Thursday, January 31, 2013

Baby Strikes Again

  I had lovely plans for the Project Run and Play Challenge this week. This week's theme is Love is in the Air. Now I'm not a big Valentine's Day celebrator, but this seemed like a really versatile challenge, and as I said, I had lovely plans. Here is the stack of fabric I had to work with:

  Plenty of lovely greys, some sweet hearts, and a little bit of pink to round things out. I started with plans for: a grey corduroy jumper with heart cutouts along the hem, and the pink heart buttons down the back; a pettiskirt; grey fleece boots with big pink fabric covered buttons; a simple pink elastic-waist underskirt; and a cozy grey hooded jacket with the grey hearts for lining.
 Like this (not the best illustrations, but I think they convey the idea well enough):

 Here, I colored in the pink areas for you (the heart cutouts are pink because the underskirt would show through at those points):

 Anyway, those were my plans. However, you may have seen my post last week. That not-yet-here bump caused all kinds of trouble this week... I was so tired that I only finished one thing: cutting the strips out for the pettiskirt. Luckily, this entire grouping will also fit perfectly into the Signature week challenge, so you may see several of these pieces then, providing the impending bump cooperates.

 My bump apologizes for the lack of posting lately. =)
Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, January 25, 2013

I'm Sure You Have Noticed...

...That I've been more than a little absent lately. Here's why:
Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, January 21, 2013

Ruched-Side Top

  I've mentioned this shirt I was making a couple times now. It's been finished for a while now, but I've been putting off posting about it because I'm not really sure if I like it, or the way it fits.
 Here, see for yourself... the lone photo that came out all right:

  I started off with a white knit sheet, cut out my pattern pieces (I lengthened my basic tee pattern and altered the armholes a little), and dyed those pieces what was supposed to be cranberry red. It looked close to what I wanted until I washed it, at which point it faded to a bright orange-y scarlet. I was going to try painting a pattern on top in a darker shade of red to mellow it a little, but I didn't have enough red paint left for a good pattern, so I left it off.

  I originally cut the sleeves two inches longer than wrist length, so I would have plenty of room to hem them, but even though I pre-washed my fabric the sleeves shrank by several inches when I dyed them. Now they are an awkward two inches above the wrist, which is why they are pulled up in the photo. Oddly, the bodice pieces didn't shrink.

 When I altered the armhole, I failed to alter the sleeve to match, and ended up with a sleeve that was too wide. Rather than cutting it narrower to fit, I ended up gathering the cap of the sleeve... another thing I don't really like. Gathered sleeves look cute on everyone else but I feel like I have linebacker shoulders when I wear them. Granted, they look fine in the photo... I just don't like them in real life.

  The ruched sides were simple... I just cut the bodice longer than I wanted it to end up, and stretched and sewed a piece of elastic on the inside to gather it up. I should have played with my pattern pieces a little more there though too, since I needed the shirt to be a little wider in the hips and bust, and a little narrower in the waist.

  The one detail I love about this shirt is the neckline gathers, which are the main idea that led me to make this shirt. Again, it was just a small piece of elastic stretched from point to point and sewn down. I tried it on and did a little pinching to check the placement and length before I sewed.

  Besides the neckline gathers, there is one thing I'm happy with about this shirt and pattern... the back armscye now fits properly.

  At any rate, I'm glad that I used inexpensive fabric for this one! Here's hoping I like the next top I make a lot better.

Thanks for stopping by,


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Project Run And Play: Pattern Remix

  Have you heard of Project Run And Play? It's a fun blog-based sewing competition. I'm not a competitor, but there is a sew-along for every challenge. This week the challenge is to remix the Party Dress Pattern from The Cottage Home... I wasn't planning on entering this week, since I forgot about it until Tuesday, and was still feeling pretty sick. But then, I had a remix idea that I just couldn't pass up. In spite of the time constraints, I just had to sew it! Here's my version:

  I put the button placket in the front and made it asymmetrical, added a floral-inspired set of reverse appliques, added flat piping, and removed the sash. I kept the full, gathered skirt, the contrast band, the covered buttons, and the button loops. Since I made the dress out of dark, stiff denim, those gathers were really difficult!
  I think Booper likes it! =) She is at that lovely age where she wants me to sew things for her... every time I sit down at my machine she asks if I am sewing her a dress. And she is also happy to wear it all once I've made it. I really love it! =)

  I am actually a little surprised that this dress is finished... after working on it all day Tuesday, most of Wednesday, and all day today, it was starting to feel like I would never be done! I had some trouble getting the flat piping to lay just the way I wanted it, but I'm glad I added it.

All of the pink is some knit that I initially bought for hoodie linings, but I found something else I'd rather use for that. The denim is leftover from the first maternity skirt I ever made... back when I was pregnant with Booper! It looked a lot like this skirt, but had a stretch waistband instead of the snaps.

  The back of this dress looks a little plain... I'm kind of wishing I had kept the sash and just sewed it into the side seams so the back would be more fun. Next time! =)

  And that is my entry into the Project Run And Play Pattern Remix sew-along!

Thanks for stopping by,

PS: I know I said I had plans for a shirt for myself... It is cut out, but I'm not liking the color. I think I'm going to add some paint to it before I sew it up. At any rate, it won't take too much longer to complete.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Christmas Gifts: What I Received

  Sorry it's taken me so long to post this! I've had another nasty cold, and haven't done much but sleep for the past few days. Anyway, I wanted to show you the sewing-related gifts that I was given!

First up, this lovely collection:
  I've needed a sewing box for a very long time now... All of my things have been stuffed in a not-so-pretty cardboard box. Isn't this one beautiful? And it's big enough to hold quite a bit, although I've left my collections of buttons, bindings, and fasteners in a separate box, since I have so many of them.
  And look at that adorable teakettle pincushion! It's so cute I'm almost afraid to use it. =) And the buttons look like crochet! The pins were really needed too... all of mine were either very short or very wimpy. All of these pretty gifts are from my sister-in-love. Thank you, H!

 And this is what my husband gave me:
  He had actually already bought me a gift (and gave me that one too =), but when we saw this serger secondhand, it was just too good to pass up. The lady who previously owned it said that she didn't have any accessories for it, but she was really nice and included the white thread cones. Guess what! It did come with the accessories, they are just in a hard-to-find drawer on the side. =) Needles, thread covers, a spare blade, machine oil, a cleaning tool, hex tool, screwdriver, and a rolled hem plate. I am really, really excited to have a serger that is full-size, has 4 threads and a differential feed, doesn't clank, and can serge faster than my sewing machine can sew!

  Remember my peplum shirt? When I first made it I left the peplum edges raw, in spite of my dislike for raw edges, because a regular hem seemed like it would be too heavy, and trying for a regular rolled hem on a curved, knit edge didn't seem like a good idea. Then I washed it, and I really didn't like how the edges curled in some spots and frayed slightly in others. So that was one of the first things I did with my serger... a rolled hem on both of the peplum layers. I like it SO much better now, although you wouldn't be able to see much of a difference in photos.

  Now I'm gearing up to sew an entire shirt with this serger... I just have to find the time and energy to cut out my knit pieces! =)

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

What I'd Like To Do In 2013

  I've never really made resolutions, but this year I do have a list of goals that I would love to accomplish. I think having these in writing will make them easier to remember, so now you get to see them too. I have several non-sewing related goals, but I'm just going to share the sewing ones here. I will probably add to this list as I realize more things I want to do. =)

In no particular order:
1. Draft a new sloper, and get this one to fit right.
2. Make a princess-seam version of the sloper.
3. Make this top with my stretch lace fabric
4. Find a solution to my disorganized fabric supply
5. Make a fitted dress for myself from woven fabric.
6. Make a dress for Booper from formal fabrics
7. Sew a few unique knit tops for myself
8. Learn how to create PDF patterns
9. Sew casual sweaters/ jackets for both girls
10. Make a hoodie for my husband
11. Sew more with fabric I already own
12. Learn how to tailor my husband's clothes, especially his pants
13. Find something I really love making to sell
14. Sew myself a circle skirt with a fun trim detail and horsehair braid.

 I know most of the things I want to sew are for myself... but it is much easier to find cute kids' clothes inexpensively than clothes for adult women (especially ones that fit right) and kids' clothes are often simple spur-of-the-moment projects that don't require a lot of planning.

 These aren't hard and fast resolutions, just things that I want to keep in mind throughout the year. Anything you think I should add, or anything I should remove?

Thanks for stopping by!