Monday, June 17, 2019

Fear of Green

I only want a small fabric stash and have been working very hard to whittle down my medium sized stash.

I can't believe how much fabric I've acquired that I don't like, but kept hanging on to.  YIKES!

I am under tremendous stress about my future right now because I am changing course re my work.  It's very stressful.  When I am under this kind of stress, I like to clean.  So on Sunday, rather than sewing, I focused on my stash and cleaned some of it out.

I have some green in my wardrobe and in my fabric stash, but rarely wear anything green, even if I like the color.  Years ago, I was almost killed in an accident.  I wasn't injured, but if it had been a foot, or maybe even a mere 6 inches to the left, I don't think I would have survived.  It involved a drunk driver and his crazy speeding truck.  If I had been hit, it would have been really bad.  I was in a green dress when that happened, and since then, wearing green has always made me nervous.  I still wore it, but not often.  And on the rare occasions when I did wear it, it made me feel uncomfortable every single time.  It was like waiting for a shoe to drop and crush me, not just hit me, but crush me to smithereens.  When you really like the color green, that is no way to live.

Yesterday, I surveyed my wardrobe and my fabric stash and the few pieces of green that I have jumped out at me.  It made me think of the accident, and on top of everything else that is stressing me out right now, I felt overwhelmed.  In a moment of haste, I decided to toss all of my green fabric and clothes.  After I put them all in a trash bag and was securing it, a thought came to me.  If green brings any kind of luck, good or bad, maybe I'm still here because I was wearing a green dress when the accident happened.  Yes, I'm talking about the accident that didn't kill me.   The accident that didn't harm a hair on my head.  That accident didn't happen because of my green dress.  Maybe I wasn't injured BECAUSE of my green dress.  So, my green dress was really good luck.  I've had this series of thoughts before, but it never stuck.  "Yeah, yeah, whatever," I'd tell myself, but I still didn't want to wear green.

This time, I feel it's different.  I was never a superstitious person until that accident.  When I was little, if I was given a choice, I always picked green to wear.  I had an amazing childhood.  Green did me no harm there.  So, I am letting go of my fear of green.  I'm embracing green from now on.  I'm going to wear it often and fearlessly.

I was going to sew the beautiful, but simple Vogue Isaac dress with a black floral print next, but I pulled back the green clothes and fabric that I was going to toss, and will be sewing some of the green fabric next.  And afterwards, I am wearing green everyday for as many green pieces that I end up with.  I am finally knocking this fear of green out of my life!

I am sewing for the rest of this week, and then my sewing will be on hiatus as I focus on my new work path.

I hope you successfully deal with any irrational fears that you might have.  I am going to try really hard to deal with mine.

God bless us all!

Aloha,
Summer

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Little Adjustments Can Do So Much! (Butterick 3344 Red and White Striped Top)

I love my new red and white striped top so much that I have already worn it.  TWICE!

But after wearing it, I realized that I am still sewing my clothes bigger than I am because the waist was clearly too big.  I took it in a lot more, a lot as in around 5 inches:





And I unpicked the sleeve hem stitches so I could re-do the sleeves.  I also unpicked the hem stitches because the machine hem made it feel too thick.  It's all good now:





That's all of the sewing that I did on Saturday.

Today, Sunday, I'm starting on the Isaac dress, aka Vogue 1434:


It'll be a very quick sew, and right after that, I'm starting on a pair of light blue denim boot cut pants (not jeans).

Aloha,
Summer

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Butterick 3344 - Red and White Striped Top

I am in need of some knit tops and have been wanting a striped knit top for ages.  For forever and a day, all I could think about was a striped top!  A red and white one. Yup, for eons and eons I thought about it.  Uh, well, ok, maybe not even an eon, but I have been thinking about it for a couple of months.

I seriously thought about making a Breton top.  Bretons are striped nautical tops with a boat neck.

But high necks are not flattering on my figure type, so I sewed a Butterick 3344 top with a rounded square neckline.  OOOOO!  I love my new nicely fitted top!!!  Look at how basic it is!  I haven't had a striped top like this in my wardrobe for a few years, and am over the moon happy with this one:





I carefully matched the stripes because I think stripes on a top like this should be nicely matched to give it a high end feel.

In preparation, I pinned carefully before sewing:

 

And ended up with this:



I used a thin woven as the neck facing.  I preferred a facing to a band or a turned stitch because it's a cleaner and less noticeable finish.

I only made a few changes.  I shortened the waist by an inch, and lengthened the hem by 4 inches.  

I sewed the waist in, and that's it!

I'm so glad I have this top.  I'm planning to wear it with jeggings, jeans, etc.

I'm working on a floral dress next, the Vogue 1434 Isaac Mizrahi dress.  

I hope you are making some pretty things for yourself!

Aloha,
Summer

Monday, June 10, 2019

Finally! Simplicity 2215 - The Cynthia Rowley Lemon Lime Dress

Here's my OOP Simplicity 2215 Cynthia Rowley dress.  This pattern is over the top WONDERFUL,  and if you like this style, I hope you have it in your stash!  It makes a great summer dress!

Here's my new absolutely wonderful over the top perfectly fitting fun dress made with fabric that lends a vintage bent to it!  And it even has pleats that are designed to be uneven.  Uh, WHAT?!:




YUP! Uneven pleats. You can't see the pleats clearly on my dress, but yes, the pleats are actually designed to be uneven!  I thought those uneven pleats would be jarring to the eye and on the finished dress would look like they were sewn by an absolute beginner.  I was very tempted to space them evenly.  But then, I thought, "Wait a minute!  This is a designer pattern and a lot of professional thought went into those pleats."  So, I stayed true to the design and went with the flow.  I'm glad I did because the pleats, wonky as I thought they would look, for reasons that are beyond me, work.  When I put the dress on, the pleats are very flattering!  VERY!

Here's the pattern:


Look at the line drawing, you can see how uneven the pleats are, but they work!



The openings on this dress are a little different, too.  It's designed to have functioning front bodice buttons AND a side zipper.  I normally don't like side zips because I find them difficult to zip up, especially when the bodice or dress is fitted.  Plus that, side zips ACK pinch me.  But with this one, there's no pinching, and it's not difficult to zip up or down at all.  I think it's because of the button front.  When the buttons are open, there's a lot more room, so it is really easy to zip up the side zipper.  I can definitely live with side zips like this!

I also love that this dress has slightly cut in shoulders.  It's flattering on my figure type and is also very summery!

I also love the neckline.  It's not too high or low.  It's very comfortable!

I am petite, so I cut the shorter length skirt, and it is perfect for me!  Not too long or short.  Perfect!

And it comes with a pocket!  Love that!

If I knew this dress was going to be this fantastic, I would have made it sooner.  But, better late than never.

I really need to stop sewing so many TNTs and sew more with patterns that have been in my stash for a while, but that are new to me!  Especially designer patterns!

Next time, I'll be back with some basic striped knit tops.  TNTs!  Yikes!

I hope you are sewing some pretty things for yourself!

Aloha,
Summer



Saturday, June 8, 2019

January thru May 2019 Wardrobe Clean Out

I've done a lot of sewing so far this year, more than usual, and have had my share of "outta here" pieces.  From each failure, I learned something.  I hate failing, but I admit, I'm better because of the fails.  Hmm, I mean MY fails.  With each failure, I learned something.  Don't like failing, but I like what I learned.

And now, here are my star failures, poor dears:

OOP Butterick 3344: Great pattern for a basic knit top!  I love the style and I love the pattern!  Tossed these tops because I used poor quality fabric that were lint magnets - UGH!  I am making more of this style, but will use better fabric when I do:









Vogue 8772: I was really excited about this pattern and sewed it almost as soon as it got here.  When the dust settled and I had my new top, I ---

HaTeD iT!!!

It looked like a Grandpa shirt.  Not a cute one.  I even tried tying it calypso style, but it still didn't work.  I tossed the shirt AND the pattern.  After they were in the trash and had already been carted away on trash day, I had second thoughts.  NO, not about the shirt.  Just the pattern.  I'd figured out how to make it work for me.  I'm going to redesign the pattern a little and when I sew it, I am NOT using gingham.  So the next time Vogue goes on sale, I am getting it.  Again.  YIKES!!!








OOP McCalls 5803: I love this style, but not without the ruffles.  I really didn't like this shirt sans ruffles:







New Look 6407: I love the style, but didn't like the side darts.  I've already rotated them and am getting ready for a do over:






Simplicity It's So Easy 1229: Didn't like the faux suede fabric, and was also not crazy about the color.




McCalls 7254: Everyone and their 199th cousin made really cute versions of this cardi, but when I made it, I liked it at first, and then when the patina of newness faded, I didn't.  I didn't like the way it didn't close in the front, and the way hem curved in the front.  I also didn't like the large collar.  YUCK!!!  The pattern's been tossed.  No regrets.

 




Style 2286: I love this pattern and have made a gazillion of this top, but when I made this one, it didn't work because I used cheap fabric that pilled after a couple of washings:






I loved the colors of this fabric, but not the print.  I overlooked the print because I loved the colors so much. I should never have gotten this fabric.  But the color, oh that color!  So I got this fabric, anyway.  The fabric is very drapey, so I thought it would work with a boxy style.  After it was sewn, I saw that I was wrong.  From this, I learned not to give boxy silhouettes a second thought, even when I have drapey fabric.  I also learned that I shouldn't get fabric if I don't like the print:




I just didn't like this set.  Why? Because I didn't like the print.  This was another instance of color  being so attractive to me that I overlooked the print.  I've done this twice so far this year.  Not doing that again.







Simplicity 8137: The bodice on this was terrible.  The pattern was awful to work with.  I put in a lot of work to make it fit, and it ended up fitting.  But after all of that work, I realized that the fabric was too bright and busy for my sensibilities.  I felt like a neon sign when I wore this.  Now I know that I'm not comfortable with overwhelmingly bright and busy fabric, and that I don't like patterns that require a lot of work.  The top is gone and I also tossed the bodice pattern pieces.  I kept the pattern pieces for the tie and peplum, and will use them with other bodice pieces:







With this skirt, I figured out that I don't like scuba fabric.  It's too thick and heavy.  I tossed the skirt and all of my scuba fabric.  But the next day, I pulled the fabric out of the my sewing wastebasket because I realized I could use the fabric to make muslins.  But  I am not buying scuba again, ever:




I've had a lot of sewing failures so far this year, but I don't regret them because I learned from each one!

And that's it!

Aloha,
Summer

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

My Tropical Summer Table Is Coming Together

Summer, the season, not me, is almost here.  And I am in the process of getting my tropical themed summer backyard/lanai table put together.  When I thought about what I wanted, I decided that I wanted turquoise to be my primary color.  For accents, I thought aqua, green, and some ooo-la-la hot pink would be good.

I've been looking around for a few weeks for things that fit in with my visual concept of the table.  You probably know how summer things sell out really fast even before summer starts, but luckily, I didn't start my search too late.  I actually found some things that I really like that are very cost friendly.  So far, I've spent less than $30.  But that $30 is jammed packed with really fun pretty things.

From Walmart, which is what kept the price down, I got a floral hibiscus tablecloth, 4 matching glasses, a sippy cup, and 4 matching salad bowls.  I also got a turquoise pineapple to use as an accessory:




From CVS, I got a green palm tree sippy cup that I'm using as an accessory, and from Walmart, I got a tray that matches the tablecloth:




They had matching hibiscus plates, but when I got there, they only had one left.  I got that one, but one isn't enough, so I used some creativity and got a pack of plastic solid turquoise plates (97 cents for 4) that I am going to use as chargers.  To go with the chargers, I'm using colored paper plates (97 cents per pack).  Hot pink for the dinner plates, and aqua for the dessert plates.  And for flatware, I got a pack of aqua knives, spoons, and forks (97 cents).   The paper plates and flatware are in WM's party section.  And everything else is in their seasonal section.  Everything is reusable except for the paper plates.




I really want the matching hibiscus plates, and will keep checking for them whenever I go to Walmart.  They are still getting stock, and hopefully, they'll get more of the hibiscus plates soon.

I'm also still looking for a few more accessories.  I want to keep the cost down and have been thinking that I should check Ross' for some pineapple salt and pepper shakers.  I saw some last year, but DRATS didn't get them.

And the hunt goes on!

Be back with my Cynthia Rowley dress next time.

Aloha,
Summer

Monday, June 3, 2019

McCalls Stitch 'n Save 9095 (Kwik Sew 4137) - 2 Easy Knit Skirts

McCalls Stitch 'n Save 9095 (Kwik Sew 4137) is my fave TNT for a swishy flared skirt.  I sewed a black one and an animal printed one previously, and I just finished two more. I now have four.  YAY me!







I used a scuba knit for the aqua skirt, and a double knit for the printed one.  I love my new skirts!

Here's the pattern, McCalls Stitch 'n Sew 9095, aka Kwik Sew 4137.  I made View A:


                        


This was super quick and easy to sew!  It took around an hour each.

There are only 2 pieces to this pattern - the band, and the skirt.  Uh-huh, you use the same skirt piece for the front and back. After you cut the fabric, all you have to do to end up with a great skirt is to sew the skirt sides, sew the band sides, sew the band to the skirt, thread the elastic through the band and secure it, sew the elastic opening closed, hem, and you're done!

I did do an extra step.  I added 2 side pockets because I.LOVE.POCKETS!

The most difficult thing about this was to machine stitch the curved hem.  It wasn't difficult for me because I am at the intermediate level, BUT it might be difficult for absolute beginners to get a cleanly sewn hem.

Here are all 4 skirts:



Up next is a Cynthia Rowley Simplicity 2215 dress.  I hope it turns out to be a TNT:



Aloha,
Summer

Friday, May 31, 2019

I Only Wanted Thread!

There have been many times when I've gone to the fabric store with one thing in mind, then came out with a boat load of fabric and/or patterns that I didn't intend to get.

I thought I was alone in doing this . . . until I saw a video on youtube posted by one of my fave sewing youtubers.

See, she went into the fabric store because she needed a single button.  She was only at the store to get a button.  She was focused.  She knew why she was there.  She knew what she had to do.  She marched in, spotted the buttons.  All she could see or think about was that button rack.  She got to the button rack and got her button.  Whew!  Mission accomplished!  Well done!

Then, it was time to get out.  She was almost at the door.

But then!

BOING!!!  She saw rows and rows of 70% off fabric.  What???!!!  She had to look, but well, you know how those of us who sew like to be prepared.  So, before looking, she got a cart, just in case.

After the dust had settled, she came out of the store with her button, AND a fabulous fabric H_A_U_L!!!

No, not one cut of fabric or 5, but a complete HAUL!!!

OMG!  I saw her video and loved her fabric!  And then, I laughed my head off because I've done the exact same thing!  I've come away from some sewing shopping trips, carrying my BAGS of sewing fabric and stuff, muttering to myself, "I only wanted thread." 

Aloha,
Summer

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Vogue 2980 - Sandra Betzina Knit Top with Bolero Shoulders

I have been meaning to make this Vogue 2980 Sandra Betzina knit top with bolero shoulders for the longest time, but kept putting it off because it looked like a difficult sew, even if the envelope is marked easy.

Despite my trepidation, I finally did it!  I sewed it, and it is now my new favorite knit top.  I love the color, the style, and the fit.  Meet my trifecta of perfection!






Here's the pattern:




I am a huge fan of 40s styles and this top reminds me of the 40s.  Unfortunately, for those who like this style, there aren't any patterns similar to this in the pattern books right now.  BUT fortunately, you can still find this pattern online at sites like ebay or Etsy.

It's been awhile since I've made a knit top and I'd forgotten how quickly they sew up.  Even if it did sew up rather quickly, it wasn't a snap to sew.  Looking at the uniquely shaped pattern pieces, I couldn't tell how they would all go together.  This is one of the few times I actually needed the instructions, and luckily, they were excellent.  I carefully followed them step by step, put one foot in front of the other, and before I knew it, I had a fabulous new top.

I made one major change, which is that I raised the neckline.  I couldn't do this on the original pattern piece, so I traced it, made the adjustments, then traced the final.

I made one minor change, and that was to use the long sleeve pattern piece from OOP Butterick 3344.  Vogue 2980 only comes with short sleeves or 3/4 length sleeves.  I used 3344 because I wanted long sleeves.








I used an aqua ITY knit, and it is perfect for this style.  It was dream to work with and is a dream to wear!  I love this top so much that I will definitely be sewing a few more of this style.

Hope you had a peaceful Memorial Day.

Aloha,
Summer
 

Monday, May 27, 2019

Simplicity 8137 - Definitely D-O-N-E, And In A Good Way!!!

It seems that whenever I finish something that fits nicely and is flattering, I always end up feeling that it is my fave piece ever!  And that's how I feel about this Simplicity 8137 wrap top:






This pattern was not an easy one to work with for me.  I had to make several changes to get a top that is flattering and that is comfortable to wear.  If I don't have to think about what I'm wearing, it's good.  Otherwise, not so much.

This is what I had to change to get it to work for me:

1. 8137 definitely has weird princess seams.  For me, they are the worst I have ever come across.  This is the second time I've sewn this, and I had the same trouble with it the first time.  The princess seams are too far off to the side to be flattering on my figure type.  Despite that, I love the way the tie on the top wrapover is attached at the waist.  I think it's really chic, and unique.  I really wanted this in my wardrobe, so I adjusted the disappointing princess seams a million different ways, until I found a fix that worked.  And finally, it did work!  I know the problem lies with the pattern because I love princess seams, have sewn a lot of them, and have never had a princess seam problem before.  Ever!

2. The neckline was too low as drafted, so I raised it.  This might be specific to me, as the pattern is a size 10, and petite me is a size 6 at the neckline.

3. This is probably specific to me because I am petite, but the shoulders were too wide.  I took off around an inch, or a little more, in that area.  

4. Again, this might be because I am petite, but the bodice was too wide across the front, so I took off a little there, too.  

5. The pattern is drafted to be a partial wrap.  It doesn't have a belt that wraps around, meets the short tie at the side front, and ties to keep the top closed.  The tie also isn't attached to the center frontish end of the bodice at the waist.  Definitely a gaping magnet for me.  It's this type of wrap:



Without being secured at the center-ish front of the bodice, it would gape too much, so I turned it into a more traditional wrap.  I cut a belt that was 45 inches long and attached it to the center front-ish edge of the underwrap, created a slot opening at the side for the belt to be pulled through, and voila!  I had a secure wrap that I wouldn't have to think about when wearing it.  I also stitched down the tie on the overwrap at the center-frontish edge.   

6.  I fully self-lined both the bodice and the peplum.

7.  I interfaced the neck edges with iron-on interfacing, then stitched it down on the inside only, to make sure it would always lay flat.  



8. The peplum has open pleats, but open pleats never lay flat on me, so I eliminated them.



 And that's, WHEW! what I did to make this pattern work for me. 

I used a Hawaiian printed 100% cotton.  I chose this particular print because I wanted something tropical and also because aqua is my color of choice for summer this year.  The flowers are a flamingo pink, another color that I like.  After this top was finished, I realized that together, those colors might be a little too bright.  But not bright enough for me to not wear it.  :-)

I love the newest and brightest little star in my wardrobe!  This is my fave top!!!

I also made an aqua Sandra Betzina wrap top that I am absolute mad about.  Be back with that next.

Aloha,
Summer