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Thursday, March 31, 2011


Thanks for the input! While reading your comments, I realized I'd really narrowed it down to 2 (and so did you) but threw in some classy sheaths to feel more appropriate. However, there's no hiding that I really want to either go vintage or strapless this Easter!

So, I decided to go with the strapless with the vintage as a backup (since I've muslined the top and know it fits). The strapless dress must fit just right, and I'm not up for big fitting tweaks right now. Plus, I wasn't sure how the style would suit my curve-less figure.

So, I decided to make the foundation first as a sort of muslin. I feel like I'm always railing against the crazy fit of Vogue patterns, but REALLY! By my measurements, I'd need a 12 or 14. I cut my usual 10, and I still took in the center front, back, and sides 1/4" each. Do the math, and I've taken out 2 inches. I guess it's not that much, but if I made the size dictated by the pattern, I'd have a dress that fell down around my hips. That is NOT "wearing ease." Enough grumpies...

Here's where I stand now. I have the full lining constructed, the foundation (minus boning), and the bodice. I still need to construct the skirt, add boning, and put everything together, plus zipper. Doesn't sound like more than 3 evenings' work to me. :-) I love how it's coming out and I'm gonna cry bitter tears if I don't like it in the end.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Last night, I was firmly set to have my next project be this jacket to go with my pants.

Butterick 5469, view A (short sleeves). Somewhere between then and now, I decided I MUST make my Easter dress NOW... so I need to make a decision.

I narrowed down my fabric choices pretty quickly, but picking one out and the perfect pattern to accompany it is proving a challenge for me. Many are worthy, but only one will be chosen...

The candidates, in no particular order:
bright blue and white cotton/linen, possibly with Italian lace accents, Butterick 5455. Love this fabric, which I bought in Germany, and love the pattern and lace... a safe option, style-wise

I am digging this Vintage reprint Vogue 1044. Is it "too much"? I muslined the top part a while ago and know that it fits and is ridiculously cute. Or, with Vogue 8648, I could still get the swishy skirt and play with the grain... possibly using that lace again. The fabric is linen from a German fabric market - green and yellow cross-weave.

I've made Simplicity 2473 before and would love one with the short sleeves and collar. I've also made a skirt with this fabric before (which is sadly quite a bit too big for me now).

The final option is a buttery yellow cotton/linen with an interesting texture. It would work beautifully for Vogue 1183, no doubt. But then again, I'm kind of loving it for Vogue 1174... I mean, I really need a strapless spring dress, right? Right? How cute would that be with the little pockets? And I could just throw on a cardi for church.

So, I would LOVE it if you'd weigh in and let me know what you think. I thrive on public opinion. Thanks! :-)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Vogue 2907

Finished my pants. Woohoo!!

The fabric is a wool/linen blend from Sawyer Brook which is now sold out. Sad, because it's a really cool fabric. I was worried that the pants might be itchy unlined because of the wool content, but I've worn them all afternoon in total comfort. I didn't line these pants because I want them to be as breezy as possible. I also pre-washed and dried in the machines so I can machine launder the pants. Gotta love that.

The pattern is Vogue 2907, which I've made enough times to know the pattern number by heart.

P.S. How sad is it that I JUST figured out how to add a photo from the web without first saving it to my computer?

I LOOOOOVE these pants! The fit is perfect, which has much more to do with finding a great pattern that happens to fit me than it has to do with my fitting skills. I like the drawstring waist that I added. All I did was make the waistband a little narrower than the pattern (I don't like how high the original comes up on me, despite what the pattern photo would suggest) and add buttonholes to pass the drawstring between the waistband and waistband facing. The drawstring is a narrow tube of fabric, turned with a bodkin, and knotted on both ends to keep it from slipping inside the waistband. I also added a button and buttonhole behind the drawstring tie for added security.

I hemmed these pretty long so I can wear them with either flats or wedge heels, of which I own quite a few for summer.
The pant legs are quite wide, which is apparently back in style now after all those weird muffin top, tapered-leg monstrosities.

Some more pics:

Also, sorry if you got a post about my kiddo's birthday party in your reader. Put that one up on the wrong blog at first. Worse things have happened, right? :-)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kid's Birthday Shirt

My big boy would like you to know he's 4 (see the fingers?).
I made his birthday shirt. For comparison on how big he's gotten, here is last year's.

I actually made the whole shirt this time, instead of embellishing a purchased one. I found two XL black and gray striped ladies' tops at Target for $2 each and snatched them up. (I still have a shirt and a half to fashion something cute for me!) To make the "pattern", I traced a shirt he has that fits well. The neckline came out a little big because I tried to reuse the ribbing from the original tee shirt and was worried about it not fitting over his melon head. I should have just gotten more at JoAnn's. Oh well. It looks cute over the red t shirt here. Maybe I'll redo the ribbing with a wider piece.

For the embellishment, I used the freezer paper stenciling method. I've never used that method before (first stenciling attempt here resulting in this) It was quite easy, and worked really well with all the tiny cutouts I made. Great tutorials for both freezer paper stenciling and editing an image for a stencil are here, on Dana's awesome site.

Obviously, I actually did the stenciling on a separate piece of fabric which I then stitched on top of the t shirt for more impact. With the exception of the neckline being large, I'm really happy with this shirt, and I know my sweet boy loves it. He wants to wear his "drum shirt" every day.

In other news, I finally sat down for 15 minutes tonight to make a buttonhole and hems to finish up my linen/wool pants. Can't wait to photograph them tomorrow!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Vogue Pattern Picks

This morning in my emailbox, the new summer Vogue patterns greeted me, and I'm excited. :-)
I'm just including the ones that I like and can see myself buying and sewing (possibly). So, the ones I like the fashion-y idea of (strapless ruffly jumpsuit!) but don't really find a place in my wardrobe, I'm not posting here.

This summer, I'm really wanting some flow-y blouses and dresses. It's my first full summer in Florida, and I'm expecting hot and humid. I'll also be traveling quite a bit with the kids, so I want easy.

It doesn't get much easier or comfier than V1235, a cute knit dress. I like the contrast waistband here - it somehow looks modern when most contrasts are starting to look dated to me.

I probably have about 5 cuts of fabric already for V1236. I love a casual dress.

V1241 is a great little summer church dress for me. It looks a bit like another Kay Unger pattern I have, but it's just different enough for me to covet it anyway.

V1247 is the only separates pattern I chose, and I like both pieces. I'd kind of like to make both pieces in linens or linen/cotton for a breezy outfit. I think this is at the top of my sewing list. The top only takes 1.5 yards of 60" fabric (looks like it should need more).

The last two are a bit dressier than the other picks. I'm not sure if I could get away with 8723 for everyday wear, but I might try. I like the version with trim at the straight neckline. I also like the wide straps. Again, it looks fresh to me.

8728 is the one I'm not sure where I'd wear it, but I love it. Maybe I could shorten it to a top and make it work for everyday.

So there are my favorites. What are yours?

Final photos of my linen/wool pants coming this weekend...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pants update

My current project is a pair of pants made from an interesting linen/wool blend from Sawyer Brook. I'm using my TNT pants pattern Vogue 2907, modified a bit to make a drawstring waist. A they need now is a button and buttonhole and hem. I'm hoping I'll get them finished to wear on Friday! This is a a crummy evening photo. The true color is what I would call a rich loden green.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Little Man's Loft Bed

Hi! Remember me? :-) Totally off the topics of sewing and knitting, here's the loft bed I made my almost-4-year-old little man.

I'm quite proud of my second wood-working project! I built it all myself but my Dad kindly helped me with the painting, and my dad and husband both helped with the final assembly.
The plans are here and my brag post on Ana's site is here.

I still need to paint over the final assembly screws and touch up some junctions, but Paul loves his bed! My next project is either bookshelves for under this or a desk for in a funny spot in my kitchen. Can't decide.

Oh, and I REALLY need to finish his quilt so he can stop using my pink one!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dusting off my machine

Whoa, where'd I go? I'm not sure what happened the last two weeks. My parents came for a visit, and then my in-laws stopped by over the weekend. In the past two weeks, my only sewing was a pair of PJ pants for Hubs (since he was left out of the holiday jammy festivities). Oh, and we've had crazy gorgeous weather, necessitating two trips to the beach.

My plan of attack this week was to make some lovely pants from a yummy wool/linen blend fabric, but I just haven't been able to get up the energy to get everything together to cut them out. Tonight, after a jam-packed day of 3-year-old's first dentist appointment, trip to the appraiser's office to file some paperwork, and tax preparation, I surveyed the mess of my house and decided enough is enough... No, I didn't clean up anything. I cut out and started to assemble a sleeveless version of this top. Priorities, people!! Photos to come tomorrow in the daylight and when my hair is less scraggly.

Just so this isn't a photo-less post, check out where the family went last Saturday. :-)