polyester blend from Joann's with a nice drape and hand. The skirt front is not cut on the bias so it relies on the drape of the fabric. 

The instructions were very easy to follow and the garment a quick, easy sew and  I serged the seams. I love how comfy it is.  It is the best-fitting armhole and sleeve I've ever made.  I think the front bodice makes me look a little flat, but my husband says it looks fine although not "bust enhancing".  I think that means they're not a featured item in this top unlike in most empire waist items.  I enjoy wearing it because it's cool and comfortable and the color is flattering.  I don't think I'll make it again as there are more flattering tops around.  It's a good pattern, just not for everyone.  Sizes range from 3-4 to 42-44. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

The I Love Lucy Dress

I didn't set out to make a dress that Lucille Ball would have worn on I Love Lucy, but I think that's what I ended  up with.    It all began with McCalls 6891, view C, which is a perfectly modern shirtdress pattern with short sleeves. No retro vibe going on here. 

Next came the fabric--a navy blue cotton that's been in the stash for a goodly while.  It's nice and lightweight for summer use but holds it color well through the wash.  Plus I had 4 yards of it, the pattern's a bit of a fabric hog.  Still no real retro thing going on yet. 

I got almost to the collar and thought to myself how boring this plain navy dress looks.  It needs something to perk it up but what.  It was time to apply the collar, when it dawned on me that some thin white braid on the collar would look very crisp and nautical.  So I added it.  And liked so much I much I added it to the sleeve hems, too.  Now it looks more retro than nautical.

Its time to place the buttons and the dilemma arises what to do now?  Try some silver buttons with anchors on them?  It just seemed wrong.  I decided to embrace the retro and put on bold white buttons marching down the front.  Now it definitely looks like something Lucille Ball would wear gliding into the room on I Love Lucy.  And I can live with that because I'm just mad about this dress now.

Apparently others are too.  Everywhere I go when I wear it, I get compliments from complete strangers.  The restaurant, the grocery store, Barnes and Noble...  Someone will stop me, say they love the dress and ask where did get it.  Its a little embarrassing but cool, too.

I also want to point out that this is a Palmer/Pletsch pattern so its a treasure trove of how to modify a pattern to fit you.  I only had to do my usual forward shoulder adjustment, but if I ever make it again, will make the sleeves a little wider as they're a little snug. 

On to the next project.  Happy sewing to you.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The New Sewig Room

I'm such a poor blogger.  I'm going to try to do better I have  new motivators.  First we just got a new computer.  Yea!!  Ours died about 3 months ago and we've been surviving on our smartphones.  Thank heavens they're so smart! 

Second, our youngest daughter who moved out almost a year ago, finally gave the okay to dismantle her bedroom so it could become the long coveted sewing room.  I'm so excited!  It still contains her dresser and a bookshelf but there are plans to move those soon or at least their contents so I can use them until she claims them.  My own sewing room!  I'm still in awe. I've been sewing in a corner of the dining room for 7 years now.

Here's where most of the action takes place.  On the table I have my Brother CS6000i, on which most of my sewing is done, and an old Bernina Berdette that's close to 30 years old now.  The cart contains all my sewing patterns.  Sitting in the chair is Fritzi who believes the room is for her. 

Swinging to the right, is the bookshelf  I hope to commandeer, my dressform Zelda, and the new ironing board.  I'm such a sewing nerd to be excited over an ironing board but we've been using one that hangs from the door in the laundry room.  This is such a vast improvement and makes it so convenient for sewing.

This cabinet was made for my grandmother and is close to 60 years old.  It had been in storage waiting for this moment.  Resting on it is my Brother 929D serger that I picked up 2nd hand but works like a trooper as long as my grandson leaves the tension alone.  On the last wall is just a steel wire cart that holds storage boxes and rules and a bulletin board with inspirational pictures on it. 
I'm still getting settled but am so very happy with the new space, especially all the cheerful sunshine that comes through the windows.

Now I just need new curtains for the windows and the closet and some cute covers for the machines.
How about you? Where do you sew and does it make you happy?  What would your dream space have that it doesn't have now?  Wherever you sew... I wish you happy sewing .