Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Silhouette 150 - Top #2

I managed to finish 2 tops for Faye's Essential Top Sew-A-Long! I'm proud of myself since I was sewing as I was finishing tax returns. If anyone reading this blog hasn't seen the sew-a-long tops, you can hop over to Faye's blog and see some amazing eye candy!! Here's my second top:
This is Silhouette 150 sleeveless version. Years ago I made this top and had horrible gapping problems in the front. I made the long sleeve version this winter and had no problems. I made a size 3 tampered to size 4. The only adjustment was raising the armhole half an inch for the sleeveless version.  It's a great 1 to 2 hour top. This is a close up of the front yoke.
I forgot to take a picture of the back. It has a slightly curved back yoke.

I'd love to continue making tops, but there are lots of other garments on my sewing list. Right now, the anniversary dress lace is on my cutting table. My anniversary isn't until the end of June so I doubt that I will start sewing it. That dress will be a long process. Why should I make it too far ahead of time? I'll probably make a simple dress or the shirt for DH that already is cut out. We'll see what mood strikes me!

Friday, April 5, 2013

The First Essential Top: Silhouette 425

Here's my first top for Faye's 2013 Essential Top Sew-A-Long.
Silhouette 425
In the Fall, I made this pattern in a cotton with long sleeves/cuffs. This version is made in a silk that originally was purchased for a sleeveless top. There wasn't enough fabric for long sleeves so I just made short sleeves with serged rolled edges. When I cut out the top last week, the temperature was dropping in to the high 30's at night. I was not happy about the fabric shortage. Now, I'm glad because the temperature is in the 80s. I like this pattern and this top. I used a size 3 and tapered to a size 4 in the hips. It is easy to sew and only takes a little more time than a knit top. I do prefer it in cotton as this silk droops a bit at the front gathers. I'll still wear it a lot. It fits to my liking (loose with some shape) and is soooo comfortable. Actually, I could sleep in it! I cut out a white cotton version, but want to sew something else now. Although I'll make this top several times again, I need variety with my sewing.

I'm off to finish a couple of tax returns and work on my next top coming soon - hopefully before Sunday, the end of the Sew-A-Long.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

I'll start with the good. After seeing Carolyn's version of the Oscar de Renta Dress, I bought a couple of yards of Guipure lace to go with the silk/wool fabric purchased at one of Mood's 50% off sales. Hey, I got the silk/wool at such a good price I might as well buy fancy lace to go with it. The $400 a yard for 44" silk guipere was out of my price range (even in my wild mood of "gotta have Guipere lace"). Mine is cotton which is expensive but much less costly. Still, I almost called to cancel the order. Enough of my wild mood was left that I didn't. When it arrived, I did a happy dance and floated around the house the rest of the day. It is gorgeous! The photo does not do the lace or the wool/silk justice.

Over the past several months, I've lots of fun reading Carolyn's blog and thinking how I could make her garments to suit me and my life style. The lace dress is planned for my anniversary in June. I made a dress similar to one of her Butterick dresses in March (photo to come) and cut out the black pointe and faux leather dress. I really have to finish that dress one day soon. It was a challenge to do the pattern work and the cutout, but I had fun doing it. I was working on my SWAP garments and had brown thread on the machine. I was too lazy to change it.

Then, the bad comes. It seems like the past couple of  months have been one bad news thing after another. There was nothing terrible - just annoying and hard on the budget. As a result, there has been minimal sewing and blogging. It started with scratching noises in the attic. The neighbors next door left and took their cats with them. Here, I thought the cats just liked us so they spent most of their time at my house. No, it wasn't the treats and back rubs. It was the rats. When the cats left, the rats moved into our attic. When the exterminator climbed up to the attic, he managed to step on the shelf in the closet and pull it out of the wall. Years of old business records and forgotten fabric came tumbling down. About the same time, we had our annual air conditioner/heater check and discovered our 28 year old air conditioner wouldn't make it another year and needed to be replaced. I took my car in for regular service and learned that a tube thing had come loose and was starting to leak. If it wasn't fixed, the leaking would ruin my engine. I was advised not to drive it until it was fixed. Naturally, I told them to fix it. Then, the ice maker broke in the fridge. I think there were other things that I can't think of now (best forgotten anyway). All of these things happened in the middle of tax season. Although I'm retired, I still do tax returns for family and friends. They managed to give a few tax challenges this year, but that's all right. After the air conditioner and the car, I put off taking my sewing machine for annual service. It's in the shop now so I have my fingers crossed.

Here's the ugly.

The pictures above are most of the stuff that I had stored in one closet. Obviously, I am talented in putting lots of things in a small place. At least, the one bed is just my projects in progress. Everything but the business records are cleared out now. The majority of the mess went to the trash bin, to Goodwill, and to Red Cross. After I finish taxes, I'll do the shredding of those old records.

While I'm thinking about "ugly", is anyone watching Fashion Star? I really like that show, but they have started working in teams and showing the nasty conflicts among designers. I'm so disappointed. It is starting to be more like Project Runway that I have stopped watching. I just don't like all those ugly conflicts.

To end on a positive note, I'm back to sewing now. Yea!! I finished one top for Faye's Essentail Top Sew-A-Long Challenge and, hopefully, will have another finished before Sunday. This post is long enough so I'll blog about those is another couple of posts.

More to come soon.