Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Kwik Sew 3522 made with the "What Was I Thinking?" fabric

Kwik Sew 3522 is described by the pattern envelope as a misses tunic and dress with a V-neckline, empire waist, kimono style sleeves, and neckband, waist inset and back ties are from contrast fabric.  View A dress has short sleeves with contrast bands.  View B tunic has three-quarter length sleeves with contrast bands. 

I made View B, but lengthened the skirt by 6 inches, in a size XS.  I also took 1/2" off the shoulder seams to raise the neckline a little bit.  There is plenty of room in the sleeves so as not to have any fitting issues by doing this.  I should mention the knit is a high quality, no sheen, rayon/viscose/lycra, and the black trim is a rayon lycra.

I do love this pattern.  I have made it 3 times.  I think I get a sporty look with the leggings,  and what a bonus, the whole outfit couldn't be more comfortable.  I also like to wear this dress thrown over a swimsuit on beach days, with no leggings.

I agreed with Uta when she suggested this fabric should have some kind of solid contrast.  I especially felt that the black needed to frame my face instead of the yellow/green tones.  This pattern has all the right ingredients. 
While the colorway isn't my favorite, I do like the interesting print.  In the end, this dress will be worn quite a bit this fall.           
I'm looking forward to seeing your "What was I thinking?" creations!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hmmm...What was I thinking?

Before I get into that question, let me just say how glad I am to see that I am not the only one who loves snaps.  Ha!  I feel much better now!  Thanks to all who commented on the last few outfits.  I appreciate you  so much!  And I have a plan to prove it, soon, very soon. 

How is your week going?  So far so good here.  I have an interesting knit to show you.  I am not sure what I was thinking when I bought this, but I remember when it arrived I was taken by surprise.  "Did I really order this?"  Apparently I had and now is the time to use it.  It has season appropriate fall colors in it, but like the fabric in this top, I can't decide if it is really ugly or just unique.   Ha!  We will see.  I have the perfect pattern for it; one I've made before.  How about you?  Do you have something you are not quite sure about lurking in your fabric stash?  How about a challenge?  Pull it out and share what you come up with.  I'd love to see it!


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ooga Booga for Baby I

Baby I, a boy, is due to arrive in mid-October.  But you know some babies can have a mind of their own and show up when they feel like it; not when it is planned!  So, I really felt like I better get this fun, tiny (0-3mos.), October-appropriate, outfit done this weekend. 

I have had this 100% cotton rib knit in my stash for about 2 years.  Funny, this is the most difficult knit fabric I have worked with in a while.  I normally don't use my serger to finish my inside seams on knits, but this time I had to because my sewing machine kept stretching the seams out.  I used my serger to gather them back by adjusting the serger's tension.  I used my coverstitch machine for most of the top-stitching.

Have I told you how much I love Kwik Sew patterns for baby and children's wear? These two in particular, Kwik Sew 2656 and Kwik Sew 2978, form the perfect layette for a precious newborn. I have been using this pattern combination since my boys were infants.
One thing I really like about the crawler, from the first pattern, is that you can completely open the front.  This makes it so much easier to dress baby. 
I also like the cuff at the bottom of the pants to help keep a newborn's legs warm.

I think of the cardigan and hat as the icing on the cake that pulls the whole look together.  It also provides more warmth for the fall/winter months.  I had to go "fabric" shopping again at Old Navy to find the perfect color match for the cardigan in the men's five dollar T-shirt section. 
The snaps are from Snap Source.  I have purchased directly from them, but also from Ann at Sew Baby.  Both have always provided excellent customer service.  I think these snaps are easy to apply with the little tool you can purchase separately.  Keep in mind, it is very difficult to take them off, without ruining your project.  Ask me how I know!  Double check your placement before you pound your hammer!  I'm not sure if Snap Source still has the shade of green I used.  My last order from them was at least a couple of years ago and they had a whole bunch of special "online only" colors that I scooped up. you think I might have a snap fetish?
By the way, if you haven't got your fill of Ooga Booga outfits, you should go check out Ruth's adorable girl's version in a slightly different color way.  Oh my... it is cute!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Burda in Dark Olive Green and a Digital Print

I am pleased with this outfit.  The gorgeous fabric in the simply designed  blouse and the interesting details in the skirt make for an on-trend, military-like, fall fashion, ensemble. 

The Skirt:

The skirt is Burda #116 from the September 2010, issue.  I made it out of an inexpensive, stretch, dark-olive sateen.  This pattern would probably do a little better with a drapier fabric, because it does tend to crease/fold out towards the front at the horizontal panels when walking or sitting.  I will probably make it again in a quality tropical weight wool or rayon gabardine to match the quality of the blouse.  The technical drawing is here.  I cut a size 36, and added approximately one inch to the waist.  The other change I made was to have two back walking vents instead of one to keep it symmetrical.  I inserted an invisible zipper and it is lined with nude-colored Bemberg rayon, which is the only color I had on hand.  I had forgotten to add an extra inch to the hem when I cut it out, but as you can see the skirt is quite long and I even hemmed it two inches instead of the recommended 1 5/8".  The construction of this skirt is fairly easy.  One thing I like about this design is that it gives the illusion of hips, if you are like me and have a boyish figure. 

I would mention that it might be a good idea not to trim your seam allowance on the curved front seams so that they will stay flat when you press them open.  I cut mine a little narrow after I pressed them open and now they want to stay together and not stay open nor lie flat when I am wearing the skirt, which make a little bulge along the seam line.  Again, maybe the choice of fabric has something to do with this. 

Here are some close-ups of the details:

Double Back Vent and Blind Hem

Invisible Zipper
(Wish I had had an olive one handy, but the blue does not bother me too much since there is blue in the blouse.  Also, I think this outfit would look great with a wide belt, which would also hide the zipper pull.)

Front Curved Horizontal Panels
 The Blouse:

I used Burda pattern 8153 and also cut a size 36.  My fabric is a designer, cotton/silk, digital print.  What a fantastic fitting long sleeved blouse this is.  It has bust darts and front and back shaping darts at the waist.  I did not have to make any alterations.  The collar is a smidge wide and gives it a bit of a retro feel, which with this fabric, I love.  The sleeves have vents with facing and two pleats on each side.  The cuffs are interfaced.  I put two buttons on mine instead of just one.  I used all french seams in the construction except where I set in the sleeves.  I was so nervous working with this fabric and I did make one big mistake, which thankfully I was able to hide when I attached the collar.  Instead of attaching the collar from the outside of the shirt, I had to attach it to the inside and fold it to the outside then stitch it down.  I think I will be the only one who notices this since the collar hides the collar stand.  The inside is evenly stitched and this is the side that shows.  I am going to love this blouse not only with the above skirt, but more casually with jeans, like this:

Cuff Detail
Sewing is my absolute favorite hobby.  I love pushing myself and trying new things.  And... I just love the whole creative process.  I love browsing for fabrics and thinking, "Hmmm, what could I do with this?" or "That's a cool detail, I'd like to try that..." or "What if I tried this print with that pattern."  I still have so much to learn and the fabric, pattern, design combinations are endless! 

What's next?  Something tiny, adorable, and soft!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Burda Bits - An Update

The Burda #116 skirt from the September 2010 Burda Style magazine is finished!  I realized while working on it, that this is actually my third Burda magazine skirt, not my second.  And you know what they say, "Third time's a charm!"  I can't wait to show it to you.  But if you've been reading this blog for a little while now, you know I generally like to make complete outfits.  So I am working on the blouse to go with it.

I am using Burda 8153, view B. 

Ever since noticing the digital prints in fashion magazines, I've been wanting to find some.  One day, while browsing my usual online fabric shops, I found this artistic cotton/silk at Marcy Tilton.  I instantly fell in love and bought two yards, and blew my fabric budget.  I don't think the photo does it justice.  It has a silky sheen and is easy to sew.  The hardest part of working with this expensive fabric was the initial cut.  Phew!  I'm past that and onto constructing the blouse using french seams.  Here is a picture of it with the dark olive sateen I used for the skirt.  I hope to have the outfit completed and posted by Friday.  
I'd also like to shout out a warm "MAHALO" to Venessa and Julia for nominating me for the Beautiful Blogger Award.  You are both so sweet and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
I understand this is a pass it along award and I just want you to know I enjoy all the blogs listed on my sidebar and am constantly adding to it!  I feel very blessed to be a part of the the sewing blogging community.  It has literally widened my world by leaps and bounds and I am so grateful, because I feel less isolated, living way out here in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.  Sew On! 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Up Next

I am going to attempt my second Burda Style magazine skirt.  It will be from the September 2010 issue.  Here is the pattern number and technical drawing.  I will be using a dark olive green sateen. 
I wanted to share a couple of things I "discovered" while attempting to trace the pattern.  These discoveries may not be new to you, especially if you've made a lot of Burda magazine patterns, but since this is only my second, they were new to me.  First, take a look at the pattern.  I need the black ones marked with numbers 21 to 26.   "What?" You can't see them.  My thoughts exactly.  
The first time I traced a Burda pattern, I did not notice the reference numbers at the edge of the pattern sheet.  I was staring at the above pattern sheet, trying my best to find the pieces I needed, and not really seeing them.  So I thought maybe I should look for the color coded numbers instead.  Those stuck out a little better, and I was able to locate about 4 of my pieces.  By the time I was looking for my fifth piece, I noticed the numbers on the edge of the pattern sheet.  I realized that by following them up from the edge, I would find the number on the sheet.  I had an "Aha" moment.  Did you all know about the reference numbers on the side?  Here is a close-up of what I am talking about.  I can't believe I didn't notice this the first time I traced one out and more than half-way through tracing this one out!
So if you are using the "green" pattern and you need to find piece number "3", just follow it up from the edge until you locate it on the sheet.  Ok, so that made seeking out the pieces a whole lot easier. 

Once I found the pieces, I traced them with a highlighter. I don't know how many times you could do this on one sheet without making it a worse jumbled mess.  But if you are only tracing one or two patterns, I think the integrity of the sheet will not be ruined.  Highlighting made it easier for me to see the lines as I traced. 

Finally, I tried someone else's tip of using my sewing machine to baste 5/8" around my pattern edges to add my seam allowances.  My machine didn't really pull the tissue paper in easily, so I just used my seam gauge to mark the allowances.  It took about the same amount of time.  Anyway, I actually feel better about tracing out future patterns.  My biggest issue was finding the pieces and now that I've discovered how to do that quickly I am not as reluctant to try more in the future.  

On a completely different note, we had our first swell of the season on the North Shore.  The surfers were delighted and with it came a wonderfully, cloudy, rainy, day.  Ahhh!  The season is changing!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Orchid Dress

Orchids are not the flower featured in this print, but the colors sure remind me of them.   So I will call it my "Orchid Dress".   I found this beauty at Emma One Sock.  Ever since making this tunic (all construction details are here), I have been itching to make the dress version.  I think cutting it out probably took as long as making it.  It was even easier the second time around.  Here is Simplicity 2369, view B with the sleeves from view C.  This time I left the ties long so that I could tie a bow instead of a knot.

Fall has been on my mind.  It is my favorite time of year and I sure do miss mainland northwestern weather about now.  Mornings and evenings will start to get a little cooler here, and I have some wonderful fabric and pattern combinations planned for the season.  But I just couldn't resist doing something now with this gorgeous print!  Aloha!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

Vogue 1045 in Linen

Here is the top from Vogue 1045.  I used a medium weight gray/blue linen and made view B with the ruffle collar in a size A.  I didn't plan to make a matching linen skirt, although that would have been nice.  Instead, I used a complimentary Bali rayon print.  I actually bought the very last 1.5 yards of this rayon.  I loved the print and colors, so was happy to get a piece.  The skirt is, once again, New Look 6153.  I'll never get tired of this pattern, and it works perfectly if you only have 1.5 yards of 45" wide rayon fabric, since it is cut on the bias. 

Overall, I like the top.  I do feel that the neck line is a little wide and heavy looking when it sits straight up.  I think I may have taken the ruffles too far to the front edge of the shirt.  If I had set them back a bit, then it would give a little v shape to the front and I might like it better.  So I plan to wear it as you see it, with a little asymmetry by keeping one side folded down. 
Here it is with the collar up:
The reason I chose this pattern is because I liked the tucks on the front and back.  The directions give you many ideas and suggestions for finishing these, but I opted to topstitch them in my coordinating grey colored thread.  Here is a close-up:
The sleeves are finished with a facing that encloses the seam allowance.  
I decided not to use the bias strip to finish the hem line.  It is suggested because the directions say it is difficult to get a professional finish by turning the hem under when you have a curved hem.  But using Pam's tutorial, I got a finish I am happy with without adding the bulk of a bias strip to this heavier fabric. 
I don't believe I will make this again, but it is lovely in the stiffer silk-like material shown on the pattern cover.  My version is casual, comfortable and conservative.  

Friday, September 10, 2010

When you live in HI...

It can't always be about sewing when you live in Hawaii......
A little snorkeling treasure.  Hmmm...who else is sharing the ocean with me?
...or can it?

Thought you might like to see what I will be working on this weekend between family activities. 

The fabric on the left is a two color thread (cross-dyed?) linen with dark grey and sky blue threads.  The one on the right is a Bali rayon.  These were both picked up during my latest excursion to Oregon.  The linen is from Mill End and the rayon from Fabric Depot.  I am fond of the Eileen Fisher linen clothing I see, and this fabric/pattern combination sort of reminds me of her look.  I am going to step out of my comfort zone and make the ruffle collar view for the top, and I am not sure yet of the pattern I will use for the bottom.  I'll keep you posted! 

Also, thank you for your opinions on the Burda pants.  I appreciate all your thoughts and they will stay in my wardrobe rotation since they are so darn comfy!

Have an adventurous and safe weekend!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Super Slouchy Burda 7440

Here is the final result of Burda 7440 styled with a rtw top.  Please see the previous post for most of the construction details.  I took pictures before I began teaching today and decided to wear them.  So far, they get an A+ for comfort. 

Just a couple more notes about fit and construction.  The front waistband is much lower than the back, which I like.  The darts at the inner knees give them a slight pointy look from the side, which I don't like.  I will most likely make a self-fabric drawstring later today.  The one you see is made out of a double layer of hem tape.  I just used what I had on hand.  It's not bad, but may be a little shiny for my liking.  They are a unique pair of trousers and based on comfort, they are keepers.  Any thoughts?  I'm all ears...  

Monday, September 6, 2010

"I ate my broccoli, but I didn't like it!"

OK, so that is how I feel about working with this color brown and completing Burda 7440.  The fabric is a sueded tencel, midweight, and extremely soft; like silk.  I have had it in my stash for a few years.  I've never been fond of the color, but did think it would make a versatile pair of trousers.  I believe Burda 7440 is a new fall pattern.  I was lured in by the details shown on the technical drawings. 
Do you see the darts at the knees, the way the front panel wraps to the middle of the back, the two piece back panel, the small darts in the high center back seam, a drawstring waist, a cargo pocket?  You get the idea.  Nifty details!  Here are some of those details on my version.
Cargo Pocket:
Back panel seam meeting dart at knee before I finished the topstitching:
Waistband before adding drawstring.
Finished Front
Finished Back
So what is wrong with these trousers?  Nothing if you like super duper slouchy.  I should have known they would feel very big on when the printed size 36 (10) finished hip width was 43 1/2".  Somehow I thought all those "nifty" design details would make it work in the end. 

I am pleased with the fit of Burda's crotch curve both in the front and back, but I am on the fence about the whole look.  I think there is a design flaw in the sense that the front pockets gape/droop since they are so wide, but maybe Burda did that on purpose.  You actually tack the pockets down from the center back panel to about 3 inches toward the front panel, leaving the rest open.  I did not have time to take a picture wearing them today, but I will try to style them tomorrow and post a picture.  I would love to hear your thoughts on them. 

A couple of other things to note.  The length is very long on View B, which is what I made without the extra ribbing layer at the waist.  I cut 2" off before I turned a 2" hem.  My normal inseam is 31.5".  Also, I finished the center back seam on the waistband by doing a narrow hem on either side so that I wouldn't have trouble threading my drawstring through by getting caught on an unfinished seam.
Here is what I am talking about:

This is the inside of the waistband before you fold it in half wrong sides together.
Well, until tomorrow then....and glad I finished all my "broccoli"!