Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Year's Dress Failure

I am almost always unsuccessful in my quest to make a cute New Year's dress, and this year was no exception. Meet Simplicity 2497, view B (before the sleeves have been attached. Which they never were, because I stopped work on this dress.)

This is not a particularly fancy dress, but I don't really go fancy on New Years. I stop by the Elks, go hang out at my friend's bar, go home early, and then watch trashy tv. I don't need too much fancy.

Except for the side zipper, this Cynthia Rowley dress is very easy and straightforward to put together. The side zipper is a total pain because you have to insert it down the side and into the pocket. Which I had trouble figuring out and pretty much got it wrong. (At this point I was sewing out of control. You know what I mean. It's that point in the project where you are just trying to get it to work any way you can and the directions have pretty much fallen by the side of the road. If I were to do this again, I might just leave the pockets out.)

Although the zipper side is by no means perfect, it was wearable. My husband said any wonkiness looked like I had just taken my hand out of my pocket. (I will settle for less than perfect. Far less it turns out.) No, the real trouble came during the million times I tried the dress on. It looks like crap on me. It is in no way flattering to my figure. Really not flattering. If I was a larger lady, I would stay away from this pattern. Even my husband who is smart enough to say I look good in everything, told me it was bad. It looked okayish head on, but the side view just made me look really really big. I had doubts about this dress before I cut it out, but my fabric was cheap enough that I figured it wasn't worth it to make a muslin. Well, my reservations were correct.

Oh well, I have my red skirt with the blue embroidery that always serves me well. I will triumph.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Gingerbread House: Tripods Take Over the City.

It was their unblinking eyes that caused the populace to cringe in fear.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Best Husband Ever

In addition to making the best Christmas Eve dinner ever (and for 15 people,) my husband went above and beyond this year for my present. I got a Jimmy Carter peanut mug, my annual Xmas business book (Too Big to Fail,) and an assortment of Vogue magazines from 1909 to 1954. Yup, he haunted ebay for weeks bidding on these mags. Here is a sampling of some of the covers. (He also got me a Home Arts from the 30's and some Modern Priscillas from the 20's.)

Feb 1909

October 1918

March 1940

December 1940

April 1954

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Butterick 5249

So, loosely inspired by a skirt I saw online, I decided to veer from my December sewing plan, and make up Butterick 5249. I generally do not like Butterick patterns because they seem sort of dowdy to me, but this pattern was mentioned in an issue of Threads and I kind of liked it. I had no intention of ever making the ruffle bottom version, but denim + ruffle bottom = kind of what was in my mind. Here is the obligatory bad picture of me in the skirt. (I know a great many of my pictures suck. Between crappy camera, husband who shoots at an angle that makes my legs look stumpy, and my inability to strike a pose, it is a fairly lost cause. I'm working on it.)

Here is the skirt laid out flat so you can get some better detail. (I had worn it, and then ironed it, which explains some of the wonkiness.)

I don't care how crappy the pictures are, I look really cute in this skirt. It is a high-waisted skirt, and I am not yet at the point where I want to be tucking things in, but I took a great deal of care in constructing this skirt so that I could take it apart and increase the seams as I get smaller. (I am still on my downward trend.) I LOVE this thing. I don't need another one right now, and it is not a style I usually go for, but it fits perfect and I feel good in it. (Two things to note: The ruffle does not go all the way round the bottom. The front panel is ruffle free. Had it not been, I would not have made it. Also, before hemming it 2 inches, the length was seriously dowdy. I was very unhappy at that point.)

And, I learned some new skills.

Skill #1: Insertion of an invisible zipper. (One of the nice ladies at Nancy's Sewing Basket gave me a good pep talk. And I got an invisible zipper foot.) It is not perfect, but it is GOOD ENOUGH!

Look; practically invisible.

Skill #2: I used my blind stitch foot to do the hem. It also is practically invisible! (Well, not really, but it is a nice compromise between a straight stitch machine hem and a hand stitched hem.)

Next up, my New Years dress! (Maybe.)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Simplicity 3786

You may (or may not) recognize this shirt pattern from the Month of Tops. It is the pattern which was used for the first shirt, which I thought I hated, but turns out I don't. (It is hard to see the pintucks on this black fabric.)

This is me after coming home late after nice dinner last night. (Hence the cutting off of the tired face.) I used a stretch black cotton from Fashion Fabrics Club. I did not use a stretch fabric the first time I made it, and while that shirt is wearable, it is not as comfortable. The pattern calls for a ridiculous amount of ease, and I went one size below what I usually wear, because it turns out I don't like ridiculous amounts of ease. (A side note: I almost never actually use the sizes given on any pattern to determine what size I should make. I always look at the size of the finished garment, and compare to my own measurements + ease. If the pattern does not have finished garment measurements, and I am lazy and don't want to measure the thing myself, I will use the size chart and make a muslin.)

As per usual, I hemmed it up to shirt length instead of tunic length. (Hate tunic length.) I really like this pattern and am thinking it might make a cute dress. (Like dress length.) Hmm. I have a lot of other projects right now, so we'll see.

On the knitting and crochet front, I am busy on my Xmas presents, and will show some pictures after the day itself. I have a sweater going for myself, but that is on hold right now.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Shame Sewing

Yes. I made a fleece elf costume. It's not for me.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December Planning

Well, not much sewing is going on here because of the flu. But I can have some fun planning head, and I have a least three things lined up for December.

1) Simplicity 3786

I will make the short-sleeved version with the pintucks. (Shortened of course. The tunic length does no favors for me.) The fabric is a black stretch cotton from Fashion Fabric Club.

2) Hot Patterns Plan & Simple 24/7 pencil skirt

I got this nice blue corduroy also from Fashion Fabric Club. I'm not completely sold on the A-line from this pattern, but I love the pencil skirt.

Barbie Clothes:

I think my niece Rowan needs some vintage-style Barbie clothes for Christmas.

I need a dress for this New Years Eve, but I haven't settled on anything yet. I don't go too formal, but I like to have something nice. Hmmmm. I dunno.

I'll leave you with some goodies that came in the mail for me this week. I love getting new patterns.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Month of Tops #4 and #5 with a brief mention of #2 1/2 and a plan for #6

All my last minute plans to have a top #6 have been foiled due to the Flu. (Not THE Flu, I don't think, but an annoyance all the same.) I managed to finish #5 yesterday before my symptoms hit with full force. (And have these not so flattering pictures taken before I hit the Nyquil.)

#4: Vogue 8581

I am assured that this is an awful picture and that the real garment is much more flattering. Go check out the pattern picture to see what it is supposed to look like. The sleeves are still unfinished because I haven't decided whether to just hem them, or insert the elastic that the instructions call for.

The fabric is an ITY knit from Fabric Mart and I used my serger for the body, and my regular machine for the hem. The hem really doesn't look that good, but has elastic inserted and tucked under to create a little bubble shape, so no one is the wiser. If I decide to just hem the sleeves, I am probably going to try a fusible web like steam-a-seam to keep a clean look. I've yet to be successful using my regular machine with this type of fabric.

#5 2614

This is the same pattern I used for Top #3 except with the longer tie. I do love this top, but I wish I could get the pooling out of the back. Swayback adjustments are just working for me. I liked this fabric better though. It doesn't have the stiffness that the flowered fabric does. (It is awfully stiff for something labeled cotton lawn.) I also like the longer tie better.

#2 1/2 Simplicity 3789

This would have been my third shirt, but it just didn't work for me. I have a completed version, but could not get the fit right. We'll see if I decide to go back and work them out.

Plan for #6

Had I not gotten sick today, I would have tried to complete top #6. Remember top #1 that I wasn't so sure about? (Simplicity 3786) Well, I wore it and felt really cute. So, I am going to make it again in a lightweight black stretch cotton.

I just want to give a shout out to Faye. Thanks for getting us all going. I feel that my sewing desire is back, and I have 5 new tops to show for it.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Colette Patterns

Colette Patterns has their new patterns listed today, and I am in love with them all. Which is why I ordered all the new ones except for the coat. (And one of older dresses that I don't have.) I love their retro styling, clear instructions, and modern sizing. This is my favorite of the new patterns.

(BTW, I have no association with Collete Patterns. I just am very excited.)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Simplicity 2614

Simplicity 2614

I've made this shirt before, so it only took a couple of hours to complete after I cut it out. Technically, this is shirt number 4, but shirt 3 is in the wash. I'll photograph that one tomorrow.

I love this pattern, except for the pooling in the back. I made a swayback adjustment and took out about an inch, but the pooling is still there. Totally annoying. But I love this shirt and I will still wear it. The fabric is a cotton lawn from Fashion Fabrics Club. I also messed up by having 2 large flowers over my bust, but the tie breaks it up, so I don't care.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Month of Tops #2

Simplicity 2931: View F

This is a summer top that I had cut out and sitting around for months. It was super easy to put together and I wonder why I waited so long to make it.

Things that went wrong:
  • What is up with those sleeves?
  • Once again, tunic length. So unflattering.
  • As patterns go up in size, the shoulders just get farther and farther apart. People, not so much. I am not the same size that I was when I cut this out; so I had to take in the side seams a lot. If I were to make this again, I would take it in on the fold, which would make it smaller and take out some of the width of the neckline.
Things that worked:
  • Cut off a couple of inches. It's amazing what a big difference the right length makes.
  • Style works for person who is losing weight. (The next shirt up, not so much.)
This is not the most winter-appropriate style, but it will layer just fine under a sweater. It may also be cute with a long-sleeved T-Shirt underneath. And yes, that is a black velvet pirate painting in the back.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gratuitous Baby Picture

This is my niece Alice. Holy crap is she cute.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Month of Tops #1

Well, I finally finished a top for the month of tops. Simplicity 3786.

I am not in anyway enamored of this top, but I don't hate it. Sometimes I need to wear something a couple of times before I figure out how I really feel. I've bought something I was totally in love with in the store, that just didn't make it after a few wears. (Fit was weird, fabric was itchy etc.) And the reverse has happened. I'm willing to give this a fair try.

This was the first time that I have made tucks (that I remember) and while the second side turned out much better than the first, I kinda like them. They add an interesting visual detail. For more info on this shirt, please check the Month of Tops site. (I have different blog entries for each site.)

Monday, November 16, 2009

If You are in Seattle

If you are in Seattle, please consider coming down the High Dive this Friday at 8:00.

50 Shows in 50 States

A Fundraiser for the Girls Rock Camp Alliance and Girls Rock! Seattle. Click here for more info.

Your $10 will go to a good cause and there will be a raffle where you will have a chance to win (among many other things) one of the scarves that I made for this event. (See, this post was craft related.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

On Not Sewing

I, like most of us, go through periods where I am less interested in sewing. I haven't got much done in the past few months because of illness, and now that I am feeling a little better, I don't have much drive. Sewing is a being in the groove thing for me: I need to be in the habit of doing it in order to want to do it. I sort of enjoy it and I sort of don't. Because I have been sewing since jr high school, it's just something that I do. I also hate most of the clothes in stores and can't imagine having to rely on them to dress myself.

My no sewing mojo problem is exacerbated by the fact that that I have recently lost a lot of weight and am still going down. (Ah, the benefits of a mysterious stomach ailment. Honestly, I would rather be big.) I have two skirt projects that no longer fit by the time I finished them. They are still wearable, but the Twinkle skirt does not look so good. I am having better luck with tops right now, because they seem to last longer over a range of sizes. (I am rather tall, so I don't go down as many sizes when I lose weight. This is a blessing, or I would have no clothes at all right now.)

Because I am having better luck with shirts, I joined Faye's Month of Tops, hoping to generate some interest in sewing again. I'm still struggling to want to sew, but I have cut out two things (Which is something.) I like that there is no quota to this sew-a-long. It makes it feel more achievable to me. Wish me luck!

(I tried to upload some pictures from the Simplicity website, but both blogger and preview told me the images were corrupted. It would be really silly if they were doing this on purpose. Who doesn't want free advertising in a down economy?)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

If You Have Ever Wanted to be a Rock Star

As many of you may (or may not) remember, I volunteer for an organization called Girls Rock! Seattle. It is a non profit group that fosters leadership and self-esteem for girls 9-16 through music. The girls take up rock instrument instruction, form a band, write an original song, and perform a concert at a real venue. In one week. It is awesome!!!! Really awesome.

There are several affiliated programs across the country like this, but the mother camp is in Portland, Oregon. Rock-n-Roll Camp for Girls. My daughter went here the year before she entered high school, and not only had a blast, but really built up her self-esteem at a time when she needed it. As a fund raiser, they have a Ladies Rock Camp twice a year, where women 19 and older can have the same experience as the girls, but crammed into 3 days.

IT WAS AMAZING. I cannot recommend this camp, and others like it, enough! AND, Girls Rock! Seattle will be hosting their own Ladies Rock Camp in 2010. How cool is that! If you have ever wanted to be in a band, be a rock star, or meet other cool women, this is the camp for you. (Or any ladies rock camp, for that matter.) There were women in their 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, and 60's. There were even a couple of mother daughter pairs.

As an added Bonus: Here is a video of my band Dollywould. On Friday, none of us had ever played our instruments. On Sunday, we played our original song at the Satyricon. (We decided to focus on being funny rather than super good. Given the time constraints and our fears about remembering the song, it was a good choice.) I am the drummer.

Ladies Rock Camp - Dollywould from Kelly Hinkle on Vimeo.

From the Girls Rock! Seattle Website:

"Nine years ago, Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls was founded in Portland and has since become an overwhelming success, serving 300+ girls a year. As a result, similar programs have emerged across the country and overseas as part of the Girls Rock Camp Alliance (GRCA), a program of the Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls, created to provide accreditation, resources and networking opportunities for it's members. In 2009, Girls Rock! Seattle will be added to this growing coalition of like-minded organizations with hopes of embodying the core values of the GRCA:

. We value the power of music as a means to create personal and social change
. We value efforts that actively expand opportunities for girls and women
. We value positive approaches to fighting sexism
. We value integrity, honesty and respect
. We value appropriate sharing or resources, cooperation and collaboration
. We value using our collective voice to further the mission
. We value diversity"

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Month of Tops

Ack! I need shirts. I am going to join Faye in her month-long shirt-making festival of sewing. So expect tops. My first effort will be to rescue a failed Cynthia Rowley shirt. (If I can.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Twinkle Sews: A Plus A-Line Skirt pt 2

Ah, the A Plus A-Line skirt. (Please see last post for cutting drama and tips.) If you have ever made a skirt before, you can make this one with just a cursory glance at the the instructions. I read through them and they seem to make sense, although I was unable to view them with the eyes of a novice sewer. Very very straightforward skirt. One thing that I did, that I always do with pleats now is to thread trace along the fold line. It makes everything go soooo easily.

This skirt has no facings. You sew the right sides of the skirt and lining together and then flip it over, topstitching the two layers together. I've done this before with other skirts, but it is a little weird here because the yoke is interfaced. I guess since this skirt is made from wool, it's not so weird to have exposed interfacing. (It's not really exposed because of the lining, but because the lining hangs free, it felt odd to do it this way.)

So here is the finished skirt, and it actually looks pretty cute lying flat.

It did not look so great on. The pleats had a very 3-D effect. Which makes sense, but the pictures in the book did not leave me to believe that I would have a wad of fabric hanging from the center of my skirt.

I like the way the thread tracing looked with fabric so I took some cream embroidery floss and did some wabi sabi* hand top stitching to flatten out those pleats.

The skirt looks ok like this, but I have a small problem in that I lost weight between starting and finishing the skirt and now it hangs funny. I'm gonna wait a few weeks and then probably put some darts in the yoke so I can at least wear it with with a shirt untucked. I'm kind of disappointed right now and not quite sure I can salvage it for at least a few months wear. (It's also not so A-Line when it is on me.) There are a lot of cute versions of this on the Burdastyle website, but they are photographed from the front, so it is hard to see any of the same issues. I would hate to waste this lovely wool flannel.

*Wabi sabi = a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Twinkle Sews: A Plus A-Line Skirt pt 1

My first garment from the Twinkle Sews book is the A Plus A-Line skirt. (It will be my entry into the A Plus A-Line contest over at Burdastyle.) If you would like to try this skirt without buying the book, you can download it for free here. (Deadline for contest is tomorrow.) Today I am going to go over some of the prep process that I had to do before I cut out my real fabric.

Step 1: Printing Out.

The pattern for this skirt is on a disc included with the book, so you have to print the pattern onto computer paper and tape everything together. I am a mac user and I use Preview as my default for pdf files. For some reason, I could not get Preview to play nicely with this document. It kept printing the page just a little too big, so I could not see some of the numbers in the corner to line up the pages. I had to download adobe and I think those images may have been a little too small. (The border was bigger in real life than it appeared on my computer screen. But who knows.) If you have ever pieced together a pattern from Burdastyle, you hopefully will have noticed that they include a 4 inch box on their patterns which you can measure to make sure that your printouts are the right size. These patterns do not have that, and I wish they did. Then I would just know that everything would be just right. Because there are no measurements given for the garments, it is doubly hard to make sure that the scale is correct.

Step 2: Tape it all together

There are numbers in all the corners to match up so you can tape everything together.

Step 3: Tracing the Pattern (optional)

I do not like working with the computer paper, so I trace the pattern onto the back of another pattern. Yep, you heard me correctly, I reuse old patterns this way. (Not vintage, just kinda oldish) I am a sucker for $1 - $2 pattern sales that the chain fabric stores have, and I end up with some patterns that seemed like a good idea at the time but really weren't. I iron them out, turn them over and use them to trace my Burdas and Hot Patterns. If I pay attention and mark everything clearly, I don't get distracted by the existing markings.

Step 4: Resize Pattern

I'm not gonna lie, I am about a size bigger than the largest size offered in this book. Because this pattern is so simple, I just added some width equally to all the pieces and that seemed to work fine. The first thing I did was cut the pattern in half. All of the pattern pieces for this garment were meant to be cut in a single layer, which is fine, but adds complications when you want to grade something up. (If you are adding inches towards the side of the pattern, it is easier to do it once on the fold, then twice at each end. If that makes sense.) So I just cut out my pattern, folded it in half, and then cut it in two. (I would be annoyed if I had to grade between the given sizes because you would have to fully print out both sizes, put one on top of each other, and trace in between. Or that is how they say to do it. I would not. There is a lot to be said for multi-size sheets.)

I knew I was going to add about an 1 1/2 to each pattern piece, so I marked a line, cut the pattern on the line, and spread the pieces out. (Since the pattern is so simple, I just spread in one spot.) I then taped the pieces to my table.

And then I traced over these pieces to create one pattern piece. Voila! A pattern in my size.

Step 5: The muslin

I made a few muslins for this skirt. I made three just for the yoke. I wanted to get the fit just right for that before I resized anything else, so I would know exactly how much to add to the other pattern pieces. I then made one for the lining, because it is more fitted than the skirt. (I ended up with the back piece being really big. Not sure if that was my error or the pattern's.) Then I made one for the skirt. I am still not happy with the waist, but I am going to deal with that in the actual fashion fabric.

Step 6: The Skirt

I got the skirt cut out last night and am about to start sewing. I have a lovely grey wool flannel that I am using. Hopefully I can get that waist fixed.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

New Vogue Patterns

Yay! The new Vogue Patterns are on their website, and as usual there are some I love and some I hate. Here are the ones I feel most strongly about.

Vogue 1134
I like the cut of this dress more than I like the fabric.

Vogue 1135
I love Ralph Rucci with a feeling both pure and strong.

Vogue 1143
I have never wanted to make anything as much as I want to make this jacket. I think it is exquisite. I am not a big Guy Laroche fan, but this is hitting me in all the right places.

Vogue 8621
Another beautiful coat. I love that she gives both couture and regular instructions.

Vogue 1144
As I said, I love Ralph Rucci. That being said, I think this is horrible. Really Really Bad. It hurts me.

I can't wait to see everybody's choices on line.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Twinkle Sews

I was very excited to hear that Wenlan Chia was putting out a new book, this time for sewers rather than knitters. (She is the fashion designer behind Twinkle.)

I have been a big fan of her knitting books, although since most of her designs are done in bulky yarns, I have not made any of them. (Bulky sweaters are not such a good look for the larger ladies.) I appreciate her fashion forward designs and understanding of the DIY culture. I think it is great that Vogue carries designer patterns, but feel that most of them are geared towards an older idea of what fashion forward is. I was very excited when Wendy Mullin (Built by Wendy) started working with Simplicity and and putting out the Sew U books because it meant that a designer was finally getting that a lot of us want to make our own versions of what we see in the boutique stores. ($200 for anything is a lot for me.) The Twinkle knitting books have the same appeal.

I ordered Twinkle Sews sight unseen from Amazon, and am pretty excited by it, although not without some concerns. The book has instructions for 25 garments with the actual patterns on a CD that you can print PDF style (like Burdastyle) or through Adobe illustrator. (I have only looked at the pdf files.) The beginning of the book has some basic sewing information, but I don't think that a new sewer could make these garments without another reference book or a little more experience.

The sizing is also a little interesting. The patterns come in 5 sizes: 0, 4, 8, 12, and 16. (I cannot figure out why there is such a big space here. Blogger is weird. Keep reading.)


Since the measurements are just increments of 2, I imagine that many people are going to have to tweak the sizing a bit. One issue with that is that there is a different folder of PDFs for each size. (Not all sizes on one sheet like Burda.) For someone in between sizes, the instructions recommend that you lay the smaller size on top of the larger one and draw a line in between. The problem with this is the fact that it takes a lot of paper to print these suckers out. (I counted almost 50 sheets for one simple skirt. I will need to confirm that when I go to make it.) I have not seen any measurements for the garments, so I am not sure what the level of ease is and how the finished garments actually correspond to the sizes given. (Muslins are the order of the day here.)

The book starts out with a skirt chapter, and then proceeds with other types of garments (click on pictures to make them larger):

Everyday Chic Skirts:

Casual Charm Raglan Sleeve:

Effortless Elegance Drop Shoulder:

Playful Poise Spaghetti Straps:

At first glance the designs look overly simple, especially the skirts, but at further inspection there are some nice details. She stresses linings and there are a lot of nice origami-like touches. A lot of the clothing skews young (as does the Twinkle collections in general), but adding some length to the hemlines and other discreet changes can make a lot of these designs wearable for those of us over 40.

For my first design, I am going to try the A Plus A-Line skirt, that was not so coincidentally featured on the Burdastyle website.

from burdastyle.com

They are having a contest and Wenlan Chia herself will pick her three favorite versions of this skirt for cool prizes. Look here for more info. I do not generally enter contests, but I have a cute idea for this, so I think I just might. Deadline is October 14th.

(I am not associated with anybody mentioned in this post. I was just super curious about this book.)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Central Park Hoodie

Here is a new sweater for my crazy lovely daughter:

It is the Central Park hoodie from the fall 2006 issue of Knitscene. This sweater is pretty popular on Ravelry, which I didn't get until I needed something cute and easy for the child who decided to go to college up by the Canadian Border. (Ok, it's only an hour-and-a-half away from Seattle. Not like it's in Alaska. But I worry about her getting cold.) It was a very straightforward and easy knit. Although, it took me nine months to finish it. Yep, I started it in February. What should have taken me a maximum to two months, took me nine. Mostly due to knitting ennui. I go through not-so-interested-in-knitting phases, and this one was quite a long one. But, I finally got it all together for her before the weather started to turn.

One other thing of note is that it is knit with Lion Brand Wool-Ease (a wool and acrylic blend.) I, like most knitters, am easily seduced by lovely yarn, although I am less likely to spend as much as I would on fabric. (Although I am kinda cheap there too.) Wool-Ease is pretty low on the glamour scale, but I find it has a place in my knitting. I have a couple of Wool-Ease sweaters for myself, and I find the yarn is good for basic workhorse items that I wear all the time. I almost always make my daughter's sweaters of this yarn because it is machine washable and dryable, and even at 19 she is unlikely to handwash anything. Nor do I want her to. At this age, I don't want her to view homemade sweaters as a burden. Much better that she get some use out of all my hard work instead of worrying about ruining everything.

I have a feeling that I am going to have to make the buttonholes smaller, or the buttons bigger, but she is testing it out right now to make sure. All in all a worthwhile project. Before I start a new sweater, I need to finish a sweater vest that has been sitting around for over a year. Ack!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Pencil Skirt

Hot Patterns Plain and Simple Pencil Skirt:

I cut this out about nine months ago and never got around to sewing it. I think I cut out a size smaller that I usually did and then realized that I quickly outgrew that size. Crap. But, I held onto it, and when I recently lost weight, I thought I would just put it together and see what happened. It's perfect around the hips, but a smidge too loose in the waist. Still wearable. If I make it again, I will make the darts a little wider. (If I try to take it in at the side waist, I will never ever ever get the hip curve right. Take my word for it.)

This was super simple to sew. Waist and skirt are lined with black polyester lining, the zipper is hand picked. I also like the very deep hem. (also done by hand.) The fabric is a yummy black wool crepe that I bought at Fabric Mart. I am not overly fond of the Plain and Simple A-Line skirt cut, but I really like the pencil skirt. I imagine this will become a staple in my wardrobe.

Next up, a new sweater for Io.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Vogue 2902

First off, here is a picture of Bradie in the dress. Two things: the bust wrinkle in the picture is not there in real life and we were in a hurry to get to the fair, so the picture could have been better.

Let me assure you, this is not how Bradie is going to style this dress. She bought special red heels and I made her a little belt to match the yoke. She was super excited to get the dress and told me she had never worn anything that fit so well. Ha!

Simplicity 2614

It's hard to see the details of this top because of the busy print, so this is about as good a picture as I could get. You can just see part of the neck tie at the top. This was a fun blouse to make, and I like the tie and sleeve variations. With the right fabric, this pattern has a retro feel, and I can see myself making up a bunch of these. (This one is made from a very light weight cotton lawn that I bought from fashion fabric club.)

I got to use both my narrow hem foot and my edgestitch foot, and this was my first time making a mostly bias garment. The fit is really good except for some pooling at the back waist, so I am going to try to a swayback adjustment on a muslin for the next iteration.

I am currently working on a Hot Patterns' pencil skirt in a beautiful black wool crepe. All I have left is the waistband. It's still a little warm in Seattle, but I am going to need it for some functions coming up.