Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Commas and Snales: Butterick 5826

Optimistically deciding it was time to do some spring sewing, I unearthed this pattern from my hoard. It's similar to a RTW top I have (thrifted, of course!) At least around here, you can't always try things on at the thrift store, but I took a chance with the top anyway. I was pleasantly surprised how much I liked the style on. But I felt guilty wearing it because I hadn't made it. I make it a point to wear mostly self made clothing and if I realize I don't have at least one thing on that I made myself, I'll change clothes. If that makes me a weirdo, well then, I am one unique weirdo.

I purchased the pattern (Butterick 5826) last fall but never got around to making it. I've got about 200 others patterns I haven't gotten to yet either!  PR has a couple of reviews of both views.

I like it. A lot actually. It and its RTW cousin I mentioned above are the only pullover woven tops I own. Perhaps I need to explore this genre further. Its a shirt but not a shirt and it feels and looks feminine. The fabric is an inherited piece of 35" wide mystery fabric. Its very, very thin which is pretty ideal for a top like this with a fair amount of ease.

I have to say I wasn't too keen on the gathers in the back but after looking at the pictures I quite like them. I also thought I didn't like that the sleeves don't have cuffs on them and now I don't think I mind that either.

I cut out a size 12 and added a bust dart (adding an additional 2 inches)

The top and the sleeves were shortened  2 1/2 inches. I'd recommend cutting the sleeve cap down a bit. I got them all in there but they are not perfectly smooth. It seems like to much sleeve for the amount of scye.

I did have a head scratching episode over the instructions for finishing the front neck binding and facing.

I did it like this:

Here's hoping it's warm enough to wear soon!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Call me Ishmael

I made these whales for my step daughter's baby shower next month. Making them was a lot more fun than reading Moby Dick. Also, it did not take as long.
There were a few drawings and re-drawings before I got the pattern quite right. The sewing, trimming and turning was a bit fiddly, but I think they turned out super cute and so does the mom-to-be. They're made from men's dress shirts with the collar buttons for eyes. They'll be put on little stands for the shower (my husband is making those).

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Are you starting to see a pattern?

I used my shiny new brain* to make a copy of yet another RTW cardigan from the thrift store.

I picked up the fabric at last year's American Sewing Expo in Novi, MI. I saw a friend there buying the same fabric. (Looking at you, Cynthia. Have you used yours yet?)  It feels nice and comfy and soft, but its one of those knits that sticks to itself. You know what I mean. The background looks black buts its actually really dark brown. The cardigan has the front extending into the collar.

I made the top underneath it a couple of months earlier but didn't show it yet because I knew I was going to make something with this print fabric to go with it. It's yet another version of Kwiksew 3658-one of my Hall of Fame patterns.

*I don't want this blog to stray too much off the topic. I've been recuperating. That's why things have been a bit slow in the sewing room. I am very happy to be back at it.
I want to thank all of you I know in real life and who also follow my blog for all your prayers, kind thoughts and encouragement. You don't know how happy I will be to see you all!

Monday, January 26, 2015

A different copy

This is a copy of another thrift store cardigan. It's a close copy but not quite perfect yet. I do plan on making this one again with some good fabric from my hoard.

This is the original. It had a tie on it which I left off. The sleeves were a bit big so I made them a bit tighter. Look close and you can also see how pilly the fabric is.

I know its a bit hard to see, but it has princess seams in front and princess darts in back. The front drape is a bit off on the pattern-- it needs a wedge taken out to shorten the front/neck edge. Other than that its a pretty good copy.

Since this is just a muslin, I made it out of some frighteningly combustible plastic knit with a horizontal ridges in it. It is black though so it does go with almost everything I own:

including, yes, yet another Santa Monica tee.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A copy of me!

This is my daughter, Jane, in the copy she made of the copy of the cardigan I copied last week. I think she did a great job and I'm happy that she is so happy with the results. I like hers even more than mine. I will be borrowing it!

Can you believe she decreased her stash 25% just by sewing up just one piece of fabric!

The hardest parts for her was squeezing it out of the fabric available (we eliminated the waist seam) and threading the serger and cover stitch (I helped a bit).  


I am very proud of her (in all ways, not just sewing). Love you, Man!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Better than the original

I love drapey cardigans. I have quite a few from the thrift store and even more that I made myself. Jalie 2919 is in my Hall of Fame. I had this bright pink one from thrift store I like a lot, so I decided to copy it. I like copying things. If you haven't done it before, I want you to know its easier than you might think. Especially with a knit: as we already know know forgiving knits are!

I start by laying Carol's exam table paper over the original and tracing the pieces with chalk and marking the grain lines. Then you just have to check and make sure all the adjacent seams that should be the same length are the same length. At this point I will also put the original on the dress form and double check that its' measurements agree with the flat pattern. Then you add your seam allowances. The only tricky part on this one is the shawl collar, but I've sewn enough of them to know what the pattern should look like and how its fits together.

This is the back of the original. Just look at how crooked it is!!

My copy is straight!

When I started this, I only intended the fabric to be a muslin. It had been in my stash a really long time (but not since '74 when it looks like it was made!) Its cotton interlock from the free table. I didn't think it would be stretchy enough but it turned out just fine.

I also made an orange long sleeve t-shirt to go with it from the Textile Studio Santa Monica Tee (a Hall of Fame pattern). I wore it the other day with my groovy orange coat, white cords and brown boots & a chick at Whole Foods complimented me!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Mr. Pike

This is the big project I've been working on for the past few months, Mr. Pike. The challenge (from the Designer III Group) was to use a Marimekko fabric or design as an inspiration for a sewing project.  I  love Marimekko, mid-century and Scandinavian design. Some of you may even recall that I made a skirt last summer with some Marimekko fabric.

I knew in an instant which fabric I wanted to use as inspiration: Hauki. My husband and I used to go pike fishing when we first met and one of the first things he ever gave me was a wire leader. (It prevents the pike's sharp teeth from biting through the line.) We were never very successful. Over the years we have come to realize he's not that good a fisherman and I was mostly pretending to like fishing just to be with him!

I sketched out Mr. Pike at the coffee shop before I even got home that day. My Mr. Pike has a goofy smile instead of sharp teeth. Back home and made a larger scale drawing and printed it out. When I was ready to buy the fabric, I went to Joann's thinking they were open until 7 but they were only open 'til 6, so I had to choose the fabric in only 15 minutes!

He sparkles at night!

A whole lot of wonder under came into play at this point. I did a satin stitch around the edges of Mr. Pike and the seaweed. Then the whole thing got moved up to the bead room. All those layers made beading a bit difficult. My little fingers were sore! I put bugle beads on the seaweed and sequins on Mr. Pike. I put a button on his eye which enables him to see you from all angles.

Finally, I bound the edges. As you can see, I'm no quilter! I think all the ripples add to the underwater theme!

Mr. Pike hangs above our bed and he makes both of us happy every time we see him!