Friday, October 17, 2014

Houston Quilt Show anyone?

Is anyone going to the International Quilt Festival here in Houston at the George R. Brown in a couple weekends? Maybe we could meet up.  

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Rockstar Trifecta

I made a Trifecta Top. All I can say is I love this shirt. I used a Robert Kaufman Laguna stretch knit from, and it is perfectly slouchy and comfortable. I made the 3/4 sleeve version with low scoop and inset.

Check out my inset. Yes, it is faux leather. I think I am such a rock star with my fake leather t-shirt. The faux leather is actually a leather knit from as well I got to use as a trim on a dress I have in my head. I ran it through the washer and dryer and it held up great. I wanted to use a smidge for this inset. I really do think I'm cool.

The shirt has raglan sleeves and is just a bit fitted. My fabric was pretty substantial, so it doesn't have much stretch. I think with a drapey, thin fabric it would look totally different.

I was pretty lazy on the hem and just serged them all and left them. I think it adds to the look of the shirt. Like I said, I feel way too cool to be bothered hemming a shirt.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Catty little dress

More wishful sewing, but I made another Lady Skater. This time I used long sleeves and shortened the bodice a half inch. The print is a little much and the knit is not the best quality. One of those "If I just spend eight more dollars I get free shipping" purchases. I think it made a great Lady Skater though. I figured if I'm going to use a bold print I better own it and wear it all over. I love it and have already worn it to work with quite a few compliments.

Here it is without the belt. It looks fine, the belt just breaks it up a bit. The waist seam is reinforced with clear elastic which I think is genius. Can I tell you, this dress is so comfortable. It is like wearing a T-shirt and no pants. How much better can it get? I love knit dresses, especially long sleeved ones.

The neckband I basted with my machine first, then serged it. I then used my twin needle to finish it off. It looks great.

The sleeves on this version has cuffed sleeves. I love how it looks and this method is so easy. These I just serged on the used my twin needle. Overall this dress from cutting to hemming took under three hours.  

I think my assistant and I have our Halloween costumes too. I could be a leopard and she could be a tiger!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Chevron Peplum Cardigan

I bought this thin knit just for McCalls 6844 last year when it was cool, but neglected to sew it up until the summer. Again, I am sewing for hope in the summer heat. Luckily my office is kept at roughly 9 degrees above freezing, so I am getting to wear some of my winter wear. Public Officials: I bet if you turned the AC up in public schools all us teachy types could probably get a raise and enough left over for ipads for all students. Yes, it's that cold. I digress, back to the sew.

This is view C. It has an open front and a high low hem. I like that more than I thought I would.

I especially like the way the chevron print acts on the drapey peplum. It seems to wrap around me.

Here is a better view of the high low hem. I did shorten the bodice to the petite size and it falls just right. I fall into the category of women with no rear to speak of, I feel like this cardigan gives the illusion there is something back there.

Overall I would call this one a win. I would also like to make it in a fleece or sweatshirt material. I got several compliments at work on it. On the other hand all Mr. Thinks He Can will say is that it doesn;t look like my typical style. I agree, but it's fun.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Cynthia Rowley sweater dress

See, I have been sewing. However, in Houston it is 100 degrees (F) and 100% humidity, so I have been locked in the air conditioning sewing winter clothes. It's like some sort of sick sewing rain dance that doesn't work and leaves me with a closet full of clothes it is too hot to wear! On to business though - I love this dress. I used Simplicity 2054, view A. The whole dress and cowl came together in just a couple hours.

The cowl is pleated and is pretty cool. I didn't know if I would like it at all, but the way it is drafted is pretty clever. The cowl itself would make some pretty snazzy presents.

LOL, this is Mr. Thinks He's Can. Seconds before this he was whining because lightening was going to strike us, hey storms cool it down around here and you have to take advantage. Then I was all, that scarf looks good on you, let's take a selfie. No more whining about lightening! To his credit there was pretty bad lightening and as soon as we got back in it began to pour. 

The dress can be worn without the cowl. Without the cowl I added a belt to give it a little shape. It really is just kind of a big t-shirt when worn without the cowl. I also made it a bit shorter that I usually do, but I figured in the winter I would wear it with leggings.

Here is the real situation. There is a pool and it is hot as heck. Immediately after this I had to take the dress off because I was going to die from heat stroke. Hopefully I can wear it next month. For the fabric I used this one from Fabric Mart. It is soft an lightweight without being sheer. Also, there is no itch factor at all. I totally recommend it. I would like a cardigan in it, so I may be ordering more.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The elusive Hummingbird

I'm all about the basics right now. I just went back to work after a whirlwind summer. I have been sewing, but let's be honest when I don't work I have no need to put on make up, brush my hair...shower... Yes, I go into feral teacher mode. But my hair is cut, my shoes are back on, overall I am falling into place visually. It is time to catch up on blog posts.

So I have worn this skirt at least once a week since I made it. It is a light weight stretch denim Hummingbird. It is so comfortable and looks like a pencil skirt when paired with a blouse or just a dang cute skirt when paired with a T-shirt.

I found a gold button in my stash that I loved for this skirt. Oh yeah, I make button holes now. I love that new machine! It even sewed the button on for me. LOVE, guys. I did a lapped zipper as that is my preferred zipper.

I can't get enough of these pockets. They are absolutely brilliant. They lay flat and don't add bulk even when they are full of chap-sticks and cell phones.

I great basic. I did add a couple inches to the length as I wanted it to be work appropriate. Also I had to take in the sides a bit due to the stretch in the denim, but this is a TNT pattern for me. I totally recommend it!

Monday, July 21, 2014

**CANCELLED*** Rhonda's Houston meetup

The meetup was cancelled. It was for a good reason, but hopefully soon H-town sewists will get it together.

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.....

Sunday, July 27, 2014
Brasil Restaurant,
2604 Dunlavy (corner of Dunlavy and Westheimer)
11:00 a.m., I am going to try to arrive by 10:30 to grab some tables
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, 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!