Friday, March 14, 2014
Instead of color blocking I used the patterned fabric for all pieces. I thought about using the double collars, but when I had them pinned in place, it looked to bulky for the light weight fabric and too busy in the print.
I used my serger for all the seams and my cover stitch machine for the hems. An easy, quick, and satisfying make -- it took less than an hour to sew.
I made the small and it fits great. It appears as though the weather here in Washington state is cooperating and it will soon be warm enough to wear this out and about without a sweater over it.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
I selected Simplicity 1716 view F for my first new top. I really like the fit of Simplicity knit tops. They seem to really suit my figure. I especially like the fact that the shoulders and neck are small enough not to gape. I used a very light weight cotton/spandex blend jersey that I purchased from Mood Fabrics last year some time. They do not have any left in stock.
Here are some pictures of the finished top:
Now on me! I did the usual adjustments I have to make. I took 1" out of the length at the waist since I am both short and short-waisted. That is usually enough to make the top hit at a flattering place on me and that was the case with this top. I also, as usual, had to cut the sleeves off by 3" to make them short enough. It is hard to see it on this patterned fabric, but I used my cover stitch machine to do the hems on both the sleeves and the body of the top. I serged all the other seams. I only needed my regular machine to add the elastic at the side seams. I used clear elastic to both stabilize the shoulder seams and to gather the side seams.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
I purchased the 100% Italian wool from Pacific Fabrics in Bellevue, WA. It is a warm beige tweed with Forest green, deep red and other colored threads woven in. It is soft and lush and just what I wanted: neutral without being black (which makes me look very pale like a denizen of a Twilight movie) and without being boring.
I chose a very feminine coat style with princess seams and a wide skirt, McCalls 6800 Misses'/Miss Petite Lined Coats, Belt and Detachable Collar and Hood. I liked the longer View A with the wide lapels, but did not care for the mullet hem. This seemed like a very trendy style feature to me and I did not want a coat, made out of fine wool, to appear completely dated in only one or two years. So I simply lengthened the front pieces to match the back, creating a knee length coat all around.
I used a weft insertion interfacing to fully interface the front pieces on the coat. I also used it to interface the front facings. I made a back stay out of sturdy cotton. I started to add shoulder pads during the construction, but when I tried on the coat, it was too much. I have very wide muscular shoulders, the pads made me look like I was trying to revive the 1980s! I lined the coat with matching bemberg rayon lining.
Here is the finished result!
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Why in the world are fashion models so angry these days? Everywhere I look I see scowling, grimacing women wearing high fashion.
Even the pattern companies have gotten into the act. Vogue Patterns in particular has models in poses that look like fisticuffs are going to break out any minute!
What is up with this trend?
Monday, August 12, 2013
And, what is not to like about a place where this guy lives?
Well, back home and back to sewing. I have been contemplating early fall. I know that in a lot of places in the country, this would be premature in the middle of August. For some folks, this is the time when summer really heats up. Here in the Pacific Northwest, August is a reminder that the beautiful weather does not last forever. We are having an extremely beautiful summer with clear sunny days with a light breeze and high temperatures in the upper 70s and low 80s. When summer arrives in the Seattle area, it is astoundingly lovely.
But, the reality is that we enjoy such loveliness for only about 2 to 3 months of the year. But the end of September, we will be looking at a slow cooling down and shorter days. I was thinking of that part of the season and made a few tops to wear as the weather cools but is still not cold.
First up, New Look 6807, an easy 2 hour top. I love the softness and 3/4 length sleeves. I made it out of a geometric print ITY knit. I made the size 10 for the upper shoulder area and neckline. I widened out to the 14 to accommodate my bust and then tapered back down to a 10 for the hip. This is a pretty common way for me to cut a simple tee shirt pattern to get the best fit. Additionally, I take 1 inch out of the bodice length above the waistline to better fit my short torso. I also shortened the top by 1.5 inches. Really, I am only 5 feet tall, so length adjustments are usually the most important for me.
Looking forward to wearing this as the temperatures cool here in the Northwest.
I will be back soon with another late summer, early fall make that is almost finished.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
And not just one shirt, but two. In my last post, I was looking at a color blocked shirt from Madewell but did not like the color combination they chose for the shirt.
It was mint green, pale blue and pink. I just do not like the mint green color and frankly don't look good in it. So, I decided to change the green to a pale sunny yellow. I selected 3 colors of 100% cotton pinpoint oxford cloth from Fabric.com.k I chose the colors sky (blue), yellow and pink. While I was looking at the oxford cloth, I also bought some black and white 100% cotton gingham to make a second shirt.
I selected a classic shirt pattern by Laura Ashley from McCall's to make both shirts, McCalls M6649.
The pattern showed one view color blocked but using 4 colors instead of the 3 I had in mind so I used the Madewell picture to decide which color to use for each part of the shirt.
Since this was a new pattern, I had to take careful measurements and make appropriate adjustments. I took 2 inches off the sleeve length (short little T. Rex arms) and one inch from the torso length to waist (shortwaisted too). I cut a size 12 for the shoulders and arm holes, collar and sleeves. I cut a 14 at the bust and waist and then tapered from the waist down to a size 8 for the hips.
Since I was going to use the same pattern for both shirts, I cut and sewed them at the same time. I used white thread to sew both shirts so it was easy to just do one particular step on both shirts as I sewed. The most complicated part for each shirt was cutting. I had to make double sure that I had a left and right of everything on the color block shirt. And, I decided to cut the yoke, front band and collar stand on the gingham blouse on the bias.
Sewing was simple and straight forward. At this point, I have made so many shirts in my sewing life that I really didn't refer to the directions at all. What was interesting is that there was a marked difference in the texture and sew-ability between the fabrics that I probably would not have noticed if I had sewed them separately. The gingham was much more malleable and easier to ease and stitch.
And the results? Here they are!
Sunday, April 7, 2013
The answer for me was shorts. Yes, shorts. Less investment of material, more casual in feel and some how psychologically less daunting.
I bought Simplicity 2700 from the Simplicity Amazing fit collection. I decided I liked the waist band and the overall cut of the pants. The directions are detailed and very simple. The idea is to first make sure you are cutting the appropriate pattern pieces for your figure type (straight, average, curvy) based on the overall crotch length, back crotch length and hip measurement. After taking all the measurements I decided to cut the size 10 average. The pattern purposely leaves 1" seams on the sides and center back waist to adjust the fit of the waist after the pants are basted together to check the fit at the hip.
I would up having to use all but 5/8" of the 1" seam allowance at the sides and back to make the waist fit. I am pretty straight up and down with little waist indentation because I am very short in the body.
The directions are clear, the sewing very straight forward and I found the pants super easy to put together. And how did they wind up? Here are the pictures! I used a non-stretch dark blue denim I found at JoAnn Fabrics and the pocket lining is a 100% cotton gingham also purchased at JoAnn. I washed both fabrics 3 times in water hotter than they will ever see again and dried them both on high as well to avoid any shrinkage once I launder the finished shorts. I hate jeans with spandex in the them. They seem like such a good idea but I always find they bag, sag and droop by the end of the day. Hate that.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
I decided on using a TNT pattern for two of the shirts the Grainline Studio Scout Woven Tee.
I like the simple shape and the breeziness of the top. I have made it previously in a slightly heavier white cotton with charcoal polka dots and wound up cutting down the sides for a sleeker fit to prevent the top from standing away from my body too much:. On this previous version, I took out about 3 inches at the bottom on the sides tapering up to nothing at the bust area.
So, who is that in the background? My sewing buddy, Palmer, a long haired Siberian Husky. He hangs out and sleeps while I sew and try things on and do things he generally considers sort of boring. Here is a better shot of the little guy wide awake and paying attention.