Monday, September 22, 2014

Goodbye to summer wrap-up!

Oh boy, oh boy! I'm a little sad that summer is officially over this evening. My biggest reason is that I will miss all the lovely sunshine. I think as I get older I crave the sunlight even more and the darker days of winter can make me feel melancholy and a little blah. Maybe time to start taking some extra vitamin D and invest in some sun lights for my sewing room :)

I have realized that between my crazy work schedule and my most adorable granddaughter, Princess V, that I have been a bad blogger. Haven't even found the time to squeeze out my monthly wrap-ups!
So here goes my wrap up for July and August.

In no particular order, mostly because I just don't remember!! Hehe

1.Striped Wrap Knit dress.
Fabric is a blue and white striped ponte, nice mid-weight made using my TNT wrap dress pattern, Simplicity 1653. This dress has been great for work travel!

2. Striped knit sleeveless top.
Same fabric as above I had just enough fabric to make this top. McCall's 6752 view C. In retrospect I should have used a thinner/drapier knit. I had to change the gathers at the waistline to pleats because the gathers were to much with this thicker knit. I worked out in the end but next time I will use a light jersey or an ITY knit.

3. Green/brown poly 'silky' dress
This was a 'silky' from JoAnn's clearance. Vogue Tracy Reese 1343. I have worn this dress 3 times over the summer. Twice accesorized for work and once dressed up for a wedding. Very versatile! I plan to make another version with just some small changes.

4. Silver/black dressy Capri pants
This was from a Fabricmart buy. They described it as a black stretch denim. It is a bit more silver but that makes it lovely. Silhouettes 3300 Lana's Jeans made without the back pockets and belt loops and shortened to a mid calf length. These have gotten lots of use this summer!

5. Red denim jeans
This fabric is from Linda Z's store in Arlington Heights, IL. They have a very nice selection of high quality garment fabrics. This is my TNT jeans pattern Silhouettes 3300 Lana's Jeans. Oh, I really like these jeans! I had the first opportunity to wear theses in San Francisco when I was there last week. 

6. Red/Blue/white high collar shirt
This fabric is a cotton/silk voile from Fabricmart. Lovely to work with! Vogue 1385 Today's Fit by Sandra Betzina. This was FUN to make and FUN to wear. 

Those are my July and August summer makes! Pretty good for having a crazy summer schedule, I think it made for a good balance of sewing and family time while I was not off traveling for work.

So what did I do for fun this summer?
1. A brand new grand baby to snuggle, cuddle and adore!

2. A long weekend visit with my sister :)

3. The Charles James exhibit at the Met in NYC, so inspiring!

4. My hubby and I's 20th wedding anniversary party. Oh what a party!

5. A week with my parents, daughter and granddaughter in Delaware :)

6. Lots of time spent with my little family and my friends, makes me whole and happy. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Fall/Winter Sewing plans... Or maybe grand ideas or fleeting dreams to be clutched...

Ok, ok, ok....

I know I said I wasn't going to share this for total fear of failure and unfulfilled promises. However, I am woman and have every right to change my mind at will ;) just ask my hubby... He knows this well!

So here is a pictorial view of most of my fall/winter sewing plans. (As it stands now!)

2 jackets. One in this purpley linen blend print from Fabricmart and one in the blue/black/red/yellow printed linen from Linda Z's. Such a beautiful mid weight to this fabric! Both will be completly fused with an underlining to eliminate wrinkles and make them wearable year round.

3 pairs of Jeans. All 3 from Silhoettes Lana jeans pattern. One was the red denim jeans, one out of this blue stretch denim and one out of a black courdoroy. (Not pictured)

2 shirts, I am lacking button down shirts. 
The first was the cotton/silk voile from Fabricmart already made into Vogue 1385
The second is this fun cotton print of dictionary of fabric/ sewing terms. I am thinking view B with the second brown floral as the front band collar and cuffs. A nice retro feel to it.

A pair of knit pants.... I'm taking a chance here but worst cae scenario I will have a new pair of jammies/lounge pants! This is a nice heavier grey heatherd ponte again from Fabricmart, I have not decided which of the 3 knit versions to try...

2 skirts, rather boring basics but needed for my work wardrobe. 
1 self drafted knit skirt out of this thick textured black knit from JoAnn's super sale.
1 Gail Patrice Stockbridge skirt out of this camel/tan colored woven from who knows where! Deep from the depths of my stash!

Two knit dresses...
Both a little different! The first one V1317 and will be made from this maroon ponte that I believe is also from FabricMart. Oh dear, dear Fabricmart, always luring me in with those darn emails and Julie club picks...
I'm not so sure how this will turn out, so, this is really going to be a wearable muslin. At 5$ Or less a yard for the fabric I have no problem with that. Besides I really need to try out a new work appropriate knit dress pattern.
The second dress is a Marci Tilton Vogue dress and will be made from dark grey jersey knit that I got from Vogue Fabrics and the contrast pieces will be from the grey/pink knit that is leftover from a maternity project for my daughter earlier this year. 

AND when all of that is done....... Or maybe in the middle....
I plan to return to pants, actually woman's slacks for work in super nice wool. I just know that is a project that will take patience and several muslins to work out the fit. I am confident it can be done! After all I mastered jeans!!

So those are my fall/winter sewing plans. Hopefully for room to through in a couple easy project a like quick to make long sleeves tees.

Do you have a plan? 
Do you have a hard time sticking to a plan? I know I sure do sometimes.... We shall see how far I make it in this plan before I loose interest in it and become inspired by another great idea or project that just cannot wait! 

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Vogue 1385 Sandra Betzina Top with cool neckline detail!

LAnother successful make! Last week was a good one in the sewing room :) 

As part of my fall sewing plan I wanted a true transition piece to get me from  summer into fall and this fit the bill perfectly. The fabric is a cotton/silk voile blend from Fabricmart. I bought this after I bought the red denim hoping that it would be a great match and it is dead on! I LOOOVE it when that happens!!! I wasn't to worried if it didn't because I also like wearing teal blue. The label in the fabric said to dry clean which I will do now that it is a finished product. However, I totally bucked those directions and pre-washed and dried this fabric not once, but twice before I cut it out. I'm so glad I did :) it totally softened up a bit and, like with ten red denim, I used a color catcher in the wash to gage the amount of bleeding. There was some general color discharge but nowhere on the fabric did the colors bleed together, whew!!! I took a chance! 

The pattern is vogue 1385, a Sandra Betzina design. I made the shorter view. I think with my hips and tush the longer view could end up looking tent like unless I employed a belt with it. In fact I think the illustration of the longer view looks a bit blah and dowdy. Am I wrong? I do also think it is interesting that the neckline or rather the height of the neckline on the photograph on the pattern does not look as high as my finished shirt. I'm going with the fact that this model has an enviously long and graceful neck whereas mine is not so! On me the height comes closer to my lower jaw which I really like! Maybe the model is just lehgthenig! Hah!!

I will really have to dry clean this shirt because I used silk organza as an interfacing for the front edges and the neckline. I needed something nice and crisp yet not stiff to 1. Hold up that beautiful detail and 2. Not show through on this voile. If I was it now all the goodness of that silk organza will wash away and I will have a limp mess. I don't want that!

Above: the silk organza hand basted to the neckline facing.
Below: the power of silk organza! holding this voile up without being  'stiff'!

This is a fairly easy pattern to construct you just have to PAY ATTENTION, take your time and use lots of tailor tacks!! This top did take a lot of time, why may you ask?
1. Cut out fronts as a single layer to be able to match the print down the front.
2. I hand basted the silk organza interfacings to the facings. 
3. I thread traced all the tucks/darts in the both front pieces, top of the sleeve/shoulder pieces, both sleeve hems, and then all the corresponding lines into the facings. (This was after trying to mark them with a tracing wheel with no luck!)
4. Tailor tacked every circle and square and  triangle marking. 
5. Every seam, except for the facing seams at Front edge and neckline, were done with french seams. Looks beautiful and a nice strong seam for a lighter weight fabric BUT... Double the work!
So as you can see time consuming but I really just slowed down  and enjoyed the process, it was very fulfilling. 

I even contemplated binding the facing edges but the serger just one out on this one! I just did a three thread overlock edge making sure it was a nice balanced stitch. Came out nice!

The sizing of this shirt is not such an issue because it is a looser fitting design but next time I do think that I will cut one size smaller for everywhere but the hips to just give it a slightly sleeker silhouette. Due to my large booty, hehehe, I had to move the back fisheye darts up 5 inches! I probably also could have shortened those darts a half inch or so just to have room for a nice drape down my back and over my tush. If I had not made that change the back just gets stuck on my butt, bunches up and then the upper back looks too big because it can't hang nice. This is one reason why I LOATHE ready to where shirts. Those darn darts are never in the right place for my body :)

Back to my fabric decision, you may think a voile for fall? Well, I did actually say transition piece ;) cool enough for a warm fall day but coverage for cooler evenings or indoor air condition. It remains to be seen if this piece will make into the true Chicago winter wardrobe. Although with the looser fit I could layer a wool knit camisole under it for warmth.... Hmmmm, good idea!

I had NO problem with the buttonholes on this baby! That silk organza provided the nicest hand to the voile and just enough umph to sew out 6 perfect buttonholes with embroidery thread... AND can you believe those PERFECT covered buttons!!! Those were in my stash of a gazillion thrifted and antique buttons. I never dreamed they would get used on a garment! They were made for this shirt!

Again, I had no photographer and nasty weather so all my photos are on the dress form. I'll post some of the shirt and the red jeans together soon! Although, when I tried this on for my hubby to get his reaction he really liked it and complimented the neckline immediately. I must I was a little surprised, in a good way of course! He is a little bit more conservative in thinking what looks good on me. Whereas I am, let's say, a bit more adventurous!! :)

I really, really LOVE the details of this shirt with the beautiful and unique neckline and the sleeve detail. I feel like I could have played with the depth of the sleeve darts a little more to make the sleeve hem detail even more pronounced. 
The red denim jeans really go nicely with this shirt! they even go great with regular jeans or a pair of slacks. 

I have a 9 day work trip out to San Francisco coming up in a couple of weeks and am hoping to get a couple more pieces made. This outfit will be a great addition to the travel wardrobe.

Next up on my work table, a self drafted textured black knit skirt. This photo has been lightened so you can see the texture detail.

And if I'm lucky a Jacket as well out of this printed linen. The black on the linen and the black of the knit above match perfectly! 

Happy Sewing!

Hehe, had to share! My Grandaughter has found her tongue!