Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Dressing Gown: Butterick 6176



A couple of months ago, my daughter and I did some actual retail shopping. I noticed two ladies who appeared to be wearing a beach cover up over their street clothes. My daughter told me it was 'a thing'. Well, I think it looks a bit strange to wear a beech cover up over your street clothes, but instantly, I realized I had just bought a pattern for that same garment! It seems like one of those fast fashion trends that will quickly be on its way out and will soon be showing up at the thrift stores.



I used the pattern (Butterick 6176) to make a dressing gown for my daughter out of my strange cocker spaniel/ Stanley cup fabric. Its a crepey, medium weight rayon. Only 35 inches wide, only fumes were left when I finished.



I added carriers, a belt, interior ties and side vents. I finished the neck and front edge with lime green bias tape for a little pop of color again the tan fabric. I sewed the sleeves in flat versus the instructions which have you sew the lower portion of the side seam, then set the sleeve in. I think that's a bit strange for a kimono sleeve. I made the length halfway between view C an D.



My daughter is happy with it, it's a nice weight for summer and its already makeup colored so you don't have to worry about stains. I'm happy because I have found a purpose for this crazy fabric.
 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

WTF

What the fabric!

This is the fabric I'm working with right now. It came from a yard sale. It's a hideous color and has a very strange print. It has....

Allstate Hands 



Teapots


Cocker Spaniels


and

The Stanley Cup!!



If your eyes aren't broken yet, take a look at this fabric I saw at Joann's this week:



Really????

That's what you're calling your company?

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Welcome back Y2K: Vogue 8907



I bought this pattern (Vogue 8907) intending to make view B but never got around to it. Recently though, when looking through my pattern hoard, I noticed view C and I was, like, OMG!!! It's just like one of my favorite tops I ever made: Style 2891

Image result for style patterns 2891
I had made it with fabric I bought on my honeymoon in Aruba in 2000. I loved that top. It was a sad day when it no longer fit and we had to part. Thankfully, I still have my husband and he still wears the shirt I made him from the same fabric.

Though this was intended to be just a wearable muslin, I really love this top. I love orange! The fabric is a slubby polyester linen look-a-like inherited from Gwen.


It was a bit wrinkled the day we took these photos (on just as beautiful as Aruba Belle Isle) but then the wind blew them right out!

I bought the Lrg-Xlg-Xxl pattern range which is too big for me. I made it smaller by taking an inch out along the front and back centers but then added an inch to the front with an FBA. I also raised the armholes up an inch.  I had pre-washed the fabric and was surprised to see it shrank a bit more and fit better after it was washed.


Hopefully there will be enough summer left for another one!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Outsmarting a bad pattern, Vogue 8657



I bought this pattern a while ago. Why? I don't know. The nice drape must distracted my attention away from that tie belt. The only thing I would ever wear with a tie like that is my bathrobe. And I would only wear that in public if my house was burning down.



Still, something intrigued me about this pattern. Many times I pulled it out to look at it only to set it aside again. When I read the reviews on PR, I had even more misgivings about it. Rarely have I seen a pattern with worse reviews: poorly drafted sleeves, misplaced snaps, fronts falling open and, worst of all, it's entirely self lined and required three yards for the sleeveless version!

I decided to make a muslin with an old sheet. But first, the FBA needed to be done. Not one but two, since its asymmetrical. It was getting late and I decided to put it aside and leave those FBAs for the morning. Then I had a brainstorm. You know, one of those ideas you have to write down in case you forget it by morning! Morning came and the idea was still rushing to get out: I had decided to make two lefts, one FBA and no tie. I did a narrow hem on on the front, neck and lower edges and finished the armholes with bias. Then I sewed the center fronts wrong sides together and just let the front fall where it may.





I really like how it turned out. Its cool and breezy and perfect for this hot weather. Not bad for a dog pattern and an old sheet!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Nothing fancy

Just some everyday skirts. This is my TNT knit skirt pattern  (Butterick 5539) which I have made what seams like a hundred times before. Its been hot as blazes around here and these are perfect easy summer sewing. The front and back pattern pieces are the same because I am too. I sew the side seams, serge the elastic to the top edge, flip it to the inside and zigzag though it, then hem. I could do it in my sleep.

I made the necklace and earrings too.
They're quartz, black Czech glass and Thai silver.

The white parts of the fabric are puffy.

This one is a really nice heavy knit. They're both from Haberman's

This white fabric came from the free table.


It's puffy too.

Puffy is fun as long as it's not under your eyes!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Green Goodness

 It's my favorite Bolthouse Farms juice. And it goes perfectly with my new top. 
 

Though I love knit tops and make a lot of them, I'm still always looking for the perfect simple woven top. I pulled this pattern from my horde because it has raglan sleeves like the Textile Studio Santa Monica Tee I've been so much enamored with lately. Its Simplicity 4368. I believe it is out of print.

4368 SIMPLICITY MISSES SKIRT/PANTS/TOP/MORE SZ 12-20

I like this top all right. I like the color a lot. I'm not that crazy about the three little pleats though. The fabric is a bit stiff for my taste. I did an FBA on the pattern and moved the darts down but not enough. It's not perfect, but I will wear it, just not once a week. I would like to make it again in a drapier woven. 




I made this skirt to go with it. The fabric was four home dec samples I recently scored from the free table. Its really beautiful fabric, a cotton linen blend. I even took the time to underline it. I consulted Helen Armstrong's book for making a wrap skirt from a straight skirt pattern. I added 3 inches beyond the center front. This is not just enough overlap! Maybe I misunderstood. It would be enough overlap if the front underneath was a full front, but I cut both fronts the same. Its too bad because there was enough fabric to cut it that way. This skirt looks fantastic as long as I don't sit down. Unfortunately I will not be wearing this. Unless I can fix it somehow. I'm thinking a brass zipper with a green tape might work? Hmm??

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Pattern vs. Print

Look! A Gnome in the Garden!

When I wore this top for the first time the other day a young lady complimented it. "I like your top. I like the pattern." I replied "Thanks. Its a nice pattern but this was the wrong fabric for it." Typical exchange between sewers, right? But this cashier was not a sewer. In an instant, I could see the quizzical look on her face. What she meant was she liked the print not the pattern. I caught myself before I started giving her the pattern number.

V8976, Misses' Tunic

The fabric was so terrible to work with that by the time I finished this top I was thoroughly sick of it. But when it was finally warm enough to wear, I had forgiven it. I really kind of like it. I love how the tails flap in the breeze.



This is the second time I've tried this pattern. The first time was the version with sleeves. It was a mess. It was way too big, especially the neck opening. And really long. And I had used a thin knit that wasn't warm enough on its own and it looked ridiculous with a sweater over it. I trashed the top but kept the pattern. It really makes a lot more sense as a sleeveless tunic.

Knowing it was too big, plus I've lost weight and was using this rather spongy knit, I set about doing some serous taking in. First, I moved the center front 1 1/2 inches past the fold of the fabric. I took another inch off the sides. I shorted the front and back 3 inches and took another 4 inches off the hem. I also raised the armhole an inch but my bra still shows under the arms. I've seen a lot more bra than this on a hot day!



I pulled. I tugged. I folded. I had to call in an extra set of hands. This fabric could not be straightened. Luckily, I had a lot of it. Sewing it was pretty straightforward although the fabric was hard to handle. I sewed the shoulder seams then foolishly finished the neckline before checking the armholes. And I ended up with one inch seams on the side. I swear, the more I worked on it the bigger it got. It's got a mile, mile and a half of hemming. This is the first fabric my cover stitch machine has not gotten along with. All I wanted was to just get it over with.

And try again.