Tuesday, October 23, 2012

When the Universe Aligns - The Holiday Wardrobe part 1

I am on a shirt making binge, looking for that magical shirt pattern, when I stumble into a thrift store to find a full range of fine cotton shirts with their tags still on, and even a linen tunic and a silk bias skirt.  Is the universe telling me to stop trying and just buy them?  Or do they want me to use them as patterns?

Here is the first shirt, Ralph Lauren Blue Label, $4.00, how could this not come home with me?
TL plaid shirt

I especially like the sleeves, fitted along the armhole and full at the long cuff, and the mother of pearl buttons.

RL plaid shirt cuff

So what to wear with it if it's warm?

Black poplin skirt Butterick 5756.

RL plaid combo 1

What to wear with it if it's cold?

Vintage Navy Suede skirt
RL combo 2

And it can be worn with jeans or navy pants, a winner!!! One outfit option identified for cold and warm weather, 14 more to go...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Holiday Sewing....from a different persepective

I'm not talking about quilts or bags, or fleece, I'm talking about my wardrobe.

Right about now I'm thinking about the holidays and how the next 10 weeks will be a blur.  I'm also thinking about those holiday photographs and how they become part of history.  I am determined to get my holiday wardrobe together with plenty of time for contingency plans, so here are my priorities for the 2012 Holiday wardrobe plan.

1) Articles of clothing that look good photographed (with me in them)

The flashbulb phenomena
- I still remember that shot of my niece back to back taken in the kitchen.  I was wearing a black Patagonia zip top - it was like a cool max fabric light but opaque, underneath was a nude colored bra but it was a shiny fabric, like a power tricot.  Once the flash went off, all I could hear from behind the camera was, uhmmm we need to take that one over, and no matter how many times they took it, that shiny bra was all you saw.  So make sure you ask gleefully to see the camera so you can view the pic and delete it before it makes it into any family album.

The shiny fabric phenomena
It will add weight, no matter what you do, but if that doesn't bother you then go for it.

The placement in the group phenomena
My family have mastered getting behind me, or having me be the one closest to the flash.  Then I look all lit up and huge a little like this.

Alice in wonderland

Oh no but not this year, I will have the quarter turn mastered, and will shuffle behind everyone.

2) Articles of clothing that look good with jewelry and shoes that I never wear any other time of the year.

I have a few pieces of jewelry that are never worn, mainly because the stuff I wear every day is small and streamlined and practical.  Since I won't be cooking, working out, cleaning etc, I should like to use them.  I've made this an after thought in the past, then decide not to wear it because it just doesn't look right with what I'm wearing.

3) Pieces that can be layered and can tackle changing temperatures
I remember one year asking my SIL what the temperatures would be and she said "Oh it's warm, bring light things", the following day it dropped down into the 40's.  I had to run out and buy a few things, an unnecessary expense.  Lesson learned, check the weather report and ave temps.

4) Make sure my foundation garments are in order.
I will not look lumpy this year, or have any wardrobe malfunctions.

I have some time to get things in order if I start now.  Which reminds me I need to have my hair done soon.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Vogue 8833 finished & shoulder placement


Just when I was ready to blame Vogue..... I realized that this pattern is a little different than most.  The back bodice actually extends onto the front, so the shoulder line is aprox, 1 1/2" from the sewn seam.  My marks had worn off on the body, so I defaulted to the normal placement (top cap of sleeve at the shoulder seam).

  The edge of the ruler would be the sewn seam, and the red dash is the shoulder placement on the wearer.

That's when I ended up with this..... horror!!


When it should really look like this....(I know black and shiny, really difficult to see that this is infinitely better).


The true test of gaping is wearing it and lifting your arms, and seeing if it rides up and opens down the center front.
I wore it for a little while and even after the changes I made there is still slight gaping on me, also, I wear my sleeves rolled up, and it was tight around the arm.  The sleeve placket would have to be deepened.  It's really a shame because the shape of the princess line is nice, and there isn't a lot of excess ease in the sleeve cap. I think that breaking the code on the non gaping wrap top (excluding knits), is that the armhole would need to be higher, or it would have to be a flutter sleeve.  I think with either I would not have gaping.  There were a lot of good points, but at least for me, there will need to be more work done, in the meantime, I have a new pajama top.

Vogue 8833 - Progress on the muslin


Can you say shiny? 
This version was made from a Black Japanese herringbone cotton, it has a sheen on the right side.

After tissue fitting, it was apparent that the front wrap was going to gap.  This lead to adding a tuck where the tie is attached to the front panel (on both right and left sides).

Before and after pattern adjustments front bodice

Close up of tuck adjustment


 So far the adjustments are
+ adding length to the front pieces (about 2 1/2" which was done not on the pattern but at the time of cutting)
+ adding length to the shoulder front and back (cut the next size up at the shoulder)
+ adding fabric for the tuck at the front tie
- shortening the ties 12" (I may add the length back in or remove it altogether and replace it with a button closure)

Since dropping the waist, the proportions are a little off, so the hemline is exactly where I would like it to be. For the final version I'll add 7/8" to the hem for the turn up.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Vogue 8833 - tissue fitting

Vogue 8833 

 This is a funny pattern, although it is fitted for cup sizes, the front hem rides up so that will need to be 
corrected.   What's not apparent from the photo is that it has front and back princess seams as well as darts, so you can achieve a very close fit.
8833 line drawing

Back waist placement - ok


 Front waist placement, my waist is about 1 1/2" below the pattern's

Also the crossover on the front is very high, the tie placement is also very high, so onto tweaking.  If you are 
going to make this adjustment, take into consideration the valley between the breasts, I have several bras that fill that area out, and others that do not.  So if you wear a cami, or something that bridges the area between the bust points, the cross over will need to be a longer length, if the cross over falls between than it will be shorter (clear as mud right?) 

 The shoulder seam comes past the shoulder to the front bodice, and I will need to add a bit to that, as I'm coming up short on the front for that 5/8" seam.
  IMG_6317 IMG_6318 I wonder sometimes if they just don't take these things into consideration in the larger sizes, or if grading is the issue. I'll keep an eye out for people making this top in the smaller sizes.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Modern Quilt anyone?

I'm still sewing but only in straight lines :) Here's where I am with the first quilt top I've ever pieced. (except for the other one I found in my stash, which I will get around to, once I'm over my fear of doing the actual quilting).  The tips look great in the photo but triangles are not for the fainthearted. I thought a large quilt block would be good for a beginner, but thinking now a jelly roll might have been a better choice.  Live and learn!


I want to add more to it, and have all sorts of ideas running around in my head, like origami swans, or mini versions of the motif in the white areas, or I can just add visual interest in the quilting pattern.
This is my practice quilt after all, so may just keep it simple, there are just so many possibilities.

Next up after this, in my continuing search for nice shirt patterns.

Vogue 8833

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Serenity Prayer

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

It's Sunday and this prayer popped into my head.  
My mother used to recite it whenever she hit a bump in the road. 
Since she hung it up in my father's study, I wonder now if it was he that she needed help with (wink), or any of her three children.

This post is not about sewing, it's about living with grace.
Whatever your denomination, today I wish you all peace.

It's a beautiful world, get out in it.

Tomorrow the striped project...

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Facings are our friends......

I know, no one likes them, they flop around inside a garment and sometimes they're bothersome and bulky.


So we are trying an experimental treatment, it was how this dress is finished around the neckline, sleeve hem and skirt hem, I thought it was pretty interesting, we'll have to see if it holds up in the wash.  The dress below was finished with an edge stitch as well as a 1/4" topstitch, but I am leaving the edge stitch off.

Vogue 1317  Houndstooth Front

Cut out your facing and add your fusible interfacing to it, stitch it onto the garment, sew it just as you normally would. Trim the seam allowance and turn the facing into the garment.  Nothing different than the usual treatment so far.  Baste the facing about 1/2" from the edge and topstitch 1/4" from the edge.  Make sure to roll the facing slightly to the inside when you are basting.

Facing stitched close up

facing stitched

Trim very close to the stitching line.

trimmed facing

You end up with a narrow edge to the armhole and neckline, but you still have the stability from the fusible interfacing.

Finished t-shirt

Make yourself a blueberry crisp for doing such a great job.  This is the main reason I will never have a food blog.... I always end up eating the portion meant for the pic.

Blueberry crisp

Also the blueberry crisp will take your mind off of the fact that you still have more of that striped fabric to deal with.....
Scrap stripe

Shorts anyone?

Friday, October 5, 2012

McCalls 5671 Getting Scrappy

I'm working on the shirt next (I swear I am).  Cleaning up the work area, I was stopped by the scraps from the navy striped pants and cream colored top I made a few projects back.  They are too big to put in a scrap pile and too small for yardage.

I have left over fabric from this project and instead of stuffing it back into bins it's going to be made up in another top to match those striped pants.


Can't forget the pants
pant doodle

Leaning towards these variations
variations exp

And the stripes don't look bad at all..

Here we are, with the work in process.... not enough of the white for those lofty ideas above.  I like this version, the dart is hiding in plain site without the added bulk.  Maybe I can finish it tonight.

WIP front striped t

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Why can't I find the one I want? Basic Shirt patterns

From what I can tell the shirts in silk from yesterday's post didn't have darts, the sleeves were not drop sleeves.

Hmmm stash patterns reveal...
Princess lines and gathering

princess lines..IMG_6175

Hey this might work...but there is something funky going on with that collar.... oh yeah and it's the wrong size, this was for my niece.

Darts and wider collar...

Princess lines, no collar, and sleeves are wrong...

Neckline wrong, gathers and princess line
Vogue 8747

Darts but the collar is smaller, has the right sleeves... but I don't own it.  

Vogue 8772

Looks like I need to draft my own, but since Vogue 8747 is on the cutting table now, I'll work on that until I'm ready.
Vogue 8747

I'm wondering about those front gathers now....
Vogue 8747 pattern photo

They are going to have to be reduced somewhat.... I find them distracting.
vogue 8747 photo close up

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Silk Print Shirt

Do you have some silk prints languishing in the stash?  Here is some inspiration from Net-a-Porter,  a little silk blouse in a classic style may just be the pop of color you need for fall.

Silk Crepe de Chine
Printed silk shirt fall 2012

Silk Crepe de Chine
Printed silk shirt fall 2012a

Silk Chiffon
Printed silk shirt fall 2012b