Sunday, August 31, 2008

O.M.G. Is this cute or what?

This is from the 09/2008 BWOF I got yesterday. This was just going to be a fitting muslin but it was so cute with the plaid I lined it and everything. I just have to hem and make some dart adjustments and I'll give you guys the full scoop.

LB(and white)D

I think I'm working my way out of my slump. Here is a version of Jalie 2806 turned into a dress. I really like it and I think it would make a nice LBD. This is my trial version. The only thing I'll change in my "real" version is to make it a bit wider at the bottom. I'd like to use a silk jersey or a black jersey with a subtle pattern. And I'm making 05/2008 #125 also because I couldn't decide between a knit dress and a woven. So, why not have two??

And I love that it is cool enough for tights again. These are purple to continue the purple/grey trend.

My luck, she is a changin'

Lookie what I got in the mail yesterday. I ordered a 3' by 6' mat from I ordered the Magic Mat. It looks just like a rotary mat you might pick up at Joann's but this one is a little more stout. The ship it loosely rolled in a box. The edges are still a bit curled but I think they will relax in a day or two. Of course, right now it's on my dining room table. I'll have to put it on the guest bed for now. My husband has decided that I need the back half of the garage so he is going to put in a false wall and build me a table for my cutting mat. He's the best.

I also received my September BWOF in the mail. I am tracing out that cute 60s dress today and going to sew it up with inexpensive fabric before I cut it in a wool crepe. I am a little scared of the front edge seams. I always have a hard time with that type of seam.

And thank you so much for the kind comments about my duds. I know that this phase will pass but it is just frustrating! And I have a ton of questions to answer; I'll be doing that later today.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Two duds in a row . . .

sigggghhhhh . . .

Well. I have not been idle these last weeks and days. My mom was here, school started, my husband came home, and I mnade two BWOF duds. siiiiiggggghhhhh . . . I am hopeful however that I've just had a bit of bad luck. The first dud is BWOF 07/2008 #109. I like the model photo and the line drawing. In reality, it's just not me. I think it is partly my choice of fabric. I chose a very drapy cotton I bought from Gorgeous Fabrics. All I can say is meh. The color is okay but it is a little pink for me. The fabric is super soft and beautiful but mehhhhhh. That, and I was being super cool and decided to change the facings. Yeah, all fine and good except I forgot to look a the collor to see if it would work. The collar ends in a different place than I am used to. I made it work but not without a lot of struggles. I haven't put the band and drawstring on yet but that may make it an okay shirt. It is hanging in the closet next to the horrid brown/grey great-fitting dress I made. They are being seasoned. They may or may not see the light of day.

The next dud is 06/2008 #109. Again I think the main problem is the fabric. I chose a gray/green polartec 200 fleece for this pattern. I also found that the zipper was too long. To remedy that I added a band to the top of the jacket. You can see that it just doesn't look right and the back view is not flattering at all. I really need to stay away from this color.

Excuses? I don't have any. I think I just need to make a boatneck knit top or something else where I can get a good result. This reminds me of this friend I have who is a great cook. Last winter for about two weeks she just couldn't make a good meal to save her soul. I'm hoping that this too shall pass . . .

I am still working on the three coats and LBD for me. I am scared crapless to start the LBD when I'm having this kind of luck. Sheesh.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I'm sure glad I sew

My mom was in town this weekend. Actually she has been here for a week so there has not been a lot of sewing going on. We went to JCPenny's to find her a pair of petite pants. There aren't many places that sell petite clothing. I never realized it before. Anyway, while she was trying clothing on, I was looking at the construction of the clothing there. Yikes. The topstitching was visibly wonky, the facings wrinkled and flipped to the front, the hems were not straight, etc. In a nutshell, things just looked cheap. I really haven't been shopping in one of these big department stores in a long time. I used to go to Lamont's (bought out by Gottschalks) when I was in high school because it was all we had. I never really looked at the quality then but has it always been so bad or has the quality gone down recently? Is the bad economy forcing them to cut corners?

I am so glad I am sewing my own clothing nowadays.

The quality of shoes looked good and I walked out with two new pairs. :) That's what happens when you are waiting for someone else to find pants that fit.

I should have a new top with snaps in a day or two. It's getting mighty close. I feel like I'm exceedingly slow but my mom's been in town, a good friend was here for a week, school started, yadda, yadda, yadda. I will survive.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Snap Press is here . . .

It is way bigger than I thought. I have already snapped several things to test it. Boy, oh boy will this gadget be fun.

First off, it really reminds me of the Mother Alien. No? And look how large it is compared to the Maxi-Lock thread.

I was checking to see how many layers I could go through. This is four layers of midweight cotton shirting on the left and five layers on the right. No sweat.

Then I tried corduroy. This is very stout corduroy. This is four layers. Again, no sweat. I tried it with eight and no-go. I think if I bought the extra long posts it would go through just fine. I am totally in love with these antique brass snaps (on the right).

This is all the different things I received with the press. Mostly I bought the open ring snaps but I like both. I am certainly going to buy some more of the brass, copper, and silver.

I feel a shirt in my near future. And I'm guessing it will have snaps.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Search for the LBD

So, my husband got this new job.

It's a good job. The pay is really nice.

Now I'm one of those wives. You know. The social networking, giant diamond, quad-shot drinking, Dolce and Gabbana sunglasses-wearin' wives*. Except that I'm not that wife.

But as a wife of that guy I have what are called "mandatory events" that I must attend. So, I am in need of a little black dress that will work for cocktail hour. What do you guys think? I have a few requirements but can you guys think of any others?
  • It must have sleeves. I have toned arms but it is chilly here in Alaska and even a summer day can be brisk. I'm thinking short sleeves so it will work for the summer.
  • I want to be able to dress it up or down.
  • I am thinking knit but I know this isn't as sophisticated as a woven. Or is it?
  • I want something knee-ish length.
  • I want something that is more classic versus trendy.
  • I like wrap dresses. They are pretty neutral right?

Here are some options. Do you guys think they would be okay? I tend to err on the side of too casual rather than too dressy. You don't want to be more dressed than the bosses wife.

Here is the really cute jumper from the 09/2008 BWOF. Cute but no sleeves. I will make this but maybe I could make this in a black wool crepe and wear a cute top under it.

I would shorten this to knee length. I like the bust gathering and the stomach runching.

Cute but too froo-froo?

I like this for the unique shape of the sleeves. Would it be dressy if I did it in a black? The pattern is for a woven.

The wrap dress.

I love the shape of this dress. I can't resist boatneck/high neck tops and dresses. No sleeves but . . .

*No offense to anyone out there. It's just not me. I'm more of the polarfleece-wearing, child-carrying, blueberry-picking, cupcake-stained, school teacher type.

Oh yeah, that's right.

I just finished my first half marathon. My friend and I decided to run it this year. We rocked it with a time of 2:34. Well, okay, that's not fast at all but we finished and we finished strong.


Saturday, August 16, 2008


Woooo hooooo! Got 'er done! Here is composite photo. I don't know why my camera is making everything pink, yellow, or fuzzy. It may be time to get another one. I think the skirt turned out cute too.

I broke out the calf-high boots too because it is getting to be fall (and because I love them).

Close-up of pleat.

You can see it's pretty high.

I lined this with Misty Designer Lining from Gorgeous Fabrics.

You can barely see the walking vent I added to the bottom.

Here is a link to the review of the skirt, Jalie top, and the mini-wardrobe composite.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

So. Close.

I am so close to being done with my mini-wardrobe.

  1. The skirt is done except for a little bit of hand hamming on the bottom.
  2. My purple (magenta?) top needs to be hemmed.
  3. I need to photograph the black pants again and the skirt. I would also like to make a composite photo of all the outfits.

After this stuff is complete, I'm going to tackle winter coats for my g'owls. They are from the 09/2006 BWOF. Here are two different views with the line drawing. I won't be embellishing them like these.

I'll be making my son a Green Pepper coat.
It's that time of year again.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Burda 08-2008-109 Raglan T-shirt

Pattern Description: From Burda: This top simply can't be topped! It just clings to your body as it's made up in fine knit, the plain raglan cut allowing the unusual print to tell the story.
From me: This is a basic raglan-sleeved jewel-necked t-shirt. The sleeves are only partial with bias binding underneath the sleeves.
Pattern Sizing: 34-42. I made a 34.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, mostly. I found the sleeves tended to flare a bit more than the photos. You can see the seaming details in this photo along with the little sleeve wings. I outlined them in a photo editing program.
Were the instructions easy to follow? This is a basic top so the directions were okay. I totally didn't understand the directions for the facing/binding of the underarm section. I muddled along and still don't like the result. Next time I will do something else. I am debating trying to draft a full sleeve on the bottom so I don't have to deal with that part again. I sewed the strips on first and then attached the sleeves. Then I folded the strip over and topstitched it down. It's not pretty but you can't really see it from the outside.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the basic styling of the top. And I actually do have a couple of dislikes for this pattern. I almost never put dislikes in a BWOF review. I don't like the armhole treatment. I will change that if I make this top again. Next, the neckline is really high. They have you cut off the seam allowances (SA) and then bind it with a self-fabric strip. Next time, I'll cut off a little more than the SA in the front. You can see that it is pretty high in this photo from above.
Fabric Used: This is the last of a heather grey Gorgeous Fabrics cotton/lycra knit.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I made this top without my usual shoulder-bust shortening (I forgot again, what am I? A moron? I only have to do one freaking alterations and I always forget!) and it looked very odd. I posted a few entries on my blog about the original top and the alterations I did to do the shortening.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?I will probably sew this again because I like the basic styling of it. This could be a great basic for every wardrobe.
Conclusion: With a few tweaks this could be a nice TNT, basic for me.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tutorial for Ruth

Ruth, here you go. This is how I do the shortening. I am using this BWOF 08/2008 #109 to show you how to do it. This is for a raglan sleeve top so the sleeves look a bit different than your typical set-in sleeve. I added a picture of that too.

This is where I typically shorten my tops. I shorten all the pieces, back included. This top has two piece sleeves.

Here it is after I shorten all the pieces. Be sure to check all your grainlines. All your grainlines should be the same after you shorten the pieces. This is especially important here when it is a raglan top like here. I make a 1/4" fold but, because there are two layers, it totals 1/2". You'll notice the lines don't exactly match up anymore. I just fudge it when I'm cutting.

Here is a typical set-in sleeve. Well, not so typical because it was a half sleeve but you get the idea.

This is what I did at first because it looked more "normal" but this would mess up the grainlines and not shorten it the same compared to the front.

Hope that helps you Ruth.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Nothing like a quickie . . .

I made this in about an hour to test the fit of this top. I know that it will be a staple. I love raglan tops and this new one from the August BWOF seemed to be perfect. I forgot to do my normal alteration of pinching out 1/2" between shoulder and bust. It really shows up on this top. I made a size 34 and I was worried that it would be too tight because the BWOF description made it sound very tight, "This top simply can't be topped! It just clings to your body as it's made up in fine knit, the plain raglan cut allowing the unusual print to tell the story." You can see right above the armpits some pulling where the grey and blue meet.

Aren't these wrinkles saying I need an FBA? When I remove that 1/2" I hope it will all be better. That small alteration usually fixes the problem.

I really want to tackle the athletic butt/sway back adjustment with this one too. I omitted the zipper but kept the back seam so I could alter the fit.

I know the sewing is a little wonky but I wanted to do a quick muslin. This blue fabric is a tacky polyester fabric. It sews up okay but holds odor like nobody's business. The grey is some random knit. Once I get the kinks out of this pattern, I'm going to make a bunch of these.

Skirts, Pants, and Packages

  1. All packages with patterns have been sent. A few of you got some "extras" in your bag. Enjoy. :)
  2. I just reviewed a pair of pants. I really like them but the pictures suck. I'll add a picture but I warn you: fuzzy and not good. The fabric is really cool with vertical stripes. They fit well though you won't be able to tell. Sigh. Back to the photo studio.
  3. I have a skirt to do for the mini-wardrobe contest and I've decided on this skirt from the August 2008 BWOF (#106). I really like the simple lines. I think it will showcase the weave of my fabric well. A couple of questions for those of you who care to answer: I plan to line it, should I use the same fold-over design for the lining? Or should I fold the pattern piece and just cut a simple straight skirt for the lining? I am also debating adding a center back seam for my athletic butt/swayback and a kick pleat. Does anyone know of a good online tutorial for a back vent? I love the one for the kick pleat from the Sewing Divas but I would rather have just a back vent for this one.

The really fuzzy picture of my nice black pants.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Burda 08-2006-113 Wrap Knit Top

Pattern Description: Here's the new knit fashion in cuddly-soft mohair sweaters! As these knit fabrics are easy to work with the garments can be a bit more complicated, in this case cleverly "tied up".

Pattern Sizing: 34-42. I made the 34.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?Yes, it looks like the model photos and the line drawing. It looks just like I expected.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, they were very easy. This is a very easy pattern. I wanted to also rank it "Fast and Easy for Beginners" because it is. I cut this out last night and I sewed it up while my kids were watching Sesame Street. That's just 30 minutes. Easy Peasy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love, love, love this sweater. I love the fit and style too. I love how distinctive and cozy it is. I love the color. I was scared about sewing with a sweater knit but that was easy too. I wasn't sure how to finish the hems but my coverstitch machine worked great. I was worried that it would stretch it out at the hem but it didn't. I don't dislike anything.

Fabric Used: A double-sided sweater knit from Gorgeous Fabrics. I chose the brighter pinker side of the knit. Here are both sides together so you can compare.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I did my typical 1/2" shoulder to bust tuck. I will probably always wear it over a cami or top because it is quite open at the top.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I will sew this again but not for a while because it is such a distinctive piece. I love that the pattern in BWOF magazine from 2006 is perfect for 2008 and not too trendy.

Conclusion: Another BWOF winner. I love it. I'll wear it all winter.

Here are the two sides of the fabric. I obviously used the pinker side. I think the darker one would be pretty too.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Another Jalie Top

This is one of the tops for my mini-wardrobe. I haven't hemmed it yet and I haven't reviewed it yet but I like it. This one I did without the modesty panel and I think it covers everything enough. If I had anything up top, it might be another story. I changed the sleeves a bit on this one. I made them 3/4 length. I usually don't like that length but it seemed to work for me when I made armbands. I'll show you those details when I do the review. I bought this fabric from my local fabric boutique. It's a 2-way stretch cotton/lycra jersey.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Another Whittier Trip

This is what I did this weekend instead of sewing.

Dad brought this one one up but he "helped".

The shrimp haul.

The shrimp out there are big.

I have one brave twin.

And one that is not so brave. This is the "get this away from me" face.

I did sqeeze in enough sewing to make another Jalie boatneck top in this great Gorgeous Fabrics poly/lycra knit. This one has flared sleeves.