Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Caution, Dangerous Curves Ahead

I feel like I need a sign similar to this when I wear this outfit.  Not that I'm complaining, I've pretty much decided that I am OK with it. 

The top is a another make from my Lady Skater pattern.  I shortened the skirt pattern so that is would be 9" hemmed and did a slash and spread of about 1/2".  So 2" total, this was a fairly beefy ponte knit and I didn't want too much fabric floating around my hips. Other than that, it sewed up exactly like the other Lady Skaters.

The skirt is a the Christine Jonson Slit Skirt and Pencil Skirt 330 .  This is a new pattern to me and I made the slit skirt version.  I did some measuring (on me) and checked it against the worksheet Christine is kind enough to provide with finished measurements of all her patterns.  The slit skirt is designed with negative ease and I decided that I was not comfortable with that, so I cut out 1 size larger than my measurements suggested, giving me 0 ease at my hips and just slightly negative at my waist.

I think that was perfect with the heavy ponte that I used.  I found this great fabric at Hancock's!  I have to point this out, because it doesn't happen very often.  The pattern was great and the directions very good and streamlined.  I did manage to squeeze the pattern out of 1 yard of fabric instead of the 1.5 yards suggested by the pattern envelope.  I did have to piece the waistband to get the width, but considering my short waist, I may just narrow the waistband next time.  It wants to fold over anyway.  What is also really great, in my opinion, is there is no elastic used in this pattern. It's all based on the negative ease to keep it in place. And it does stay in place, even with my going up a size.

Me and my photographer
I see these two pieces getting a lot of wear.  I have had them finished for a couple of weeks and worn them several times already. Just late getting them documented, oops.

On to Christmas sewing, Happy Sewing, Suzanne

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Another Bye Bye Love

When my dear daughter-in-law was here in NC last, I forced made asked her to choose the bag pattern and fabric that I would use for her birthday present.

She chose the Bye Bye Love pattern previously blogger here. I don't think I made any changes to the pattern this time (unlike the first time it I just followed the instructions!). I did use a heavier zipper in the top. And I was running low on the Soft and Stable, so this bag has tricot bonded foam that was too thick for the bras I had bought it for.

Since we were headed to the coast this past weekend and it was going to be the only opportunity to get my daughter's opinion before I sent it off, I got her to help with some on location photos -
The front
The back

Close up of the front to show the handbag bling

 I am pretty pleased with the way it turned out and I hope she will be too! Dear daughter has claimed dibs if dear daughter-in-law doesn't like it -

Can I keep it? We don't really have to send it to OK do we???

I leave you with some pictures of where I have been the past week -

Jeanette's Pier - Nags Head, NC

Bodie Island Lighthouse, NC

Sunrise over the ocean - Kill Devil Hills, NC

 Happy Sewing, Suzanne

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Marlborough Bras

This is a new pattern from Norma Loehr of Orange Lingerie.  I am a sucker for new bra patterns and since I fit into the size range on this one (barely) and I received a pre-release discount, I snapped it up.  You can get yours here.

I really liked the looks of this pattern and made this first one as is. I used her measurements to pick my size, which I hardly ever do, because the measurement plus 4 usually equals a band that is too big for any support (for me).  This one is comfortably snug and I think it will wear very well once the elastic relaxes a tad.


After I made the first one, and gave it the wear test, I realized that the underarm is just a little high and the straps need to move towards the center to be really comfortable on me. So I slashed the strap portion of the power bar and moved it towards the center about 1/4".  Trued up the seams and matched the power bar piece with the side frame piece and shaved off about 3/8". 

I made another version with these changes and after giving it the wear test am pretty pleased the placement of the straps.  I think the underarm can stand to be lowered just a smidge. On second thought, my supplies of elastic and such are fairly low, so maybe I just need to use the wider elastic that the pattern is drafted for.

Since I had plenty of fabric, I lined the power bar, lower cup piece, bridge, and side frame in self-fabric.  Feels so nice on! I highly recommend this Victoria's Secret Stretch Satin purchased here.  The pattern is drafted for low stretch fabrics in those pieces and the lining also cuts down on the stretch factor.

The only issue I ran into, was that there was no match point on the lower cup.  Just something to be aware of and an easy fix, just walk the pattern lines and add your own. Overall a great pattern, if you fit in the size range - 30A to 40DD - give it a try!  You can see the page that tells you how to figure your pattern size before you buy and according to her blog plans for more sizes are in the works.

I have plans for a couple more and may try a slight "hack" based on the designers recent article in Threads magazine for adding foam to your bras.

Happy Sewing, Suzanne

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

My Flirt Skirt

This is actually my second skirt from this pattern, the first I think I neglected to record.  Ooops.  This is a great and easy pattern that I received in a workshop from Craftsy.  It's not the video classes but an instructional workshop, you can ask questions, and fabric was included in the price.

This is not the fabric included, it was such a nice linen, I wanted to test the pattern first in some cheaper fabrics.  This is a cotton blend, I think, that I found in the home dec department.  The gingham is printed on the bias, the skirt is not actually cut that way. Since I was just pulling some fabric out to try this pattern, I didn't really have enough to do any careful matching.  It doesn't bother me enough to stop wearing it.

The only thing I changed about this pattern was to lengthen it.  It is meant to be fairly long, but I'm 5'10" and it was going to hit me at an odd place on my leg.  I added 4" to get a total length of 40".  It looks much better as a maxi I think.

It actually worked better in this heavier fabric than the microfiber I used the first time.

As I said, quick and easy, I think I spent about 2 hours finding the pattern, cutting it out and sewing. And I'm a pretty slow sewer.

I really recommend this pattern, especially if Pam Howard ever offers it as just the pattern. So easy and flirty, with a fun mermaid back too!

And my photographer had to get in the picture -

Boy the humidity is doing a number on my hair!

I'm leaving you with one of the views I've been seeing lately on my drive into to work -

Happy Sewing, Suzanne

Monday, August 25, 2014

Lady Skater dress - take 2

So this is my second make of the Lady Skater dress.

On this make, I made the adjustments that I noted on my trial.
  • Adjust seam allowances to 1" and sewed at .5", eliminating some of the negative ease
  • Shorten back length by 1"
  • Shorten front length by .75"
  • Ease extra front length into the back at bust level
  • Added another 2" to bottom of skirt

The fabric is one that has been in the stash for 3 or more year, probably more.  I have hoarded this print even though the fabric is an poly/spandex and I was scared to cut it.  I looooove it, it reminds me of the Pucci prints, what if I mess it up? Yes, well, it shouldn't be that precious, so with success of the take 1, I cut into the fabric. 

Back-DD says this is my diva pose
However, I didn't calculate the yardage quite right, when I added the extra length on the skirt and the sleeves were a close call.  As it was I needed to piece the left one, because I was determined to have 3/4 sleeves on this dress.

My pieced sleeve

I'm still loving this pattern and I have at least 2  more planned.

Trying to twirl - trying being the operative word here!

Happy Sewing, Suzanne

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Blouse Back T

It's really the HP 1170 Fast & Fabulous Blouse Back T. Times 3, ya'll!!! I'm pretty sure I've never done this before in the years and years that I've been sewing.  I tend to be kind of magpie, new, shiny, NEW patterns.  Must try the NEW patterns.

But I was happy with the fit on the first one and it's so, soooooo comfortable, that I sewed it twice more.

The only alteration I did was a forward shoulder adjustment of approximately 1".  Otherwise, based on my reasonably good luck with HP, I made a straight size 16.

Version uno is made from a really drapey rayon blend (the navy was in the stash forever) and a cotton jersey (chevrons from Girl Charlee).  I'm not sure how long either will hold up, because they are so thin, but I will enjoy while I can.

Looking at the picture the rayon seems to be give a Velcro effect, but it is so comfortable I will wear it anyway!

Version dos is made from some poly ITY.  The black was in the stash forever and the print has resided there as well.  I do remember getting the print from Gorgeous Fabrics, I just don't remember when.

And version tres is made from a striped cotton/lycra from Girl Charlee fabrics also purchased a while ago.  The back was made from a very lightweight cotton in my stash.  It started it's life in my home white and with the help of a Craftsy class (The Art of Cloth Dying with Jane Dunnewold) I tried to give a little design and color.  I'm not sure I was entirely successful in that because it turned out a whole lot more subtle than I was imagining.  Turns out I like the subtle, but I was picturing those rings as white. Note to self: but get the rubber bands tight!  Oh well, I still like the yellow with the navy, so it will be worn. I also cut the neckband and arm bands on the bias, because I liked the stripes like that and I can!


Although I am not convinced this pattern is my best look, all three of these will be worn, because they feel like pajamas.  So on those days when you just need some comfort clothing, out one of these will come.  I doubt I make anymore right now though, it's a pretty distinctive pattern.

Not sure what my photographer was thinking or what I was talking about!

I should say I doubt I make anymore for me, I may be persuaded to make 1 or 2 for dear daughter, because when she saw version uno and I quote "OOOOOOO, I may want to swipe that".  Hah, can't beat that with a stick.

Happy Sewing, Suzanne

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

My first Lady Skater

But not my last! I really like this pattern and it's an easy sew. This one was intended to be just a muslin, but it actually looked pretty good (I thought so anyway) so I went back to cut out the sleeves, skirt, neckband and sleeve bands. Finished it up and am pretty pleased with it.

I did make a few modifications -
  1. I compared to a Kwik Sew t-shirt pattern that fits fairly well in the shoulders and decided to slope the shoulder by about 1/2".
  2. I basted the bodice together, without the sleeves, and decided that approximately 3/4" needed to come off at the waist seam. On this one, I just trimmed off at the waist and will correct on my pattern before I cut my next one.
  3. I was also having a little gaping at the armhole above my bust, so a la Marcy Tilton there is a little dart extending from the armhole. No one can see it on this fabric and if they are that close I will swat them on the nose.  I will also correct that on my pattern.
  4. I did use the elastic to stabilize the waist seam, but may not if I use a heavier knit next time.
  5. I added a total of 4" in length to the skirt.  I'm tall and I like knee coverage.

After looking at the pictures of the back, I wish I had remembered another Marcy Tilton and Sandra Betzina tip - make your side seam allowances 1" to allow for the different hand of fabrics. Will make that change on the pattern too. It feels perfectly comfortable, I just don't like those pulls around my back. I will still wear it, because this material screams fall to me, so a cardigan or a jacket and no one will ever see.

I wore it like this today to "summer" it up and so my daughter could help me get some pictures. She says just a tiny bit of room to eliminate the pulls and otherwise this fits as well as anything I've made lately. Woot! I claim the score.

Up next is another Hot Patterns Blouse Back Tee and some more bras.  The lingerie drawer is depressingly empty.

Trying to do the twist
Sorry for the blurry pictures, evidently we were having a little too much fun.

Happy Sewing, Suzanne

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Nothing but blue skies....

'Cause that's what the colors on this set reminds me of.  Carolina blue skies with big fluffy clouds.  These are made with some of my favorite material - the Victoria's Secret Stretch Satin - purchased here.

The patterns are my favorites - the Sewy Rebecca bra and the panties are from the Ottobre Women 5/2009.  There were not any changes made from the previous makes except that I went up a size in the underwire.  Since I've had a weight gain, the cups seemed to still fit fine on my previous makes, but the underwires were poking slightly.  So I ordered one trial pair in a size larger and gave the bra a trial run the other day, everything felt great.  Maybe I've been using the wrong size underwire all along, since the larger size fit in the same cup/band size??

The color is a little off in the first picture, but it is closer than the pictures I was getting inside.  On the second picture the color is pretty accurate and I liked the juxtaposition of the rough decking against my silky lingerie.  One of the nice things about living out in the middle of nowhere is you can carry out your lingerie to make pictures on the deck and there is no one to give you funny looks except the local wildlife.

Happy Sewing, Suzanne

Friday, July 11, 2014

More WIP's

These have been in process for quite a while.  I used the free patterns found here for the bras - models 8 & 9.  If like me, you do not speak or read Russian, I suggest you try Google Translate, to at least get the descriptions of the pattern pieces.  Model 9's lower cup pieces are very similar once you get them traced and cut out. 

I had made a trial run of both of patterns before, and found they run slightly smaller than the other European patterns I had tried.  So to get them to my size, I did a "cheater" grading and added .25" to the outside (where the underwire sits) seamline and that worked pretty well.  Now they fit except the straps ended up too wide on my shoulders, evidently I did not pay enough attention to that in the trial run.  Luckily for me my daughter wears approximately the same size I do, except her shoulders are slightly more square. So she can wear them without the straps constantly sliding down her arms like they do on me.

After the grading, it was pretty straightforward sewing. Since the patterns are in Russian and the translation is both confusing and amusing, I do suggest that you have sewed other bras or have a good "how-to" book in front of you, I recommend Beverly Johnson's, The Bra-Makers Manual - so much great information in there.
The panties are the free Rosy Boy Shorts (right side) from the Cloth Habit and the Cheeky Panty (left side) pattern from BurdaStyle, also free. Both are an easy sew, especially if you have sewn any panties before. I will tell you now that the boy shorts will not be worn by me - I don't really like boy shorts to start with and I need more coverage that they have.

Both sets started out all white -

Dear daughter does not do white, so just a little bit of time and some acid dye later, we got -

Cotton candy colors!!!

Also there has been an auxiliary, non-sewing project going on for my daughter. 

She sent me this picture -

Brought me these shoes -

I procrastinated for the longest time over this, because what if I messed them up? What was Plan B? I had no idea! But we ended up with this -

Not exactly the same thing, but I think she likes them!

Next on my list, is some lingerie sets for me.  As soon as I restock some of my supplies that is - SIGH - I let myself run out.

Happy Sewing, Suzanne

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

City Slicker

Christine called the City Slicker, but I would have called it the Goldilock's Bag, because it's perfect!!! It's the perfect size, the perfect shape, perfect number of pockets, perfect kind of pockets, etc.... you know perfect.

Here is her description - The CITY SLICKER Advanced is the perfect sized handbag for a day out shopping, with loads of pockets to keep organized while you shop! It features a front twist lock pocket (perfect for your keys) and a back slip pocket which is handy for quick access to your phone. A top zippered closure keeps your main compartment nice and secure. Inside you will find a zippered pocket, a pleated pocket perfect for your sunglasses, 6 slip pockets, and 2 pen pockets.

And it's on sale now - both versions - the intermediate and advanced. I got them both through the Bag of the Month Club.

Mine is the advanced version and I would have had it done before, but once I got into it, I kept procrastinating when I would get to the advanced parts, like the welt pocket.  Just a reminder to myself for the future "GOOD GRIEF Suzanne, just take a breath! and do it!" I have avoided welt pockets on jackets, skirts, etc... like the plague, because, ermmm, well I don't know now because why. Just follow the directions, they are excellent.

Don't what was going on or how I managed to capture that face!

Also excellent was the drafting.  Everything fit together perfectly.

More handbag bling!

The only un-perfect thing about this bag is it's the last one in the club. BOO. If anyone is listening, please, please, please do this again.  It was SO. MUCH. FUN.

All six Bags of the Month

Happy Sewing, Suzanne