Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Summer Concert Tee from DixieDIY

I have been searching for a nice loose fitting, cool pattern for tops to use with my thin ITY knits. I love a nice ITY knit! However, I can't use them for anything close fitting because they show every detail of what is underneath. And when you don't have a smooth body underneath an ITY knit can show that to everyone!!!

I don't want to see that and I'm darn sure you don't want to see that either!!! So for more fitted tee shirts I will use medium weight knits.

So, on my quest to find a looser fitting top pattern I came across the Summer Concert Tee from DixieDIY. As I was googling to see what others have said about this pattern up popped the Perfect Pattern Parcel #1. If you have not heard about Perfect Pattern parcel then you must check it out!!! parcel number 2 comes out in 8 days. Parcel number 1 included 5 patterns including the lady Skater Dress, dandelion dress and top, the summer concert tee, a cute little purse and one other top/dress that for the life of me I can not remember the name!!! But I want to make! 
The cool part about this is that you get to name your own price. You pick the price and how much goes to the designers, how much goes to perfect pattern parcel and how much goes to charity. Very Cool!!! A great way to try out 5 indie pattern designers and give back at the same time :) gotta like that!!

Anyway, back to my Summer Concert Tee's. The pictures are taken indoor on the dress form because it was SNOWING here yesterday and if I don't blog about these soon they will never get blogged!!!

I made 2 of them. I really like how they fit nice though the shoulders, upper chest and bust and then fall gracefully from there! The design ease in this top is going to be wonderful when it is hot and yucky out and will look super cut with a pair of skinny capris or Bermuda shorts.

The first with no adjustments cut out on the XL size and fit great except that, as described, it is a crop top in front and I'm not showing my belly..... No discussions, just not going to do it. However, what I can and will do is wear a tank top underneath. Because it was already so cropped, I just did a rolled hem for the hem and then just did the same for the sleeves. 




The second one is color blocked and made out of a very thin/light cotton jersey that is so soft against the skin. But again a fabric that shows every lump and roll through it.... Got the picture? So PERECT for this loose fitting summer tee. This time I lengthened the front by 3 inches and just redrew the back side seam to the same length. Didn't actually have to lengthen the back because it is already quite long. I also changed the sleeve into a band instead. Made construction much easier and the length of the sleeve was better for me. This is going to be a lovely shirt to wear when it is 100plus degrees in Chicago with massive humidity. It's coming, the weather gurus are already warning us that the summer is going to be brutal... Yet it is STILL snowing here.

The neckline looks wonky in this picture but it really isn't. Must have been how it was hanging on the dress form and sticking to the cover.





These were a super fun and quick project! The pattern was delivered via PDF and was quick to tape together. And since I did not need to make any changes other than length I did not even trace. Just used my taped together printer paper as my main pattern. The fabrics were all from my stash and it has made me happy to use some of those lovely ITY and lightweight knits for something nice for me.

Next up on my work table is another pair of jeans. pair number 3! I made some changes to the pattern after wearing my first 2 pairs and can't wait to see how these turn out. :)

I'm off the next 2 days to go the original Sewing and Quilt expo in Schaumburg. I have ,signed up for a bunch of hands on classes. Mostly garment sewing... But I did sneak in one quilting class with Nelly Vikelas. I REALY enjoy her classes! 

See...no pics outside!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A new Megan Nielsen maternity/nursing shirt for my daughter

OI wanted to make another maternity shirt for my daughter. This one is also form Megan Nielsen but is a different style than the last ones I made her. This is the Perfect maternity and nursing top.

This top is a match for the blue skirt with flower appliqu├ęs that I made her. It also goes great with jeans and leggings! For this shirt I made a size medium for the bust and tapered to a large at the hemline. I also lengthened the sleeves to 3/4 length. I think it looks almost perfect on her! Next version just needs a sway back adjustment which will be easy to accomplish with that back waist seam. 

I did have to make a second version of the blue inset. It is sort of shaped like a funky Y. With a bit attaching to the shoulder seams and a bit attaching to the upper side seams. Let's the wearers pull open the top to expose the boob for breast feeding. The first one I made I was complelty not thinking and tried finishing the edges without any stabilization and boy oh boy that was a disaster! That light blue rib not just rippled and stretched so far out of shape that all I could do was throw it away and cut out another one!

Other than the sway back adjustment, the fit is perfect with this shirt. I was quite pleased with the outcome..

She has asked me to make a couple dresses for her. So with this top on, I measured to just below the knee at the side seam and the center front so I could determine how much fabric I would need. 

I picked up these pretty grey floral see-through mesh knit and grey lining for a dress for her baby shower. 

It sure has been fun sewing up maternity clothes for my daughter! I can't wait to meet my granddaughter :) 
Here she is at just about 29 weeks, checking out her baby belly in the mirror :) 

Happy Sewing!!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Knee surgery # 4, an impromptu sewing studio update and No water!

Yesterday I had knee surgery number 4 on my right knee. This time they did an extensive arthroscopic procedure. I had torn/shredded meniscus/menisci on both the medial and lateral side of my right knee as well as some floating debri in the joint. 

I'm on crutches for a week and no driving (or flying) for the next six weeks! Hmmmmm, no driving for 6 weeks! Good thing I have a great big stash of fabric and notions to work from once I'm off the pain meds!  For the next couple of days I'm catching up on some tv shows. Project Runway under the Gunn, Faceoff, Bones and I think I'm going to watch the Great British Sewing Bee. I believe I can find it on YouTube. 

I have a couple new novels to read but right now reading while on pain meds makes me disoriented and sleepy. Well, everything makes me disoriented and sleepy while on pain meds!! 

My original pre surgery plan was to get a bunch of stuff cutout and ready to sew. That didn't really work out to well! Instead an impromptu sewing room makeover happened. Remember back in January when I had the pipe break in the ceiling well, this weekend the hole was patched and ceiling repaired and now my hubby is in the midst of installing track lighting for me. On top of that we purchased a new TV a big flat screen ultra HDTV of ute frontroom and the old giant TV hutch was no longer needed. So, I did a little reconstruction of it to make a fabric cabinet in my sewing studio. This workout WAY better than I was expecting!!! My hubby added shelves and lighting in the top and I love this storage space for my fashion fabric. I was using an old dresser which was good but made it hard to see all my fabrics. Now I can see everything!! Yay!! I promise to take pictures soon. The old dresser now holds my quilting fabric which works great, I folded all the fabric so that when opening the drawers you can see all the quilting fabric. 

Now to add total havoc to changes in the sewing room, changes in the front room, knee surgery our well pump decided to die on Tuesday night! UGH!!! Talk about a HUGE expense that we weren't prepared for. Imagine this, getting ready for my surgery, trying to get the house cleaned up knowing that I'm going to be on crutches and 'out of order' for the next week and go to turn on the faucet and not even a drop comes out. Lordy, everything at once!

Anyway, new water pump is installed, I'm recovering from surgery and everything else will be taken care of one thing at a time. 

Happy sewing!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

February 2014 wrap-up!

Well, another month has gone by! Jeez, time sure is flying :)

February I made 8 items!

3 maternity skirts for my daughter. She loves these!
2 tops for me. I need to shorten the hem by 1 1/2 to 2 inches. They are just slightly too long and bunch up on my hips instead of laying smooth. 
1 black slinky knit cardigan. Love this! Perfect work travel piece. 
1 dancing dress. Yay, super twirly :)
1 pair plum courdoroy jeans. Super comfortable but need to take in outer seam in hip area so not so baggy. It almost feels like I'm wearing Jammies. Hehe. 

Only 1 total wadder this month! And it's not even pictured... Yup,it was that bad. 


Now to see what happens in March!! I have already made another pair of jeans and will continue for another pair or two at least. Also on the list for March is a bunch of baby stuff.

Want to know what is still in my UFO pile??? That darn skirt!! I think I just haven't finished it because I have nothing to really wear it with. I need to make a coordinating jacket and will Finnish the skirt when I make that. 

Happy Sewing!!

Monday, March 3, 2014

My quest for the perfect pair of jeans!

I am on a quest for a perfect pair of jeans!

So far I have made 2.

The first is out of 100% cotton stretch courdoroy in a plum color.


The second is out of a Non-stretch cotton/poly blend. (Not 100% sure of the fiber content, the fabric has been in my stash for years and was given to me by my mom. I did a burn test and it definitely has a synthetic blended in)

Both pairs are made from Peggy Sagers, Silhouettes pattern Lana's jeans. 

I made it to this stage after 2 and 1/2 muslins and some minor changes between the 2 pairs. I still have  several more changes that I want to make to the pattern. Like removing more fabric from the back of the thigh, adding length to the lower leg, adding a larger seam allowance to the front crotch and fly area, re-shape the side seam a little between the widest part of my hip and the knee and move the rear pocket placement a little.

The plum pair of corduroys are a tad big. They have no spandex so the recovery is not as immediate and after wearing them all day they seemed to have 'relaxed'in the hip area. I'm going to take them in a little bit. I do like that they have stretch and are extremely comfortable. I do think they are just a tad short, I would prefer them slightly longer, I like a break in the front over the top of my shoe. 

The blue denim pair have zero stretch. It has been years since I have worn a pair of jeans with absolutely no stretch in them! I wore them dancing with my husband and got several compliments on them. With no stretch they do tend to hold you all together quite well! LOL!!!! they fit great. The major change between these and the plum courdoroy pair is the width of the leg from just above the knee down. I made these as more of a straight leg and I really like that look. 

I pretty much used the same seam allowance on both pairs. This was a bit of an experiment. I knew from making the stretch pair that they were a tad too big and next stretch pair will have to use a bigger seam allowance. This non- stretch was the same seam allowance and this worked out quite well.  Although if you see in the below picture I still need to remove some fabric from the back of the thigh. (And move those pockets closer together!!!)  believe it or not I have already taken out almost 3 inches from just below the seat and back of the thigh!!! Just a bit more and I think they will be perfect.

I have followed along on Angela Wolf's Craftsy class for the details in making these. I have found a couple of here construction methods and her detailing of distressing to be quite useful. I especially like her construction order on making the fly. Both of these pairs came out super nice and flat. Next pair I will be adding distressing. These 2 pairs could not be distressed due to fabric type and content. 

I had a lot of fun with the details in the topstitching! And with the pocket bag materials. The plum pair uses a woven tie dye rayon and the blue pair uses a hot pink silk print. So luxurious and so flat and smooth against my leg. :) 

Here are some more pictures for the details.

Conclusions: I am living proof that you certainly make a pair of great fitting jeans for a pear shape bottom with big hips and smaller waist!!! No plumbers crack for me ;) the waist fits nice, comfortable and best of all stays right where it is supposed too! 

The funny thing about being making these jeans with all the topstitching. Almost all of the detail is just for me!! I almost NEVER wear a belt or tuck in my top, so all that delicious topstitching on the front pockets, belt loops and fly is just for my own personal satisfaction. I really like knowing that I have a great pair of designer jeans on that I made with all the amazing details!! The only part that most people will see is my rear pockets on my bum. When you have a big bum, it gets seen! LOL!!! 

Thanks to the RTW challenge and fearless February for getting me over the fear of jeans! Next up on the list is to make several adjustments to the pattern and make another pair, the perfect pair of jeans is on my horizon! 

Happy Sewing!!