Thursday, July 31, 2008

Newlook 6629 - White floral butterfly top

Oh, I had so much fun with this little top. It was so easy, I only had one small fit issue, and I got to do some hand sewing. (Which I really enjoy, in small increments.) This fabric is a light cotton print with small butterflies. So, I've heard of a FBA (full bust adjustment). Is there such a thing as a SMA - small bust adjustment? Because that was my only fit issue. Here's the back:

The waist inset was cut on the bias, which I think is very flattering. It also took the applied ribbon well. (More on that in a bit.) Bias tape was used along the neckline and armholes instead of facings. The pattern included both of those elements. It did look a little low on the model, so I raised the front neckline an inch or so. Also, I had to include a fabric inset along the button line. Why they didn't provide this, I don't know. One slight move and you'd be exposing yourself. You can see this in the picture below if you click on it to make it bigger.

And here's a picture of the inside. I but double fold bias tape along the front seams and used french seams everywhere else, so there aren't any exposed finished fabric edges. I don't have a serger. I do use a zigzag to finish seams, but it's never as neat a finish.

And now we come to the actual pattern envelope. I made view C. I fell in love with the design all because of that little ribbon belt. I chose fabrics around what color I could find for that ribbon. I'm making matching green capris and have matching shoes to boot. I get it all stitched up and find I really am not that hot about the ribbon belt. Maybe I should have used a wider ribbon? I thought I would leave it there until I get the pants made and then decide if it stays or not. But then all the pictures taken of this shirt during my "photo shoot" show that dang ribbon flying up on one side! (I'm thinking beads on the ends aren't really the look I'm going for.) Now I'm really leaning toward removing it.

The pants are up next. I've gone through my projects and selected what I'm going to finish for summer and what's going to get put away to be made next year. Fall is knocking on my door even though it's going to be hot here in Texas for at least 3 more months!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Newlook 6704 - Green collared shirt w/ pockets

Here is my latest project. NOT a wadder! My confidence was in the toilet after all those previous mistakes. Thankfully this went together easily and I didn't have any fit issues. Oh, except that the middle is a little loose. When I make this again I'll do size 12 through the shoulders and size it down to a 10 for the midsection. (For anyone who might not be a sewer, patterns are sized differently then sizes you'd find at a typical store.)

Here's the back. I loved all the crosswise cuts of the yokes. This pattern really shows off the details of this fabric. Like my hair? This is what I do when it's raining and/or very humid and I don't want to look like a ball of frizz.

Here's a closeup of the neckline. I paid special attention to making both sides of the yoke match up. Also, the front band is cut on the bias. Just another little detail to make me love this design. This was my first garment using snaps. I searched high and low to find buttons to match. (This seemed to be a hot color for spring/summer. I made another shirt and skirt that have the same green in them.) But alas, no buttons were to be found. I do like the look of the snaps, but they make me nervous during application. You'd better like the position you put them in, because they aren't very movable.

I LOVE the look of these pockets. They have a folded inset that's a little hard to see here.

This is my new favorite shirt pattern. I made view B, but I can see making D and C with the topstitching. I didn't do much topstitching on this shirt because the fabric had so much going on.

Oh, and in the past I have never thought to make something like this. These types of shirts are easy enough to come by in stores at inexpensive prices. But I'm going to try not buying anything from a store except purses, shoes, belts, underwear, and hosiery. And possibly jeans. It's just a little challenge I'm taking on. This will be really good for impulse buying resistance.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

McCalls 5390 - Black, white & red two print pleated skirt

I love the two tone fabric look that is so popular right now. I found these cotton prints at Hancock Fabrics. There's not much to write about this skirt. It was super easy. I originally made the tie belt with rather large belt loop in the back, but didn't like the look of it so I took it out. And as I've previously stated, I'm really not that fond of tie belts. They never look great on me. I think it's because my body is basically a square and I don't have much of a defined waist to begin with. Tie belts just add bulk to an area where I don't need it.

Now that I have three pleated skirts in my closet, I think I can move on to another style. But I sure love the look of a crisp pleat. This turned out looking very vintage to me.

I made view B and only had to shorted it a few inches. Very fast & easy. Whatcha think?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Yet another wadder and fabric woes

I wish I had something to show for my week of hard sewing. I was making a little black dress, a wardrobe staple that I am missing in my closet. Well, I'm still missing it, because that project is not going to make it. I really don't want to think about it right now, it's depressing to me.

To clear the air, I thought I'd cut out a cute easy and without lining pair of capris. I've had this embroidered denim for at least a year, and I didn't have much of it. So after placing my pattern pieces this way and that, I finally got them to fit in. Then I got the first front leg piece cut and noticed this lovely hole. Keep in mind it is right in the top front of the pants!!!

I was so irritated! To think I had saved this fabric for so long and not noticed this tiny hole before cutting the first piece! Okay, regroup, could I make a skirt or pair of shorts? Looking through pattern stash now. Hmmm... I get up and notice for the first time the embroidered roses don't look quite right. Notice that big void on the left side of the fabric? That would have been the left front of my capris.

And upon closer inspection, I notice the rows of roses aren't even straight. They curve this way and that.

Despite all this irritation, I'm actually glad the first piece had the hole. I'm not sure I would have noticed the fabric irregularities until after the garment was sewn up, and that would be the third wadder in a row!!! I can't remember the last time I've had so many problems. Sigh.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

McCall's 5378 - Red & white striped shirtdress

Since my current project is taking forever to get finished, let me show you one of the dresses I made a few months ago for spring. Every girl needs a shirtdress in her closet, right?

Oh no, could it be? Not another puff sleeve! I told you I'm currently in love with them. In this photo you can really see the fabric better. It's a cotton with some texture but not a seersucker. I thought it would really show off the design of this dress with the horizontal yokes and sleeve bands. However, the stripe is a bit small. Oh, and DH calls it my "candy-striper" dress. Men!

I am also not extremely fond of tie belts. I starched the ends of this one but it still looks a little limp to me. I actually bought a red belt to go with it, but because of the button placement, I don't like the way it looks. I love the red belt, though, and was glad for an excuse to buy one. Here's a picture of the back:

Conclusion: It's an OK dress, but really not my favorite. A bit plain for my taste. It might have really popped with a bigger stripe. I think I really liked it because the picture of it is done in a yellow stripe. I LOVE yellow! See the girl in the yellow - dress A? Doesn't she look cute and hip? I think this is one of those rare occasions when the picture on the pattern outshines the finished product.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Burda 8040 - Orange sunflower print gathered mini skirt

Here is my latest creation. The reason you don't see me modeling it is because it is SUPER UGLY ON!!! This skirt, ladies and gentlemen(?), is the product of POOR FABRIC CHOICE! I thought I was finished with these mishaps as I have made many, MANY, poor fabric choices in the past and thought I had learned my lesson. Apparently not. This is a stretch sateen that I had my eye on for months. It was $12.99/yard! I waited and waited for the markdown and finally snatched some up at 60% off. Needless to say, it sold out and I can't get anymore. Don't you just hate it when this happens?

The reason it is so ugly is that the fabric is a little stiff and stands out from my body in strange ways. And then when I walk, the front blows in between my legs and looks somewhat like coo lots. I still really love the pattern. Yes, it's a mini, but not revealingly short. Just a cute, cool, summer skirt. I had visions of wearing it out on a date with DH and possibly playing some miniature golf. (Yes, we think that's fun!) But alas, it is not to be. I think I'll remake it in a silky thinner fabric that won't stand out away from my body. Here's the pattern envelope. I made view A, the skirt on the right.

Anyway, I'm off to sew something different that doesn't have any gathers. It's almost the middle of July and I have 20+ projects for summer piled up in my guest room looking at me! I will never get it all done before the end of summer. The pressure is on...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Simplicity 2961 - Pink & brown "cold shoulder" top

Here's my newest wardrobe addition:

Here's the back view:

This was suppose to be fast and easy. As with everything I've made lately, it feels like I do more seam ripping then actual sewing. I knew this was going to be blousy, and since I just made the yellow muumuu top with an elastic casing around the bottom, I thought I'd change it up and use a drawstring to cinch up the waist. I spent a bunch of time working on that idea and then tried it on. UGLY!!! Hmmm, I guess I'll do an elastic casing after all. I did 3 around the bottom so it wouldn't look exactly like the other shirt.

Here is a picture of the inside. I put french seams down the sides and covered the armpit seams with pink bias tape. I like to cover exposed seams when possible. This gives the garment a really clean look.

I saw this pattern and thought it was interesting and unlike anything I have. Then I found a crinkly shiny fabric (just like the girl in pink on the pattern envelope) and inspiration was born.

The arm bands are just a tiny bit too tight, but I wasn't about to do any more seam ripping for that minor an issue. Otherwise, it's pretty comfortable. What do you think?

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Simplicity 4233 - Rust pleated skirt

So technically I made this last year. But it was one of those below the waist designs and I just didn't like the look of it, so I spent the other day taking the sides in so it fit at my waist. Plus it gave me the opportunity to put an invisible zipper in as I just learned how to do that in the last 6 months. The fabric is an embellished linen blend that I fell in love with the second I saw it. Here's the back view:

I was at a loss for what shoes to wear it with. I tried on all of the ones in my closet and they didn't look right. Then I thought - I need some new shoes to match this skirt! Off to DSW Shoe Warehouse I went, where I found the perfect match in the discount section for $15 and change. But wait, I had a $10 off coupon they sent me for my birthday, so I got them for $5!!! This gal LOVES to get a bargain!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

McCall's 5589 - Yellow muumuu top

This is hot off my machine. I'm calling it my muumuu top because before I sewed in the elastic, that is exactly what it looked like. I fell in love with this fabric. It's a cotton lace and so very soft. And yellow, a color I adore. Then I went looking for a pattern and this is what I found. It turned out to be VERY blousy!!!

Aaaa! I spent a few hours thinking - how am I going to save this? I love this fabric! I spent more then I wanted to on this fabric! Needless to say, I cut off 2 inches and added an elastic casing. And voila! A cute summer top emerged. Here's the back view:

I love all the pleats - on the front, the back, and the sleeves. I made view A - the green print on the pattern envelope - without the tie and buttons down the front. I put three small buttons in the front on the neck band. Here is the up close view:

Since it's see-through, I've got on a nude camisole underneath. This was fast and fun to make, especially after I figured out how to make it less moo-moo-ish. What do you think?

Burda 7937 - White floral top w/ red tie detail

I made this for summer a few months ago. This was my first time using a Burda pattern. I actually had the fabric first and went looking for a pattern that it might look good as. Here is the front view:

Here is the back view:

Here's a close up of the corset detail:

Notice the small shimmery dots on this fabric? They're nice, but every time I wash it, some more pop off in the washer and dryer. Since this gal is not especially fond of hand washing, I'm not sure how long they'll be there. But that's okay, because I really like it either way.

Here's the pattern envelope:

I bought an eyelet installer and used it for the first time too. That was so fun! Well, this turned out well and I really like it.