Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ottobre 06/2009-3 and McCalls 6223

I know, more baby sets, but I had to show you this tee!  The pants aren't very exciting.
But first, a brief rant...  I made the pants on a whim. I had totally forgotten about this fabric, and when I saw it, had to make it into pants instantly.  You know how it is...  Anyway, while the background looks white, it is actually a very pale cream, so a white top looks strange with it.  I went looking for a black baby onesie/tee.  It's Halloween!  Surely someone has black baby clothes!!  Nope.  Seriously, are parents who don't sew just doomed to have babies wearing pastels until the age of 2???  So, I needed to make a black tee.
The pattern is Ottobre 06/2009-3, which is actually for a full jumpsuit, but I cut it off to make a tee.  A BLACK tee!!
I added a paw print applique.  I'm so pleased with the neckline binding on this top.  Instead of stitching it to the right side and then flipping it over and stitching it down, I stitched it to the wrong side, folded it to the right side and tucked under the raw edge.  Then I top stitched with a twin needle.  I know black is hard to see, so you'll just have to take my word that it looks amazing!

Oh, and the pants are McCall's 6223, which is a good basic baby layette pattern.  As with all Big 4 baby patterns, it's gigantic, but otherwise fine.  Apparently it has been recently reissued with a new number.  My copy is labelled number 3665.

I hope all who are celebrating have a Happy Halloween!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Simplicity 3765 again...

I love how quickly baby clothes whip up!  They're little, no closures, no facings - so quick!
This is yet another version of Simplicity 3765, this time made of the scraps of Logan's hoodie.  I love fleece pants, especially cuffed fleece pants for babies.  They're so cozy.  I appliqued a strip of "road" onto a purchased onesie.  It seems with every baby I forget how much I really hate those cheap Gerber onesies.  They are so thin - such a pain to applique and even for summer babies, too thin to wear by themselves.
On the pants, I appliqued some of the vehicles on both back and front of the left leg.  Here's the back!

While I was at it, I did a quick tie onesie to go with the Wee Professor sweater and cords.
My Religion prof in college (despite being in his mid-30s) always sported the bow tie look, so every time I think "college professor" I think of him.  Obviously, my Wee Professor needed a bow tie to wear on those days he's not wearing his silk bubble.
Here is the tie up closer.  I love making tie onesies for little boys.  They're so fun.  You might get tired of looking at them...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

burda style 09/2010-121 and self-drafted skirt

I made an entire outfit in one day!!  I love instant gratification sewing!
Doesn't it look fancy?  The top is burda style (BWOF, whatevs) 09/2010-121.  I think everyone in blogland has sewn this turtleneck, and I can totally see why!  (Here's Dawn's, Cidell's, Karen's - I know I'm missing a couple!)  It went together so easily, which isn't a total surprise since it is only 3 pattern pieces.
The turtleneck is cut on in one piece with the body, so there is no seam at the neckline.  Very nice!  It has a self-facing that you stitch together at the side seams, which makes the attachment invisible.  Burda's instructions even actually made sense for this one.  The only changes I made were to remove the ease from the sleeve cap, and to sew the sleeve in flat.  I also added an inch to the length to cover the baby bump.
Here is the back - so sleek!  The fabric is a Chico's slinky from Buttons and Bolts.  I really love wearing slinky, but it sure is a pain to sew.  I used the Sandra Betzina hemming method that she publishes with her Today's Fit knit patterns - fusing the hem with steam a seam before twin needle stitching.  It did help stabilize that slippery, stretchy slinky and made my experience much better.  I also have recently started using wooly nylon thread in the bobbin when I twin needle.  It makes a HUGE difference in how stretchy my hems are!  I have had problems in the past with my twin needle hems popping, and they just dissolve away.  The wooly nylon really helps them stretch a ton, which the slinky requires.
The skirt is "self-drafted", which I put in quotes because it is really just two squares.  The waistband is a yoga style fold-over waistband.  No elastic so it is comfortable to wear, even as I get bigger by the minute.  I used a poly knit for the waistband as well as lining.  The slinky was a bit sheer.
The only thing that saves it from being a giant tube is a knee high slit at center back.  As an outfit it is a bit blah, although it should be fun to accessorize.  I'm looking forward to the mix and match potential...

But does it fit at 30 weeks of pregnancy??
Why yes, yes it does!  So, how would you accessorize this very blank palette?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Simplicity 3765

What happened to Katie?? I know it's been a while (for me) since I posted something I've sewn.  It's not that I haven't been sewing, I've just been making scrubs and I find them a bit boring (after the 4th identical set), so I didn't think they were blogworthy.  Mitch likes them, though.  I did finally make the Wee Professor his pants!
The pattern is Simplicity 3765, now OOP.  While I generally prefer Ottobre over the big 4, particularly for baby clothes, I've made this pattern so many times, I think it has become a winner.  I actually find that in the baby sizes Simplicity has the most reasonable size range. Yes, they sew up 2 sizes larger than published, but since the Simplicity patterns are graded down to what they call an XXS, you can actually sew for a newborn. Just know that the XXS will actually fit like a 0-3 month in RTW.
Here they are with the sweater that I made to match.  The pants are made of a pincord from Hancock.  It's fairly lightweight, so I'm hoping the pants will be wearable through several seasons.  The pattern is designed to be shorts, so I made them in a size XS and lengthened them to the size S length line while cutting.  I used a pair of pants that Logan wore when he was a baby for the elastic length (13 inches, in case you're wondering) in the waistline.  I waffled back and forth about the topstitching, and in the end am glad I put it on.  I think it's cute and gives the pants some character.

I've also been knitting quite a bit.  All that time spent in the OBs waiting room adds up...  Since I want this blog to remain about my sewing, I probably won't be posting all that much more about my knitting projects unless I make something super cool.  If you are interested in what I'm knitting, you can follow me on Ravelry. My profile is here.  If you aren't already a Raveler, you should be!!  Seriously, if you knit, you NEED to be on Ravelry.  Go sign up for a free membership.  They won't spam you, and you'll have access to the amazing collection of knitting patterns, many of which are free.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

FO: Ribbed Watchman's Hat twice

After I knit Myra her little pink hat, Logan has been asking for his own hat.  Of course, I couldn't knit him the girly cables, so I went hunting for a sufficiently manly style.  The Ribbed Watchman's Hat is worn by the soldiers in the Isreali Army.  Can't get much manlier than that!
I knit Logan's in a blue to coordinate with his hoodie.  My Ravelry notes are here.  While I was at it, I thought I'd replace Mitch's old nasty running hat as well.  I didn't tell him what I was up to, so it was a bit of a surprise.
Mitch's was knit in a bulkier yarn on bigger needles, so it is a little larger than Logan's.  It should keep him nice and cozy for his early morning runs, and it's a lot nicer than the ratty old one he had before.
Here is my family, all with cozy warm heads!  I guess I'd better knit up a pint sized one for the Wee Professor...

ETA 10/23:
Here is the one for the Wee Professor, with some matching mitts.  Rav notes are here and here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Kitschy Coo Reversible Hoodie - boy style

Back to the non-costume sewing - whew!  I wanted a project that was fun, but not overly challenging.  And Logan needs a jacket.  Enter the amazing reversible hoodie by Kitschy Coo.  I know I gushed about how much I love this pattern last time I made it, but seriously, it practically sews itself.  I mean, a reversible jacket, sewn in 2 days!!  Amazing!
and adorable.  Logan picked out the fabrics for this one, and I think he did great!  If only I had done as well matching the tops of the pocket across the zipper...  I definitely need to work on inserting separating zips.
The outer layer is quilting cotton that Logan spotted at Hancock.  We were on the search for helicopter fabric, but Logan saw this and it was love.  He chose a coordinating light blue fleece for the inner layer.  I'm not overjoyed with the color of the ribbing, but beggars can't be choosers.  This is from the stash.  My local options for ribbing are white, black and red.  I was excited to find a real reversible separating zipper in light blue!!  Even more exciting, it is a coil zip, so I could just sew through it, since of course it had to be shortened.  I got it at Stan's Sewing Supplies.  If you need a specialty zipper, he has it!  While you're shopping, he also has great prices on your everyday zips as well.
I'm so happy with this little jacket, and even happier that Logan loves it, too!!  His eyes lit up when I gave it to him and he wore it around the house all afternoon.  Oh yes, this is why I sew!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Simplicity 4378 Ren fest pants

Done!!  My costume sewing frenzy can finally grind to a halt and I can sew something fun!!  For the last piece of Mitch's Renaissance Festival garb, I used his TNT scrubs pattern, and just left off the back pocket.  Utterly boring, and I am not going to put you to sleep with the gory details.
However, here is a cute picture of my Renaissance Man, all put together.  As you can see, not much of the pants even show.  I did not expend much care on these pants for two reasons.  One, I am tired of sewing costumes.  Two (and the primary reason) Mitch is planning to get some new boots at the Faire this year, which means I will be making new (and better) pants for next year.
I am happy to say that Mitch LOVES his tunic.  So much that he wanted me to show you a better picture of it, so that you can all admire how great it looks on him.  Also, because the trim is awesomely cool, and he wanted you to see it.  I think also we may need to get a new belt when we get him some new boots...
Speaking of boots, I wanted to give a big thanks to everyone who chimed in about appropriate footwear to go with my dress.  In the spirit of practicality, I went shopping for boots. 
and came home with these!  The picture is making them look a bit more golden than they are, but I think they are just right!
For those who may be questioning my reference to these as practical, I invite you into my closet for a random sampling of the shoes that were on the floor after having been kicked off this week.
As you can see, the caramel boots are distinctly practical in comparison...
And, since shoes should always be purchased in pairs...
These came home with me, too.  Won't they look amazing with my black silk pants??

Thursday, October 14, 2010

McCalls 4530 Ren Fest adaptation

Mitch's Renaissance Festival tunic is hot off the machine, leaving me with only the pants to go!!  Woo hoo, home stretch!
I realize that it looks a bit like a nightgown on the hanger...  I'll get a better/modeled pic once the pants are done.  For reference, here was my "inspiration piece".
I started out with McCalls 4530 as a basic shirt block.  I cut the front as one piece with center front on the fold, and a slightly lower neckline.  I lengthened the body to just above the knees and marked the slit in the front of the neckline, and up the the hip on the side seam.  I used the sleeves as-is, except for straightening out the lower edge to make a smooth hemline.  Obviously, I ignored cuffs, collar and front bands, as well as the various "western" yokes.
I bound the neckline with a self fabric bias strip, which I topstitched down.  It also did a nice job enclosing the scratchy trim edge.  The fabric is a homespun that I got at Hancock.  It was nice to work with generally, but a pain to make into bias tape, as it tended to curl.
As a result, the sleeve seams are bound with commercial bias tape.  I did make nice french seams throughout, which look good, are sturdy and also serve to enclose the trim edges on the sleeves.
I also enclosed all of the hems and trimmed section of the neckline within the trim itself.  As a result, there is not a single exposed fabric edge anywhere in this shirt.  I realize that this is just a costume, but Ren Fest gear gets worn more than once around here, at least for the grown-ups, so I wanted this to be well made.

Monday, October 11, 2010

FO: Edelweiss neckwarmer

I know it seems like I'm knitting a ton, but really, I'm cheating by doing quick projects.  Also, Logan doesn't nap anymore, so my afternoon sewing time has been converted to afternoon knitting time.

Anyway, I found this beautiful Angora Bamboo yarn on clearance, but they only had two 80 yard skeins.  I bought them both, then had to find a pretty project that didn't take much yarn.
This is the Edelweiss neckwarmer by Susanna IC.  My Ravelry notes are here.  It is a horizontal variation of the classic feather and fan lace pattern, but worked in worsted on size 10 needles, which makes it less lacy, but more warm and snuggly.  If you follow Elaine at the Selfish Seamstress, you'll recognize this pattern, as she just finished an utterly stunning version of the traditional pattern worked vertically.  In her usual unselfish way, she also provided the pattern on her blog.
I admit that I chose this pattern partly because I wanted to dip my toes into a simple lace pattern, and I had enough yarn.  In retrospect, I'm glad I did.  I love the way it feels.  The yarn is soft and drapey and the lacy pattern gives it a lot of give.
The curves of the pattern really mold to the body and are snuggly against the side and back of the neck.  Very useful for something designed to keep one warm!  I'm looking forward to enjoying this very much if it ever gets cold.  Also, it will look quite fetching with the nearly matching Gretel beret my sister knit me last Christmas!
Isn't her cable work amazing??  See why she is my knitting idol?!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

McCalls 6141

Now the kids aren't the only ones ready for Halloween and the Renaissance Fair!
Of course, I had to show it off on the dress form...  As several of you have noted, she is as yet nameless.  I'm thinking of having a giveaway to name her.  What say you?
Anyway, the dress - the pattern is McCalls 6141, most clearly a costume pattern, but with reasonable construction.  The bodice and sleeves are lined.  I thought about lining the skirt but that is A LOT of skirt and I was afraid it would get hot.  The sleeve lining is actually both lining and stay for the big upper puffs.  The most interesting part of the constructions was the modesty panel. I was expecting to do some crazy clipping and curve matching, but instead you leave the bodice and lining unsewn over that section of the neckline, press under the allowance and topstitch the panel in.  I've seen this done with curved yokes on vintage patterns, and it works great, particularly when, like with this pattern, you are adding trim on top.
Here it is on me.  The only alterations I made were the FBA and adding 1 1/2 inches to the hemline at CF to go over the belly.  Otherwise is was a surprisingly good fit.  I sewed the size small, which the pattern claims corresponds to an 8-10.  I generally sew a 10, so as long as you are looking at the larger size of the range, it is reasonably sized.  As I mentioned, there is A LOT of skirt, so there was plenty of room for the belly in there without any width adjustment.
Here is the bodice and sleeve a little closer up.  I love the trim at the bottom of the sleeve puff, but I think the satin doesn't have quite the body to keep it from collapsing and hiding the pretty trim.  I'm wondering if a little sleeve head to hold up the puff would help here.  It's too late now for me, but should you find yourself in need of a maternity costume, you'll know...  The ribbons on the sleeve represent the only hand sewing I found necessary for this dress.  The pattern instructs you to slipstitch down the bodice lining, but I really didn't see the point, since the trim is topstitched over that seam.  I just let the stitching for the trim do that work for me.
The back closure is with lacings.  I think this is their nod to authenticity.  Anyway, it is pretty, but a huge pain to get in and out of.  I can see why they needed a servant to get dressed!  It also tends to pull open right at the empire seam.  I think I'll add a hook and eye there, just to keep things covered.  Otherwise it stays in place surprisingly well.  There is a generous underlap so things don't peek out at all.
While I think this is more of a Regency inspired style, rather than medieval or Renaissance, I still like it, and am looking forward to wearing it.  It's not my most flattering style - I feel like it makes me look more wide than I am, but at the moment, I am!  The Wee Professor is getting big.
Here is my problem.  I need shoes!  As you can see, I hemmed it for a reasonable (2-3 inch) heel, as that is what I always wear.  Anyone have any bright ideas for shoe styles?  And color???  Should I even try to match that purple, or would gold be fun?  Mitch suggested black, but I don't think that will do at all.  I often see boots on the ladies at the Faire...  What do you think?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

So excited!!!

If I weren't so pregnant, I'd be jumping up and down!!  Look what UPS brought yesterday!!!
I've been saving my pennies, and after last month's frustration with my Vogue top, I decided it was time to get a real dress form.  She came from Roxy Display.  I'm fortunate in that the block that they use for their forms is very similar to my measurements.  I will have to do a little padding, and her waist is about an inch lower than mine, but otherwise, she is perfect!
For starters, I needed to add to her bustline, so I loaned her a bra I don't wear, but which fits me well.  That hot pink shows through everything.  I padded it with batting to get her to match my bust measurement.  She probably also needs an inch or two added to her butt - I've got a little more junk in my trunk than she does - but I haven't decided yet how to pad her back there.  I'll probably get around to making her a new cover and padding her out under that, but the bra will work for now, and it will be easy to adjust while I'm nursing.
Here she is modeling one of my closest (and best) fitting woven tops.  I think it's a pretty good match to the way this top fits me.
And here is the Renaissance dress that I am currently working on.  As you can see, there is still a lot of work to do...  But it fits!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Burda 9671

Here you have the last piece produced during my big sewing day.
These are Logan's pants, which I made to go with his costume, but was hoping he could also wear as "just pants".  I worried when I was cutting them out that the cuffed, pleated legs would be a little odd for everyday wear, but I actually think they look pretty good.  The shirt he is wearing is the creation of the great Amanda of Kitschy Coo.  It is Logan's absolute favorite shirt.  The pants are made from Burda 9671 out of a piece of black mystery fabric from the remnant bin at Hancock's.  I think it is a poly/rayon "linen look".  I did make some alterations to the pattern, both for ease of sewing and wear.  The pants are designed with a fly front with elasticated back waistband.  Since zippers were not around in medieval times (and Logan has trouble with them at potty time) I opted for an elastic casing.  (I know, elastic wasn't around then either - whatever.  Potty time convenience takes precedence over historical accuracy.) Without the fly, they were quite a quick sew even with the buttoned bands at the hem.
Here you can (sort of) see the pleats and bands.  The pants are pleated on either side of the side seam into a functioning buttoned band.  Logan wore his pants to preschool today, and declared that he likes them.
They are not only appropriate for medieval princes, but also for rock star wannabes.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

FO: Coronet hat

As a little break from the medieval sewing, I thought I'd throw in some knitting.  Besides, I'm tired of posts with no people in them!
I wanted to try out some cables, and my sister recommended this pattern, the Coronet hat by Alexandra Virgiel.  Rina is my idol in all things knitting, so I listened to her.  Of course, she was right.
It was fun to knit and the cables went very easily.  Here are my ravelry notes.  I did make one error and cabled front when I should have cabled back.  The first time I caught it right after I had done it and ripped back, but then I did it again!  And didn't catch it until I was nearly finished.  I wasn't willing to rip out six pattern repeats and Myra will never know, but you can see the wonky cable at the front of her head.
The other fun new thing I learned with this hat was how to do a provisional cast on and to graft with kitchener stitch.  I definitely need some practice with those skills.  I did not take a picture of that side of the hat.
Myra loves her new hat, and wore it all afternoon.  It even looks cute with her jammies.
Logan had to try it on, too.  On him it is more of a cable yarmulke...