Monday, January 31, 2011

BB's Go Bang!

As in Burda Style Skirt #108 from the July 2010 issue and Butterick 5562 view D.  Together they are a bang of color!  I have made the twisted bubble hem skirt one time already back in June here.  I wear it all the time, so when I saw a beautiful silk jersey knit at Harts Fabric, I ordered 2 yards with this skirt in mind.  I wanted a dressier version, and I had never worked with silk jersey, so I was up for the challenge of a new fabric.  I had some pale, dusty, grape-colored, nylon (?) tricot in my stash and used it for the lining.  My machine handled both fabrics easily with a jersey needle, but cutting them with scissors was a challenge.  The silk jersey left tiny specks all over my sewing table and gunked up the spring mechanism in the scissors.  I use Fiskars that spring back to cut all my fabric.  I think I will need a new pair after cutting both these fabrics. 

Here is the skirt:
Invisible Zipper
The only thing I did different on this version of the skirt, was I cut the lining two inches shorter to begin with, and I only twisted the skirt 45 degrees instead of 90 degrees.  Sonoemi had mentioned this when she made her skirt and I thought I would give it a try.  To me, the hem seems to have come out about the same as my last skirt.  I still get a peek of the lining at times, but overall I'm happy with it.  I think using less of a twist is an improvement, and I would recommend doing it.   

I was inspired to make Butterick 5562, view D after seeing Amanda's and Sharon's version.  I thought it would be a nice compliment to the bubble hem skirt and would be great styled casually with jeans for my winter trip to the mainland later this year.  I used an 11 oz. rayon jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics in the Bright Turquoise color.  I made the XS size, but cut the collar in a small size with regards to the width.  I didn't want it too tight across my body and therefore have a tendency to ride up.  I also took the sleeve seams in an extra 6/8" so they would be more snug around my arms and wrist.  I wanted the body of the t-shirt to fit closer too and did the following alteration:
Sides taken in for a more fitted look on the torso.
I also took Sharon's and Amanda's advice and made a casing in the collar seams to put the elastic through for a cleaner look.  Finally, I cut 2" off the length before I hemmed it.  I used my coverstitch machine for all hems, and Jalie Patterns' method of stitching knit seams for all other seams.  Here is a close-up:
        And the whole look:
You will probably see this skirt again, as I plan to make other warm weather knit tops to wear with it.  So many colors to choose from for coordinating tops!  Nice.

PS: For El, I haven't really researched running with kids.  It's something I should do and probably will do.  Right now, I just take them to the local park where there is a nice paved trail and I have them run short, maybe 220 meters, then walk 220 meters, then repeat 3 times.  I'm not sure how long it will take to get them up to a mile, but I have a feeling not too long, (Thanks for the encouragement Caroline.  Hope you are back at it now.)  I'll keep you posted on my progress!  Great to hear you are planning the same with your older ones!  Enjoy the process!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Pattern Palooza and Other Odds and Ends

I have a few minutes this morning to contemplate the weekend, and I am feeling inspired by some new patterns and fabric swatches.  I took advantage of an online Butterick sale after seeing some awesome versions of a few of these patterns by other sewing bloggers. 

The hardest part is deciding which one should be first!  But before I can even begin one of these, I have a paid sewing job to accomplish, and that will take up some of my weekend sewing time. 

In other news, I am taking all three sons to see Ulalena in Lahaina this morning.  Everyone who has seen the show says it is remarkable.  I am grateful our homeschool group could get discounted tickets.  Also, since none of the boys are participating in a sport this season, I decided to get them out running with me for the time being.  We are starting off slowly.  They went from comfortable airy slippers to hot, confining, running, shoes.  Oh the injustice!  Enjoy your weekend!   And thank you for all your thoughts and comments on the zebra dress.  It is already a favorite!   

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Hear Tell...

...there's a zebra in the midst.  Not your typical African variety.  No, this one is distinctively Maui.  It has the stripes and long legs, but the hoofs exhibit bright pink spots and the hindquarters are branded with New Look 6948.  What could it mean...

 ...silly's only a dress!

I forgot to mention a couple of caveats when I posted the first version of this pattern.  I made the size 8 based on the finished bust size, but in order for the armholes to fit, I had to trim the lower portion of the front and back by about 1/2".  Therefore, I lengthened the armhole band about 1".  Also, the neckband is to be sewn in a 3/8" seam, but the armholes are sewn in a 5/8" seam.  If you decide to forgo the instructions, oh no not me, don't forget they are different!  This pattern is destined to be my new "Throw on, Head out the door, Tackle anything that comes my way" dress, so you may see a few versions of this sprinkled throughout the new year!

PS:  I appreciate every thought and well wish regarding the Burda dress and my Etsy shop.  Mahalo and have a smooth rest of the week!
Close-up of the design details.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Burda 7658

Hello Everyone!

How is your weekend going so far?  I am grateful for a slow one.  Last weekend my oldest DS was at Tween's Camp (grades 4-6) with our church, and I picked him up on Monday.  While he had the time of his life, and looks forward to this camp every year, he did come back completely exhausted.  Unfortunately, the cold he'd battled before camp came back and knocked him out for 3 days.  He is feeling much better this weekend and I'm sure will be back to his old self soon.  Thought you might like to see pictures of the area around the camp the kids stay at, located at the base of the west Maui mountains.  We live on the opposite side of the island, on the slopes of Haleakala, and cross the valley of sugar cane below to get here. 
View from the parking lot looking into the Pacific.

Camp sign at entrance.

Outdoor pool, which is quite chilly for Maui kids this time of year. Doesn't stop them from using it though!
Burda 7658

Bit by bit I have been working on Burda 7658.  I was able to finish it up this morning and will wear it tomorrow.  Yesterday I wore the previously posted dress all day and confirm that it is a wonderfully comfortable dress.  If it suits your style, I highly recommend it!  And thank you for your lovely comments on it.
I used an interesting cotton lawn for this project that I purchased from FFC a couple of years ago  (2 yards for ~$10.50 total).  I cut the size 10 on the bodice, but added 2 inches to the width of the waist after measuring the tissue.  Therefore, I used the size 12 for the skirt portion and it matched pretty closely to the added fabric on the waist.  As you can see from the technical drawing, there are 4 pleats on the front, but there are also 4 pleats on the back, which balances the silhouette.  I love the cut in shoulders and the front pockets.  I used 8 buttons and stitched them on with royal blue thread to pick up the blue in the print.  Also, instead of using the tiny piece of facing on the back neckline, I opted to clip the seam allowance at the shoulder seams and make a flat fell seam to finish.  Here are some pictures:
Oops, forgot to straighten the buttons before the photo.
Flat fell seam to finish inside collar at the back neckline. 
 And here is the dress:

In other news, you may have noticed an Etsy button on my side bar.  I love the combination of linen and aloha fabrics and I love to make market bags, napkins, bibs, etc.  So having a small shop gives me the opportunity to express this side of my creativity and hopefully bring cheerful and useful products to those who may be interested.  Soon I will be celebrating my one year blogaversary and the opening of this store with a fun  give-away.  I hope you all will enter!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Did You See?!

Aloha Everyone!  Thank you so much for your feedback on the latest outfit.  I agree with many of you who said the skirt would be a good candidate for summer wear as well.  I have some basic t-shirts I need to make and it would look great with those too.  Plus, I just received the Burda Style magazine, February 2011 issue, and the Vogue skirt is quite similar to pattern #120 and #121.  I like how they have made one of their versions out of boucle.    

But I've got to ask you...Did you see the cool ITY knits that recently got in?  They are $5.98/yard, 92% Polyester/8% Lycra, and the most interesting color/print combinations.  I couldn't resist getting 5 swatches.  Here are four of them, with the fifth already made up into a fun, fun, fun, dress using New Look 6948, View A! 
The first one you see starting from the left is 2 yards and will be made up into a dress, the next three I only ordered a yard with skirts in mind.  However, the one yard cuts have quite a few inches more than 36 inches.  That is why, to my delight, I was able to make my absolute favorite one into New Look 6948, View A. 
Here it is.  This is a very easy pattern.  The most difficult part is folding and basting the eight pleats, 4 at the neck and 2 on each side front, since the knit is so fiddly.  But if you can handle that, the rest of the dress is a breeze.  The neck and armholes are finished with self-fabric bands.  I apologize for the quality on the pictures.  I took them after dark and had to lighten them quite a bit.  This fabric is called "Feather Blooms" with coral and turquoise being the dominant colors.  I love this dress!  It is comfortable and loose but totally chic with its interesting silhouette.  I will definitely be making more of this dress, and hopefully can get better pictures of the next one.  

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Now all I Need is an...

...invitation to the Sundance Film Festival next weekend.  I have just the outfit!  A girl can dream can't she?
Here are the two patterns I used for the top and skirt:
The Top:
The fabric was a Christmas purchase from Hart's Fabric.  It is a polyester Ski Sweater design knit ($10.99/yard ).  I used Jalie 2805, the long sleeve view but elongated the mock turtleneck to a true turtleneck.  There is not much to say about construction.  The instructions are straight forward and the fit is great.  I made the size "s" or "6", and I added about 1.5" to the bottom width of the t-shirt so it wouldn't be too tight.  
The Skirt:
I love this skirt pattern; V7879.  There are so many options.  I definitely have plans to make more versions.  But I am thrilled with this military-like first go at it.  The fabric is a brushed, cotton, bottom-weight bought on clearance at FFC a couple of years ago (3 yards for $9.00).  I used an Indian Head nickle button for the cargo pocket.  Here are close-ups of both:

I made view D, with a couple of modifications.  I added 1.5" of length and therefore lowered the placement of the pockets about 1".  I also added 1" to the waist, tapering back into the normal side seam about 4 " down.  Finally, I inserted an invisible zipper.  Lest you think this skirt is completely "squared away", I had a little fun with the facing, which will never be seen except by you and me. 
Alas, even if I don't make it to the Sundance Film Festival, this outfit will come in handy for my winter trip in December along with the last outfit.  Thank you all for your thoughts on "Winter Blues".  One thing I was worried about with the pants was whether the fabric would bag at the knees or derriere after a day of wearing.  I am happy to report, they do not.  Phew!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and I hope you are all finding a little time to sew!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Winter Blues with Jalie 2682

This outfit is everything I hoped it would be.  Stylish, warm, and comfortable.  This is Winter Blues with a positive spin!  I used Jalie 2682 for the top and Burda 7890 for the pants.

Jalie 6682
What can I say, this is another winner from Jalie!  I love the ease of construction, the near perfect fit, and the shape and warmth of the neckline!  The bodice front is a double layer of fabric.  I made a size "S", but I really should have gone one size up since my fleece does not have a lot of stretch.  I can get this on and off, but not without a bit of difficulty.  Once on, it feels great! It would be a perfect base layer for snowboarding!  

I have had the fleece since my sons were quite young.  I originally planned a jacket for one of them, but never got around to it.  I matched the stripes on the side, front, and upper back, but didn't try to match the stripes on the sleeves.  Amazingly, they came out looking okay.  I used a metal zipper with navy blue twill tape, because I happened to have it in my stash.  I actually like the metal look with this.  I started to top-stitch around the zipper and along the neck edge, but was concerned I wouldn't like the result.  You can see that the short line of ripped out top-stitching left an indentation in the fabric near the left front zipper.  I will wash the top and see if that takes care of it, but if not,  I may go ahead and top-stitch all the way around.  
Burda 7890 View D
You may recognize these pants as the same ones I made for my knit PJ's back in June.  This time I added the front pockets, lowered the crotch depth 1/4", took in the side seams 1/2", and took in the center back seam about 5/8" near the top.  I made these adjustments based on the type of fabric I used.  The pants are made out of a double knit from The Sewing Studio.  The Sewing Studio has a twice yearly sale, I believe, where they discount remnants significantly.  I picked up about 1 3/8 yards of this navy for $8.22, if I remember right, to experiment with.  I wasn't sure I would like it.  I do.  

It is a medium weight, that doesn't have a lot of stretch, and feels like cotton.  The stiffer drape lends itself well for nicely fitted knit pants that don't require a zipper since there is some stretch.  To keep my waistband flat I did not add a drawstring, but used 1" wide elastic instead.  I put most of the gathering of the elastic in the back, again, to keep the front flat.  I top-stitched the waistband with my coverstitch machine, but used my regular machine to top-stitch the pockets.  I am so pleased with the fit, comfort, and style of these.  
I will be able to wear this outfit on cool mornings and evenings for the next couple of months.  I am planning to be in the northwestern United States next winter, so it will also be a great outfit for that trip!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Okay, I'll Make Two Resolutions

Hi Everyone!  I sure did enjoy reading all the comments on your bugs, lizards, geckos, snakes, and all things creepy crawly.  Very interesting and educational!  I have more creatures to share with you, but I will save them for another post!

Thank you so much for your thoughts on the latest outfit.  A couple of you commented that you might like to try making pants this year.  If you like the style, I think the Sewing Workshop pattern would be perfect to start with.  Hopefully, you would find it easy to fit since it has minimal pieces and an elastic waistband. And as so many pointed out, the front split, tab, and button are neat design details which give them a modern look.      

Continuing with sewing news, I have another ensemble planned.  I had other obligations this weekend, so I wasn't able to work on it much, but I do have one item cut out and ready to sew.  This set meets a need for casual warm clothing.  I've never worked with a nice double knit before, so I am anxious to try it with this outfit.  Here are the fabrics with their descriptions:
Lightweight striped fleece, navy double knit, peacock rayon jersey.
You may be wondering, "So what are the two resolutions?"  Well, I was inspired by Carolyn's quilt post today.  I can't think of anything more cozy for your home than handmade quilts.  I mentioned in an earlier blog post that I have started two.  Here is the infamous "Nausea Quilt":

I absolutely loved the colors and patterns in this when I started working on it.  The only problem was, I started working on it in the first trimester of my first pregnancy twelve years ago.  I was nauseated day and night.  Now, when I look at this, I still get a small twinge of queasiness.  So my first resolution is to finish this quilt and see it become a beautiful addition to my home.  In case you are wondering, I found the pattern (Around the World) for this in a book called: Bundles of Fun How to Use Fat Quarter Bundles by Susan Rakozy and the Stitchin' Post Staff.  The Stitchin' Post is a quilt shop in Sisters, Oregon, one of my all time favorite places to visit.  I have good memories of fun times there with my only sister, and this is how I will overcome the nausea association, by choosing to remember those good times instead.  I'll let you know how it goes, but expect to see this quilt finished this year regardless!

The second resolution is to finish the other quilt I have started.

It is a Stacked Coins quilt.  I am not as far along on it as the first, and I started it about a year and a half ago.  I fell in love with the fabric in this collection.  It is by Tula Pink for Moda, and the line is called Neptune.  I will finish the rows of stacked coins (I have two or three to go depending on how big I want it) and use white as my sashing.  So there you have it.  Besides my resolution to "Keep sewing... Ha... How's that for specific?" I've gone ahead and put these two challenges for myself out there!  Feel free to keep me accountable!  

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Beachy Keen Take 2

One thing I am going to to do this year is make more of what I loved from last year.  The Beachy Keen outfit is one that I wear as often as I can.  I love the style and comfort of it.  My DH does too.  So here is Take 2 using these two patterns:

For the cropped pants I used a cotton fabric, bought locally, that is a little heavier than chambray with vertical ivory stripes ($8.00 for 2 yards, if I recall).  The tunic is an 11 oz. rayon jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics ($10.50 for one yard at 25% off).  The color is off white.  I wish you could feel how incredibly soft this is.  I am so glad I bought a few swatches of this weight in different colors.  You can find construction details on my original post highlighted above.  The only thing I changed was the length of the tunic.  It is a little shorter, and the front button on the pants is set closer to the slit.  Here is a close-up of the front slit. 
I can also dress the cropped pants up a bit more with another top I made last year and still wear.  I like accessorizing in silver and red for this outfit. 
I thought you might like to see what my sewing buddies look like.  I have about three that run around my walls when I work at night.  They race around and I catch glimpses of them in my peripheral vision.  I used to think my eyes were playing tricks on me.  Though they are ghostly, they are not ghosts!  Just good ole' Maui house geckos!  This little guy is my kitchen gecko.  The others scoot around too fast to capture on camera, but this little guy is getting used to me!