I spent some time this morning gathering up the supplies I need for my hooded jacket. I found some beautiful red cotton twill (from Spechler-Vogel – just gorgeous!) in my stash. It’s weighty enough for the jacket but lightweight enough for summer. I’ll also use a nice 2-way separator and white snaps on the pocket. I’m undecided whether to use white cord locks (definitely not these – they look a little off-white – but I have others) and ends or silver, we’ll see. These fantastic matte plastic snaps are from Snap Source. When they first started they had a wonderful selection of parallel-spring snaps (now they only sell prong-style, I believe) and, of course, I have a good supply of them.
When I opened the pattern up last night I was surprised to see that it was printed in two colors. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen that before. There are two garments in this pattern (jacket and pants) and the instructions are printed on one page. I think there was a lot less hand-holding back in 1976! Now to decide whether I’ll trace it off or cut it…
I also finished up another robe this morning. I bought this beautiful, sheer cotton on Ebay quite a few years ago with the intention of making a robe. It’s unusual for me to choose a print like this but you can see from the photo below that the fabric is quite sheer so a wild print provides a little modesty. Besides, sometimes it’s fun to use something different for loungewear!
Notice that I matched the print on the pockets so that they disappear. I also added bands to the sleeves for a little more interest.
I still have a little over 2 yards of this fabric left so I think I’ll make PJ pants. You can never have too many pairs!
I’ll be starting a beginning sewing series at Cynthia’s Fine Fabrics next month. My first class is a kimono robe so I spent a couple of hours this morning making the sample.
This is a Kwik-Sew Kwik-Start pattern, #3177. It was super easy and quick to make up – a great confidence builder for a beginner. The fabric I used is a beautiful cotton batik with Chinese characters on it. Now that I’m done with this I’m headed back to my sewing room to cut out another one that I can wear right now. My silk broadcloth robe has been washed so much for so long that the entire upper back split a couple of weeks ago. :-O
I haven’t done much sewing since the first, sigh. Last weekend, I decided to clean out my garage because we had bulk pickup last Thursday. What I thought would take a few hours ended up taking most of the weekend. I am a bit of a saver and had to be really ruthless because I had to make space for our bikes (I was so sick of seeing them on the back patio!), new lawn equipment and a miter saw that I bought a few months ago. I accomplished everything I wanted to and am so glad it’s done!
I did some sewing last week but nothing terribly exciting. Bryan left for the National Football Convention yesterday and asked me to hem some track pants (with leg zippers, ugh) and make him a navy fleece pullover. Luckily, I had some navy fleece in my stash so I pulled out my trusty old Kwik-Sew 2531 which I’ve made more times than I can recall. The only suitable navy zip I had in my stash was a 2-way separator so I just cut off the excess length and bound the bottom (which was really scratchy) with a piece of grosgrain ribbon.
This pattern does not include facings so I have drafted my own. I just think it looks more finished that way and it only takes a few minutes to do. You can see where I’ve zigzagged the facing edges down.
None of the navy nylon/lycras in my stash matched this fabric well enough so I ended up using stretch illusion of all things! If only he knew! I think it looks fine.
I finally had some time to sew for myself today so I finished up the charcoal version of Butterick 5313. This is the Vera Wang Lavendar jersey that Fabric.com had some months back. It was really nice to work with and I now wish I’d bought more colors. This dress will be a great year-round basic. It can be worn with flats, heels or boots, making it easy to dress up or down. It wasn’t as exciting as working with a print but I am really need of basics so I’ll have to get used to that!
In case you are wondering, yes, I did leave the flounce hem edge raw again. I am sure that Mrs. Kazen, my middle-school Home Ec. teacher, would just die at the very though of it. But, I love the way it hangs and moves so why not?
This week I have been feverishly working on a couple of shirts for Bryan for Christmas. Naturally, I procrastinated as I always do but I finally finished (except for sewing on the buttons) about an hour ago. The first one – and my favorite – is a salt and pepper linen. Notice Pam’s cigar pocket which is a really lovely touch when using a simple fabric. Now if I could just take flat photos as nicely as Pam does – mine always look so wonky.
The 2nd is a cotton batik. I’m a little nervous about this one because he doesn’t usually wear a wild print but he said he wanted Tommy Bahama-style so that’s what he’s getting. 🙂 Notice that I didn’t match the pattern across the center front as I always do. I just couldn’t make it work with this print as it’s too irregular.
Tomorrow I will sew the buttons on. The linen will get charcoal mother of pearl from my stash and the batik will get coconut. Thank you again, Gail, for sending them to me! I had misplaced them last year and found them just in time.
I bought 150 coconut buttons on Ebay today. That’s what TB uses on all of their shirts, isn’t that convenient? It’s getting near impossible to find good-quality MOP buttons and I don’t want to dye them every time so I’m going with coconut from here on out. They are two-hole (I would have preferred 4-hole) but I guarantee Jess and Bryan will never notice and, if they do, will not care.
Greetings of the Season from Ricki Ricardo. Bryan bought this little kitty Santa hat for Winnie Pooh but Ricki was the only one who would wear it. She’s one of those cats who will sit still for anything so this isn’t the first time she’s been dressed up. Last month he put her in a little Santa suit. Silly, silly man.
I managed to get some tops cut out over the past few days. I could have accomplished more but decided to finally transfer these two TNT patterns onto manila paper so that took some time.
I cut out three Jalie Sweetheart Tops in charcoal rayon/lycra (from Fabric Depot), cream distressed wool jersey (from Textile Studios) and deep purple rayon/lycra (surprisingly, from JoAnn’s).
I also cut two Kwik-Sew 2845 tops in a heathered wine rayon/lycra from Lucy’s Fabrics and a black/grey rayon/lycra from Bestonline Fabrics (link in sidebar). I also have this beautiful green rayon knit (from Gorgeous Fabrics) lined up for this pattern but decided to stop cutting and work on my exterior lights some more. The sooner I finish my Christmas decorations, the sooner I can put all these plastic totes back in the attic. Any clutter that is non-sewing-related makes me nuts!
Funny, I usually dislike cutting but found that the more I cut, the more I wanted to cut! I should be able to get most of these finished this week.
This pattern has been a TNT favorite of mine for years (note that I added sleeves). I especially love it with long sleeves in the summertime for a bit of protection from the strong southern sun. Since we’ll be doing a bit of sightseeing on our vacation these will really come in handy.
Both fabrics are from Textile Studios (who, sadly, no longer carry fabric). This first one is the one I showed a couple of days ago. I couldn’t decide whether or not this was a bit too young for me but I liked the stylized flowers and the colors work well in my wardrobe.
The sheer pink/white devoré jersey has been in my stash for a few years – probably four or five. I kept looking at it, wondering what to make with it. It hit me this morning that it was perfect for this pattern and I LOOOVE it! It is so light and wispy, perfect for a sweltering summer day.
I had originally wanted to use my Merrow perling machine (model 2DNR) to make a tiny serged finish on the edges of the hems but the fabric would not cooperate. I also tried a narrow coverstitch which seemed to overwork the fabric. I finally settled on a narrow 2.5mm twin needle which was light enough and suited the fabric well. I couldn’t eliminate the slight tunnelling so we’ll just call that a design feature. I did consider a raw edge a la Ann but my fabric tended to run a tiny bit so I abandoned that idea. I’ll definitely use it when I make my mesh top!
I love that this fabric is very light and sheer but not sheer enough to show my bra. This is a really good style for this type of fabric because the details make it not as revealing as it would be in a plain tee.
Tomorrow I’ll show you the vintage patterns that Phyllis made me buy on Etsy. Well, she didn’t make me buy them but she did provide a link to a certain fabulous vintage 1970s coat pattern which led (’cause I’m on a vintage coat pattern diet, living in Florida and all) to me being forced to buy other really pretty vintage patterns… Okay, okay, I’m just weak.
I had such high hopes for this pattern. To be honest, I found the fit a little strange. I made this a few years ago and knew it ran small through the bust and loose through the torso. I made a 1″ FBA (for a total of 2″ extra through the bust) and then removed the extra width below the bust. It’s still too snug through the bust and too loose through the waist! It looks like I need to remove about 1/2″ more at each side seam but didn’t bother doing that on this top. There is something about it that I don’t like and I think it’s the fabric. It feels too Patio Sportswear to me. It’s probably the colors – you do get Tropical Color Overload living in South Florida! I will definitely make another version so I gave it the wearability test yesterday so that I can alter the pattern. I guess I’ll keep it and just wear it around the house with shorts.
Notice that I didn’t match the stripes at the raglan seam. There just wasn’t enough fabric and the repeat was really long so I fudged it as best I could. I think it looks okay.
Here’s a closeup of the lacing detail. I originally intended to use self-fabric cord but I didn’t like the look so I cut a 1/4″ wide strip of Ultrasuede from my collection.
On the cutting table: I bought this from Textile Studios a couple of years ago. Ricki has given it her stamp of approval!
Filed under Fabric, Kwik-Sew
It started out good – last night’s leftover Mexican food for breakfast – and only got better from there. Up until 15 minutes ago, I was still in my robe SEWING!!! For my VACATION!!! Then reality set in and I was forced to go to the pool store. 🙂 Now I’m back and ready to cut out a few more tops but, first, I wanted to share my last two (for now) versions of Kwik-Sew 3616. Both are sleeveless with buttons/loops at the center front.
The first is a mystery fabric from my collection. Someone gave this to me and I wasn’t that wild about it at first but it’s grown on me. It is amazingly silky-soft! I thought about matching the print across the front but I thought it would be too much of a horizontal where I don’t need it.
This is one of those fabrics I can’t seem to resist: a challenging print! This one came from Bestonline Fabrics (link on the sidebar). It was actually kind of difficult to find a pattern with pieces that would fit the panels. Still, I had to cut the upper fronts across the grain to fit them in – thank goodness for the 4-way stretch.
This is the back. Here you can see what the yardage looked like as a whole.
I found these *perfect* buttons in my collection. This is why, unless you live near the garment district, you also need a button stash! I think I bought these about 10 years ago. It’s kind of hard to see but they are clear acrylic with tiny rhinestones.
Back to the cutting room!
So, the bad match at the center front of this top was really, really bugging me. Argh. I had these vintage glass buttons in my stash that I thought might detract from my mistake – what do you think?
The mismatch is really noticeable in this picture. I don’t know how this happened, I thought I was really careful and precise. Yuck!
Otherwise, I’m really happy with the way this turned out.
I LOOOOOVE the back!
Here is a closeup of the sleeve band:
And a peek inside.
Filed under Fabric, Kwik-Sew
I made good progress on the top today – it’s just wonderful to have a rare weekday afternoon to myself! It’s all sewn together, all I have left are the bodice hem and the contrast sleeve bands. Sorry, the photo is a bit wonky, I was in a rush. I had to laugh because the bust area looks deflated – Ethel is a bit smaller through the bust and rib-cage. I need to put one of my bras back on her.
Instead of the facing, I decided to take advantage of the panel borders and bind the neckline instead. I sewed that center front area at least 4 times trying to match everything up. I finally decided it was good enough.
Filed under Fabric, Kwik-Sew