Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hats & Mittens

What have I been sewing this week?

For the past couple of years I've been trying to make my sewing more meaningful and I've been using up left-over fleece pieces to make blankets and hats and mittens to donate to our community Resource Centre for Christmas giving.

I have a blanket half finished ( that's this week's job, to finish it) and am almost finished 12 sets of hats and mitts in various sizes.

I had thought my grandchildren would be here to model them for my blog this weekend, but what with one having the stomach flu and our first winter storm , they didn't make it. So I'll just show you the mittens minus the models.

I used an OOP pattern for both the mitts and hats, S3675.

I make the mittens reversible. This makes them very warm.
For some I modified the hat to be more suitable for boys. For others I added braided ties for added warmth for little girls.
Here are just a few.

I think matching scarves would be nice too but here in New Brunswick, Canada, children are not allowed to wear scarves to school. So I guess in the back of my mind, I'd feel guilty giving the scarves along with the mitts and hats.

I think its amazing what you can do with a little fleece. It makes me feel good to make these sets, but I have to admit that I'm glad to be finished for this year.It becomes awfully repetitive after the first few.

Now, on to the fleece quilt....

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My First Swap Garment is Finished!

I really should be sewing other things like valances to hang over our vertical blinds in the living room, some Christmas Goodwill projects and a couple of Holiday items I have in mind. But, I really wanted to sew one thing for Swap right away ,so I did.

I used McCall's 5244 and tried to turn it into a shrug (sweater) set.

I say tried because I'm not sure that's what I ended up with.

Here, I'll let you have a look, and maybe some of you will let me know if you think it will count as a one item top of sorts. In the rules, I think it was Ann who said that a set could only count as one item if you could only wear it together and not as two separate pieces.

I really do intend to only wear it together with either pants or a skirt. The tank is too tight (whoops!) to wear on its own and the shrug really only looks right if it's paired with the tank. So I think I'm safe to use it as my first top. (??)

When I bought this pattern I thought that it would be a little young for me but if I made it in a dark colour, I could get away with it. I also thought by looking at the envelope picture,that it was a close fitting jacket.

When I altered the pattern, I did my usual FBA and as well added an inch to the middle of the side front/side back pattern piece. I always cut a size 12 pattern, add a one inch FBA, and a half inch to the side seams of both front and back pieces.Here are the adjusted pieces:

Well this pattern ended up being very big. I guess that would be because it is really a jacket pattern,not a sweater pattern. I had to sew up the extra half inch I added to the sides as well as make the raglan sleeves smaller at both the top and bottom seams.
The only part I really like is the collar.I think it looks just right and is very elegant. Don't you love the big button. I've been waiting for a chance to use it.


For the tank, I used Simplicity 3634 .IT was my wardrobe pattern for last year's Swap (which I didn't join).It fit very well then so I just cut it out as was but since the fabric I used this time was not as stretchy, it is a tighter fit.

Here I am wearing my Swap #1 garment to go to a concert.( An Elvis impersonator,reportedly the best in the world ).I paired it with navy wool gabardine dress pants made from the same Michael Kors pattern (V2873 )I'll use for my black pants for Swap 2009.

Happy Sewing Everybody!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Vogue 8379 For Me

This is the best pattern! I've made it for my daughter (See here) and it fit her perfectly. I took the same size and made a Full Bust Adjustment (FBA), added an inch to the bodice length and two inches to the skirt length, and it fits me perfectly.

There is no neckline gaposis with this pattern either. The tie belt wraps around you ,you tie it , and everything is where it should be. You don't have to fidget with it or adjust it at all.And it isn't too low cut. It has a very modest neckline.

For anyone who is timid of sewing with knits, I highly recommend you try this pattern. It sews together easily and is not time- consuming. I'd estimate that this dress took me about six hours including altering the pattern, cutting out the garment and sewing it.

I've never done this before but I used Steam-a-Seam on the hem instead of sewing it. I'll let you know if it comes undone. I also used the S-a-S for the skirt facing,but I sewed the bodice facings
by machine. I probably wouldn't have done so had my fabric been plain but with a print the seams don't show at all.

The only little change I would make if I made this dress again is I would make the collar about two inches longer and maybe a half inch wider.

All in all V8379 is a keeper.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

SWAP 2009

I've tentatively decided to participate in SWAP (Sewing with a plan) 2009.For those of you not familiar with Swap here's a link to the topic on Stitchers Guild.

Briefly, it's a contest of sorts. It originated with Australian Stitches and was adapted by Julie of Timmel Fabrics ,an on-line fabric vendor from Halifax. Julie retired and closed her business this past summer, so Stitchers Guild has taken on the contest.

This is the 6th year for Swap.It starts now and all garments must be finished by April 30th.You have to register at SG and send in your plan or storyboard.Early in May, winners will be chosen and receive prizes that haven't, to my knowledge, been determined yet.

I wanted to join last year but I hadn't learned how to work with my pictures on the computer, so even though I actually finished the required wardrobe, I didn't enter. I'm entering this year with a reservation or two.

Each year ,participants are required to sew ,usually , four bottoms and six tops, depending on whether a dress is involved or not.The 11th garment has ,I believe, usually been a coat or jacket,but I could be wrong about that.The garments all have to mix and match.

There is always a "twist". Last year it was having to sew at least three garments from a "wardrobe " pattern. The year before it was a reversible garment.This year, we have to sew a wardrobe for a week in our "real" life. There's the rub for me. Being retired, I don't really need everyday clothes. I wanted to make garments for every situation, you know, to be ready for anything.So I'm a little disappointed with the rules.I'm posting a photo of my fabrics,most of which came from my stash, and also the items I intend to sew.

As you can see my colours are black,grey,blue with a little burgundy thrown in.I'll be sewing two pairs of jeans type pants and a pair of dress pant,one skirt,one shirt one sweater set,one lace surplice top and three tops that will be more casual.My jacket will be a grey herringbone wool Pea jacket. I also have a couple of extra items in there which will get sewn if time permits.(A blue jacket to match the blue jeans trousers to form a nice casual pantsuit, and a black jacket to match the black skirt and pants to form a dressier suit).

I have pics here to show the patterns I'll use. Nothing is written in stone so I might make changes later. There's a burgundy felted wool that I'd like to incorporate as a simple cardigan type jacket, but we'll see.

My other reservation is that I don't want to spend too much time on the computer at Stitchers Guild posting or reading everybody else's comments. I guess that's where self-discipline comes in.

Are you interested? Check out the link above. One of the really positive aspects of SWAP is the camaraderie amongst participants and others who cheer you on. It can be a lot of fun!