Friday, September 28, 2012

Taming the Striped Beast ..(Piece#2 of Mini Wardrobe)

The matching top to the cardi in my last post came about as a result of watching an old episode of Glee.
One of the young characters was wearing a striped cotton dress. At the bodice, the stripes were positioned to form a square and I immediately became obssessed to create that look on the "tunic" I planned as a match for V8819.

First, I'll show you where the process started and what I came up with and then I'll explain how I got there.

Lately, I've been using a croquis I found on line somewhere and adapted to what I think my body looks like . I try styles that I'm not sure about in this way.

Here is the finished garment.

It's obviously not a tunic and yet, it started out to be!

I decided to use the front and back pieces to V8272 minus the inserts at the bottom.

I traced the front and drew a line from the outer shoulder, through the mid chest and to about high hip point on each side.

I cut the pattern piece apart and I now had four pieces. I added a 3/8" seam allowance to each piece.
Well, my troubles had just begun. In spite of the fact that I cut very carefully making sure the stripes would match, no way could I match them on all four pieces.

After about three days of pondering and trial and error, I had this mess! Notice the uneven seam allowances.
Remember I only added 3/8" SA's

But I did manage to form a rectangle if not a square at the chest.

I then had to re cut the whole top because the sides were way out of whack. I decided to use my favorite TNT pattern for a sleeveless top(S3634). I ended up shortening it because it just looked better this way than as a tunic length.
After all these trials with this garment ,it hit me one night when I was trying to go to sleep. The angles formed by the intersecting lines should all have been 90degrees! Mine were off a bit and that's why I had all the trouble. I almost want to try this again to test my theory, but not yet.Lol
And that's how I conquered the striped beast! I quite like the top this way.
So that's three pieces out of five finished and blogged. I do have the fourth piece finished. It's a sweater dress and I love it. Will show it to you in a couple of days.
Unfortunately, I still have the final  piece to cut out and sew tomorrow.Yikes!!

Thanks for stopping by.
More later from

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

PR Mini Wardrobe Contest.

Well ,I don't know if I'll have my pieces finished on time to qualify for the Pattern Review Mini Wardrobe Contest or not, (the deadline is Sept. 30) but here is my composite anyway.

My colour scheme is granite grey and cream.You have to make five pieces that all go together. One piece is suppose to be the "key" piece. I've been really undecided about this piece . Right now I think it will be the Silhouette wrap but that isn't written in stone.

 For the life of me ,I can't think what to call this wardrobe. Any ideas anyone?

I have three  pieces finished and a fourth half way finished. I'll show you Vogue 8819 tonight.

I love this piece but it was quite a challenge to make. I wish Vogue had given a cutting layout particularly for stripes. It would have saved a lot of headaches!

 The fabric is a pricey ($25 a meter but I got it for half price) medium weight polyester knit that drapes very well.

I made my usual FBA and added a bust dart.

 The front went together easily enough and the stripes matched up very well .

The back didn't pose any problem either.

BUT!! the stripes along the side seams just wouldn't or couldn't match up and I didn't have enough fabric left to try alternative cutting directions. OOOHHH!  That bugs me!!!...But I still love it.

I encountered two styling problems with this pattern.

First, the waist is too low. I shaved off 1/2 inch from the upper front and back pieces and that helped.

Second, the lower pieces were too flared out. I drew a line from the top of the lower front and back
pieces at the side seam  to 2" in from the side at the bottom. This shaved off 4" of the width and made the jacket fall straighter and that's a good thing.

I added three hook and eye closures to my cardi . That way,  the miter at the waist shows up well. That is the focus point after all.

I'm wearing it with a matching sleeveless striped top which is my own creation and which I was inspired to make when watching an old episode of Glee. That's all I'll say about it tonight though.

The pants are a favourite wide legged trouser which I've made a couple times before. The pattern is Simplicity4273.

Check back in later for more on my entries for the Pattern Review Mini Wardrobe Contest.Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Sewing from

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Two Ease Into Fall Pieces

The first week of Sept.,I started sewing for fall. I made the two pieces in this post and then got all caught up in sewing for the Mini Wardrobe Contest at Pattern Review. I neglected to take photos of today's pieces until today.
The top was loosely based on 

Here it is.

I lowered and widened the neckline to make it somewhat resemble a boat neck which I love but am too chesty to wear .

I added a pocket using this top from Coldwater Creek as my inspiration.

I shortened the sleeves, and added a cuff and a bias trim .

The cropped pants are another version of
                                            Silhouette Patterns  #3400 ( Three Piece Yoga Pant)
                                          I added two pockets with button and top stitching details.
                                          I also added an invisible zipper to these yoga pants to make
                                                        them easier  get  over my hips.

Oh MY!! Look at that lint!

The fabric is  a stretch cotton sateen.
                                              And can I say that I absolutely love this pattern .
                                        All the pants I've made with this pattern are so flattering.

                                       I'm wearing this outfit right now and it's become a favorite.

Next time I'll show you a couple of the pieces I've made for the above mentioned contest one of which is the cardi from V8819  which turned out really well!

I do hope you found time to sew this weekend and thank you for visiting my blog!

More later from

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Taking Stock of Spring/Summer Sewing

Do you sometimes take a long hard look at what you sew and take stock of what you wear and don't wear?

I've been doing just that and I've divided the things I made since May 1st until the end of August in three categories.

Categorie #1  My  Special Successes  ( I love these and I wear these as often as possible)

All by Silhouette Patterns
 First two by Silhouette Patterns , the other McCalls 6559
Jacket by Burda Style,  Silhouette Patterns Yoga Pant
Self drafted poncho

Categorie #2 .  Successes ( I like these and wear them but less often).

Simplicity 2240,          V8710 by Marci Tilton and S 1883
Vogue 7608  by S. Betzina   with McCalls5392
Categorie #3...I haven't worn these at all. (Well, you can't win 'em all .)
Simplicity 1916  too close fitting),  SP Goiorgio's top (fabric has no body) ,New Look 6648 (too slouchy)
I haven't given up on these. I think I can save the SH and the New Look tops but not till next summer
These other garments made late in the summer haven't been worn much yet but I do like them both 
Self drafted poncho and S2240
Wow! I sewed a lot this spring/summer! I have a couple other things not blogged yet but they'll keep
until next week.
More later from

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Great Little Shrug Pattern.

I've searched a long time for a shrug that would be flattering to my figure. At last I think I found it this summer in an old issue of BWOF, Dec.,2009 issue.

 Unfortunately, I can't access the magazine archives for some reason so a pic of the magazine and the model wearing the said shrug will have to suffice.

This particular style was in the Plus Size section  so I copied it by scaling it down  to a size 42. That would have been too big if I hadn't forgotten to add seam allowances(Whoops!). I made a muslin first and then changed a couple of things like the shoulder width . My regular 1" FBA was too much so I used a 1/2" FBA instead and that worked well.

Here is the first version in a white stretch lace. This one has a center back seam. I used self made cotton batiste bias tape to finish the neck, front and hem. I added a loop and button closure.

The second version is a soft polyester sweater knit and I also made a shell to wear underneath. This time I eliminated the center back seam and added back waist darts instead for a more pleasing look. Again I used a button and loop closure. I used Steam-a-seam ,turned the raw edges  and then top-stitched to finish the hem and front of this one.

I've found many items to wear with these two shrugs. Here are a few examples.

With two dresses I made this summer

S1883 and Silhouette Patterns Giorgio's Top

With a new pair of grey denim skinny jeans I just finished this week and a skirt that's been in my wardrobe for many years.

I  have a transition into fall outfit made which I'll show you next time and I've been working on my Mini Wardrobe for the contest at Pattern Review.

Now I have to have a look at what you've all been sewing this week!

Happy Sewing   from

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Diana Dress (S12249)

As promised, I have one last summer garment to show you, a dress which my husband dubbed "a Diana Dress"

The pattern is S2249 (OOP) and mine is the one the model is wearing.

Here's my version.

It's quite long but there are longer dresses out there that aren't maxis and my DH has always liked long flowy dresses on me so this one's for Bob.

The fabric ia a crinkle semi sheer polyester which I've had in my stash for years and years and which I love. I could never decide what to make with it until now.

Earlier this summer I tested the pattern by making this top. I tweaked the fit a bit for the dress and shortened the sleeves. I also omitted the sleeve tabs. Instead I sewed tucks through the shoulder area and I find this look more pleasing.

It needs to be lined but that will wait till next summer when I'll make a bias cotton lawn slip to wear under this dress as well as other things.

Here is the dress with a shrug I've just made as part of a twin set but haven't blogged about yet.

And here I am ready for church. I won't be wearing this again this year but it will be nice to find in my summer clothes closet next year.

I do hope you  found time to sew this week and thank you for visiting my blog.