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Monday, January 31, 2011

McCalls 6152

Since I can't find the buttons to finish up my plaid vest, I had the perfect opportunity for diversion on Friday. I cut out and sewed this little outfit for a neighbor's first birthday. I realized that sewing little girl clothes, while lots of fun, isn't terribly fast. I cut and sewed this all on Friday afternoon/evening (except buttons and buttonholes which were finished an hour before the party) but spent a bit more time on it than I expected.

The pattern is McCalls 6152. It's very cute, but I'm anxious to hear how everything fits. I cut a size large top, pants, and panty/shorts things, which should fit about 25 pounds, but the top looks small to my eyes, and the pants and shorts look enormous. I guess they'll cover a full diaper, no problem. There is one cute review on PR that says the sizing is accurate on this, so I guess I shouldn't worry too much.

I used steam a seam to put her initial on the top with satin ribbon. I didn't want to sew on top of the pretty ribbon, so I ran it through the washing machine to make sure it'd stay put. It did.

Despite carefully measuring my buttonholes, they still look unevenly spaced. Typical. The pattern calls for buttons, but I'd have used snaps if I'd thought to pic some up at JoAnn's. I didn't.

The fabric is cotton knit I won on a Facebook giveaway from Chez Ami (Thanks!). They have really great quality, beefy knits for kids (and some adult-appropriate solids and stripes). Love them! Along the neckline, I used a cute little pompom embellishment I found at JoAnn's.

That's about it. I think this will be my little girl go-to gift pattern. It turned out really cute. I am interested in hearing back about the fit, though.

My Pattern Review is here.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Plaid Vest Update

This is just a quick update on my plaid vest. I have the bulk of it assembled. Now it just needs a very good pressing before closing the side seams and hemming. Here it is, modeled by my lovely counter stool.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Plaid Sew-Along at Sawyer Brook

It's been a pretty nuts week, but I got back to sewing today. Well, I got back to cutting, to be more precise. I'm just starting a plaid sew-along at Sawyer Brook in which I'll make the wool vest I just started and a plaid cotton flannel shirt. I just put up a little post about cutting.

Here are two pics:

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Scarf-collar knit top

After reading on Debbie Cook's blog about her current inspiration (scroll way to the bottom of the post), I finally had inspiration for this lavender knit I've been stumped with for a while. In turn, Debbie's inspiration was from Lilian's "I'll Sew You", a new-to-me blog.

So, with proper credit given, here's my knock off interpretation of the original KnipMode pattern.

The fabric is Iris Jersey, a cotton spandex jersey from Sawyer Brook that is actually still in stock! Usually by the time I get to sewing up my purchases, they are long sold out. The pattern is my out-of-print TNT knit top pattern, Butterick 3344, and the collar is totally improvised.

I'd love to do this again in a nice sweater knit (if I had one), and I'm definitely going to do a lower-cut, sleeveless version soon. If anyone is interested, I'll make up a tutorial next time around on how I did the collar.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

McCalls 5857 Shorts

I made up some wool winter shorts with McCalls 5957. This was my first time making this pattern.

These shorts are part of my SWAP. It's funny. When I make these SWAPs, I usually whip up some tops quickly and then am stuck making all my bottoms last. Well, I only have one and a half bottoms to go this time (one is a super easy pair of leggings), and I've only made one top so far.

Stylistic aside: Two pairs of my boots recently were laid to rest - one pair due to cat urine... grrrrrr, and one just ripped apart at the side after 7 years of wear. The peed-on pair were my dark brown boots, which I would have preferred with the dark tights. I actually changed into some brown flats after the pictures. I don't really like how the light boots with the rest of the outfit. ANYWAY...

This pattern has a mock fly, which worked out fine, especially since I lined the shorts due to the scratchy wool. If I make this pattern again for unlined summer shorts, I'll make a true fly opening to finish the zipper nicely.

My only complaint (and it's more because of me than the pattern) is they are a bit too small and you can see some pull lines at the sides. My measurements have me between a size 12 and 14. However, I almost always make a 10. I prefer the ease and fit when I make a 10. So, I blindly cut a 10 on these, only taking a quick look at the finished hip measurement first. Well, I couldn't even get the waistband shut on the 10, so I recut one a few inches longer. The rest of the shorts fit ok (if a smidge snug), but the waistband was nowhere close. The top edge was supposed to be be eased in to the waistband (but they'd have to be almost "gathered" to that little waistband. Mine really have no easing into the larger waistband. They are totally flat. (make any sense) So, I guess if I'd started with a size 14, I'd be fine, but then the shorts may have been pretty baggy.

Also, these shorts are a bit higher rise than I prefer. You can see here, they come up to my belly button, almost at my true waist. I probably won't wear anything tucked in the waistband with this fit, which is a shame, because the waistband and belt loops came out nice! :-)

Here you can see the front and zipper better. I just loooove this beautiful wool fabric from Sawyer Brook (bought several years ago, so now sold out).

Here's the back. You can see one dart on each side. One final, minor change I'd make on another pair - add a welt pocket or two on the back. I just think back pockets make shorts look a little nicer and more expensive. Maybe that's just me. :-)

Pattern Review is here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Shorts, cooking, and painting

This morning, I diligently took pictures of my newest complete garment, a pair of wool shorts. Unfortunately, I didn't want to drag my pint-sized photographer outside and didn't want to get out the nice camera and change the lens, and they came out very badly, so I'll be staging another photo shoot soon.

Until then, here's a quick look at the problem I had with pockets bagging out.

I simply unstitched the basting at the top of the pocket and pulled the front piece up about 3/8". Worked like a charm.

In other news, here's a lovely Florida tomato tart I made on Sunday night. Isn't it pretty? I got the recipe from a little booklet that was free with a local farm stand purchase of tomatoes. Unfortunately, my husband wasn't a huge fan of the spice mixture and texture, and the kids weren't crazy about it (and they're not generally picky eaters), so if I make it again, I'll definitely tweak it a bit. Kind of sad when your homemade pie crust and fresh, local produce culminate in a pretty, but not delicious ending.

Finally, here's a look at my kitchen walls. You may recall I had painted them bright green and then had second thoughts about the brightness. I ended up sponge-painting over all but the wall behind the cabinets with a lighter green. I'm happy with the results and am anxious to make the curtains. I'm not allowing myself to buy the fabric until I touch up the white trim, though. :-) (and that's my littlest ham, trying to find the perfect piece to complete his train track. He couldn't find it by rummaging, so I guess he had to get in and have a look.)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Christmas jammies

Last year, I bought our family matching Christmas jammies. They were not cheap, and my husband's and mine quickly shrunk so much that they are almost unwearable. The boys' got rediculously faded after the first washing (supposedly because of the fire-retardant fabric, but they have plenty of other pajamas that don't do that). ANYWAY, I decided that was silly. This year, I'd make us our own. You only get to see the boys' though, because mine were quickly drenched in coffee by an excited little boy, and my husband's came out too small, despite simply tracing a pair he has.

I simply appliqued the letters on purchased tee shirts. I used steam-a-seam sheets to attach the appliques, and then machine-stitched around the edge.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Florida trench

It didn't occur to me until recently that this is the perfect Florida jacket! It seams that white can be worn pretty much any time around here, and the light weight works well for the chilly mornings up to 60s in the afternoon that we've been having lately.

See my baby over there? He refuses to stop growing!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 Recap

See my fancy pie chart? That's my sewing in 2010.

Tops 13
Craft Sewing 7
Dresses 5
Skirts 5
Kids 3
PJs 3
Pants 2
Outerwear 1

I had to get my recap in here! Here are my favorites, the ones that I look at and think "oh I love that!" and that I wear a lot.

Hands down my favorite of the year. I wear it a lot.

Good for both summer and layering now.

Three dresses that fit very well and get a lot of wear for church.

My favorite skirt of the year. Great fabric, simple silhouette.

Had to slip my cape in here, even though I've only had one occasion to wear it.

Checking up on last year's goals:
1. Blog consistently - I felt like I blogged more than I did. I actually blogged more in 2009 that last year. So, my goal this year is three times a week, posting something. I've set specific days of the week for myself. :-)

2. More "crafty" sewing. I did a little more of this, but I didn't finish Paul's quilt.

3. Sew and knit from stash (almost) exclusively. Um, not really. I did institute a rule that fabric purchases must be for immediate, specific projects, and I've done quite well sticking to that. At any rate, I've greatly curbed the fabric purchases.

This year's big plans:
make myself a Chanel-style jacket, for real this time!
complete my third Stitcher's Guild SWAP
make my husband a dress shirt

So there you have it. Looking forward to 2011!

Vogue 8663

Here is my Vogue 8663.

Fabric is rayon jersey from Ressy's Fabric Coop. I wanted a 3/4 sleeve knit dress, and this fabric needed a fairly simple design. I like the result. Maybe it's a bit loud with the bold fabric and longer sleeves, but it makes me happy. Adding this sweater definitely tones it down and makes it appropriate for church or dragging kids around town.

The neckline is finished with bias tape, which makes a nice finish, but next time, I'd add a little more ease with the tape. I think it pulls the neckline a bit tight. Not that it is hard to get over my head, but it just doesn't lay perfectly flat without a lot of ironing. Even with the rigid bias tape, I can get the neckline over my head without a zipper.

Pattern review is here.