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Friday, May 30, 2008

Fabric like buttah

I have a yard and a half of light blue linen/cotton fabric. It's like buttah. I don't really know what that means except it's a good thing, and this fabric is definitely a good thing. It's heavy for linen, and very crisp. The perfect color, too. I've had it for over a year (not long in stash terms, I know), but it keeps begging me to be sewn into something beautiful. I've simply got to get it started this weekend or it'll drive my crazy. I don't know what my fear is, but I know this could be something so fabulous but I can't envision what. I don't want to muck it up!

Today, I'm thinking a light jacket. But it needs something special. A big collar? Maybe. Or maybe no collar, Chanel-style. But with gathered, ruched trim? I think that would be good. Or maybe I could do some kind of beading or embroidery around the edge? I just can't decide!! It's rediculous. It's just linen... not like it was super expensive or difficult to find. It's just so perfect...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Great Coat Sew-Along

I joined my first sew-along to make a coat this summer. I know, I know... a coat in summer?? Well, it actually won't be complete until the fall, but the idea is to get started early so it's actually done in time to wear it. Isn't that a novel concept? This may be just the kick in the pants I need to get me going. The bog organizer, Marji, is going to close the blog just to participants in a little bit, but I'll keep copying my posts here. Here's my first post there:

I'm very excited to join my first sew along! I've been wanting to make a coat for a while now, and this will hopefully give me the jumpstart and timetable I need to get it done by fall. I already have a plan... I'm going to use this wool flannel coating fabric that I recently purchased from Gorgeous Fabrics. It doesn't feel very flannel-y to me. It has more of a little pile, and I love it!

...and I plan to use this Marfy pattern.
I love the slightly different collar, and that neckline is just begging me for a fabulous knit scarf or three. My biggest concern is the prospect of possibly having to alter the shoulders, since the shoulders and collar all look to be one piece. I usually don't have to do much altering, but I've never made a Marfy before.

This will be my first Marfy attempt as well as my first coat, so it should be interesting. If you're not familiar with Marfy patterns, they come with the pieces already cut out, but there are minimal markings on the pieces, there are no seam allowances, and no directions. I will definitely have to make my first muslin with this project.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sunny day at the zoo!

Here is a pic of my new dress in action at the Frankfurt zoo this past Saturday. We were planning to go to the Netherlands this weekend to see all the tulips, but the main flower place is closed already, so we decided we'd give it another go next year. Yeah, about that next year... my inter-continental move is off. I'll be here in Germany at least another year.
Here are some slightly better pics of the dress:

I am really happy with how this turned out. It was really simple to make, and I think it turned out cute. I did a pattern review here. The fabric is by Amy Butler, bought at Trendy Fabrics for less than I've seen it other places. Now I want to re-decorate my bedroom with Amy Butler fabric! I bought the white shirt at the mall here in Germany and put a new turquoise button on it to match the dress. I think it's cute!

One thing about the pattern. Although I really like the style, and it went together easily, it was difficult to determine what size to cut. By measurements on the envelope, I am a 14. Based on finished garment measurements, I cut a 10, and it is a bit roomier than I'd hoped. I could have fixed this as I went along by better tailoring the side seams, but I was on auto pilot! :-) It's ok a little big since I wanted a casual sundress, and it makes it nice and cool. I think next time, I will cut an 8. Can you believe that? Who needs 4 inches of ease at the bust of a fitted dress??? It would have fallen off of me! It's craziness!

Friday, May 23, 2008

What do you do with 1 day and 1 yard of fabric?

Why, you make a sundress, of course!

Yesterday, my baby boy was sick, which was very sad. I picked him up from day care at about 10 am and came home. He promptly fell asleep and slept for almost four hours. What was I to do? I had just cut out a dress the night before, on a whim, so I started stitching that puppy up. It just flew together! Today, I just have to go out and get a zipper, put it in, and hem it up, and we're in business! I'll post a finished pic after our little weekend jaunt to the Netherlands. Here's a little sneak peek:

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I can't take a decent picture... but at least there's photoshop!

Well, I tried to take a better picture today of the dress I posted about yesterday. Hah! Not likely! I thought a little natural sunlight would help... not so much. Too much light in the background, I guess. It looked pretty much like the ones I took yesterday but the background was lighter. Maybe I should take a photography class or something. Anyway, thanks to Photoshop, I can show you this:

A little better, I think.

And now I have a new sewn item to post about. This is my first successful pair of shorts.
Really, it's my first successful garment involving a crotch seem! :-) I'm proud of me. These shorts were inspired by a pair at JCrew that would have set me back about $70. Not likely. I loved this fabric and thought it would be a dress. I think this is just the right amount of large pattern, though. I'm happy with this creation and will definitely wear it. I'll post a pattern review a bit later tonight, but for now, here are some money shots of my workwomanship.

Again, thank goodness for Photoshop. Don't you just love how I'm leaning in all the shorts shots? I'll have to ask for a camera tripod for Christmas. Obviously, the ironing board isn't cutting it!

Monday, May 19, 2008

I sewed a knit... my mama would gasp!

I'm working on a pattern review at the aptly named I made this dress out of a fun geometric black and white knit I got on sale at Sawyer Brook Fabrics. It was one of my favorite recent fabric purchases, and I couldn't be happier with how the dress turned out! It's exactly what I envisioned, and I did it without a knit pattern. :-) I've never sewn with a knit before (at least not successfully), but after how easy this dress was, I'll definitely be making a top soon.

I wanted a simple, sleeveless sheath dress - not too tight, but curve-skimming. Church appropriate, but also ready for a nice dinner out. It has the added bonus of being extremely pack-able (yea for jersey). If you are curious how I used a woven pattern with a knit fabric, check out my review here. I just kind of made it up as I went along...
Now, if only I could take a decent picture with our new mega-camera, we'd be in business.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Quick Project

Well, here is my current knitting project that has the greatest chance of being finished first. It's #33 Twist Front Top from the new Spring/Summer 2008 Vogueknitting magazine knit with two strands of's Baby Silk on size 6 needles. It's small and interesting enough to keep me going, but I'm at a spot requiring a lot of 1x1 rib right now. Here's a picture of my progress:

I like a lot of the projects in this magazine installment. Of all the ones I like, I hope to make #10 and #31, and I am drawn to the bubbly texture pattern in #12. I thought I could attach a link to the magazine's pattern pictures, but I guess they don't do that on their website. I didn't take pics of the photos I like, so c'est la vie.
In preparation for a cross-Atlantic move (USA, here I come!!), I went through all of my yarn last week. It was fun and exciting... almost like going on a yarn shopping trip since I forgot about half of the stuff in my stash. I purged about 1/4 of my yarn, mostly odd balls and lots of ugly-colored 100% acrylic and scratchy wool from the early days. This has only furthered my resolve not to buy any new yarn until I knit some of the great stuff I have sitting around.
I have not been so good about fabric purchases. More on that another day... At least I churn out sewed items quicker than knit ones (and wear them more often).