Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Simple Skirt


This is a simple, one-seamed skirt with an elastic waist that I made from a border print cotton sateen I discovered at JoAnn's last summer. But as you know, simple isn't easy...

I matched the print at the back seam


Difficult to see (success!), but I assure you that there is a seam running up the center back of the skirt.  You can tell a little bit at the bottom, because...


...I also added a kick pleat.

My hip measurement and the print dictated the circumference of the skirt, and I used this technique for the matching after pressing under the seam allowance and facing for the kick pleat.

If I had it to do over again, I'd add a lining to minimize wrinkling but I'll just wear a slip with it in the future.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

T Shirts--A TNT and a New One.

What happened to July? Seems like I totally missed it--lots going on at work, and I kind of lost my sewing mojo with all that was happening. I actually was doing some sewing though, thanks to my trusty Material Girls group. I nearly always manage to cut out a project or two when I'm there. It just took me a little while to finish them since I like to combine my cover stitching projects.

The first one I made was Kwik Sew 2565, which I must have made about a hundred times by now.



But why not? It's a great pattern that I've already tweaked to my liking.The fabric is a really nice rayon(?) knit from Casual Elegance. It has a good drape, and is thicker than most rayon knits. But before I got sold on all that, I just loved the watercolor animal print. Just beautiful, and can be worn with just about anything.




Umm, yes, the print is a little off center, but oh well. I still like it, and as Ann says, "This is a summer tee, so the slightly off-center placement of the major motif on the front is just fine."

The other one is the Eureka Top from TSW



I have mixed feelings about it, because dang! The sizing is huge. I cut out my usual Small/Medium mix for this shirt and it's enormous. I am going to try again in a straight Small to see if I like it better. At least it will be comfortable to wear in the heat.

For this, I used another rayon knit that I found at Joann's a couple of years ago. On first glance, it looks like a floral but it's really a skull print. 




It's thinner than the Casual Elegance fabric and a more cotton-y look and feel.

Here it is styled like all the shirts you've been seeing lately in fashion shots.




What's with that anyway? Here it is loose. See? It's big. 



I have another project underway that I hope to have finished soon, a border print skirt. And there's also that repeat of the Eureka pattern.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

2014 First Day of School Project, Part 2

I'm well underway with the making of the matching capris for the peasant tops I showed you in the last post. So far, I've completed a blue linen blend pair. This fabric is from stash and came from TSW.


 and two gray cotton pairs. I bought this fabric from JoAnn's last year for boys' pants but the gray looks perfect with the fuchsia, yellow, and gray print tops.  Since they're both the same, I'm just showing one:



They are View E of the same pattern I used for the tops (Butterick 5776). I stopped by JoAnn's on Friday and got a green linen look fabric to match the two remaining tops. The final two pairs are all cut out and ready to be sewn.

A good thing too, this project comes to a close on July the 10th when the outfits have to be turned in. It does not appear there will be any little boys' outfits this year but that will be my priority for next year, assuming that we'll be doing this project again.

This weekend, my sister in law Dorothy came to visit from New Jersey for a little getaway.


Instead of doing a lot of touristy things, we mostly stayed around the house, logging a lot of time on the back patio.  We did go out for a couple of nice dinners and a lunch, since she has become addicted to chile.  She and I also went shopping on Friday at ABQ Uptown--Coldwater Creek, the Loft, Lululemon,  Ann Taylor and Alfred Angelo. I'm not much of a RTW shopper but did find a few items. Of course, Coldwater Creek is liquidating and the pickings are really getting slim, but I did find a couple of t-shirts that are wearable for work and some baubles.




(Note to self: find something to clean the permanent marker stains off the cutting mat.)

I also found a cute t-shirt at the Loft, which was a total surprise. It's eyelet on the front and sleeves, and the back is knit. Sorry for the odd angle but this was the best of the lot for showing the eyelet.


It's wearable as is, but I may make a couple of minor tweaks to improve the fit. The darts are too high for me and of course, that bugs me as a sewist. So I'll be adjusting them.

Lululemon is a new store for Albuquerque. However I'm dubious that $100+ yoga pants will go over with the local citizenry. Or maybe they'll be wildly successful, who's to say?

We stopped into Alfred Angelo, because Dorothy is MOB for an upcoming wedding and is trying to get some ideas for a dress. She doesn't sew and will be buying a gown.  I do sew and will be needing  dresses for the wedding and rehearsal dinner. October will be here fast, so I'll have some work ahead of me.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

2014 First Day of School Project

The Albuquerque ASG is repeating this project this year.  Unfortunately there are still a lot of kids who don't have clothes for school. We had such great support for it last time that it was an easy decision.

I set aside several pieces of fabric that were left over from other projects as well as some donations (thanks Patti F.!).  I'm using Butterick 5776 again for the little girls' tops and pants.


I was able to cut all the tops out at a recent Material Girls meeting:


Two sessions of sewing and the basic tops are done. I'll decide about embellishments later because I still need to make the pants.

The first three are made out of lightweight linen from JoAnn's, which I originally used for a couple of tops for myself.  A watercolor print:


I had enough of the fuchsia/yellow/gray floral for two tops. Matching tops for twins, sisters, or best friends? I hope so!


The next two are cotton. The green came from JoAnn's and was previously used for the Mary Bridge project:


This cotton came from Nob Hill Fabrics in Albuquerque. I previously made a summer nightgown from this:


I have two pair of gray cotton pants and a pair of blue linen blend ready to be sewn. I'm still trying to find stash fabric for pants to go with the green floral and gold/red/purple floral tops.

If time permits, I'll start on some outfits for boys. We have a visitor next weekend, and I have mandated overtime for a few weeks as well.  I'm not sure I will get to all of it by the July deadline, but I'll have least five outfits finished.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Follow up: Another Kwik Sew 2565 and TSW Sandra Betzina Skirt


This is the third of the skirts I made over Memorial Day weekend. This one is from the TSW Sandra Betzina faux wrap skirt pattern. I had a chance to wear it at work today with its matching TNT T-shirt by Kwik Sew. It worked pretty well as a dress look, but offers the flexibility of separates too.  The fabric is a polyester matte jersey I've had in the collection for a number of years. It was a dream to sew, and very comfortable for office wear.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Follow up: New Skirt Photos

Well, two out of three anyway. I'm saving the TSW Sandra Betzina Skirt for when the matching T Shirt is complete.

LJ Designs Asymmetrical Skirt:


Simplicity 2416:


Details of the patterns are on the previous post.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Two Weekends, Three Skirts

I've been on a bit of a roll for the last couple of weekends and now I have something to show for it. I always enjoy wearing skirts when the weather gets warm. Although it has been a rainy and cool Memorial Day weekend, temperatures will be rising soon! Sorry for all the hanger shots--it's unseasonably cold and dreary today so I was in no mood to pose outside or even fool with the dress form on the patio. Hopefully later.


Skirt 1: 

This one is made from an old Sewing Workshop favorite, the Sandra Betzina Wrap Skirt. I've made several versions of this skirt in the past, and surprisingly, it's still in print.


The original skirt is quite long, so I shortened it several inches. One thing I like about this pattern is how it isn't a true wrap. The front (called Skirt Left Front on the pattern piece) and back are attached at both side seams; the wrap front (called Skirt Right Front) is actually an overlay. As a result, this skirt is much less risky to wear out in the wind. Here's what the front pattern piece looks like:


Here's how it looks when sewn:


The fabric is a poly matte jersey from Fashion Fabrics Club that's been in the stash for several years. I had enough left for another Kwik Sew 2565 T-shirt. It's all cut out and ready to be sewn, so then I'll have separates that I can mix and match with other pieces in my wardrobe.

Skirt 2:

This is another old favorite, the LJ Designs Asymmetrical Skirt. I've made several of these in the past, but I had put it away for quite a while. It's still available through the website.


This is another long skirt, even with the shorter pattern piece I used this time. The pattern is one panel that is cut into eight gores. The version I made results in a scalloped edge, which results if you cut 4 gores with the pattern facing up and four with the pattern facing down. I'm not sure if you can really see the scallop in the picture above, so here's another shot with the hem spread out:


There's also a sawtooth edged version that results if you cut all the gores with the pattern piece right side up. Here's what the pattern piece looks like:


The fabric is a red print crinkle rayon that came to me free via Material Girls. I received an entire bolt at March's meeting. I decided on a gored skirt to break up the print because it is quite vivid, not quite as much as in the photos, but still...I have more but may re-donate it. It's pretty memorable and I don't see making a top out of it.

Skirt 3:

The last skirt is Simplicity 2416, a newer pattern that I made last fall out of some Kaffe Fassett rayon. I checked the Simplicity website just now, and it's also still in print.


The view I made is the four gore skirt with an overlay (the light green version illustrated in the top row of the envelope). The print I used is a wild rayon challis that I found at Fabric Mart last year. Carolyn of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic made a dress out of it which you can see on her site.

Unfortunately, my piece had flaws in the weave that I didn't fully notice until the gores were cut out, so the skirt has a few. On the plus side, the overlay had not been cut when I discovered the flaws, so it got cut from a good section which covers most of them. The rest were on a busy area of the print so I used some Fray Block and hoped for the best. I do like the print, which is the only reason I didn't toss the whole thing out. Annoying, and I'll be more observant of anything I buy from there in the future.