Saturday, February 28, 2009

or a collar? How about a collar?

Here it is with a collar pinned on-

sew a little, think a little

Usually I sew the side seams and then set in the sleeves. But this project is experimental every step of the way, and I am hand-basting things to see how it looks before I commit. The sleeves with the stripes running vertically didn't look good- so I cut another pair of sleeve with horizontal stripes- much better! I liked it, so I stitched on the machine and serged the edges around the armsyce. At this point, the side seams are just hand-basted while I figure out how to trim the front edge.
The front binding is loosely pinned for evaluation purposes.
A wide binding?
Or a narrower binding?The sleeve seams aren't sewn at all- the sleeves are just dangling right now. I'll think about that next I guess. I tried using a belt, and the answer to that is {no}. Way too bulky.

I think I still like the elbow length sleeves. I could make shirts or blouses with nice full sleeves gathered into pretty cuffs. I don't want to get overwhelmed by the print.
Well, seeing pictures is a big help, isn't it? I see things in pictures that I don't see in the mirror.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

sewing my impulse Missoni sweater

I wanted to jump in and sew up this fabric, and this is the bodice pattern I had to work with. It is the "Boxy Jacket" from Bernina My Label software. I have never actually made a Boxy Jacket. I like more fitted garments, but for this sweater, I just wanted a very simple shape- the fabric will be the star of the show.

Soooo, what kind of style will this be? Hmmm, I surfed a few websites for inspiration (like Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, etc) and I saw long caridgans I liked. Then I draped the fabric on myself to determine whether I wanted vertical or horzontal stripes.
It was going to look fine either way, but I figured if I run the stripes horizontally across my body, it gives me some visual width in my upper body. Good for a pear like me. And, oops! I did not buy enough to make long sleeves AND a long cardi, so I went with elbow length sleeves. I'll wear it over long sleeved shirts. I just sorta liked the contrast of having the stripes going vertically on the sleeves. I would have REALLY liked to make the stripes match where the sleeve attaches to the bodice, but I just didn't have enough fabric to make it work.

I do have plenty left for front plackets or a belt, or maybe a shawl-ish collar.
I haven't decided on the collar yet.

The biggest risk of disaster is if the fabric stretches out while I sew it. Before I sew anything, I will reinforce the key seams with 1/4" twill stay tape: shoulder, armscye and neckline. I cut the tape pieces to fit the paper pattern.
When I cut pieces like this, I leave them sitting on the paper pattern so I remember what they are. I pick up each piece and sew it, and that keeps me from getting all confused.
I tried sewing the twill tape on by machine, but it stretched out too much. So, I hand-basted. Quicker and more precise. Then I was able to stitch the shoulder seams on the machine.
more to come....
Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

this is huggable!

When I saw this fabric in a post over on Miss Celie's Pants blog, I was down in Rockville, but I made a mental note to swing by A Fabric Place and grab me some!

I got enough to make a loose cardigan. The colors are sooo happy.
Spring? I really don't get the big deal with "warm weather". I prefer sweater weather, myself.

Over the weekend, I sewed THREE PAIRS of pants, people. Yes.
Somewhere along the way it happened; my little dream has come to fruition. I run a little personal sewing factory. I always knew I could do it. And now I do.
My new pants are made from lightweight wools (from Michael's and Gorgeous Fabrics).

I could not believe it when I stood in front of the closet today and I had multiple choices.

If sewing made you this happy, I bet you would do it, too.
I wonder why it pleases me so much??
I feel lucky!
sorry if I sound like I am bragging.

Monday, February 16, 2009

cardigan- finished!

woo hoo... I needed to sew the buttonholes and buttons, and I got around to it this evening. This cardigan makes me happy. I used the T-shirt pattern from Bernina My Label as a base for the pattern, and I used the exact same construction technique from a Kwik Sew pattern I sewed a couple years ago. This is a wool rib knit with poor recovery. I used 1/4" twill tape in shoulder seams, facing seam and armscyes. It didn't ravel much at all, so it was easy to sew. I just had to be careful not to let any of the pieces get stretched out during sewing. I fused interfacing inside the trim, just where the buttonholes are. All right, now I get to sew some of the nice coordinating fabrics that go with this color.
yay for finishing things up.
Happy Sewing~!

Do you mend?

I do! I mend all the time and I enjoy it. Right now I am replacing buttons on an Eddie Bauer shirt because they have discolored over time. If I put white buttons on it, I can get another year of wear out of it. I'll get to work on it ... um, in just a minute....

I think I enjoy mending becuase my sewing area is always set up and ready to go. Plus it helps defray the other feelings that come along with buying expensive sewing machines.

If buying sewing stuff equated to eating, I would have gout.
In other news, Archie sleeps with her eyes closed now. In the early weeks, I NEVER saw her clsoe her eyes!! I gues she is getting comfortable being a house cat.
Now if we can just teach her to leave us alone at night! She needs her beauty sleep during the day to recover from a long night of badgering me. No, I will not play with you now!!!!
I am now definitely a cat person.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

And my BWOF shirt is finished (yay!!!)

This is the shirt I wanted to sew - from Burda World of Fashion magazine. But I got very confused when I tried to lower the underbust seams- and I had to toss the pattern pieces into the trash can. I flipped through a few other issues and found a very simple shirt front and substituted it.

Here is the result- I added a pocket cut on the bias to relieve the large filed of checks. I used a shirting bought from Michael's Fabrics. What a joy to sew fine shirting! The buttons came from Atlanta Thread and Supply- I bought 144 buttons for something like $1.49. (just kidding, but they were really inexpensive and I've used them on several shirts now.)
I LOVE the fit on this shirt! I made a mistake on the front placket though- I applied fusible interfacing (why??? I never do that!! I was on auto-pilot, I guess) and it is stiffer than I like. I also spaced the buttons 4" apart (again, why??? I usually do 3.5"- more space cadet sewing, I guess)
But really, it is fine and I love this fabric and I love this shirt and it was worth waiting for!
Happy Weekend!

Birthday Vest is finished

When we gathered to celebrate my sister's birthday, I offered to sew something for her as a gift. A few days later she sent me a photo of a woman wearing a quilted vest (while horseback riding).
I already had some gray quilted fabric and I made up the pattern as I went along.
Here is the finished vest, on my dressform. Happy Birthday Betsy!

I really enjoy sewing for other people when the situation is right. (Basically, when they appreciate it LOL.....)

I have a couple more UFO's that should be finished very soon. I think I am going to stop sewing multiple projects simulaneously, at least for a while. Delayed gratification is not all it's cracked up to be.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

work in progress - a cardigan and a vest

I am sewing a vest for my sister to wear when she is riding her horse. She sent me a picture of an example (which I can't find now!) and it was just a very simple vest made of quilted fabric. Here are the buttons, aren't they cute? I got them at G Street.
I didn't buy a pattern, I figured all I needed was a bodice. I dug through old issues of Burda World of Fashion and I found shirt #106 from July 2007. There are several nice versions of this shirt reviewed at Sigrid made a really special version with an origami-style front placket.

I cut a size 42, and added an inch in length at the waistline and sewed up a prototype to judge fit. I have tons of this mystery quilted fabric- it looks like nylon and it is stretchy (lengthwise and cross grain) with good recovery. The first version needed shoulder seams moved forward and I took it in all down the side seams. I think I'll get crazy and measure her next time I decide to sew for her. lol.

I cut the neckline into to a V shape and made facings for it. To stabilize the garment, I sewed twill tape to the shoulder seams, armscyes and neckline.

The fit is satisfactory. It looks great from the front and good enough from the back. Her back is very narrow under the shoulder blades, like mine, so I could have decreased volume there. But- since she needs to ride a horse while wearing it, I figured I ought to leave her some room to move :) It's dark gray. I think the flash washed the color out a bit.

And for me, I started a cardigan. Yay! This is a wool rib knit I bought in the summer of 2007. I almost used this in my SWAP last year. I have several coordinating fabrics, so I am very excited to have a capsule underway. I used Bernina My Label t-shirt pattern and cut the neckline into a classic cardigan V-neck. The front facing is just a long rectangle. Right now the front band is basted in and I intend to pick it out, sew the buttonholes and then re-attach it permanently. Also I plan to use the coverhem to straddle the seamline along the front placket.

This fabric has very little recovery. I have learned my lesson on how to deal with that!! Twill stay tape in every seam!

The fit on this is oh-so-comfortably snug but relaxed. I am really getting spoiled with clothes that fit! Off the rack clothing just can't compare.

More to come...

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A coupla shirts ... BWOF

I finished my shirt from the December issue of Burda World of Fashion magazine and posted a review at Hopefully my widget is updated...
And the other shirt I started at the same time is very, very close to being finished:
yay! This windowpane shirting was going to be #107 from Jan 2008, but I messed up the front when I tried to lower the bust point. I had enough fabric to cut a new front and I just used a plain front from another pattern. I stuck a pocket on it to add at least a little interest.
OK... hubby is waiting and waiting for me to stop blogging! And go outside! come on, why so you have to blog all the time, anyway??
ha ha I am just kidding. He will tease me when he reads this, lol.
OK honey, I am coming, right now, let's go....

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