Saturday, April 24, 2010

Exploring the UFO's

Like a lot of sewing beginners, I would often work on a project, get frustrated with it, shove it in a bag, and put in on a shelf. I have several of these projects that have sat aging for a few years. Most of them do fall in the category of "experience" and belong in the wadder bin. There are others that are worth some attention. Last weekend we left for a week at the beach. Before we left, I straightened my rather messy sewing room. I looked at that UFO shelf for some reason unknown to me. I think a couple of those old projects were screaming to me. The first is this blouse.
It's at least two years old. I bought the fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics and love it. Originally, it was the HP Deco Vibe Dress which looked awful on me. It could have been the sewing, but it certainly didn't work for whatever reason. I spent a lot of time cutting the fabric into a blouse. I had to add a back seam to have enough fabric. I must have gotten frustrated with that process and put it away. It was an easy project to finish and perfect to wear with white shorts for vacation. At this point, I have no idea what pattern that I used.
I've been looking for a fabric to wear with the blue twill I bought for this summer. It's sort of a dusty blue and doesn't match any of the many blues that I have in my stash. Well, I now have the top to wear with it and it is finished! That's the fabric under the top in the picture. I guess it was this blue top that was screaming from the shelf.
I'll be sewing my orange capris tomorrow. If the pattern works, there will be a blue pair immediately following!
We had a wonderful, relaxing week at the beach. The water was still too cold for swimming, but the weather was perfect for walks on the beach. The unpacking is done and the laundry is finished. Saturday night is movie/TV night if we don't go out. Tomorrow is a long walk if it isn't raining and, then, off to the sewing room.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Smokin' Play Clothes

My priority in sewing right now is making play clothes: the kind of garments that I like to wear hanging out with family & friends, going to Disney, playing minature golf, etc. This outfit certainly suits that purpose. Although I didn't follow all the "rules" for dressing a vase or lollipop, I love the outfit.

The top is another HP Sunshine Top made from a cotton interlock. I raised the pattern neckline 1 inch and like it a lot better. I don't have a strap problem now, but the girls do make an appearance if I lean over too far. That means that I'll raise the neckline a tad more the next time I make it. Since I'm "supposed" to wear more fitted clothes, I did make a tie belt. I like the look and comfort is not sacrificed at all. With the days getting warmer, I'm not about to wear really fitted clothes in the near future.
The pants are HP Marrakesh Drawstring Pants made from a wonderful cocoa colored linen. I did press the fabric before washing and there is not a major winkling problem. I purchased the fabric from the now-closed Timmel Fabrics so it is a good quality linen. These pants are described, by HP, as "so hot they're smokin'...". I agree although I did make some design changes. The drawstring had to go. If I add anything to my waist, it will be from chocolate, not fabric. I made the waistband flat in the front, but did add elastic to the back to stop a little gaping. According to Trinny & Susannah in "The Body Shape Bible", my vase shape looks better with angled pockets. I decided to do that and sew the pockets on the outside rather than do the pattern's side pockets. I do agree that they look better but I never tuck in my tops. The pockets don't show....dud! I prefer to eliminate pockets on dress pants but like them with my play clothes. Next time (There will be many more next times!) I'll make the pockets as instructed in the pattern.
These pants are a bit big right now, but not enough for me to take them in. Since I made the muslin, I've lost a little under 2 pounds (not a lot). I believe the difference is my regular workouts. Thanks to my Firm Toning Workout tape, I've lost an inch in my waist. Those workouts are beginning to show some results!!
Next up is a pair of capris in an orange fabric that matches the top.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Some Easy Sewing

During March, I did some easy sewing while working on tax returns. I was amazed at what I accomplished with only short periods of sewing! This post is my Winter/Fall Finale. Yes, I realize that the middle of April is approaching. Tax season is winding down for me. If there are no last minute crises, I'm done. Also, I finished all of the cold weather sewing projects that were cut. That's a first for me!

The first two pictures are dedicated to two sewing professionals who are fighting cancer. Both of these amazing women have made a huge impact on my sewing.

The skirt is M3830. It's a simple skirt that is great for working on fit. Shannon Gifford worked with me for over a month in her skirt muslin class. I lost count of the number of muslins that I did. I was almost ready to say that my figure isn't suited for a pencil skirt. With her encouragement, I changed my mind. I love the fit, comfort, and look of this skirt. I now have a sloper to use with future skirt, pants, and dresses. I've taken numerous classes from this amazing woman who has made such a positive impact on my sewing. I'm sending strong vibes for her recovery.

The top is my TNT KS3338 without sleeves. I had to do a lot of easing to stop the armholes from gaping. I like the result, but may reduce the size of the armscye next time. Then again, I may not.

This top is another TNT t-shirt. Normally, I wouldn't show a picture of such a simple, easy top. The thing that makes this top amazing to me is the fabric. I purchased it from Ann at GorgeousFabric. Ann is going through 12 weeks of cancer treatment, but still is an active blogger and busy selling her truly gorgeous fabric. I so appreciate having a source for such nice fabric at a reasonable price. Lisa is sewing a garment a week for the 12 weeks to show support for Ann. I'm not able to join her in this project, but I can send wishes for a strong recovery.

This top is B4347 that I've sewed before. This time I made it in Vera Wang polyester knit from This pattern will go into my TNT drawer. I like it.

The sweater is Burda Style Karen Cardigan and is my big disappointment for the month. I purposefully made the picture small, but you can see the problems. The fabric is a sweater knit from EOS. It sewed well and the drape is fantastic. The problems are (1) The reverse side shows on the front and makes it look unfinished. I did an impressive job of serging the curved edges, too. *sigh* (2) The style doesn't suit my body and makes me look heavier. I don't need that! Compare this picture to one at the beginning of the post. In the earlier picture, I'm almost dressed correctly for my vase shaped body. Trinny & Susannah recommend pencil skirts and scoop neck tops/dresses that are fitted under the girls. While the top is not exactly fitted, it's not overly loose either. I'm not sure what the fate of this cardigan will be. I may line it or it may be cut into another garment. I do love the fabric.

In other March activities, this picture shows that Spring has arrived in Central Florida. The little pots are peppers and tomatoes that are ready to be planted in the garden. The front garden is weeded and mulched. My manicure is ruined, but the yard is looking a lot better. This winter was the coldest one in the recorded DeLand, Florida history. I could have told them that!

I need to hem a pair of pants to complete my first "Dressing a Lollipop Vase" project. I'll have more on that soon.