Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Crazy with Color?

Aloha Everyone!  Thank you for your thoughts on the last t-shirt.  What a satisfying project that was.  Remember how I said that I had a pair of pants cut out.  Well, they are finished and were made with a pattern you have seen before, Simplicity 4273.  I discussed all the fitting adjustments in that post.  It was so rewarding to pull out the pattern, knowing that it fit beautifully, and just put it together.  I added a cuff to this pair, to make them a little different from the last, and to take advantage of some very cool vintage buttons I found on Etsy here

Last season I saw a pair of wide-legged pants, from a Micheal Kors collection, in kelly green, and I just had to have a pair for myself.  I may be crazy, but I love how they turned out.  I think I will have a lot of fun coming up with different tops to wear with this color.  I used couture linen from Fabric Mart, in kelly green, and the pants have an invisible zipper.  

Here are some close-ups of the details.
Found on Etsy

Button Cuff
I am on the run this evening with activities with my boys.  Hope you all have a good one, and I'll be back soon!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

All About the Fabric

New Look 6816 contains a very simple pattern for a knit top, just perfect for a fabric with a distinctive texture.  I found this knit at Marcy Tilton's website.  It is pure white with a few clear sequins scattered along the small ruffle texture.  I only bought one yard, but I needed 1 3/8 yard for the top in View A, which meant I had to lay the pattern pieces out with the front and the back going in opposite directions to get it to fit.  The stripes in the fabric do have a nap to them, so the nap on the front and back of the t-shirt run in different directions.  Thankfully, it is very subtle, and I don't think others will really notice it unless they inspect the t-shirt closely.

I decided to finish the sleeve hems the same way as the neckline, with a band from another white knit that didn't have the embellishments on it.  I like it much better than just turning the hem up on the sleeves.  The texture in those stripes made the sleeves hang funny when I did it that way.  So I re-hemmed them with a sleeveband.   I am modeling the t-shirt with a rtw white camisole.  I love this type of look with jeans. 

This pattern actually has a curved hem, but my version does not.  I chose to hem the t-shirt in a straight line to match up with the last stripe.  The curved hem just didn't look right with those stripes.  I cut the size 12 and did not have to make any adjustments other than the ones I noted on finishing the sleeves and the hem. 

It's been another slow sewing week for me, but I think I'm catching up on other areas of my life.  I actually have my next pair of pants all cut out.  Stay tuned....Aloha!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Comfy Warm Clothes Part 1

Remember when I said I needed some comfy warm clothes for the cold windy evenings in upcountry Maui?  Well I finally have my first set.  This one is made out of organic-cotton terry-cloth in an eggplant color.  I found it at Fabric Mart right after Christmas for $6.99/yard.  There is very little stretch, so I had to keep this in mind when I chose my patterns.  The two qualities I like best in this set are the color (I think I will still love the color even as it fades over time) and how amazingly soft it is. 

To create this look, I used the pants from Burda 7890, which I have made before, and view A from Kwik Sew 2760.  I added a kangaroo pocket from Kwik Sew 2762 to the pullover front.  Both of these patterns are very easy, but I found I really struggled to get quality sewing time in this week. 
The Kwik Sew pattern uses a 1/4" seam allowance, and except for the top-stitching, it can be completely constructed on a serger, which is what I did.  I used a twin needle for all the top-stitching since I didn't have enough spools of thread, in a matching color, to use my coverstitch machine.  Because this knit is fairly stable, I think it worked out beautifully with hardly any puckering or waviness in my hems, etc.  The pattern doesn't tell you to line the hood, but I did so that I would not have any raw seams exposed.  I really like how that turned out too.  I just happened to have a t-shirt in my stash in a very similar shade of purple.  Using a t-shirt knit minimized the bulkiness when I attached the hood to the body of the pullover.  Here are some detail shots.
Lined Hood

Kangaroo Pocket
I have already done a review of the Burda pants here.  I did a couple of things different on this pair.  I lowered the crotch curve by about 1/2" and raised the height of the waist by 3/4".  I also used 1 1/2" wide elastic in the casing.  Does it scare you to see patch pockets like this on a pattern envelope?  I remember when I first saw this pattern, I was worried the patch pockets would look "home sewn" if I tried to attempt them.  But in my experience, if you use a stable knit, they seem to turn out okay.   
Patch Pockets
Here are the two pieces put together.  The pictures were taken with no daylight, so they are not that great.  I will try to update them when I can.  This set is incredibly comfortable and will see a whole lot of wear for the next couple of months.  Have a great week!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Butterick 5888 Muslin

Two posts in one day?  Whoa, I don't think that has ever happened here, but I am feeling really productive tonight, I guess.  Here is a muslin of Butterick 5888, View F.  The pattern states it is "Two Hour Fast and Easy Sewing".  I agree!
View F is fully lined.  I have used a cotton batik, gifted to me, from my stash for the outside, and a denim-colored cotton twill for the lining.  This pattern has you leave the side seams open for turning, which worked out great.  I haven't actually made the buttonhole yet.  I am hoping to be able to check the fit with my friend tomorrow before doing so.  Then we will move on to to making this in a fashion fabric of her choice, if the design is something she ends up liking.  I'll keep you posted.

Where are the Waves?

Could that be a set coming in?
One hour later....

No waves from the ocean,
No waves from the sea.
You're not out of luck,
Get your Waves from me!
"Waves" in Dark Chocolate.  In the shop today!  Two more colorways coming soon!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Burda 03-2009-105 Skirt

Hello again!  I just finished my Burda skirt, and I am really happy with it.  This skirt is from the March 2009 issue of Burda magazine, and it is design #105, in a size 36, with one inch added to the waist.  Ever since receiving this issue I was intrigued by the hip yoke pockets, and there are illustrated directions for how to construct them on page 25.  Bonus!  While I didn't choose a fabric that lets the pockets stand out, I am still satisfied with the fabric I chose.  It is a printed, medium-weight, cotton lycra, woven with a fairly stiff drape from FFC.  I think this type of fabric works perfectly for the deep pleats which provide the waist shaping. 
  There are 3 pleats in the front and 3 in the back.  Here are close-ups of the details:
Three deep pleats.  I also added belt loops to the skirt which are not included in the pattern.
Hip Yoke Pocket
I cut out View A,B of this skirt, but I ended up taking 5 inches off the bottom before I hemmed it.  I also inserted an invisible zipper.  To give myself the extra inch needed in the waist, I laid my front and back pattern piece 1/4" away from the center fold.  Overall, this is a fairly easy pattern since Burda provides clear instructions for the pockets.  I love the stiff fullness of it.  I do want to make a long sleeve white top that billows over the waist to go with this is as well, but I am currently modeling it with the top I made in 2010, blogged about here.
The cool weather knits I ordered arrived this week, so I think I will put design #106, a blouse, on hold and sneak in an outfit or two that I want to make from the knits.  I also have a vest in progress that I am working on for a dear friend.  Hope your weekend is off to a great start!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Last Gift

The new year is upon us and I am excited about what lies ahead.  I've enjoyed reading many "Year in Review" posts from fellow bloggers and it's good to see that so many plan to continue on in their sewing and blogging journey.  I am happy about this because, I am constantly inspired by what you create, profusely grateful for the tips you share, and frequently entertained by the humor entwined along the way.  If you are not blogging about your sewing experience, perhaps this is your year!  On-the-other-hand maybe reading and commenting is what feels right at the moment.  That is okay too!  I read sewing blogs for at least 3 or 4 years before I started writing one, and I was too shy to ever comment.  Maybe this is your year to introduce yourself by saying hello to one of your favorite bloggers.  Thank you for being a part of the journey wherever you fit in!

I have two more projects to show you from Christmas sewing, but before I do I'd like to say thank you to every one who chimed in on the previous post with advice about how to get my bulky seams to lie flat in my Butterick skirt.  I think I may need to add a clapper to my sewing tools.  It was great to read about some other alternatives too, because I don't currently have one.  I also wanted to address Janine's question: "Do you need to wear cooler weather clothing in Hawaii much as I got the impression that the temperatures were always well perfect - not too hot or cold."  I don't have to wear cooler weather clothing that often.  However, because I live upcountry, the temperatures are cooler in the morning and evening, and I do have to wear a long sleeve shirt or pants until the sun warms things up.  The outfit I showed you would be one I might wear to church or to a building where there is air-conditioning.  Living here for the past six years, with no air-conditioning, has made me less tolerant to slightly cooler temps.  Ha ha, I've become a cold weather wimp!  

Okay, back to the latest project.  These bags are made from a pattern called The Essential Bag by the Country Quilter.  I think I mentioned this pattern back in March or April of last year.  I love it because: it whips up quickly, you can use all kinds of fabric for it, and the bag is useful for many things.  I decided to fill my bags with stationary supplies.  I was thinking the bag could be a nice wall decoration in a home office, and the recipient would know right where a pretty pen and cards are.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the one bag I gave away, but I made these two to have on hand for future gifts.
Hand-stitched sparkly red beads along the flap edge.

I have also been tracing off a couple of Burda patterns.  The March 2009 issue has got to be one of my favorites.  Can you tell by the torn cover?  I am finally going to make skirt 105 and blouse 106.  These are my next two projects.  I have also ordered some fabric for comfy, warm clothes, sewing.  I am still taking my youngest son to soccer practice, and it is down right cold at night in the location where he practices.  It's been windy and rainy, and I have been freezing to death waiting for him!  I loved the Jalie hoodie that Andrea made.  I will be ordering that pattern and using some of the new fabric that arrives to make one or two of them.

Finally, I thought I would try to post occasional pictures showing how I wear the clothes I've made throughout the next year.  Some items I don't end up keeping very long, but there are some that I go to time and time again.  Here is an example of what I wore yesterday.  I love this knit top.  It is such a great layering piece.  I definitely want another one this year.  It is blogged about here and the pants here