Monday, March 31, 2014

A new little person

This week I made some crib sheets for the new little person who will be joining our family soon. We don't know yet if its a boy or girl so the fabric had to be gender neutral.

Just like when I made crib sheets for my own daughter, I used the patterns from this book:

I admit I had a 'misty moment' looking again through this book admiring the beautiful gentle drawings & thinking back to when I was a young mother.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Quite possibly the easiest dress ever.

I needed dress to wear to a baby shower last weekend and after much gut-grinding as to what pattern to use I settled on this one: Simplicity 3566.  I have made the blouse version of this quite a few times but this is the first time for the dress. With only 3 pattern pieces, it can easily be cut out and sewn in one evening.

I used to have a Vogue pattern that was very similar to this except it was cut entirely on the bias. Only the upper bodice of this pattern is bias. I changed the bodice pattern piece to the way the Vogue one was designed. Even less fabric used:

Simplicity on the left, Vogue on the right
I found putting a zipper in this top or dress totally unnecessary. Even quicker!

The only thing: It was only 23 degrees out-- sleeves would have been nice too!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Its good to try new things.

I made this (incredibly hard to photograph!) skirt for my Designer III Group challenge. The challenge was to create our own textile. I can't say I exactly created a new textile, but I did transform it. More importantly though, I did do some things I have never done before. 
I used my TNT skirt pattern and TNT fabric. I used regular old crochet cotton in the bobbin and stitched the foliage from the inside, then free motioned a stretch lace applique for the irises, and added a few black seed beads. 

Although I've had that darn darning foot for years this is the first time I've actually used it. 

Another black skirt in my arsenal of black skirts!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Electric Spaghetti

This is the London Jacket (869) from Indygo Junction. It's a fairly plain boxy style jacket & somewhat of a departure from my usual silhouette. I felt it needed a little added excitement. My muse became a mural that had been on a building here in Detroit back in the 80s when I was in art school. I couldn't recall the artist's name, he had been the head of the painting department at CCS when I went there, but I did remember that we called it 'Electric Spaghetti'.  I tried to find an image of it online but had no luck. But I had a hunch it might be in a book I've had forever, Art in Detroit Public Places, (I have an older edition) and it was!

The artist's name was Aris Koutroulis and he called it 'Poetic Electricity', although the book said people called it 'Psychedelic Spaghetti.' Here's Aris with a small version of it. I found some information about Aris, but no images of the mural itself.

photo by Gary Cooperman
Like I said, the pattern is the London Jacket from Indygo Junction. I seem to always have pretty good luck with all their Mary Ann Donze design patterns. I made a size medium for the jacket adding a 1.25"  FBA (2.5" total) rotating part of the dart take-up under the bust to keep the jacket from sticking out too much in front. I did a 3/8 inch slope shoulder adjustment as well-- that's all!

The fabric is a soft denim I inherited from Gwen. I didn't pre-wash it because it had a couple of big pieces cut from it and I figured Gwen, being the conscientious sewer that she was, had washed it. As I worked with it though, it made my hands and nails like an auto mechanic's. I gave it a quick bath in some synthrapol ( not to be confused with Simferopol,  the much in the news lately capitol of Crimea) and hopefully that should keep the dye from running any further. I then did the stitching in five colors of heavy Coats and Clark thread.

In the interest of stash-busting, I think I'll check my hoard for another candidate for this pattern before I put it away.

Monday, February 3, 2014

OK, I love this pattern!

This is a new Marcy Tilton Vogue pattern # 8982. I just love it. Its a shirt but not an ordinary shirt.  Different, but not crazy. And it's not just a shirt, it's a jacket, a vest and a short sleeve shirt. Its totally understandable why this is one of Vogue's current best sellers. 

I made this plum colored one with a stiff shirting fabric from almost the very bottom of my hoard. I generally dislike wearing stiff fabric but I love this shirt! 

This one is fleece. You can see I made the sleeves longer. I was going for warmth with this one! Its actually the first time I ever made a garment from fleece. This cold and snow is getting to me.

The only change I made to the pattern was an FBA. There is a lot of ease in this design though its doesn't look like it on the envelope. I made a size 12 with 2 inches added via an FBA for my 42 inch bust. I would recommend you sew a smaller size than you'd usually. Its also pretty short in the front (my FBA added an inch) and I think that would be a problem for some (I'm not quite 5"'). Its super easy to sew. 

I thought I had a complaint, but it turns out I was wrong: It was a bit of a challenge to get the hem nice in the woven fabric, but that's because I didn't cut the hem facing. 

I like this pattern so much, I'm going to have to force myself not to make 6 more right away!

Line Art

Sewing it right didn't make it right!

When I tried this pattern once before I cut one of the pieces wrong and it couldn't be salvaged but I thought the pattern had enough merit to give it another try. Well, I guess I was wrong. I really don't like it. Although I cut it bigger this time, it seems even tighter than the first one. Must be this fabric. And this fabric fells creepy to me. I may have 5 pounds of Christmas cookies still lurking under there but, even so, it is obscenely tight.  I think it makes my boobs look lopsided, the hip opposite the side with the drape sticks out like a rudder and I feel very uncomfortable in it. Don't try to tell me its not that bad because it is. I must have taken 50 pictures and these are the only ones that were not absolutely mortifying!  Oh well. Looks like my doppelganger is getting another new top!

Monday, January 20, 2014

In my spare, spare time

When I'm not sewing, I crochet a bit. This is the Boteh scarf made up in a fine bamboo wool blend yarn I've had in my second stash* for a while. I much prefer to crochet from charts, and I was very happy to find an image of the chart for this scarf on the Internet. It was pretty easy to do once you got in the groove of the pattern.

* I also have a third and fourth stash (beads and embroidery). I've got a lot of work to do!