Tuesday, August 26, 2008

McCalls 5280 skirt and pants

Break time from working on the Blue Silk Dupioni dress for Katie, which is almost finished.

Carolyn asked how many more garments are left to finish sewing from the wardrobe for my sister. The answer is, a whole tub full. But, now there are two less.

The skirt and pants from McCalls 5280 are finished and in the box.

fabric, Glen Plaid from a Fabric Mart bundle
lining, Ambiance
Trim, Venise Lace

The flounce was hemmed by machine using a narrow roll hem foot (I think I used the Bernina #62 foot). The stability and weight of this fabric allowed the hemming to work beautifully.

I added a lining to the skirt, and wanted it stitched to the facing. To accomplish this:
  1. cut lining as for skirt front.
  2. Stitch darts.
  3. Mark seam line on facing, and trim seam allowance to 1/4".
  4. Measure down the length of the facing amount on skirt lining at waist and mark seam line on skirt lining. Add seam allowance, then cut off on new cutting line.
  5. stitch lining to facing.
  6. Clip, and press seam allowance toward facing.

Skirt, inside out. Because this skirt has a flounce I stitched the lining to the seam allowance of the flounce.

I also finished the white pants for this grouping, and will write about those later.
Whole flickr set is here

When I finish Katie's dress I'm going to start sewing for me....
All for me, only for me...(well, except for the pink top of my moms that is on the corner of the sewing table waiting to be finished, and the velvet shrug for Ashlee for the wedding, which I muslined on her while they were here over the weekend)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Vogue 8369, finished

Boucle purchased from Fine Fabrics and Design in Traverse City, MI 2003, pulled from stash
Pattern Vogue 8369
Underlined with ArmoWeft fusible interfacing, block fused prior to cutting.
Lined with silk charmeuse
Hem facings - 3" wigan
underlap in front and sleeve plackets backed with grosgrain
Trim, 2 layers of gimp from Jackmans Fabrics in St Louis plus beads
Buttons from The Right Fit, St Louis MO

Mirror photo, prior to stitching trim onto sleeve placket.

blog post on fitting the muslin
blog post on fitting the shell and choosing and constructing the trim
Entire Flickr Set here

Friday, August 22, 2008

Snoop Shopping The Bi-Color dress

My creation
Originally uploaded by mlweaving
For sale at Nordstroms,
Think the buyers are banking on this style being big?
Dresses here from Maggy London, Theory, Ralph Lauren, ABS AllenSchwartz, BCBG MaxAzria, and Suzy Chin.
I like the look, but I'm not certain the look will like me.

You know who I see in this? LauraLo.

My favorite of the bunch is this by Ralph Lauren - not quite an empire waist - raised just a couple of inches.

And this one by BCBG MaxAzria. Notice the raglan sleeve - squared at the shoulder giving that shoulder emphasis without going all the way to 80's power shoulders, and beautifully arranged and stitched down pleats. I even like the collar - not quite the deep cowl of the 80's, but not a close standup collar that has been shown the last several seasons either. That, and this one is maybe only 1" above the natural waist. I love the top on this one, not so much the A-line shape of the skirt. I think the proportion of the skirt to top is wrong - it's as if the skirt is too short for the top, and too wide. Notice how the Ralph Lauren above looks sleeker? Although I'd bet money that both models are the same size.


Woo Hoo!!
Starting next week I will be gainfully employed again, part of the working world of the USA, and will finally have somewhere to wear clothes more exciting than gym shorts and tee's.
3 days/week, Perfect as far as I'm concerned.
Lest you think I'll all of a sudden have disposable income for fabric and yarn, think again. There's the matter of a MasterCard bill that I ran up again on my July trip to TC, and a wedding that I'm responsible for a portion of the costs, coming up in October.

I appreciate all the thoughtful responses I've gotten to the question below. You all are making me look at that Scaasi pattern as a real possibility.
Question for the Aussies: What on earth would a hat look like that is meant to wear with a dress like that?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Another dress decision

The girls dresses for the wedding August 30th are finished or just about finished. We're good.
And then I decided to make something for me to wear to this wedding.
I had first thought to make New Look 6799 again, this time using the orange dupioni silk, and making a coordinating jacket using this fabric grouping.

But for reasons I don't want to go into here, I've decided to change plans.
Why not, I've got all of 8 days ... and weekend visitors coming. sigh. Why do I do this to myself?

We have another wedding to go to here in St Louis Sept 6, wedding at Cathedral Basilica, reception at the Hyatt Regency - so def upscale, and this dress I want to make has to do duty for both.

I've pawed through my stash for wedding appropriate fabrics - IOW, not black.
And I've pulled out a cross dyed taffeta in orange and yellow, with a sheer netting coordinate that has random sprinkles of irridescent paillettes. (sequins, only Paillettes sounds higher class, :)
Note: I know, what's the difference between an orange/yellow cross dye and an orange/pink cross dye? Beats me, except that the o/y "reads" peach whereas the o/p "reads" Orange!
My goal is to avoid looking Orange.

I'm now on a search for stretch illusion to line the net sleeves and yoke with, and thanks to the helpful folks at Stitchers Guild, and a call to Susanne at Fine Fabrics, I think I'll find what I need.

I have two patterns in contention - although I'm pretty sure that I'll make the one without the bare back. The bare back is gorgeous, but just a tad too "cocktail" for the weddings I think.
So, what do you think?

A. Go with the New Look Orange dupioni anyway and Be Orange
B. Go with the beautiful but slightly too formal and bare Scaasi design (Vogue 1285)
C. o with Vogue 7852, view B in the length of view A
D. It's all too Orange, find something else to make

I'll be cutting this Monday - your opinion will be taken into consideration, and I'll let you know then what I cut.

Oh, and somewhere in this time slot I NEED to find time to get up the next post for the Coat Sewalong. I'm woefully behind.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Button loops,

Back to working on Vogue 8369, a jacket started back in February, first post here.

Back in February I started too many garments, and it all got crazy, and I finished some, but not all. Then It all got put aside when I got hurt in April, and I'm only now getting it all out again, a piece at a time, to finish.
Progress to date:
Muslin fit - done
block fuse boucle - done
cut out jacket - done
Construct fashion fabric shell - done
assemble 3 layer trim - done by D, whose jacket this is
apply trim - 1/2 done

This week I finished sewing on the trim around the neckline and front of the jacket, have finished trimming out one sleeve, and am ready to start on the other. I also finally got the button loops figured out and finished.

I have Very Very little in the way of scrap to work with after cutting this jacket out. Certainly not enough to cut any pockets, nor any bias strips, so the button loops must be cut from a straight grain length of fabric.

First, I cut a length 3/4" wide by however long the scrap was, and tried stitching a tube, right sides together and turning it. No Way was this going to work. The boucle is too loosely woven and too heavy to turn back through a tube.
In the end, I cut a 3/4" wide strip and took it to the ironing board.
I folded the strip lengthwise as if for a piece of single fold bias tape - raw edges meeting in the center, wrong sides together, press, then folding it in half. I then handbasted the piece together along the folded edge.
Next I took it to the machine, set the zigzag on wide, and, holding the "tube" taut front and back, zigzag stitched over the whole tube. This finally gave some stability to the piping I'd created, and the thread buries itself into the fabric so it really isn't visible as a stitching line.

Next I used a piece of graph paper to mark the button and loop placement. In this case for this jacket, I felt it was more important to put one button in each black square than to follow the pattern suggested placement, for visual balance, so that is how I marked it.

I then stitched the loops to the graph paper, then lined the graph paper up and stitched it to the Right front of the jacket. Then I tore the paper away from the stitching lines.

After folding the raw edge under, this is how the button loops look on the front.

I then stitched a loop line together for the sleeve placket
Not going to work. The cording is too heavy and the results were just bulky and awkward.

So I cut some bias strips from the silk charmeuse that is being used for lining this jacket, and made some cording for the button loops from that.

Using the same graph paper technique, only inserting a strip of grograin ribbon under the loops for stitching, I created a loop line to insert into the sleeve placket opening.


The lining is left to be stitched in, and the buttons need to be sewn on. Then it and the cape will go into the mail to Florida. (along with a pair of pants that are finished except a buttonhole on the waistband...and a skirt that just needs a bit finished on the lining.

Bad idea, getting too many garments started and not finished, at once.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Rain Cape, aka finishing up the SWAP sewing


Denise's Rain Cape - unlined
Pattern: Vogue 8162
Fabric: Woven crinkle poly from the clearance table at Joanns

May be worn open collared or with collar closed and buttoned up to keep rain out.
Button backed by loop of organza ribbon and 1" backer button.

Buttonholes are corded to give them the extra oomph and support the buttonhole in this polyester to go over the extra large buttons.
To make a corded buttonhole use a piece of crochet cotton or other thread or yarn. Stitch the legs of the button hole over the crochet cotton. Here, the Bernina #3 foot has the tooth in the center to hold the cording in the front, and I loosely hold the cord behind so that it stays straight.
I topstitched the edges using a 5mm stitch and 2 separate strands of regular sewing thread, one slightly darker than the other, which really complements this irridenscent cross-woven fabric well.

And tonight I'm going to finish This Jacket
The infernal button loops are finished. They were a real treat. Check in tomorrow and I'll blog about making the button loops. I wasn't able to make them via the typical method of stitching a tube and turning it inside out.
Today I cut the lining out, and all that's left to do now is stitch it into the jacket.
My sister is going to be a happy camper.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Gifts from friends afar

I'm going to ruminate for a moment on how the internet has changed our lives.
At least, it's changed mine, in ways for the better.
Our friendships and contacts all used to be limited to those in our vicinity.
Now our reach, to connect with people all over the globe who share our interests, is available to us at the touch of a keyboard and a screen.
And I do contend that the connections made can be just as real and as vital as those old face-to-face neighborhood friendships.
I connected with a group of women 5 or 6 years ago through ediets. None of us are members of ediets anymore, but we all still maintain contact on a closed message board, and have become a good support system for each other. I've met, in person, roughly half of the members. And the 10 or 11 of us stretch out from the East Coast to the West Coast with only a couple of us in the middle. (Is Texas considered the middle?) Some of us go MIA for awhile, but we all come back, and I consider these women my friends.

Another person that I've "met" on the internet is Donni.
She's a decade younger than I, and lives about as far away as you can get and still be on planet earth...and yet there was a connection from the first time we started chatting. I *wish* we lived closer. Someday I will meet this incredible woman. Whether she comes this direction or whether we have to sail over to her side of the world. She's talented and funny and warm and active...
And last month she sent me this most awesome book
Donni is a knitter, weaver, spinner, dyer, and yet she chose to send me one of the most incredible books I've ever seen on working with fabric. This is the same book that Birgitte (whose work I greatly admire) has used in some of her incredible creations.
Donni, I can't thank you enough.

Another, more recently made friend is PattiF, a resident of the Chicago area, and someone I met on the internet via another woman I call friend, Carolyn. I have had the pleasure of having met Patti in person now too - after all, we live fairly close.
Patti is a generous and caring person, and is in the process of trying to divest herself of some of her stash. While we were gone last week she sent along this Lovely package of silks, which I finally got from the post office yesterday. (I know, I'm supposed to be sewing my stash down and divesting myself...not acquiring.)
I had thought to use the pink for either my sister or Katie. Both are pink girls. But after having gotten it out I'm inspired to make something using the pink along with that incredible piece of chiffon, ala the Keith and Kaylen dress from Project Runway Wed night. Only loosely inspired by that dress. The sueded pink will hang beautifully as a princess sheath, but not as a bunch of flutters, and there is only barely 1 yd of the chiffon, which is only 30" wide. But I'm thinking a really wonderful bodice overlay, loose and filmy, would be way too much fun.

There are too many friends I've made over the last several years of internet chatting to mention all of you. But I thank all of you for being out there and available at the other end of my keyboard. And I absolutely love it when sometimes we get to connect in person.
Friendship is the best gift we all give each other.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Finally, Jeff's Double Knit Hat

Kim and Jae will also recognize this as "That Dam*n Hat"

Everytime I've knit anything in the last year my dh looks over and says "Is that my hat?", even knowing full well it isn't.

Well, now that we have the boat and the plans to go sailing in the Great Lakes next summer, I figured it was time to actually knit "That Dam*n Hat".
This is the double knit ski hat, directions found on the Blue Blog.
It is fully reversible and is the warmest hat ever.

Yarn: Cascade 220 in yellow and Marine Blue
Needle size 6 Addi circ, 16"
Modeled by a dress form with dh's Foul Weather Gear, which obviously is the inspiration for the color scheme.
Now I only have one left to make - my own of course, and it's to match my foul weather gear. Oh, oops, my foul weather gear jacket is 20 yrs old, and I'm getting a new one before next summer (thinking the Strictly Sail boat show in Feb in Chicago), so mine will have to wait until I find out if I'm getting red or yellow.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The mojo has returned

Got home Sunday night, after a rather exhausting drive, and yesterday I spent all day downstairs finishing ...skirts.
First up are 3 skirts for Charity's 100 skirt project. During the week that Katie was home this summer and I cut and muslined and draped the dresses on her, she cut and began construction on the two border print skirts here. She serged the edges, stitched the seams, ran the gathering stitches and attached the skirts to the waistbands. I put in the one zipper, Katie did the other, and yesterday just had to finish the hems.
Last summer when Lauren was wanting to sew, she cut and started a halter dress using the black print you see above. The halter never fit right, she never finished the dress. Yesterday I cut the skirt off the midriff band for the dress, recut the skirt (keeping the in-seam pockets), shortened it and then refashioned it into a skirt in a girls size 14. I added a ruffle to the hem and covered the stitching/gathering line with rickrack. I've got numerous packages of vintage rick rack. I'll get these in the mail today to Alaska.

I also finished up this linen eyelet skirt. I wrote the review for McCalls 5334
here on Pattern Review. It's not and won't be my favorite skirt - but that's all my fault for choosing the wrong pattern to start with. The fabric is from the only bundle I ever got from FabricMart, the lining is white cotton batiste from Ressy's coop a year ago, and the navy blue narrow rick rack is vintage from this huge box of trims I have.
What is wrong with this skirt is that the yoke is too narrow, and the gathers too full. Bad pattern choice.

The last skirt I finished up is this (faux) wrap. I write the faux in parenthesis, because the pattern is for a real wrap skirt, and I modified it.
The pattern is Burda 3471 (OOP)
I first made this pattern as written, as a wrap, with the ties, and I hate wearing it, even though I made it to go over bike shorts. The whole wrap and tie thing has never worked particularly well for me. At the time I made the skirt to cover the bike shorts (in orange gingham no less, can you even imagine? ugh), I cut this one from a remnant of rayon batik. I stitched the side seams, narrow hemmed the whole, And then never got around to finishing it up. So yesterday I overlapped the front as if it were wrapped, opened up the side seam and inserted a zipper, then attached a narrow waistband from the strip that was meant to be a tie. I LOVE it! I wore it the rest of the day, after finishing it. The front is cut side seam to side seam, so there is enough coverage that the wrap won't fly open. It has the casual look of the wrap without the ackwardness of the tie part that won't stay in place. I think I'll make more of this one.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Airmail has it there on time

After the fitting and pinning of this bodice last time Katie was home, I marked everything, took it all apart, made a pattern to use on the blue silk coming up, and then cut linings.
This dress was constructed after a bit more travel to get back up to Traverse City MI (another 2 hours north), and in between all the boating activities we had planned with a group of other Island Packet boat owners.
Finished bodice
Again, I anticipate having finished pics of this dress on the recipient in the next few days. It should be arriving by airmail this afternoon (Friday) in Georgia.

The dress, inside out.

Bodice - silk shantung
skirt - silk crepe de chine
underlining - silk organza
lining - silk crepe de chine
No pattern used.
closure - side zipper - hand picked