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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Questions answered!

It's time for a comment/question roundup! These are all questions left in comments of the last month or so that I feel the need to follow-up with... so hopefully you all are checking back in!

Tammy has left a new comment on your post "Me Made May... I lost count":
Man alive! Do you make all your clothes? You've been busy! I especially like the tunic and circle skirt :)

(aside from Jenny: check out Tammy's yummy and beautiful cakes! I so wish I lived in California!)

Branka has left a new comment on your post "Me Made May... I lost count":
Wow, you've been very busy, nice job on all of these, especially the maxi dress!

Tammy and Branka, I was super lazy when writing that particular blog post and didn't link back to any original posts for those clothes. I made nothing in that post during May! They were all from the last year or two. I have been sewing quite a lot the past few months, though, I'll admit. My mojo has kicked into overdrive! I really don't make all my clothes, but I have made a lot more than I've bought during the past year. I've still never made jeans and have made very few pants. I also have bought many more sweaters over the years than I have knitted or sewn. Um, don't sew much outerwear, no underwear of any type, and very few jammies. :-) There you have it.

saintpudalia has left a new comment on your post "Me Made May 29/Simplicity 2473":
I'm curious: Did you line any part of this? I love this fabric and almost bought it just two days ago! But then I thought it might be too sheer for a dress and seeing as how it's already super-hot where I live....well, I didn't get it. Now I really want to because it looks great and I even have this pattern!

I did line this with very lightweight cotton batiste. I didn't want to add any real weight since this is a summer dress, but I was also concerned about opacity. In the end, the batiste did the trick and keeps me from feeling too nekkid, while minimizing wrinkles and keeping the dress cool.

Trisha has left a new comment on your post "Circle Skirt/Me Made May 30":
Great job on making the skirt without a pattern! What's your secret for installing invisible zippers? I don't have an invisible zipper foot for my machine, so if you have any tips, I'd appreciate them!

I don't have any real secrets for the zipper installation, but here's what I do: I install the zipper before I sew the seam. Sometimes I use fusing tape to anchor the zipper first, but when I'm feeling lucky, I just use pins. I first zig-zag kind of in the middle of the tape to baste it. Then, I go back with a regular zipper foot and just stitch as close to the teeth as possible. The foot helps to roll out the teeth. I'll take pictures when I do the next one!

Uta has left a new comment on your post "Oh my, what a week! I've been sewing away and hav...":
Ah yes, the creature comforts of the US... BUT you won't have fabric markets! (I'm only saying this to make myself feel better, of course.) Living on the beach sounds fabulous, I hope you enjoy it. I think the top looks fine, and maybe you'll need it for all the air-conditioning (that I bet you aren't used to anymore, right?).

Uta, I will definitely miss those fabric markets! I'm actually wanting to sew up some linen I got at one before I leave here, but it may not happen. Other things I will miss:
Schnitzel and spaetzle
all the little family-owned restaurants with outdoor seating all spring and summer
the fun and feeling of triumph of learning new German words every day, sometimes from 3-year-olds
the feeling of security of living in a country with a very low violent crime rate
Walking to the store/ice cream shop/strassenbahn (streetcar)/playground/everything else - not possible in U.S. suburbia
Being a quick plane trip and long weekend away from so many other countries and cultures
all the friends I've made here - German, American ex-pats, and other Europeans...
Ok, that got a bit deep. (apologies for everything I'm sure I've misspelled).

Kathryn, who commented earlier on that post, is my sister and has had to listen to me whine oh so many times about not being able to go buy medicine in the wee hours of the night here. :-)

July Burda Style Mag in my hands!

July Burda Mag spoiler alert!

I picked this up at the grocery store yesterday! I'd heard they sell them here in Germany all over, but I never actually thought to look at a newsstand (I usually go to the fabric store to get my copy). The "b" caught my eye on a magazine rack. They also had some Diana magazines (to be discussed later).

So I'm really excited about this magazine for two reasons:
1) the fact that I have it so early (at least it feels early for me).
2) it's awesome! Like the best one I've seen the past 18 months I've been looking at and occasionally buying them.

So here are pics I took of the actual magazine since I didn't feel like trying to navigate the new websites to get the official pics.

I like this piece on updating pants. Kind of a cross between the crafty silliness and a real pattern.

This is a pretty dress! Looks very flattering.

I like this cover dress but can't think of anywhere I'd wear it, so I probably won't make it.

I like this skirt, but I wonder if I'm getting a bit mature for it... not sure what about it makes me ask the question.

I'm intrigued by this. It would make a chic beach coverup.

This is my FAVORITE thing! I'm going to trace it tonight to make in white! I looooove it!!!

It even has the special instruction section!

I like some aspects of the top - the straps, but I don't get the scarfy-tie thing.

Here, I like both the tank on the left, though it's admittedly basic (sometimes that's what we need!), and the skinny pants on the right. I hope the pants fit!

From the kids section, I like the sweatshirt and both pair of shorts for boys. I want to make them some matching swim trunks.

I didn't bother showing the line drawing for this since it's so simple, and it's a plus pattern, so I'd have to downsize it quite a bit, but I have an almost identical pattern already that fits - I just really like the idea of using the sheer on top of a regular knit. Maybe I'll steal the idea if I find a sheer knit I like.

I like the Make 1 from 4 feature this month (I liked the skirts last month, too). I really like the one on the far right - I want to make it up in a sea-blue cotton voile that's aging in my stash.

I really like this design, which is not in the magazine. It's for download on the burdastyle site, but I can't find it on the English site, only the German one for E3.99. I think I may buy it, even though it costs almost as much as the whole Burda style magazine.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

silk blouse

Here is my newest creation, a blouse from McCalls 5522.

I made a little cap sleeve (not an option from the envelope) by using the longs sleeve provided and cutting it off short. The fabric is Waterway from Sawyer Brook. It's 100% silk, called a "ribbed novelty." It is really interesting fabric with a cool texture. It has a nice sheen but isn't super drapey like charmeuse. It's really nice for a structured shirt, and I think it would make a really beautiful bias-cut skirt. I'm kinda of contemplating getting some more to make one...

Here it is as I planned to wear it to church on Saturday. Unfortunately, I spilled hot fudge on that white skirt before I left and had to wear a different one. I wish the collar stood open a bit more than it does, so the scarf helped give a more open feel.

Here you can see the top better.

To finish the seams, I used a really lightweight single-fold tape that had a little stretch. It worked really well for giving a nice finish without adding the bulk of usual bias tape. A certain camera hog is obscuring the shot, though.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Oh my, what a week! I've been sewing away and have a healthy backlog of garments to photograph and share, but my blogging energy is non-existent. Perhaps that's because I found out last week that we are moving in three weeks!! Moving out of Germany, over the big blue ocean, and back to the land of sweet tea, IHOP, and all-night pharmacies. That's right, the wonderful USA! Florida to be more specific. I've only had a few vacations there and have never been to the city we are moving to, so I have little idea what to expect. I confess it's not a place that was high on my hopeful list of places to live, but I'm totally psyched now to be a beach bum with my boys and live in air conditioned glory.

Anyway, here is a little something to show. Boring old tee shirt. I actually planned and made a much more interesting version: the top in Vogue 1020. I thought the stripes would look really interesting when they were gathered on the side and twisted diagonally at the bottom. Alas, the interesting look it produced was not flattering in any sense of the word, and it was so tight that I had to cut it off. I really should have taken a quick photo when I tried it on. I'll try the top again in a stretchier fabric (this interlock has very little give in any direction).

I was able to salvage this top from the disaster:

I used the same sleeves from the scrapped top, and I had plenty of fabric left over to cut a new front and back. Unfortunately, I cut out two fronts. This caused a slight problem with the neckline being deep in the back, but I just scooped the front more, and I think it looks intentional and open (and it's quite comfy and cool this way). The bigger problem, of course, is the armholes. They are a bit too deep in the back (since it's really a "front") and just feel a little uncomfy on. It's not bad enough to wad, but I don't know how much I'll wear it alone. It will make a great layering tee in winter. Oh wait, I'm moving to Florida.

Only time will tell how successful this t shirt is. At least the fabric was from a clearance sale!

In other news, I've also been working on a blouse and have to show off the bestest buttonholes I've ever made!

Here's a little shot of the buttons I'm using on the blouse.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Circle Skirt/Me Made May 30

First, thanks soooo much for all the nice comments on my last dress. I really like it, and it's so nice to hear positive encouragement. :-)

I made this skirt in about 2 hours, and it may be my favorite thing I've made in the past 3 months. :-) Don't you love when the simplest things are the best? The fabric is Kazuri from Sawyer Brook, a simple cotton with a bit of spandex with a really cool print. With all the circle motifs, I couldn't think of anything better to make than a circle skirt. (actually, it's a half-circle)

To make it, I measured my waist where I wanted it to sit, made a strip that length plus 1" for seams for the waistband, and used that good ol' 2*Pi*R = circumfrence to figure out the diameter of the inner half circle to fit around my waist. Make any sense?

Here's a look at the waistband. I used a regular zipper since that's what I had handy, but I'm really only loving invisible zippers lately, since I figured out how to put them in pretty painlessly. This is fine for this casual skirt.

I love so many things about this skirt - the print of the fabric, the swishiness but closeness to my hips, and the fact that I didn't use a pattern at all! I can see myself making more of these.

I wore this for my baby's first birthday... how did he turn one year old? Doesn't he know he's supposed to be my baby forever?