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!