Monday, December 30, 2013

2013: Top 5 Hits and Misses

2013 was a fun sewing year for me. I let myself mostly just sew for fun, and I got a lot of great projects made. It was pretty hard to pick out just 5 favorites, but here they are, in no particular order.
1. Burda magazine 08/2007-112B coat
I love this coat so much. It goes with 90% of my wardrobe, and I wear it constantly. I feel instantly chic in it, even if I'm just wearing a tee and jeans.
It was also my first attempt at machine tailoring. I loved how quick it was, and the results are holding up really well.

2. Lolita Spearmint coat
I know, another coat, but I wear this one constantly as well. It has tons of wow factor and the winter white color is an excellent neutral.
I learned an amazing lining technique from this coat that I will be using on all coats and jackets going forward.

3. All the Penny Pinafores
I wear these tunics constantly and the dress is rapidly becoming a go to dress any time I want to be polished and posh, but still comfortable.
It helps that this pattern whips up in a flash, but it is so versatile. I love it.

4. Simplicity 3503 maxi dress
This dress gets worn constantly. It is absolutely my favorite dress. Comfortable and cool, but also completely classy.
I get compliments whenever and wherever I wear it. And I wear it everywhere from grocery shopping with the kids to a posh dinner date with my honey.

5. Closet Case Files Bombshell swimsuit
Obviously, I don't wear this one to the grocery store, but I am so thrilled with this suit!! It looks like a million bucks and fits like it's custom - which it is! I love it.

Of course, where there is a top 5, there have to be a bottom 5. So, my 'top' 5 misses for 20013 are...

1. Anne Adams 4799 dress
There isn't actually anything wrong with this dress. It fits well and is comfortable. It looks nice. But somehow, it isn't something I grab in my closet, so I think it's only been worn once. Maybe I should shorten it or something.

This one is purely a fabric fail. I love my other Bess top (made from charmeuse) but this one I made from swiss dot and it doesn't drape well. The top makes me feel big, so I don't wear it.

I LOVED this top, and I really want to remake it. It's a fail because the lace was poor quality and started to shred after being worn only a couple of times. It's already had to be trashed. And I miss it.

Alas, they look great on, but I can't breathe in them. They've been donated and I've since made 2 pairs of Jalie 2908 jeans in a size larger that I love and wear often.

This isn't actually a total fail, since I still wear it on occasion, but my fabric choice wasn't ideal. The rib knit is a little thick, so the facing area is a bit bulky, especially around the sleeves. It's still wearable, just not my favorite. I like the pattern, but it would be better in a thinner knit.

I feel good that it was difficult for my to choose 5 fails, but I had a very hard time narrowing down my top 5. I made a lot of things this year that I love, and that makes me happy. I've made a lot of things this year that were successful and get worn often. I'd call that a good year!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

LouBee Patterns Hosh Pants

Seriously y'all. Why did it take me so long to make these up?! You all told me how quick and awesome they are. I can be so stubborn sometimes...
These are, of course, the Hosh Pants from LouBee Patterns. They are a slim fit, one piece pant with a flat front waistband and buttonhole elastic in the back waist. I made these out of wool blend tweed suiting with a fuzzy nap. They're so cozy!
I couldn't be more thrilled with the fit in back. Myra has a bit of a ghetto booty, and I pretty much always have to raise the back waist of her pants, but these are perfect! And the buttonhole elastic through the back waist makes them totally adjustable.
The method the pattern uses to insert the elastic is really easy to do. No buttonholes to make! You just leave hemmed openings in the inner facing. It's very simple and effective.
Myra loves them, and I am thrilled at how quick, easy and stylish this pattern is. I'll be making it again!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ottobre 06/2010-15 tee shirts

Nature's Fabrics strikes again. When I ordered the pink penguin interlock for Myra and Emma's nightgowns, I spotted this awesome flame like graphic print that I just had to get for the boys.
Now that Duncan has grown into a 98 in Ottobre, there are a ton of patterns that are in both boys' sizes. I love that!
This one is a raglan tee from the 06/2010 issue of Ottobre. Otto intends it as an undershirt, but I like the slim fit and I think the curved raglan seams are too cool to hide.
The flame print fabric is the star. It is really amazing quality - nice and beefy, but still stretchy. I would compare it favorably to the Lillestof that I've sewn. I wanted a nice quality solid black, but none of my stashed jersey was nice enough. I ended up using some Sofia double knit, which is really perfect. It pairs nicely with the jersey. The cuffs and neckband are ribbing from my stash.
To spice up the shirts a little more, I added a bit of topstitching to the raglan seams and topstitched the neckbands. I think it is a nice little touch that gives it a more professional look.
I really love the way the raglan seams follow the shoulder line. It gives the shirt a sleek, fitted look.
Both boys are really happy with their shirts, and I am pretty thrilled that they are still willing to wear matching clothes. I wonder how much longer I'll be able to get away with that?

Monday, December 23, 2013

Penny Pini, tunic time

I know, I've made a few of these...
You will too, when you get your hands on this pattern. The dress is fabulous, and the tunic length is getting near daily wear around here.
This is, of course, the Penny Pinafore from Kitschy Coo. This will be make #6, and there are more coming.
The fabric this time is single jersey. The floral print is cotton and the solid navy seems to be a rayon/cotton blend. Maybe a bit of lycra. It was given to me. Both fabrics are fairly lightweight and drapey. Despite being so different from the versions I made in Ponte knit, these fabrics still work very well with the design.
I love how curvy these panels make me look!
I'm dressed for the snow in my Penny Pini, paired with these jeans, as well as hand knit fingerless gloves and a hand knit lace cowl (which was designed and knit by my sister).
I think I'll be off to sew another. You got this pattern, right?

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Ottobre 06/2009-36 nightgowns

A couple of weeks ago, Myra was looking over my shoulder as I was browsing on the Nature's Fabrics website. Y'all know where this story is going, don't you...
She saw this fabric - pink interlock with crazy penguins on it - and insisted that she needed a new nightgown, and so did her beloved cousin, Emma.
She was right. The pattern I used is Ottobre 06/2009-36, which is a very basic raglan sleeved nightgown. When I showed it to Myra, she insisted that it needed a ruffle so that it would "touch the ground like a princess". I think it makes her look more like a mermaid.
I had so much trouble gathering this thick interlock for Myra's gown, that I gave Emma's gown pleats instead. I actually like them a little better than the ruffle.
Although the ruffle is pretty cute, too.
I used bright yellow for the neck and sleeve bands, to coordinate with the scarves and capes that the penguins are sporting.
Myra loves her nightgown and wants to wear it every night. And all day too. I think it's a win. I can't wait to see Emma in a few days and give her her gown!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Kitschy Coo Penny Pinafore: So Nice I Made it Twice!

You've already seen our tunic versions of the new Penny Pinafore pattern. This was my first and second version of the Mini Penny Pinafore. I am so thrilled with this pattern!
Myra is thrilled, too. That girl loves a new dress, and if it's colorful, floral and fun, so much the better.
This pattern takes so little fabric, that I had plenty left over to make another for my niece. You can see the details a little better here. The dress includes princess side panels that are just begging to be color or print blocked!
I used coordinating knits from Girl Charlee. I'm not very good at matching up prints by myself, so I was really grateful that the good folks at Girl Charlee did the hard part for me. The chevrons are the perfect match to this 70s style floral and the color scheme is super fun.
I fussy cut the neck and sleeve bands from the chevron fabric. I wanted the colored chevrons to sit right on the fold so that they would look like triangles. Emma's are lavender (to match her wrap sweater) and Myra's are hot pink, to match her personality (and all of her wardrobe). I love the way the chevrons look like flower petals on the neckband. Such a fun effect!
The skirt is full enough for twirling and dancing, but slim enough to stay put, so it's perfect for my active girl. You can see the close fit in the bodice here, and the side princess panel a little better.
There is only a teeny bit of shaping in the side seam, so stripe (or in this case, chevron) matching is easily done.
The shape is so sleek, it is easy to layer for all seasons. Doesn't Emma's dress look cute with her wrap sweater?
Since I finished sewing the dress, Myra has been wearing it approximately twice a week. I'll definitely be making  many more. And so should you! Head over to Kitschy Coo's shop now and get yours!