Monday, August 27, 2012

Ottobre 02/2005-12

I mentioned in my last post that Myra had already destroyed one of the dresses I made her last month. It was this one, and we both really loved it. She wore it constantly, so I knew it had to be replaced.
I used the same pattern as the pink version, Ottobre 02/2005-12. I did add a bit more fullness to the skirt, although the skirt as drafted in the pattern is nice and full.
For the bodice I used a women's button down shirt that I found at a yard sale for a quarter. It was really lovely, with pintucks and fagotting on the bodice, but much too small for me and stained. It was perfect for this dress. The skirt is quilting cotton from Hobby Lobby, left over from a dress I made for my niece.
Here is the bodice, close up. Isn't that pretty?! I underlined the front only with Imperial Batiste, as the fagotting is open. The placket is stitched closed along the original stitching line.
The back of the shirt was darted and had a shoulder yoke. In order to avoid the darts, I had to cut into the yoke for the bodice back. It was total seredipity that the yoke seam lined up perfectly with the edge of the sleeve. I don't think I could have made that happen if I'd tried!
OK, Mom. I'm really, REALLY ready to go to school! It's almost time and she is so excited!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Ottobre 06/2011-21 & 04/2004-35

Myra starts preschool in 2 weeks, and despite the several dresses I made her last month (one of which she has already ruined), I suddenly freaked out and decided she needs a new school dress.
My mother sent me this adorable fabric and as soon as I saw it, I knew it had to be the jumper on the cover of the 06/2011 issue of Ottobre. It's even intended for bias cut plaids, so I thought I was in the clear with regards to pattern matching.
I did manage to chevron the dominant pink and orange stripes at the zipper, which was no mean feat and involved a lot of basting and wonder tape.
I also managed to chevron one side seam, again matching the pink and orange stripes. Unfortunately, since the dominant stripes are only in one direction, this works out like an uneven plaid, so there was no way to match all three seams. I decided the CB matching was more important, so I had to sacrifice the left side. I'm not even going to show you. It's too embarrassing. I almost decided to just cut this on the straight grain, but I just couldn't talk the fabric into it. It really wanted to be a bias cut jumper. Don't you hate it when your fabric gives you sass??
The pattern is designed for wool, and is lined, but for this fabric, I decided a facing was a better option, so I drafted an all in one facing from the main pattern pieces and used Trena's all machine, clean finish lining method. It was a little tricky getting the dress through those little straps, but it worked out. I also finished the facings with the interfacing, using the Sunny Gal method. I really need to take the time to finish more of my facings this way. It really looks fabulous. I made a narrow, serged and topstitched hem instead of the 1 inch hand sewn hem the pattern calls for. I'm glad I did, as it turned out a bit on the short side. I'll lengthen it an inch or so when I make it again.
I made a quick long sleeve tee to go under the jumper. Can you believe that child doesn't already have a long sleeve hot pink tee? I used Ottobre 04/2004-35, which I have used before for Logan. It is the same as the Creative Workshop 301 tee pattern, which is what the jumper is paired with in the Ottobre magazine. I keep thinking it needs an embellishment on the jumper, but I'm going to leave it be for now. Looking at that print for long is a little dizzying! Myra loves it. She's a bit dizzying at times herself.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Vogue 8759, part deux

After my last attempt at Vogue 8759, I wasn't sure if I wanted to carry on with the pattern in the next size up, or try something different. Since the next size up would have required a pattern purchase, I decided to just try adding a bit more room, since Mitch really liked the way that the neckline and sleeves fit.
And it was a win!! You know he likes it if he lets me take pictures of him in it. The fabric is osnaburg, which is a somewhat coarse fabric woven from cotton, linen or flax. In this case it is cotton. I really enjoyed sewing it, as it pressed well and has a nice give which makes it easy to ease. It did have a tendency to fray, so seam finishing is essential.  I serged mine, even within the yoke, since I didn't want any fraying in there.
Here's a shot where you can actually see how it fits. The last attempt had a bit of a sausage casing effect, which was not particularly flattering. It was also a bit snug in the shoulder and restricted movement there. I added 1/2 inch through the shoulder, which widened the shoulder line, giving his more ease for movement there, as well as a total of 2 inches in circumference. It wasn't a big change but it was just enough.
I also moved the yoke seam forward on the shoulder. This is just a personal preference of mine, but it turns out to be practical as well. Mitch tells me that a seam right on the shoulder digs in when he wears his backpack. This way, with the lined yoke, he has a bit of extra padding there, as well as no unruly seam.
Here is the back. There are a few wrinkles back there, but Mitch says it is comfortable, so I'm not going to stress over them. I'm happy to have worked out the fit on this! Now I can whip out some nice shirts for my honey.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Ottobre 03/2009-38

I really am working on my Fall wardrobe plan. The first muslin of my jacket is done, and only needs a few adjustments, so progress is being made. Still, it is summer and Myra still didn't have a swimsuit that fits well.
Ottobre to the rescue, as usual.
The pattern is from the 03/2009 issue of Ottobre, the "Seahorse" swimsuit. The fabric is more Tactel Jersey from Chez Ami. It really is lovely stuff, and I'm glad I have quite a bit of it. For this suit, I decided to try rubber elastic instead of swim elastic, and I really like it! It was very easy to sew and apply. I also think it is a bit less prone to curling out.
For Myra, I sewed a 98 in length and a 92 in width and it is a very good fit. As you can see, her mobility is excellent. The only change I made to the pattern was to square off the front so that I could sew on a strip of binding across the front and then a continuous strip of binding for the straps and around the armholes and back. Most of my RTW camis are done this way and it is much easier, I think.
I didn't make the tie straps, instead I stitched down the straps in back, angling them in a little so they wouldn't slip off her shoulders. I'm thrilled with the coverage in back. Her little booty is contained! And she's comfortable; nothing needs pulling or tugging back there.
Myra is happy with her new suit, although she did ask me where the ruffles are. Next summer. I'm just glad we have a pattern that fits!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fall Sewing: A Mini Wardrobe Plan

It's still summer weather around here, but Fall fashions are buzzing about the interwebs, and I've started thinking about cooler weather sewing, so when Linda suggested a Mini Wardrobe SAL to echo the PR contest, I thought it would be a great way to get some motivation without the stress of a contest (which has been a mojo killer in the past for me).
Here is my storyboard. I'm basing the wardrobe on a blazer I've been wanting to sew for a few years, but have been intimidated by. Hopefully the added support of a SAL will help me have the motivation I need. The pieces I plan to sew are (clockwise from top):

1) Vogue 8601 in a pink wool heavy suiting from Pendelton Woolen Mills. I plan to line it with a green and pink charmeuse print that has been in my stash a while. I'll do some light tailoring; adding a back stay and taping the roll line, but I probably will go with mostly fusibles for the collar and chestpiece. We'll see.
2) Vogue 8604 in tropical wool stretch suiting in black. I'll line these with Bemberg and I'll probably stitch down the front tucks into darts. I'm not a fan of a pleated appearance over my belly. I do love the high waist and wide legs on this pattern though.
3) Vogue 1059 in dark denim as a trouser style jean. I'm not sure if I want to do the welt pockets on the back or go with a more traditional jean style patch pocket. I do think I'll go with a more subtle color of topstitching thread like a dark grey or navy blue.
4) Vintage Simplicity 1735 in an off white tencel shirting. I love this sweet little pattern! My favorite feature is the tucks in place of darts at the waist for shaping. Alas, my copy is missing the bodice pieces, so I'm going to use a pattern with similar structure and assemble it per this one. I think I can make it work.
5) New Look 6130 in a cheetah print challis. Most of the other pieces are pretty classic, so this is my trendy item. I love the peplum trend, so I am really glad to see it continuing for fall. Animal prints are a perennial favorite of mine, so this should be a winner. I'm hoping that the challis isn't too limp for the peplum though. I think it would be best in a fabric with some body and this challis is pretty typically drapey.

Up first will be the blazer, so I don't wimp out. Here we go!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Technical difficulties

It was brought to my attention by a couple of readers that those of you who view my blog in Internet Explorer were having trouble pulling it up and leaving comments.
Since I don't use IE ever, I'd never have picked this up on my own, so I really appreciate those who clued me in to the problem. I tried to pull up the blog on IE and I hung the browser several times. I never did get it to fully load, so I can see that there is a serious issue here. I switched it over to Dynamic Views (which I do not love), and it seems to be working better/faster for me on IE9. I can leave comments on IE in this format, so hopefully this will work for y'all as well. Please let me know how it performs for you, particularly if you've had problems in the past!

For those who may be in the market for another web browser, I use Google Chrome, and I love it. It is fast and streamlined and it works well for me. I know there are many who like Firefox, and I find it to work well also. Both of these browsers are free and IMHO work much better that IE in pretty much every way.

Burdastyle 7936, the "Liz"

After Gertie made this blouse last year, I immediately downloaded the pattern and printed it. And then got distracted. But I finally got around to it!
The pattern is Burdastyle 7936, AKA the "Liz" blouse. The fabric I used is a super lightweight swiss dot from FabricMart. It is a very basic blouse with shoulder princess seams, kimono sleeves and a stand collar. It went together well and quite quickly, except for my own errors.
Oh, that darn collar! For some reason, I just couldn't get it to attach well! I don't think it's a pattern issue, I was just having a bad sewing day. Can you see the big giant glaring error I made? If you look closely at the collar you can see that the collar stand is actually WRONG SIDE OUT!! And I didn't even realize it until the collar was on (for the third time!), serged and topstitched. I decided I didn't care. There was no way I was going to rip out all that topstiching and serging.
I'm pretty happy with the fit, particularly in the back, but you can see that this might not have been the best fabric choice, or that perhaps an underlining would have been a good idea. This was taken first thing in the morning, so it's not like I had sat around on it all day and it is already super wrinkled. The fabric is so light that it doesn't really skim my body well, instead it settles in the "valleys", which I don't think is particularly flattering.
So, I'm not really sure I love this blouse. I do like the pattern, but I think between the wonky collar, which will bug me, and the too light, wrinkle-prone fabric, this blouse may not be a keeper. We'll give it a few days in the Magic Closet and see...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Vogue 8759

Poor Mitch kind of gets the shaft on his birthday every year. His special day is 4 days after Myra, who pretty much eclipses everything, but this year he had the wedding to contend with as well. On the plus side, his parents were in town for the wedding, so he got to celebrate with them.
I finally got around to making him a shirt. The pattern is Vogue 8759, and the fabric is a poly-cotton shirting from I used Pam's Shirt Crisp interfacing in the collar and Pro-Weft in the button bands. I really like this combo and it has become my standard for buttoned shirts.
Mitch likes pockets, so I added an extra one. I also totally goofed up the collar. After carefully trimming the undercollar to ensure a nice turn of cloth with the seam carefully placed to the underside, I managed to attach the collar upside down, so the seam is on top. D'oh!
What I really like about this pattern is the shaping. Mitch has a very athletic figure, with broad shoulders and a small waist, so the typical menswear shirt with a back pleat just billows out around his waist. This shirt has princess-style seaming in back to allow for a closer fit at the waist, which is perfect for Mitch.

He really does need new clothes, but getting him to sit still long enough for measurements proved to be impossible, so I just took a guess and sewed. And I guessed wrong. It is just a we bit too snug - wearable, but  not comfortable. On the plus side, Mitch really likes the shaping, so I'll make it again in the next size up and we should have a winner.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Vogue 1027 again...

Y'all may recall that I sewed Simplicity 1880 with plans to wear it to the wedding. The day before the wedding, I realized that since we would be spending a lot of time driving to and from the wedding itself (in Manti) and the reception (in Provo) and the rayon of that dress would be a wrinkled mess by the end of the day. So, with less that 24 hours to go, I decided to make a new dress. Because I'm insane.
But it's a good insane. Thanks to an already tested, fabulous pattern, I managed to sew up a new dress in about 3 hours total.
The pattern I used is Vogue 1027, which I made a couple of weeks ago. I love the first version so much that I literally wear it at least once a week.
The fabric is an ITY from FabricMart that I bought specifically for this pattern. Conveniently, it also has some purple in the print, which is one of the bride's colors.
While I really loved the fit on the first version, the binding on the sleeve is a little snug, so this time I just hemmed the sleeve as per the pattern. The bound neckline is the best thing ever though, so I didn't change a thing about that. I seriously love everything about this pattern and I'm definitely going to be making more. In fact, after I finished this version, I saw that Cindy had pinned this on Pinterest.
I think I need some striped jersey...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Bride

The wedding was Friday, and Breanna was so beautiful!
She definitely outshone the dress, which is as it should be.
It was a very full day, beginning in the morning for the actual sealing ceremony at the Temple in Manti. I'd never been to the Manti Temple before. It is so beautiful!
Here are the happy couple on the steps of the Temple, after having just been married. Radiant!
Myra was thrilled to see her Auntie Breanna as a bride! And doesn't the skirt drape beautifully here? That horsehair braid is doing its job.
You can see the back of the dress here as she pins a corsage on her Dad. Love those buttons!
Steven also felt compelled to show off his fancy threads. I think he's more interesting in peeking at his beautiful new bride though.
The dress was perfect as the bride and groom literally danced down the aisle at the reception. They were adorable!
And check out that range of motion as she was busting a move with her Dad! They were so cute! The whole day was just beautiful and we were so happy to be able to share it with them. Congratulations, Steven and Breanna!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ottobre 03/2011-26 as Minnie Mouse

Wow, it's been a while since I posted! It's been kind of a crazy week around here, with Myra's birthday and the big wedding, so although I have been sewing, there hasn't been much time for talking about it. I'll have some pictures from the wedding to show you soon, as soon as I download from the camera and do some editing. We took a lot of pictures...

Anyway, Myra's birthday came first, and she's been asking for a dress like Minnie Mouse.
This I can manage.
The pattern I used was the "Rosy Posy" dress from the 03/2011 issue of Ottobre, which I made for her previously here. The first version was a perfect fit, so the only changes I made were to the design.
To make it like Minnie's dress, I drafted a Peter Pan style collar and added a white button below the neckline. I also added some white piping to define the waistline. The collar is piped, too. It doesn't add much to the appearance, but it does give it a nice shape and structure.
Of course, it had to twirl! I used the full width of my 45 inch wide fabric for each piece of the skirt, so that it would be extra full. That's nearly ninety inches of hemline!
To give the dress body, I added a lining, using taffeta for the skirt lining. I also added a densely gathered organza ruffle attached to the lining underneath. It gives the skirt lots of fullness.
For the full Minnie Mouse picture, I purchased some Minnie Mouse slippers and a set of ears. The original bow that came on the ears was small and didn't really match the dress well. It didn't even have polka dots! I made a new bow out of the dress fabric. I stuffed it with quilt batting to give it shape and whipstitched it to the headband in place of the original bow.
She's jumping for joy!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

ModCloth made modest

Did you know that dark purple dresses are scarce this time of year? Breanna's wedding colors are deep purple and teal, and her bridesmaids are wearing purple. She wanted a dress that would coordinate with them for going away, so after much searching she found this one at ModCloth that she liked.
This is the Coach Tour dress. It has a lot of really great features - the draped collar and buttoned tabs at the waist, underbust gathers for shaping and a gathered skirt with pockets. It is made of a rayon poly blend double knit. The only down side seemed to be the fact that it is sleeveless, but a cap sleeve tee would work underneath to take care of that. Then the dress arrived and even on Bre's 5'2" frame it is SHORT. Like, I hope you shaved all the way up short. Surgery was needed. Stat.
In order to get the length to Bre's knees, I added a 5  inch band at the hem. I used Sophia double knit from Vogue Fabrics, and it is a nice match to the original fabric of the dress. Getting an exact color match to the dress would have been impossible, and a matched band would definitely have looked like a "fix". With the black contrast, hopefully the look is more designer addition. :)
Since Bre needed a top to wear under the dress anyway, I made one out of the same double knit, to hopefully add to the look of a coordinated set. The pattern is one I copied from a RTW tee and have made at least 10 times. It's rather nice in the double knit. Perhaps I need one for myself...