Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Sandpoint top



I was asked to be a pattern tester for the Sandpoint Top from Helena of Gray all Day. This is the first pattern by Helena and I look forward to more. I was given view A the V neck version.




My measurements are between the XS and the S which is pretty standard for me. I wanted the top to be a loose casual weekend top so I  went with the small to be sure it was roomy enough. I have some lovely knit that I wanted to use but followed Helena's recommendations and selected fabric that wasn't near and dear to me. After all this was a test. I had a navy and white stripe in my stash from a trip to Joann's years ago to use.

I really tried hard at my testing role and find flaws with the pattern, or instructions but, every time I thought I found a something, I realized that I just missed part of the instructions.  I'll blame it on lazy Sunday sewing.

This pattern is for beginners and can be sewn on a standard machine or a serger. Novice sewers will enjoy the instant gratification that this pattern provides with no real fitting adjustments needed,
I have seen photos of others testing the pattern and am happy to see that it is flattering on many different shapes and sizes.



Here it is reversed just to prove the versatility.

When I make it again the only change I will make is to sew the size XS. I am  looking for the perfect slinky jersey to make a dressier version.
Thank you Helena for a fun and flattering pattern.
Happy Sewing!
Jennifer

Monday, September 1, 2014

Black and White for Summer




The Monthly Stitch July challenge was MonoSewn, and because I also did an Indie pattern (which is mostly what I sew from anyways) I decided to count it for the June challenge.
 The challenge was to sew something in Black or white only...well that is easy for me, because those are my favorite colors to wear, besides navy. Yes, I am a bit boring and unadventurous.


I had been eyeing this fabric at Nancys Sewing Basket. for a while and wanted to make a Summer dress. I had  I looked through my pattern stash and selected the Saltspring dress from Sewaholic.  I selected a white cotton to line the sheer cotton voile. This was a fun dress to sew and I was careful to finish my seams and adjust the fit along the way. I originally though I would do a Maxi dress. I completed this dress in July and planned to wear it out to dinner date with the hubby. As I looked in the mirror I felt like it was too much dress, too long and felt a little formal. I think the lining that I selected did not have the same drape I loved in the voile. I quickly changed and put on jeans and drowned my sorrows in tapas and sparkling wine.



Later, I was sad and unsure of what to do, remove the lining and go with something that was lighter and had more drape? Change the length to a knee length? Then I read a blog post by Caroline Amanda who is one of the bloggers for Sewaholic. Her Blue Ikat Saltspring Dress was the solution.



Her version looked similar to the pretties in Anthropologie. Maybe I will also look like these ladies when I where it, strolling the some romantic countryside.


I decided that I would shorten the dress and remove the lining using some white silk charmeuse that I had in my stash from a Fabric Mart purchase a while ago. I spent a few nights after work unpicking the waist seams and removing the lining, adding a side slit like Caroline's version. I finally finished it and was pleased. Like my last blog post I have to admit I have worn the dress a few times already. It is exactly what I wanted, a nice summer dress for the hot days we have had this Seattle summer.








The only part of the dress that I really do not like is the back zipper and open back area. I probably made a mistake but only wear this dress with a jacket or sweater. If I make it again I will use a knit and eliminate the zipper all together.


Has anyone else had success with this? Any suggestions? I may hand stitch down the back to the lining  along the zipper to keep the bloused effect. I leave you with a kitty picture enjoying the last few days of summer.
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Happy Sewing!






Sunday, August 10, 2014

My Sew Stretchy Skirt.



The Monthly stitch challenge for May was Sew Stretchy, and following my new trend of completing my projects 2 months behind....I present you my Mabel skirt. I made this several weeks ago, but am only now posting photos. I chose version 3 the pencil skirt to add to my work wardrobe. I need more basics that can be mixed with different items and worn in several seasons. I chose a blue wool knit from my corner fabric and notion store Nancy's Sewing Basket. The fabric was stable and had the right amount of stretch and weight. This pattern can be done in a day, and I only needed to make a few fit adjustments. I cut the size 4 and ended up tapering down to a 2 on the front side seams and the waist. I am very straight with very little difference in my waist and hip measurements. The pattern instructions were simple and with the sewalong posted here, I was easily able to construct this skirt.



I breezed through the construction right up to the hem then became nervous about the twin needle hem.
Reading through the sewalong, I decided to take the advice from   Nancy Park "I think it is much easier to leave the bottom 2 inches of kick pleat seam open, use the twin needle to hem the skirt, then sew the final kick pleat seam. This seems to give better and flatter results."
I followed her tip and was pleased with my flat flap. These photos were taken after wearing this skirt all day and I do not think the back flap holds up well throughout the day. I am looking a little wrinkled with my photo bombing kitty.




Here is a nicer photos as I was starting my day .


I am pleased with this skirt and have worn it weekly since I made it. Although it is a simple pattern for beginners, I learned a few new skills and it was like eating cake and cake is good. 
Happy Sewing!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Long Time No Sew



I'm adjusted to my new schedule and finally, ready to sew. I actually planned this for The Monthly Stitch April challenge Sewing Double. I cut it out another Colette Laurel dress and started sewing on Mothers day. It is a simple pattern to complete but I wanted to perfect the fit this time.and spent most of the day achieving the perfect fit.
Here is my first version, sewn last spring when the pattern was released, and then the second version a year later.



Pattern adjustments: I found with my first version the bust darts were too high so I moved them down and opened up the armscye a little. With my first Laurel I took in the side seams to achieve a more fitted version and with this one I stayed truer to the pattern and kept it loose and short.


I purchased the Black wool from my favorite local store Nancy's Sewing Basket  and used the rRobert Kaufman Radiance fabric from my stash to line it. I absolutely love this fabric, and I am thrilled I lined the dress with it.

 I decided to bind the edges with remnants of black radiance  that I had from another project. I am glad I did, I like the simple contrast that it adds. Colette patterns includes several tips on making your own bias tape and binding instead of facing, so this was easy.


I chose this one because it is one of the dresses that I wear often, it is comfortable and classic. Even though is not overtly sexy with its loose shape, I feel very attractive in this dress. I know I will get loads of wear through several seasons and can pair it with a sweater, tights and boots in the fall.
A gal can always use a LBD in her closet.



So Aprils challange is done, and I have cut out May's lets see if I can complete it before June is over.
Happy Sewing!
Jennifer

Sunday, April 27, 2014

UFO's and Shiny Objects

Source
I have not been as active with my sewing and blogging lately. Life has been busy leaving little time for play.

I started a new job in April,and no longer wear dental scrubs but regular work clothing. I was able to make do with what I owned the first week trying not to break my Ready to Wear Fast.  I have a confession.
 I had thought I could sew and not purchase anything new, but I have cheated and purchased a few items. Yes, I rationalized the first purchase of a sweater dress and button up cardigan, I do not know who to knit and they were on sale. The second time came much easier to cheat, I needed nicer Jeans to wear to work. I could probably learn to sew my own, bit when would I find the time and I still had so many other sewing plans. I did purchase responsibly, made in the USA and that makes me feel a little better, but regardless I have broke my fast and am no longer participating.


I had plans to complete my March The Monthly Stitch challenge Timeless Trenchcoat, and it is here.


Yes,  we have a UFO sighting.
I made a muslin prepared the fabric but have not yet cut it out.  Now it is April and I am just squeezing in a last minute The Monthly Sitch Sewing Double . Not only was I overly ambitious about my goals I was also easily distracted by every shiny new object.
From top left to right Winifred dress andCoco shirt
,Bottom left to right  Flora dress and,Moneta dress

 I was inspired by Clio So Sexy Sew Along and joined that, I have the pattern and fabric planned for a black silk slip, but again it has not been cut another Un Finished Object.

Here we are the end of April and I had planned to do this for Sew for Victory



                                                    Yes, still not completed or even cut.
Look...more UFO's a Bow tie blouse from Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing promised to my daughter in white wool jersey.


I decided that I needed to review the Wardrobe Architect and my personal wardrobe plans. This helped me focus on what I needed to fill the gaps in my wardrobe and focus on my aesthetic and silhouettes that flatter me. Here are some things gathered on my Pinterest Board. I really like the simple French Style with minimal classic pieces to mix and match.


Reading my blog feed I came across this post from  Rachel of House of Pinheiro, Sewing Blissfully  Perfect timing for me as I was reflecting on my sewing and UFO's
I have come to peace with my sewing and am no longer feeling guilty about not completing tasks. I am also dropping out of the the Ready to Wear Fast. I will only buy things that I love and that are quality made. I want my sewing to be the same. I have decided to drop out of Me Made May  and Sew for Victory. I look forward to seeing what my fellow bloggers create.
 I plan to continue with the Monthly Stitch Challenge and using them to complete items that fill gaps in my wardrobe. I will complete the Trench coat even though it may be really late. I will try to complete my the Vintage Pattern Pledge sewing again items that are in my plan.

I  may sew a few other simple fast items in the meantime but I plan to be more focused when I sew and enjoy the process by sewing blissfully.
Happy Sewing!
Jennifer

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Vintage Pattern Pledge item #2 completed !



I used blue wool jersey from Mood Fabrics that I originally I purchased for another Renfrew but did not have quite enough fabric. I searched my patterns and settled on Butterick 6222 from my vintage patterns. The pattern description says" Here is your top answer to a skirt. The perfectly simple blouse that can be made with short cropped sleeves and a jewel neckline (A); or with a band collar and cuffed bottom edge (B).Turtle neckline and short cropped sleeves (C). Sounds like a shirt for me.

 Yay! I'm finally caught up on goal adding another pattern to my Vintage Pattern Pledge and sewing from my stash.
I decided to sew version A and open up the neckline a little. I made it exactly as the pattern recommended except drafted my own facing to match the new neckline. One of the things I enjoy about sewing with vintage patterns is the new skills and techniques that the home sewer in 1950 would have known.

As the pattern instructs, I started with basting the pattern first to check the fit. (no mention of a toile or muslin). As I suspected, the shoulder area was too big and the waist a little snug, I took in the shoulder seam another 3/8 to be 1 inch total seam allowance and graded out the side seam to 1/2 inch instead of 5/8 in the waist. The back was also too broad so I extended the back darts. After getting the fit right I unpicked and resewed the seams and finished the back with machine button holes.
I had a hard time selecting buttons and was really over thinking it...

White is pretty and classic , but then do I have to wear it with white?


 Blue is safe but is that too boring? Some of them are really cute, but very large will it be uncomfortable to sit against?  While I was wallowing in my indecisiveness,the ladies at Nancy's Sewing Basket came to my rescue and helped me to select the perfect button. They have so many buttons on the wall that I didn't even see these, they are exactly what I was looking for, and neutral enough for me.


I finished the inside exactly as recommended in the vintage instructions, with hem tape and hand stitching.
The sleeve was finished with a narrow hem.

The inside of the blouse.



Here is the blouse untucked.  


If I had used a fabric that frayed easily I would have finished the edges with the serger but the wool jersey that is not problem.

Voila! another quick sewing project completed. For more photos of my fellow Vintage pledge sewists look at the Pinterest board created by A Stitching Odyssey.
Happy Sewing!
Jennifer


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Planning for Sew for Victory 2.0

Lucky Lucille
I am planning for Sew for Victory Sew-Along Rochelle from Lucky Lucille. I have finally selected Hollywood 979 for my pattern from Finicky Pattern Shop on Etsy. I was drooling over so many beauties but decided this one could be worn in a more modern way.


Many other bloggers have already completed there garments or selected patterns and fabric. You can see more on the Flickr Group page.
While I wait the arrival of the pattern, I am trying to selected the perfect fabric. I have decided to go with a print which is unusual for me. Rochelle posted several guidelines for fabric to help with selection.

Lucky Lucille



I do not have anything in my stash to use so its time to shop. I have been
eyeing this pretty black and ivory, Anna Sui Starry Night Poly Crepe de Chine.

Mood Fabrics
I also love this white and black geometric print cotton lawn from my local fabric store 
Nancy's Sewing Basket.


My other thought is this pretty bird cotton print that I recently won from a giveaway hosted by one of my favorite dressmakers The Nerdy Seamstress.


Hmmm....decisions to make. Any thoughts?

I've been using Sew for Victory board on pinterest to gather inspiration. There is even more inspiration on Sew for Victory  the 2013 Video Parade on Rochelle's blog, Lucky Lucille. Anyone else want to join? The deadline is April 30th.