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!

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