Saturday, November 20, 2010

Swap Dress

My partner for the Craft Book Swap posted an action shot of the dress I sewed for her. I think it looks great on her and it even looks like it fits well. I am so glad she likes it. I love the style too and will probably make myself a dress from the same pattern.

Once the Craft Book Swap was complete I decided to join another swap. The Chocolate Swap is in process now. I have had my partner for a few weeks now. I have decided what I am going to make but I haven't had a chance to work on anything yet. Send date is Dec 1 so I still have time. I may be able to finish something tomorrow.

A trio of chickens

My good friend Mary gave me this Crochet Pot Holder book for my birthday. It has a copyright from 1939. And it is just full of adorable pot holders. Each one has very simple instructions. When I spotted the chicken pot holders I knew I had to make some for Mary. She likes to collect whimsical chickens to decorate her kitchen. Maybe that was her motive in gifting me the book. LOL I don't mind as I love vintage crochet books and I plan to make myself some too.

I went through my yarn stash and found some red, yellow and orange Sugar and Cream cotton yarn. Perfect for some chickens. I also needed some felt for the combs and beaks as well as the underside of the chicken body. I had been holding on to this hideous orange wool coat for a while. I knew it would come in handy at some point. I had already felted it by throwing it into the washing machine in hot water. So now it is a nice heavy felt. I must have used some of it for another project because parts of it had already been used. I just don't remember what project. After adding some turquoise button eyes my chickens were complete. I love things that are practical as well as cute. Next maybe I will try the Three Little Maids pot holders on page 8. They are three multicultural faces with a holder. I am not sure if I feel right about putting a hot pot on a face. But they sure are cute.
I am sharing at this Link party Sunday Showcase

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Claire Cami Dress

My partner for the Craft Book Swap that I recently participated in admired my sewing projects and requested a dress or a skirt as the crafted part of of the swap. I was glad to make her a dress. I was a bit worried about making a garment for someone I had never met who couldn't come for fittings. I felt a bit more confident when I found we had similar measurements. I have a thicker waist and am shorter but I thought I could work with that. I decided on the Claire Cami Dress from Serindipity Studios. I had just purchased this pattern a few weeks before and hadn't sewed it up yet. But I liked the simple pullover styling and it has a high waist with a drawstring. Mainly the drawstring waist is what sold me on this dress, because she could adjust it to her liking.

I looked through her Wist and she had a lot of dresses on there so I got a good sense of her style. I wanted to use what I had on hand. I had this black linen rayon blend enough to make a dress and Trees liked black. I had some small scraps of this yellow, grey and black floral linen left over from a dress I made myself last year. Now I needed one more coordinating fabric to bring it all together. So I used this black and grey dotted fabric from the Authentic collection from Moda.

The pattern was easy to follow and has several design options for you to mix and match. Sometimes pullover dresses without buttons or zippers are a loose fit because you need to be able to pull it on and off easily. All the pictures on Trees Wist showed very fitted styles. This dress fit very well with no gaposis under the arms. And you can adjust the waist drawstring to put the gathers where you need them. I loved the way it fit me. I plan to make more for myself.

I wanted one last thing to tie it all together. As I was looking at the yellow floral scraps I noticed that one of the salvage edges had the print going all the way to the edge and the edge was fringe. Perfect for making a flower broach to pin to the shoulder. That completed the look and I loved it. I really wanted to keep it for myself but it was destined for China. Trees likes the dress too but she hasn't had time to post pictures wearing it. I will share her pictures as soon as she does. In the meantime this is me trying on her dress.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Silk Jacket

I made up my new silk jacket yesterday from the Sew Serindipity Book. I sewed this to wear with my Ruffled Skirt from the same book. I followed the directions for the Silk and Linen Jacket from page 123. My jacket is made with all silk. I had the raw silk in my stash for a few years waiting for the right project. This silk does look like linen because it has a linen weave to it. And the cream colored silk dupioni is salvaged from a drapery workroom. The silk dupioni ravels like crazy when you cut it. I tried to serge the edges as soon as possible. The raw silk doesn't ravel much. I thought these two fabrics looked nice together. They are similar to the ones in the book. I think it makes a dressy looking jacket.

The jacket itself was easy to construct and went together quickly. It is a raglan sleeve style and I made the hip length. The pattern has three length options. I will wear this jacket but it is not my favorite. I prefer a set in sleeve on a jacket because you can get a better fit. I probably will use the ideas in the book for the other jackets but I don't think I will use this pattern again. I will use the ideas with another pattern with set in sleeves.

As I was sewing the jacket I thought that the neck looked quite small but I just followed the pattern and I didn't have the facing on yet. So the seam would open up the neckline some. While the neck is not really to tight I don't like how high it comes up. With the high neck and the collar I think it looks a bit like a Pilgrim's garb. I was going to wear it for Thanksgiving so maybe the Pilgrim look would work.

The other thing that bothers me about this jacket is the upper sleeves. I don't like the way they wrinkle and bag in the upper arm. This is partially a result of the Raglan sleeve style. I can't really take the sleeves in as that would make it hard to move my arms with this jacket on. Both the neck problem and the sleeve problem could be changed at the cutting stage but not much to do about it at the end stage. I think I would like the neckline if it was about an inch lower. And the sleeves would hang better if the seam didn't taper to the wrist but was a straighter seam. But that would make for a loose bottom edge.

So next jacket I make will have set in sleeves or it will be a very loose swing style jacket. I have several patterns in my stash with set in sleeves. I am still going to try the dress or tunic from the book. I think I will like the dress even though it has raglan sleeves too. I am definitely going to make more of the skirts from the book.

Friday, November 5, 2010

inspire co.: Inspired Ideas, The Christmas Issue...

inspire co.: Inspired Ideas, The Christmas Issue... Take a look at this beautiful Christmas Craft magazine on Inspire Co. There is a lot of work and talent put into this online magazine. I would like to try the embroidered Christmas trees and a few of the garlands. I better get started.

Serindipity Skirt

I picked up a copy of Sew Serindipity several weeks ago at the Sewing Expo. I was delighted to find that it was signed by the author Kay Whitt. I love the styles in this book and the way she mixes prints. The book comes with three patterns in an envelope in the back of the book. There is a pattern for a tunic-dress, a jacket and a skirt. I have plans to make at least one of everything. The book shows many variations of the three basic patterns. Even though you use the same pattern every project has a different look.

I decided to make the Ruffled Skirt from page 58. I was able to find three coordinating fabrics in my stash to get started. I thought this brown floral looked like fall. It is actually a decorator fabric but I am always drawn to decorator fabrics for clothing. I love the feel of this fabric. It has a soft feel and a linen weave and the colors are lovely. The silk dupioni I used for the ruffles was a piece I salvaged from a drapery workroom. One side was cut on the bias and it was not a very big piece but just big enough for this project. And it was free which is always a plus. The brown I used for the bottom panel I have had in my stash for a few years. I don't think I had anything in mind when I bought it on the clearance rack. But I loved the satin and velvet ribbons sewn down the length. There is a tiny strip of bias plaid fabric sewn down one of the velvet strips and I liked the way that tied in with the colors of the floral fabric.

I am quite happy with the way this skirt turned out and maybe I will have time to make a jacket to wear with it before Thanksgiving. I think I may have to take in the waist a bit because while it feels fine when just trying it on I fear it will do one of those twisting dances when I wear it. That happens to me when my skirt is just a bit to loose and I look down and discover that my skirt is about 6" off center. I always wonder how long I have been walking around like that. Tightening it up a bit should solve that problem.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A New Knit Dress

My good friend Mary took me to this great fabric store near her home called A Fabric Place. I don't think they have a web site. They have all kinds of beautiful fabrics from silks and wools that I never see at my chain fabric stores. While I was there I only bought one piece of fabric. It was this lovely slinky jersey knit. I got it with thoughts of making this dress from Butterick 5484. The pattern has three views with the only changes being the length. There is a short top length, a tunic length and a below the knee dress. The dress has a cross over top that passes through a buckle. I had a bit of a challenge finding the right kind of buckle, but I found one in the perfect color at Hancock Fabric.

The dress is a pretty easy and quick project to sew. There are only two pattern pieces. I have made crossover tops before and I always get confused about which seam to sew first and how to make the crossover in the front. I usually do it wrong at least one time before I get it right. This dress was no exception. I had to take one seam out because I sewed the wrong seam before putting the buckle on. The dress was easy to sew but the fabric was very soft and slinky so that made it trickier to sew. Because the fabric was so thin and stretchy it wanted to get sucked down into the throat plate. This happened several times during construction but I was able to catch it before it made a hole in the fabric. Also I think because of how stretchy the fabric was it was quite large under the arms but it was easy to take in before I sewed the hem on the sleeves.

The fabric is very clingy so it shows every figure flaw. I decided I need to wear one of those suck it in slips with this dress. I do like the finished dress though and I think I will make another in the tunic length. But I will probably use a sturdier knit next time.

I am not really very good at taking pictures and I have this photographic disorder. It manifest itself when a camera flash goes off I get a weird expression on my face. It happens nearly every time anyone takes my picture. So I decided to cut my head off in this picture to take care of that problem. I would prefer to sew than spending all afternoon taking pictures of myself. Even if I spent all day there is no guarantee that any of the pictures would have a decent expression on my face.