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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Vogue Pattern Picks

Time to add in my unneeded two cents!  :-)  From what I've read, it looks like some of my picks are quite different from other peoples'.  It seems like usually most people want the same 5.

As I say every time I pick patterns, I need another cocktail dress like I need a hole in my head, but 1286 is singing its siren song.  I guess it's not really a cocktail dress, but it is a bit sexy for daily wear.  I'll lengthen it a few inches to balance all the skin up top.  I think it will be fabulous in a stable doubleknit.  I'm thinking it would be fun with a print for the dress and a solid for the straps, but would that look dated?

Come to Mama, 1287.  Another jersey dress?  Yes, please!  I think the slip is included not so much for see-through dresses but because the loose neckline can flop around a bit.  I'll just wear a cami I already have.  I think I've finally worked through all my print jerseys, so this dress gives me an excuse to look for a new one!

If I'm invited to any weddings this spring or summer (as of now, the social calendar is empty...), 1289 is it!  Are you kidding me?  Gorgeousness!  It's not on the suggested fabrics list, but I think it would be so classy in a lightweight, washed linen, if I could find one with some pretty good drape.

I think view E of 8787 would make a lovely Easter dress.  I could probably cobble together this dress from patterns I already have, but why not use the pre-made version.  So feminine in tropical wool or linen/cotton.  I have some pretty linens in my stash, but probably not 3 yards of them.  Maybe if I make the skirt a bit less swingy...

8799 intrigues me.  I really like the elbow sleeves, square neckline, and seaming of the top.  Also like the sleek white combo they show of the top and pants.  I also like the skirt, and I like parts of the jacket - but not the elastic in the back.  I think the elastic sleeves would annoy me, too.

The boatneck version of 8789 is really cute, but I think they messed up the line drawings at the bottom.  I'm confused looking at those.  You cut this dress on the crossgrain, so a border print (as they show in the drawing) would be stunning.

8790 is cute but I'd change it a bit.  The super low waist and long length makes it look really dragged-down to me. 
So there you have all my thoughts.  Thanks for reading. :-)

Off topic:  I thought we were moving forward on this issue, but what is with all the body bashing of the cover model?  Sheesh.  Lay off, people.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Better things to do than sewing tonight!

I've started a little trumpet skirt for a quick project, and as much as I'd love the finish it up tonight, I think I'm going to head to bed.  I have to get good rest tonight so I can drive the boys and me to Animal Kingdom tomorrow morning.  Just a day trip during low tourist season.  Gotta love living in Florida!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Vogue 1271

Here is my Vogue 1271, with LOTS of photos.
 Voila!  First, let me say it is a smidge snug in the midsection.  Noticing a pattern after my last post?  Maybe it's time to up my cutting size.  That or I could go put on my running shoes.  Anyway, it's no fault of the pattern, just mine for not making a muslin.
 I really like this design.  It's a bit more interesting than my usual with these sleeves, but it's pretty mellow as far as trends go.
 You even get to see the kick pleat in action thanks to the wind.
 I was planning to wear this to church, but it's a bit too short for me to feel comfortable there, so it will probably just be a going-out dress.  I've already informed hubs he needs to take me out for dinner.
 I didn't have a buckle to sew on the belt (it's just decorative anyway), so I pinned my favorite pin from Scotland on there and I think it looks quite nice.
 My dress looks lower cut than the model's.  i dont' think it's because it's too tight.  There's definitely room for ease in the bodice.
 I also carried the belt detail around on the back, which the pattern didn't do.  They just have the midriff on back.
 Close up of the sleeves.  The fabric is Ruby Flannel from Sawyer Brook.  It's a bit too soft to hold the sleeve folds, so I stitched them on the inside of the pleats.  They still open a bit, as you can see.  I guess I could use some hand tacks to keep everything in place.
There you have it!  My newest dress I wll only wear a couple times a year. :-)  Time to get back to sewing sportswear and home dec.

Simplicity 2181

So I finished up Vogue 1271, and it's waiting to be blogged, but first I wanted to throw this up.  :-)  I am in LOVE with this top.  I took about an hour to cut it out last night to get the placement and symmetry just right, and then it took less than two hours to sew!  I had the idea at 8 pm, and before 11, it was all finished and ready to wear today.

This is Simplicity 2181, which I just bought this week.  I'm quite certain this will be the perfect Florida spring top.  It is so loose and airy.  It's pretty low-cut, but not gaping.

The fabric is poly jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics.  Do you remember it, fellow bloggers?  It was everywhere about 2-3 years ago.  It was the must-have jersey.  I missed out on the first batch and snagged some when it was back in stock.  Then it sat and sat and sat because I was scared of the print.  How to place the white?  How to use the border?  I can't explain this top other than to say that inspiration struck last night.

It doesn't even make me look pregnant like some gathered tops can.  It doesn't exactly make me look busty, but we can't ask it to perform miracles.  I made a size 10 and the only thing I changed was taking up the hem, and that was just because it was a bit snug around my bum and made the belly bag out a bit.  If, no when, I make this again, I'll add a little width to the hip area and keep it tunic length. 
This would be so easy to modify for maternity, too, not that I'm thinking about that.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Simplicity Patterns

I was at JoAnn's yesterday for some zippers, and I stumbled upon the 99 cent Simplicity patterns.  I have quite a bit of self control these days, so I came home with only 5.  :-)  Looking at the website now, I realize none of my picks are from the newest batch.  Hunh.  Here they are:

2451 is a pretty gored skirt (view B) that I think may be the best skirt shape for me.  I really like the waist detail, too.

4032 looks like it might work for the red boiled wool I've had for too many years now.  I like the green version, D.
2181 looks like a perfect short sleeved, airy blouse for Florida summers.  I think I'll be making this one up soon.  In fact, I bought some blueish gray jersey at JoAnns for this, view A.

2245 is defnitely different than my usual sillhousette, but the model looks so cute n the dress, and  love the idea of the tunic and maybe even the pants.  I don't know.  I just fell in love with this one.

2365 looks like another cute, cool summer top, this time for a woven.  I'll definitely be making view B with the cute cap sleeves.

I wish they'd come up with a pattern for mid-rise, fitted pants.  I've had good luck with the fit of Simplicity's pants patterns, but there just aren't many I want to try.  1918 caught my eye, but "sits at natural waist" made me put it back.

Monday, January 16, 2012


One of my favorite blogs is a home blog called The Lettered Cottage.  It has nothing to do with sewing or knitting, but I have many and varied interests (just ask my husband who deals with the fallout of half-completed projects all over the house and yard... but I've already gotten a lot better at that). 

Last week, Layla posted her word of the year, Up, and invited others to do the same.  It sounds like a fun idea to me.  After all, I don't have to resolve to exercise or eat right or anything crazy like that, just work on my mindset a bit.  After a little bit of thinking, I've decided mine is BRAVE. 

Here's the thing.  Instead of the "nothing ventured, nothing gained" mantra, mine is more "nothing ventured, nothing lost".  Ok, not totally, but it does pop up from time to time.   I also hate, HATE making phone calls.  I have no idea why, but I've always been that way, with the exception of immediate family.  I put things off like calling repairmen, making appointments, and coordinating things wtih friends.  My poor friends are so neglected because I just hate picking up the phone.  I've decided it's not just procrastination, it's some kind of fear of the phone and saying something wrong. 

So I will be more BRAVE this year.  I've alraedy risked total failure by opening my little Etsy shop and starting a new gardening blog.  I'm off on a brave foot.  I also vow to take a deep breath and pick up the phone and get stuff done.  I'm going to be brave this year.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

McCall's 6084

Here is my latest creation.  I like a lot of things about it, but my overall feeling when looking at these photos is meh.

The pattern is McCall's 6084.  I used 2 yards of some poly-rayon something sweater knit from JoAnn's.  I actually like the fabric a lot.  I just wish it wasn't so static-y when sewing it.  I don't notice static being a problem now that it's finished. 

I had to shorten the cardi due to fabric shortage, and I think that was my big mistake. I think you need the extra length with this sillhouette. Even with this length, though, I think I'd be happier with the photos if I'd paired it with a longer top and not-white jeans. Bleh. This is just a proportions nightmare!
 I'll definitely make this again in the correct length and wear it with dark jeans. :-)

The thing I'm ecstatic about is how the narrow hemming turned out!  I used my new walking foot (thanks, Mom and Dad!) and it worked beautifully.  I've not used a walking foot on knits in the past, but I think it'll be my go-to foot now.

In other news, I cut a few inches off my hair and gave myself bangs.  :-)  I think it's a fun change.  I feel more modern.

My next project is Vogue 1271 by Kay Ungar.  I'm not crazy about the satin used in the envelope photo, but I'm loving it in my Ruby Flannel from Sawyer Brook.  Ths fabric is actually quite lightweight and doesn't make me think of flannel at all, but the weave is brushed and very soft.
I'm moving right along with it and hope to finish it this weekend.  Hubs has to work this weekend, though, so we'll see.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Circled Fleur

So I have joined the legions on Etsy with Circled Fleur

It is entirely possible that my shop will be an unloved, unshopped page in cyberspace, but I'm giving it a try.  :-)  My big New Year's resolution is to be braver, and here's a step.

My products so far are mostly pillow covers and zippered pouches, with a few mug cozies thrown in for diversity.  My plan is to just be creative, have fun and see what gets the most views and sales.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Gardening blog

One of my new "things" this year is starting a separate gardening blog.  If you have any interest in gardening in Florida, please check it out.  :-)  I am the Florida Garden Grasshopper.

Color block tee

Thanks for the sweet comments on my jacket.  I'm waiting for the temperatures to dip again so I can wear it!  :-)

I whipped up this tee shirt during a few stolen hours yesterday afternoon and this morning.  I was inspired by this from J Crew, which is of course now on sale.  Whatever. 

Th two fabrics are from Sawyer Brookdill jersey on top and cypress jersey on the bottom.  They turned out to be a great match, both in color and hand of the fabric.  The pattern starting point was my usual OOP Butterick 3344.

 I split the front and back pieces straight across right under the arms so the line runs right over the bust.

 This tee is sooooo soft and comfy, I have a feeling it will be a weekend staple.
 Here is a lovely underarm shot where you can see how the change of fabric runs.
 Not long after I took these photos today, I cut my hair (and touched up my roots, ahem).  this is the first time I've had bangs in over a decade!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

McCalls 5759

Here is my finished McCalls 5759.  The fabric is a tweedy, chunky jacket novelty from Sawyer Brook.  It's really lovely and exactly what I was hoping for.

 It doesn't work so great unbuttoned, but it's so warm it's definitely outerwear, so that's not a problem.
 The buttonholes are created between the front piece and the band that runs around the edge.  Very clever and easy for this bulky, easily-unraveled fabric.
 I showed you this before. I added single welt pockets under the decorative pocket flaps included.  They aren't big enough for my hands but will hold keys or cash or small toy cars.

For the lining, I cobbled together some pieces leftover in my stash.  Gotta save up for the next jacket fabric, know what I mean?  It worked out fine.  I had enough in the right blue family, even if the sleeves and body are different fabrics.
 The hem forms a nice pleat for wearing ease, and the corner doesn't look too bad, I don't think.  :-)  Lots of hand-sewing here.
This took so much longer to finish than I thought it would.  Like many of my big projects, I sped through the first 70% and then drug my feet for the last 30%.  Oh well.  It's ready just in time for Florida's first real cold snap!