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: