Thursday, December 2, 2010

Burda 7691 Hoodless Anorak - Done!

The first of my seven UFOs is done and I finally have the Burda 7691 anorak in my wardrobe! I know what I'll be wearing to walk the bossy little fur baby tomorrow morning.  :-)

Here it is:

Edited to add - I had time to take pics of it on me--here it is with a ruffled top:

And here it is all zipped up over another top:

I love these pics--they show you what you might miss when you're looking at it IRL.  In the pic, the belt tab on the left looks lower than the other one.  You know what, I just went to measure it, and it is.  I originally marked the placement for the tabs, but the markings brushed off, so I winged it.  Oh well.  But now that I know the belt tabs are misaligned, it bothers me.  I wouldn't buy RTW with misaligned belt tabs, and what I sew should be better than RTW, so I'm fixing that tab before the day is over.

This anorak has some great design elements--a pair of vertical zippered pockets in the front, a wonderful wing collar, an exposed front zip, stylishly dropped armholes, wide belt tabs, a buckled belt, and wide cuffs.

This style is great for the hourglass, especially because of the vertical zipped pockets, which won't add width to the hip area. Almost forgot to add a pic of the pockets--here they are:

The pattern called for 6" zippers for the pockets, but none of the stores in my area sells that size, and I didn't want to buy the zips online, so I made my own.  I cut 9" black nylon zips down to fit.  It's easy to do--if you ever need to do this, just follow the instructions that come with the zipper.  It basically says to sew several stitches around the entire coil at the length you need.  The stitches will act as the zipper stop.  It always works perfectly!  

Also, the sleeve is made up of 3 pieces:

According to the pattern, you're supposed to topstitch the sleeve seams, and also all around the armhole.  Topstitching adds stiffness, and I didn't want that, so I skipped it.

And in the back of the anorak, a simple overlay funnels into a belt tab!

Hmm--in the pic, the overlay looks a little uneven, but that's just due to the way the pic was taken.  IRL, it's even.

The overlay is supposed to be finished with a hem, but I preferred to line it.  It turned out fine.

And I originally cut the overlay a little too short, which placed the belt tab at empire length.  I didn't have enough fabric to cut another overlay, so I decided to only cut an extension for the tab.  The extension worked beautifully and brought the tab down to waist length.  Thank goodness!

I've had this pattern for a while and am glad that it's in my stash. But to think, I almost passed on it because it didn't have a hood.  Yikes!!!

Speaking of the pattern, it was wonderful to work with.  It's drafted well--all the pieces fit together.  The details took some time to complete, but overall, this was not difficult to sew.  And sewing the details was definitely worth it. 

I love the sporty look of anoraks.  This is going to be a very versatile piece for me and I'm glad that I have it in my wardrobe!

One UFO down, six to go.  The napkins are next.

Hi Tyna--Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for the compliment!  I do sew quickly, but the anorak was easy to sew.  I think anyone at the intermediate level or above could zip through this, too.  :-)

Make this day a good one!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Vogue 2080 - Betzina Sweetheart/Bolero Top - Done!

I didn't do much sewing today and only finished the Vogue 2080 Betzina sweetheart/bolero top:

It's super simple and took me less than an hour.  Here it is:

I used an emerald green knit with micro black stripes that aren't showing up in the pic.  The knit is not as soft as the knits that I've used to sew this top before, so it doesn't feel as comfy.  It fits, but just isn't as soft.

I sewed it with petite and hourglass adjustments.  The pattern comes with 3/4 length sleeves, but I wanted long sleeves, so I used my OOP Butterick 3344 TNT fitted sleeve pattern--it worked perfectly.  I usually raise the armholes on everything, but left it as is on this and it fits.

Looking at this top on me, I should have lengthened it at the hem a little, like I always do when I make this top.  I didn't this time around, but it could stand to be a little longer, so I'll go back to making that adjustment the next time I sew this.

The shorter length and the fact that the fabric is not as soft as I would like are deal breakers--I wore it for the past hour and it is uncomfortable.  I keep pulling it down at the hem to make it longer and then the neckline gets too low.  And because the fabric isn't soft, it's uncomfortable at the underarm seam.  There are 5 layers at that seam . . . FIVE!!!  With soft knits, it's alright.  But with a knit that isn't as soft as most knits, it is uncomfortable.  I can usually live with construction or stitching mistakes.  But when it comes to the way my clothes fit and feel, I'm very VERY finicky.  I love the way it looks and I love the color, but I'm donating it.

The mistakes were totally mine, not the pattern's.  Oh well.  No one's perfect.  :-)

I'm finally going back to my navy blue colorway and will sew my gray-blue jacket on Sunday. Thank goodness that fabric is perfect for that style! 

Make a nice living space for yourself and make this day a good one!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Vogue 2789 Has 50 Tucks!!!

It seems like ages since I've sewn something to wear, so I'm very happy about finally finishing OOP Vogue 2789 late on Saturday night. 

I made the version with the 50 corset type tucks--26 in the back and 24 in the front.  FIFTY!!!

This is how it looked on Saturday morning--the style is as is except that I sewed it with long sleeves. The original tie sleeve design is cute, but I changed it because I wanted a basic fitted shirt with long sleeves. 

After trying it on again on Saturday morning, I decided that I couldn't stand the flat open collar.  I rarely ever sew anything with that type of collar because I just don't like it on me.  I keep trying to make it work, but it never does.  So I took it apart and removed the upper collar.  Just that one little tweak and I am over the moon about it!  It now reminds me of the 40s--a lot of 40s well tailored fitted suits have collars like this:  

And here it is on me--sorry it's still wrinkled.  I didn't have time to steam it.  Oh, and for the perfectionists, no those are not drag lines.  I adjusted the camera then rushed to stand in place before the timer went off.  I didn't have time to straighten everything.  Looks like I'm leaning to one side, too.  Oh well.  With timer pics, sometimes things look a little off, but IRL they're not.  You know how that is.

I'm not sure if this style will work for all figure types, but it definitely works for the hourglass.

The pattern was pretty easy to sew.  It's drafted well, so all of the pieces fit together perfectly.  And the sizing was spot on--I made my usual petite adjustments but didn't shorten the tucks.  I also made my usual hourglass adjustments.  As far as fit goes, that's all I did. The only reason it took me so long to finish was that I kept putting it down and walking away because sewing FIFTY tucks one after another all in a row seemed like the height of monotony to me and I didn't want to do that.  What happened is that I'd sew few and think--ooo tucks, looks good, then I'd get up and find something more interesting to do for a little while.  :-)

I'm glad it's finally finished.  It plugs a huge hole in my wardrobe.  I didn't have any basic long sleeved fitted white shirts in my wardrobe before today, and now I have one.  YAY!

Make this day a good one!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

No sewing--still sprucing up around here

No sewing as I am still sprucing it up around here. But before I get to that, take a look at this SJP outfit--WOW! I love the jacket, skirt and bag:

Makes me want to sew some clothes, but I want to take care of sprucing it up around here first (there are not enough hours in the day!), so . . .

Back to home dec--as I mentioned earlier, I changed the shower curtain in the bathroom, but that wasn't the end of it. I'm still working on that room and am making a few more small changes. I've had the fun pic below for around 10 years and haven't used it in a while. Since it picks up the blue that's in the shower curtain, I put it on display again. I'm happy to have it there, even if it doesn't quite match the mood of the shower curtain.

I'm also thinking that I want to make a small covered box with some of the leftover Lauren sheet, or if not, then I want to trim a container with some of the fabric. I also pulled a green towel from the back of the towel closet that I haven't been using because the decorative cotton bands woven in at both ends shrunk very badly--I'm thinking that I'll double it, cut it off right at the bands, shape it, then make a bath mat with it that's trimmed with fabric from the Lauren sheet. I am planning to finish these projects before sewing anything else. The coordinating pieces that I'm planning will give my bathroom a polished pulled together look and they will look like they cost a mint, but we all know that they will not have cost very much. Decorating on a dime--what a great way to refresh the look of a room! :-)

BTW--Thanks, Karen! Everyone who doesn't know anything about sewing always assumes that cloth napkins are crazy expensive, and bought ones are, but when you sew your napkins, they hardly cost anything!

Make a nice living space for yourself and make this day a good one!

Monday, September 20, 2010

What Can I Make With A Sheet?

Around 5 or more years ago, Macy's had some California King flat sized Ralph Lauren sheets on their clearance table for around $5 each. I don't think anyone wanted them because they were red, but my decorating brain went crazy when I saw them! I bought 2 to use for home dec.

Here's the pattern (my shower curtain):

Yes, I know, some of you are gasping because it's red. I would gasp, too, if I envisioned a room full of red. I like the color red, but a room full of it would be overload for me, too. Because red is such a strong color, I only use it sparingly.

Over the weekend I was sprucing up a little more around here and started using some things that I made with the red Lauren sheets a few years ago. I put a round tabletop to floor tablecloth on a picture table and I also put up a shower curtain. I haven't used them in a while and they really brightened things up around here! Old things truly look new again when you haven't used them in a while. Some napkins that I made with the Lauren sheet are also in the pile of napkins being used now.

If you want to spruce up your living space on a dime, think about using sheets as your fabric. You can make table cloths, shower curtains, duvets, comforters, throw pillows, drapes, window curtains, and almost anything else home dec with sheets. I still have some of one Lauren sheet left, which means the fabric for everything I've made so far definitely cost me less than $10. If you've checked out the prices of things like tablecloths, napkins, or shower curtains lately, then you know that by sewing my own home dec, I've saved a bundle!

Some people don't like sewing home dec, but I find it the easiest sewing ever.

Make this day a good one!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

McCalls 6164 - Knit Top with Edwardian type sleeves

I love that McCalls always has some styles that are not run of the mill seen it a thousand times before designs.

I'm specifically referring to view B (blue top in pic below) of McCalls 6164. As soon as I saw it, I wanted to make a top with those fun sleeves! I want to make the pink one, too, but the blue one had to be first because I wanted to know how those uniquely stylish sleeves would look on me once the top was sewn.

Here is my muslin--it turned out well, but I don't like the print so I am donating it. I don't know if you'll understand this--I think the print is loud, but it's not colorful enough for me. There are too many white flowers in the print.

I'm going to make my good version out of a quality solid colored knit so the style won't be obscured by a print.

Here's some info about how I sewed this:

1) The sleeves remind me of Edwardian styles and even if Edwardian is not in right now, I feel very trendy in this! Note, though, that I brought the sleeeves in a little because I am petite and as is, they would have looked much too wide on me.

2) I am impressed with McCalls for issuing a pattern that has both high and low neckline options. I used the high neckline front and back pieces because I prefer a more modest neckline. It worked out perfectly!

3) I didn't like the original length of the sleeves so I made mine 3/4 length. Perfect!

4) I used a knit with good stretch and recovery--it was muslin fabric because I don't like the print.

5) This was super easy to sew and only took me an hour.

6) All in all, this is a great pattern to work with. It's drafted well and was super easy to sew. It worked well for my figure type.

7) Oh, and I made my usual petite and hourglass adjustments, but that's it.

This is a very unique style, and I like it, so I'm going to definitely make another one out of good fabric that I like.

Enjoy the day!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Butterick 5353 - Jeweled Top is DONE!

I used Butterick 5353. I shortened the pattern to top length, eliminated the midriff, sewed the bottom with darts, adjusted the darts so they would line up with the princess seams of the bodice, and gave the bottom side shaping so it would be fitted:

Here's my top:

Some things about this top:

1) the bodice is quite long. I didn't shorten it because I planned to wear it with the belt. At the longer length, the belt fits right above the bottom of the bodice and it is perfect!

2) the bottom looks fitted in the pic on the pattern envelope, but it wasn't fitted enough. I had to give side shaping.

3) the bottom might look a tad too big on me and you're right, it is. It's a woven and I'm wearing this tucked out, so I sewed it with enough ease to accommodate whatever I might want to wear with this. If I choose to wear it with a belted pair of pants, it has enough ease so it will lay flat over the belt. No one's going to notice the ease, but I'm sure everyone would notice the outline of a belt protruding if it the top was too tight.

4) I like that the bodice armholes aren't too cut in--I could wear this to church and wouldn't have to worry about anything showing.

5) I used a quality white cotton jacquard that's been in my stash for around 5 years.

6) I sewed on the clear stones randomly, placing them as I sewed them on. Luckily, it turned out well.

7) Almost forgot, I attached the yoke to the bodice with the sewing machine, but I finished it with hand sewing. Have you ever tried finishing a yoke like this with the machine? It's quicker, neater, and easier to just do it by hand.

8) I self lined the yoke and interfaced it, lined the bodice with white lining, and underlined the bottom. With all of that structure, it feels like a designer piece, but even with all of that, this was a super easy top to sew!

BTW--Thanks for the comment Me! I'm really happy that I finally finished it!

Up next is the black and white skirt in my header--it's already cut out. After that, I'm sewing the black corduroy jacket in my header . . . I'm busy with lots of non sewing things, but hopefully, I'll cut the jacket out this week. I'm using a purple-lavender lining. Corduroy is usually used for boxy barn jackets, but I love using it for nicely shaped jackets with good design elements that give it a polished look. People don't expect to see nice jackets like this made out of corduroy and I like surprising them! :-)

Make this day a good one!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Nicefy-ing it up around here

It always all comes back to the hoarder shows! They always make me feel like cleaning and sprucing things up around here! When I watched Monday's Hoarders show, yes, I did get up during the commercials to straighten out this little thing and that little thing. Couldn't help it. :-)

And it is continuing on into the weekend because this weekend, I'm going to nice-fy around here a little more by sewing a tablecloth and napkins from stash. I'm thinking about making some new covers for some of my throw pillows, too. I have a few quilted taffeta pillows lying around with some others on my living room sofa--they look fantastic because the colors are intense, but after around 5 years with them, they are still not the most comfortable pillows to have on the sofa. They're still in great shape, but only because everybody avoids them because they're uncomfortable. :-) I'm thinking about making some new covers so they won't be as slippery and so they'll feel comfortable. If I get to it, I'm using stash for the covers, too.

That's the plan.

Make this day a good one!

Monday, September 6, 2010

My Empire Jeweled Top - Done

I finished my empire jeweled top. I morphed the empire bodice from Butterick 5353 with the fitted bottom from OOP McCalls 8190, a Laundry by Shelli Segal dress pattern.

I embellished the round yoke with clear jewel stones shaped like squares. It turned out exactly as I pictured it in my head--I love this! Here it is with the 50 tuck top that I also made:

About the patterns--the McCalls pattern is a TNT and didn't need to be adjusted. I didn't really make any adjustments to the Butterick pattern, other than to fit it to me width-wise. As far as construction, I interfaced the yoke, lined the bodice and underlined the bottom. I sewed on the yoke facing at the neck edge, turned it, then placed my stones and sewed them on so the stitching would only show on the back of the piece that it was sewn to. I did it this way so the stitching would be hidden. Then I sewed the rest of this topthe way I'd normally sew a style like this. I didn't follow the instructions, but I did look at them, and they pretty much cover the way I did it.

This was super easy to sew! If you need an end of Summer super cute jeweled top, and this style is flattering on you, definitely give it a try. But if it's not a style that's flattering on you, definitely skip it and make something that matches you instead.

Hope your weekend was fun!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

OOP Butterick 3440 - Fitted Floral Sundress

Here is the dress I made using my super sized floral print--it's on me with me cropped out. I really like this print. It's very large, but because of the design, it's not too large for petite me. The style of the dress isn't trendy, but when I wear it, I'm going to style it trendy.

This is a TNT and it was very easy to sew. The style is perfect for the hourglass 8.

I used long OOP Butterick 3440.

Before it became a TNT, I had to shape the armholes a little because they looked a little odd, but that was easy enough to do. And I did my usual petite adjustments. But that's it.

Still have a few more projects to share, but this is today's second post, so that's it for today.

Enjoy the weekend!

New Look 6463 - A Simple Plaid Knit Skirt with a Flounce

I have wanted a plaid skirt with a draping flounce for what seems like forever, but somehow never got around to making one . . . until now. I made view E from New Look 6463:

I used fabric that was leftover from my last skirt and from the maxi that never was. Here's my skirt:

The fabric is perfect for this style. The flounce swishes very nicely. And this skirt was super easy to sew. Super fast, too--it took all of one hour. I sewed the skirt as is and it went together perfectly! The only thing I have to say about it is that view E is only 25 inches long. If you're going to make this skirt, be aware that it's much shorter than the skirt that the model is wearing in the pic on the envelope. Other than that, I have nothing to say because sewing this was problem-free--it was very easy.

I have several other projects to share, but haven 't had time to take pics, yet. As soon as I do, I'll post the pics.

I cut waay back on sewing, but it looks like it's picking up again. This weekend, I'm working on an aubergine dress suit--everything's from stash. On Saturday, I'm sewing all day from around 10 am on without interruption and hopefully, I'll be able to finish the set.

Enjoy the day,

Sunday, August 22, 2010

New Look 6606 - Fun top with the shaped hem!!!

Here's a pic of my New Look 6606 top with the shaped hem--it's on me with me cropped out:

Well, what can I say . . . only that I LOVE it!!! I knew I would!!! I'm so glad I did the style analysis for myself! If I hadn't, I might have been stuck with a kinda sorta like it, but not really top that lacked shaping. I would have wasted this rayon challis, which, by the way, I am absolutely mad about, AND I would have wasted precious time! Because of the simple analysis that I did, I avoided all of that!

Here's a heads up about this pattern--I raised the neckline because the bodice that I chose is drafted REALLY low!!! As an hourglass 8, I have learned not to wear low cut necklines. I don't know about other hourglass 8s, but because I'm shapely, I have found that wearing low cut necklines gets me the creepy type of attention that I don't want, and it can turn other women really snotty. I know non hourglass figure types who aren't the snotty type will probably think that this doesn't happen, but trust me, it does. Ask your hourglass friends and they will tell you.

Back to my point--some people love that type of attention and can deal with the jealousy, but I'd rather avoid all of that. I avoid the tooo buttoned up super modest look and I avoid the low cut look, too.

And about the points at the hem--to keep the points at the hem pointed, I simply serged the bottom (don't serge continuously around the point or you'll end up with rounded points), knotted the tail 3 times at the point before I cut the serged thread tail off, then put a drop of fray check right on the knot to secure it permanently. I took great care not to let the fray check get on anything but the knot by using a toothpick to do this.

I also used cotton twill tape as a stay at the front neckline. I used challis and I didn't want it to stretch when worn.

I finished several things from last weekend and this one--this top is from last week. I'll post pics of everything as I have time, so you can see how the pattern styles look when sewn.

I've also added a couple of skirts to my queue. Guess it's mini time! They're too cute, I tell you!!!

I don't know if the ruffled pockets will be unflattering to the hourglass 8 figure type, but I will find a way to make it work!!! :-)

And I want a fitted skirt with a paperbag waist just like this one--I'm going to make this one work, too:

BTW--BMV is having a huge one day only sale tomorrow. If you are on their email list, check your email. They are having a shop before noon discount that's in addition to their sale prices!

Hope you had a good weekend!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

My Gigantic UFO Pile of Basics!!!

This weekend, it rained off and on where I live. It was perfect weather for sewing. So, did I finish any of my UFOs? Huh? Huh? Uh, no. :-p

But I did manage to make a teeny dent in that pile. I worked on this McCalls 5803 Hilary Duff ruffled top--I only have to finish the armholes and add the buttons/buttonholes.

Here are my other UFOs:

OOP Simplicity 3837:

OOP Simplicity 4273--I only had a yard of this fabric, so my choices of what to make were severely limited. I think I picked well as this cami is so basic that I'm sure I'll wear it a lot with jackets and sweaters:

Vogue 8279. I made a bright lemon yellow one that I really like, so I decided to make another one:

This is the daunting pile! There's so much to finish here!

Butterick 5223 black jacket with collar:

OOP & TNT Simplicity 4887 charcoal gray hoodie to wear with matching yoga pants that are already in my wardrobe:

OOP McCalls 5194 black jacket:

Simplicity black pants:

Believe it or not, I usually don't have any UFOs. I cut all of these out when I was thinning my stash. I cut them out to keep from tossing the fabric.

Since I'm on the subject of my queue, I also plan to sew another basic corduroy jacket for this year. Last year, I made a deep purple corduroy jacket and a plum one. I'm tossing the deep purple because it's worn out already. The plum is still in great shape, so I'm hanging on to it.

My corduroy jacket this year will either be navy or beige, and it'll probably be one of these styles:

And since this was my fave cardi, I am planning to make another one from a stash knit in a shade of rich violet:

I really want to get started on some inspiration pieces so my wardrobe will finally have some panache and style, but I want to finish the basics first so they'll be out of the way.

This is something else that I want to sew for myself--I love the bodice and shoulder treatment, and want to make a top in that style. Oprah has the best clothes!

Well, I was busy with other things this weekend, so I'm very happy that I at least did a little sewing. Hopefully, before the week is over, the Hilary Duff top with be finished.

BTW--this is a note for my fellow Catholics. I took the Catholics only post down, but just in case you only got to read the first paragraph before I took it down, I want to make it clear that I don't believe those things are legit. Far from it!!! They don't jive with our Catholic faith. I don't accept it at all.

Keep good thoughts and stay in the light, but always keep a good dose of skepticism, too, so you won't end up falling for things like that.

Blessings always,