Saturday, March 28, 2009

Productive So Far

I ran out of steam last night so the PJ pants didn't get sewn until this morning, but they're done.

The new CJ top has been cut and is in progress. I expect to have that finished tonight since it goes together fast. I decided to bind the neckline edge for this one, both to raise the neckline a little and for some contrast.

If I still have energy tonight, I'll be pulling out the big fabric scraps to see what I have for the panty making spree. I'll start with a cutting frenzy tomorrow, knowing I probably won't sew them all up at once. But at least they'll be ready to go. Hmmm ... I wonder if I have any pre-cut and waiting from the last round. That would be nice.

Off to feed the boys and then back to the sewing room.

Oh, and thank you all for the birthday wishes.

Friday, March 27, 2009


I am so ready for a weekend! I have grand sewing plans, although I'm fairly sure my plans are grander than my energy. I turned 47 (gasp!) yesterday and I'm feeling every one of those years lately. We'll see how much I actually accomplish, but I want to cut/sew the PJ pants to match the top above, cut/sew an out-of-the-house version of this top, cut/sew underwear, and rework some tab-top curtains into valances (last on the list both literally and figuratively).

The top above obviously is done. I ended up not turning up a hem. It's a PJ top after all so it really doesn't matter. But this pattern is short on me, even though I added a generous 1-1/2" to the length when cutting. I didn't want to be constantly tugging it down so I just serged the bottom edge. It looks lettuced but it won't after it goes through the washer/dryer once. Other than the length, I'm very happy with it. It's a nicely drafted pattern that went together well, fits great with only a couple small and expected adjustments, and is a little bit different from what I've been making lately. Although I *was* hooked on wrap tops a couple of years ago, they've all now aged (or sized) out of my wardrobe and this will be the only one. I want to get a public version sewn by next Friday, when I'll be taking out my peeps (my assistants) for a casual dinner.

Tonight, I'm going to cut and sew/serge some no-sideseam PJ pants to wear with this top. Those are very fast to do and I should be wearing them to bed tonight.

As mentioned, also on weekend agenda is new underwear. There's been a lively discussion on PR about making your own panties. Great timing for me because I'd already been thinking it was time for another batch and had ordered my elastics, etc. since my elastic supply was getting thin. Whether or not a sew-along is actually started, *I* will be sewing them. I may not finish them this weekend because assembly-line sewing is not my favorite thing to do, but I will definitely get them started. If I bring a DVD player into the sewing room, I might even get some done.

Just typing this all out I can already see I won't be getting to re-working the curtains. But that is a project I do want to get done sooner rather than later, so I'll make time for that in spurts over the next couple of weeks.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Muslin a/k/a PJ Top

My sewing mojo has been mostly missing the last couple of weeks, but I think it was my body telling me to just do nothing for a couple of weekends. I think I mentioned that my voice had been missing too? Well, it was gone a total of 4 weeks, almost to the day. Unbelievable! But it's back now, although sometimes still a little croaky at the end of the day. One of the weirdest things ever for me. Someone else's voice, or none at all, coming out of my mouth.

Anyway, today I felt extremely rested and back to my old self. But I still had no idea what sewing project I wanted to start next. As I was scrolling through the Review Gallery on Pattern Review, I came across PattiB's review of the Christine Jonson Princess Wrap top, which caused the sewing mojo to start stirring. Thanks Patti!

I've had this pattern in my stash for at least 2 years. Probably closer to 3. Belinda reviewed hers in May 06 (what happened to your pics Belinda??) and I bought the pattern soon after that, I think. So, yes, almost 3 years now. I shouldn't have waited so long.

I cut a straight XL, although I did add length as I cut (and think I still will add more) and made my usual square shoulder adjustment. I also added width to the sleeves because I only wish I had Michelle Obama's arms! I think the top is going to be another winner.

My "muslin" is a 100% cotton baby rib knit. I think I've had this fabric at least 3 years too. It's Baby Lulu fabric bought from a coop. Very soft and comfy - perfect for a PJ top. Not so perfect to wear out of the house as cotton rib tends to grow widthwise and progressively shrink lengthwise. But to test the pattern and possibly get a new PJ top - a good match in my book.

I like how the wrap is gathered on one side into the princess seam. Nice asymmetry, great camouflage.

Since this IS 100% cotton rib, after all, I serged clear elastic to the neckline to counteract its natural inclination to droop. I then just turned and coverstitched the edge. Because of the construction order, this top would be also be a great candidate for binding the neckline on the CS machine. I may try that on the next one from better fabric.

So, after dinner I'll sew in the sleeves, stitch up the sideseams (they are pinned in the photo above), and hem it. Maybe I'll even have enough time to whip up some coordinating no-sideseam PJ pants. That's probably pushing it, so they may have to wait for 10-20-30 minute sewing during the week.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Better Today

It's done. It won't be a favorite, but I like it well enough to wear it. Taking it in at the center front helped a lot. It's still a bit wide in the shoulders but a few trips through the laundry might do the trick as the knit is rayon and may still shrink more.

You can't really see the princess seams in the photo but they do show more in person, although still not as defined as my first version of this top.

I decided to use some of my sparklie stash to liven it up. The photos just do not do any justice to the embellishment though. I used 4 colors of crystals — aquamarine, yellow, red, and orange — which match the colors in the fabric. I applied them in a sunburst/vee pattern.

The blurry shot seems to show the most sparkle, but it's still not it. Squint and imagine they are catching the light and sparkling. ;-)

I spent the afternoon straightening up my sewing room. I had muslins, new patterns and pattern tissue strewn all about and I *hate* the disorder. So, I labeled the muslins and hung them up behind the door (because I'm not done with them yet), recorded the new patterns on my master list, filed the envelopes in my binders, and filed the actual patterns in the pattern cabinet. And, I folded up and put all the "old" pattern tissue away. I still need to vacuum the machines and floor, but tomorrow is another day.

I was hoping during all my time organizing that something would jump out at me to make next, but I'm blocked. I want to sew, I just don't know what TO sew. Hopefully inspiration will strike soon.

Edited to Add Tee on Me:

Friday, March 6, 2009

Not Loving It Yet

It's nice to be the boss of yourself. I declared a PSA (Personal Sewing Afternoon) and hid myself away in the sewing room. It felt so decadent, but also so good!

It's done, except for the lower hem and trimming the ties. Except it isn't done. It's too big. I forgot to take my own advice from the previous makes and take in the center front. So now I'm contemplating ripping out the front seam and sewing it again. Well, at least ripping the coverstitching. I'll probably just serge off the original serged edges. But before I do that, I'm making a Big Red Note on the pattern.

The neckline is trimmed with an organza-like pleated ruffle elastic trim, gifted to me by my dear Aussie friend Belinda (waving madly!). It appears almost metallic in the first photo, but it's not at all. It just doesn't like to be photographed as it really looks. This blurry shot was the best I could do.

I want to continue sewing this weekend, but I have no idea WHAT I want to sew. Huge mental block. I think I'll curl up with my pattern notebooks tonight while vegging in front of the tube. Hopefully, inspiration will strike. It had better, considering all the fabric I've been buying lately. Ahem.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Quickie Tee. Not.

Next up, a re-make that's been on my To Do list for a year. The next version will be the fabric above, which I'm not sure I even like anymore. The previous tee is below. Actually, it's on its way to the rag pile. I've worn the heck out of it and it shows. I'm sad. I loved this top (when it looked like this).

The pattern is Burda WOF 08-2006 #130.

I cut it out yesterday (Saturday), thinking I would have it done before the weekend was over and then I never made it back into the sewing room. But it is cut out, so hopefully I can sew it in spurts during the week and end up with a finished tee by next weekend. And maybe it will be warm again by then. That cold air you Northern folks sent down our way is most definitely Not Welcome. ;-)