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Friday, September 30, 2011

Vogue Pattern Picks!

It's new Vogue Patterns time!  Woohoo!

1271 looks quite a bit like another Kay Unger pattern I have (and haven't yet made), but I do like the sleeves on it, too, so I'll be getting this at some point.

1267 is my top pick.  Come to mama!  Enlarge it to look at the interesting seams.  I want to make this TODAY.  I have the perfect green wool fabric.  This looks like the kind of pattern that gives you lots of wow factor for you sewing energy.

8775 looks like a cool coat that would be pretty easy to sew.  I have a black and white herringbone that would be nice in this pattern.

That's it for me!  I've gotten a little more picky with my pattern purchases since I organized mine and realized how many I have.  These are the ones that I like and will actually probably sew... at some point. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Black cropped pants - finished!

Finally, here are my finished cropped black pants, last mentioned here.  You may recall I had button problems - bought the wrong size and couldn't find the right ones in stock then.  Anyway, I eventually gave up after checking for the buttons three separate times at the store.  I decided I don't care if the pant leg buttons don't match the waistband buttons.
 I could call these the cursed pants (because I don't want to call them the I-kept-screwing-up pants).  Very near the end of the process, I somehow broke the zipper.  I briefly considered ripping out all kinds of fiddly fly seams and finally decided a button fly was in order.  :-)  I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  These are really not my best pics. I think it's time to enlist Hubs' help for the photos instead of doing them myself.
 Another problem is my contrast waistband facing and pocket bags.  I was trying to be all cool with the contrasts, but they show in some places.  :-(  Most annoying is the rear pockets.  The floral fabric shows a bit at the pocket opening, and not in any kind of good way.  You may also notice the contrast in the first photo, at the center waistband.  Luckily this isn't really a problem when I wear a longer top like the one above (pulled up for the photos).

Well, there you have it.  I'm really happy with the fit, which I perfected in the Sawyer Brook sew along, but not 100% thrilled with some of the execution.  However, all the bad stuff is camoflaged with a long top, so you can guess how I'll be wearing these pants.  Expect to see another pair soon so I can redeem myself!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Baby Quilt

If it seems like I'm jumping from one project to another without actually finishing much, um, you're right.  What can I say?  Old habits die hard and I want to try out everything my new machine has to offer.  Wednesday was our one month anniversary together and we're getting along swimmingly.  I even had my first class about my new machine last night, and that was so much fun!  I pretty much never meet fellow seamstresses, so it was cool to meet some other ladies, too.  I can't wait to have the next one next week.

Here is a baby quilt top I made with a specific recipient in mind.  I pieced it together a couple of weekends ago, and it went really quickly.  It's about time to put on some borders and quilt it if I'm going to have it finished before someone's big arrival!  I'm going to dabble in a little free-motion quilting as well as copious amounts of stitch-in-the-ditch.  I always thought free-motion quilting sounded impossibly difficult, but we did just a smidge of it last night and it's not that bad.  Just takes practice, and I doubt the baby will mind if I use his blanket for that.

I used my embroidery module to do the applique embroidery parts, and I strip-pieced the 9 patch squares.  I used a pattern in a book, which I'll tell you about when I finish this sucker.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Braid-Embellished Tee

I finished the quick top I alluded to yesterday, and I wore it today.  I'm not sure if it's the color or the style, but I received quite a few compliments!  I think it's a keeper.  The inspiration was a top I saw at Target but can't find online.
Oh, and I got my hair cut a couple of weeks ago.  :-)
 I really like this bright, royal blue color.  The fabric is a linen/cotton knit from I purchased at least a year ago.  I just had to wait for inspiration to strike.
 Here you can see I continued the neck treatment around the back.  Simple to do when you're making your own.

Here is a closeup of the neckline treatment.  I just slapped it on a neckline of my usual OOP Butterick 3344 tee shirt, after machine-stitching a quick rolled hem to finish the raw edge.  The neckline consists of two steps:  1 - a strip of fabric about 1.5 inches wide that I pleated and pinned on and then machine stitched in the middle all the way around, and 2 - a braided piece of trim which I hand-stitched on top of the pleated strip.  The hand stitching took about an hour, but I was watching TV and didn't really mind.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Navy Lace Dress Progress

Thank you for the comments on my dilemma.  :-)  For the moment, I've decided on swooshier one (1776) because I have a lovely fabric for it already and can't think of another occasion when I could make this dress.  I'm sure I'll get the short, sleek one made up soon, and maybe I wouldn't like the proportions of it were long... at least that's what I'm telling myself. 

Lois, I really like the striking black and white version of 2608 but wouldn't choose those colors for a dress to wear to a wedding.  I do think I'll keep the color block concept but maybe go with subtler colors.

In the meantime, I've started work on my navy lace dress, which I'll wear to a dinner before the wedding.  I made a muslin out of some inexpensive blue lace.  My starting point is Vogue 7852, which is out of print (and my mom used as the starting point for my wedding gown).  The pattern isn't up on the Vogue website anymore and when I googled for a pic, Erica B's was the first to come up.  :-)

Here is my muslin, which I neglected to photograph on me before cutting apart.
 I only had to tweek the neckline and shoulder seems, which is pretty awesome considering I cobbled together a lace bodice with a princess seamed strapless dress to make this darted sheath shape.

 I cut the darts apart on the seamlines, too, so they'd lay flat and open.
I laid my pieces on top of my nice lace, took a deep breath, and cut, leaving a 5/8" seam allowance to make French seams down the road. 
  For the darts, I used red thread to thread trace them.  This was super easy and pretty fast since the darts were open.  If you squint, maybe you can see the red thread in this photo below.

I have since stitched the darts in my dress and then decided I needed a quick tee shirt project, which I'll finish up tonight.  If I keep needing quick little projects in the middle, I'll have trouble finishing this and my gown in a month!  Not to mention the 15 other things I'd like to make for the trip.  :-)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Marfy Gown Patterns

So, you can imagine my excitement on finding out that a wedding I'm going to in October requires Formal attire!  I plan to use the navy lace in this post for a knee-length dress (which I'm working on muslining) but I'm told full-length is the way to go for this wedding, so back to the drawing board for that.  With Hubs' help, I narrowed down the pattern possibilities to two Marfys, both of which are on their way to my hot little hands.

2608 - I would need to do a floor-length skirt obviously, but I love the top of this one.  If I don't go with this pattern, I'll definitely be making another much-needed (ha, yeah right!) cocktail dress from it.

1776 - Again, I'll need a different skirt (this is actually flowy pants - yikes!) but I'm digging this top.  The only part I'm not sure about is the halter strap.  It's not the most flattering for my broad shoulders, but I could always change that to regular straps in the muslin stage.

So please, please put your pick in the comments.  Sophisticated and sleek or fun and pretty?  Or do you hate them both?  Feel free to pipe up with that as well.  :-)  Thanks!

Either way, I feel a downtown Tampa fabric shopping excursion in my near future.