Saturday, September 18, 2010

Simplicity 2572 - Corduroy butterfly baby skirt

Wow! Baby clothes are certainly quick to make up! I bought the fabric for this little skirt yesterday, washed it, cut it out, and sewed it up the same evening. I recently purchased this RTW top from Old Navy but didn't have anything to match it. However, JoAnn's had the perfect pinwale corduroy in a cute butterfly print.

I made the XS for Rachel for this coming winter. The envelope back lists the XS for 1-3 months, but after comparing some of her 3-6 month clothing to the pattern pieces, I realized that baby patterns have just as much exorbitant ease as womens' sizes.

I added a little ruffle to the back hem for fun. I used french seams on the inside and slipstitched the waistband down so no zigzagging was necessary. This is a great pattern for simple basics and I plan to make lots more from it. I traced the size I needed instead of cutting the pattern out so I can use it in the future for other sizes.

More cuteness to come!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Modified Burda 9-2009-127 - Navy blue wool cropped jacket

Back when I made plans for this dress, I knew I wanted a matching cropped jacket to go with it. So an extra yard of wool was ordered with no real pattern in mind. Surely a cropped jacket pattern could be located, I told myself. The trouble was, I decided I wanted the EXACT look of the one paired with my dress pattern. Here's the inspiration picture from the December 2008 Burda issue:

Not only could I find no cropped jackets - I guess they're out of style? - I couldn't even find a full length jacket with a similar neckline. This is where sewing your own clothes and having a collection of Burda magazines comes in handy. I started with the pattern for this jacket:
Which is a perfectly fine pattern but I had initially passed it by for being somewhat plain. It is full length, double breasted, has raglan sleeves and a wide collar. Not at all what I had in my mind's eye but I thought it might work after some re-drafting. Ta da!

And here it is all buttoned up, although I doubt it'll be worn this way. These buttons are from Hancock's - $3.50 for one card of 2 plastic buttons!!! I don't get button pricing. However, I only needed two cards and always purchase at 50% off sales.

This is what I did to alter the pattern:
1. Converted the front from double breasted to single button closure. I simply measured over 7/8" from the center front for my new edge. Ditto for the facing. And incidentally, this design has the facing and jacket front as one piece, which I don't particularly care for. I cut them out individually.
2. Converted the sleeve pieces from 2 piece raglan to one piece with a regular sleeve cap. I have decided I don't like two-piece raglan sleeves on my body as they never sit right and the only raglan shoulder pads I can find are a little too thick.
3. Extended the shoulders by 1". This was another step in getting rid of the raglan sleeves.
4. Cut the collar width down by 1". I originally put it in at the full size but it looked too much like a sailor's collar to me. I also cut the collar down at the center back the same amount that I had cut off the double breasted front. I think it was 1 7/8" or there about.
5. Cropped the length of the jacket and the sleeve length. These sleeves hit right below the elbows and are super cute. You will think so too when I am able to get into this outfit.
6. Added shoulder pads. I ALWAYS add shoulder pads to jackets and keep them in stock in my notions bin. These are 1/2" covered set-in shoulder pads - I think I had a question about them awhile back that never got answered. Sorry! I like just a little shoulder definition in a jacket.

The fabric is a lovely wool crepe from The lining is navy ambiance purchased elsewhere online. One of those. I LOVE online fabric buying! Receiving a package in the mail is just like getting a gift to me.

Here's a picture of the full lining. I have made so many jackets now that I never have to consult directions anymore. My favorite part of sewing them is the step where you stitch the lining to the outer fabric, grade all the seams and turn it to the right side. One minute it looks like a hot mess and the next it's morphed into a beautiful garment.

This is a full view of the jacket with the dress. Does this look a bit retro to anyone besides me? Like a Jackie O. 60's suit maybe? I love it!

By the way, this is my jacket for September. I still owe myself a jacket for one of the M months and for August, and I will try my hardest to get them all in. But next up I am having a go at some baby clothes. I went to JoAnn's last night and bought 4 cuts of fabric for a few winter garments for Rachel. Infant winter patterns are hard to come by. I thought I had a good selection but most of it is summer stuff. I'm pretty excited about these little outfits!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Simplicity 2305 - Gray & purple border print Cynthia Rowley skirt

***An updated picture of me wearing this can be found here***

Okay, before I get a bunch of comments about how you can't believe I've finished a garment after just having a baby, know that this was 95% complete before I went to the hospital. All it needed was the waistband to be slip-stitched down and the hook applied. Which took me 5 days to get around to so yes, the baby is taking up most of my time.

This fabric was a recent impulse purchase from By impulse I mean that I hadn't had it in my wishlist awaiting a sale. And it was such a last minute decision that, for some reason, I only got one yard. What was I thinking? There's not much you can do with only one yard, even if it is 58" wide fabric. Or not much that's very interesting, at any rate. Enter this pattern that I had originally bought to use for view C in a knit. The bottom border print was used for the body of the skirt and the top of the fabric for the curved casing. And I had millimeters of fabric to spare!

I have several Cynthia Rowley patterns, but this is the first one I've used. It went together very easily and I made only very minimal changes:

1. Lengthened it by 2". Even with winter tights an 18" skirt with curved side vents is too short for me.
2. Did not interface the curved binding. This fabric is a rather thick charmeuse, but I really can't see needing a stiffened hemline with a thinner fabric.
3. Finished the inside seams with bias binding for a neat finish.
4. Lengthened the waistband for fit.
5. Made the waistband the same width as the fabric binding.

The back is the exact same as the front. This skirt is really easy to fit since you've only to adjust it for your hips and waist measurements. Here at the side you can see the cute curved hem and fabric bindings that are topstitched in place.

This inside view shows the bias binding used at the side seams. The waistband was slip-stitched and the slanted exposed fabric of the bottom side seams was whip-stitched down.

I'm off to the Labor Day sale at Hancock's to pick up some 50% off notions and a Vogue pattern. Here's a gratuitous baby picture for you. (Thanks for the outfit, mom!)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Meet my newest addition!

My baby girl finally made her appearance last Monday, August 30, on my dad's 80th birthday. I didn't even have to buy him a gift this year! We named her Rachel. She weighed 6 pounds, 7 ounces, and was 20.25" long. This is by far my smallest baby. Her brothers were 9-2 and 8-11, and I don't quite know what to do with someone so tiny.

Here she is with proud brother Nathan, who is in love with her. Every morning he asks me, "Mama, can I hold Rachel today?" To which I have to say, "Honey, you can hold her everyday for as long as she'll let you." Aww. He's such a sweet boy.

And her she is with middle brother Daniel. He loves her too but has too much energy to sit still for long and oogle his sister like my oldest.

I did end up having to be induced since she was 8 days late and hadn't put on any weight in 3 weeks. Oh well, life doesn't always go according to your plans, and we are both healthy. That's what counts.

Hooray, my replacement iron came on the Fed Ex truck yesterday! I've only to sew on the hook closure to my simple skirt started - when was is - two weeks ago? Maybe I'll get around to that today.