Saturday, May 22, 2010

Up Next...

Necessity sewing!!

My daughter is in the school orchestra.  As we just moved here in March, this is her first performance with her new orchestra group.  As such, we don't have the 'standard uniform' all the other students have:  white, long sleeved, button down shirt, with cuff and collar and black dress slacks (no denim, no knit, no jeans style).

Can I point out the obvious?  It's MAY.  And we're in TEXAS.  No reasonable store is going to have a long sleeved, white button down shirt this time of year.  We're about 90 degrees not including humidity.  So of course, I'm going to sew her up a blouse.  I found several excellent options in Ottobre for her.  I was going to do something with lots of small details that I love.  And then I realized there's a good chance that this blouse won't fit next fall, and she might only ever wear it once.  So I opted for a simpler shirt, basic, just as her director requested.  It's from the Spring 2000 issue, and the instructions are in Finish, but it's literally 4 pieces and very simple.  

The pants I'm sort of cheating on.  Here's the deal.  My daughter is 12, but is about the size of an 8 year old.  She's TINY.  Dress slacks in her size are either insanely expensive or so cheap and poor fit they aren't worth the money.  I have KS 3519 which is actually for capri and shorts.  I'm going to lengthen the capri's to become slacks.  KS patterns tend to fit her very well, and I can cut a size 6 and lengthen it accordingly.  I have some lovely black stretch cashmere twill (that's what the label at Joann's said - it's not actually cashmere, lol) that should be perfect.  So I have all weekend to get both pieces done because the recital is Tuesday!

It's Done!!

I did finish the dress last weekend and will definitely post more photo's when my camera is done re-charging.  I LOVE how it turned out!  The slip is OK.  It definitely works with the dress but it's plane and nothing to look at.  Since the dress is lacy, this is actually ideal.  This fit is good.  If I make the slip again though, I think I would cut it on the bias.  I did have to lower the neckline 2 inches, but since it was originally supposed to be a nightgown, not a slip, this makes sense.

Here is a photo of the dress without buttons or the slip.  I wish you could see the gather details on the bodice, but this type of fabric didn't allow for those details.  The collar is still curling a bit, so I need to think of something to fix that.  Most people probably wouldn't notice, but of course, I do!  Since this is a knit, I opted not to hem it.  This fabric becomes very wavy very easy, and I don't want a wavy hemline.  The next time I make it (oh yes, did I mention I LOVE this pattern?!) I will use a fabric that shows the details of the bodice better.  I have some idea in mind already... :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

V8613 Part 1

Between loads of laundry, lunch, and assorted chores I have to get done before I go back to work tomorrow, the dress is slowly coming together!  I think the bodice work being done should make the rest of the project go much faster.  I opted to not interface the collar, and I'm not sure that was a good choice.  I wanted it to remain soft and flowing, and the white stabilizer was not the look I wanted since the under slip is cream.  So I used the slip fabric to back the collar and omitted the stabilizer.  The collar points are curling slightly, so I'm not sure that worked.  I'm hoping maybe some light starch will fix that, but since this is a non iron fabric, we shall see.  I tried a light iron a small scrap and it melted.  So no ironing!  I have stitched down all the seams though and the rest of it is laying nicely, so I'll have to come up with a fix for that collar if the light starch doesn't work. 

OK, time to complete the skirt and attach it!  And put the invisible zipper in...

Vogue 8613

Have you ever decided on a project, and then literally thought about it even in your sleep?!  This is where I am with Vogue 8613.  Maybe it's because I haven't had the opportunity to sew for a few months.  Maybe it's the inspiration from the fabric (more on that in a moment).  Maybe I'm just crazy!

This is Vogue 8613.  I'm sure I've seen it before.  I know I have similar patterns in my collection.  So yesterday when I was at Joann's, they had the $3.99 Vogue pattern sale.  Now Vogue patterns usually work really well for me.  However they draft differently from McCalls or Butterick just works perfectly for me.  Maybe it's not different at all and I've convinced myself that they do.  Fine.  I just like how their patterns fit me with minimal alterations.
Back to this patterns.  I was in the clearance section looking for some black fabric to make my daughters pants for orchestra.  Black dress slacks in May are very difficult to find when your daughter is the size of a jelly bean at the age of 12.  So there I was carousing the very small clearance section (seriously, I've never seen such a small selection in the clearance of aisle of any other Joann's!)  When I saw this stretchy lace.  The lavender and cream color pallet really spoke to me.  I've been on this kick of wanting very feminine clothes, but I don't want to look like I stepped out of the Victorian era.  A little too retro for me, thank you.  But I really liked the fabric and it was on clearance for $4 a yard, down from $12.  Of course, I was planning something simple that I could finish in a day to sew today so I put it in my basket just in case I should happen to find a pattern that would work with it.  When I came across this pattern, which is meant for matte jersey, and specifically this design choice, I knew it was begging to come home with me (because I know anyone who is reading this is completely normal like me, and patterns, fabrics, and even notions, speak to you...).

Of course, there are some challenges to this style with my fabric choice.  First, the lace doesn't allow for the best coverage if you're modest.  Not only am I modest, but I would like to wear this to work or church.  Without making any, umh, statements.  First I thought about lining this.  But since this pattern is meant for knit materials, a woven lining would definitely cause some fit issues that I'd have to address.  And I don't want to.  Call my lazy, but I have no intentions of spending my one sewing day figuring out fit.  I then recalled that I had Vogue 7837.  I've made the capri length pants and camisole before.  I decided what normally would be the nightgown, I could shorten to make as a slip.  This would also prevent me from having to sandwich a zipper between the lining and the dress - something that rarely turns out looking attractive for me, but something I will master one of these days...just not this weekend or this outfit!

So last night while watching Sherlock Holmes with my husband, I cut both fabrics out.  I should be on my way to church this morning, but due to the birthday party yesterday, I didn't complete my laundry.  Since I'm now 2 weeks behind, and the entire family is now lacking enough clothes to make it through a full week, I've decided to play hooky, finish the laundry, and sew.  All day.  And while I "should" save this dress for my birthday in two weeks, I probably won't!  I'll want to wear it to work tomorrow...

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Anyone else having a hard time finding the new Butterick patterns?!  I think that once they send an email out to their customers, the patterns should be IN STORE.  I want to sew now, lol, not in a week - OK, I want to sew in a week too, but I want to sew some of those new patterns now, lol... :o)

Sewing Plan

I need to sew.  I have a wish list for spring/summer longer than I can conceivably complete.  I really need a few more pieces for my work wardrobe, but I am also in desperate need of some new things for casual wear.  That being said, I'm more of a tailored casual person than a jeans and t-shirt type of person.  Which means most of my every day clothes work for my office as well (I've developed a new appreciation for business casual!).

I "need" more bottoms.  For me, this is an array of skirts because I'm not overly fond of slacks.  But I have only two TNT skirt patterns, and honestly, I'm tired of them.  I need to put them aside and try some new patterns.  Maybe over Memorial Weekend, when I ship my boys and husband out for a Boy Scout camping trip.  But right now, I need instant satisfaction!!  So a casual knit top is on my list.  I have several KS tops that I know will work for me, and I have a Jalie pattern I've been itching to try.  So after my son's birthday party today, I think I will dig out my patterns and make a decision.  Thank goodness I packed all my fabric in clear bins that are easy to locate!  I might even make a trip to Joann's just to take a peak at what's available.  It's been a couple of months since I was last in.  I do have a couple of TNT woven patterns I could use if I found the right fabric, but I'd like to use up some of my stash since I know my sewing time is more limited now.  I've reached the point where I feel guilty buying more fabric, when I already have so much, and I don't like that feeling at all!!!  I'll post later today when I've made my final decision.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Butterick 5497

This one is definitely going to make the cut too.  I have several pairs of capri pants that this would look cute with.  I love the leopard print they have on the live model!  I think I should give Ann a call at Needle Nook Fabrics and see what cute ITY fabrics she has in for this one!!

Butterick 5488

This one meets my approval too!!  It looks very comfy for summer.  I'd love to make it up in a linen or some other lightweight woven fabric.  And it's completely different than the other pattern.  Variety is good!

Butterick 5484

I have no time to sew with my new schedule, but that doesn't keep me from dreaming of sewing!  So Butterick came out with their summer patterns, and I really like this one:
I think what I like best is that it seems very versatile - top, tunic, and dress - and very practical for work.  I can't "technically" have sleeveless tops at work, but this style seems to pass muster.  And it's a fast and easy pattern, according to the web site, so maybe I could actually make a top and a dress in a weekend! 

OK, time to keep browsing through the patterns...