Saturday, November 30, 2013

Fleece Navidad

That's what I'm going to call my friendly neighborhood chain "fabric" store for the rest of the year because that's all they have there now, fleece and holiday decorations.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Copy Kat

This jacket is a copy of a RTW jacket I picked up at a thrift store a few years ago. For this one (it's the third copy I've made)  I used one of my favorite fabrics: Sophia double knit in 'Spanish Olive', available from Vogue fabrics. It is really lovely fabric and comes in a beautiful range of colors with exciting names like 'Hot Sauce' and 'Sangria'. (One of my dream jobs would be naming colors!)

I did it in what I'm calling Alabama Chanin 'Lite Style'.  I machine sewed and serged the seams, then did the top stitching by hand using heavy grey Coats and Clark thread. Like my previous experience hand stitching with this thread, I threaded two lengths of thread through the needle together in the same direction to prevent tangling.

This is the original jacket I copied it from. You can see the first two I made here (scroll down to the bottom of the post)

When I started this, I thought that I could take my time doing the hand stitching relaxing and watching  TV while I had another project going on simultaneously in the sewing room. Well, once I started this, I had to finish it. I just don't know how some people can work on multiple projects at one time. I can't do it!  I am a successful multi-tasker in the rest of my life, I just not when it comes to sewing.Weird! The good thing about it though, is I don't ever have half finished projects laying around.
Now I can get back to that other project!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

It took twelve years to sew these buttons on!

Did you know some people get rid of clothes when a button falls off? Or use a stapler to hem pants? Incredible but true! I have seen this with my own eyes! Not us sewers though. Personally, I love delving into the 'Not Quite Right" pile, doing some mending or tweaking.  Its a nice diversion from a long project or a way to feel productive when you're in a sewing fugue.

As long as it not someone else's mending! Your pants are too long? Let me get the stapler!

I think I made this coat around 2000. I know, pretty crazy mid-century modern, right?

I must have started cutting before it was all laid out, because it was a might short in the sleeve department.  It was a vintage pattern (it even has a shoulder dart) and was supposed to have 3/4 length sleeves but ended up with something more like 5/8th or 11/16th  sleeves! I did wear it, but those no-mans-land length sleeves always bothered me so last winter I decided to look for some fabric to add onto the sleeves. This fur jumped out at me like a rabid fake fur animal!

And finally this week, after 13 years, it has closure!

I made this shirt dress two years ago but never really wore it. I decided to cut it off to a tunic length and see if that helped. I'm not sure if it has, but I have worn it once. I really should make a shirt from this pattern.

This next jacket was made as a muslin, but I liked it enough to keep it. I copied it from a RTW jacket I thrifted.  I got the fabric off the free table at a sewing club, but didn't have enough for facings & I put these old coat buttons on it.  It always bugged me the way the button drooped, so I  switched the buttons. Much better!


 I'm currently working on another of these jackets and I'm very excited about it!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

An old friend

Like a lot of us, I "learned" to sew in junior high school. Then I hacked away at it for many years, finally becoming serious about it 15 years ago, then ultimately becoming obsessed in the last ten years.
This pattern (Indygo Juction One Button Swing Topper-IJ725) was one of the first patterns from early in that obsession period that I fell in love with.  I made it up quite a few times. I even made my sister a couple.
Likewise, these fabrics have been  in my stash for a long time too, so it only seemed fitting to trot out this old pattern to use with this fabric.

Its a cute jacket for mixing prints, but I do realize it doesn't really fit that well. It  needs an FBA to keep it from riding up and tenting out in front. A more drapey fabric helps too.
It's not perfect but it is fun.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Wardrobe bread and butter

I had a bit of the red double knit left over from Vogue 8624, so I whipped up a skirt with Butterick 5539. Well, 3 and a half skirts. I actually made the teal one a while ago, but it was too loose, so I took it apart and fixed it. I wear one of these skirts almost every day! It really is a wardrobe staple and the coverstitch machine makes it that much easier and professional looking.

And now I know for certain how fantastic Vogue 8624 is, because Miss J asked if she could wear it today. I haven't even worn it anywhere myself yet! How could I say no? She's wearing it with a pair of leggings she made herself this weekend.  I'm so proud of her. When she gets a little frustrated, I say "isn't sewing such a relaxing hobby?"

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Vogue 8624, I love it!

I've had my eye on this pattern for a while, but I could never quite bring myself to buy it. I feared it was one of those patterns that could either be really cool or horribly bad! It didn't look good that it had not been reviewed a single time on PR. Well, I inherited the pattern and the fabric so I felt I had nothing to lose.
Well,  I love it! Even with the fairly large volume of fabric, I don't feel swamped by it. It does take a little time to wrap your mind around, but once you do (make sure you mark all the notches, etc!) its actually pretty easy. Like two or three hours easy. 
The only problem I had with it was that it was too wide in the shoulders.  I spent way too much time ripping out and redoing that because I had foolishly serged everything. Just bear in mind, the front piece (#3) will determine the width at the shoulders and if you make it narrower, you also need to make the back (#2) narrower too. 

I am seriously considering making another one!

Friday, November 1, 2013

McCalls 6446, also not the Holy Grail of shirts

This is the second pattern I made up in my quest for the Holy Grail of shirt patterns. This shirt was the first. This time I decided to use a less fitted pattern. Sometimes a gal just likes a bit more ease. It fits nicely in the shoulders and bust, but it's a bit loose otherwise.
The main differences between the two shirts is that this one has long sleeves, front bands, a shirt tail hem and no princess darts in the front.  It could use the darts.
I made relatively few changes to this pattern: I shortened the bodice and sleeves both four inches, I did a half inch slope shoulder adjustment and narrowed the shoulder a half inch. This pattern came with different cup sizes and I cut a 16 with the D pattern.
The directions were east enough. There is a fair amount of hand sewing. This fabric (recently purchased at JoAnns) was strangely tough. I had difficulty getting pins in it and had to use a thimble for the hand sewing. My poor fingers were sore when I got done!
There is one thing about this pattern I consider to be very peculiar: the sleeves were cut in two pieces. Not for shaping but because the bottom of the seam is left open to become the vent for the cuff. I have never seen this before! I overlapped the two parts, cut it as one and finished the vent with a continuous lap.

I'm really not quite sure why I'm on this quest, because I really don't wear a regular shirt shirts very often. Maybe that's because I never had one I liked all that much. I can tell you this though, I do prefer a blouse without a collar stand and its not because I'm too lazy sew one. I just made two of them. I think the open collar is just a bit more flattering. The next blouse will be that style.
On to the file cabinet for number three!