Monday, January 21, 2019

Stalled Sewing and Ta-Da Return of the Mojo

I meant to sew so much more than I actually did.  My sewing came to a jolting halt because I couldn't get past 2 camis that were already cut and pinned.  They sat on my sewing table, right next to my sewing machine.  Everytime I thought about sewing, I'd see them and not feel like sewing.  It was like this for days!  I couldn't bring myself to sew the camis, so they sat.  And sat.  And sat.

Finally, I'd had enough and decided to just start on the camis already!  But starting didn't change anything.  I still didn't like them. I felt like this was forced sewing, so before finishing them, I tossed them both out.

As soon as they were gone, the glorious skies parted, my stuck-in-the-mud mood lifted, the joyful angels sang, and my sewing started flowing smoothly again.  TG!!!

I sewed another Butterick 4547 dress (this time in solid black), and 2 more Butterick 3344 long sleeved black knit tops, but no pics, yet.

Today, I'm sewing a Simplicity 5364 halter dress that has been in my sewing queue for ages.  It's still in the queue because I didn't think I had the right fabric for it in my stash.  I'm not certain, but I think I was wrong.  I have  fabric that's been in my stash for a while that I just put in the donate pile because I couldn't imagine it sewn into anything.  After it was in the donate pile, I looked at it and saw this dress.  I'm thinking that after its sewn it will look fantastic, but I have thought that before about other projects that I ended up tossing as soon as they were sewn.  I'm hopeful, but if this ends up looking terrible, I'll just toss it.

Last night, I sat in the darkness and quiet of the backyard and had a clear view of the Blood Moon.  I'd read that it would be visible on the horizon only, but there it was, high in the sky, in perfect view.  To my surprise, I didn't like seeing the moon like that.  It looked dirty, and it made me think that it belonged in a Mad Max world.  I much prefer looking at the moon when it's bright and shining.

The Blood Moon was different, and because of that, I hope you got a chance to see it, too.


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

OOP Butterick 4547 dress and Butterick 3344 top - Done!

OOP Butterick 4547: 

OOP Butterick 4547, from their Glamour line, is a TNT for me.  I love this style and have sewn dresses using this pattern many times, but they have all taken their leave from my wardrobe.  I got tired of some of the prints, others were worn out and faded.  But I still love the style, and finally made another one.

My polka dotted classic is a throwback to the fashions of the 1940s and 1990s, but it still looks in style to me.  I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of this dress:

I cut a size 10, and it is a perfect fit. When I sewed this, I underlined the bodice, so it would have a little more body.  I also added a pocket in each side seam because I LOVE POCKETS!

What I especially love about this pattern is that it has a neck and armhole facing cut in one piece.  I love this type of facing because it's super easy to sew, and when worn, the facing stays put!  I have another one in my queue and hopefully, will get to it before the week is over.

OOP Butterick 3344:

I wore the Butterick 3344 scooped neck tee that I made the other day.  Because it's a cotton knit, I thought recovery would be terrible even if it has spandex in it.  I pushed the long sleeves up to 3/4 length and thought that when I pulled them back down, I'd have a stretched out wrinkled mess.  But that didn't happen.  The stretch recovery of this fabric is excellent!  I love the style, and was so impressed with the fabric that rather than dumping my leftover fabric or putting it away, I decided to make one more of this top with it.   

The only thing that I did differently from the last one is that I used a slightly heavier fabric for the neck facing.  Surprisingly, it worked better than the super lightweight fabric that I used for my first one.  As I almost always do with facings, I understitched it, then flipped it and topstitched it down.  For the hem, I serged the bottom edge, then folded once and double stitched it down.  I tried double folding it, but ended up with a hem that was a little too thick.  So a single fold for the hem it was.  

I'm happy to now have 2 of this top in my wardrobe.  I love the square round neckline.  It is such an easy to wear basic that can be paired with almost anything!  I'm thinking that 2 might not be enough - the top is black, and I don't know how quickly this will rotate out of my wardrobe because of fading.  Right now, I am working on organizing my fabrics and patterns.  I am thinning a lot!  But if I come across more of this fabric, I am definitely making more of this top.  Yup, that's how much I love this  top!  It's so easy to create an outfit with it that it is just not funny!  It feels great to have some nice basics that I know I will wear a lot!

The dress and the top are my fifth and sixth projects of 2019.  So far, only one didn’t work for me.  I tossed my first 2019 project, a kimono style robe.  Even if the kimono style is all the rage in fashion, it is a style that I am just not a fan of.

Five out of six is not bad!  I'll take that.

I’ll be updating my Progress Board as I complete projects, and you can see it to the right of this post.


Monday, January 7, 2019

New Look 6457 Dress - Vogue 9904 knit top - Butterick 3344 knit top - Done!

I sewed 3 things over the weekend, and I am happy with all three.

First sewn was the sundress from OOP New Look 6457:

The cherry printed fabric I picked has a fruity vibe that I am guessing was big in the glam era of the 1940s.  In keeping with that vintage vibe (not the glam, but the cherries), I embellished my dress with a row of rick rack and a row of grosgrain ribbon.  

The pattern is a TNT for me, so I was able to sew it up very quickly.  Because I used a cotton print, I underlined the bodice to give it a little more body.  To ensure that the band has stability, I interfaced it.  The pattern is not drafted with pockets, but I love pockets so I added one to each side seam. 

I also finished two knit tops that were super easy to sew.

OOP Vogue 9904:

I love classic jewel necklines, but haven't had a knit top with this neckline in ages.  I'm glad I finally have one again.  I used OOP Vogue 9904.  As I was sewing, I wasn't sure I liked the fabric (a cotton spandex blend from my fabric stash) because I was comparing it to the last top that I had with this neckline.  The fabric for that top was a top weight stable black wool blend.  Wool wears like iron, but I wore it so much that I wore it out.  I really loved that top!  I thought nothing would ever even come close to that one.  But. Surprise! Surprise! Once this top was done and I tried it on, it felt and looked perfect on me!  It's different, but I like it a lot, too!

I faced the neckline with a lightweight woven cotton blend from my stash.  The cotton fabric is so thin that it is practically sheer, which is exactly what I wanted.  Vogue 9904 is drafted with a back neck slit secured with a button, but I don't like those, so I replaced it with a short zipper.  I am petite, and raised the waist by 1 inch using the slide method.  I don't like short tops, so I added that length back in by sliding the pattern back down. 

OOP Butterick 3344:

I also sewed a scooped neck black knit top using OOP Butterick 3344.  As drafted, the scoop neck is super low.  I'm not wasting time sewing a top that I would never wear, so I raised the neckline by around 2 inches.  I shortened the waist by an inch using the slide method, then added the length back in by sliding it back down.  I also cut a facing for the neckline with the same lightweight fabric that I used for the top above.  I really like this top, too!

My Christmas Lights PJ set:

I wore the set once and decided that I really don't like kimonos.  They feel and look too sloppy on me, so I kept the PJs, but tossed the kimono robe.  It's disheartening that my first project of 2019 has already been tossed!  The upside of that is that I am not hanging on to clutter.  YAY Me!

On another note, I am not keeping to the sewing list that I worked so hard to come up with.  But that's alright with me, as I need to have things that I want to wear.  The kimono topper is definitely off the list, and so is a shapeless sleeveless top.  I am also not going to make the wrap skirt.  Wrap skirts just don't work on me.  I don't know what I was thinking when I put them on my sewing board.  Thank goodness reason prevailed before I actually started on any of them.  My next projects are not on the original list, but I can't wait to finish them! 

My Progress Board:


Saturday, January 5, 2019

January - February 2019 Projects

I haven't been happy with my wardrobe for years.  I just couldn't get a handle on what my style was, so I'd add pieces that I thought were me, but that really weren't.  And that forced me to keep cleaning out my closet and throwing things away.  I really miss having a wardrobe filled with pieces that were me!

I just cleaned my closet out again and it is even sparser than it was.  I made some pieces that I thought I'd wear a lot, but as it turned out, I didn't wear them at all.  I don't like clutter, so they are now gone!

I definitely need more clothes, but I need to be practical and sew only flattering styles that I will wear.  I don't want what I will be putting a lot of time and effort sewing to be things that will be out of style 2 minutes after I sew them, or to be styles that I like looking at, but would never wear.

I had no choice but to choose what, for me, are classics that would be in high rotation.  I looked through my patterns over and over again, and I seriously thought about how the styles would work for me.  It took a lot of effort, but I think I came up with a collection that I will actually wear a lot.  I can see myself wearing these pieces over and over again.

All of the patterns are from my pattern collection and the numbers going from left to right are (List last updated 1/7/19):

Butterick 6331 (trench) (c) 2018

OOP Butterick 4056 (woven top) (c) 1995

New Look 6378 (kimono) (c) 2015

OOP Vogue 9904 (knit top) (c) 1998

OOP Simplicity 5593 (safari jacket) (c) 2003

OOP Simplicity 5593 (knit tank) (c) 2003

OOP Vogue 7949 (skirt) (c) 1990

New Look 6530 (knit skirt) (c) 2017

OOP McCalls 5430 (wrap skirt with waterfall ruffle) (c) 2007

McCalls 6886 (knit dress) (c) 2015

OOP New Look 6457 (sundress) (c) 2011

OOP Butterick 6762 (knit mock turtleneck dress) (c) 2000

OOP Vogue 8353 (fitted sheath dress with racer back) (c) 1992

OOP Vogue 7443 (fitted sheath dress with cut in shoulders) (c) 1989

OOP Vogue 7358 (fitted sundress) (c) 1988

OOP Butterick 3344 (knit top)

OOP McCalls 5042 (classic dress with boat neckline and flared skirt)

I'm starting on this collection today and am motivated to finish it because I really need clothes.  I'm aiming to finish everything before the end of January, or at the latest, by the second week of February.  The 15 styles that I chose are mostly easy to sew, so I think my timetable is reasonable.

First up is the New Look 6457 sundress.  I cut the skirt pieces out this morning.  I'm going to do a tissue fit of the bodice and once that's done, I'll cut the bodice out and start sewing.

Be back when the dress is done.

Hope you are planning a 2019 wardrobe that is practical and that will you will enjoy wearing.


Thursday, January 3, 2019

Last Projects of 2018 (PJs Part 2 of 2)

I was in a mad dash to finish more than just one pair of new PJs before the New Year, so before 2019 made it's appearance, I sewed like a crazy person!

I finished a pair of PJs with long pants using Simplicity 8545 for the cami, and McCalls 5248 for the long pants.  I've had this fabric, earmarked for PJs, in my stash for 3 or 4 years.  I don't know why I waited so long to sew this as I absolutely love it:

I also sewed a pair of what was supposed to be PJ pants that I was going to pair with a white sleep top.  As you can see in the pic, I didn't bother putting in the elastic.  The fabric was not as soft as I prefer for PJ pants:

I actually threw them into my sewing wastebasket, but retrieved them when I realized that I could still use them as PJ shorts.  All done and all good!

I also sewed a set of "Christmas Lights All Year Long" PJs.  I finished the cami and shorts just before we left to see fireworks at the beach on New Year's eve.  I meant to make a Christmas dress with this fabric last year, but it didn't happen.  And then I thought - I'll sew that dress this year, and that if that doesn't happen, I'll just donate the fabric.  Well, it didn't happen, but I wanted something made with that fabric in my wardrobe, so I made PJs and a robe.  I used the same patterns for the cami and shorts that I used for the other sets:

I didn't have enough fabric for the robe, so I had to think about what pattern to use.  Normally, I don't like kimono style robes.  I prefer shawl collar robes with regular sleeves, but I only had 2 yards left, and that was definitely not enough to make what I wanted.  I didn't have a choice.  A matching kimono style robe is better than no robe, so I decided on New Look 6378, a pattern that isn't for a robe, but could be used as a robe, and doesn't require a lot of fabric.  The style is supposed to be worn open, but it has enough depth to be worn as a shallow wrap.  The edges are supposed to be finished with purchased bias tape, but I made my own.  OMG, the bias tape that I made is pieced together like crazy because I only had a short piece of fabric to use for the bias.  But I did it and it worked!  I also added 2 side seam pockets because I won't wear a robe that doesn't have any pockets.  I made the robe on 1/2/19.  This is my first 2019 sewing project: 

My last sewing projects of 2018 and my first one of 2019 weren't earth-shattering-OMG-they-are-so-unbelievably-and-incredibly-mind-blowing-AWESOME-projects, but they are what I have been wanting in my wardrobe for ages.  After everything was sewn, I pulled all of my RTW PJs out and happily threw them away.  

I'm especially happy to now have two sets of 3 piece sleep sets and want to make more.  As soon as I have suitable fabric, I'll sew more.  I am definitely a fan of matching sets because they just seem so, I don't know, polished!



Monday, December 31, 2018

Last Projects of 2018 (PJs Part 1 of 2)

Yesterday, 12-30-18, I worked on a flannel PJ set,  This is the first PJ set I've sewn since I started sewing again around 4 or 5 years ago.  I live in the tropics and a set like this is perfect for the warm weather here.  We do have cold fronts blowing through during certain times of the year, and I need to make warmer PJs for those times, but I'll do that later:

Here are the pieces separately.  I used my cami TNT, Simplicity 8545.  I turned it into a pullover by sewing 1/4 inch side seams instead of the standard 5/8 inch, and by eliminating the zipper.  I wasn't sure if it was going to work, but it did! My fave cami pattern is now my fave PJ cami pattern, too!  It is just perfect for me and I am so glad that I found this pattern! 

I used a wonderful PJ pattern, McCalls 5248 for the shorts and robe.  

The only changes I made to the shorts are that I dispensed with the drawstring, and shortened the shorts by 4 1/2 inches.  At the pattern's prescribed shorts length, it would have ended at my knees.  Not doing that!

I sewed the robe with only one small change.  I added a side seam pocket on each side.  I sewed the rest as is.  This is a great pattern!

I am planning to sew another trio, just like the one above, and also PJs made up of my TNT cami and long PJ pants.

Be back later with pics of everything.


Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Christmas 2018

In my absolutely last minute decision to sew some Christmas presents this year, and the mad dash to finish them, I actually made these:

3 Aloha shirts using McCalls Stitch N Save 9235 (didn't get a chance to take a pic of the third).  It was a bear matching the print at the pocket, but I did it!  You can't even see the pocket!  Print matching is not easy and it feels really good to have done it successfully!!!

I made 2 Simplicity It's So Easy 1223 matching aprons.  The pattern says that to finish the edges, just turn a hem and sew.  But that was a little too sloppy for my taste, so I drafted a simple facing.  I also added a top border that matches the shirt.  The pocket that I added after I took these pics is black, to match the apron.  I embroidered it in turquoise, to match the border and the shirts.

I made 4 McCalls Craft 9835 cloth shopping bags (didn't get a chance to take a pic of 2).  These were super easy to sew!  Everyone here in this County, bar none, wants to bring their own shopping bags to the store because free plastic shopping bags are banned here.  If you don't bring your own bag, but need one to carry your things, you have to buy one on the spot.  The bags that used to be free are now 15 cents each, which adds up over time.  Almost everyone brings their own:

Here are the patterns for the aprons and shopping bags:

I also made a set of 4 napkins to use for the Christmas Day dinner.  At first, I was just going to use paper napkins with plaid ribbon tied around them as my napkin ring.  But around 1 hour before dinner, I decided that I wanted cloth napkins, so I dug through my fabric stash and found a Hawaiian Christmas print.  I used a regular cloth napkin as my pattern. I didn't bother pinning the hem because it would have taken too much time.  I folded and pressed the hem down, then sewed! Twenty minutes later, I had my cloth napkins! The table didn't need to be formal because here in Hawaii, a t-shirt and shorts kind of dinner is usually standard for Christmas Day dinner.  I did this casual understated tabletop:

I didn't do the Christmas Eve tabletop, which was much  more elegant and "fine dining" formal, which I loved!  It was like sitting down to dinner at an expensive restaurant, only we didn't have to go out.  It was an Aloha shirt and shorts dinner, standard for a dress dinner at home here in Hawaii!  I wore a green Christmas dress. The first course was Lobster Bisque . . . YUM!:

I didn't rush to finish sewing the kimono twin set that I referenced last time because the person that it's for is off island right now, and won't be back until well into January.  I'll definitely have it finished in time.

The yard decorations in our neighborhood were blazing in all their glory.  Here are a just a couple of them.  The reindeer actually move!

Some people leave their yard decorations up until right after the New Year, but most people will have taken them down by this coming Saturday.

Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday to All!


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Christmas Projects

At the last minute, I decided to sew some Christmas presents.  I'm not daunted by the prospect of finishing on time because I know I can.

I'm making several of 3422 and 1140:

One of this:

And one of the top below to go with the kimono topper above:

And if I have time, I'll make some of the shorts from this pattern:

Tomorrow, I am sewing all day!  I hope no one interrupts me!