Friday, February 27, 2009

Swap Comtinues ... Garments 8 & 9

Well, I've been away from cyberspace for a week now, but I'm ready to get back to my sewing and my blogging. Thank you to everyone for your condolences. It was very much appreciated.We are all glad that the past week is behind us.

I have two new garments to show you and I really had fun with these pieces! The pants are an out-of-print New Look pattern (6251 ) that I absolutely love. I've made them three times before in size 12 without any alterations, in the cropped version and each time the fit was as near to perfect as I've ever gotten in a pant.

For this pair, I used the full length version. The fabric is a lovely soft charcoal heather wool flannel.The pockets and back welt are in black leather which I got from a leather skirt that I bought for $10.00 from a store we have in Eastern Canada called Value Village. I lined the pockets and added a wool band to the top as well as a really neat burnished silver shank button .


I've decided that I don't wear my dress pants all that much and I wanted to make a more casual wool pant. I think this style does the trick.They are long enough for a higher heel as well as a flat.

This top started out as mock-up #2 of Butterick 3030 View B

which I've been wanting to try for a long time.The first mock-up will be a night shirt because it was really big. I had cut the size medium. For this one I cut half way between medium and small. The fit is good.

The fabric is from my stash and is a tye-dyed poly cotton lycra blend and the colours are a rich wine with charcoal and black.The finish is almost suede-like and is a substantial weight.

I really like the result so I decided to use it for my Swap. (By the way, I made the top 3 " shorter).I couldn't just leave it plain and I've been wanting to use these large black grommets on something so I tried a sample and saw that they weren't too thick . But where to place them? Well the neckline was the obvious place

and I repeated them on the sleeve cuffs. I miscalculated how low to put them on the neckline and if I had to do it again ,I'd place them a half inch lower but they look OK I guess.

I should also say that I added the grommets before sewing in the facings or else they would have been a little scratchy.

This top is a very good match to my three bottoms. It's casual with the jeans, but I think it will be dressy enough to wear with the black skirt, especially with a belt.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Sad Weekend

I can't manage my weekly post today.It's been a very sad time for our family this week. On Friday morning ,my hairstylist and dear friend Jerry died very unexpectedly after having been diagnosed with lung and liver cancer only two weeks ago. He was the longest survivor Of HIV and Aids in Canada.

That night my step children's mother Denise, who had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer only three months ago, passed away peacefully. She was a wonderful person who loved life to the fullest and her boys and her husband were her life.My heart aches for those dear people who have to go on without her.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

President Obama is Here

Oh my goodness!. Mr. Obama is visiting my country and I'm so excited to see him in our nation's capital! I've been watching for two hours and saw him when he arrived on Parliament Hill graciously excuse himself from the Prime Minister in order to go wave at the people who had gathered to get a peek at him.

What a guy! His smile lights up the space he occupies and he has truly reawakened my appreciation for America and Americans.

I'm afraid to miss anything so I've got to get back to the TV.

No sewing going on here today!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Two More Swap Garments

As I continue my Swap sewing, I'm thinking about why I joined Swap 2009. Well, I guess it was the challenge and in a way, an excuse to sew clothes (even though I don't need any more clothes).

Am I enjoying it? You bet! I love the camaraderie of the whole process at Stitchers Guild.and the exchange of ideas and the encouragement of other members.

Would I do it again? Probably not! I don't find it stressful-I have plenty of time to sew and enjoy every minute.So why not?

Well, I just don't need all these clothes,really.I'm making things that I'll certainly wear, but if I weren't doing Swap ,by now I would be thinking of sewing something for spring. Instead, I'll be sewing winter things for another month at least.

Has it been a learning experience? For sure.I know for certain that from now on, I'll always Sew With A Plan, only on a smaller scale

This week, I hadn't expected to sew because I was suppose to have laser eye surgery. I went for my consultation only to find out that I'm not a good candidate . I was disappointed but I went home and spent two days sewing. I managed to finish the skirt I had already started using Vogue8543 and View C of the Marci Tilton top V8497

Here is my skirt. I really love this skirt. I cut a size 12 with an inch extra at the side seams but I didn't need it. The only alteration I had to make was to flatten the rounded hip area by a half inch and it fits perfectly!

The fabric is rayon/poly/lycra. I used size 80/10 needle and a straight stitch. I stretched a little as I sewed to avoid thread breakage later.All the pieces fit perfectly together and the style looked a lot more complicated than it was.I just followed the instructions step by step and encountered no problems except for the bulkiness of the pleats which want to stick out a little.I used a tricot lining and closed the back slit at the back because it really wasn't necessary.

This skirt is the first piece of a three piece "little black suit"
which I've been wanting to make for a long time. The pants will be part of my Swap but the jacket will be an "extra"piece.

For the top I used a poly/lycra knit with four way stretch.I had planned on making an oriental style top with this fabric but made this instead.I used an 80/10 universal needle and a small zigzag stitch(.16 long and .15 wide) It fits very well but needed the extra inch I added to the centre of the side pattern piece.

I sewed a dart just under the arm so it would fit the sleeve.This is a view of the underarm showing the side piece with the dart sewn to the sleeve..

What I like about the top is its trim fit, not too loose and the overall silhouette.The neckline is not too low and I really like the fit of the sleeve which probably is due to the strange shape of that side piece.

What didn't work was the extra inch of length of the side piece. I really didn't like that so I hemmed it even with the rest of the top. The other thing is that the front shoulder seam wants to slide toward the back. I'll take the front shoulder seam off and add it to the back seam to fix this problem for the next time I use this pattern.And, the back neck is a little too low so I think I'd raise it a bit.
I wore the outfit today and it was very comfortable and easy to wear.So, two more Swap pieces makes seven but I am having reservations about a couple of the pieces.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

My Daughter's Valentine Dress Simplicity 2754

This dress was suppose to be a surprise, but after finishing it, I was a little afraid Tamara wouldn't like it so I decided to send her some pictures and she said it was cute. Since it's no longer a surprise,I decided to post it because I don't have anything else to post this weekend.So here is my interpretation of S2754 which is a Project Runway pattern.

The fabric is a fairly heavy polyester knit which has about the same hand as wool doubleknit.I couldn't resist it in the store and since I have a red wool doubleknit dress, I decided to make this one for my daughter

The first problem I had with this dress was deciding which sleeve version to use. I nervously chose the pleated shorter sleeve but felt very unsure whether DD would like it.

The next problem was that since the fabric is moderately heavy and the skirt is pleated in the front, I ended up with a thick seam when I joined the bodice to the bottom.

Polyester doesn't always favour a nice crisp seam when pressing and I sewed it using a size 90/14 needle and a small zigzag stitch and again a zigzag stitch doesn't always allow for a crisp seam so in my opinion, the finished garment is not up to the standard I expect from myself.

What do I like about this dress? I think it will be slimming due to the front pleats and the back darts.I like the closures I used.(the pattern called for a loop and one button).The sleeves are really quite unique.And ,I was able to omit the zipper and it goes on easily without it.

So Tam, I hope you like your dress.