Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bold and Beautiful

No procrastination here.  I finished two very simple skirts from the beautiful fabric that arrived last week.  They really do look nice with the sunshine top here.  Both skirts are made with New Look 6875 view E.  I used my coverstitch machine to hem and topsitch the waist band.  I just used a a zigzag and straight stitch on the side seams to avoid any tension issues I sometimes have with my serger.  Because the back and front are the same, I like to sew a little ribbon in the middle of the waist band on one side to designate a back.  Although the side seams on the magenta skirt did not line up exactly, they are close enough to give the skirt a consistent look all the way around.    

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Chic Grey Linen

I found this wonderful cut of thick, grey, linen at a local fabric shop called Fabric Mart.  It took me a long time to decide what to do with it.  In the end, I made the skirt from New Look 6874.  I cut a size 10, but graded out to a size 14 at the waist.  Most patterns run too small in the waist for me.  This pattern states it is worn 1 inch below the waist, but I was still concerned it would be too small.  When I tried it on without the waist band, I realized I had added too much extra fabric so I made two small darts in the front of the skirt.  If I had taken the extra fabric out at the sides, I think it would have caused the pockets to pull and wrinkle because my stomach is not flat.  I am really happy with the fit of this skirt and will wear it often.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Rustic Red and Ruffled

I am loving this breezy simple outfit.  This is my second version.  The skirt was made from a cotton shirting bought locally.  I used Burda 8176.  The only thing I changed about the pattern was to insert an invisible zipper instead of a regular one.  I thought a cleaner look was needed, given that the zipper is in the side seam.   

McCall's 6036 is a fun easy pullover top pattern.  I made this top using an XXL men's T-shirt bought for $5.00.  I've had the material for the skirt in my stash for about 2 years, but I couldn't find a knit I liked with it.  So while shopping for my boys last week at Old Navy, I walked through the men's section to browse through the T-Shirts for fabric!   I found the perfect colors.  Sometimes you just have to get creative to find what you need.  P.S.  I am now loving my Janome CoverPro for hemming my knits!
This is my first version made from the same two patterns mentioned above and a purple men's T-shirt from Old Navy.  I used the higher neckline on the pattern for this one.  I went with the lower neckline for the red top.   

Friday, February 19, 2010

Linen and Batik

I recently completed this wine-colored bias skirt with pocket and lining using my tnt New Look 6153.  To make the lining, I cut out the same skirt pieces in a light-weight cotton, however I shortened them by 1".  The design of the pocket came from an old Burda pattern, but I don't remember which one it was.

Last summer I made this Butterick 6085 sleeveless top to go with a pair of linen capris made of the same fabric.  The capris ended up feeling too hot so I gave them away and have finally sewn up this skirt. Now I can wear the top again.  The Butterick 6085 was quite loose fitting (I cut a size 12) when I completed a muslin, so I ended up making several alterations.  I put in a center back seam to fit the curvature of my back.  I pinched out 1/2" on the armhole back.  I took in the side seams to the size 8 markings but ended up adding about 1/2" to the lower 4".  This pattern is simple in that it has only 4 pieces for the sleeveless version and goes together quickly once any alterations have been done.

I love this pattern combo so much that I have actually made 3 outfits so far.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bubble Skirt

This skirt was made for a friend's daughter.  I used a cotton voile.  I doubled the skirt front and back pieces so it wouldn't be too thin.  The bubble ruffle was very easy to construct.  I normally use a double needle to top-stitch when I turn the waist band down, but this time I got lazy and used a zig zag stitch.  It seems like this skirt is short, but I will have to see it on my model to be sure.  I made the XL.  This is KWIK SEW 3499. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Announcing the Arrival...

I love it when I am greeted with a pink "pick-up" slip in my mail box.  I was able to take that slip and exchange it for this "Gorgeous Fabric".  I cannot wait to get started on my skirts.  The snakeskin print is sizzling and the magenta one reminds me of the skirt Sandra Bullock wore in  All About Steve.  Fun, fun, fun! 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bathrobe Blues

A bathrobe for my eldest son! I had promised all three of my boys bathrobes quite a while back. The youngest got his first, followed by the middle. As I was finishing up my latest project, posted today, the oldest walked into my sewing room and half jokingly said I was a "traitor" for not getting to his robe and working on yet another one of my projects. I have to admit he was right. I think I was dreading: tracing and cutting out the same pattern in a different size, all the terry cloth fuzzies escaping into every room of the house, and the challenge of sewing the bulky fabric. Oh the relief of making things right with the oldest and having his project completed. I had better give careful consideration to "promising" in the future.
These were made using Jalie 2567. Click on the side bar for a complete review.

Earth Elements

The colors in this outfit remind me of the forest, ocean, and red dirt here on the island. The skirt is a tried and true (tnt) pattern (New Look 6153). It is a simple bias cut skirt with only the front and back piece, and an elastic waist (size 10 with 3/8" seam allowance). Sometimes I add a lining to the skirt and sometimes I add a patch pocket on one hip. In this version there are no embellishments. The fabric speaks for itself. It is a rayon batik bought locally at, Discount Fabric Warehouse. The stretch corduroy jacket is a purchased item that has been in my wardrobe for about 5 years. I immediately thought of it when I saw the fabric and knew they would be a good match.

The knit shirt is a new pattern for me, New Look 6874. It was made with another remnant of cotton knit bought through FFC. I had to make several adjustments to this pattern (size 10). I took the neck band in by 1 inch. The back and side seam were also taken in 1/2 inch, with a bit more taken in the back seam at waist level to account for my curve there. I love the cap sleeves on this. I do plan to make it again. I used my Janome Cover Pro for the hems and found out it sews much better with Maxi Lock thread, which I had not been using before. So the hems turned out great on this one. I will need to invest in a clear presser foot however, so that I can see the seam better while sewing. My top stitching around the neck is uneven and I don't want that to happen again.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sunshine Top

I love this top by Hot Patterns. The neck isn't too low and it sits close to your chest when leaning forward. I made it a couple of weeks ago out of a black, cotton, knit that was a remnant piece from FFC (Fashion Fabrics Club). The fabric doesn't have a lot of stretch, but what it does have was enough for the top. I thought this would be my muslin, but it fits perfect so I will wear it a lot. Glad I don't have to trace out a new pattern for the next one! My hem band is a little wider (4 inches) than the pattern suggests (3 inches) and I made a size 8.

The skirt is made from another ITY knit from FFC. This knit is a bit stiff and I also forgot to set my serger tension correctly so the side seams puckered. I also don't care for the length or width at the bottom. This will probably end up a wadder. I have some new, printed, matte jersey fabrics on their way from Ann at Gorgeous Fabrics. When they arrive I will be able to make some cute skirts to go with this top.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Raspberry and Grey

Both fabrics for this outfit were purchased from Fashion Fabrics Club on sale. The raspberry t-shirt is a fairly thick cotton lycra with horizontal slubbing. It needed a structured pattern so I chose the boat neck t-shirt shown in view A from Kwik Sew pattern 2804. I think this is out of print now. I was hoping the boat neck was a little more pronounced, like the picture on the drawing. I cut out an x-small, but still needed to take in the side seam at the waist and hip about 1 inch to get a snug fit.

I also broke in my new Janome Cover Pro 1000 on this project. I think I still have some kinks to figure out. Unfortunately, I didn't see how it was threaded when it came out of the box. My boys found it first and the threads were all messed up when I got to it. I didn't think I'd have a problem re-threading it since I had read so much about how easy that is to do. However, I am not confident I have done it right. I occasionally have skipped stitches over seams, and I could not get it to sew on rayon, viscose, knit, fabric without it looking horrible on the looper stitch side. I do wish Janome had a video that shows precisely how to thread it. I think my problem is in the looper thread. This machine is not sold locally, so I cannot go to a dealer here for help. Maybe I will have to island hop to get some help if I don't get it figured out myself.

The skirt is from New Look 6875 view E. The fabric is an ITY knit. The texture feels like suede, but it isn't stiff at all. It must have a touch of lycra. This is a very casual outfit that will get a lot of mileage, as long as the fabric holds up. I fear I may see snags or pilling on the skirt, but so far so good after two washings.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Here I Go

I love reading sewing blogs and felt it was time to start one of my own. I hope you enjoy the photos and projects as much as I have enjoyed yours. I expect to learn a lot as I begin this experience. I have been sewing since high school, but still have so much to learn. I tend to like quick projects, and living in a tropical environment keeps my clothing pretty simple for the most part. I also love to sew for my boys and other friends and family.

So, here goes with McCall's 5430. This is advertised as a one hour wrap skirt, but certainly took longer than that with laying out the pattern and taking my time on the details. (Oops now I see the one hour is "sewing time" only) I love how it turned out, and the fit is perfect. I did alter the pattern a bit by taking out about 1.5" from the side seam starting at the bottom of the skirt and tapering up to the given seam at the top. I will be making a couple more of these this year.