Monday, July 28, 2014

city style and day looks

Isn't this a beautiful piece of fabric?  I love paisley and this is a modernization of the design.  Deep blue, turquoise, teal, light blue, and bits of soft brown throughout.  This is a poly peachskin from JoAnn's which I will be using for a fall dress.

The B/W/grey print on the right is new too.   It is 100% cotton, has a very nice drape and is also from JoAnn's.  It reads as a leopard print from a distance, and on closer inspection looks like nuts and bolts.

Very different fabrics; very different styles.  Here are the patterns to be used.

 McCall's shirtdress M 5847

Simplicity's Amazing Fit series S 2174

Both patterns are from stash, and have been waiting for their time to shine, for the perfect fabric, and for inspiration.  I'll enjoy making both of these and wearing them here in Tucson.  While I have seen old tees and jeans occasionally here in Tucson, it is more common to see more attention to style and trend.  These two dresses are classic (especially the shirtdress) and I think I can wear either dress to many of my activities.

I love clothing with a touch of boho but I need to be careful as clothing can overwhelm me if there is too much volume.  I have made a few loose things this summer and while they are comfortable, I am only wearing them on dog walks and to the pool.  That is clear evidence that I prefer a more fitted look when I am out and about.

Can you match the pattern and the fabric?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

dog days

A little break in your Sunday sewing.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Kind Critique

Kind critique request: you may have noticed the badge on the right, from Bunny at La Sewista!  I support her efforts to not only emphasize kindness in the blogosphere, but also to bring technique into the discussion.  I love getting compliments, but sometimes (usually) I KNOW my work could be improved.  I'd like to invite you to add your voice to our collaboration in improving our sewing.  Thank you, Mary

Hi readers,  Here is my recent top made with B 5786 as part of PatternReview's Pattern Stash Contest.  I used stash fabric, a lovely batik from a quilt shop in San Jose, CA.  I have 
me and my adopted hibiscus
been using stash fabric for this contest...I want to move some of my inventory on so I can focus on buying for 1-2 projects at a time.  

I like this blouse and would like to improve its fit, so I am asking you to take a look at the bust, shoulders, and armscye to help me fine tune this pattern.  I am wearing a soft bra in these photos.  In a molded bra the bunching of fabric at the armscye is even more obvious.

I sewed a 10 through the shoulders and a 12 elsewhere.  Size 12 started right under my arm.  When I completed the shoulder seams, I noticed that the shoulders were still too long, so I removed 1/2 at the top of the armscye, decreasing to 0 inches halfway down.  

The armholes are quite loose and my intuition tells me that I should have cut a 10 in width under the arms, and perhaps done an FBA.  Maybe another solution is a petite adjustment in length between the bust and shoulder, and then re drawing the dart.  

CB and a machine hem (!)
I would love to hear what you think. I will wear this blouse happily, even though I know it could be better.   I put some amount of effort into the construction, and that counts for something!

The pencil marks on the left part of the hem are from a slash and burn of 3 inches of back butt hem at the back-->it was not a good look for me.     

much better length in back
collar and topstitching
oops on underside
oops fixed, just because that's nicer
on Maggie, buttons from Pam Erny  (looks like Maggie is a bit lopsided)
Thanks for the freebie buttons Pam!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

195 and counting

My self imposed rule on my pattern stash is a limit of 200.  I have gone beyond that, and when I do, something bad kicks in.  It's like me and alcohol---> Step One says "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol and our lives had become unmanageable".  With patterns the exact same thing happens.  1 pattern, 2,3,...10 new patterns and so on.  I lose track of how many I buy, if I have the fabric to make them, how my buying is impacting the projects still unfinished on my work table.

I lose the LOVE of sewing and become focused on the next pattern.

For me and patterns, it is a reflection of my insecurity in the world.  I need that pattern because what if it isn't available when I want it in the future?  I need that pattern because I don't have ...something... I need that pattern so I can control my circumstances.  Pretty deep, huh?

View A as a fleece bed jacket
So, all that being said, I joined the PR Pattern Stash contest this month.  Of all my patterns, I have about 25 which are older than 6 months and have not been used at all.  Instead of trying to win the contest (another character flaw of which I am mightily aware), I am systematically matching a need in my closet with a pattern in my stash list.  I'm also using stash fabric because...well, I'm broke!  So far I have sewed up a sexy little knit dress, a demure woven shirt jacket, and a cute skirt.  Currently I am making a bed jacket using an old Butterick pattern and some sky blue fleece.  I think it will work if I can tame the 4 layers at the shoulder seams.

S 2059 shirt jacket over a Scout 
Mr. Biblioblog and I are settling into our new home in Arizona.  We had a business meeting this morning, in which we set aside some money for landscaping and window treatments.  That will pretty much use up what is left from the sale of the Oregon home, and we will be saving monthly for other projects.  Painting can be done by us, plumbing and tile work will need to be contracted out.  I think I am going to lose out on my plans to cut out some of the cabinets in the kitchen for a pass through or window.  We jumped into this house pretty fast, and we are only now coming up for air.  The choice was right, but that does not make a move like this any easier.  Buying a pattern or 2 might ease my pain though.
S 1887 flirty skirt and new haircut

M 6724 tee shirt dress

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

hot nights

I've entered PatternReview's pattern stash contest.  This is one of those low anxiety contests in which everyone helps one another keep sewing through their old, old patterns.  I sorted my 200+ patterns and found a number I can enter into the contest.  First up is this nice tee shirt dress by McCalls:
Cute, huh?  Especially in that nautical stripe and on a slender boyish figure.  I knew that would not be what I would get.  I tend to more of a Christina Hendricks figure, without the boobs.

The McCalls pattern is really good, with options for 2 different necklines, 2 different sleeves, and gathered sides.  I am surprised it didn't get any more attention and is now out of print.  Only 4 reviews for the dress on PR!

I am a realist about my shape.  I knew I couldn't pull off a casual beach vibe, but I did know I could get some curves happening with this knit dress.  Here it is.

The neckline is a bit lower than the envelope promises, and I added a wide binding.  I also made this a sleeveless dress, as I look like a weightlifter in short sleeves.  I like this dress and will make it again in a more substantial knot.  This lycra blend requires serious attention to posture and maybe some Spanx.

Next up is a little shirt jacket using Simplicity 2059 and some deep maroon cotton blend from stash.

I am adding a cut on facing to the front center line and will probably use ties for closures.  It will be similar to Christine Jonson's Inset Jacket, but without the dropped shoulder.  I made that pattern up in April and I like the jacket but find the shoulder line unattractive on me.  This pattern will be more fitted.

It's hot here in Tucson :-) and we are waiting for the monsoons to begin.  I'm looking forward to the rain, and the greening.  The plants are pretty green right now so with more moisture it will be spectacular.  I've planted some vinca and some purple fountain grass in containers for the front patio, adding much needed color to our new home.  We drilled into the brick walls in the back and mounted 6 pieces of Mexican pottery we collected over the years.  We then planted some lantana in 3 of them.  I'll get some photos soon.  The outside is shaping up slowly, and we are enjoying ourselves.