Friday, October 29, 2010

A Gift From Australia!

Thank you for all the well wishes for myself and my oldest DS.  Good news.  DS is making a rapid recovery and so far, no one else has become ill.  I think he may even be able to play in his 10 a.m. soccer game tomorrow morning.

But the reason for this post is to shout out a big MAHALO to Carolyn over at Handmade by Carolyn.  She recently had a give-away to celebrate her one year blogging anniversary, and I was the lucky winner.  If you haven't checked out her blog you should.  She is a very talented seamstress and knitter, but she also has lots of interesting posts that showcase her sense of style and other hidden talents.  I always enjoy seeing what she has to share with us and you will too! 

I waited until the end of the day to open the package.  I had spent most of the afternoon organizing and cleaning my sewing room.  What a treat to relax and pour over the cute knitting book, dream about how to make up the pattern, and visualize an outfit built around this lovely bracelet.  Thanks again Carolyn.  You made my day!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vogue 8561 Finished

I want to take a minute to say thank you for all your words of encouragement on the fixes I made to my Hot Pattern dress and Burda trousers!  I have worn both this week.  In other news, the stomach flu is afoot in my house.  My oldest DS has been very ill since 3:00 a.m.  I am hoping it will stay contained to one family member.  No school for us today.  In between caring for him, my youngest DS has helped me with photos of Vogue 8561.  He did a great job, considering he is so young and he has a difficult camera to work with. Look quick, because if I catch the flu, I don't think I will be smiling for long! 

I love these cropped pants!  All of my alterations are listed in the previous post and I used a pumpkin colored linen from  I am showing them with a sleeveless blouse made from Butterick 6085, in a linen/cotton blend.  The top has shell buttons.  I've mentioned this pattern before here.
Here are some of the fun details:

The leg cuffs have a slight point to them on the outside seam.  The darts are made on the outside.  The pant legs have two segments with topstitching where they are joined.

Invisible zipper instead of lapped with hook and eye enclosure at the top.  Topstitching along the waistband.

Front pockets.  Check out that stainless steel ring I snagged at Ross.  Couldn't resist.

Here they are styled for fall weather with my Jalie 2794 knit top.

Here are the pattern envelopes again:

Thanks for stopping by to have a look.  I am currently wearing these and they are so comfy.  Anybody else watching Project Runway tonight?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sneak Peek #7 - Perfectly Pumpkin

Autumn, my absolute favorite time of the year.  How could I resist harmonizing the artsy cropped trousers of Vogue 8561 with a perfectly pumpkin-colored linen?  Not me.  This combination makes me smile!  I had high hopes for minimal fit issues, especially after my last project, but hopes were all that materialized.  It's been slow going, but I've achieved a near perfect fit after making up a muslin.  I have a sneak peek for you tonight. I started with the size 6, because it was closest to my hip size.  Here is my altered tissue:
I've shortened the front crotch length about 1", widened the waist 3 inches by adding to the side seams and narrowing the back dart, added 2" to the overall length, removed nearly 2 1/2" from the inseam (1/2" off the front and 3/4" off the back) near the crotch in order to decrease the hip width, and changed the shape of the back crotch curve.  It was a bit of work, but I'm excited to show you the results, possibly tomorrow.....

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Fix Times Two

Just a quick post on two items.  The little bit of sewing time I had this weekend was devoted to the HP 1090 dress and changing the length of my Burda 8087 trousers.  I need to get a new camera.  It is so difficult to get clear pictures with the one I currently have. 

I cannot tell you how many times I reworked the top of the dress.  I lengthened the sleeves two inches, narrowed the cuff another 3/8", and moved the shoulder seam forward about 3/4".  I shortened the width of the collar ribbing but increased the length.  I cut out a bit more of the dress to widen the neck opening.  Then I proceeded to attach the collar ribbing a number of times until I finally settled on what you see here.  I also decided I just didn't like the puff sleeves, so I eliminated the cuff altogether.  I added a double row of top-stitching around the neck and hemband with my coverstitch machine for more detail.  This dress is finally finished, and I will wear it now.  I feel relieved to be able to move on.  I am the type of sewer who cannot start a new project if there is another project left undone!   

I have worn my Burda pants several times since making them.  The fit is superb and they are comfortable, but they are too hot with the long length.  Any time I wore them I found myself rolling them up.  I decided I would like them cropped much better and took 10" off the length.  I hemmed them 2".  Now they are perfect.  I found this knit top at Costco for $12.00.  I really like the look of the two pieces together with the ballet shoes.  I am planning to make another version of this Burda pattern soon!

Have a great week everyone!

Iao Needle 2010


Friday, October 22, 2010

Hot Pattern 1090

You all were right.  Project Runway is the only show I watch on television!  Thanks for your thoughts and advice on the Hot Pattern dress.  I have finished it, and overall I am underwhelmed.  In all fairness, if I had made a muslin I would have recognized the details that I am not satisfied with, and fixed them ahead of time.  Also, part of my "meh" feeling may be related to the fabric.  The quality is superb and it feels great on, but it may not have enough drape for this pattern.  It is a poly/cotton interlock with matching ribbing with lycra.  I can easily correct the fit/design issues in future versions, but I'm not convinced I want to make this again.  I will have to think about it.

My measurements are between the size 8 and 10 and one of you kindly noted that the pattern runs big, so I decided to go with the size 8.  A size 8 is also designed for a woman who is 67 1/2" tall.  My height exactly.  Here is the pattern envelope again: 
Notice the collar and the elbow length sleeves in the center front illustration; the version I made.  The neckline should reveal your collar bone and the sleeves should go down to your elbow.  Here is my finished dress:
My collar is much narrower (it comes up to my throat) and the sleeves are about 2 inches shy of my elbow.  Both are disappointing.  Perhaps the collar problem occurred because I actually used a ribbing instead of self-fabric, but that is what the pattern recommends.  Actually, it says "rib knit".  Maybe my ribbing has too much lycra and pulls the neckline in too much.  Also, if I hadn't taken the cuffs in by another 3/8" (the seam allowance is 3/8") they would have been horribly loose.  Here is a close-up:

I was also disappointed by the design of the hemline cuff.  It too was entirely too loose and too wide making it look sloppy, and the finished dress length was too long, although the dress length seems to be accurately depicted in the pattern illustration.  I had to remove the hemline cuff two times to find satisfaction with the final result pictured above.  I trimmed about 1" off the finished vertical width and trimmed the horizontal width about 10".  I also shortened the skirt close to 4" before applying the cuff.  

The shoulder seams are also about an inch too far back, and the curve is too sharp.  If I hadn't flattened the curve out, it would have looked like I had small wings.  The sleeves are too puffy for my liking, but I don't think that would have bothered me as much if they had been longer; down to my elbows. 

Hot Pattern's instructions were easy to follow, but on step 6d I don't know how you can press the seamline down where the bodice and skirt connect, when the previous step tells you to press the seamline open and stitch your elastic to the open seamline.  There is also a printing error on the bodice back where two sizes are labeled 8 instead of one being labeled 6.  Also, on the instructions themselves, at step 7a, the lines get very small and squished together.  It isn't a real problem since those instructions are basically repeated steps 4a and 4b.  Since I still have my pattern pieces laying around, I may just go ahead and redraft the problematic areas and try another one right away.  This dress certainly is comfortable and easy to make.  I styled it as I would like to wear it if I were in cool, mainland, fall, weather.  The reality is I'll probably wear it with my black gladiator sandals.  It is fun to put on a pair of tights though!  Happy Aloha Friday everyone!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Baby I's Big Bros. PJ's

This evening I finished Baby I's big brothers' PJs.  Boy, that's a mouthful!  Yes,  Baby I has two big brothers and as I was thinking about a set of pj's for the one who loved the Ooga Booga set, I realized the other brother was surely going to need a pair after he saw his two youngest with their very own.  So one pj set became two, and I used up some of my little boy stash fabric.  Double bonus! 

Here are the three Kwik Sew patterns I used to make a size 4T and a size 6 set.  The first pattern on the left goes from size T1 to T4 and the two patterns on the right go from sizes XS (4-5) to size XL (12-14).  Although I cannot use the first pattern for my boys anymore, it sure comes in handy for gifts.  You can probably tell from the tattered envelopes, these have all been used a lot. 
The first set is the size 4T.  It is made out of a spaceship themed french terry.  I found this fabric at The Fabric Fairy a couple of years ago.  It should be nice and warm for the coming winter months.  The cuffs and neckband are made from a quality cotton ribbing with spandex so they retain their shape really well.  I used my coverstitch machine to hem the top and topstitch around the neckline.

The second set is the size 6 and is being modeled by my youngest DS.  The grey thermal knit came from and does not retain its shape at all.  It has no spandex in it, but it is very soft and I think using a quality ribbing with spandex for the neckband and cuffs, will keep it properly fitted.  I fused the logo from the pants onto the front and stitched around it.  The bottoms are a woven cotton.

One of my secrets for getting a lot of sewing done, especially in the evening, is that I don't watch television, except for one show during the week.  Can you guess which show that might be?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Hot Pattern and a Hot Day

Thank you for all your lovely comments on New Look 6000.  I wore the dress to church on Sunday and must say how comfortable it was.  The fabric is silky soft on the inside and the little bit of stretch made it so comfortable.  I am definitely planning to make another version in black. 

I have some "rugrat" sewing to do.  All three boys could use some new sweat pants and when Baby I's brother saw the Ooga Booga outfit, he thought it might be for him, and wanted to try it on.  He wears a 4T.  Needless to say, that just wouldn't work.  However, I do have some more cute, toddler, boy, fabric that would be perfect for him.

The next project for me is going to be Hot Pattern 1090.  I found some nice quality charcoal heather knit and closely matching ribbing that will work perfect.  Doesn't this look like a comfy, yet stylish dress? I will probably make the elbow-length sleeve version.
On Sunday, we spontaneously stopped by Kanaha Beach Park to enjoy our lunch before heading home.  This is a prime location for kite-boarders and wind-surfers and Sunday was no exception. The ocean was rough and the wind was strong.  This picture is looking toward Kahului Harbor.  Notice the cruise ship?  Two of my boys are just soaking in the scene. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New Look 6000 - Resplendent Retro

I want to say thank you to those who have chimed in on my "hospital gown" fabric.  I will think about all your suggestions and keep you informed of my progress with it. 

Today, I have finished New Look 6000, and I love the pattern.  It is a retro style dress with sleeve, neck and front variations, according to the pattern description.  I made view B, but left off the buttons.  I really like the simplicity of the design and did not want embellishments. 

I made a size 10 and didn't make any alterations.  I feel like the fit is right on.  There may be just a little bit of room across the upper back, but not enough for me to feel self conscious.  As you already know, I made this from a textured rayon, which I cut on the crossgrain.  The fabric seems to have had the perfect weight and drape for the pattern.  The collar is cut on the bias and I did not interface it and it stays up on its own.  The pattern does not call for you to interface the collar.  The pleats look beautiful and shape the front bust area. 

The only thing I don't really like about the collar is how it closes on the back.  You must put a hook and eye half-way up the collar and then turn it down.  I didn't get a picture of this, but if you could somehow bring the zipper halfway up the collar, I think it would be a nicer finish.  The neck and armholes are finished with facing.  This dress would be a great candidate for lining, but I didn't line mine.  

I inserted an invisible zipper.  I had read Beth's tutorial last week and discovered that you could actually insert one without changing to an invisible zipper foot, and just use a regular zipper foot.  "Why didn't I think of that?"  It saved me so much time!  However, I did take the time to hand baste it in, and the results were marvelous.  Yes, I did use another off color zipper from my stash!

Here is a close-up of the collar:

Here is a close-up of the pleats:

The back has two waist darts for shaping and a walking vent.  I also decided to hand baste the hem in place.  The shadows show some tension issues with my handbasting on the hem.  I'll have too take a look at that again and see if I can press it a little better.  This fabric behaves like a polyester in that it doesn't respond well to pressing.     

Overall, this pattern is very easy to put together because of its simple design.  Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sneak Peek #6 and Another "Challenging" Fabric

I have pulled another older fabric (at least 8 years old) from my stash for my current project.  It is an interesting rayon with a slight stretch running vertical to the selvage.  I decided to take advantage of the stretch and cut my project perpendicular to the selvage.  In-other-words the grain will run side to side instead of up and down.  The texture is also unique.  It is like a very fine corduroy in the way it feels and has a sheen like velvet.  The color is a denim blue.  Here is a sample of the fabric with a sneak peek of the project. 

In other sewing news, I have another fabric in my stash I am a bit obsessed with, because it is another "What was I thinking fabric?"  Only this time, I'm fairly certain I know what happened when I decided to buy this beauty.  You see, before I became a stay-at-home mom, late last year, I was a medical/surgical RN who spent her whole nursing career working in hospitals.  Without a doubt, my subconscious kicked in and over-rided my sense of fashion.  "Hmmm....Was I planning to make the chicest hospital gown in the unit?" 

Ah...So here is my challenge.  I must make it into something wearable, that won't look like a hospital gown when I am all finished.  Will you follow me on this journey? I've been mulling this one over for some time,  and I still haven't come to a conclusion, but I think I am close!  By the way, how are your challenging fabrics coming along?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Jalie 2794 and a Bit of Boho

Oh, thank you for the wonderful compliments on my poppy skirt!  It is already a favorite of mine and a couple of you noticed my shoes.  I just love them with the skirt.  They were a fantastic buy at Payless Shoe's and I had been wearing them quite a lot as my house shoes. 

This weekend I began work on Jalie 2794.  I had a beautiful cut of a plum-colored rayon lycra from Marcy Tilton, and while rummaging through my stash I also came across a crinkle polyester print I have had for at least 7 or 8 years.  It still had the price tag on it and it came from Mill End in Portland, Oregon.  The plum of the rayon and the plum in the skirt were a perfect match.  Another outfit was born.

I didn't really use a pattern for the skirt.  For the wide ruffle at the bottom, I just cut 2 rectangles the full width of the fabric and sewed them together end to end, matching the print, and gathered the top and hemmed the bottom.  Then I cut two longer rectangles for the skirt body and lined it with a mauve-colored bamboo knit.  I attached the ruffle to the bottom, but left the lining hanging free, and made a 1" elastic waistband by zigzagging the elastic to the top and lining, then folding it down and topstitching.  The skirt was finished.  It has a bit of a bohemian feel to it.  I love that and think it will look nice with my jean jacket too. 

Jalie 2794 is destined to become one of my favorite knit patterns.  The sweetheart neckline turned out better than I thought it would.  I wasn't sure the style would work for my frame, but I really do like it on me.  The pattern is well drafted.  I made a size "S".  The only thing I changed was to make the sleeves extra long and tight like the sleeves on the recent turtleneck pattern in the Burda Style magazine (issue 9/2010). Dawn has posted a couple of cozy versions of it.  Living in HI, I don't need the turtleneck, so a little pattern morphing was in order, to take advantage of using the gorgeous lines of the Burda sleeves!  Also, this Jalie pattern uses 1/4" seams and my sewing machine handled it nicely without stretching the fabric this time.  I didn't use my serger on this top, but I used my coverstitch machine to hem it.

 Here is a close-up of the sweetheart neckline:

I have some blog reading to catch up on this evening.  Looks like a lot of inspiration is just waiting to be discovered!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Poppies on Parade

If you have any beloved quilting cottons laying around, I would recommend New Look 6981 for a cute, casual, comforable look.  I had fallen in love with this poppy print earlier in the year and stashed it for what I thought might be a tunic.  However, View D only requires 1 3/8 yards of fabric and 3/8 yards of contrast.  I had picked up 1.5 yards of the poppy material and .5 yards of the zebra print.  Perfect! 
The skirt has a wide curved waistband and six deep inverted pleats, three on the front and three on the back.  I have so many regular zippers in my stash that I keep trying to use them when I have a print that is suitable, like this one.  So I did a lapped zipper on the left side, as the pattern instructs.  I used Pro-Sheer Elegance fusible interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply for the waistband.  It's the best interfacing I have worked with and it happens to be on sale right now. 
I paired the skirt with a couple of rtw tops from my wardrobe, but I think it would look really cute with the cowl neck pictured on the patttern envelope too.  It's Aloha Friday.  Enjoy your weekend!