14 January 2013

There be dragons!

My vest
Kathy's vest
I thought I had already posted this vest...then it was there and then it was gone; me own mystery!  This may be a duplicate posting but, ah well!  I wanted to be sure and include this in my sewing journal, so here it is again, Kwik Sew #3705.  Love this vest for style and fit.  I had made the very same vest for my BFF Kathy, using a tweedy wool that she picked when we visited the garment district in Los Angeles some years ago.  Kat's vest is simply dreamy; she wears it to this day!  But why mine, the red dragons?  Can't really say why I bought this brocade piece to begin with, it's been around that long.  Fabric stash frenzy!  Maybe should have been a purse? or slippers maybe?  A bit bold; however, toned down with crushed black velvet contrasting detail and black satin, the finished piece is actually pleasing to the eye and very wearable.  I especially love that all the fabric for this red dragon vest came from my stash.  tah dah! all done!


13 January 2013

Toddler pa'u hula skirts

Pa'u hula skirt
Here are two toddler-size Hawaiian pa'u (pronounced pah - oo) hula skirts which I made today for the girlies.  The larger skirt is for Chloe Kealohilani and the l'il skirt is for Natalie Makanaaloha, my two youngest granddaughters.  Chloe will wear her skirt to pre-school, as part of a cultural exchange day, to represent the Hawaiian part of her heritage.  Natalie's skirt is just for fun, because she likes to be just like big sis. 

05 January 2013

Oh Henry!

Oh Henry!
And while I sew, Henry is ever on the lookout.  Henry is just a small patootie, but he feels that it's his charge to be on guard while Ray's at work.  He has a little bed near where I sit and sew, and he sometimes naps there, lulled by the sound of the sewing machine.

Artsy wearables; do you think?

Here are patterns that have been sitting in my stash, ones that I purchased with "artsy" in mind.  I haven't tried these yet for the following reasons.  The Park Bench pattern (left) would initially require a good amount of size adjustment and fitting.  The Kimura vest (right) is so sweet but there's a button that joins the two back pieces. Would there be a sore spot if I were sitting in a chair and leaning back?  I'm sure that I can easily overcome these negatives; still, I'll have to give it some thought before giving these a try.

What a girl wants; what a girl needs

What a girl wants
What a girl needs
I'm not a girl anymore, but more like an old gal on the downhill slide (no negativity intented).  Luckily, the downhill slide may encompass 20 or 30 more years of good solid living.  I've not turned into an old hag by any means, but our lifestyle has changed.  Thinking about what I want to accomplish in the sewing room this year, I need to evaluate what for me is a serious situation.  "Time management, baby!"  What do I really need, what do I want to accomplish, do I have time to do it all?
Example:  In Picture A above, there's a frilly-at-the-shoulder top (Vogue 1275).  I want to give those ruffles a try.  Would I wear this?  Probably not.  Will I sew it up anyway?  Probably so. 

I have a bunch of other patterns in my stash that fit this category:  So much fun to sew, some of them stylish, even elegant, but why?  what for?  This Calico Quilter grandma (me) primarily stays at home in the kitchen, in the garden, and at the sewing machine.  Oh, sometimes we do it up (BFF hubby and me), and we do go out from time to time.  We're considered a stylish couple, but we're turning out to be simple folk as we move along. 

See Picture B above?  I need work frocks (no joke)...to wear in the garden, in the kitchen, for just hanging out in.  Dare I make a pair of overalls?  I have a pattern for that, too. 

As some suffer from writer's block, I'm having quite a time choosing what to sew next.  Fun and fancy or practical?    What's a girl to do?

04 January 2013

Chris' Black 'n White Series

Here's a series of black and white print tops I've made over the past several months, with the exception of the zebra print below which I made a while ago.  The jacket, Kwik Sew 3693, is my most recent project.  There are so many assymetrical designs out there, but I especially like this pattern because of the somewhat modified fullness of the jacket which provides for a sleeker fit on my 5'3" frame.  The other tops, from left to right, Vogue 8791, McCalls 6564, and Vogue 1049.

The Vogue 8791 top was made using a linen fabric from JoAnn Fabrics; the McCall's 6564, a Palmer Pletsch pattern, was made from a soft rayon fabric which I purchased online from FabricMart; and the Vogue 1049, a Today's Fit pattern by Sandra Betzina, was made using a polyester/lycra fabric.  Why so many black 'n white tops in a row?  For one reason, there was black thread on my sewing machine and the serger as well, lazy me; another reason, it's part of working my way through a fabric stash that's been piling up (why do I keep ordering more?); and then...it's about... hair color. Oh my : (   For reasons of convenience, exhaustion and sanity, I gave up coloring my hair some time ago.  The end result has been a silvery/white head of hair, just like my mom's used to be.  With that, I've had to rethink my whole color palette, my whole persona in fact.  I'm still working on that; not so bad.  Ray (my BFF hubby) tells me, "You look great, mama!...for your age" (ah, Men; you gotta love 'em).  So there you go; black and white series near completion.  Time to move along.