Friday, January 29, 2010

More acquired sewing paraphernalia

Yesterday morning I bustled around the house in somewhat of a panic. It was already almost 9 and I hadn't gotten the kids in the van yet. We were suppose to leave at 8:45 to make Jo-Ann's opening time of 9 for the first day of $3.99 Vogues. When I drove into the parking lot, I scrutinized the other people parking and walking into the shopping area. I hurried the kids inside - well, it was raining, in my defense - and headed straight to the pattern drawers. There was no one remotely close by, and probably only 3 or 4 other customers in the store. I felt a little sheepish but got every pattern on my list. Hey, I really love these designs!

Hunting through the stash I pulled this red embroidered silk shantung for V1157. I'm trying to picture it made up and am hoping it won't be overly dressy looking.

Then I pulled these two stripes for V1158. I don't know if I have enough of the silk on the left, and am thinking the stripes might be a little too wide. Then I'd have to find the perfect color to match for the bias bands, and it almost certainly couldn't be found in silk. The white linen blend on the right might work better. I'd do the bias binding in yellow or some other bright color. Hmm, still thinking about that one.

The other patterns I have no current plans for. But check out my new fabrics from Recently I wrote that I've been stalking their website, waiting for new knits. They finally got some in and were immediately put on sale for $3.95/yard. There were a few other fabrics on sale that I purchased at the same time, mostly wool.

On the left is a gorgeous wool double knit in turquoise. It is incredibly soft and just the perfect weight. I'm kicking myself for not buying a few other colors since it is now completely sold out. Next to it is a royal blue matte jersey. I'm currently in love with that color blue. The next three are ITY knits that I liked the colors and patterns of. The blue matte jersey is the only one I have concrete plans for.

These other two didn't even make it out of the box. The blue is a wool jersey that is so thin I can see my hand through it. The color is beautiful, but I just can't warrant spending $12.50/yard for thin T-shirt material. The other is a burgundy wool knit, the same type Lindsay T just did a post about. She described it as French Terry, and I've got to agree. Blah! It is being sent back. I usually have really great luck with Denverfabrics. This is only the second time I've had to send something back.

Anyway, still plugging away at Vogue 8480, and I'm actually enjoying myself. Hopefully my sewing slump has passed.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

NewLook 6164 - White embroidered spaghetti-strap top

This pattern is OOP, and our scanner is on the fritz, so I've had to take a picture of the envelope. It's not a very old pattern - although I can't find the copywrite year - but I guess not extremely popular. Although I think it's super cute. I made view B with straight grain, but it can also be cut on the bias. The fabric is a recent purchase from It's a thin white on white embroidered cotton.

Here at the side you can see the button and loop closure at the waistband. There are tucks on the side front and side back to give it a bit of volume through the mid-section. I find this style deceptively flattering, especially if you want to camouflage some tummy rolls or want to wear it to a big dinner.

I did make the top edge very fitted so that I can lean over without any cleavage peek-a-boos. This is a must for me since I have small boys and bend over frequently to get to their level.

This top was made to wear under my various jackets. Here I am wearing it with this jacket which I made last May. All my other white tops had collars or higher necklines that didn't go so well with a collared jacket.

Here's the button-and-loop closure at the waistband. The side seams were sewn with French seams.

I'm currently working on an unlined jacket that I cut out in December of 2008. It's going well, and I'm hoping to have it done by the end of the week so I can keep my one-jacket-a-month goal on track.

Now, I must brag on our weather. The high today was 70 degrees. It was truly a gorgeous day. Plus we bought a new-to-us car and drove it home tonight so now I have my freedom back. Hurray! This next picture is of my youngest climbing a Crepe Myrtle in our front yard. He must take after me - I never met a tree I didn't want to climb when I was a little girl.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Vogue's spring patterns and website overhaul

First, thanks to everyone for their concern over my recent trials. One comment from June really stuck with me. She wrote, "... my mom says that problems that can be fixed with money are not serious problems, and she's right (assuming you have the funds to fix everything)." This is so true. We feel extremely blessed to have all that we do.

I kind of set the goal of not writing any more posts until I had some new sewing to show you. But I just can't help myself.

Excitement!!! Have you seen Vogue's new website overhaul? It is awesome! You can click on all the small pictures on the envelope fronts to enlarge. Almost all the new patterns have detail pictures and back views. Additionally, the new spring lineup is fantastic! Lots of garments with interesting construction lines and complex details. LOVE IT!

Up first is this Tracy Reese dress, 1157. Love the faux wrap front, front & back peplum, high back neckline and princess seamed skirt. I'll probably leave off the ruffly cap sleeves - those never look good on my non-spaghetti arms.

Here's another Tracy Reese design, 1158, that I'm totally smitten with. You can't tell from the garment very well, but it has bias bands all around the neckline, armholes and sewn on front tying belt. I like it in the stripe to show off the cute bias skirt. Perhaps I'll use a contrasting color to set off the bias bands. This dress has a gorgeous neckline, especially at the back.

Dress 1161 is another favorite. Love the extended shoulders, interesting seaming details, keyhole back opening and flouncey back skirt. Awesome. I wouldn't change a thing on this one.

WOW! That just about sums up this next design, dress 1162. Not that I have anywhere to wear it, but it is Beaut-I-Ful! I heart those rose sleeves, pleated neckline ruffle, self-fabric piping along the front neckline and front waist pleating. I might have to buy tickets to some fancy-smancy event just to make the dress.

What do you think of this next fabulous offering, suit 1169 by Rebecca Taylor? It has some beautiful detailing with piping and hand-picked stitching galore. What a special suit. The neckline looks too low for me, but I don't think raising it would be a problem. I'd also eliminate the back gathered flounce on the skirt. The back pleats of the jacket peplum combined with the back skirt flounce are a little too much for me.

This is another Rachel Comey design, 1170. Who I've personally never heard of, but I live under a rock when it comes to designers. I sure love her stuff, though. The blouse buttons up the back with an interesting knotted neckline and sleeve ties. WHAT a cute skirt. It reminds me of dress 1161 with the interesting seaming and back flounce. The wide waistband is a nice touch as well.

I'm loving this little top, 8635. It's a wrap top out of knit. What's not to love? The cap sleeve version without contrasting bands in my pick.

Augh!!! These are almost all dresses! Do I need more dress patterns? NO! I do not! I actually liked a few more of the new designs, but am telling myself to be super picky. What are your favorites? And what do you think of this new Vogue website?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A hard week

Wondering what I've been up to lately? Here's what happened to my husband on his way to work last Thursday when a teenager ran her stop sign and pulled into oncoming traffic:

By God's grace nobody was injured. However, our 2001 paid off Honda was totaled. We are not have-to-have-a-new-car-every-year type of people. It was in perfect shape and would have run for 10 more years. When we get our insurance check at the end of the week, we will start looking for a replacement. Car shopping is not a favorite activity of mine, to say the least.

Then on Sunday, thanks to the keen ears of my husband, a leak was discovered in the ceiling of our kitchen. He turned off the water to the house and the plumber was called the next morning. After several holes in the ceiling were made, the leaking pipe was discovered. These types of leaks are usually found after more damage is caused, and we feel blessed to not have had a ceiling cave in. The leak was fixed, and after everything dries out for a week, we will have the holes repaired.

Oh, and something else was discovered as well. The toilet was never properly installed after we had our bathroom tiled in 2005, and there was a slow leak of sewer water around it. No wonder that area was always a little stinky! It has to dry out, also for a week, and then the plumber will come back and re-attach the toilet to the floor.

In between these two events the food disposal under our kitchen sink developed a hole and splattered food and water all over the bottom cabinet. No picture of that, though. My handy hubby has already put a new one in it's place.

Unsurprisingly, I've been a little down lately. Last night Justin came home with a pint of Bluebell icecream and these beauties to cheer me up. Isn't that so sweet?

So, I actually have been doing a wee bit of sewing. I put the plum wool jacket aside for now and am making a simple little white top. Hopefully it will be completed this week with pictures taken next weekend. In between car shopping excursions. Ug. Pray for us to find something nice in our price range.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Creative block and... more new patterns!

I am currently experiencing an odd bout of creative block. Think writers' block, only in my case I have no desire to do anything creative. I feel out of sorts about this. Making things is such an integral part of my life, and now I don't know what to do with myself. My current project is a plum wool jacket and I'm lucky if I can force myself to sew two seams a day on it. I'm not experiencing any fit issues. Why am I so bored? What is my problem?!

Since I obviously have nothing new to show you, how about my picks of the new Simplicity patterns?

Up first is this very popular Cynthia Rowley design. I heart the jacket very much.

The flared skirt on the model is my pick from 2451 (view B). I love those fun pockets, button/tab detail on the waist, and running stitch for topstitching.

The shape of jacket A from this next pattern is really appealing to me. I also like the bias details along the front center and collar portions. The whole suit is super cute, actually. Maybe I'll completely copy the look only with a different color other then beige.

I'll be buying this next one is for the little shell top. I like the interesting design lines and small neck ruffle. Tops like these are always so versatile in my closet.

I'm hoping to find my sewing mojo soon. There's so many cute garments waiting for me to make them up. If only I could blink my eyes like Barbara Eden from I Dream of Jeannie and have them all materialize on hangers in my closet!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New McCall's spring pattern picks

Well, finally, some fresh meat.

McCall's 6024 is a fun, flirty dress with lots of ruffles. I like view A, the one in pink, and plan to use my black and white charmeuse with yellow flowers, a recent purchase from

This is a cute and simple knit dress. I actually like the plainer bodice of view A the best.

I like view D on this design, 6035. The gathered sleeves are a neat detail for an otherwise straightforward button-up blouse. This one was sold out by the time I made it to JoAnn's on Sunday, but there's sure to be another sale right around the corner.

Oooh, 6039 is by far my favorite. Can't you just see me wearing this with all that piping?! I have the perfect fabric picked out already from JoAnn's new for spring Riviera collection. This pattern was also sadly sold out. I guess other people must like it as well.

How about you? Did I miss any of your favorites?

Monday, January 4, 2010

McCall's 5974 - Black, white & cobalt blue geometrical print dress

Here's my first dress of the year, a casual knit with long sleeves. I actually bought this pattern for design C with mock wrap neckline and wrap around ties. However, after matching the print of this dress at so many seams, I didn't have enough fabric left over for the ties. The fit is great right out of the envelope so I'll definitely be making it again.

This dress has pleats along the top bust area and under the midriff panel, which are great camouflage. I matched up the pattern along the center front from neckline to hem. This fabric is an ITY knit purchased from some months ago. I keep stalking that site waiting for new knits to be posted. They haven't put up anything new in forever!

Here at the side you can see where I tried my best to match up the print. Not easy!

The back has a CB seam where I did more pattern matching. The sleeves also match up. Now you see why I had no fabric left over for ties. I omitted the back zipper as it's totally unnecessary.

The inside midriff panel was made from white ITY knit so there wouldn't be anything showing through to the outside. I used bias tape to finish the neckline and armhole seams. French seams were used for all vertical seams and shoulders.

This shot is at the CB hem. I used my twin needle to get a neat doubled stitch line.

This was a fun and simple project and I had zero fit issues. Oh, forgot to mention this is a Palmer/Pletsch "Perfect Knit Dress" pattern and has extensive directions for full bust, high round back, very round back, broad/narrow back, sway/flat back and full arm alterations. This is my second time using one of these types of patterns, and I think it went much better than the first time.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Another Vogue 2925 shell - in burgandy

This jacket is part of a dress suit from Vogue 2865, made in early 2006. I've always loved the jacket but never had anything to go with it other than the matching dress. I decided to make a little shell to go underneath so it could be worn with other separates. I've made this top before in a winter white and always liked the fit of it.

Since it fit so well before, I didn't even bother to check the measurements. I cut it out cross grain so that the lines of sequins would run vertically. It is much stretchier from top to bottom than side to side, thus resulting in a much more snug fit. Annoying! Oh well, it is to be worn under the jacket after all.

I bought this narrow sequined knit years ago, and only had 7/8 yard. I waited and waited to find the perfect pattern to pair it with. I could have easily cut it wider, thus the annoyance. Okay, moving on. This time around the side gathers are actually noticeable. I did gathers on the front shoulder seam instead of pleats, same as last time.

I love this pattern. There are only two pieces, and it goes together quickly.

I used bias tape for the neck and arm facings. Those sequins would be really scratchy with a doubled hem as per the instructions. French seams were used for the minimal 4 seams.

I've completed a long sleeve knit dress but lost the light this evening for pictures. My photographer has been sneezing non-stop for the last 2 days and will probably need some convincing tomorrow. Poor thing. I guess I'll go rescue him from the kids. Happy New Year!