Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cowl neck top, yes please!

Oh the 4th of July! Holidays are just made for a sale at Joann's and a sale they had! McCall patterns were only .99¢ each, and Vogue patterns were all reduced to $3.99!
I've hit the McCall pattern before, but realizing I need to expand my top wardrobe a bit, I picked up several patterns for tops as well as a shorts pattern.

They are sitting upstairs and I'm too lazy to get them, so perhaps I'll list them another time.

My birthday was Thursday, and being the holiday weekend we were granted early release at work (3pm!) and of course had Friday off. I'm a big fan of rolling 3 day weekends into 4 day weekends by taking a day off on either end. I took Monday off. I ended up only being able to sew for one day, but that was quite alright, because this pattern was only 4 pieces.
Vogue 9771 is cut on the bias with the front and back being one solid piece, not cut out on the fold. The other two pieces were arm facings and a neck facing. I guess that actually totals five. No idea how I passed math.

The shirt is a cowl neck top with optional sleeves, caps or sleeveless. I chose sleeveless, as it was VERY hot during the week. Of course it's been overcast for the last four days so I haven't been able to wear it but that's par for the course.

Cool things about this project:

I cut a straight 10, no alterations. It fits exactly how I want it to, and looks great paired with a high-waisted skirt I have for work. I wanted to take my time and work on finishing, as I generally rush through and don't care much about how it looks inside. This time I actually finished all seams with either bias binding or french seams.

I have never sewn bias binding before or made it for that matter, and I didn't have a bias maker, so I used the old pin and ironing board method. It was wonderful! I will never again leave a seam unfinished or a sub-par rolled hem finish, especially with facings. I made that error on my last project, the dress, and I so badly want to rip out those yucky rolled hems and update with bias binding. I still have some blue fabric left so I could easily do this.

Joann's sale included 50% off notions wall, so I bought two bias makers.

The french seams were just an extra step that gave the whole garment a more RTW vibe.
I will force my self to use this technique at all times, but it is very time consuming.

The top is upstairs so these are the photos I took a few days ago. There is only one of the finishing, which is really just a shot of the bias binding, but more soon, promised!

This pattern called for silk or silk like fabrics. I used this yellow cotton batiste that I had in the stash. I love the way it drapes and I don't think it was a bad choice. That said, I will most definitely be making this pattern again (and again, and again!) and will choose a different fabric next time to experiment.

I think this is all that's fit to print. Ciao!

Monday, June 22, 2009

this dress!

This is from May 24th. I don't know why I never posted it!

I've been working on this dress for some time, and here it is, mostly finished. I had some serious fit issues, but ended up taking the darts all the way up the back. I will probably make another one of these, it was relatively quick to whip up, if I wouldn't have been so lazy, and it's cute with a belt. I have to hem it.

I really would like to take the side seams apart and try out french seams to make the finish more complete. I was sort of in a hurry when I was working on this and just wanted to get it finished.

I haven't been sewing much because I've been moving, but my sewing room is almost put back together and I will be working on that jacket. Maybe I'll have it completed by this fall!

Saturday, May 9, 2009


We have something that's partially recognizable as a jacket, people!

Let's cut right through the chase and have a look-see:

For some reason, I really couldn't get the lighting right to take a full front shot. The best one I was able to capture is this one:

Here's the other side, for good measure:

SO. Let's talk about some things. First, please disregard the pillow that's trying desperately to fill that jacket as I would. I've been heavily considering making either a paper tape or duct tape double of myself. It can be done.

My seam ripper has been GLUED to my side. I sewed the front interfacing to the wrong side. Then I also ended up cutting out about 4 extra front lapels, because I either cut them out and interfaced the wrong side (difficulties in using fabric that doesn't have a right and wrong side), or after sitting at the machine for evidently too long, I cut out one lapel - only to start cutting it at the seam allowance. WHY WOULD I DO THIS? And it's not like I just started to snip, oh no, I cut almost 1/3 of the way!

But despite those things, I'm quite pleased with how this is starting to turn out. I haven't made any adjustments, but if I make this again I'll definitely be adding some length to the bottom pieces.

I bought a tracing wheel, and while on the one hand am glad I did, the other hand reminds me that some of the notions at Joanns are junk, including but not limited to my tracing wheel. This little thing feels like it could snap in two at any moment. It has been helpful though, since my least favorite part of sewing is tracing seam allowances, but I don't really like to sew without tracing them.

I'm already thinking of my next project. Options include:
Simplicity 2593, a simple tank.
McCall's 5803 (Just the top, which I LOVE)
McCall's 4769, a classic and versatile shirt-dress.
Butterick 6582, View C. I don't know what I'd wear it to, though. It's part of their "Retro" Line. (This happens to be '60)
Butterick 4790, also part of their "Retro" line. This one is '52.

Choices, choices. This is all that's fit to print, for now.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

this will be brief

i'm a dummy today:

that is all.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


finally finished the Vintage McCall's 3886! I stayed up until nearly midnight hand sewing the waistband down. I decided on a straight hem at the bottom. I also did button holes in place of the hook/eye combo. The button holes turned out...well they look right. I should have interfaced though. I was off by just a tiny bit, but it's only noticeable to me. I was going to wear it to work today, but it was raining out.

I've started cutting out the pieces for the jacket. I have a baby shower to attend this weekend, so i am not sure how far along (pun intended) i'll be able to get on the jacket. It's going to be made of a black cotton. It's pretty light, so hopefully will be nice for summertime.

Monday, April 20, 2009

zero to many

I recently decided I needed a true hobby.

See, I've had a lot of hobbies that I start, but I just never finish them. I generally enjoy each activity I try to some varying degree, but I just lose interest. Crocheting and knitting I just didn't find satisfying nor challenging. Scrapbooking just wasn't challenging... I guess as a creative person, I still feel the need to be challenged. If I feel like I'm constantly learning, then it is possible to hold my attention for more than a few moments.

Enter sewing.

I first made a skirt, using Butterick 5043. I reviewed it over here. This is the skirt.
It looks just like the pattern photo, and really inspired me. (As if I expected it to turn out like something other than the pattern photo? Maybe an accidental pair of pants?)

My next work in progress has been a vintage pattern I received from my grandma. It's McCall's 3886. I was pleased as punch with how this came together, for the most part. I had to size out the pattern a little bit, because I'm not a 7 Junior Petite, and old patterns are not graded, they're just one size.

I made my first attempt at a skirt zipper, and it turned out better than I could have hoped for.

I currently need to do the following to finish it::::
  • Cut a new waist band. The one that I had cut and attached wasn't long enough. I could have left it, and fibbed a little, but I have extra fabric and might as well go the extra mile to make it as thoroughly and accurately as possible.
  • Interface & attach the new waist band.
  • Decide what I'm to do about the hem. Pattern calls for a blind hem, which I don't mind doing, as I did it on the last skirt I made. I would, however, like to keep with the same straight 3 line top stitching I did around the zipper, so I may just do that with the hem.

I recently found some AWESOME sales on patterns and fabric. I will be posting next about the those, and hopefully have a final photo of the Vintage McCall's skirt, and maybe a sneak peak at what I'm going to do next.

I'm SEW excited!!
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