Sunday, October 30, 2011

Butterick 5563

I've started a new project.  Yoohoo!  Compared to the last few months, I'm on a roll.  This new one is Butterick 5563, view B; pictured on the top far right.  I like the fitted sleeves, loose waist, and low cowl look of the wrapped neck.  

It looks easy and straitforward--only 3 pieces but a real fabric hog.  I got it cut out today and will get sewing time Tuesday.  I'm really excited.  The fabric is a lovely multicolor stripeof rayon jersey knit from So soft.  Sigh.  When draped on my dress form, Zelda, looked rather like a chic serape.  So I guess my working title will be La Tapa Bonita -- the Pretty Top.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Kimono Envy

This past week has been Tokyo Kimono Week in Japan, their equivalent to Fashion Week here.  Despite the limiting title, their Kimono Week does feature western/modern  fashion as well as kimono.  The modern fashion ranges from anything you'd see on the runway here and in Paris to avante garde, to anime-type fashion.  This post is about the kimono, however, as I simply love the beauty of them, the skill involved in crafting them let alone wearing them.  Obi can have a variety of intricate tying to create lovely designs in back.  It's a beautiful and complicated-looking way to get ready for work in the morning.

This post is about the kimono, however, as I simply love the beauty of them, the skill involved in crafting them let alone wearing them.

Obi can have a variety of intricate tying to create lovely designs in back. I understand the government approves of common daily kimono use. 

 Looks like a beautiful and complicated-looking way to get ready for work in the morning.  I'll stick with work scrubs and home jeans.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Nautical Sweater

Yeah!  Real sewing again.  Simple project that's been in my mind for a while with a small variant from ready to wear.  I used Simplicity 2560.  It's been done by everyone, including myself once already, but is so versatile and comfy, and such a quick stitch it's irresitible.

I saw a version a couple of months ago on Coldwater Creek's site but no longer see it now  where the draping on the front was held down with tabs.  Loved it abd knew this was the perfect pattern for it.  So everything is just like the regular pattern except the tabs.  They were borrowed from another pattern as I am so not design savvy like that, along with their directions.

I loved the pulled-back look and as this is for work it makes it even more convenient to access pockets.  The fabric is a very washable knit from Joann's, maybe a french terry not sure.  The buttons are from my stash and I think they give the sweater a nautical look.  I may add one of the jumbo hook/eye closures to the backside of the tabbing for the odd occassions I do want to close it.  I'm very happy with it as is though because it is soooo coooomfy.  And of course the joy of sewing again is priceless.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Loose Ends

I just wanted to wrap up those dangling loose ends with pictures of the finished products of Simplicity 2501 , the Maggie Blouse.

Here's the finished product. It's one of my favorite tops to wear, I might add.  My neckband has some wave in it so apparently it got stretched some in the construction process as it is cut on the bias.  The waistband and peplum are very figure flattering.  The pattern is one of Simplicity's choose-a-cup multi-size patterns so size adjustments are a breeze.  The only one I had left to do was a forward shoulder adjustment. Nice.
The only thing I was scared of were the ruched sleeved.  But Simplicity has easy directions for that as well.  I love how they came out above.  Kind of channeling the spirit of the forties. They have it marked on the pattern for you to mark on the sleeve where to place elastic then sew over with casing.  Their process was easy if you 're slow and careful.

The other top finished is Simplicity's 2975, the view B top.  This should have flown together pretty quick but I decided to embellish it and then ran completely out of sewing steam ( or steam for anything for that matter).  So once I got done with the mending, I figured I have needle in hand let's go.  It took 3 night of sewing while watching TV to finish it out:

See just a simple yoked smock top.
And there's the embellishment: a simple straight stitch embroidered with the awfullest gold thread to work with ever! and some cute little brass dangly thingies from Joann's. The mottled fabric was a bonus 1yd boo-boo sent with an order.   I fell madly in love it and had to use and found some red cotton to work with it.  I have a pale grey Vera Wang sweater that works with it, too, so I can get some use from it before it turns cold. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

It's Been a Long Time

Oh, it's been such a long time since I've gotten to post much less sew! Life has been very busy and less than ideal. I have stilll managed to lurke about on my favorite sites and people you're been busy doing lovely things.
I'm thrilled to be back at it albeit it is a slow start; at least the engine is revving. I started with the small hill of hill of mending that had accumuulated. Then I finally finished Simplicity 2975. I did up view B, started it before vacation in June and just finished it this week. I know, shameful, as it should be only a few hours worth of sewing a la! done. But, la! no. Life has a way of seriously interjecting. ( I did finish The Maggie Top, too, by the way. ) If no pics tomorrow, then Monday.
We had are carpets cleaned professionally yesterday, finally dry now, so putting things back. Which always gets one to thinking....... So things are being returned in more organized fashion. In particular: husband's office, living room and it's library, and the dining roon that was used as staging area--aka my sewing nook. I'm excited. That's what got the mojo flowing for the first time in months! Yeah, change!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Maggie Blouse And A Broken Hip

I know it's been a while since I've posted. A family emergency took me out of town for several days and life has been very hectic since leaving no time for sewing at all. My father fell, broke a hip and began a series of complications: heart attack, pneumonia, ventilators, dementia, and one super-stressed out Mom to boot. Life is calming down while he's in rehab but there's still so much to do and so much uncertainty. Aging parents are a scary stage in life, especially when they live several hours away and value their independence.

I was so rattled the trip necessitated a visit to JoAnn's in Cincinnati on the way home for a little retail therapy. I emerged with some celery green sweater knit, a purple poly-charmeuse, and a a funky abstract floral poly-charmeuse from their clearance racks. I also picked up these two cuties while they were one sale.

I've been stealing 10-15 minutes the last 4 days trying make progress on the blouse, which I have done this week. While in Ohio and unable to sew I did think of sewing. I kept thinking this blouse reminded me of something. Then it clicked. Maggie Gyllenhall in The Secretary

The print is bolder, but the peonies with stirrups and chains, demure tucks and pleats really made me think of this movie. So the Maggie Blouse it is. The tie and facing is attached. Tomorrow I should be able to apply the waistband. Slowly but surely, step by step.....

Monday, January 10, 2011

I Got Some New Eye Candy!

I saw this lovely little book at Barnes and Noble several months ago and just couldn't bring myself to get it at that time. My wonderful Mom-in-Law got me a gift card for Joann's for Christmas. Yesterday was the first time I've had a chance to go in since before Christmas. (I know, it's a wonder I didn't go into some kind of withdrawal! ) I checked out Kenneth King's Cool Couture but after really looking at it decided it was probably still beyond my skill set. Then I saw this. I was so happy!
Granted I don't do a lot of hand sewing, but there are times I need it. It soothes me. This little book has several little projects ranging from the cute little tote on the front cover, to a laundry bag, to stockings and ornaments, a various house linens, slippers and garments. I know I'll be doing the stockings and ornaments for next Christmas for sure. The laundry bag intrigues me. Lord knows I need one! There are so many ideas in here. Not just the projects themselves, but I see them being the basis for embellishment on a skirt , or jacket, or blouse. So many ideas.
Now, before you think I'm just goofing off day dreaming with my book, I have been busy on the blouse. The bodice front and back are sewn together, seams serged. I've even had to do a slight sway back adjustment. The back was noticeably 1/2 to 3/4 inches longer than the front. That correction has been made and we're ready to begin with the waistband next sewing timeout, hopefully tomorrow evening.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It's All So Boring.....

It's all so boring but at least it's still sewing-related. So I'm still on track Since last I posted, I've still not been creatively productive, in that I still yet to put the first seam in the Simplicity blouse. All is not in vain, however. The tension has been reset on the sewing machine along with seam samples sewn. The serger has also been re-threaded, no small feat, as it has been a long time since I've done it and I'm still getting acquainted with it. The tensions on it were all screwy for such a silky fabric from the last project done on it in thick cotton so that in itself was a process!

My beloved son honored me with his mending, making my first official completed project for 2011 reattaching the elastic waistband on his boxers. They aren't in bad shape, in fact, nearly new. He merely pulled a thread he shouldn't have. Yes, the thread attaching boxer to elastic, leaving more than half the poor waistband dangling haplessly. Order and support have been restored to the kingdom.

Simplicity just released their new patterns and I have to admit I'm really disappointed in the offering. Everything seems a re-hash, re-release, or just plain boring. The only the that caught my eye was this little pretty:

Of course I have no red carpet event to wear it to, nor any special occasion I can even think of that would be appropriate for such a dress. But I am just mad about all that pleating at the bodice! The slightly trailing train is so glamorous, too. Who wouldn't feel like a movie star in a dress like this? It's so timeless yet modern.
Oh, well. Sigh. Back to the blouse and boxers for me, though.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Typically, I don't believe in New Year's resolutions. I've always found that they reinforced my feelings of failure as I inevitably, like most people, fail to meet them, adhere to them, whatever. I flop out big time. Be it weight loss, be a better person, quit cussing, exercise more....yada, yada, yada. You know the spiel. By Febuary, March latest, its all dust and dreams and pint of ice cream in front of a chick flick on TV.

I don't know if it's an age thing, an ADD getting out of control thing, or life is just really confusingly busy thing but I just can'ts seam to focus on my sewing the way I want to. And I really want too! Time just seams to slip into weird little places. Laundry, dishes, and normal housework were always obstacles but were pretty manageable. I keep getting lost in books, movies, even stupid re-runs of re-runs. Worst culprit of all. I'm addicted to watching my son play Assassin's Creed. OMG. It's like watching a movie and getting to participate too! There are even puzzles I get to help the character solve. It is a blackhole for time wasteage and I can't seam to walk away.

Culpability is in order. I need structured and order to get the sewing back on track. Journaling it should be a huge help, as it was before. Some sewing-related activity for at least 15 minutes daily. Be it sewing, cutting, setting up the project, researching a process. Something related to the process of sewing will be accomplished daily. Checking outthe activity on Pattern Review again. I have a very large collection of patterns to work thru and a stash I no longer have room to add to. Further incentive to kick it in gear. I have all these great clothes in my head I need to get them in my closest!

To that purpose I have begun a project. Simplicity 2501:

I've had it in "my collection" for a long time. From one of Joann's $1.00 sales, I'm sure. It's one of those muli-cup patterns eliminating the need for an FBA.

I have cut out view D, like featured in the picture and am using this fabric:
also from one of Joann's sales. A polyester charmeuse of creamy white, tans, black, and purples.
I just love the colors in it. I have several disparate pieces in my wardrobe and was working last year on trying to tie them together. This will work nicely with the purple pencil skirt, black flaired skirt and tan gored skirt that I made last year trying to work in some neutrals and solids. I also have a pair of brown slacks and cream slacks.
So, I'm off to sew.... Happy sewing all