Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Second Jalie 2794 Trial

This is the first trial from this morning with the blend of sizes. Keep in mind that the bust gathers aren't spread out as wide as they should be and the binding in that area isn't sewn down which is why it's flipping up. Overall, not terrible. It's a bit tight in this almost unstretchy knit, but I was expecting that; my intended fabric has much more give and less recovery.

This is a straight EE, except that I did alter for square shoulders on this one. And then promptly pinned it out for the photos, which is why you see pleats on my shoulders.

The neckline is way too low, exposing cleavage not appropriate for an office setting. And this is without the center front shirring. Also, like the first trial, the back neck is much too high.

The shoulder/upper chest is also too wide (and boy do I have a redneck tan!). I've pinned out some width at the armscye. I think the armhole is also a little too low.

You can't tell that there is any easing from the center front piece onto the "bolero yoke" piece. That's because there isn't much at all in this size. Odd. I see a little dart trying to form from the armhole. I don't feel like doing an FBA on this pattern. After all, it's not a fitted blouse and I'm tired of muslins for today.

Somewhere between these two trials is the answer and now I need to decide which one to work with. I think if I can get the bolero yoke sized correctly, the rest will fall into place. Except the neckline will probably still need to be raised.

First Go at Jalie 2794

This is a horrible poly knit that has almost no stretch, especially since I cut it on the cross-grain to keep the striping vertical on the slim chance that this might be wearable for someone. It's technically wearable for me, but there are a few issues aside from the icky fabric so this one will go to the donation pile.

I blended between sizes as I traced the pattern, which was a bit hard to judge given the odd shapes of the pattern pieces. But I used my TNT Ottobre tee as a basis to make some sizing judgments and it was definitely looking like I should blend. I'm still really curious, though, about how a non-blended size would work on me since the larger sizes seem so incredible LONG compared to the others. I have more of this fabric to use up so I might just do an experiement. There are not too many pieces to trace and the sewing goes fairly quickly.

As for the blending … The shoulder width and armhole height is a Z, blended into the EE for body width. The overall length of the top is Z. The separate "bolero" piece is a blend between Z and EE. The sleeve is FF and fit perfectly into my blended armhole, although the overarm length of the cap sleeve is too short for my arms.

The fit is mostly OK. It's a little snug, but I expected that because of the fabric choice. The gathering at the bust needs to be spread out more. I used the marks on the pattern pieces but with my blend between sizes, I should've adjusted the spacing of those marks too. I need to put it on again and decide if the bolero pieces need adjustment. They feel weird but a lot of that is because they are just a weird piece that I'm not used to.

The shoulder width on me is pretty good, although it looks wonky on Zillie. That's just a combination of the fabric and my haphazard arrangment on Zillie. Poor Zillie. She wears mostly ugly versions of my clothes. ;-) I didn't adjust for my square shoulders, but that's because I was unsure as I was tracing which end was going to be up on that bolero piece. Now that I know, I'll do the adjustment.

The back neck sits waaaaaaay to high for me. I'm going to scoop that out.

As other reviewers have mentioned, the length of the binding pieces seems to be off. The front binding piece is definitely too long. The back was too, for me, but I didn't pin/mark or anything. I just started at one end and stretched it a little as I applied it. (Oh, and Belinda, you could definitely use a CS binder with this top. But as you mentioned on the PR boards, you'd have to add onto the pattern's edges to make up for lost width of the Jalie binding so it's just as quick to do it the "old-fashioned" way.)

The one puzzling thing about the long binding piece was that it wasn't clear how long to cut it. The pattern has a "Cut on Fold" mark but it's in the middle of the strip, not on one end. (Did that confuse anyone else who's made this?) I guessed and cut it NOT on the fold. I got it wrong and my first strip was only half as long as it should've been. Oops.

I'm going to go back to the sewing room now, fiddle with this top some more and decide how I'm going to proceed.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Couple More Thoughts on the Dress

I agree with everyone who said that the full gathers aren't the best look for a full bust. But I am still going to make the dress when I decide on a fabric. I might even use a knit since then I wouldn't need as big an FBA and it would be nice and drapey. But anyway ... I know, I know. ;-) That's one of the reasons for the muslin — to see how to adapt the pattern to not only fit my body but to *flatter* it too. I'd never wear this style dress on its own because I need some waist definition. But the right outer layer will do that. A short-sleeved summer sweater or a less structured jacket would work.

Other progress today: I started and finished the skirt (KS 3287). Praise be for TNTs! ;-) I lengthened it 2" and it's going to be great with the jacket. And the shoes. ;-) Let me say again how much I love the 1/4" downturn feller on my coverstitch machine. The poly fabric zipped right through for a narrow hem with not even so much as one slippery whimper.

Speaking of the jacket … a little more progress on getting it done. After sewing in and ripping out the (very thin) shoulder pads 3 times because I couldn't decide whether I wanted them or not, I ripped them out for good. The jacket isn't really drafted for shoulder pads and I didn't make an allowance for them. While they technically fit in because they're thin, I just didn't like the bulk. After that, I serged the armhole seam allowances which means my decision (and the lining) is final and there's no going back. LOL! Now if I could only motivate myself to do the buttonholes and get this thing finished. I'm still mulling over whether I want 2, 3, or 4 buttons. Why are all these decisions so paralyzing?

Then I traced Jalie 2794, the knit sweetheart neckline top. I'm going to try it in a summer sweater knit (without the front shirring) to complete the skirt/jacket outfit. But I'll do a quick test in an icky knit first. Hopefully, I'll get to that after dinner. It's nice to finally see a whole outfit coming together. You'll get to see it when it's complete.

Back Burner

This dress is on hold for the moment. I finished the pattern alterations and made a muslin yesterday (two actually) and I think the fit/style is OK. But there are other problems. First, I'm going to want to make the dress longer than the pattern's length and the layout will now exceed my 2 yds of fabric (by only about 6 inches!), and second, I'm not thrilled with how it looks under the brown jacket. With the gathers under the yoke, I think it's too puffy for this fitted jacket. I'm also thinking of rotating some of the bust dart *back* to the side and just sewing a dart so that there's not quite so much gathering. In muslin, it looks like a nightgown, doesn't it? ;-)

So, I'm moving on to Plan B and making a skirt from the lining leftovers from one of my TNT Kwik Sew skirt patterns. I think. I also have another untried skirt pattern that's a good candidate.

I'll return to the dress with another fabric, after a look through the stash or some shopping if the stash is uncooperative.

Monday, April 28, 2008

New Patterns & Answers to Comments

The results of my "spree" at Joann's on Friday night:

Simp 3506 - Looks like a fast & comfortable dress and top to whip up. The jacket is too shapeless for me though. The pants will never fit in the size range I bought.

Simp 2923 - Princess lines and raglan sleeves. I like the combination.

Simp 4045 - This is the jacket (brown, bottom left) that I'm thinking of morphing into that JCP inspiration jacket, although it won't be an exact morph since this doesn't have raglan sleeves. I'm thinking more "essence of inspiration." I'll have to create a separate neck yoke since what you see on the jacket is just topstitching. I'll never make the skirts because they are too full for me, but the dress and top are cute. But that dress doen't fit the model very well, does it?

Simp 3631 - Or I could use this one that was recommended by Belinda and Carolyn. I do have the issue of Sew Stylish that shows narrowing the sleeve so I should be all set, right? ;-)

Simp 3678 - Likely that I'll never make this but you never know. I like all of the dresses and think the sleeveless jumper would be especially cute under a jacket.

New Look 6632 - I thought the angle of the jacket would be a flattering diagonal line for me. Sort of trendy but at the same time, not. I'd make the shorter version, but a bit longer than shown. If I make it at all.

New Look 6788 - I like the dress. The square neckline of the jacket might be a bit too fuddy-duddy. I bought this and then saw Carolyn's dress and was doubly inspired. Of course if I made this dress, I'd have to wear a jacket and never take it off. If Joann's had had two coordinating linen/blends, they would've come home with me too. But Joann's usually disappoints and was no exception that night.

And two which aren't on the website yet:

Simp 2899 - Another raglan sleeve/princess seams combination. I'm definitely making the jacket on the left. But I wouldn't wear it buttoned all the way up, if at all.

Simp 2896 - The dress I'm currently in the process of altering to use with the leftover lining fabric. The blouse is very much like my recent coral blouse but with a little bit lower neckline. I'll definitely morph them as that coral blouse is my newest favorite and I'm going to wear it out soon if I don't have another. If I have enough fabric, I might add sleeves to the dress so I have the option of taking off the jacket. (Sleeveless and me in an office don't mix.)

* * * * *

Answers to some comments:

Carolyn asked, "Are you going to make a few other pieces - skirt, pants another top so that you can mix and match all of the pieces for interviews?"

I'm definitely making more pieces. Whether they all mix and match, probably not. I tend to sew as "outfits" and not a SWAP. And I'll be filling in with RTW because there's no way I can sew an entire office wardrobe in a matter of weeks. And, yes, I already thought about the 2nd interview scenario. ;-)

Nancy K asked, (About buttons) "There are some good places online. Have you tried any?"

I haven't yet. The problem is I don't *know* I need buttons until I know what the fabric will be and I'm well into the project and then I'm too impatient. I have a hard time picking out buttons for garments which don't yet exist. Not a problem with fabric, just with buttons. Which is why I don't have a good button stash.

CandyO asked, "This is your first lined jacket? Wow. That makes me feel a little better about my own abilities, since I just assumed you were awesome at all things sewing. ... Is that the McCall's Nanette Lepore knockoff?"

You're funny! I am most definitely NOT "awesome at all things sewing." Yes, this is my first lined jacket. And even with this, I haven't lined the sleeves so I still have that hump to jump at some later point. There just hasn't been much need for a lined jacket in my SAHM world. I know there's plenty of other sewing related things/skills I haven't done/mastered yet. That's one of the things I love/hate about sewing ... so much to learn and stay challenged, so much to screw up on. LOL!

And sort of. The jacket is actually KS 3368, with the waistbands and sleeves inspired by that McCall's pattern.

Myrna asked, "I know who Belinda is but who is Carolyn? Does she have a blog I'd like to read."

Carolyn is DiaryofASewingFanatic. I bet you already follow her blog and didn't realize they were one and the same.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Too Many Learning Experiences

Here's the jacket as of now. The only thing left to do is buttonholes & buttons and to attach the lining at the armholes. The fabric you see underneath is the lining and will also be a dress. The camera/light isn't cooperating so the colors are off. But then nothing seemed to be cooperating with this jacket so I'm not surprised.

Here's the back view.

And this is the lining. The colors are more accurate in this photo but the browns do match in real life.

This is what the jacket looked like last night. At first glance you might not notice what is actually a glaring mistake. Look at the belt bands at the waist. They are not level. By a lot! I didn't notice this until I saw this photo. At that point, I was hoping the jacket was just sitting lopsided on Zillie. It wasn't. Arghhh. I had measured carefully and even used white thread to mark each location. But obviously I messed up somewhere.

This revelation came upon the heels of fighting for over two hours with the place where the lining joins the facing. I was sewing this spot all by machine (as per Jackets for Real People) so the join would be neat. It's actually a pretty good method but since this is my first lined jacket, I had to experiment and learn as I went. But I wasn't learning fast enough for my own satisfaction. LOL! It would've been faster to sew by hand but I'm stubborn (and severely opposed to my own handsewing!).

(The extra seam you see is the princess seam from the front. Next time I'll redraw the facing to space that out more. I think it looks weird and it made it harder to get the lining/facing seams aligned correctly.)

So, back to the waistbands. As you can see, they are sewn into the princess seams and stitched down to the jacket body. The princess seam allowances were also trimmed and edgestitched. And the lining was attached at that point, although not yet at the armholes, thankfully, which saved me even more frustration. I had to rip out the band and one section of an edgestitched princess seam before I could reposition the band. And then I had to fidget with the lining underneath while sewing so I didn't catch it while re-stitching the band back on. Stupid mistake. Repeat after me: Measure twice, sew once. Measure twice, sew once. ;-)

My last frustration yesterday was that the lining kept falling out at the back of the jacket so it could be seen, even though I had anchored it at all the seams. I tried handsewing (yes!) it down but an inch of that told me it wasn't going to be invisible. This fabric does not hide stitches even a little bit. At which point, I threw my hands in the air and ended up anchoring the jacket hem from the inside with a fusible.

Thankfully Belinda was near her computer as I was cursing this jacket and lent me a shoulder to whimper on, gave me a great pep talk and good advice. Of course, if she were actually here instead of virtually so, she would've shown me step-by-step and I wouldn't have made any mistakes. LOL! But with all these "learning experiences" I created for myself, I'm actually feeling a lot more confident for my next lined jacket. In 10 years. ;-)

Now for buttons. This is what I bought. The pickin's at Joann's are slim and this is what I thought were the best of the bunch. The buttons on the left have a slight bronze metallic sheen to them. The buttons on the right are "coconut" and are more speckled. I'm leaning toward the buttons on the left. Opinions?

We're off to the dog park. After that, I'm hoping to start working on a dress pattern, leaving the jacket buttons for tomorrow when I don't hate the jacket so much. ;-)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I Got Nothing

Did I sew yesterday? Is the lining in? Um … about 2 seams, and no. It just turned into a day of errands and then DS#1 wanted to take me and his brother out for a late lunch so how could I refuse that? My last errand of the evening was to Joann's to grab that Simplicity 3631 pattern while it was on sale (and, ahem, 9 others), some thread, and to look at buttons. I'll be soliciting button opinions a little later.

I'm quite happy with some of my new patterns (I'll list them later) — at least in theory right now. We'll see how they work with my actual and not theoretical body. I was pleasantly surprised to see lots in the new counter book that aren't on the website yet and I bought a few of them. I have to say that going back to work is going to be very bad for my stash. I'm looking at a whole new world of fabric and patterns. Things that never even caught my eye before. Uh oh.

Oh, and speaking of the pattern counter books … I was so frustrated with them last night since I'm used to looking at patterns on the internet. The books really should show front and back line drawings on the pattern page, as well as fabric requirements (knit vs. woven) and even maybe yardage. What a pain to have to pull a pattern and then open the info sheet just to see the line drawings because even the envelopes sometimes don't have clear representations of both front and back views.

And finally an observation about the Project Runway line. I *hate* the way they're doing yardage requirements and not labeling the different views A, B, C, etc. First, the yardage requirements have you add up X for this bodice plus Y for that sleeve plus Z for this collar. And they do not add up correctly. I *know* that a simple dress won't take 3 yds of fabric. Sheesh. But would someone else who is new to sewing? Or will they end up with way more fabric and cash outlay than necessary? I say no, and yes.

But it's the lack of labels for the different options that made me the craziest. I like to look at the drawings for the pattern pieces and match them up to the different views. You know, the list under the pattern drawings that shows piece #12 is View A sleeve. That sort of thing. Except with these PR patterns, it's piece #12 is for "bodice with round collar and two buttons." Arghhh. I have to then study the line drawings to figure out which one actually IS the one that has a bodice with a round collar and two buttons. And then I have to do it *each time* because there's no way my brain remembers such a description for each and every view when I'm flipping back and forth between line drawings and pattern pieces. It reminded of the puzzles in Highlights magazine from the dentist office waiting rooms of my childhood — Which One Of These Is Different? That was my favorite feature in the magazine. On a pattern sheet, not so much.

I understand the general concept of what Simplicity is doing with the PR patterns. They want the sewer to feel more free to make choices, to *not* be stuck in a box thinking they have to make View A and cannot interchange the sleeves for View B. I think that's a good thing. But I know there's got to be a better way to do that.

Today I will finish the jacket while I dream of using one of my new patterns. I just have to decide which one.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Finally Some Progress

The jacket is coming along, although it looks like a mess in this pic. Look at that stray thread front and center — how did I not see that? And it's kinda just flung on Zillie for a quick photo session so it's hanging rather lopsided. Oh well. You can get the general idea. The fabric is brown RPL, some good stuff from Emma One Sock that had been aging in the stash for a while.

The side belt pieces are hanging down because I haven't yet attached the back belt piece to them. I played with the placement of the belt on my muslin and decided to put it a bit lower than the McCall's pattern shows because I think it's more flattering to me from the rear view. A higher belt makes me look short-waisted and all derrière. Well, more so than I actually am.

Tomorrow the lining goes in. I've decided not to line the sleeves, for a couple of reasons. First, I think it will be too hot. If the sleeves are unlined, at least they will breathe a bit even if the rest of the jacket doesn't. Second, I have exactly 2 yards left of the lining fabric if I don't cut sleeves, which means I can use it for a skirt or dress or something else that will go with this jacket. If I cut sleeves, I will essentially be left with a really big scrap. So I'll be lining just the jacket body and then overlocking the armsyce seam allowances. Sure, I could bind them and it would look pretty but I need to get this done and move on. I'll save the couture-type elements for another project.

Thanks for all the opinions about pantyhose. I think I'm in the majority with my thinking that they should be worn with pumps. Now to find a brand/size that I can live with. I seriously have not bought pantyhose in at least 10 years so I'm sure the options have changed.

A few of you asked where I bought the shoes. They are both from Zappos, and were under $70 per pair, which I thought was pretty reasonable. While I absolutely love how both of them look, I'm undecided about how they feel. I need to put them on and walk around the house for a while, but I can't sew with heels so I haven't done that yet.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Muslins and Mail

Finally, I'm ready to cut real fabric. Whew! I feel like I've accomplished nothing these last 3 days. I kept fighting the urge to just toss it all and run to the mall. But I stayed motivated because I know I'd never find what I have in my head and that whatever I did find wouldn't fit as well as I'm used to when I make it myself. I still don't have a thing to wear yet so the mall may still see me, but at least I'm feeling more optimistic.

I said yesterday that this KS 3368 jacket was a "near TNT." By that I meant I knew from my first trial of it there were still things to tweak. Fortunately, I had the finished jacket to try on to evaluate the tweaks. Unfortunately, I started seeing every little thing. Those tweaks took up my entire morning, but at least they're done now.

For the first jacket, I did not do an FBA. And because that fabric is a stretch denim and the pattern was drafted for a C/D cup, it really didn't need one. The fabric I'm planning to use for this second version is also a stretch woven but I want to line it with a non-stretch woven so a small FBA was in order. I also had to narrow the shoulders some more and move the shoulder seam toward the back. Nothing too complicated, but it meant a muslin (my third this week!) to be sure. My final change was to morph the sleeve from View C of McCall's 5329.

I'm also contemplating adding the "belt" pieces per the McCall's pattern and you can seem them pinned on the muslin in the pic above. I think I like them. They'd be from the same fabric as the jacket so it won't be a contrast, just a subtle design element.

Now, moving on to another topic which I mentioned this week …

Do you remember seeing this on Belinda's blog?

Well *I* took that pic above. Which means that *I* am the proud and grateful recipient of a wonderful birthday surprise from Down Under. She's a sneaky girl, that Belinda! Posting about her beautiful creation all the while knowing it was already on its way to Florida. Thank you SO MUCH Belinda!! It's now hanging up in my sewing room in a spot where I can see it from my sewing machine. I'd show a full-wall view except my sewing room is a complete disaster zone right now. ;-)

Also in the package were more goodies. First, a great birthday card (inside it reads "We're vintage"). It's actually 3-D, so that little hanger you see is real. Belinda always find the neatest cards. I think this one will eventually get framed and added to my collage grouping in the sewing room.

Next, a package of Burda tracing paper. I always wondered what that paper was that Belinda sometimes posts with her pattern tracings. It has a matte and a shiny side so it's always been very distinguishable to me. Now I know. I think I may just go ahead and use it on the KS jacket pattern, since it looks like a roadmap after the first and now latest alterations.

Also in the package was a flyer from Spotlight (like our Joann's), a flyer from a local fabric/sewing store with a list of their classes, demonstrations, and new fabrics. I've been pea green with envy about this store, Frou Frou, ever since I first learned about it. Belinda is so lucky to be in Melbourne with all those wonderful fabric sources in the same city. She also stuck in swatches (we trade back and forth) of some of her latest projects. The eyelet fabric she used for her prize-winning blouse is spectacular! (Actually, all of her fabrics are … see comments above about envy and Melbourne stores. Ahem.)

It's so fun to have such a kind and generous sewing friend from the other side of the world. The only downside is that she IS on the other side of the world. Or I am. ;-) But the internet and the mail makes her seem a little bit closer.

* * * * *

And last for today, my new shoes, which arrived yesterday.

I love them both so I may end up keeping them both even though I ordered two pairs of brown shoes thinking I'd send back at least one.

So, ladies, if pantyhose are passé, which I kinda know they are, just what do YOU wear with dresses/skirts and shoes like these? There's no way I'll go bare-legged to an interview. And even though I do go bare-legged all summer long and won't have a problem with that later if it's acceptable wear for wherever I end up, I still can't imagine either of these shoes with bare feet. Do you just live in flats and flip-flops all summer?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

We Interrupt This Muslin …

… to scream in frustration. ;-)

I thought I was rolling along with my changes but it's a mess. I think I'm going to end up buying Simplicity 3631 just so I don't have to experiment anymore with removing sleeve ease in a raglan sleeve, something which is new to me and I just simply don't have the time or motivation to work through right now. I need to sew!

In the meantime, I'm going to start on Kwik Sew 3368, which is a nearly TNT for me. And, if you squint, you can see that it's very similar to McCall's 5329.

Stay tuned. My schizophrenic sewing self is bound to finish something soon.


Belinda and Carolyn mentioned Simplicity 3631 in the comments yesterday. And darn if it isn't really, really close to what I'm after. But it isn't in my pattern stash and I wanted to start working on the jacket. Patient I am not. So I decided that the pattern I did have, Simplicity 3874, would work and save me a trip to Joann's. Plus, I do want to make the S3874 jacket per the pattern at some point and my fit alterations will transfer for that future project.

So, here's the first muslin.

The major fit alterations are done and now I'm just tweaking for style elements. After those are done, I'll revisit fit and then finesse the shape some more — things like adding a curved center back seam and raising the armholes a little. I know that this basic silhouette on my full-bust would be too sack-like as is and I will de-sack it. ;-)

The side on your right was sewn really ugly just to get an idea of how much gathering/ease I'm working with and to see if my altered pattern pieces both fit together and fit me (they do). The left side has the front pleats closer to final position, although I still need to tweak that a bit. The neckband looks caved in on Zillie, but her chest is much more hollow than mine and on me the neckline looks pretty close to exactly like the JCP inspiration jacket. I'm happy with that.

This is one of the sleeves with the 2.75" of gathering pleated out. Tomorrow, I'm going to morph another raglan sleeve with no gathering. I also pleated out the gathering at the back and will remove that width from the pattern piece. The length of the sleeves will not be as shown in the muslin. I just picked an arbitrary length for this muslin. I'm thinking the final sleeves will be 3/4 length with a wing flounce. I'll test that on the next muslin.

Tomorrow I hope to finish the alterations and a final muslin. And, I hope to have time to write a post about a special package I received in the mail from the other side of the planet.

In the meantime, I'm really getting into the new wardrobe thing. I ordered two pairs of pointy-toed heels from Zappos today. ;-)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Jacket Morphing Thoughts

First, thank you all for the good wishes. I'm actually feeling a little excited about the prospect of working in an office again, and not just complete dread. The "get out of the house and talk to other adults" aspect is very attractive, as are the new clothing opportunities. And, of course, the paycheck and benefits! But the reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. :grin: I'll still have my evenings and weekends and so of course I will continue sewing and blogging, but I just won't be doing each on a daily basis.

So, with that said, I need some office clothes and I really, really want to limit the ill-fitting RTW purchases if I can help it. I have a couple of weeks to get some interview outfits ready. Remember, this is Florida so we're always a bit more casual here. I'm sure that actual office attire will not be super dressy, but I won't feel right going on an interview unless I'm wearing a jacket and coordinated skirt or dress.

While snoop shopping online, I found this jacket at JC Penney. I like it because it is fashionable without being too trendy for my 46-year old self, and it will last a couple of seasons here in fashion-slow Florida.

If it came in a color I liked, I'd probably buy it. But it doesn't. So, the next option is to try to duplicate it (and change out those miniscule buttons!).

I have both of these patterns as contenders:

The first one (Simp 4122) I've already made and fitted, as my coral gauze blouse (which I wear a LOT now!). The second one (Simp 3874) is untested.

So now I'm trying to decide if it would be easier to redraft the neckline on 4122, which will also involve moving the yoke off the shoulder line a bit, or should I start with 3874, fit it completely from scratch, attach the bands so they aren't separate pieces and then add the center front extensions. Either one will also involve removing most of the gathers from the sleeves and changing the sleeves to something else. I'm not really fond of the sleeves in the JCP jacket, nor do I love the sleeves in 3874. It's going to be hot here. I want short sleeves of some sort.

(As I type all of that out, I'm thinking it will be easier to start with 3874 and use 4122 as a comparison.)

Also on the radar is McCall's 5329.

After we get back from the dog park, I'll be a pattern-cutting, muslin-ing fool.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Times They Are A-Changing

Things are happening here in real life. The biggest change is that I'm going to go back to work outside the home. This downward spiraling economy of our sucks big time, doesn't it? Even more than the thought of donning pantyhose again.

So, for the moment, the blog is on hold while I think about and prepare for what I need for dreaded interviews and then the office environment, and whether I'll be sewing or buying. But hey Carolyn, maybe now I'll be sewing corporate wear too! ;-)

I really just wanted to pop in and say I'm alive and well, and for everyone not to wonder about me.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Slip Fabric

Just a very quick entry today as I'm doing icky household chores and I don't want to break my rhythm. Yeah, right. Who am I kidding! ;-)

Anyway, a lot of the comments about the slip asked about the fabric. I'm sorry, but it's not some miracle fabric or anything of the sort and it's also long sold out. It's a nylon/lycra blend which has more body than what you usually think of and see for tricot lingerie. It's cool to the touch like nylon usually is and I don't worry about any heat factor because it's a slip and an updraft is always happening. ;-)

I bought it from (along with about 4 other colors) a couple of years ago. The link to the fabric still works so you can read about it here.

And for those who asked … I wore the coral tee with the skirt on Saturday night.

The vacuum awaits. :-(

Saturday, April 5, 2008

From Zero to Two

I don't know why it took me so long to make a top to match this skirt, but now I have two, I can actually wear the skirt, and I won't feel guilty anymore for not returning and not wearing it.

This tee is just the plain ol' Ottobre gathered neckline tee. But since I really don't like "plain," I had to liven it up a little bit. I used some transfers I bought from ShopOnion when I bought a pattern. (Unfortunately, Maria is sold out of this particular design now or I'd buy more.)

I know some of you (Hi Sondra!) didn't think the lavender fabric matched the skirt, but it really does. It just doesn't photograph that way. This photo is pretty close, though. Some of the petals in the skirt are the same lavender color as the tee fabric.

So, the only thing left to do about this skirt is to make a pattern from it since that's why I originally bought it. But I'm not going to hurry on that project since I'm ready to wear it instead of looking at it. In fact, I'm going to wear it out tonight for a casual dinner with some friends. It will be the first skirt I wear in a long time that I didn't make myself. (But I could've. LOL!)

I also made the half slip I mentioned last post. From tracing the one pattern piece to finished took less than an hour. Lingerie is definitely one thing that actually saves money when you sew it yourself, and now my undies won't show through the skirt tonight. ;-)

The main objective for this slip was to be quick about it, so I did the whole thing on my sewing machine and serger because I didn't want to stop and rethread my coverstitch machine for elastic and the hem. I used plush picot lingerie elastic for the waist, narrow zigzagged it on and then turned and triple-zigzagged from the front.

Then I used a blindhem stitch to create picot edge hem, and called it done.

Stash to the rescue again!

No Longer An Orphan Skirt

You knew I was going to make the coral top, right? But I couldn't just zip through an easy Ottobre tee. Noooooo! I had to get inspired. ;-)

I saw this green RTW tee in this thread on Pattern Review.

In that thread, Jaeng shared sketches showing what she'd do to recreate that tee from a TNT pattern. I decided to turn what should have been a fast coral tee into a "project" and make my interpretation of the RTW tee and Jaeng's sketch.

I started with the Rose (I think that's pattern #5) tee from Ottobre Woman 02/2007 since it is TNT and has a nicely shaped vee neckline and neckband.

I spread my pattern a little more since I wanted deeper pleats spaced farther apart, which would be stitched down.

Overall, I'm happy with this first attempt. If I make another, I think I'll spread the pattern at the hem end a little too when making the pleats so they "flow" nicer to the bottom. It's not as billowy on me as it looks on Zillie since she doesn't have my tummy.

I had to cut this fabric (cotton/Lycra) on the crossgrain since it has striations that run selvege to selvege and I wanted them to be vertical. The fabric has 4-way stretch so it worked out fine.

I did cut out the lavender/lilac tee when I was cutting the coral fabric and it's mostly done. So everyone that voted for both, you convinced me. ;-) This one is straight from the Ottobre gathered front pattern. I'll sew in the sleeves and hem it tomorrow.

And then will I start the denim capris? No! I've decided I need one more sidetrack — a slip to wear under some of my summer skirts so I can avoid show-through. But after that, denim capris are next. I think. ;-)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Another One?

The print is a skirt I bought at Walmart (of all places!) approximately two summers ago, meaning to copy it and then return it. Well, I never made it that far and so it has sat in the closet in its orphaned state, tags still attached, because I had no tops to match it. It may be a cheapie from Walmart, but I love the fabric and the way it swishes, and I *will* make a pattern from it one of these days.

I had thought my next project would be some denim capris (since I wear them a lot during the summer) but once I pulled out that skirt again, I just couldn't get past doing something about giving it a coordinate. But that means one more coral top. The last one isn't the right style IMO to wear with this skirt, even if it's the right color.

The other possibility is to use the lavender in the photo on the right. It matches too. But, then that top will be an orphan except for jeans and this skirt. Another coral top will actually go with more in the current and soon-to-be wardrobe. Decisions, decisions.

I'm also still deciding what pattern to use. I want it to be fairly brainless, so it's either going to be an Ottobre tee, a morph from an Ottobre tee, or another BWOF shirred neckline tee.

Being such a (potentially) simple top, I thought I'd have it done today but I can't get started. I keep walking by the fabrics, looking at them, and changing my mind back and forth. Hmmm. Maybe I should just make tees from *both* fabrics.