13 November 2016

McCalls 7100, Bomber Jacket #2

Bomber Jacket...me in it

This pattern, McCalls 7100 is the bomb.  You can easily add a lining, but I have not lined either of the two jackets I have sewn. Lining the jacket is a good way to enclose messy seams; keeping it unlined makes me pay attention to neat and tidy finishes. I have read that scuba knit fabric does not breathe, so I will think about wearing this jacket on cooler days.

04 November 2016

McCalls 7100; Bomber Jacket #2 in the making

#2 in the making
Jacket #1
After finishing #1 of this Bomber Jacket pattern, I am working on another one; fabric choice Nicole Miller scuba knit fabric, purchased from JoAnn's. This time playing with color and fabric choice. To successfully stitch on this fabric, had to switch to Schmetz stretch needle 75/11, as well as a wider stitch width (3.5); otherwise machine was skipping stitches like crazy. I think this "splashy color" jacket will be "the bomb" when it's done.

14 October 2016

McCalls 7100; Bomber Jacket Sew-Along; all done!

Here's my Bomber Jacket, McCalls 7100, completed.  Mine is cut in a size Medium.  I used 3/8" seams instead of 5/8" on the side and sleeve seams, to gain .  Neck, cuffs and bottom band attachments were sewn with regular 5/8" seams.  I made usual adjustments, shortening body and sleeve lengths by about 1".  Such a fun project.  I'll be making more.

03 October 2016

McCall's 7100 Bomber Jacket Sew-Along; work in progress

McCall's Bomber Jacket Sew-Along, using McCall's #7100; I signed up, yes I did! Would not normally have thought to sew a Bomber Jacket, but sew-alongs have always piqued my curiosity. I tend to go it alone, but fellowship among like-minded persons with a passion for all things sewing is a fabulous, heartwarming thing. My jacket is currently a work-in-progress. I'm waiting on a metallic-silver separating zipper which I had to order online; thus, a short breather until that zipper arrives. I love everything about this metallic-coated fabric which I got at Joann's with a 50% off coupon. Subtle sparkle on the outside, soft dusty rose color on the inside, this fabric drapes softly, dare I say "a buttery feel;" easy to handle, both in cutting and sewing. I chose not to line my jacket; this pattern does not call for a lining, and I took my cue from that. I have been very careful, using a serger as well as pinking shears to finish the seams. I will say that next time, I'd consider working on a light jacket lining, which would hide all those interior seams; a clean finish and less work in the long run. Note to myself: I cut a Size M, with a 41" finished garment measurement around the bust.  Size L (45" finished measurement around the bust) would have been too big for the fit I was looking for. To provide extra inches without going up a size, I used 3/8" seams instead of 5/8", which brought me to a 43" measurement. The fit is good.

Cuff detail
Pocket welt detail

19 September 2016

New Look 6414; Lacy Sleeve Top

I've been on a sewing roll these past weeks. The kind of patterns I pick are mostly quick to sew and I average about one garment every couple of days at this pace. I'm working on whittling away at my stash of fabric, so that I can re-stock...buy more that is. Lately, a lot of patterns feature the use of lace which creates a very feminine touch. I picked View D from New Look 6414, a short-sleeve, V-neck top, that flares softly to the hemline, with contrasting lace fabric at the shoulder and sleeve. 

18 September 2016

Butterick 5922; Sleeveless Knit Top

Butterick 5922; View A
I wanted to practice sewing a Peter Pan collar. Butterick 5922, View A, was what I was looking for, a simple sleeveless top with the kind of collar I wanted. There is a good go-to tutorial that provides information on how to sew a Peter Pan collar with a more professional finish. Thank you,
Sure Fit Designs: http://www.sfdlearningcenter.com/Peter_Pan_Collar_Instructions.pdf. Your instruction worked for me and my collar turned out nicely. I used an inexpensive cotton knit (not much stretch) that I had in my stash; I don't even remember where or when I purchased this fabric, it's been that long ago.

14 September 2016

McCalls 7314; getting dressed

First of a bunch of dresses I'm making to wear at home and for running errands around town. Dedicated sewing, one full day, to complete this dress, after pre-washing and cutting fabric.

12 September 2016

Jennifer George Top; Vogue Attitudes #1600

Initially, I had intended to use this Nicole Miller polyester twill, tropical parrot print fabric to make a bomber jacket. I'm currently participating in the McCall's Bomber Jacket Sew-a-long. The accompanying black twill fabric that I purchased for the sleeves of the jacket turned out to be stiffer and did not have the drape that the jacket calls for, so I scraped that idea. Decided to use the parrot print while it was still fresh on my table, so I dug into my pattern stash and came up with a vintage pattern, Vogue Attitudes #1600, by American Designer Jennifer George. Sleeveless, lined, cropped to the waist, fitted darts in the front and back, I'm pleased with the results. The Nicole Miller fabrics found at JoAnn's is a good line, decent quality at a fair price. I'll be going back for more.

04 September 2016

Leggings for Chloe and a dollie dress to go along

From 1-1/8 yd. of fabric, I made one pair of custom leggings, one knee-length pair of bike shorts, and a dress for dollie as well. Pants have a 22-1/2" waist and fit just right, from top to bottom, custom made for my 7-yr-old granddaughter. On my way to Idaho in just a few days to deliver the goods. See the buttons on dollie's dress? Couldn't find my velcro and the buttons are much easier to handle anyway. Very cute stuff! The doll dress is from Simplicity 8041, an American Girl pattern; the leggings were crafted from free pattern instructions provided by So Sew Easy, http://so-sew-easy.com/leggings-pattern-tutorial.

29 August 2016

e-Tee Pattern from Sewing Workshop

Here's Sewing Workshop's "eTee" t-shirt all sewn up. I purchased this download-only pattern from Sewing Workshop's website. I simply love the fit of this top, as good as off the rack. From printing and piecing together the pattern for tracing, to pre-washing fabric, then laying out and cutting the fabric, to sewing and serging, all was done in one day. The charcoal/black zebra stripe jersey fabric (pictured) which I used to make this sample garment, has a 97% cotton, 3% lycra content, perfect for t-shirt making.

28 August 2016

Simplicity 1323; Knit Top

Most recent knit top, just finished. Lots of natural folds starting at just below the bustline require a soft knit so that the folds will hang nicely. I made a short, knit pencil skirt (Pamela's Patterns) to wear with this top. Very wearable, very comfortable for around town.

Custom Leggings for 5-yr-old Granddaughter

I swear by this custom legging pattern listed at So Sew Easy; http://so-sew-easy.com/leggings-pattern-tutorial. The good news, the pattern is free (thank you So Sew Easy). There is a fabulous, fail-proof tutorial for how-to-measure and how to draw a leggings pattern based on your measurements. Pictured, I made custom-sized leggings for 5-year-old Natalie. Her waist measures at 20-1/2" inches. These leggings fit her like a glove, perfect around the waist, in the rise, front and back, and everywhere else that matters. From the leftover fabric, I was able to make a matching pair of leggings for Nat's dollie and, with that, a dollie top to go along. Simplicity has a line of doll clothing for 18" American Girl dolls, so making this mini-me outfit was quick and easy to do. I must mention, I have also made adult-size leggings for myself and again, the fit was just right and very comfortable.

04 August 2016

Vogue 9014; Misses' Top with Bias Collar

Just finished this top, probably one of my favorites to date. The fabric is an opaque, lightweight, smoke gray linen with white pinstripes. Design features include a lined, sleeveless top, with buttoned back, and bias collar. The bias collar folds softly around the neckline and is very flattering. I used the same fabric to line the garment, which created the perfect weight and feel to my surprise. This Very Easy Vogue pattern is now out of print, but if you have it in your stash, it's worth a try.

02 August 2016

New Look 6895; Poufy Sleeves

New Look 6895. I thought poufy sleeves might be too youthful on me, but I so admired the feminine styling of these tops, that I went ahead and gave it a go. Choosing seersucker in a conservative color palette, soft gray and white, worked out well and gives this top a classic appeal.

01 August 2016

Sewing with Jaden

Meet my granddaughter. Here she is in the sewing room. This summer I vowed that she'd have her first sewing lesson from me and she'd love the experience, I was so certain, but little did I know. Texting friends; shopping at the mall for school clothes; watching movies with grandma, chatting all the while; this is what we happily did on this very special weekend. Happily pinning, cutting, and laboring over straight seams? Not so much. Once we got to sewing, pinning fabric? Ouch! The sewing machine intrigued her at first; she would start with a  straight 1/4" inch seam, but that seam would grow wider and wider down the line. Over and over again, as many times as we'd rip the seam to start over again, that seam would grow and grow; the line was straight, but she'd veer off course. I wondered, "hmmm..." What was the problem here? She seems proficient for a first timer. Did she not get a good night's rest at grandma's overnight? Does she need glasses? Was this possibly 13-year-old sabotage? I began to suspect all negatives. If she could not sew an even seam, we'd have problems completing this very simple, pillowcase project. The lurking suspicions swirled in my head. She might not be interested, no kindred spirit, oi vey! How would I cope??? We got that darned pillowcase finished, with me pushing hard from behind. I looked for a gleaming sense of accomplishment in her eye, but instead I detected...zero, nada. Instead, "Hurray, I'm off the hook!" She was surprised when I told her there would be a next time; we'd try again, she would learn to sew. Maybe one more project will bring her onboard but if not, at least she'll be able to sew a straight seam. Do you think?

"Are you kidding me?" Henry says. 

All finished! Hurray! 

26 July 2016

Butterick 5954 - Knit Top

"Fast and Easy" knit top pattern, Butterick 5954. This is a neoprene-type knit fabric, soft and spongy with a nice drape. I made minor alterations to the pattern, reducing the dramatic flare of the skirt, plus I created a closer fit by sewing an additional 5/8" past the original back seam line. I may have to tighten it up just a little more next time for a more flattering fit.

22 July 2016

What's a girl to do???

I sew; I think about sewing; I think about sewing fabulous wardrobe pieces; however...here I am. This is how I run around, from garden to kitchen, to sewing/craft room, to sitting at fabulous computer (courtesy of savior husband), where I blog thoughts to no one in particular that I know of, except myself. Thus, to myself I shout, "What's a girl to do?!" The need for a fabulous, trendy wardrobe is an infrequent necessity, but still I want to sew one. Additionally, I think I have become the incredible shrinking woman...that is, I should say, in and around the shoulder area where patterns are concerned. Bigger tummy, wider waist, shrinking shoulders, or something like that; which has tempted me to dabble in the dark world of pattern adjustment. I used to fit in a Size 10, then a 12, then a 14...get it? Holding that line at Size 16 (12 off the rack); it's not so fun as it once was, to watch measurements shift and change. I am the blob, herself. Truth be told, my patterns require very little adjustment, lucky me, but in my mind...

19 July 2016

Sew, sew, sew...3 tops all done!

Black/Gray plaid, cut on bias: Butterick 5786
Charcoal/White Stripe: Tessuti "Fave" Top
Black/Gray Animal Print: New Look A6420

Two knit tops shown, both with dolman sleeves; quick and easy to sew.  As for dolman sleeve styling, not my favorite.  The sleeveless plaid shirt, cut on the bias, is made from a good cotton fabric. I'm hooked on fine fabric to sew with; it makes such a difference.