Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Look 6049 and a Winner

Aloha Everyone!  Thank you for the birthday wishes.  My middle DS did us the honor of picking a name out of our "hat" to determine the winner of the Turquoise Tropics bag.

In went all the names:

And out came one lucky winner!
Bells and Whistles, Drums and Crackles, Confetti and Balloons
Congratulations Erlinda!  You have won the Turquoise Tropics cross body bag.  I have emailed you.  And thank you everyone for taking part in the give-away and stopping by to read and comment!
In other Sewing News....
I have tried a new pattern.  It is New Look 6049.  This is a Workroom from Project Runway pattern, and it features a sleeveless mini-dress and three-quarter sleeve tunic.  I made view B, the tunic, with the length of view A.  In the end, I have a fun, swingy, little, dress made out of rayon.  The rayon used to be a brand new sarong.  I loved the fabric, so decided to use it for this pattern!
I'll point out a couple of things about the pattern.  It has darts at the waist both on the front and back of the dress for shaping.  There are also bust darts.  For the tunic view, it uses facing to finish the neckline.  For the sleeveless dress, it includes instructions for lining the dress, so you don't use facing on that version.  The instructions are for an invisible zipper insertion.  I made the size 10 and did not make any changes to the pattern or to the length.  The only disappointment was that I could not ease in my sleeves without getting puckers.  I do love the slightly loose fit, bell-shaped sleeves, and neckline.  So I do plan to make this again, and I will remove some fabric out of the top of the sleeve so that future versions do not have puckers.  I didn't make a muslin, so I'll have to live with the small gathers on this version.  I love the boho feel of this dress.  I thought I would style it for colder weather.  Maybe it would work for breakfast in upcountry Maui on one of our cooler mornings in January.
 Here are close-ups of the neckline and invisible zipper.  It is hard to see the darts however.
Neckline finished with facing.  

Invisible zipper and you can see the small gathers on the sleeve head. 
And here is a final silly shot emphasizing the bell-shaped sleeves.  Overall, I'm super happy with this pattern and will be making it again!
Happy New Year Everyone!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Kwik Sew 3156 More Casual Clothes

Aloha Online Ohana!  How was your Christmas?  We had a blessed time with family and friends here in Maui.  My extended family, in central Oregon, kept sending me pictures of the beautiful snow covered trees and mountains, so in a way I felt like I had a taste of a typical traditional Christmas like I used to celebrate in the mainland USA.  I'm still getting used to these warm sunny Christmases even though this was my seventh one!  But I guess to all my sewing buddies down south, warm Christmases are not that strange!  
The above picture is a new discovery for me.  It is a house built on a cliff that you can rent for events near Kapalua.  It is walking distance to Kapalua Bay, which has fruitful fish sightings if you want an easy place to snorkel.  Wouldn't this be a neat place for a wedding reception?  The view is amazing.  Beyond the house is a place where you can jump off the rocks into the ocean.  The day we were there, the water was rough and surging and quite majestic.  

Oh, but this post is really about Kwik Sew 3156.  I made a combination of the tops shown in view A and B.  My top has the neckline of view B, but the sleeves of view A.  I still seem to be in the mode of sewing casual clothes.  However, Christmas brought lots of lovely new fabrics that have gotten the creative juices flowing again.  Here is a sampling of some of them.  I can't wait to get started.

I used a stretchy, heathered-mauve, french terry for this top and sewed it with the wrong side showing.  I finished the sleeve edges and neckline with the right side of the fabric folded over onto the wrong side of the fabric.  Then I topstiched both with my coverstitch machine for a deconstructed type of look, because the raw edges are showing.  The top can be worn with or without the self-tie, which isn't included in the pattern.  I made the size small and did not make any fitting adjustments.  I did cut a strip of fabric for the neckline binding.  The pattern would have you finish the neckline like the hem, by serging the edge then folding over 3/8" and stitching it down.  I like the shirttail hemline.

I don't know about you all, but one thing I really need to do is clean up my sewing space!  It has gotten out of hand.  I plan to do that with the free time I have while the kids are on their school break.  Today is also special because it is my birthday.  I would love to celebrate with a give-away for one of my crossbody bags.  How about Turquoise Tropics?
If you'd like a chance to win this bag then leave a comment, with an email address where I can reach you (like this: upcountrymom"at"yahoo"dot"com) saying that you'd like to be included in a random drawing to be held on December 30, 2012.  My boys love to pull a name out of a hat, and it has been a little while since my last drawing.  Thank you to everyone who stops by to read and comment.  It's been a great year!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Butterick 5857 A Close Fitting Knit Top

Aloha Everyone,

Butterick 5857 is a pattern for several different styles of knit tops.  The recommended fabric is two-way stretch jersey.  The view that caught my eye when I bought the pattern was "D".  However, the first view I ended up making was "A".  I think this is a perfect style to pair with skinny pants because of how long the top is.

I used a thin cream colored rayon/lycra knit, but because it was so thin and drapey I lined the entire top with a 4-way jersey lining from Emma One Sock. Notice how I finished the neckline and bottom.  Rather than turning those areas under twice and top-stitching like the pattern instructs, I understitched my lining and got very clean edges with no stitches on the right side.  Here is a picture of what I am talking about.  By the way, I cut the size small and had to take out quite a bit of room in the upper bodice and side seams.  Overall, I believe I reduced this area by at least 4 inches in width, from the waist up, and two inches in length. Unfortunately, the pattern did not have the finished bust or waist printed on the tissue, so I had to guess.
Also, because the shoulder seams are thicker with two layers of fabric, I didn't add elastic to gather here.  The only thing I'm a little disappointed in is the fact that the hem on the sleeves is a bit stiff.  I serged the lining and fashion fabric together, then turned once and top-stitched to finish the sleeves.  I'm not sure it bothers me enough to fix, but it's something to take note of if I make this again.  And here is the finished look.

I really like the V-neck back, and the top is comfortable.  However, you can see how much my fabric drapes.  I didn't take a lot of time to get the drapes just right before taking pictures, but it looks like it would be a good idea to adjust the gathers a bit especially on the hem before heading out the door.  Even though the pattern is rated easy, it is tedious working with a drapey knit and gathering that top layer of fabric on the lower part.  But doable!

As I head into the new week, my heartfelt prayers continue to go up for all of the families affected by the unspeakable tragedy that occurred in Connecticut.  There are no words...and as I wrestle with my own feelings, especially being someone far removed, I cannot even imagine what the families and that community must be going through.  They definitely need all the support and love they can get right now.    

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Another Skirt and Some Catching Up


Thanks for your thoughts on the last outfit!  I finished another skirt using New Look 6164 in another great print from Gorgeous Fabrics.  I like how Christmasy this outfit feels with the cherry red accents.  I was also pleased to find out that when I put the black top on, the one I finished in the last post, I actually liked it better than the day I made it.  These fabrics are so comfortable too.  So I guess the black top will get plenty of wear with both these skirts.  I also found a lovely red cardigan at Old Navy to wear with this particular skirt.

 A close-up of the fabric:
In other sewing news, I made curtains!  Lots of curtains for the front room and dining room.  I actually finished these before Thanksgiving, but am just now getting around to posting them.  When you love to sew clothes, curtains are such a chore, but I am so glad to have gotten them made.  They soften the space, and they are dark enough to help keep the rooms cooler from the light and heat of the sun.

And if yards and yards of curtains weren't enough to suck away my sewing time in the past month.  How about this little fellow?  He is an early Christmas present for my oldest DS.  I love Freckles to death, but my oldest has always loved pugs, and all the boys wanted the experience of having a puppy.  So here is the little culprit who woos me away from sewing for attention, treats, and training.  Seriously, how could I not be wooed away with that cute face?  His name is Boulder.
  Thank goodness there are down times like this too!
Hope everyone is having a great week!

Update:  In case any one was wondering.  I still have Freckles.  She will always be my girl!  She and Boulder can't settle down long enough for me to get a picture of them together without it being blurry.  Here is a recent shot of my sweet girl.  Now we are a two dog home.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

New Look 6164 More Pieces

Aloha Everyone!

Recently I took advantage of the online fabric sales happening over the Thanksgiving holiday.  The two ITY knits you will see here, in New Look 6164, are from Gorgeous Fabrics.  The fabric for the top is here and the fabric for the skirt is here.  I've already made the cardigan from this pattern, but was curious about the top.  I was pretty sure the skirt would be a winner because of its simple design.

Here are the skirt from view D and the top from view B.  I did make a couple of modifications on the skirt, but the top I did not change at all.  Both the skirt and top are a size 10.
Detail shots of the top:
The neckline is hemmed with a double fold.  It does not need elastic to prevent gaping from my experience.  You have to hand sew the gathered portion of the lower bodice to the upper bodice, because of the loop and twist in the center.  If you decide to make this pattern be sure to put the wrong sides together when you construct the twist.  Even though I read this in the instructions, I still put the right sides together, out of habit, and had to unpick and start again.  Bummer!  The armholes are finished with a narrow facing.  Overall the top is okay, but not my favorite.  I don't care for the side view with the gathers in the center.  Below you will see how the back is constructed

I'm not particularly fond of how the back is drafted.  You must gather the lower back bodice piece, in the center, before sewing it to the top back piece.  Then, on the inside, you make a casing in the seam allowance where you join the top and bottom and insert elastic.  The above picture shows you what that looks like.  I think I would prefer a clean one-piece back piece.
There were a couple of things I changed on the skirt.  I eliminated the back seam, because I did not want a center slit at the hemline.  I also added 1/2" to the finished width of the hips on the size 10, and I cut 1" off the length of the skirt.  Since I did not have 1 1/4" wide elastic for the the waistband, I narrowed the waistband by 1/4" to accommodate my 1" wide elastic.  I really like this skirt and the waistband treatment.  It is so easy to wear, but looks great!
Those are my highlights for the skirt and top in New Look 6164.  I won't be making the top again, but I love the skirt.  You will see it again in the near future!