Friday, December 30, 2011

Butterick 5566 Sort of...

Well hello again!  Hope everyone survived, and maybe even thrived over the past week!  Just one day left and we start a New Year.  Hooray!  I'm sure there will be plenty of sewing adventures for all of us.  Speaking of sewing, technically the skirt you will see below is derived from Butterick 5566, view C, but it doesn't look like the original. 

To begin, I really liked the asymmetrical yoke front, but I had my doubts whether it would fit me properly.  I felt that there might be too much of a curve where all the seams joined, and one other pattern reviewer on patternreview.com confirmed my suspicions as well.  However, how would I know for sure unless I sewed up the front and checked it out?  Sure enough it was no good, but what I discovered was that the center front of the skirt worked pretty well on my hips, so I made another front piece (laying the pattern tissue upside down so that I had a mirror image).  This became the other side of the skirt.  So the original side seams now became my front and back seams, creating a neat geometrical effect on the front, side, and back of the skirt. 
New Front.  Waistband finished with a thick wide satin ribbon.
New Back with a centered zipper from my stash and a hook and eye at the top.
New Left Side of Skirt
Inside of skirt front.
I had to do some tweaking to get the original sides seams to work for the skirt front and back, but in the end I think it came out okay.  I still have bulky seams because my fabric is so heavy, but I plan to replenish my suppy of Pro-Weft interfacing and fuse the seams flat to the skirt.  Do you think that will work?  I plan to wear this skirt with the two sweaters pictured below.  I bought them for $10.00 a piece at Old Navy a few months ago.  I purchased the skirt fabric (from Fabric Mart) specifically to go with either of these sweaters.  It feels good to be able to wear them now and to have this project complete.

In other sewing news, I still have a couple of Christmas projects to show you, so those will be coming up.  Also, the clothes I made as gifts, fit the recipients.  Woo Hoo!  I was so happy to hear this news.  I really enjoyed putting those projects together.  I also celebrated my birthday this past week, and my DH blessed me with a new camera and tripod.  Very cool!  Now I just have to learn how to use them properly so that my photography skills can improve!  Happy New Year Everyone!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Simple Gift

Can you believe we are down to three days now?  Seriously, where has December gone?  I think I can wipe the sweat from my brow and say, "Woo Hoo!"  I've finally finished all the family gifts I wanted to get sewn before Christmas.  This last one is a simple market bag with short handles.  I didn't use a pattern.  The body of the bag is lined and the top is turned down like a cuff, so that you can see the pretty print.  I made the handles by putting 12/32" cotton filler cord inside the center of the straps so that they are comfortable to grab.  I then stitched them on the bag at the level of the cuff.  One nice thing about this design is that the cuff hides the stitches where the handles are attached.  This bag has a nicer quality burlap on the outside with a vegetable dyed cotton print on the inside.  I really like the rugged look of it.


I'd also like to take a moment to say that I have a winner on Facebook for the crossbody bag give-away held in early December.  If you are a fan, be sure to check to the wall posts to see if it is you!  Mele Kalikimaka Online Ohana!  I hope you all have some time off this season to fellowship with the ones you love! 
Christmas colors Maui style!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Butterick 4347

Four days and counting....and I have one more family gift to make today.  Almost there!  Today I'd like to share Butterick 4347.  I made this for my sister who is six feet tall.  The pattern went together easily with just my serger and my coverstitch machine.  I made one small error where the collar meets the side seam under the arm.  As you can see from the pattern envelope there should be more room to turn the collar down, but in my version there is quite a bit less room.  I think it will still be okay functionally however.  I see I also didn't pay attention to which way the front crossed.

The fabric is a stretch, cotton, french terry from The Fabric Fairy in a heathered mauve color.  They still have a heathered blue version, which I am thinking of getting for myself.  I am very happy with the quality and I like how stretchy it is.  Because the front is double layered and has a high neckline, this sweatshirt should be toasty warm.  With my sister being so tall, I lengthened the torso by 2" and also lengthened the sleeves by the same.  I also gave her a little more room in the armscye by only taking up a 1/4" shoulder seam allowance.  That meant I also had to add some length to the collar.  I will see how my adjustments worked when she reports back to me :)  Hope everyone is staying healthy, happy, and excited for December 25th!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Surprise...It's Another Set

Aloha Everyone!  Thank you for taking the time to comment on my latest two gift posts.  I am really enjoying sewing gifts this year.  I'm also using a lot of fabric from my stash, which I'm pretty excited about.  Can you guess why?  You got it, more space for new acquisitions.  But that will have to wait until after Christmas, when I can concentrate again and plan out some "me" sewing in the coming year.  Woo Hoo! 
Here is the latest gift set.  I've made the top before.  It's Jalie 2794.  I used a black cotton lycra and made the size "u".  The skirt is New Look 6735, view E, and it is made with a printed matte jersey from Jo-Ann's, which I ordered online some time ago, and it is a size 14.  Both fabrics are a nice medium weight, so they will be good for winter wear.  I can just imagine this outfit with opaque black tights and knee high boots.  The perfect topper might be a fitted jacket.
   Here are some close-ups of the details:

I used my sewing machine, serger, and coverstitch machine to complete these garments.  I am thankful I have all three machines at my disposal.  The skirt has six panels and an elastic waistband.  I get the best results, when sewing matter jersey, when I just use my sewing machine and serger.  The top did best being constructed with my serger, because it tended to stretch out of shape with my sewing machine.  I also stabilized the shoulder seams with interfacing before I stitched them together. 

Besides sewing this weekend, my DH and I attended a 3 hour Christmas concert in Wailuku at the Iao Theater on Saturday night, just like last year.  I wore this outfit.  Once again, it was a spectacular show, and I felt privileged to be able to attend.  Tomorrow is baking and decorating Christmas cookies with friends.  Hope everyone has a fun-filled week no matter what you are doing!
Starry Starry Night by Maui's Hawaiian Community Choir Na Leo Lani O Maui

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Kwik Sew 2315 An Ode to Pairs

Seems I like to sew gifts
in groupings of two.
Can't explain why,
it's something I do.
Camo and cards,
not such an odd pair.
I'll illustrate why,
just pull up a chair.
Hide and Seek's a new game,
with his black, brown and gray.
Where did he go?
He's ready to play.
And dice games can teach,
the math skills you lack.
It's not really luck,
that keeps you on track.


Both pairs made with Kwik Sew 2315, size T4, in cotton jersey.  Eight days and counting.... 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

V8654 Two Down and Many to Go!

I can't believe it has been so long since my last post.  Where is December going? and why is it going in such a hurry?  I do have a couple of Christmas presents to show you.  I think I have captured the personality of each of the recipients with my fabric choice, but I'll have to fill you in on whether I was right after Christmas!  I am also crossing my fingers that the fit is okay. 
I used a Katherine Tilton designed jacket pattern for both gifts.  This pattern includes facings for the front and back neckline.  However, I thought this design was just begging for a full lining.  So that is what I made.  I also changed the shape of the sleeve a little bit by making it wider at the cuff so that it could be rolled up in order to show off the lining.  I followed Sherry's RTW Tailoring Sew-Along tutorials for how to machine stitch the lining (step #14), and for bagging the hem (step #15).  What amazing time savers both of these techniques are!  If you make this pattern, keep in mind that the right and left side of the jacket front are not identical.  Therefore you have to be careful to reverse the jacket front pieces when you cut out the lining if the fabric you are using has only one right side.  My jackets button with the left side overlapping the right instead of the right side overlapping the left.  Hopefully, this is only a minor inconvenience to the wearer. 

These jackets are both made of quilting cotton.  One has a very good quality cotton twill for the outer shell and the other has a light-weight striated denim for the inner shell.  My thoughts are that they will be nice to throw on for a quick trip to the market, or to go collect eggs from the barn, when the weather is mild as in the spring or fall of the Pacific Northwest in the mainland USA. 

Jacket #1 ~ Do any of my Canadian friends recognize the lining fabric?



I top-stitched about 3/16" from the edge of both jackets.  I used a tip Mary Nanna shared, and it worked beautifully!

Jacket #2


 Well I must get back at it, but I do hope it's not such a long stretch between this and my next post.  Aloha!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wide-Legged Pants Simplicity 4273

On the first day of December I have finished my wide-legged silk pants.  As you may remember, I decided to use Simplicity 4273, view E.  It wasn't a bad choice, but I did have fit issues to work out.  I actually made two muslins before I got them just right.  I am really happy that I took the time to do this, because now I have a pattern I can use anytime I need or want another pair of pants with similar style lines.  In fact, I am already thinking of a grass green pair made out of linen.  But I will save that for another post.

I got so caught up in my fit issues that when I laid out the final pattern on my fabric, I didn't pay attention to the direction of the print.  Bummer, because I would have preferred that the print run in the opposite direction.  Thankfully, it is a subtle error, so I don't think it is too noticeable that the Bird of Paradise are upside down!  I also washed and dried this fabric prior to construction and the silk did just fine. 

Anyway, here is the final look.
The top is Butterick 6085, blogged about here.



I thought I would show you how I altered the pattern pieces based on my first and second fittings.  I cut a size 12 and made it exactly as cut.  I realized that there was too much fabric in the front crotch, I could pinch out over an inch, and the back crotch was cut too high and not wide enough.  In-other-words, my bottom hung too low and full for the pattern.  Also, the hips were just a little bit too roomy.

For my first round of fitting on the front, I shaved off about 3/8" from the inner leg seam right there at the crotch and tapered back into the original seam line at about the knee.  When I made my second muslin, I realized that it didn't shorten the crotch enough, so I went back and slashed the pattern horizontally and overlapped at the front crotch seam about 3/8".  This still wasn't enough, so I also cut 3/4"off the top, tapering back into original side height.  In the photo below, you can see the line drawn across the top of the pattern, before I cut it off.
That took care of the front fit of the pants.  Now for the back.  I added 1/2" to the inner leg seam there at the crotch and redrew the shape of the crotch curve, by shaving off about 1/4" from the top of the curve to nearly the bottom, tapering back into the original crotch height near the inseam.  This gave me more room in the area where I needed it (the lower bum), and snugged up the high hip width.  With my second muslin, I discovered that the previous adjustments caused diagonal lines in the back of the pant legs.  In-other-words, they didn't fall in a nice straight line to the floor.  To fix this, I cut the pants piece vertically and spread out the bottom, adding about the same amount of width to the bottom of the pants as I added to the inner leg seam, then trimming the excess from the outer leg seam.  Trimming the excess, and tapering that line back into the original side seam at the high hip level, retained the original width of the pants.  This seemed to do the trick.  The bottom of the pants were slightly angled, but there was enough fabric in the hem to even this out.
One final note on fitting, the pattern instructs you to finish the yoke before attaching it to the pants (i.e. stitch the side seam together, then attach to the pants).  I attached my front yoke piece to the pants front and my back yoke to the back pants, then I stitched up the side seams from the hem to the top.  That way I could fine tune the width and shape of the hips.  I am really happy with the final look and am anxious to get started on the next pair!

PS: Sz asked if the silk fabric was available online.  I am happy to report that yes it is!  You can find it here, at www.gotfabric.com.  Hope that helps!