Sunday, January 27, 2013

Chevron ITY Skirt, New Look 6762

Skirt, New Look 6762 
I found some very fun and interesting fabric.  This retro zig-zag chevron print just called my name.  I purchased it at High Fashion Fabrics in Houston, but have seen it on a few fabric websites.  What do you do with these wonderful prints that look like you could grow dizzy thinking about cutting them?  I picked a very simple pattern, New Look 6762.  I never opened the directions, but this is how I made the skirt.

1.  Instead of cutting this on the fold, I cut four panels out.  This involved using the Connie Crawford tip of putting butcher paper under the ITY jersey knit.  This knit could crawl off my cutting table unassisted.  After I cut out my first "panel", I left the fabric pinned to the butcher paper and then moved it to the next place to match and cut.  The butcher paper held the fabric still and let me match and cut straight lines.  (Cutting and matching this fabric is comparable to cutting and matching tie-dyed jello.)
2.  I hand basted the four panels together on the stitching line.
3.  Serged the four panels together.
4.  Constructed the elastic for the waistband. (sewed the ends together)
5.  Ironed a 1" stay interfacing along the waist of the skirt.  I found this little trick helped to tame the rolling edges of the fabric, so it would be easier to stitch it to the elastic and not have it curled all over the place.  Ironed on 1/2" interfacing on the hem line.
6.  Machine basted the elastic onto the fabric near the top of the elastic.  Folded the elastic over and pinned generously the elastic into place.
7.  Coverstitched the waist (elastic to the fabric at the bottom edge of the elastic) and the hem.

This skirt looks as close to RTW as possible.  The waistband looks great and it has no bulk!  If I would not have had to fussy cut the skirt and hand bast it, this is a quick afternoon project.  I will be repeating this skirt a few more times........

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Kirsten's or 1850's Costume and AG Doll Dress

Burda 9529 and Thimbles and Acorn Civil War Day Dress

This month we are reading about American Girl Doll, Kirsten.  The costume opportunities were wonderful for the doll, not so much for the girl until I found Burda 9529.   Kirsten had some wonderful patterns for her.  With the addition of Marie-Grace to the AG line-up, new patterns for the 1850's are popping up everywhere.  So, I was torn between authentic Kirsten and something new for Marie-Grace, which was added to our house at Christmas.  I was also just looking for an opportunity to sew up another Thimbles and Acorn pattern.  I noticed that most dresses from the 1850's had wide shoulder seams.  I don't know if this fashion has a name or if it was just characteristic of the era. So I had to find a girl's pattern with this wide shoulder and there were not many.  I only found the Burda pattern.  The plum fabric is a Moda print that I picked up at the Quilt Festival.

Smiling, happy 1850's era girl!

Let me start with the girl's dress:

Burda 9529 may not appear to look like my dress, but it was the base pattern I used to make the plum dress.  I took out the front button section by just cutting the center front on the fold.  I used the peter pan collar from the pattern to trace the neckline and then adjusted it to match the doll dress.  Instead of the gathered skirt, I hand pleated it to match the doll dress again.  This skirt was too short, so I added a quick panel at the bottom.  I wanted the doll and girl's dress to match in the sleeve areas also, so I used the long sleeve pattern piece from the Burda pattern as the ivory under sleeve. The plum top sleeve was cut exactly alike, but angled just like the doll over sleeve.  I used 1/4" gold ribbon for the details on the bodice, sleeves, and hemline.  One inch black ribbon for the belt. The belt buckle was from Joann's and the cameo button was a treasured find at Universal Fabric in Rice Village (Houston).

After making the doll's crinoline skirt, my daughter begged for one.  So, I cut out the skirt from Burda 9529 in a lawn and added boning from Joann's.  
(Not my best move.  The doll's boning was from Thimble's and Acorn.  It was a much better quality.  This cheap boning twist and turns whenever it desires.)  My daughter was in fantasy land when both the slip and dress were complete and she quickly put it on one cool evening.  Her little eyes popped open and she exclaimed, "I see why they wore pantaloons, it is BREEZY under here!"

I cut a size 8 in the Burda pattern and it fits WONDERFULLY!  The dress I made for Felicity was a fitting nightmare, but this pattern is sized well.

Back view.

Close up of girl's dress.

Doll Dress Details:
I used Thimbles and Acorn's Civil War Era Day Dress.  Once again it is a great fitting and well written pattern.  There is a lot of work in this little doll dress.  I have seen them sell on Etsy for $85 and there is a good reason for that, it is a time investment.  I purchased the belt buckle and gold Soutache braid from Thimbles and Acorn.  The cameo pin was found on eBay.  I love all the details in this pattern!

I also purchase the Victorian Unmentionables from Thimbles and Acorn with 1/4" boning.  I only used the crinoline slip pattern to save me a little time. 

Burda 9529 and Thimbles and Acorn Civil War Day Dress

Burda 9529 and Thimbles and Acorn Civil War Day Dress

Close up of both bodices.

Sleeve detail on the girl dress.

I am very happy with the girl and doll dress.  
(If you couldn't tell by the amount of pictures included in this post.)

Next month is Addy.  Already started on the dress and can't wait to finish it!

The Liebster Blog Award

I was nominated for this award last week by Ana Sofia from S is for Sewing.   Her comments were so insightful and humous.  

I checked out her blog to see what this little award means and this is the definition:
The Liebster Blog Award is an award given by bloggers to up and coming bloggers, most of whom have less than 200 followers (or have been blogging for less than 6 months). It is to show newer bloggers that they are appreciated, and to help spread the word about new blogs. It was created to promote appreciation and recognition among the blog world. Liebster translates to “dearest” (or favorite/best) in German. It is also known as the Love Blog Award.
The Rules:
1. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
2. Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.
3. Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
4. Choose 11 new blogs you love and link them in your post.
5. Please leave me a comment on this post with the URL to your Liebster post so I can learn more about you!

11 Random Things About Me (Not totally random)

1.  After working out early in the morning for two years, I still hate early morning workouts.  I just can't move quickly early in the morning.

2.  I will never go to a workout without breakfast. Breakfast is usually yogurt, berries, and homemade granola.

3.  I grew up in a small town and love living in the country near a metropolis now.  I love the resources of the big city, but cherish the quiet and space.

4.  We have four kids, three boys and one girl.  If it would have been three girls and one boy, I might not ever come out of my sewing room.  I seldom sew anything for the boys.

5.  I have a chemical engineering degree, but have found that my latest career has been family organization and management.

6.  I have studied math, physics, and thermodynamics for years, but found I love history and literature.  Reading is so much fun, especially books that I read out loud to my kids.

7.  Laundry days are Monday and Friday.  An organized home must have some absolutes.

8.  My husband swears that my side of the bed is the middle.  We have been married for almost 20 years and he has given up on moving me.

9.  My grandma turns 97 this year and is still fun of humor.  I could learn so much from her.

10.  I hate going to the grocery store.  It is a necessary evil.

11.  I ask for a "day off" for my birthday and Christmas.  I can spend my "day off" any way I like.

11 questions from S is for Sewing

1. When did you realize that blogging was an important part of your life?

Blogging started as a way to reach other mothers who sew for their daughters.  It has made me a better seamstress and pushed me to do better in all categories of sewing.
2. What’s your favorite blog post (from you or others) ?
I love the SAGA chapter class I taught on Children's Corner Sassy Skirt variations.  My other favorite is the collection of costumes and American Girl doll garments I have made this year.
3. What do you see yourself blogging five years from now?
My daughter turns nine this week, so I have a feeling my sewing and blogging will change as her clothing taste change.
4. What’s your favorite childhood memory?
I have a large extended family on my mother's side and I love getting together with them, especially at Christmas.  
5. What did you want to be when you’re growing-up?
Some days I wanted to be a doctor and some days I wanted to create things.  Somehow that landed me in engineering school......
6. Do you have a favorite life quote?
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”  - Jim Elliot
"If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time." - I don't know whose quote this is.
7. Are you a morning person (or a night owl)?
I have more energy in the morning, but not at 6 am, more like 8 am.
8. What do “feed” your creativity?
I love to look a fabric and patterns.  They just come together for me.....
9. Name your favorite fabric designers/collections ever?
I have a lot of Sandy Henderson's fabric.  I love Fabric Finders prints.  I am on a solid fabric buying spree currently.
10. What’s the best advise you ever got?
Successful people never quit.
11. What do you expect to accomplish in 2013?
I hope to complete the jobs around the house that need to be done.  After that, I try to nurture my kids natural talents. ( I have a entrepreneur, debater, film maker, and comedian.)  Currently my survival plans just extend to the end of school in May.  Summer is another hurdle of activity and travel followed closely by school starting in the fall.  

My 11 Questions for the people I nominate:
Notice the close resemblance of earlier questions.

1. When did you realize that blogging was an important part of your life?

2. What’s your favorite blog post (from you or others) ?
3. What do you see yourself blogging five years from now?
4. What’s your favorite childhood memory?
5. What did you wanted to be when you’re growing-up?
6. Do you have a favorite life quote?
7. Are you a morning person (or a night owl)?
8. What do “feed” your creativity?
9. Name your favorite fabric designers/collections ever?
10. What’s the best advise you ever got?
11. What do you expect to accomplish in 2013?

My 11 Nominated Blogs:

Sunday, January 13, 2013

THE Bebe Dress, Serendipity Studio

Bebe Dress, Serendipity Studio

This fun dress had taken up residence in my sewing room all fall.  Now that it is too cool most days to wear it (except yesterday when it was 75), I finished it.  I hope this isn't a pattern for completion that I fall into this year.

Let me start by saying, MAKE A MUSLIN of this dress before you cut into your fabric.  I made so many muslins trying to tweak the fit that it became comical.  I also decided that this was the dress that I would use to fix a few of my bodice fitting issues.  (Perfect project for this.) 

Lessons Learned:
1. My left and right sides are not equal and I need to adjust for about a 1" difference.  
2.  Full bust does not always mean large cup, it can mean just more fabric needed.
3.  Full bust does not mean wide shoulders, so taper back to the original pattern sizing for shoulders.
4.  Bust darts must point to your "full" point, not where the pattern puts them.
5.  I can't imagine walking into a store and buying this dress with as many changes as I made.  
So glad I sew!

After I made the pattern changes to the bodice piece, I made the dress as shown.  I did not alter the back, skirt, or sleeve pattern pieces.  

The dress goes together well and it fits great.  I love the pleat details in the front and back.  Those details really make this dress unique and cute.

The fabric is from Sandy Henderson's Meadowsweet fabric line.  I used a light-weight denim to trim the dress.  Stitching details were done with cream denim thread.

Stay warm!  Even the southern parts of Texas have hit their "cold" at 45 degrees.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Plum Ruffled with Penny by ModKid

Penny by ModKid 

This cute and comfy dress is a result of wonderful finds at the International Quilt Festival in Houston this year.  I bought the heathered plum double knit fabric at Vogue Fabrics and the ruffle knit fabric at Sew It Up.  They went together beautifully!!!

I used the simple dress, Penny, from ModKids to make this trendy outfit.  The sleeves and hemline were cut short and I added three rows of ruffle fabric to make a ruffled "statement."  Sewing three rows of ruffle knit together was a little insane.  I found it easiest to zig-zag the seams together on the knit.

Back view of Penny by ModKid

For those of you who would like to copy, I would cut the ruffle of the sleeves to 2 rows of green and blue, but keep 3 rows of purple.  I would also add a fourth row of purple on the hemline.  It seams the bottom row tends to turn under and the added row would be great for the visual look of the outfit.

Happy New Year!!!