Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Guess Who!!

Santa is looking good this year.

Capes for Christmas

I bought McCall's 5764 and the plaid fabric to make last year as Christmas gifts for my two girls. Since Sherlock Holmes is getting ready to hit theaters, maybe my timing was even better in waiting to get them done this year.

No pictures on my girls yet, as these will be wrapped and under the tree.

In Southwest Florida, where we get only the occasional cold snap, I thought this would be a great little cape.

I did not have enough fabric for the tan one to match the plaid as well as I did for the gray. I'm not sure it would be noticed by anyone but me, because the main stripe in the plaid does match.

The capes are unlined, and the fabric is a suiting, mostly polyester I'm sure, from Joanns. I had the perfect buttons for each in my stash. Really a simple pattern to put together.

One funny thing did happen. I put one on to see how it looked. and could not figure out how to tie the belt on. I had it through the belt look in the CB and through the back belt slots, and for the life of my I could not figure out how to get the belt to tie over the front of the cape. I think I looked back at the instructions half a dozen times before I realized I had not made the slots in the front to put the belt back through. Duh!

Jeans - McCall's 5592

I'm a little late to the jean making party. It seems like everyone on sewing blog land was making jeans over the summer. McCall's 5592 had several good reviews, so I chose this pattern for my first pair.

The denim is a medium weight from Joanns, a cotton/lycra blend. It washed well with very little wrinkling. With the sale and my ASG discount, I spent less than $13 for the fabric and had enough left over for a vest, which is cut out but not sewn. The jean zipper was in my stash and was given to me by someone who got rid of their zipper stash. I used a denim thread for tops stitching that almost looks lilac in color. I have no idea where it came from, so I will consider it a freebie as well :) The pattern cost $1.00. So I have a good fitting pair of jeans for $14. Not Bad!

I lined the fly opening, front pockets, and the waistband with a left over piece of quilting cotton. I love this idea. Not only adds a little hidden interest, but cuts down on bulk making it easier for top stitching.

I used pants hook for closure and may change that to a button. I did not use rivets and since I wear my shirts untucked, no one will know but me.

I can't figure out how to lighten these on my tiny web book. I love the side and front views. I'm hoping the back view is off because of the way I'm standing. I'm pleased with the fit and will spend a little more time on details with the next pair.

You can also see the rear view of Coco Chanel, the newest addition to our family. My older kitties are having a hard time adjusting to Coco. She came from the shelter and I just had to take her home.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Lipstick On Your Collar

I have a couple of Doris Chan's crochet books. This one is a winner.

I finished this crochet top a little over a month ago. It took a couple of months to make, as I took it along with me while I waited for my daughter at dance. It is a fairly simple pattern that I enjoyed working on.

I steamed the top while it was on my dress form before I stitched on the collar. I blocked the collar before stitching it on as well. The pattern instructions suggest that the collar remain separate from the top, using a drawstring to attach it. I stitched an edging through the top of the collar and the top, so the collar is permanently attached.

I have worn it with dark jeans, white pants, and with my black palazzo pants. I get compliments every time I wear it. The yarn was given to me from my mother's stash, so the only cost I have in it was the price of the book and my time. I did not note the type of yarn, but I did have to play with the gauge to get the right fit. I finished the top with only a couple of yards left. Whew, what a relief! And, I love the name of the top, "Lipstick On Your Collar." Isn't that great ;)

Over the next few days, I hope to catch up on my blog posts. I have a fabulous crochet shawl/wrap to share, as soon as I find the perfect closure.

From Shawl to Bolero

How do you turn a shawl into a bolero?

I do alterations for a wonderful boutique called Giudittas in Punta Gorda, FL. This was for a client (Cheryl) who needed something to wear over a strappy dress to cover her arms for a fund raising event. The dress was beaded, and I had to take it up above the bust line at the princess seams to make it fit more snugly.

The shawl that came with the dress measured 18" deep and I estimated it to be about 2 yards long. I folded it in half length wise, and drafted a pattern with the help of a Butterick pattern to get the proper cut for the back neckline, arm hole, and top of sleeve. I had her bust measurement, her back width, and the approximate length of a three quarter length sleeve, depending on how much fabric I had. I cut the back of the bolero on the fold of the shawl. I placed the sleeve so that I could use the width of the beaded ends at the hem or bottom of the sleeves, which were bell shaped. I cut the fronts from the center of what was left of the shawl and curved the front. I lined the front and back, but not the sleeves.

I was really pleased with the finished bolero, and Cheryl was very happy with the results. I hope to get a picture of her in the dress.

If you are ever in the area, you should stop in at Giudittas. Judy has really stylish clothing from casual wear to evening, and she has a wonderful eye for fashion and what looks good on you.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mimosa Top & Pants

I made this outfit using a pattern from The Sewing Workshop. Earlier this year, I attended a sewing retreat and met Louise Cutting of Cutting Line Designs and Linda Lee of The Sewing Workshop. (Yes, I am a little slow in posting, but it has been a very busy year. I hope to post more regularly.) Anyway, I enjoyed the retreat so much, that I signed up for the 2010 Reatreat! It was a great time for me to sew just for me. That does not happen very often.

The Mimosa Top is a terrific pattern. I love the way it looks on. It wears well. I especially enjoyed learning how Linda Lee applied the band. wish I had taken pictures while I was working on it, but I was determined to sew as many things as I possibly could at the retreat. I think I made five garments - more on them later.

The Pants have a great curve for my shape. The fabric is from a huge amount of fabric my mother gave me. It is a linen look polyester blend. I lined the pants, which the pattern did not call for. I did not sew the waist band on in the way that Linda suggested, but did it my way. Looking back, I should have at least looked at her instructions. It is always good to learn new techniques.

You can read more about my review here: http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/readreview.pl?readreview=1&reviewnum=41752

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mardi Gras Maternity Gown

A week ago Sunday, I got a call from my sister and pregnant niece. They had been looking for a Maternity Evening Gown fit for a Mardi Gras party to take place early February. My niece had looked everywhere, but could find nothing that fit her figure or her budget, and it could not be black. They had searched the pattern books, but the Big 4 had nothing that worked. Hence, the phone call and plea for help. I pulled out my pattern magazines and found some maternity gowns in the Patrones, issue 274. She loved # 35 in the magazine. I sent them to Joann's for fabric. It is the only fabric store in the area, and they came back with eleven yards of knit, used my 40% off coupon and spent under $30 - definitely affordable and very pretty blue on the side of purple.

Patrones is a pattern magazine from Spain. I do not speak Spanish, I used Google Translater and typed in all three paragraphs of the instructions, which were still vague, but doable. There were no diagrams.

You can see in the model's photo that the dress is pretty revealing. I recut the front pieces for more coverage under the arm and added a pretty modesty panel out of some fabric that my mother had. It matched perfectly and there was enough to make a beautiful shawl. I also added a twist of the fabric under the bust that will expand with the growth of the baby. I don't have a picture of that yet, but hope that my niece will send a pic of the entire ensemble on her. I used my coverstitch machine for the hem and used Steam a Seam. I love that stuff.

The skirt was lined in the same fabric. I added elastic under the bust for a little better fit.

I am very please with the end result. My mother added beads to the shawl. It is ready to be shipped and I can't wait to see pics of her wearing it.