Sunday, April 26, 2009

BWOF May issue - my picks

It's time for another installment of Burda picks. Are you people sick of seeing these? Sorry, but I just love my Burda magazine. I also love to see what other people like. Well, this was another great month and I found a number of things I like, and a few I like but would never look good on me.

These are trousers 101. I really need to tackle making pants but don't have any immediate plans or fabric picked out for these. Just thought they were cute and I like the cut.

Jacket 102B is very cute with interesting welt pocket construction and cuffs with buttons.
I think fitted knit top 103 is great for fall/winter. I've got a pink and white zebra knit calling its name. This is also available as a dress, but as I have a similar dress in denim, I'll not be making it.
Okay, love love love vest 108. I think it's those cap sleeves and tuxedo collar that really get me. I can't decide if I want it for over a summery dress or under a turtleneck top for winter. Hmmm.....

I find top 115A cute, especially with the tiny bias sleeve bands. I like it in the plaid they have in the magazine. However, it has no waist definition, so I'm not sure it's for me. Maybe I'll wait to see if anyone else makes it up first.

The dresses they have in this magazine are just wonderful. I just chose 3, though, because I feel like I have a ton of dresses in the works or hanging in my closet already. This is dress 117 and I love it for its interesting construction lines. I also have fabric in the stash this would be perfect for.
Woo woo, dress 121 is super pretty! I love its mock wrap front and cute bubble sleeves. I think a solid color would be really striking and show off the design well.
I'm saving the best for last. Dress 123 is my favorite of the dresses, with its ruffled neckline and hemline. I'm thinking I'll probably leave off the butterfly sleeves and make it sleeveless. And there's fabric in my stash for this one as well.

Thanks for all your suggestions from yesterday's blog post. Heidi, I love all your ideas for a sewing studio. That would indeed be a luxury. We only have the 3 bedrooms, though, and do want to add to our family in the future. I think it would be hard to make the spare bedroom into a sewing room only to have to convert it to a child's room later. If we ever move, that would definitely be something to look for in a new house.

Also, I did not mean to sound critical of my mother having a large stash of fabric. I know a lot of people who do and it is very fun for them. For me, though, it feels claustrophobic. I don't know why other than that is the way I'm wired. Anyway, I didn't want anyone to have hurt feelings over what I wrote.

Okay, so I know it's been a week since I posted a FO, but I have nothing new to show you. I was working on Simplicity 2754 for the past week, but it's been the biggest pain in the butt. The neck facing was giving me fits - it wouldn't lay flat along the front slit and kept curling up around the back despite my understitching it. In the process of removing the facing in lieu of a bias tape finish it got caught in my machine and tore. That's right, after all my work and determination of following through, it got a hole right in the front. It is now a wadder and I am moving on.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Stash reveal and a fabric diet

I'm sure you have or know of people with large stashes of fabric. My mother had wall-to-wall shelves of fabric in the master bedroom of our house growing up. (They slept in the study.) But I have always been somewhat of a minimalist. That is until the past 6 to 8 months when I have been on a fabric buying frenzy. I try to justify the purchases by telling myself I'm getting a really good deal. And I usually always think about the fabric first and what pattern it would look good in so I don't buy too much or too little. However, I am now starting to panic. I feel I must get a certain amount of garments made monthly so I can reduce the stash. If something goes wrong or I have trouble with the fit and it takes longer than I think it should, I am super frustrated. And that is draining the fun out of my much loved hobby.

As a result, I have decided to put myself on a fabric diet. This is more of a dare to myself to see how long I can go without buying any more. If I tell myself I absolutely cannot buy another cut I will rebel against my own rule because that is my nature. I started this around the middle of this month. Let's see how long I can keep it up.

Would you like to see said stash? These pictures are taken in our spare/guest bedroom and closet. Don't judge the mess.

These first three (deep) drawers are filled with spring and early summer planned garments:

These next somewhat shallower but wider three drawers are filled with summer:

Here is fall piled on the floor because I'm out of drawer space:

Winter piled on a spare chair. I have no place to put these either. What I need are some plastic storage bins.

And although it doesn't happen very often, here is the stash of fabrics that I don't know what I'm making out of:

Anyone else stock up on notions when they are 50% off?

Not to mention the garments already made up that I have issues with and need some attention. Or a total over-haul. I'm guessing I have at least 2 years worth of sewing to do on this pile.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Revamping the sleeves from an older dress

This is my Easter dress from 2008. Here is the blog entry for it. At the time I really liked the sleeves because they were "different", even after my mom told me they were a little weird. Well Mom, you were right, they were weird. So I clipped them out, ironed out all the seams, and re-cut the fabric.

Here's the new style:

More summery, right? Although how long do you think a woman in her 30's can pull off a puff sleeve? (I've been thinking a lot about age appropriate styles lately.) I love this dress now and think it will get a lot more use.

Here's a side view. Even with its high waist it doesn't have that maternity look that so many garments are sporting these days.

The back:

I used the sleeves from Newlook 6615, which I have made before and knew it would fit my non-spaghetti arms. I have mixed sleeves from different patterns before with good results, so wasn't nervous about doing this.

I did my usual bias tape covering for the armholes. This way there's no exposed seams.

Here's the pattern envelope for the dress. I made view D and extended it into a dress.

I love this pattern, and plan to make one of the tops for summer.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

BWOF 11-2008-113 - Sleeveless geometrical circles top

I needed a fast and easy project after my Easter outfit, and this one fit the bill. What do you know - it actually was fast and easy! This is my third garment from the November issue, so I'm really getting my money's worth. (And incidentally, I found these brown slacks at Target for $6!!! When you can't even buy the fabric for what the item costs, it's a good time to buy in my book.)

Here's the back. It has a few pleats as well, though not as many as the front.

Okay, so you may never have noticed but I have a large head. I have trouble wearing headbands because they are tight and give me a headache. Most one size fits all hats don't fit. But I have never made something that I couldn't get over my head until this top. It was a simple fix by cutting the opening a little bigger. Here you can see the bias binding around the neck.

This is the front of the top flat without the belt. The waist is cinched in with an elastic casing.

I did french seams along the shoulder seams.

The armholes are finished by a double folding seam. Easy, right? But then I was left with the issue of finishing the side seams. Doing a french seam was not possible here. After thinking about it for awhile, I decided to follow the double folding seam at the armhole and secure it to the top with a whip-stitch. I used a single thread to be as invisible as possible on the outside.

Here's what the outside side seams look like. It's barely noticeable, especially when I'm wearing it.

This is the picture in the magazine. Isn't it hysterical?

I'm not sure what's next. I've got a dress to revamp the sleeves on, and a knit dress I'd like to make for a social event on Friday night. Decisions, decisions.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Vogue 1021 - Pink brocade jacket

Here's the entire ensemble. It's a whole lot of pink, right? Justin told me I reminded him of a pink Peep. I know I need some contrasting jewelry or something. I went shopping yesterday after taking these pictures but didn't come up with anything.

This fabric is frustrating. It was fine to work with and ironed beautifully, but stretches out even with a lining and wrinkles easier then I'd like. Here's the back after a fresh pressing and starching of the hemline.

I love the neckline of this jacket. The silver closures not so much.

Pretty seaming at the sides with pockets:

I just happen to have this matching sweater in my closet so can wear this jacket with some casual slacks. Those silly closures pull the fabric too much to wear closed. After the above pictures were taken I realized this and will be wearing the jacket open.

Here are the closure hooks. These will stay here until (or if) I find something better. I don't wear silver. I don't hate it or anything but almost all my jewelry is gold and I don't like to mix. On the rare occasion that I decide to wear it, I make sure everything matches. You can call me Miss Type A if you want. I don't like being forced to use silver like I had to here. But, it was either this or black. The other problem is they don't hold the jacket closed without pulling the fabric oddly. I'm thinking of just removing them and having no closures at all. What do you think?

Here's the full lining. (Excuse my sleeping husband on the side there.) Since the brocade stretched out a bit the lining was too small around the bottom. Only I didn't notice that until I had it all slip-stitched in place. I clipped all those stitches out, enlarged the bottom lining seams a bit, and re-sewed it to the brocade. Whew!

Conclusion: I'm a bit miffed about this jacket. The sleeve lining ended up longer then the brocade sleeves somehow (???) and slightly bigger around. Then some of stitches at the top and bottom of the lining vent have come undone. I fixed the problem from the outside but some pink thread is visible and that bugs me. Since I had to let the lining out a little at the bottom, the old press lines are showing and that bugs me too. After spending a week's sewing time on this I expect perfection! I should go back and fix the sleeve lining issues but I'm just over this jacket for now. I know nobody else will ever notice these small imperfections. My plan is to let it rest in my closet for awhile until I forget what I'm annoyed about.

Happy Resurrection Day to you all!!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

New Spring Simplicity patterns!

I was at JoAnn's today for their half price notions and buttons sale. Surprise! New Simplicity patterns were out and only 99 cents, so I picked up these three:

This first one is 2633 and although it's hard to see, that pink top on the right has interesting pleated sleeves. I also really like its enlarged and extended collar stand.

Top 2614 is simple and cute with its gathers at the yoke and bust. The bottom front and back are bias cut so it doesn't need a zipper. I like the pale yellow design on the bottom right with the tie around the neck.

Okay, I'm loving dress 2583. See the teeny-weeny drawing on the middle left? It has a cut-out with collar and puff sleeves. I like the floral but think the collar and sleeve cuffs would be cute in white or a coordinating color.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mail call - check these out!

Look what the UPS man just delivered to my house:

With our 90 degree high today it's probably not the best time to be buying new boots. Except yes it is because I got a killer good deal. Ever heard of the brand Sudini? I hadn't until two years ago when I bought my first pair of their boots. Their motto is "Shoes That Make Love To Your Feet", and they aren't kidding! These are the boots I bought back then in black and brown:

I have worn them constantly! They are incredibly comfortable despite having a 2.5" heal. So anyway, I've had my eye on these tall black boots for several months, waiting for them to be marked down as much as possible. They retail for $229.95, and I got them for $68.98 (plus had a gift certificate so paid way less)! They are the Women's Retro Tall Boot and were purchased at I'm trying to incorporate more casual dresses in my wardrobe so these will be perfect with tights for warmth next fall and winter.

I've got my Vogue 1021 jacket complete except for the front fasteners, which will be picked up tomorrow at a half price notions sale.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Vogue 2882 - Black knit skirt

Here's my new black skirt. I love the flouncy hemline and princess seams. And since it's made in knit it's super comfortable. I'm wearing it with this shirt that was completed last month.

And the back. I tucked in my shirt so you can see the waistband, but will wear it with tops that are untucked.

This is a closeup of the gores at the hem. This skirt was actually a lot longer, so in cutting off the excess length I lost some of the twirl factor. Oh well, I like this length on my body much better.

So, I actually made this skirt a few years ago, but had a problem with the waistband. The pattern didn't call for interfacing and, being a knit, it stretched out and sat really low on my hips. Then for some reason I abandoned it, which is surprising to me because I usually always see a project through. But gladly I threw it in a drawer and forgot about it until last week. When I found it I thought - what an easy fix! What was I thinking! - and simply ripped out the waistband, added interfacing, and voila!

I still think this pattern is SO CUTE! Sorry if you do as well because it's now OOP. I made the top with shoulder cutouts at the same time I made the skirt but had some problem with it - not comfortable maybe? It's been a few years so I can't remember. But I love the off-the-shoulder sleeveless top and still have some of the material from the skirt. Although Justin isn't too keen on it but can't tell me exactly what he doesn't like. Too bad, I love it. I'm adding it to my ever growing list of summer sewing.

I'm still working on my Vogue 1021 jacket - have finished the outside complete with hem and shoulder pads and now have to sew the lining and attach it to the outer fabric. I guess I'm probably 5/8 through with it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New Vogues!!!

The new Vogue patterns are out and I couldn't help taking a peek, although seriously, I don't need any new patterns. Seriously. Oh well, I'll probably get a few of these gorgeous offerings...

Lets start with a few maybes:

This is 1104, and I love the feminine details. I don't usually go for ruffles and bows. Perhaps that is what drew me to these first two dresses. Anyway, I'll have to inspect this pattern and the accompanying instructions before I commit to purchasing it.

1105 is another ultra-feminine style. The only thing I'm not crazy about is the flounce that ends at the front waist. If I can somehow remove it, I'm pretty sure it would be a welcome addition to my collection. Or am I just drawn to it because I'm in love with the color yellow? Hmmm.

I like 1107 but am not sure about it either. It looks like a lot of work to be honest with you.

This is top 8580 which is made for a knit. I'm really liking wide elastic lately - I don't know why - but I love this simple little tunic especially for that reason. Definitely a little shorter, which would make it more of a top and less of a tunic.

This last dress 8576 is by far my favorite. Talk about interesting construction lines! This will definitely be purchased as long as I can raise the center front neckline an inch or two.

They really have a great array of different styles among these new designs. Tell me what you think, did I miss any of your absolute favorites?

I have my skirt completed from the now OOP Vogue 2882, which I'm really pleased with. Hopefully I'll get some pictures taken and posted this evening. Have a great Wednesday!