Saturday, December 03, 2016

Simplicity 8059 and some wool jersey

This is another one of those Simplicity patterns that was issued in spring/summer but I knew when I saw it that I wanted it for fall/winter.



So even though it has a cool summer vibe, I knew it would work paired with a sleeveless turtleneck for fall/winter.



Supply List ~
Fabric:
Dusty Blue/Navy Graduated Stripes Wool/Lycra Jersey Knit purchased from Fabric Mart during one of the recent sales.

Notions:
Ltwt. Fusible Interfacing from Fashion Supply Group

It was the fabric that drew me in and called to be made into this cardigan. I knew I didn't want a plain/ordinary cardigan. It was all about pattern piece placement to bring out the beauty of this stripe...especially since everyone says that horizontal stripes don't work on plus size bodies.

Design and Construction Details ~
I chose how I wanted the stripes to work on the cardigan and then I cut each piece out separately. It was important that the main blue stripe was across the bustline.


Laying the cardigan front and facing out

After the pieces were cut out, I laid them next to each other to confirm 
that the stripes matched all the way across

Actual construction of the cardigan is simple. I even inserted the sleeves flat instead of in the round like the pattern suggests. Although there were a lot of pins involved so that the stripes would match when the cardigan was sewn together.

I omitted the elastic piece on the back of the cardigan. Not for any particular reason because I cut the piece out. It's just that when I tried the cardigan on I liked the flow of it and left it off. 

It's also closed with a pin from my pin collection. That will be changed. My daughter was here and I wanted some pictures taken during her visit.  So I quickly finished the cardigan and realized as I was hemming it that I'd omitted the ties. 

When I bought this fabric, I bought way more than I needed to match the stripes and to make a top to go under the cardigan. I haven't made the top yet so will add the ties to the cardigan before I shoot it with the matching top.

A few pictures of the cardigan ~ 






Conclusion ~
I'm thinking about making another one this winter, however, I will definitely make a spring/summer version in a lightweight knit. I really like that you can make this in a couple of lengths, that future versions could have the elasticized back so that each one is different, and that various fabrics can change the vibe of the look. If you made all four pieces, it would be a great weekend/vacay look for any season.

One more shot of the cardigan ~




...as always more later!


Thursday, December 01, 2016

Throwback Thursday #5

I made this top in December 2008. I'd just started working in the very corporate job and had to work Christmas week, though no one dressed up that week. I was low on casual gear so I made this sweater to go over a pair of jeans because it was a very popular pattern. It's Butterick 5247 - long out of print. 

When cleaning out the closet last weekend, moving scarves & winter gear to a drawer, I happened upon it and realized that it would work well for this job. My styling was a little thrown together in 2008 but here is how I will wear it now:

The original blog post details where the fabric came from and the alterations I made to the pattern. I made it again a couple of months later, February 2009, as a dress. That blog post is here. I wore that dress a lot in subsequent years on Casual Fridays, at the corporate spot, but it was donated along with the rest of my corporate gear.

A few more pictures of the top ~


Notice the little person in the background!


...and because no picture taking session is complete without a visit of the grandbabies...here they are running around in the yard. It was a little too chilly for Joshua so he stayed in the house.




Conclusion ~
It was nice to find this top and add it to my work wardrobe especially since I'm in need of tops & tunics to go over my RTW jeans. I've shown it here with a sleeveless turtleneck but when it gets really cold, I will wear a long sleeve turtleneck under it. 

I've purchased so many new top patterns recently, that I'm not going to revisit this one. However, it's nice to have a new top to wear to work this week!

...as always more later!





Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Vogue 8935 in Motion!

As a refresher, I started this journey with Vogue 8935, because this top will work with jeans or leggings.


Again I know this pattern wasn't well received when it first appeared in the pattern books and it's now OOP. However, I'm loving both versions of mine and may make another one. I love how adaptable it is to design changes especially since neither of my versions look like the pattern envelope.

Here are the supplies and notions again:

Supplies ~
Fabric:
8 oz denim from Stylemaker Fabrics (I bought 10 yards of this so you're going to see quite a few garments this fall/winter made from this fabric)
My shirting from Fabric Mart is now sold out but here are some others.

Notions:
5 - Mother of pearl shank buttons from the collection
Fusible interfacing from Fashion Supply Group
One elastic twist

All of the alterations and design changes were highlighted in the first post. This post is just to let you see the top in motion. In the pictures, I've worn it with my sneakers, RTW skinny jeans and tank top. How I will more than likely wear it to work. Yes, I now own quite a few pairs of sneakers that I wear to work along with a couple pair of shoe booties. Though I still miss wearing pumps and slingbacks...I should get over that already, right?! *LOL*

Here are a few more pics of the tunic ~




This is just the first of the "tailored denim" pieces that I will make this fall/winter. They will be interspersed with some other tops/blouses, vests, and toppers & jackets. However, this is one more garment to add to my new wardrobe!

In one of my last posts, I said that I was going to start sewing for my daughter during the Thanksgiving break. However, I worked from home Wednesday morning and ran errands Wednesday afternoon. Thursday was Thanksgiving which I spent with my family and for some reason Friday I watched Netflix ALL.DAY! I had no desire to sew and just vegged. On Saturday morning, I was still vacillating but after talking with my daughter (she agreed to come over on Sunday and cut out her own dresses) I went ahead and started a project for me.

So coming up soon on the blog will be garments for both of us. I just have to sew them! hahahahaha! 

One last picture of the tunic...



...as always more later!





Sunday, November 27, 2016

How many?

So this Question of the Day is a little different than ones I've asked in the past. Usually I ask about a technique, a time management situation or how you make something. This time I'm asking about your sewing space/studio/area.



See I'm trying to decide if I need to add another trash basket/can to my sewing cave. And I was wondering what is standard? I have one by the cutting table for scraps and threads from the cutting table. Another one by the pattern/notions cabinet for threads cut while I'm at the ironing board. I'm trying to decide if I need one for all of those stray threads under the sewing machine and serger table.



I use to have one there before I added all of the storage underneath the sewing machine table. So here is my Question of the Day - "How many trash cans do you have in your sewing area?"  "And where are they placed?"

All comments, suggestions and options are appreciated!

...as always more later!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Vogue 9122 - Ummmm No!

I don't know what it is with me pulling out older patterns and using them. I know when I bought this pattern, I had a very professional look in mind for the dress. I could see it's potential and wrote about it in this post.



Of course it's taken me a year to actually get around to it and what peaked my interest again is that it's become a Butterick See 'n Sew pattern. When I saw the pattern in the new collection, I knew I had the original in my stash and my mind started to wander. See now I'm specifically looking for patterns that I would have used before. I want to make or remake them in denim for this stage of my life.

But I never finished the jumper because I ran into issues that I just didn't want to fix.

Supplies I used ~
Fabric: 
Denim from Stylemaker Fabrics - part of the 10 yards I purchased
Remnants from EOS that I used in this dress

Notions:
22" invisible navy zipper

Pattern Alterations ~
I added 2" at the lengthen/shorten line and an inch at the hemline.  This jumper was looking short in the pattern pics and I only found one of these made up on-line.

I also added a half inch to the front and back side seams. A half inch was added to the center front seam from the abdomen to the hemline. While the finished pattern measurements fit me, I wanted a slightly looser look, more jumper like. 

When sewing up the pattern, I omitted the darts in the back of the dress.

A few pictures below ~ 






Problems with this dress:
1. Too tight - even after I took some extra out of the seams
2. Shoulders are rolling forward
3. Armholes are too wide and need a dart
4. Neckline too high and too tight against the neck
5. Rounded shoulder adjustment needed

I pinned out a few of the alterations to see if I would like it better ~




I decided that there were quite a few alterations needed to make this workable and I just decided no. I didn't want to do them. It's easier to recycle the fabric and the zipper than it is to work out the problems. I guess if I had muslined the pattern I would have seen these issues but I probably would have done the same thing then...ditched the pattern. So this is a dud and I'm moving on. It's just too much work for a Very Easy Vogue pattern dress that's even supposed to be lined.

Since it's the beginning of Thanksgiving week here in the US, next up is sewing for my daughter. I really want to make her a few pieces for her work wardrobe. I also want to sew during my Thanksgiving break without having to worry about fit challenges. She was here this afternoon and pulled fabric for new outfits. We will be using McCalls 6886 (which is my go to pattern for her), New Look 6482 for the cardigan and New Look 6481 for the jacket, skirt and tee.

I think I can knock out quite a few pieces for her during the 4 day weekend especially since Thanksgiving is not at my house this year! I will sew for myself during Christmas Break.


...as always more later!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Vogue 8935 - Tailored Denim

I started this journey with Vogue 8935, a top that I made back in 2013 for my professional life.  Believe it or not but this outfit survived the great purge. Not because the outfit was worn recently but because I thought I could wear the pieces separately.  The top would work with jeans or leggings and the skirt with a t-shirt or top. Yeah okay, hasn't been worn that way yet but there is still hope!


I know this pattern wasn't well received when it first showed up in the pattern collection and it's now out of print (OOP). There are only three reviews of the pattern on PatternReview and one of them is mine. I also know of two other sewists who made versions of the pattern ~ Donna from Curvy Girls are Chic and Barbara from Sewing from the Edge.

Here are the supplies I'm using in this version ~
Fabric:
8 oz denim from Stylemaker Fabrics (I bought 10 yards of this so you're going to see quite a few garments this fall/winter made from this fabric)
Cotton Shirting from Fabric Mart

Notions:
5 - Mother of pearl shank buttons from the collection
Fusible interfacing from Fashion Supply Group
One elastic twist

Pattern Alterations and Construction Info. ~
I made two alterations to the pattern based upon wearing the original one.

1. I removed another 1" from the shoulder seam on both the front and back pieces. I used shoulder pads to cover the fact that the shoulder seams were a schooch too long in the original. I don't want that for this version.

2. I shortened the main sleeve by 1" because the original one was long and I remember always pushing them up.

Making the shirt tail extension ~
Obviously the biggest change for this version is the shirt tail. I actually drafted the skirt tail pieces myself. 

Here is a pictorial instruction on how to do it yourself:



On the front piece ~
1. I added an inch to the hem bottom.
2. Then I drew down another 4"
3. Used my curved ruler to get the shirt tail side 


Then I added 2" to the front so that it would form a lapped over center front piece. You can see in the picture above that I actually folded the piece to make sure it would work and overlap properly.

Steps 1-3 were used on the back piece to get the shirt tail extension.

The shirt tail extensions were cut from the shirting fabric with 
the stripes running vertically.

Otherwise the construction will be exactly the same as the last version. 
Here is a picture of how the shirt looks now laying on my cutting table and I may still remove the shirt tail extensions so that they lay under the top instead of being sewn to the hemline. The pictures are showing something to me that looks a little off now. I will see.

There is still a couple of hours of work to get this finished and onto my body.


A close up of the sleeves and the mother of pearl shank buttons ~




I thought I would have been able to spend some quality time in the sewing cave this weekend but whatever bug is making the rounds laid me up. This will definitely be finished next weekend cause the temps are dropping here on the East Coast. This top will be perfect for the job with my ponte skinny jeans.

Finally ~ 
Thank you to everyone who left a comment on my last post. Thanking you for being kind and not bashing anyone...well at least not on the post. I didn't have to remove one comment and I appreciate that. I know that writing the post helped me feel better especially once I saw so many other sewists who understood how I felt. I hope having a safe space to leave your comment provided you with a similar feeling. 

As I said, that will be my one and only post on the election on the blog...can't guarantee that on Instagram! *LOL* The blog will continue to be my safe, sane, sewing space cause I think I'm going to need it in the next four years. To all my new followers both here and on Instagram thank you for taking this journey with me!

...as always more later! May Jesus watch over us and grant us peace!





Friday, November 11, 2016

At the end of a horrible week

I've tried to keep politics off my blog this election cycle because it's been such a contentious election.  I've posted a few #imwithher items to Instagram but mainly kept this my safe, sane, sewing space. I've tried not to bash anyone for who they wanted to be their next President because that's one of the tenants that America is founded upon.

Also, it hasn't been hard to figure out where people stood, either in their posts to Instagram or Facebook or their likes or dislikes of certain Instagram posts. I respected their right to their opinion and their vote.



So why am I writing now? One because I'm still trying to understand the significance of the new President-elect and how people voted for him. Did they vote from fear, ignorance, their own set of beliefs? Did they look past the racism, the misogyny, the lack of morals and did they see some something that half of the country missed?  Or was change so great to them that they were willing to accept his faults and inexperience? I don't know...I'm still cycling through the stages of grief to get to acceptance on this one. 

However, last night I posted this to Instagram...and I lost quite a few followers.



I was fine with that ~ you should follow who you want on any social media platform cause I've unfollowed a few folks myself. I was just shocked when I noticed one particular sewist who left me ~ cause there is an app for that. Now I'd figured that there were some ideological differences between us...they'd never liked my #imwithher IG posts or any of my other sewing friends IG posts along those lines. No problem. I'm good with that but then they unfollowed me.

...and I was truly taken aback for a minute...then since I'm still in stage 2 of the grief process...angry. All I could think of was that I talked to you. I gave you advice. I loved and appreciated your sewing, your projects and your family. I admired you and instead of talking to me, you just unfollowed me? You weren't some anonymous sewist that I didn't know...I thought we had a relationship?

Then I was sad...and that's the purpose of this post. How are we as a country going to come together if we don't respect the other's opinions, fears, challenges, hurts? It is so clear that this was an election of emotions and there are some of us who have real fears about our future in America and some of us who are just worried that our privileges are gone...but we should be talking and listening...and we're not...especially this craft nation.

We all have "this something" that we cherish and love to do...shouldn't that bind us together more than our differences? Shouldn't that shared love make us want to listen to our sewing sisters and brothers, the quilt nation and our knitty sisters and brothers? Shouldn't we want to try and understand their fears, to pledge to work for a more inclusive country where every man, woman and child - no matter their race, religion, immigration status or sexual proclivity can feel and actually be free?!

And peeps I'm a born again Christian who believes that the Bible is God's Word. I believe that Jesus gave us free will and that each of us must make our own decisions about these things. I also believe in the love of Jesus Christ ~ love the person and NOT the sin. Love them that don't believe as I do...love the downtrodden and the hopeless, love those that despite fully use us...LOVE!

I'm still not ready to call him my president and I may never be - but that is my right. However, I do believe in our system of government. I do believe in the peaceful transferal of power. I do believe that the statements that President Obama, Secretary Hilary Clinton and the President-elect have made are good to calm the nation and help keep the financial markets stable. 

I'm also going to put my money where my mouth is and any organization that I think can be affected by the incoming administration ~ i.e. Planned Parenthood ~ I'm going to make a yearly donation to them. 

Mostly though I want to implore us to look past our differences and realize that we all love our country and want what's best for it. Now I know that we are a global society and that I've just written a post based on an American experience. However, since we are living in a global society what happens in one country now affects the world. There are no givebacks or go backs. Technology has united the world we live in...it's hard to be a nation with closed borders now...so there is no going back to when America was great people - i.e. the 50s. We must press forward to becoming the best citizens of America and the world that we can be...or we won't have to worry about aliens, a plague, or climate change killing us...we will do ourselves in.

This will be my only post on this subject. I'm going back to making this a safe space BUT I am leaving the comments section open. Have at it, say what you want...I only ask one thing...be kind and don't bash one another. Now I know you can type/write/chat under the moniker of "Unknown" because anonymous commenters can't comment on my blog. But if you are man or woman enough to say it, own it and sign your name. Oh and no matter how rude you are, I'm leaving ALL of the comments up...even if you talk about my mama! *smile*

Finally I love you ALL in the spirit of Jesus Christ...

...more sewing later.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Three Times the Charm

So I lied. Let's just start right there. When I saw this Isaac Mizrahi top on QVC, I knew that Simplicity 8094 would be the perfect jumping off place to make my own version. 

Here's a picture of the inspiration garment ~


A picture of me wearing my version of the inspiration garment ~


Supplies used in this top ~
Fabric:
Brown ponte from Fabric Mart via the collection
Floral print ponte from Tessuti Fabrics via the collection

Notions:
foldover elastic binding from Pacific Trimmings
stay tape

The only change I made to this version was to add 4" of length to the back piece. The hemline was then rounded off to duplicate the back of the inspiration top.


Seriously, I made this just like the other two except I didn't two tone the sleeves...just added a little foldover elastic to the neckline. I even added the godets, in brown ponte so they blend in yet give a little extra swing & space to the top.

A few pictures of this top ~




Conclusion ~
If the photos are a little blurry, it's because they were taken on my iPad. My coworker and I took them around the corner from my job. I work by Herald Square and since they've built these pedestrian spaces, we thought they would serve as a great background.

This top was a quick sew. I finished it over the weekend. So of course I wore it to work yesterday...I mean that's one of the reasons I sew...to have new stuff to wear!

This time I'm not going to say that I'm putting the pattern away because who knows.  There just might be a fourth version of this before I do it again in merino wool. It's such an easy top to wear, comfortable, on trend and works well with my RTW ponte jeans.

Next up on the cutting table is another top. I went back and forth over what to make next and I really just wanted another new top - so top it is! Here's the sneak peek of the top in progress on Instagram.

...as always more later!



Saturday, November 05, 2016

Can "Experience" sometimes work against you?

I've been sewing for 46 years.  I learned to sew back in 1970. My grandmother taught me and I started by sewing clothes for my Barbie dolls by hand. Back then sewing was offered in school, so I had to look no further than my school's curriculum for additional education.

Photo from Better Homes & Gardens Sewing Book

Sewing machines were in most homes when I grew up...either out in the open being used or hidden in a closet...but they were there. Sewing machines were sold in most department stores ~ Sears, JCPenney's and Kmart ~ as well as sewing machine stores. And by sewing machine stores, I mean Singer stores that not only sold sewing machines but also taught classes. As a young girl besides owning my own sewing machine, the other thing I wanted most was to take some classes in those Singer Sewing Stores.


Photo Courtesy of Centre Laval

At that time, information was passed person to person or by books.  There was no internet, no Google, no online sewing boards...well you get the picture. So someone worked with you, guided you and passed a skill along.


Photo from Better Homes & Gardens Sewing Book

I've been sewing for 46 years. I've made my wedding outfit, my maternity clothes, coats and lingerie, my children's clothes and garments for my ex-husband. I have experience. I don't consider myself an expert or even advanced sewist but I do have experience...I just wonder sometimes if that experience holds me back. 

Since I've been sewing for a long minute, I know how to do quite a few sewing techniques. So do I look for new ways to do those techniques or do I fall back on the familiar? Am I comfortable learning a new piece of machinery or do I fall back on the "hand" techniques that I've used forever?  Am I willing to think out of the box for a garment, substituting an unfamiliar fabric for one that I'm comfortable working with? Do I go with a technique that I learned as a teenager or am I willing to learn something new?

I recently had a conversation with a sewist whose work I truly admire and she shared that she still uses a lot of hand sewing techniques for construction. That blew my mind! There is so much on the internet about how to do so much of the construction on the sewing machine that at times I feel that my handstitching is devaluted.

See I've been sewing for 46 years...

I'm sure you're wondering what is the point of this post?  The point is that I've got so much experience I'm wondering if I'm actually learning new things or just repeating the learned things over and over?  For you that learned to sew as a young girl/teenager, do you sometimes feel this way? Or am I alone here? 

This is the Question of the Day so talk back to me!

...as always more later!

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Where is the Fall?

October was a funny month for me sewing and weather wise. I started the month sharing some of the garments I made for the granddaughters in September. I only shared a few posts of the pieces I made for them because I was starting to get bored. I have a couple more that I may post before the end of the year.



Sewing for me has been slow this month while acquiring has been on the uptick! I bought a few more shirtings (Fabric Mart had a good sale but then when don't they?!) a lot of denim (from a couple of different sources) and a couple of Indie patterns. All were bought in my quest to make interesting and amazing blouses, tops and jackets for my fall/winter wardrobe.



I've sewn three pieces, finished a UFO and fixed a garment by changing it from a dress to a top. To me my finished stats for this month are low but I have to admit that I don't have the same driving need/force propelling me to produce garments for myself as I did when I was in a more professional setting...and yes Kristy I miss sewing more professional garments!



Also since I've figured out who I want to be in this stage of my life, my projects are either going to be really simple relying on fabric and flights of fancy to make them interesting...or a little more complex when I start working on toppers/jackets.

As I mentioned in my last post, sewing for my daughter is going to figure prominently this month. I'm finding that I like unselfish sewing now. I get to just sew and make pretty things without a lot of the fitting angst I'm experiencing for myself. Wow ~ can't believe I just typed that! *LOL*

So November should be an interesting month since I definitely plan to buy less and sew more for grown-up people! BTW, if you haven't noticed, I'm trying to blog more. Hopefully you'll stop by more often since I'm trying to have content here at least twice a week. 

Finally here's a sneak peek at the inspiration for my next top ~


Cause why buy when I can make my own ~ no matter how inexpensive the original is! 

...as always more later!



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