Friday, December 19, 2014

Holiday Top, Simplicity 1806

I am coming up for air during this busy time of year.  Each year I think it will be easier and every year I am wrong.  I did take a moment to whip up a new top to wear to a few parties.

Simplicity 1806

Simplicity 1806, View D

Christmas lime green crushed velveteen from my stash. 
I think it has been in my stash for close to 10 years.  
Great fabric!

Fitting Notes:
I didn't do my normal FBA.  Didn't seem to need it.
Adjusted the shoulder seam for my wonky shoulders.
Wished I had used View B or C's back.  
This top has a cute pleat in the back, but it is cut lower than a normal neckline. 

Low front +Low back=Hard to keep in place top

So glad the shoulder fit well or it would slide all over me.

I have worn the top to a few parties and I get a ton of comments.  Must be a winner!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Simplicity 1465, done in almost couture fashion

Simplicity 1465

This pink printed corduroy has bounced around in my fabric stash for a few years.  Every project got scratched before it began with this fabric.

My stash is out of control, so I must sew it up!!

Simplicity 1465, View C

My figure has no need for long darts.  I drew in blue ink the new dart.  
(I call it four children hips.)
My new dart for Simplicity 1465

Pink printed stretch corduroy from my stash.  Most likely 8 years old.

Simplicity 1465

A little rain last night to make this outfit comfy, but the high today is 80!

Back view of Simplicty 1465


After my first almost couture skirt, I was in love!!!

So, this skirt is underlined with cotton batiste.
Pink polyester lining.
Hand basted seams to match the print. 
Catch stitched seam allowances.
Petersham ribbon waistband.

Petersham ribbon waistband

Best of all - a handpicked zipper!!!
Both sides of the skirt match!!

Handpicked zipper

Can't wait to do some Thanksgiving week sewing!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

DIY Tween Fashion

After sewing with high quality fabric for years, my girl has developed a passion for polyester chiffon.  Polyester chiffon is like junk food for a seamstress.

She found a cute top at a local department store.  So, mom can duplicate it she thought.

Merged Simplicity 1334 and McCall's M6499 for tween fashion

The top was a peplum with a chiffon overlay.  So, I picked Simplicity 1334 (View C) and McCalls M6499 (View A without waist elastic) and merged them.  Merging was done by tracing off the patterns and then altering the neckline until they were the same.  Lengthened the overlay.  Cut the peplum in half (lengthwise) and used knit on the top part and chiffon on the bottom.

Skirt is Simplicity 1334, View D

She loves the movement of the top.

Top - Orange cotton jersey for the body of the top.
Orange polyester chiffon for the bottom of the peplum skirt and the overlay.

Skirt - Black rayon double knit.

She is ready for fall.

1.  Used fold-over elastic on the armholes.
2.  Serged a rolled hem on the chiffon.  It would be better to fold and hem it.  Unfortunately, polyester chiffon doesn't like the hot iron. 
3.  Simplicity 1334 is a SHORT top.  Next top I will lengthen the body.
4.  Added clear elastic to the neckline to control the shape.

I have no idea why we wear hair bands on our wrists!

Have fun preparing for Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

My LBD (Little Black Dress), Burda 7081

Burda 7081 LBD

I finished my little black dress late in the summer season.  Well after my trip to Alaska, where it would have been a perfect dinner dress on the cruise.  So, it has sat in my sewing room and closet.  But I found a cute pin on Pinterest that let me wear it further into the fall season.  (Ok, fall just arrive in Texas......we hit a low of 50.)

My Pinterest Pin with the LBD, denim jacket, and black boots.
Stylin' almost like Pinterest.  My husband said this outfit looks fine if you are going for a nice black dress with a denim jacket.  He couldn't understand why I would cover up the dress.  

Burda 7081,View A

Black rayon double knit
with tricot knit for lining (regretting this decision, it wants to stick to me)
Both from High Fashion Fabrics in Houston.

No problems with the pattern.  It went together well.

Oh, my!!!!
I used a good part of my engineering degree to fit this dress.  
Square neckline + asymmetrical shoulders = fitting nightmare

I started with fitting the dress, which is not too bad, it has princess lines.  Then, comes the straps/sleeve.  The left and right pieces are no where close to being alike to get a fit, but they have to appear alike or the dress doesn't appear symmetrical.  It took a couple of tries, but I worked it out!!!  

Burda 7081

Side view

Back view with string hanging off me and wrinkles on my seat.  My photographer isn't into details or delaying  this whole process.  It is wonderful that my husband humors me enough to take a few good shots.  

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Zoe Dress from Serendipity Studio

 If you want a true opinion of something, ask your kids.
If you want fashion advice, don't ask your kids.
I was scared to wear this dress in public after a low opinion was handed out by my kids.  
None of them liked the fabric or the pattern.  
I think they are wrong.

The Zoe Dress from Serendipity Studio

The Zoe Dress from Serendipity Studio

Plum print from Fabric Finders 
Lilac petite piping
lilac silk organza
plum rayon lining

Changes to construction
The beauty of this dress is the wide waistband and the pleated skirt.  Broadcloth is usually not  enough fabric without interfacing to keep a waistband from wrinkling with a full skirt.  Since the waistband piece is so large, I didn't want to interface it and make it appear stiff, so I used silk organza to underline the waistband and the bodice front and back.  I love the effect is has on the drape.  It moves, but always pops back into place.

The seams were done more in the couture style and are all one inch.  I omitted the facings and completely lined it.  I also hand stitched the lining to the neckline and it feels wonderful, so little bulk.

Fitting Changes
Well, after loosing so much weight, I decided to go down in size.  That would have worked wonderfully if I had remembered I was an XL, instead I chose a medium and altered it up to a large.  It was a rabbit trail that I didn't have time to follow.  

I made my usual changes for sloped shoulders and the one lower shoulder.  (See my picture.)  I also did a FBA and took out 1/4" of height in the waistband.  The waistband wanted to catch on my high hip and it didn't look good. 

Back of the muslin.  

The back of Zoe.  See the lineup of the piping!!!!

I like it!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Floral Knit Top, Simplicity 1916

Simplicity 1916

Simplicity 1916, View D

ITY floral print from Sawyer Brook
(very nice to sew)

Fitting Adjustments
I would strongly suggest making a muslin of this top before you get started.  I used plain muslin, but made sure it fit very tight.  

Sloped shoulder for the right side.
FBA by hinging to the pleats in the bodice pieces.
Added 2" to the "skirt" part of the front to give it enough fabric to gather in the middle.

Back view

Happy this top matches the black ponte skirt that I made last week!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fast Sewing for Fall, Simplicity 1716 and New Look 6288

Autumn is upon us in the South.  We know it because the temperature has fallen to 80 degrees!!!
Just kidding!  It is a welcome relief to see something lower than 90 degrees after months of heat.

I whipped up something fast to wear for the new weather.

Simplicity 1716

Top - Simplicity 1716, View F
Skirt - New Look 6288, View A with a few modifications

Top - geometric ITY jersey print from High Fashion Fabrics
Skirt - black rayon double knit from High Fashion Fabrics

Fitting on Top
It is easy to see why this top is a Pattern Review Top Pattern of the Year, it is a great sew!!!
When I compared my sloper to this top, I found the front to be way too long and my one seriously slopping shoulder needed to be addressed.  I know from experience that I need a FBA, even on a knit.

My fitting changes to Simplicity 1716

So, this is the front pattern piece.  I added 1/2" to each side seam to add a little extra room for the FBA.  The left side (right on me) shows where I lowered the shoulder.  You can also see where I overlapped the extra height across the width of the pattern.  I don't like taking out in the armhole, but the waist to underarm seam was good for this top, so it came out at a higher spot.

After the pattern changes were done, this top went together in about an hour.  Very easy and enjoyable sew!!!

Back vent added to New Look 6288

Pattern Changes to the Skirt
I wanted a fitted black knit skirt.  Not the skin tight versions, but a flattering one for my age.  In all the skirt patterns I own, none fit the design I had in mind.  So, I designed my own.
I started with New Look 6288, View A.
1.  Shortened it to just below the knee.
2.  Tapered the side seams in from mid thigh to hem.
3.  Added a back vent for walking ease.

Totally happy with the results!!!
Bring on the cold weather!!!
Side view of Simplicity 1716
Love the cowl neckline!  Can you tell my shoulders are uneven?  This top is a great disguise.

Great fall outfit!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Last of Summer Tops, New Look 6296

The calendar may say fall, but we can see no end of summer in southeast Texas.  Fall wardrobes consists of summer pieces in darker colors.  

I finished this top a short time ago, but never got a picture of it.  My helper is feigning yard work in these pictures.  She told me a prop is good for pictures.

hot pink bamboo knit and white polyester stretch lace.  Both from High Fashion Fabrics in Houston.

This top needs a little more structure than bamboo knit will give.  
It needs something to hold that back shape.  

Adding binding to polyester stretch lace will not be repeated again in my sewing room.   The lace was so slick, it slid right out of the serger!!!!

New Look 6296, view A

I found the pattern easy to put together.  Since bamboo knit doesn't have any structure to it, I did take up the armhole and neckline.  The back top piece seems too wide.  It may be from using two different types of fabric, but when I laid the actual pattern pieces together, I found a little extra on the size 10 top piece.  

I can't wait for fall sewing.  Just need a day cooler than 90 degrees to inspire me!!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Modern Vintage Smocked Square Yoke "Lee" by Children's Corner

"Lee" by Children's Corner

Would you like to learn to smock? 

Join me in a smocking class at CJ's Quilt Shop on FM359 in Richmond, TX.
October 4th & 10th

Call the shop to reserve your spot.

Size 1 "Lee" by Children's Corner

"Lee" from Children's Corner
I wanted a retro feel for the dress, so I used the sleeve from "Hillary" by Children's Corner.
size 1 for a shop display
Self designed smocking plate
Changed the back sash to a 1" knot tie, instead of the thicker sash with a bow tie.

"To die for" Praline Honey from Art Gallery Fabrics
This is a voile print that sews like silk.  The drape and feel is a dream!!!
The fabric can be found at CJ's Quilt Shop.
Collar is white cotton with brown petite piping.

Sleeve from "Hillary" by Children's Corner

Smocking detail

Back View

Hope you like it!  Hope to find a few new smockers!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Girl's Style, New Look 6297 & McCall's M6499

McCall's M6499 and New Look 6297

One young girl at my house is "into" picking her own style.  She "shops" through my fabric and patterns.  She found this Simplicity 1622 pattern and wanted it for herself.  Not phased by the fact it was for a more "mature" lady, she dug through fabric to find her dream dress.

The girl's pick for a new dress.

Mom's pick for the top
Mom's pick for the dress

Thankfully, I found a girl's top and dress pattern to use for this wonderful idea.  

McCall's M6499
View B without elastic at the waist.
Done is polyester chiffon butterflies.
There is no fit factor in this top, but my daughter loves it.

New Look 6297
View D
Purple bamboo knit.
So glad I have a top to go over this dress.  The tank top sleeves are a little large or it could be the stretch in the bamboo knit.
I used clear elastic at the waist and serged the top, bottom, and clear elastic together in the seam.
Used fold over elastic on the neck and armholes.
Coverstitched the hem.
Fits and hangs great!!

Sleeves on McCall's M6499
Front view of McCall's M6499