Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ugh. So sick And my jeans progress

I have finally succumbed to the rounds of nasty colds and flu traveling around. I am in bed with some sort of a virus, a raw throat, pounding headache and heavy chest.  My voice and thoughts are but a whisper through my sore voice box and the fog of cold medicines. 

I have been making very, very slow progress on my jeans project. Actually, the first pair I am making are a plum 100% cotton stretch courdory.  It's so lovely!

I am using Silhouettes pattern Lana's jeans along with Angela Wolf's jeans Craftsy class and 2 pants fitting DVDs I own. One from Peggy savers and one from ???? (See foggy medicine brain!)

Anyway, at the end of last week, pre- flu, I made 2 muslins. And made a myriad of changes to the pattern. 

I probably should have taken a pic of myself in the muslin so you could see the changes I made.... But I didn't. I was actually trying to get the first pair of pants done for a work trip this week. Which I ended up having to cancel due to this nasty bug I have. 

Yesterday, between naps I got the fabric cut out , the back pockets designed and top stitched, the coin pocket assembled and the back yokes attached to the back legs and top stitched. May sound like a lot but it really is not! 

The stitching on the pockets is perfectly symmetrical. See the top pic. I love the optical illusion when you put them side by side and don't focus the camera directly on the center line that they look funky and skewed. 

I shall see what I manage to get done today. It would be nice to get the back crotch sewn, attach the pockets and sew the inseam. However,  I'm not so sure. ... It is only 8:40am and I am crawling into bed for a nap. 

Happy Sewing!

Friday, February 21, 2014

A new Dancing dress! vogue 8894

My hubby and I really, REALLY enjoy dancing! I'm not just talking about the go to club, have a couple drinks and shake your body kind of dancing... I'm talking about REAL dancing. The kind you have to practice and learn the moves, the kind with dance names like rumba, tango, waltz, west coast swing,
 and have dance moves like two way underarm turns, crossover breaks and shoulder checks! Just to name a few:) 

When dancing it sure is nice to have a dress that moves and swings out. Must have great TWIRLABILITY!! 
Now this is Excellent TWIRLABILITY!!! Although I probably should have put on my tights... Ahhhh naked legs!!!

So more about this project!
Pattern: Vogue 8894 View A

A few words about this pattern... It runs HUGE!!! I suppose that this is because the y say it can be used for knit or light weight wovens so obviously it must have a huge a mount of ease built in. I made this in a knit and according to the measurements on the pattern I started with a large for the neckline and shoulder/sleeves (all cut on one) and then  graded out to the XL for the waist down. However, since I was using a knit I had to make major changes. 

I raised the neckline by over an inch and I ended up using 1 5/8 inch seam allowances along the ENTIRE side seam from the sleeve hem all the way to the skirt hem. Which brought me down to medium.  

Here is a picture I took before I took in the side seams. Looks like a GIANT sack of a WADDER. OMG quick take it off!!!!!

Ugg, that is what happens with so called 'EASY' patterns! 

So back to the sewing machine and off I loped 4 inches of fabric and things were a bit better. 
**** So just a disclaimer here, this is NOT the normal style of dress that I would where and I am certain that it will only get worn for dancing. All that fabric from the waist down does not do much to enhance my ample bottom!! However, I wore this dancing last night and several of the ladies commented on my great dress! which was nice to hear:) ****

More on construction. I stabilized the waist seam so that nothing would stretch out of shape with my knit. I eliminated the zipper. With that giant V neck you really don't need it! I also stabilized the neckline with a fusible knit interfacing cut slightly smaller than the neckline and fused to the seamline. 
The sleeves are hemmed with a small 3/8 inch hem turned under and cover stitched. The handkerchief hem is done with a 3 thread hem overlock. Like a wide rolled hem.  I used a dark purple rayon thread that looks quite nice.

Fabric: modal knit, very lovely, soft and a dream to sew with. This was from JoAnn's. I was going to order some fabric for it but then JoAnn's had 60% off the premium fall line. Originally they were asking for $29.99/ yard!!! No way! (Not from an unknown Jo Ann's manufacturer...)

This dress needs to be styled. I don't think it looks the best as is. Although it has a better shape than the first pre adjusted picture!

I feel that I have to wear a camisole under it. It's hard to see in this picture but if I even bend over 15 degrees I feel like I'm flashing everyone!!! NO flashers needed! I could only imagine what would happen when I bend over to change into my dance shoes.... OH my!!

So I added a camisole and a wide black knit elastic belt and I was much happier.

LOL!!! self timed pictures are always an interesting lot. I had to stand on an exercise step cause I kept cutting off the bottom of the dress.

Will I make this again? I may try it with a lightweight woven for the summer... We shall see. It is a good dance dress pattern to keep in my pattern stash.

What's next on my work table? I have been working on making a muslin for a pair of jeans! The pattern has been traced, a muslin marked up and today I baste it together and see what changes need to made in The fitting.

I also have what feels like a zillion yards of fabric for baby projects!! I plan to get a BUNCH of stuff cut out and projects readied so that after my knee surgery I can just sew away!

Happy Sewing!!!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

2 tops, a cardigan and another maternity skirt and Valentines day!

This past week was a fairly productive one! Due to winter storms on the east coast of the US my travel plans were all canceled. Nothing like a couple snow days off from work travel to be productive in the sewing studio :) getting to spend some time. In the mornings, lunchtime and evenings really got me moving.

I have been thinking that I really NEED to make some jeans. This will be a new, well almost new adventure for me, so I have been putting it off.... And I did just that this week! I think once I finish the knit dress sitting on my work table I am going to pull out my jeans patterns and denim and just do it! I have several different jeans patterns that I will review.

I did have an EPIC fail early this week. Ugh, it was so bad that I could not even take a picture!!! It was my fault. I had used the pattern before but in woman's size. These no longer fit me, I was using the smallest woman size and so I bought the the same pattern in misses size and base don't the pattern envelope measurements I just used the second to largest size included, I think a 16. Well, SILLY,SILLY me. If I had just taken 5 minutes to compare the misses size I wanted to cut out to the woman's size that was just a little to big I would have realized the changes in the pattern were HUGE!!! Not just in overall size but length, and even some of the design elements. Plus it did not help that my fabric was a very lightweight thin poly jersey knit. Oh my it was just a disaster! 

With the disaster out of the way I decided to shake it off and get back to work.

I made Sewing Workshops Ann's cardigan from the Ann's cardigan and tank pattern. I have a black slinky cardigan that I have had for years and years. It is my go to work cardigan for travel when I don't need to be in a suit. It was starting to look a bit worn. I have haved a 3 yard length of black slinky knit from EmmaOnesock in my stash for a couple years now. It was perfect to make a replacement.
The fronts have these very cool draping points that come down and give it some interest and also serves to look a little more dressy. The back is all business and plain. I used a wide cover stitch to finish off the entire edge all the way around at 1 inch from the edge. There are four 90 degree turns along the edge so before I stitched the final garment I played on a scrap and tested out several methods to go around the corners. I ended up using the very slow and very careful turn around the corner. Not easy since there are 2 needles. I drew the path out with white chalk on each corner first as a guideline. You can see in the picture above, lower right corner, the result. Not perfect but I'm quite happy with it!
I tried to lighten up the picture so that you can see all the details. If you look carefully at the full picture on then left, you can see at the bottom that depending on how you are standing or moving the reverse side can be seen. I was very careful to keep the inside nice and neat.

Very, very happy with this new garment!

My next 2 projects are the result of me realizing that I have a lot of nicer clothes made and only a few pieces of everyday wear. It would be nice to feel nice and put together in my everyday wear without having to feel dressed up. Hence the creation of these 2 shirts. 

This is a new pattern for me. Vogue 1363 by Sandra Betzina (she is great for having sizing that seems to fit me quite well. JoAnn's had a 3-day sale on Vogue patterns last week so I took advantage and stocked up! Vogue patterns can be sooooooo expensive. So paying only 4.99 a pattern was a treat :)

I made view B for these tops. 
This pattern is nice because the shoulders are drafted narrower and with a slightly forward shoulder seam. And having a dart meant that the fit across the chest was also quite nice! I did not have to make any adjustments to the shoulder or armhole. To select my coreect size I measured a couple shirts in my closet that I like the fit of and I compared them to the pattern and went from there.

This first top was made using leftover pieces from tops that I made for Melissa. Way to use up those scraps! I am happy with the fit. Although in the future I may shorten the sleeves just a bit, maybe a half inch for these long sleeves. I also tried a new technique for the neckline that Sandra Betzina shows in the pattern. I like it! However for. This first teal top I did not use a cover stitch just the walking foot on my regular machine and the double row of stitching is wonky.

The sleeves from this second shirt are made from leftovers from one of Melissa's maternity skirts. I had just enough to squeeze out the sleeves. The body is made from new fabric I just bought and beautiful modal knit. It is SOOOOO soft yet has a nice weight and thickness and is a dream to work with! 
The final stitching on this neckline I did with the cover stitch and what a HUGE difference :)

So now that I have a couple more everyday wear winter tops I REALLY need to work on bottoms. 
So the next several weeks will be spent on working on bottoms and on sewing for my granddaughter. I have a bunch of projects to get done before she arrives in June!

Speaking of my upcoming granddaughter. I made Melissa one more maternity skirt. She now has 3. I'm hoping to make her a few more things ( some coordinating tops and a dress or 2) that will hopefully get her through the rest of the pregnancy for a work wardrobe.

This skirt I had some fun with. I added a gathered flounce to the bottom. I serged it on with the seam to the outside to give it an updated non-juvenile look. She really likes it so that makes me happy! Otherwise I would have had to lop it off and refinish the bottom edge. To make the gathered flounce, I cut two 4 inch strips twice the length of the circumference. I then gathered using a ruffle foot on my machine and then basted it one and serged it. Since it is a knit and the edge won travel I left the bottom edge of the flounce unfinished to keep it light.
The grey was hard to photograph. It is a dark heather grey like the photo on the bottom. You can see the detail of the serged seam on the outside. Came out so cute:)

My last project this week was my valentines day gift for my hubby. I wrote down 52 reasons why I love him on purple and red card stock and placed them in a jar. The tag on the jar says 'I Love you because...' 52 weeks of I love You. (Or something like that! I can't remember exactly) the idea is that each week for a year he can pull out a slip of paper and read a reason why I love him. It made my heart smile to put this project together :)

For valentines day I got homemade white choc covered strawberries!! YUMMY!!

And Melissa and Dorian sent me flowers :) it is nice to feel loved!

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

More maternity wear and update on my daughter.

This past weekend was a stressful one! My daughter had her back procedure done on Friday morning. We were very happy to learn that her doctor doing the procedure had called in a favor and had an on/gyn anesthesiologist for her case. This made me feel much, much better about the entire thing! The procedure took a bit longer than normal because they used ultrasound instead of flouro to do the procedure.  Anyone who knows much about these imaging modalities knows that ultrasound is not the easiest way to see things. 

She made it through and they gave her fentanyl as a pain medication. In the post op area my heart was breaking for her! I could see the pain that she was in. This tears a mothers heart apart. They gave an additional small dose of fentanyl so that I could get her home. Once home she was so brave and just gritting her teeth and trying to relax, the pain was so bad that I had to help her to even use the bathroom. By Sunday she was improving and she did go back to work. We really think that the absence of the cocktail of medications after her regular procedures was sorely missed! She usually has a mix of muscle relaxers and pain killers and sometimes a pain patch. She HATES taking the meds but now we really know why they give them to her after her procedures!! Hopefully, this round of injections will be enough to get her through the rest of the pregnancy. 

To help cheer her up I decided to whip a couple of maternity skirts for her. I used Megan Nielsen's Ruched maternity Skirt. This is a very easy project with only 2 pattern pieces. 

This black skirt is made from a super soft jersey. The pictures are hard to see the ruching detail. The ruching is from about 2 inches below the waist band (which is worn above the belly) to about 12 inches down. So across the belly and hips. Please excuse the rest of her CRAZY outfit!!! I was happy just to get her to try on the skirts and let me take pictures!! LOL!!

This second skirt is a bright blue light weight rib knit. The 2 detail photos are lightened way up so you can see the flower details.
I saw this flower and leaf detail on another blog or Facebook and I FULLY intended to give credit where credit is due. However, I can not find the post. It was a remake of a coat into a skirt and I loved the flower details. If it was you or you know who please, please, please let me know in the comments so I can link up!

I just took scraps left over from cutting out the pattern and just freehand cut leaf shapes and varying size circles, payed them up in a placement that I liked and then machine stitched them down. She really loved the detail of the flowers. It was so nice that I made her smile :)

She wore the black skirt to work this week and and said some of her workers were ready to give me orders. That always makes me feel good.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

January 2014 wrap-up!

This post is mostly for my own benefit. I was thinking it would be nice to do a wrap up post each month to help me see what I have done and determine where I want to go!

January was a great month for sewing!! I was very productive and was working from home for a big chunk of it. My hubby and I went on a GREAT vacation that we truly enjoyed together.

So here is what I made in January! 8 projects totaling in 11 items.

From left to right starting at the top.
1. Beach dress/cover up made from a nylon missoni like knit bought at Linda Z's using McCalls 5890.
2. Colette Hawthorn dress made up from $2.50 100% cotton shirting from JoAnn's.
3. Sewing Workshops Ann's tank made up in a stretch lace over a knit also from super sale at JoAnn's.
4. Bombshell Bathing Suit made up from swimsuit fabric from JoAnn's (I will buy swimsuit fabric from JoAn's again, the quality is not nearly as nice as my other bombshell suit!)

Left to right across the bottom.
5 and 6. 2 Megan Nielson Ruched maternity tops for my daughter. Both of these knits were from JoAnn's super sale.
7. Embroidered toiletry bag, my own pattern, fabrics from stash left over from a home dec project of my son-in-laws. The lining from my stash as well.
8. Set of 3 envelope pillows, these are a birthday gift and have not yet been blogged about. Just a sneak peek here!

And that wraps it up for January!!

We shall see if I am as productive in February! 
I have 2 items on my must do list. One is a new black sliy knit cardigan. My current one is beginning to look a bit worn!! And number 2 is to make a pair of jeans. (Scary!!!)

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

I'm having a granddaughter!!!

As some of you may already know my daughter is pregnant and this past Thursday we found out that she is having a girl!! My hubby and I, along with our son-in-law all gathered around the exam table where she lay having the ultrasound. It was so neat to see everything, watching the baby moving around and hearing the heartbeat. It moved me to tears! 

OHhhhhMmmmmGeeeeee!!!!!! I can not contain my excitement!!!

My granddaughter, Victoria Ann, will be arriving here mid June. 

Here is the little baby momma! She sure doesn't look like she is going to be 26 in a month. More like she's still my little teenager!

The excitement continued on Friday when she had a back procedure/injection scheduled. Due to the pregnancy her doctors had to change up her usual course of treatment.  They brought in an ob/gyn anesthesiologist to be in on her case and used ultrasound guidance for the injection instead of x-ray flouro guidance. The recovery afterwards is going much slower than normal since she can not take her normal post surgery cocktail of muscle relaxers and painkillers. They gave an injection of pain medicine at the hospital that allowed me to get her home on, after that it has just been ice and rest. She is being a trooper! I am having them stay at our house for the weekend just to make it easier on them and to keep me from worrying to much!

4.5 months to go and keeping my fingers crossed that her back holds out! 

Life is good! I got a quick hour and a half in the sewing room this morning an d cut out 2 maternity skirts for Melissa. Other than that we have spent the day all cuddled up with blankets not he he couch watching movies as the snow just keeps on falling outside!