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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Self-Drafted Maxi

I feel like a total poser calling this self-drafted. It's a couple of rectangles stitched together. I've had this fabric for over a year. It's from Gorgeous Fabrics, and I love the border print. As is sometimes the case when I don't have a clear vision at purchase time, this sat around because I didn't know what to do with it. The dark colors don't scream summer to be, but the lightweight rayon knit doesn't offer warmth for winter. Two nights ago, I came across it and inspiration struck. I was going to use a pattern for at least the bodice portion, but in the end, I just wanted a simple V-neck top to show the lovely fabric.

I left the hem and sleeve edges raw. I just cut the hem to length. I may need to go back and hem the sleeves, though, as they have a tendency to curl up.

Big-guy had to get in on the action. The pics aren't great quality - I used the self timer from the counter across the room. It's a lazy Saturday morning, after all.

I like it best with the definition of the belt. Without the belt, the elastic I put at the waist can stretch a bit and it's not so form-fitting, and starts to look a bit sack-like.

I've also toyed with the idea of using elastic to gather up the cut-on sleeves to make it sleeveless, but I think I'll just keep the little sleeves. What do you think?

Something about this maxi seems a bit more formal to me. I don't know if it's the dark fabric or the belt with it, but I took it off after photos since I felt a bit overdressed for a lazy Saturday morning with the boys. :-) Now that it's done, I'm having a tricky time deciding where I'll wear it. Maybe I'll wear it to church tomorrow.

I've gotten a few kind comments lately on my hair. Thanks! :-) I've been letting it grow out. I've been highlighting and cutting it myself for a few years, and I decided to get it done at a nice salon yesterday. I just asked the stylist to trim it, add some long layers, and highlight it so the roots match the ends. She did just that, and, um, I feel like I stuck my head in a bottle of bleach. I guess I didn't realize how light the ends had gotten from the combined years of home-highlighting. Oh well. I'm getting it chopped off in six weeks and maybe we'll add some lowlights then to bring it back to a more natural color. Until then, I'm definitely ready for the beach!

Monday, July 18, 2011

McCalls 6078 - version 2

I'm finally getting around to posting my second version of McCalls 6078.

This is another knit from Sawyer Brook - Robin's Egg Jersey. It is a very thin and drapey rayon knit that was perfect for this shirt. I have enough for a second top, so we'll see what that becomes. The armhole bands on this version are made from leather scraps. I'm definitely digging this version, too.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

McCalls 6078

My latest creation is McCalls 6078.

I love this pattern! It's a sleeveless top, but the straps are plenty wide to cover my bra straps without adjustments, and it's not skin-tight, which is nice for the Florida heat. I like the little tubes of fabric on the straps that add a little interest. I decided to use the regular fabric for those tubes on this version, but the second one (that is almost finished) has contrasting leather loops.

The fabric is a rayon jersey from Sawyer Brook which appears to have recently sold out. I am getting much better at sewing fabric as I get it and curbing my purchases when I have a backlog, but I still need to work a lot to sew down my older stash.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Vogue Pattern Picks - Fall 2011

Hey, you guys! Ever since I got my Vogue Patterns magazine last week, I've been chomping at the bit to show you my picks (because I know you're on pins and needles to find out my faves). This fall catalog is filled with awesome Vogue patterns that look fresh and new! You can imagine my excitement when I got the email this morning, heralding their arrival on the website.

I don't have a lot of occasion to wear tight little dresses (although this is actually a top and skirt, which might be more practical), but I am so making this one:
I have a fun fall vacation coming up and I plan to make the most of it, chic-sewing-wise.

This one is lovely, and slightly more practical for every-day wear.

Another dress that could work casually. I like the sleeves!

Anther pretty knit dress I can see myself wearing more often than to church.

I like the lines of this jacket with the high collar.

I might try this version of the skirt with swooshies on the sides (technical term)

My TNT pants pattern is a Vogue, so I think I could make these without much fitting drama.

So there you have it - my favorites. Thanks for checking them out. :-)

I have a top to show off later today if I can get my pint-sized photographer to cooperate!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Vogue 2907 fly and special fabrics

Here is the progress on my latest version of Vogue 2907 pants, made from Railway black cotton from Sawyer Brook.
I lined the pockets and fly area with a contrasting cotton. I've seen lots of bloggers (and RTW pants) do this, and I always think it is so cute.
The fly construction. I used directions from Jennifer Stern, which were awesome, and yielded the best fly zipper results I've ever had. I'm definitely going to try some of her patterns based on these fly instructions.
Inside view of the fly.
Audrey, thanks for the back pant leg suggestion. Jennifer suggested something similar - taking in the outseam a bit and letting out the inseam. It helped a bit but not a lot. Since the front looks fine and it's just the back pattern piece that must be crooked for my shape, I ended up altering the back leg piece as she suggested and leaving the front as printed.
Amy, thanks for the suggestion I should put on the waistband. I think that definitely would have helped asses the fit. Too bad I'm so lazy!

In other news, I had the morning off from Mommy-duties yesterday thanks to a babysitter, so I went to the two nice fabric stores in downtown Tampa (that I know of), Couture Fabrics and Design and Queen's Fabrics.

From Couture Fabrics and Design, I purchased this really unique open-woven silk, enough to make a dress for my mom and a dress or top for me. The color is actually a rich red.
I also got this cute polka dot silk chiffon for an airy blouse. I can't resist polka dot silk. I was very sad when the owner told me that she is closing shop very soon. She's just not getting enough business. :-( The only good part was both fabrics were 25% off.
At Queen's Fabric, which is located in the Marisu Moda design studio, I found the perfect navy lace I've been wanting for a dress for a wedding this fall. Of course, no sooner do I get home than I see these photos of Jenny-wannabe Mrs. Prince William sporting navy lace. Guess my vision is not as unique as I thought!
Finally, I went in Hancock's in downtown Tampa - the closest one to me and not the nicest Hancock's I've been in. They had quite a bit on sale, and I picked up some things for my mom (I'm about to attempt to sew her a few things, obviously) and myself.

For my mom, a skirt from the left poly chiffon-type fabric and a top from the right interlock.
Then I saw this open cotton sweater knit stuff for $3/yard and thought I'd try it out. I also got some white interlock since it was on sale and felt nice.
Finally, I got this dark purple linen print for a skirt for mom or maybe a loose dress. I didn't see any off-white beefy knit for a top, so I'll look for some at JoAnn's. My mom said she trusts my judgement to pick some fabrics and patterns, so we'll see how this goes. :-)