Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Orange Ruffles

I covet the M5522 blouse that Karen is making. She's using a stunning orange plaid that I love. Unfortunately, my body (and my overall appearance) doesn't think much of bright plaids or most plaids on my top part. I've had this pattern, one of the Pattern Review Top 10, for a while now and never got around to making it. After the inspiration from Karen, I have the fabric chosen. I also found buttons that I really like with it. They pick up the orange and the shades of red in the fabric. It's on the sewing list and will be a blouse soon. I'm planning to do View C with the ruffles. I love ruffles but have to be careful because I'm only 5' tall. I think this fabric will work. The ruffles can be eliminated if they look like I'm playing "little girl".

I got my new computer yesterday. I'm quickly developing a love affair with it. So far, everything is working like a dream and soooo fast. This post is a test. I've been using Kodak Easy Share, but want to start using Photoshop Elements. I decided not to load both programs and just learn how to use Photoshop. That seems to be working fine with the simple things that I did before. I can expand my knowledge base gradually now. I'd like to do more with my blog photography. That is, I'd like to work on it between sewing projects. Right now, I need to get my e-mail working and do some sewing!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mistake or Creativity?

When I saw this KS3740 pattern and this 4-way stretch cotton knit, I knew that I had to make the bodice on the cross grain and the collar on the grain as stated in the pattern. Also, I knew that I had to put the under collar on top. Sure I did. Ha! Ha! When I started pressing the collar and realized that I sewed (serged, of course) it on upside down, I screamed a loud "funacala".
I had the seam ripper in my hand when I looked at it again. I kinda like the way the fabric looks rolled to wrong, now my right, side of the collar. It would not look very good in most fabrics, but it looks almost like a trim in this stripe. What do you think?

I especially like the way the back looks.

I may just leave it the way it is. I was pleased that I used the stripe vertically rather than horizonally. I don't need any added width!

Note: The word "funacala" is one I created when I was doing tax returns with the client sitting next to me. I'd get frustrated with the simple things people do that result in higher taxes for them. Sometimes the computer would do crazy things, too. Most people knew what I meant by the tone of my voice. I did have one woman ask me. Of course, I smiled and replied "not fun" instead of "what the...." The word has become a habit that Big Bertha, my sewing machine, knows well.

Stay warm!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Jalie 2919: Simple with Details

I now am a big fan of the new Jalie 2919 cardigan! This pattern was simple and quick to sew. I cut it out one night last week and sewed it the next afternoon. Yet, the pleat details make it appear more complex, IMHO. From the reviews on Pattern Review, I knew that it was snug so I made it up one size from what I usually do with Jalie patterns. It is still too snug across the shoulders and in the armscye. I plan to make the pattern again, but I will fix those two problems first. Also, I have very thin arms and the sleeves fit pretty tight and are still long although I shortened them 2" as I usually do. I'll just shorten the sleeves and keep the width. I could see where the sleeves could be a problem for anyone without toothpick arms. I used a very stretchy 4-way cotton polyester knit. I did cut off 1/2" from the lapels so that I could fit all my pattern pieces on the fabric. (I barely had enough scraps to test my serger stitch.) Next time I'll make it with the original lapel pattern. The fabric had more than enough stretch, according to the Jalie chart so this cardigan is just snug. I'm wearing it with a short sleeve RTW top. I really need to make a tank top to wear with this cardigan. That will help with a bit of the snugness. Overall, I still love this cardigan!
Now, there's a picture of the snug back.

The pleats are straight when the cardigan is on the sewing table. There's some pulling going on because of the tight shoulders. That doesn't bother me enough to try to fix it until next time. The cardigan looks a lot better when I'm not standing still and checking every detail. That's how we improve as sewers, right?

The pants are My Label made from polyester fabric. They were quick to make and are very comfortable. I know the fabric won't last long so I didn't put in the effort that I would with quality fabric. I need to use stash and the fabric is too nice for just a muslin. I'll enjoy wearing the cardigan. It's done and I'm moving on.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Gotta Have Some Sunshine

It's been cold and dreary in Central Florida. I won't post pictures of all the brown plants/grass and dead pineapple plants (I almost cried after covering them so carefully!). If I did show publicly how awful our yard looks, the Florida Tourist Bureau Police would get me for sure. The pictures would not be as beautiful as the snow ones in the blogs from the Northeast. The snow is sooo lovely to just look at. Of course, I only look at pictures and don't have to shovel it, try to get around in it, or be housebound with 2 ft of the lovely white stuff outside my door. While the sunshine outside is rare these days, I did have some in my sewing room. I decided to make the Hot Patterns Weekender Sunshine Top.

I was expecting a challenge. In the past, I've had difficulty with the fit and the instructions with Hot Patterns. I had a pleasant surprise. Maybe the sewing goddess was just with me. I made this blouse in a size S in the shoulders/armholes and size M in the side seam. I didn't make any other adjustments and actually used one of my "why did I buy that" fabrics. I did a roll serger hem for the sleeves and bottom hem. I should have taken close-up pictures. They don't show well in these pictures and turned pretty well. I'll take pictures to include in my review on PR. (Yes, I will get to that soon.) I actually like the blouse and have worn it out already. I may get to work on some of my Hot Patterns stash before long. I love the styles but have been leary of potential problems. Here's a back view of the Sunshine Top:
The brown twill pullon pants are a Vogue UFO from a couple of years ago. I don't remember the pattern number and doubt that I'll make them again. I like the fit of My Label pullon pants better. Actually, I like the comfort and fit of the LH Hepburn pants even better. It's worth taking a little extra effort to put in a fly front. After working on that panne velvet dress, I wanted to sew something really simple. I made a pair of ML pants in a camel/brown color. I like the pants but they didn't go well at all with this top. I remembered those brown pants sitting on my embarrassing UFO shelf and out they came. I think that I will get a lot of wear from both pair of pants.
The first three weeks of January were great for sewing. I made a total of 5 garments before life got crazy the end of the month: the DNKY Simplicity tank, the Burda panne velvet dress, the sunshine top, and 2 pullon pants. The fabric used total was 9 yards. For the first time in the history of my sewing, I actually used more fabric than I bought. I wasn't planning to buy any, but went to Jo's for the Vogue pattern sale. I walked out with a few patterns and 6 yards of fabric. What's a girl going to do when the fabric is screaming "buy me". I seldom find that much that I like at JoAnn's and everything was on sale. Actually, I have 3 projects that I started and lost interest in finishing during January. If I count that yardage, I can add 6 yards for 15 total . I'm planning to finish those gems this month: a BurdaStyle Karen cardigan, a TNT tee, and a pencil skirt. I WILL NOT add to that UFO shelf and these projects are bugging me.
So far this month I've finished the Jalie cardigan which I love. I'm about an hour away from finishing the KS Cowl top. I'll post about them soon.