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Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Pumpkin orange wool knit--perfect for fall

I love orange.  I think it is vibrant, fun, and fresh.  It can be worn any time of the year--at least according to me.

When Fabric Mart had some wool knit on sale, I knew I had to purchase some so I grabbed two of my favorite colors: orange and a geranium colored pinkish-coral.  Both are just luscious and feel so good on your skin.  Not scratchy at all!

I wanted a simple design and choose the Melinda Knit Tunic from StyleArc.  This is a newer pattern from them that has a nice style, has some fitting, and is a little different with the boat neck style. It also doesn't take much fabric as I had a little bit left from my 1.5 yard length I purchased.

Boat neck tunic length top
Image from StyleArc

Since this pattern only shows a line drawing, I don't think it is totally accurate.  The drawing shows the shoulders are very extended and mine don't extend much over my shoulder.  I do a lot of push-ups, but not enough that I have any sort of heft in that part of my body!  

Also, the sleeves appear to be shorter on the drawing--more like 3/4 to bracelet-length but mine are all the way to my wrist.

Make sure you interface the neckline bands.  There ends up being some strain there due to the design but if you stabilize it properly it shouldn't be an issue.

I love this top.  It is comfortable, a bit different from anything else in my closet and it's orange!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

McCall's 7390 a love hate relationship

So....I both love and hate this pattern.  Why?  Well, let's back up. 

 This is my wearable muslin.  I really like what I did with my fabric, but it is rather ill-fitting.  Ugh.  I will still wear it.  I still love it.  But based on those changes I needed to make for another garment, which I eventually made, it didn't fit at all! In fact, I had to toss it!  Operator error?  I don't think so.  Let me explain a little more.  

For my muslin, I made view D, or at least a modified version of it.  I made my usual FBA, swayback adjustment, and sloping shoulder adjustment.  

I love the little peplum look of the lower skirt.  My fabric choices were a cotton for the main body and a linen-burn out for the sleeves and front overlay.  

I treated the front overlay and lining fabric as one and 'bagged' it so that I didn't have a hemline on the front.  If that makes any sense whatsoever.  

While that front collar area looks like it doesn't match, trust me, it does!  Even down to the millimeter.  

For my second go around, I decided to make view A as I had a beautiful stripe that I wanted to play with.  It didn't fit in the hips at all.  I NEVER had EVER had an issue with this in patterns from the big 4.  Just be aware of that if you make this pattern.  

While I like my top, it still needs work fitting it and I will most likely put this pattern away since I have so many I want to create.  

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

What is happening to my mojo and some new pattern arrivals!

I was looking at my number of posts from previous years and noticed I am woefully behind the last few years where I ended up having around 90 per year.  This year, to date, I have about 55.  There is no flipping way I can make up 40 posts prior to the start of 2017.

So, being the reflecter (over-analyzer) I am, I attempted to pick apart why....

I've been trying to complete more projects for people other than ME.  Tough to do when you are a rabid seamstress, but probably needed as I don't remember very much about the joy of completing some of the garments I pull out of my closet--that may be the signal that I have a problem???

Anyway, I ordered a few patterns to try and spur me on for the remainder of fall and beginning of winter.  I think I made some wise choices.  Here is a photo:

So of course I had to order three StyleArc patterns.  One is the Nell Cape--which I am super excited to make.  The Pleated Pia top is happily made from a knit and the Harlow top is so on-trend.  All three of these will be on my sewing table soon!

I also order the Morgan boyfriend jeans from Closet Case Files--I have NEVER used one of her patterns but I loved the styling of these so much and they are a button fly--something I haven't tried yet but am inspired to do so!

Next is that uber cute Delia top from Angela Wolf.  Dang, another adorable top with those awesome exposed shoulders/arms.  I have been doing extra push-ups in preparation to wear this!

Lastly, I purchased a pattern from Deer and Doe. It is the Aubergine dress and it has the cutest horizontal pleats across the bodice.  I've never used a Deer and Doe pattern and also excited to create this one as well.

So, just wondering what you do when you feel like you've lost your sewing momentum?  Do you order new patterns?  Clean your sewing room?  Stop for awhile?  Please, do tell!

Thanks always for your comments and reading!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

SPR's Lillian Top/Dress Blog Tour!!!

Hello sewing pals!  I was so excited when Deepika of SPR asked if I would be willing to create her newest pattern and participate in blog tour!  ME?  This was such an honor and I am excited to share my thoughts with you on this great little top that is easily converted into a dress.  

And, here it is!  The Lillian top/dress! 
PatternReview Lillian Downloadable Pattern 106

And below are my versions: 

Normally with a pattern, I make a sloping shoulder adjustment, swayback adjustment and FBA.  for this pattern, I only needed two of the three.  

Here is the description of the pattern from SPR's site: 
A knit top or an A-Line dress with a V-Neck Yoke and cap sleeves. The front yoke allows for subtle
bust shaping as well as infinite design opportunities. Mix and match fabrics and create a whole
wardrobe of Lillians! The top skims the figure and works for a variety of figure types. Go down a
size if you want it to be close fitting.

After making this up twice, I know the description is accurate.  I made a size medium as I didn't want the dress too snug.  There is some really nice built in shaping with the design of the pattern pieces, especially related to the bust.  

I live in the Northern Plains of the US and winter is approaching...I obviously lengthened the sleeves by measuring how long I wanted them, how wide I wanted the wrist, and using my ruler, I drew the lines to make a new sleeve length.  Easy!  You can see too that on the lighter colored dress, I added a little band at the wrist.

I love the length!  Perfect for tights and boots!

Normally, I make an FBA, but with this pattern I didn't have to!  No drag lines either!  

I used two very different fabrics for my two versions.  The navy is a textured double knit.  The purplish contrast is a ponte.  The lighter colored version is a sweater knit and an ITY.  Both worked equally well with this pattern and its drafting.  

I really like how the yoke looks with both of my fabric choices.  When Deepika designed this, she took a lot of care to make sure the pattern was drafted so the neckline was a nice V shape, but not too low.  I think it is the perfect depth.  If you like a lower V, adjust your pattern to reflect that.  

I like too how you can see the hint of purple at the back neckline.  

Deepika's instructions are well thought out and have some great photos to accompany them.  I have my own way of making a V-neck band and that is how I opted to do this dress as well.  

First, I cut 1/2" strips of fusible knit interfacing and adhere that to the neckband all the way around.  Staystitch the neckband as well, 1/4" from the edge.

This next step is totally optional, but I do it anyway!  After cutting my neckband using a ruler and rotary cutter, I serge the edge of it just to make it look neater.  How long do I cut it?  About six inches longer than it needs to be.  I wish I would have had matching serger thread but didn't so I opted for navy, which is what I used for the remainder of the dress.  

Stitch the neckband on using 1/4" seam allowances using a regular stitch.  I baste this on first to check the fit.  You will need to either make a sample or practice a few times to get the amount of stretch you need so it lies flat.  Since you are using one long piece of banding, you eliminate the center back neck seam as well.  Stitch around to about 1 inch from the V.  Turn to the right side, pin both pieces in place and stitch.  Sorry I didn't take a photo of that!

Other notes about this pattern--there are many notches to get the pattern to line up perfectly.  You can sew the sleeves in flat or set them in.  I choose to set them in.  Did I mention how well this fits me in the shoulders?  Love it!

Printing this off is economical--not that many pieces to assemble!
Ready to get your own?  Here is the link!

I can't wait to try this again when it is warmer outside so I can create the cute little contrast sleeves!

Want to see more?  Here are other sewers whom have created this pattern and the date of their blog tours:

PatternReview.com (24th) 

Julie (24th)

Sue (25th)

Sarah (26th)

Eryn (27th)

Margo (28th)

Bianca (29th)

Hila (30th)

Thanks so very much for stopping by!
Sue :)   

Sunday, October 16, 2016

New Look 6288--more unselfish sewing....

So I have two beautiful daughters.  One lives close by and has given me (well not given, but you know what I mean) the two most awesome grandsons! One lives far away and I've sewn up projects for her before but not as many as for Katy, or the DD that lives closer.  I decided to do something about that.  We went to a home party that sells women's clothing and she loved the maxi skirts.  I looked at the simple design and the fabric quality and thought that I can make her at least 4 of those with the price we paid for one.  

New Look Pattern 6288 Misses' Pull on Knit Skirts

So, being the good momma I try to be, I pulled out this pattern and let her forage through my stash and she picked three fabrics that I am glad she drooled over.  

Isn't she beautiful?  And look at that fabric!  This was a piece I purchased from Fabric.com.  I hesitated and told her she could have it only if she promised to love it as much as I do.  She quickly agreed.  Whew!  

She's quite a bit shorter than I am so I lopped about 3 inches off the length.  

There are so many pretty colors in this skirt that she can wear it with almost anything!  

Version 2 is this great print from Girl Charlee.  I made a tunic from it that I have never blogged about.  I really should do that since I just love it.

This knit had a more cotton-y feel than the first skirt did.

I also made a third skirt that we didn't photograph since this little fella decided he needed his mommy.  

This is a great skirt for a beginner or someone new to knits.  It stitches up very quickly and look how cute it turns out!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Jasmine pants!

So I am really, dreadfully, awfully far behind in my blogging.  I have been sewing but just haven't taken the time to post which is really too bad since I feel like when I see actual photos of me wearing garments I've made, I get a better idea of whether it is a hit, a near miss, or what was I thinking when I wore this in public???

Image result for Images StyleArc Jasmine pants

I am on the fence with these pants.  I like them but the fit isn't great.  It is okay, but this is the first time I have had to take a pattern in along the hips and thighs in a while.  Maybe all the running I am doing it starting to pay off?

I have had this pattern in my stash for a while and have also know for a while that I need more work pants.  So, I put these together in just a few hours.  It is a pretty basic pants that fit okay.  The legs are wider than I am used to and what makes this pattern a touch unique is the back yoke.  If my derriere wasn't so flat (I am working on that) I would wear these with a top tucked in so you can see the details.  

I know, I know, it is hard to see in this light.  I tried to get dressed in these prior to the sun setting, but it just didn't work out.  

I like these much better with my shirt un-tucked.  

Directions for this pattern are really, really difficult to follow.  You all know how much I love SA patterns and even for me, these were bad!  There are tutorials on their website that I have utilized before and know they are helpful.  I have made so many pants that I really don't need directions.  I just like to glance at them to see if there is another technique I need to learn.  

Having said that, if you've made a pair of pants with a real fly front, you won't have any issues creating these if you consult directions other than what is included with this pattern.  

The only fitting alteration I make to SA's pants patterns is a fish-eye dart at the back upper leg.  This is a slight dart and hers is how I do it.  In the photo above, I cut along a perpendicular line along the upper back leg, just below the crotch line.  

In this photo, I have taped the pattern piece back together.  If this had been tissue paper you could have seen what I did much more clearly.  You will just have to take my word for it!  The overlap in the center of the leg is 1/4" which amounts to a total of 1/2".  It makes a difference.  If you used very stretchy fabric, you could make the dart extend all the way to the side seams and then stretch the back to fit the front.  My fabric wasn't nearly that stretchy so I had to taper to nothing on the sides.  

These pants are comfortable and have a nice wide waistband that sits at your natural waist.  

I wanted you to see a close-up of the fabric I used as it isn't visible in the photos above.  Isn't this cool?  I believe I purchased it from Fabric Mart.  

Thanks for reading!
What are you sewing to wear to work?  Do tell!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Orange, white, and Butterick 6376

How many new sewing patterns have you picked up recently?  This is one of the new Butterick's that I thought was cute and unique.
Image result for images butterick 6376
Actually, I've purchased several blouse patterns and chose this one to complete first as we are still having some beautiful weather.  You might smirk as you read that statement but we've had plenty of snow in year's past on October 1st.  

I made my usual size 14 based on my high bust measurement of 36.  

 The big 4 patterns have quite a bit of ease and it is recommended by many pros to use your high bust measurement when choosing a size.

This top is my wearable muslin.  The orange stretch gingham is from Marcy Tilton and I couldn't resist it as orange is one of my favorite colors to wear.  

I made my usual FBA and I think it would have worked better had I made darts.  See, there are some drag lines.  Just to make this a bit different, I doubled up the buttons down the front.  

I love how the back fits.  I made my usual swayback adjustment along with a sloping shoulder adjustment.  

I am pretty happy with my new top!  
Thanks for reading