Friday, January 30, 2015

Rigel Bomber Finished

I finally finished my Rigel Bomber. I love it!!

This picture shows the jacket a little better. I'm not sure about the crazy expression on my face. I think that the sun is was in my eyes.

I probably will wear the jacket open unless it is really cold. I don't live in the Northeast so super cold days are rare.
The back fits pretty well although I'll make a slight sway back adjustment if I make it again. I did stretch the ribbing around the back neck so that it would fit snug against my neck.

Note to self:  Remember to take one or two pictures without my hands in the pockets. The fit actually is better than it appears. A lot of the winkles in the jacket are caused by my hand placement.

I'd like to make the Rigel Bomber again, but I'm not sure that I will. How many jackets do I need in Florida? I'm trying to focus on the many garments that I need for everyday wear. The Rigel Bomber sew-a-long actually got me side tracked. This winter has had many cool days so I do think that it will get lots of wear.

As for construction, I made a size S. With a 37 bust and 32.5 high bust, I still didn't need a full bust adjustment. It's rare that I don't need one. I sewed the side seams at 1/4 inch and still feel like it a bit snug for me. I'll add 1/2" to the side seams if I make it again. I struggled with the welt pockets, but they turned out okay for the first time. They really aren't that difficult. All I need is practice! I really pulled my hair out had to think about inserting the zipper. I had trouble figuring out how to put the zipper in before attaching the facing. The zipper is put right side down to the jacket, attached and folded over before attaching the facing. I forgot to baste the zipper first to check if it was even. I was lucky as I could not have gotten it any better with basting.

I'm off to the next project whatever that may be. Happy Sewing to you!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New Year Sewing

My first completed project for the year was the long sleeve t-shirt version of Silhouette 195.
Although this is just a t-shirt, I need a white knit long sleeve top. I am sticking to my goal to spend most of my time sewing the casual clothes that I wear often. I've made this top many times. The fit is fine for a t-shirt, but I want to add some different necklines and other changes to this basic pattern. When I look at it closely, I can see that it needs some tweaking before I start getting creative. The changes I want to make for next time are:

1. Sew the darts 1/2" further into the bust line. The dart is not smooth enough at the end. I checked my sewing which looks perfect to me.

2. Do a 1/2" forward shoulder adjustment (not obvious in this photo).

3. Make a slightly smaller armhole by raising the side seam. Change the sleeve to fit.

These are so minor that I won't make them on this top. I guess I am lazy have other priorities.

Today I spent most of "sewing" time trying to figure out the self-timer on my camera. I have a Cannon G-15 that I got for Christmas last year. I was assured that I could purchase a remote for it. Well, I could but the remote has a cable that is only 6 feet long. I figured out how to add an extension which is long enough to work. The problem is the cord shows in pictures. Also, I almost tripped over it a couple of times. Husband is willing to take pictures if I can catch him. He is a sweetie, but not very patient with picture taking. I'm going to try the self timer. Yahoo!! I finally figured it out. Now, I only need a clear day. The weather here in Florida is dreary, really cold for us, and raining off on on.

I finished sewing the buttons on a blouse that I started this summer. It's hardly appropriate wear for this time of year, but I want to finish a few of those UFOs that are hanging around. It needs a final pressing and a sunny day for picture taking.

I need to get back to the welt pockets on my Rigel Bomber. I'm really nervous with them since this if my first time making welt pockets. Fortunately, I have enough fabric to cut new fronts if I mess up badly. I've cut between the welts and they look fine so far. The rest of the jacket should be a breeze. Yea, sure.

I hope your sewing and life in general are going well.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Rigel Bomber and Looking Ahead

I've joined Ginger and many others in the Rigel Bomber sewalong. Hopefully, sewing the Rigel Bomber will be easier than deciding what fabric to use. I guess that is the problem with such a large stash. Finally, I have narrowed my choices to two.

This is a cotton sateen, purchased from Fabric Mart last Spring with ribbing yardage from Sew Baby. I bought the fabric to make pants. While I think pants would be super cute in this fabric, I doubt that I would wear them very often. The zipper was purchased to make the Bomber which never happened.

This is a wool sweater knit and theory cotton to make the sleeves.  Both fabrics are from Mood. The zipper and ribbing are the same as choice #1.

My concern about Choice #l is the fabric is the same as the Bomber made by Shanni.  Only the zipper color is different. I'm not sure about using the sweater knit although interfacing it should make it work. I bought this fabric to make a cardigan. Yesterday, I decided to use the polka dot cotton because I just love it. After all, I gotta decide or the jacket will never happen. Maybe I'll just go for the Copy Cat Award of 2015. I just hope that Shanni believes that copying is the highest form of flattery.

The year 2014 was the worst ever as far meeting goals. It wasn't a bad year but far from the best. My major focus was getting my arm and shoulder flexibility back. I can't believe that it took me a year, but I'm 95% there. It only hurts when I do a lot of fabric cutting. My strength is slower at returning. Would you believe 3lb weights? It is an improvement from inability to lift a gallon of milk. Don't ever break your arm! (not that anyone would plan on doing that crazy thing) Although I made a few garments that I like, I didn't finish many. I would stop working on a garment because the task was hurting that arm. (That's my reason and I'm sticking to it.)

I broke the Ready to Wear Fast in August. I needed shorts to wear on vacation and could buy them for $5. There was no way that I was going to be able to sew them. My goal to blog about the garments I made was a failure. I still have 3 garments finished that have not appeared in the limited activity on this blog. They will be coming soon. As I set out to do in 2014, one of my goals is to blog about finished garments soon after completion.

Goals for 2015:

1. Focus on garments for casual, everyday wear. I need to think more about how often I will wear each garment I make.

2. Finish the bra making Craftsy course.

3. Finish 3 quilts. I have one quilt that needs borders and another where all the blocks are completed. The third is a block of the month that is offered by my local quilt shop. It is a wall hanging of downtown DeLand, FL where I live.

4. Improve knitting and crocheting.

5. Make progress with sewing room organization.

Friday, November 28, 2014

A Dress I Love

I love this dress pattern, Silhouette 4014. So far, it's the first wrap style dress that fits well enough to wear.

The dress is made from 2  jersey panels. I'm not sure which I like the most: the soft jersey or the gorgeous floral designs. At cutout time, I was planning to copy the dress that Peggy Sagers (from Silhouette Patterns) showed on one of her webcasts. The only part that I copied exactly was the top back. From there, it was a "creative" cutting of the fabric that I had left.  I needed another panel to do an exact copy and the fabric was sold out. SURPRISE!! I probably didn't have 1/8 yd of scrap pieces. Anyway, I am happy with the results.

Two days have gone since I started this post. Hubbie came home with groceries so I had to stop writing. All those goodies had to be put in their proper places. Then, the laundry was dry so there was more to put up. Then, the holiday prep needed to start and then.... I imagine you know what I mean. It's so cold here that I feel foolish writing about a summer dress. The yard looks a lot different from the pictures, also. Winter has arrived in Florida. My daughter in PA would call our 40 degree temperature a heat wave.

I'll stop rambling and get to the details of this dress.

There is an angle wrap at the bottom of the skirt which is slimming. Believe me, I need all  the help that I can get.

The back facing is so long that I didn't have my usual problems with facing - uncomfortable and flipping up even with understitching.

I didn't make any adjustments to the pattern (rare for me) other than shortening it by 4 inches.
Here are some more pictures of the panel placement:

For the most part, the sewing was easy. It was a bit tedious attaching the back facing to the wrapped side seams. It wasn't hard, just took a little time.  I did have frog stitch (rip) the skirt because I ended up putting the side seams in the back. Next time I make this, I will mark the skirt sections so that won't happen again! If you look closely, you can see some ripples in some of the seams. I was sewing with one and a half arms since I didn't have full use of my broken arm. Believe me, it takes two arms to sew a proper seam on a knit. Because of the sewing, I was hesitant to wear it. I was sure everyone was looking at the seams. Well, not really but I knew the problem was there. DH likes the dress a lot and I got lots of compliments wearing it.

I have other projects completed and not photographed yet. Hopefully, I will get that done before summer is here. I almost have full range of motion in my right arm so that is no excuse now. I even did a strength video this morning for the first time and the 3 lb. weights felt too light. We'll see how it feels tomorrow. Tomorrow is house cleaning day with my boys and family coming for their second Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday. Now, I'm off to cut out the red silk charmeuse shirt that I want to wear for the holidays.

Happy Sewing!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

OAL turns WDE

I thought experience improves sewing. Generally, it does. I just didn't learn from my experience with this dress that I made for the outfit sew-a-long. It is definitely my Worst Dress Ever. Here's the gem that somehow came out of my sewing room.

Yep, I was acting silly (might as well laugh at mistakes) and doing one of Lauren's (Ladybird) classic poses. The dress is S1803. If you want to see this dress made properly, check out Lauren's post . She made two awesome versions of this dress and has a number of tutorial posts for sewing it.

First, I'll talk about what I like about this dress. I was surprised that I could wear this style because it is quite different from my usual garments. I'll make it again at some point, but not right away. Also, I was pleased with the actual sewing of the dress. It was fun. The sewing isn't perfect, but is pretty good.

The problems began when I picked the fabric. I wanted a print and liked the colors which go perfectly with my OAL Myrna sweater. It has been resting in my stash for a very long time. Since it was a bit stiff, I washed it in coca cola. That helped and the drape seemed to be fine. I barely had enough fabric to cut out the dress. I tried to do some matching of the prints, but there was not enough fabric. I thought about stopping and using another fabric...sure wish that I had. Take a look at my scraps.

I did cut out the tie belt by shortening it a lot. Then, I decided that I didn't like it. Anyhow, I thought that I had the prints matched close enough at the seams but I was wrong. I was having fun sewing and didn't realize how bad it was until the photos. With the finished dress, I could see how cheap the fabric was. I doubt that I spent much because it's been around since I started sewing years ago.

This dress was a big disappointment. I won't say "learning experience" because I should have remembered what I already knew. I certainly was reminded!! I'm hoping my next sewing project will have better results.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Outfit Sew Along

Thanks to Lady Bird and Audi for organizing this sew along for the months of June and July. I'm hoping that I can complete a sweater that is wearable outside of the house in two months. I know that I'll finish the dress.

Here's my fabric and yarn:

Here's the dress pattern:

I'm not sure that this dress will work for me, but a muslin will answer that question. The sew-along allows for a different dress pattern if we want. If the muslin is too bad, I'll just use a pattern that I know will work. I do like this pattern so I have my fingers crossed for a successful muslin.

I haven't forgotten about Me-Made-May. I'm trying to organize my crappy phone photos into a collage. Right now, I'm too frustrated trying. In a true Scarlett O'Hara manner, I'll think about that tomorrow.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Only An Afternoon

Although I'm a slow sewer, I made Jennifer Lauren's The Afternoon Blouse and hemmed Silhouette 3600 pants in one afternoon. This blouse is quick to make and that includes putting together the PDF pattern and tracing it. I decided to make this blouse after seeing the version made by Shanni. I originally planned the blouse as a muslin, hopefully wearable. I did wear it for a dinner out with family but I know that I won't wear it often. It definitely needs some fitting work. The jury is still out on the wearable part.


I was surprised at how easy the pattern is to tape together. The sewing is simple for the most part. The front seam and neckline is a bit fiddly, but not hard to do. I did have to topstitch to keep the facing down around the neck and front.

The major problem for me is the bust fitting. I'll have to think about how to fix it, but I definitely need more room. This problem is more obvious in the side view. There is a gap on one side of the neckline. Also, there is a little jag where the circle design connects to the center seam (hard to see, but I know it is there). I don't like the way the sides poke out at the bottom (an easy one to fix). The back needs a slight sway back adjustment (normal for me).

I've finished with the blouse for now, but I haven't given up on the pattern. I would like to make in a lighter weight, solid color fabric. I may use this blouse as a muslin for fitting so that I don't have to make another one. That would make it no longer wearable, but I probably won't wear it much anyway. That's an issue for another day.

The Pants

Silhouette 3600 is a new pants pattern for me. I love it! I had Peggy Sagers fit the muslin at her Atlanta Workshop in March. Peggy was sick the last day so she didn't see the pants made in fabric. After looking at the pictures, I think that I will take in the side seam 1/2 to 1 inch. There also some twisting going on in one of the legs. I'll have to check it. It may be my quick hemming job or it may be cut off grain (in which case the pants will become capris or shorts).

The contour waistband is so comfortable that I could wear it to bed. It is easy to sew. Since I was sewing with one hand at the time, the topstitching is little off in places. It's good enough for me and not a fault of the pattern design. If anyone looks at it that closely, they had better be interested in sewing.