Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Shirt Dress

Most of the time while I was working on this dress, I was certain it was going to end up too small. There's lot of sewing on this pattern & I kept thinking to myself  maybe I should just chuck it instead of waisting any more time on it. But in the end, though it could be a hair bigger, it does fit. I just won't be participating in any competitive eating contests wearing it!!

McCalls 6696 View C

Even with eleven pattern pieces, a fair amount of hand sewing, pockets, collar & collar stand and 10 buttons and buttonholes its not a difficult pattern, just time consuming. The pattern comes with different cup size pattern pieces and I used the D cup pattern. If I were to make this again, I'd still do a small FBA on it. The pattern is supposed to be gathered into the center back at the yoke and waist, but I eliminated the gathers and just used a dart at the back waist. I'm not quite 5 feet tall and only shorted it an inch. To circumvent armhole gaping, I  folded out a half inch wedge from the armhole toward the bust and smushed it flat with the iron. I also made the shoulders a bit narrower.  

If you like a shirt dress, I think this is a pretty good one.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Four fabric orphans find a home

I just love this pattern. Its the Textile Studio Monaco Shell. I made one last fall just before it got cold out and knew right away then that I would return to it in the spring. With only 2 pattern pieces, it takes hardly any time and very little fabric. Happily, four remnants from my stash were able to find a new home in my closet:

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Back in the saddle

Its been a busy month and it seems I've done way more daydreaming about sewing than actual sewing.
I did manage this:

The potato chip vest: 

The Designer III group I belong to had a challenge to make this vest (See & Sew 5772 or its identical twin Butterick 5680) and then add some sort of embellishment to it. I chose to make the longer version because I'll admit, I wasn't crazy about the cucoon shape of the pattern, and this vest may end up as dust rags someday, but I had so much fun doing the surface design on it that I've made myself a solemn promise to do more of this kind of thing.

This painting on the fabric was created by placing the fabric atop randomly placed rubber bands and then lightly rolling fabric paint over the rubber bands with a brayer. I used yellow, blue, gold and silver tulip paint on yellow jersey fabric.

What I don't like about the pattern is that my bust distorts the vest's really low arm holes. Shame on me for thinking I could use this patterns as is!
I still had fun though.

My pet grackle: 

Maxwell would not sit still for a nice picture

Sewing group challenges are nice, but I also like to end up with something I really like and will actually wear. I love Alabama Chanin (who doesn't?) and wanted to use some of her techniques to make another embellished vest. Inspired by all the grackles who visit our yard, I created this pattern and stenciled it on the fabric using a foam paint roller and fabric paint. (I know, the birds look more like martins.) I'm hand stitching around all the birds and using french knots for the eyes. Its a nice portable project and I figure it should take a couple months to complete.


I got a new serger!! 

I had a little windfall from a calligraphy job and although I have been coveting a cover stitch machine for a while, I decided to put my 20 year old serger out to pasture instead. This machine threads quite differently from my old one, but I still got it right on only the second try. It's supposed the have super strong cutting and it switches to rolled hemming with just a simple switch. I whipped up another of my TNT patterns (Vogue
8088). The old serger would not have been happy about this fabric.

I'm looking forward to many happy hours with my new Juki.