Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

2010 was a good year, in part because I was able to make clothes for myself that I actually want to wear!

I’ve learned a lot, but I’m not making any sewing resolutions for 2011 nor do I feel the need to revisit my 2010 projects. I know, I’m denying myself the annual ritual of self assessment…I’m ok with that.

There are no 2011 sewing goals or resolutions because, well, there are just too many variables. I mean, how do I know how much time I will have to sew, what fabrics will come my way or what events will dictate the type of garments I will need?

I don’t. As a result, my sewing of simple (and comfortable) garments will continue and I expect that the quality and fit of my garments will improve with new-to-me techniques and equipment. Also, I am getting closer to creating a wardrobe plan, though I’m not ready to set it in stone yet. I’m just gonna keep on sewing the clothes I need and the rest will take care of itself.

I wish you a very happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year! Make your dreams come true!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Kwik Sew 3431 – The Dog Gets Presents Too

Little by little, we are sorting through the boxes that are stored in the garage.  Last week, one of the boxes I opened was filled with fabric scraps. I don’t have a clue as to why a box of scraps survived the brutal moving process, but it did. 

So this year, thanks to the scraps discovery, I’m helping Santa out a bit.

Just like everyone else in the family, Santa always leaves something for our dog as well.  It might be a new collar and some treats; each year it is something different.  Among the scraps was a piece of denim just big enough to make a little jean jacket for him.
The pattern is Kwik Sew 3431 and it went together without any problems.  All of the topstitching kept it from being a speedy project but with the short seams, I can’t really say that it was a time hog.

I’ll try to get a picture of him wearing it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Cardigan - A Frankenpattern

There was just enough of the paisley stretch velvet leftover from the cowl top (Simplicity 3634) to make a cardigan.  I wanted to try the cardigan from that pattern, but there is a seam at the center back and I didn’t want to break up the large print any more than necessary.
I’ve enjoyed wearing the cardigans that I had made from Simplicity 2474.  They are very comfortable and the pattern goes together so quickly that I decided to use it for my holiday cardigan.  However, I felt that a long sleeve would be more appropriate for the fabric.  To guarantee that the sleeve would fit, I kept the sleeve cap but borrowed the bottom sleeve portion from the Simplicity 3634 cardigan sleeve. It worked just fine and I am tickled!
The tank dress is from Chico’s.  I’ve had it for years and it really pairs well with anything – summer or winter.

DD#2 will be home in a few days.  She wants me to make her a dress.  The Burda’s will get another chance…

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Holiday Top - Simplicity 3634, View B

I bought this paisley stretch velvet from Fabric Mart last December. With the large print, I knew my garment design needed to be basic.  I considered sewing another cowl top like the one I had made at the beginning of November (Vogue 8634), but I haven’t actually worn it yet.  Each time I put it on, I change before leaving the house.  The low neckline just isn’t working for me.  Really, it is modest enough, but if I am uncomfortable, I'm not going to wear it.  So, in searching for another cowl top pattern, I found Simplicity 3634. It is OOP but still available on the Simplicity website.
Before cutting the fabric, I compared the necklines.  The center front neckline on the Simplicity pattern is about three inches higher than the Vogue neckline.  Better, much better! I cut a size 20W except for 22W side seams and shortened the sleeve length an inch, but uncharacteristically, did not lengthen the hem. This top went together quickly and it is partially due to my becoming more at ease with the coverstitch machine. I really appreciate being able to sew stretchy, nice looking hems on knits. Why did I wait so long?
There is still a large piece of the stretch velvet left.  I probably should make something else while the machines are still loaded with black thread...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Jalie 2445 – Yoga Pants

My first born always has difficulty in finding pajama and lounge pants that are long enough for her legs.  Recently, while searching for her jeans pattern on the BurdaStyle website, we saw a yoga pants pattern, Corrine #6021, that she liked enough to download.
BurdaStyle - Corrine #6021
I made a muslin out of some unsightly knit fabric and though the sizing was correct, she was unhappy with the tight fit at the knees.  A yardstick and a pencil could easily change that, but she realized she was really after a less curvy/more angular style of lounge pant.

She showed me a picture of some Juicy Couture velour pants and instantly I understood. After all, one must be comfortable when stretched out on the sofa, sipping tea and interneting. I felt that it might be faster to find a pattern that already had what she wanted rather than experimenting with the BurdaStyle pattern. Jalie 2445 (OOP but available as a download) had all the desired features:

• Young, feminine styling – in no way to be mistaken for men’s pajama pants
• Snug, but not tight, fit through the hips
• Straight legs
Jalie 2445
Based on the measurements of the BurdaStyle yoga pants, I went up one size on the Jalie muslin.  They fit, though were almost too snug.  The stretch velour she bought, from JoAnn’s, did not have as much stretch as the knit muslin fabric so I went up another size when cutting the fabric.  They went together quickly as the ¼” seam allowances meant that I was able to use the serger for most of the construction. For built-in stretch, I chose to coverstitch the casing to the waistband and, of course, I coverstitched the hems, too.
Instructions - Jalie 2445
I don't understand why the instructions have buttonholes placed on the backside of the waistband and so I skipped that and put them on the casing instead.  Actually, I didn’t make buttonholes but simply snipped the casing fabric (a knit mesh) where the buttonholes needed to be. However, I did sew buttonholes in place of grommets on the front of the pants.
The pants fit her very nicely and the styling is exactly what she wanted.  Really, it has taken longer to write about than it did to sew them up.  There is a good chance that I will use this pattern again - for me… J