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Monday, July 21, 2014

Rhonda's Houston meetup

I'm sure if you're in Houston, you know Rhonda from Rhonda's Creative Life is coming to town. However, if I missed it because you didn't know, I'd feel so bad. So I am reposting the plan, but go to Rhonda's site to e-mail and RSVP. Now what to wear.....

Date:
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Place: 
Brasil Restaurant, http://cafe-brasil.net/
2604 Dunlavy (corner of Dunlavy and Westheimer)
Time:
11:00 a.m., I am going to try to arrive by 10:30 to grab some tables
Agenda: 
Meet at Brasil for brunch, talk and fun. Bring a grab bag item, something you think another sewist would enjoy, preferably something from your stash. It can be a pattern that you bought and decided not to use, fabric that just no longer suits you....just whatever you think might be fun to pass along.
From Brasil we'll head over to High Fashion Fabrics to look and or buy if the mood strikes. High Fashion is close by, so not much of a journey.
Be sure to bring a sew and tell item or better yet, wear one!!!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Lady Skater and a recap of all the stuff I didn't get to


Well dang guys, why did it take me so long to make a Lady Skater? OK, well I didn't think it would be flattering on me, but I think it really is. It is also great for summer because it is too hot to wear many clothes here in Houston.


I got this fabric at a fabric store with no notable name on 30th street in Playa del Carmen, Mexico as seen above. It is a really soft and light weight rayon. We went there for vacation, but I could not resist seeing a Mexican fabric store. I got some great swimsuit fabric, so expect to see some swimsuit action soon. I think the fabrics were comparable in cost to what you see in the States for the most part, but the selection was huge.



Back to the Lady Skater, it was a quick sew. I think next time I make it I may shorten the bodice about a half inch, but other than that the fit was great.

I used my twin needle on the neck, sleeves and hem. Like that tan line there? In Mexico people kept assuming I was Canadian because I was pale. What can I say, SPF is important to me.


Overall a great pattern and an easy make. I used the serger a lot, but have been using my sewing machine for knits more often lately and think it could be easily done that way as well.

Now some things that never got blogged.

I cut up some of my favorite undies to make a pattern, and it worked out great. I will make more out of my polka dot scraps soon.


I made Michelle Patterns grocery bag assembly line style as end of year gifts for some TOTEally awesome coworkers.


I made another slip using Gertie's pattern. Did you see the matching undies above? I love this pattern, and it was perfect from a knit I just didn't know what to do with. 


I ran a ten mile race with my cousin in Plano. It was hot and weirdly hilly, but fun!

Gosh it has been awhile, and I've been busy. Hopefully we can catch up over the summer. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Ponte pencil skirt


I made a ponte pencil skirt, which are popular right now due to an indie designer, but mine is from McCalls 6654. I used about a yard of fabric,and I literally made it during one episode of The Vampire Diaries from cutting the pattern to the hem!


It is three pieces: front, back,waistband. It comes in a pencil or flare and has multiple lengths. I went with the second shortest in the pencil silhouette. The waistband is shown here. Elastic is run through it, so no closures.


I also did a double needle hem. My new machine (Brother PRW-420) has a special double needle setting that I have to say is amazing. I get stretch in this hem like you would with a RTW cover stitched hem. This is such a win. 


I have two more skirts just the same lined up. I wore the one above to work today and it felt like pajamas. Also, a shout out to Fabricmart.com, I ordered one yard of each of these and they sent me 1.75 yards. I may have enough for a pieced together shirt (trifecta top?) It may have been a accident, but thanks guys!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Knit for woven dress


LOL, I got auto awesomed by Google! At some point my photographer told me I needed to fix my hair because it was crazy. He was right. Back to business now. This is Vogue 8667. 


This is a double knit I bought because I loved the print, but didn't know what to make. I wanted a simple pattern because I had never worked with this material before. My dear friend Jenny gave me a box of patterns, and when I spotted this one I knew it was perfect. Then I pulled out the pattern and realized it had been cut in a very Jenny size. To give a brief rundown on Jenny she looks like a young Elizabeth Taylor with an perfectly itty-bitty waist. That's quite the opposite of me. I decided to go for it anyway. I made my seams a little smaller and with the stretch in the material it worked out great! This was also my first time working with princess seams. I liked it.


A close up of the fabric and showing off my twin needling! My old machine was no longer making it with the twin needles. 


I also omitted the zipper because I could pull it on over my head. I love when that happens! This dress is comfy and the perfect weight. I love it!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Gertie's perfect slip


"Chunky high school teacher poses in home made lingerie online: freedom of expression or heinous mistake? Students and staff weigh in tonight at 10."

Or that's what I heard in my head when I thought of wearing my awesome slip on my blog. So, there won't be any photos of me posted here, but trust me when I say the slip fits perfectly with no adjustments at all. 


Back to business, I used Gertie's slip pattern 6031 and stash jersey I bought on clearance at Joann's forever ago. I also used estate sale scalloped stretch lace (2"), so it was a super cheap make.


The slip comes with A, B,C,D cup sizes and using the size guide I got a perfect fit! The bra top, under bust seam and hem are all finished with scalloped stretch lace. Gertie also instructed me to use elastic inside the top of the bust cup which I think was brilliant. I used a clear elastic. 


I was supposed to use elastic across the back as well. I had some of this ruffled elastic and thought I would use it. It worked out well and adds a little touch in the back.


The hem has a cute little slit on the left and is finished with scalloped stretch lace. I have to admit this was my first time to work with this lace, and it was a bit of a fight. By the time I got to the bottom I started caring less and just going with it, and it actually worked out really well. I guess my advice would be don't over think it, it will look fine.


My straps were a cheat. I didn't have black elastic for them, and I didn't want to use navy blue. Then I realized I had just cleaned out a bunch of clothes to go to Goodwill, and took a black bra out and cut the straps off. Gertie's instructions were fine, but I saved a buck and recycled. I did move the back straps in toward the center about 2.5 inches each because I did not like where the pattern placed them. It was kind of under my arm pit and felt funny as it was. This made the fit perfect! There will be more slips. I ran out of lace, so I haven't tried the undies yet. I will as soon as I find more!








Saturday, March 22, 2014

Side Zip Shorts


I did it! I made shorts. With a zipper. And a button. That button was my first machine sewn 
button and my first button hole in probably two and a half years. I am loving the new machine!


These shorts are Salme Sewing Patterns Shorts With Side Zipper. Let's take it back a minute.


Those of you that follow me on Instagram got a highly unflattering preview of a muslin I made of these. The fit was spot on. That fabric is a navy blue polyester I found at an estate sale for a dollar. I'm glad I made the muslin because I knew the fit was great, and I also discovered a few things I wanted to do differently on the good fabric.



I got this fabric at Joann Fabrics. It is a black cotton with white embroidered flowers on it. Well, after I sewed in the lapped zipper and tried them on they were HUGE! I took in all the darts about two inches, the front and back center about 1.5 inches and had to take a little off the side seam with no zip. That is why my butt darts go way past my butt. Then I put on the waistband, which I had interfaced so it did not stretch at all, and realized my fabric had just stretched out that much. I hemmed them and then washed and dried them and they shrunk up a few inches in length and looked much better overall. We will see if they get super big with wear. So for now crisis averted. But, I'm glad I did the muslin first because I knew it would work, and it wasn't the pattern.


The changes I made to the pattern were mostly on the inside. I finished the edges of all of the pieces that had anything to do with pockets on main and lining pieces. I didn't have to, but I thought it made for cleaner insides. 

Aren't the pockets cute? They are nice and roomy, but lie flat and don't add fluffy bits.


Here is my button I am so proud of. The thing is I suck at waistbands. So, you can see some of the lace tape I used on the inside on the outside. I don't tuck my shirts in and can live with it. There is a button hole there too that I am dang proud of because I swore them off years ago. Can an Archer be far behind? A Hawthorne? Ye Gods the possibilities!


Never mind the stupid face, but overall this is a great pattern. I would even go as far as making a few more pairs for summer. I love this fabric, but I may go with something a bit more sturdy. I just like the dressy, lacy shorts look. I may make them a little shorter too. For real, it's going to be 1000 degrees with 110% humidity before I know it. Less clothes is better and now I have a TNT to play with!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Scout Tee vs. Simplicity 1690

I like plain old woven tops.I wear them quite a bit, but since they are worn so much I don't have enough to always have clean ones on the ready and wind up wearing a lot of knit T-shirts. Woven tops just look so much nicer, so I am on a quest to find a TNT one.

The contenders:


First off I bought this voile awhile back, but never knew what I wanted to do with it. It's not a color I usually lean toward. When I decided to do this comparison I thought it would make a great wearable muslin fabric. It also makes me look at the shape of the shirt rather than liking one fabric more than the other. The downside was the pictures are hell to sort! Oh yeah, check out our plum tree we planted  year ago that has never grown or produced even a single leaf. We thought it was dead, and now it is covered is delicious smelling flowers!



Let's start with Simplicity 1690 by Leanne Marshall You might recognize the structural shape of the skirt and dress on this pattern, but I bought it for the simple kimono sleeved shirt. I made french seams on this one since there were only four. I only spent about an hour working on it and it was done. No fuss, no muss! I can't say how well the directions are written because I just didn't read them. I may have missed something because on the envelope it looks like there are supposed to be slits on each side along the hemline. I will definitely add those next time. I made no adjustments or alterations for size.


The neckline is bias bound and hems are just folded and sewed.


Back view is pretty standard stuff.I was told I need to make shorts that fit next since I am holding these up by the pockets. Apparently I have a droopy butt. Everyone is a critic!


Now onto Grainline Studio's Scout Woven Tee. This is exactly as described, a woven tee shirt and exactly what I was looking for. The pattern is a downloadable pdf. I did follow the directions (for the most part) and liked them.I worked on this one a few minutes a day here and there over a week. The main difference here is the scoop neckline and set in sleeves.


The neck is again, bias bound, but the directions added a very new to me step of under stitching the binding to the seam allowance. I plan on doing this from now on because I love the way it looks. Hems are fold and sew.



Back view again pretty standard stuff. Not holding my shorts up at all.

The winner is.....


Simplicity 1690!!!! I am as shocked as you are. I thought it was the Scout Tee, right up until I saw the photos. Then the Leanne Marshall showed to be so much more flattering. I have to admit it is an easier sew, but only because of the kimono sleeves. They are both great patterns, but I think Simplicity is closer to being my tried and true. I may try another couple patterns on my search though. 

BTW I got a $100 gift card to Mood for my birthday....any suggestions?