Sunday, March 27, 2011

Simplicity 3790 - Red & white print knit top

I have a bright orange RTW top in this same style that I wear all the time, so knew I would love the fit of this pattern. The top is loose and casual through the midsection, but still fitted with the lower band and not too dumpy. Waist definition - even when low - is something I really like. Also, we are flying to Oregon this summer for vacation and I'm planning to fit everyone's clothing and such into carry-ons to avoid baggage fees. This ITY knit will be perfect as it hardly takes up any space and never wrinkles.

This fabric is from - AKA Fashion Fabrics Club - and I've had it for a year or so. I cut the inside shell and bottom band on the cross grain to give it a bit of interest and so the design of the top didn't get lost with my busy fabric.

I love the addition of elastic at the shoulders.

I cut a straight size 10 and am usually a 12 in patterns. The only change I made to the construction was to use a bias tape finish for the neckline. I made a tutorial for that awhile back - check it out if you're interested. I've read on several blogs how necklines in knits can also be finished with clear elastic and am going to give this method a try soon.

You can see more of the bias tape finishing along the inside shell:

And look! I made a muslin! Okay, not really. It was yet another wadder, can you believe that?

When I finished cutting this out out, I wanted to try to make it per the pattern instructions and not be so fussy with the insides. I'm always reading how others have taken only a few hours to make a garment, and thought I needed an instant gratification project. So I folded over the fabric and stitched in place for the shell, and did a 5/8" double folded hem for the outer neckline. It stretched out horribly!!! The thing was practically falling off me! So now I am back to my bias tape finishing because that certainly does not stretch out. I didn't cry about this one though, just rolled my eyes a bit. I must be getting use to wadders. I wasn't too crazy about the fabric either, and think it resembles a black trash bag, especially from a distance when you can't see the snakelike texture.

I'm almost finished with a little denim skirt for my baby, and will be back in a few days with pictures of that. It is just adorable!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

April Burda picks and some Q&A

IMO, this is another month of duds. When my subscription is up at the end of August, I will not be renewing. Arg! This is so sad! What happened to the interesting and innovating designs they had for so many years?

I felt like I had to pick something from the magazine that I could see myself in, and I do like pants 104. (Although I've seen this same design in several other issues during the past 2 years and haven't gotten around to making those either.)
Sorry for the negativity. I feel like I've been posting all downers lately.

Awhile ago Sally asked:
I have a couple of random questions.How do you decide when you have to match a print? The girls at JoAnns always tell me that you don't need to but somehow that doesn't sound right.Also, do you ever so formal wear or maybe your wedding dress? I Would love to see that if you did or how you use dressier fabrics.

Well, I always match the fabric when I'm working with plaids or horizontal stripes. I don't usually match prints. If I'm using a fabric with a big print I'll look for a pattern that doesn't break up the print much, like a pencil skirt with only seams at the sides. As for formal wear, I do have an occasion I'll need a dress for coming up in May. I have all the materials needed to get started, but with my current humongous rash of wadders, I'm scared to get started. I need to sew a few winners in a row to get my confidence up. My mother actually made my wedding dress, although it was more of a suit. I had plans to show it last May on my 10th wedding anniversary, but got busy with something and didn't get around to it. Perhaps I'll do it this year.

Sewsister asked:
Any tips on how you lost the baby weight so fast? My son is 18 and I still have baby weight! ;D

Thanks for noticing! I have no magic tricks for weight loss. I have high blood sugar which I'm expecting to turn into diabetes later in life as I have a family history of it. Because of the high blood sugar, I have to eat a ton of protein and very little sweets to keep from getting horrible headaches. Limiting sweets happens to cause my body to loose weight. Also, I live in a 2 story house and am very forgetful, so I end up running up and down the stairs at least 20 times a day. That's pretty much it!

Bonnie D asked:
I noticed you live in San Antonio. Are there any independent fabric stores there? I am in SA frequently for business and I'm always looking for new sewing and knitting shops.

I do a lot of online fabric shopping for a reason! We have a few JoAnn and Hancock Fabrics, that's about it. There are also 2 quilt shops in town that I never go to as I'm not a quilter. I guess it's not much of a high-fashion town. There's plenty of fun things to do, though.

If I've missed your question please feel free to ask it again. I promise I am not ignoring you, I just happen to be busy with daily life. :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Lesson learned!

Just look at this pile of beautiful purple silk crepe de Chine all cut up into various pieces for Vogue 1223. What a crappy pattern! Unevenly spaced pleats, some left open over the bust but at different levels on the right vs. left, hemline short in the front and long on the sides, etc. I cannot recommend this pattern! And I cried over the loss of this gorgeous and expensive fabric that is now ruined. Why did I not make a muslin?!!! Stupid, stupid, stupid! Learn from me - IF YOUR FABRIC IS DEAR, MAKE A MUSLIN!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Vogue 8635 - Wrap knit top in bright turquoise

Hello! It's been a few weeks since I've had something to show you, even though I have been sewing all that time. This has been a tough year for me and wadders. I thought I couldn't go very wrong with a doubleknit top, and am pleased with the outcome. This fabric is a ponte knit from I first saw it when Trena made this dress from it, and I bought some for a dress as well. But when it arrived it looked really bright - too bright for the dress I had envisioned - but looking at it now a dress would have been fine. Anyway, it matches this skirt perfectly, and I'd long since gotten rid of the original top made to go with it. (It was too tight and was made with a really cheap quality fabric.)

After my machine had such problems stitching my winter white doubleknit dress, I fully expected it to rebel against this fabric too. But, for whatever reason, it sewed it up without incident, even though the fabric is the exact same just a different color.

I really liked the front bands and neckline of this design, and the fact that it is was a wrap top designed for a knit. I did buy it for the cap sleeve version, but had plenty of fabric so opted for the 3/4 sleeves for this one. I'll make the other version some other time.

I cut a straight size 12 and made no changes to the pattern for fit. Here at the back you can see where I changed the neckline to include a band as the fronts do. It was a very simple change, but makes the garment look congruous. The other change I made was to cut 1.5" off the sleeve bottom, because the sleeve was too long and bubbled up awkwardly around my elbow.

I have been forcing myself to sew for a particular season for nearly a year now. First I made winter so I could wear it after my baby was born. Now I'm making myself sew spring styles, but what I really desire is to make some pretty summer dresses. So, that is what I'm going to do! And if I suddenly get an inkling to make something for some other season, I've given myself permission to do that as well.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March Burda picks

Here it is already the 2nd of March and I've yet to do my Burda picks for this month! Time is sure flying around here lately.

I was a bit underwhelmed by this months offerings. Bring back fitted and detailed garments, Burda. Pretty please? The only one I can see myself making is jacket 115 - which I do really love - so this issue isn't a total waste. Isn't it so pretty?!

In other sewing news, I have been busy making a dress since my last post a week and a half ago. It's really a simple design and I've had zero fit issues, but it has miles of handstitching. It will be super cute if ever I finish it, but I sure have sore fingers right now.

As it's been awhile since I posted a gratuitous baby picture, here you go. Rachel is 6 months old now and is just as tiny as ever (not that you can tell that from this picture.) Her hair has been plentiful and crazy ever since birth, and I finally decided to see if I could tame it: