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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Simplicity pattern 2305 / Cynthia Rowley design

        It has been so long since I last blogged that google thought I was an imposter...seriously. Anyway, I managed to get logged in and am so ready to write about my latest sewing project......Simplicity pattern 2305  view b.

       Cynthia Rowley is my all time favorite designer.  She has such a youthful, easy aesthetic that resonates with me.  Here is goes:






      Fabric: black linen for fashion fabric and  lightweight batiste for the underlining for skirt part of dress. 

      Design elements: scoop neck, kimono type sleeves, gathered waistline, side zipper, top stitching on sleeve band and skirt band. 




      Alterations: just widened the waistline a bit and used a 9" regular zipper because it was what I had readily available. 




      Struggles/None: this pattern went together easily and directions were simple to follow. 
detail of zipper and skirt part of dress


     Changes I would make in the future. Nothing on view B; however, I did make a muslin for view A, and will have to make some changes. Will have to make a  full bust adjustment and shorten the band on the sleeve.  I did make my muslin test in a cotton; however, I can see both dresses in a beautiful silk crepe de chine. 

     Investing in lots of linen and cotton is one way to survive New Orleans heat.  I love this linen dress because it keeps me cool, its comfortable, looks great with high heels or a pair of comfortable sandals.  Ultimately it is easy to wear.....which works for me!

     Hopefully, I will have a new blog sooner then later. 

      Le Bon Temps Roule!

       

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Decorative Pillow for Gift Giving

     Now that the holidays are over, I can blog about a decorative pillow that I made for a close friend for Christmas.  Recently, she re-decorated a guest bedroom and I really wanted to make something special for her.  The bedroom has several black and white photos and I was inspired by the steel gray colors that are predominant in the room.......Off to Hancock.

     Actually having some time to shop at Hancock; which I have few these days (too much over time) I wondered into the craft section of Hancock.  I was immediately taken in by this cute book: "Modern Primitive Embroidery"    I knew I had to incorporate one of these simple designs.  So with the book in my basket, I made my way over to the decorative fabric section.

    To my surprise, I found some gorgeous gray fabrics and trim.......it was as if Hancock's merchandiser had me in mind.  Love the gray linen and silky decorative brocade. So, with pillow, trim , fabric and book in the basket I was off to start my project.

    First things first, I always go to Cottage Magpies  tutorial on sewing decorative pillows.  Angela does a wonderful job explaining and photographing step by step details on making decorative pillows.  

   After cutting and overlocking the  fabric 's edges, it was time to embroider.  With my new little book, I picked out a cute vase and flower design.  I really appreciate that the author presents her designs in three sizes; which make it quite simple to trace the size you want and start embroidery. I traced my pattern onto tissue paper and then embroidered carefully over the tissue paper and then pulled the paper off in the end.  Method isn't hard, but it did leave tiny papers everywhere. Next time, I may try using a fabric pen. Also, the stitching instructions are easy peasy. Over all I am happy with the design, but I did deviate from the original design a little......I simplified it even more. 

Finished results: size approx: 12" x 16"  Fabric: 1/2 of a yard of linen and brocade. Trim: 5 yards. Time: Embroidery: around 10 hours, and sewing pillow, a day. 

Check out the gift/ pillow : 





Decorative pillow front 






Detail of embroidery


Backside of pillow





Thursday, December 3, 2015

Glamorous baby quilt

  

         This is the 2nd quilt/ blanket I have made, and I am calling it a "glamour baby quilt".  Yes, I figured when you add a pink "silk" chiffon with lots of gathers......then glamour is the word that comes to mind. 

        Unlike the first quilt I sewed up,  this quilt I designed.   Yes, I just let the fabric tell me how it wanted to be laid out and went with it. Although, I did have an overall vision of how I wanted it to look and stayed on track.  

         Guidelines: I wanted the blanket/ quilt to feel like it was vintage or heirloom and to be light and airy.

         I think the flower print in pink and the print for the bias tape and backing was right on track. The mother to be picked bees as her theme, and yellow and gray are her colors with a chevron pattern. (Also, she is having a little girl)  With a limited time frame, I was forced to go to the local fabric store. Of course when I went to the fabric store my choices were slim.  Moreover, I totally fell in love with the pink print.  In addition, I could not find  yellow chiffon (maybe it is out of style this year?) however the pink went perfect with the print.  Although, my Mom did raise her eyebrows when I mentioned chiffon in the quilt........she couldn't image what I was doing.  Then the rest was easy peasy.  How lucky was I to find the honeycomb print which I used to make the  abstract bee appliqued.  And the white chevron print was perfect for the background and quilt.

         In addition, I really wanted to have mitered corners; however, I had no clue how to do that.......thank goodness for You tube.  Check out this wonderful link I found: Mitered corners for quilts      


          How I created quilt: First things first, the math of it all!  I knew I wanted to create a rectangle picture in the center. and use 3" triangles for the quilt.  So I made the rectangle 6 1/2" x 9 1/2" (for seam allowance)  ironed interfacing to the back, and went from there. Then  I drew out the bees and cut out a pattern,  ironed interfacing to the back of the bee fabric . Cut out, and sewed down using my satin stitch on my machine.  After that I ripped the chiffon in 3 1/2" strips and created gathers; which I then sewed down to white cotton fabric, and sewed around my rectangle to form my first border.  From there it was just taking the time to cut the triangles and figure out how to arrange them. Once that was accomplished, I made another outer border of chiffon.   Almost finished..........I mitered all the corners. (I really should have done a better job making sure the corners lined up)  Before, quilting the front to back I sewed ribbon on the back so the quilt can be hung by a rod. After quilting,  I then made the bias tape for the finishing touch. 

          Finished Size: 30" x 36"  

         My only negative is the photo.  I wish I had a better photo of the quilt.  oh well.



 Feel free to contact me if you have any questions on how I made this.

Next up......cleaning my sewing machine.  I managed to put the sewing paraphernalia up.......but the machine is in need of a good cleaning!



           

         

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Second set of PJs using M6249...........this time in sheer cotton black lawn

       So it has been a while since my last post.......with the move and getting a new job, well I have been busy.  Recently, I got my sewing station set up and was eager to sew something.  I had all intentions of finishing a black and white gingham princess seam shirt; however, I am still adjusting the pattern to get a nice fit.  (When will it ever work?)  Anyway, I found in my sewing desk drawer, fabric that was already cut and marked and just needed to be sewn.... so I decided to go for it............and it did turn out nicely, check out my very comfortable pajamas: 

Comfy loungewear


      For this set of pajamas I went with a sheer black cotton lawn; which is very lightweight and soft.  I purchased about 4 yards of fabric from online fabric store and paid something like $5 a yard.  In my stash, I had knit elastic for the waistband and pink bias tape for the facings finished edges, and the top's hem.  I did purchase some pink ribbon for the edges and pink buttons, but that was like $2's at Hancock fabrics.  Oh,  I already had black cotton thread. 

Pink and black

        Time frame:  Sewing time took about 3 days.  I sewed up the pants in one afternoon.   The blouse took a little longer since I added all the trim. 

     Technique: Sewed using french seams.  Along the finished edges and hem I used soft pink bias tape; which matched the pink ribbon trim and buttons. Hemmed by hand the sleeves and machine hemmed the pants.  Please note: Since the fabric is very sheer I highly suggest using stay tape or organza along the crotch seams and on the shoulder seams.  I didn't do this and I regret it.  Also, I used the same pink ribbon trim and created a loop and sewed into the back waist band of the pants.......so I can tell the front from the back!  Check out the details:

ribbon sewed into backside waistband



detail of ribbon and buttons


       I am so not done with this pattern.  Next time I want to make a short sleeve and short set version.  Seriously, I already have the fabric..... a really cute swiss dot from Hancock fabrics; which I purchased before the move....something a seriously crazy sewing person would do!  

Loving my new house

      Sweet dreams! 



      

    




Friday, June 5, 2015

Inspirational outfit from the Wall Street Journal?!

   So, Glenn has been subscribing  to the Wall Street Journal for years, and I have to admit I enjoy reading some of the articles and of course the quarterly color magazine; which features art, fashion, destinations, etc......Basically all the things I love. 

     Any who.... I was flipping through the beautiful shiny magazine and totally flipped for this woman's outfit.  O.k. it is not couture, and looks like something from a thrift store, but that is what I love about it.  In addition, I knew this was an outfit that I could easily sew/ recreate with my own twist.  (Did I really say that, cause you know in the sewing world, rarely is anything easy....oh well.)

     Here is my inspiration outfit:  A gingham top and silk charmeuse skirt with flounce. Check it out: 
Inspiration outfit from Wall St. Journal



      For the skirt pattern I used New Look 6433.  And with a few minor adjustments........I sewed up the skirt to my liking. Using my skirt sloper, I only had to make one muslin and was ready to go for it. 




     Fabric:  JoAnn poly silk charmeuse.  cost $12.  (no lining) regular black 7" zipper and button.

     Adjustment:  Raised front of pattern by 6".  Added two front darts and created a wider waistband, by cutting 2 waistbands and sewing them together instead of folding one.  Also, I did add a button and button hole to the waistband instead of the suggested eye and hook.   Technique: French seams and overlock. Check it out: 
Finished Skirt with flounce


      The Gingham blouse is still a work in progress.  Yes, I am stuck in muslin hell. Currently I am on my 4th try and still have more adjustments to, but with our pending move in little over a week......I had to call it quits and pack up my sewing machine.  Also, I am thinking of trying a different pattern.
McCalls 6124....pattern from hell.


      The pattern that is creating a major fuss is McCalls 6124. .....A basic princess seam blouse.  In my opinion the "cut" of this particular pattern doesn't work for my body shape.   The shoulders are way to big along with the hip.  And don't get me started on the low arm hole; which when I raised created other issues.  And I can't get the back seam to line up with the back sleeve seam.  Yes, I am going to find a Butterick or Simplicity princess seam blouse pattern, and once I get it adjusted I will fix this pattern. Yes, that is what I am going to do.

       Here is the 100% cotton gingham fabric I picked up at Hancock for about $20. Along with some black buttons. 
My version of the inspiration outfit


        I look forward to the move, so I can get back to sewing!

        Until next time....Happy sewing and figuring it out. 


        Even though these two photos belong in the "Garden" page I think they can sneak into this page because the roses in the photos are inspirational to the fabric I choose for the skirt! That is my story and I am sticking to it!

Favorite rose bush in our garden











      

     


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Summer version of Butterick 5951 in cute polka dot cotton lawn

      Since spring is here, I thought I would get a head start on a summer dress....and there is nothing better then sewing up a pattern that has already been adjusted.  After sewing up a red linen version of Butterick 5951, I then sewed up a fall version in a beautiful teal faille with machine embroidery and black bemberg lining.  However, I left the dress in New Orleans and haven't posted it yet.  Maybe this fall I will get to it?! 

      Moving forward,  let me introduce you to my summer version of Butterick 5951.  I choose a cotton black and white polka dot lawn and fully lined it with a lightweight white cotton lawn.   Here are the changes I made for the summer version.  I shortened the sleeve length.  Took a little of the poof out of the gathered sleeve cap.  Shortened the length by 3 1/2" inches; however, instead of cutting the fabric shorter I made a 3 1/2" hem.............that way I can always lower later on. Also, I created a 3 1/2" hem for the lining too. 

Summer Polka Dot dress


   There is a lot of hand stitching involved in this dress, including sewing down the bodice lining to the zipper.  (I did cheat and machine sewed the lining to the waist seam.) However, I did use a catch stitch and hand-stitched the lining hem and dress hem.  The hem is really beautiful. Please note: I used silk thread for all the hand stitching. 
underlining and handstitching


     This dress took about a couple of weeks to sew up.  I had all the pieces cut and marked a few months ago and was finally able to give it the attention it deserved.  This dress will be a life saver for home in New Orleans........where the weather is subtropical. I look forward to wearing it and  knowing that it will be cool and comfortable. 


    Fabric:  my stash.  I did purchase the black and white flocked polka dots from JoAnns about a year ago.  The white cotton lawn/ lining I purchased from Online fabric store  This is where I buy my solid cotton lawn because it is so lightweight and easy to work with.  


    Definitely I will be continuing to sew up lightweight clothing for our new home. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

McCalls 6752 /Easy Knit in time for first signs of Spring in Asheville

       Asheville is starting to witness the first signs of spring.  Yes, the daffodils and yellow-bells are blooming.  The fruit trees are getting ready to pop with color along with the azaleas; all of which has me thinking of something easy to sew for spring. I ended up sewing McCalls 6752, easy knit blouse view A.  Check out the pattern:



      Fabric: Purchased 1 1/2 yards of a beautiful dark teal cotton jersey knit from Hancocks.  With a coupon I ended up paying something like $7's.  Of course, I went back to purchase more it completely sold out the next day.

      Notions:  1/4" wide elastic, matching poly thread,  ball jersey needles and of course the decorative 7" zipper.  All of which I purchased at  Hancocks when they had their notions sale. 

     First things first, I have never worked with knits until I sewed this blouse.  Of course the internet is wonderful for researching sewing knits, with or without a serger.  Also, I do not have a serger, but do have an overlock pattern on my machine so I knew it would be o.k.  
First Signs of Spring in Asheville

      After sizing my fabric, I used a rotary cutter to cut my fabric. Sewing:  I used a small zigzag stitch for all horizontal seams and straight stitch for all vertical seams. Then I trimmed seams to 1/4" and then used the overlock stitch. 




       The pattern was very easy to understand.  I didn't have any issues sewing the fabric together. Although, I did question the front neck facing, but it worked.  Even though cotton jersey knit is not as crisp as a woven fabric like cotton; it did iron well and wasn't nearly as "headache" worthy as silk charmeuse. 




       Adjustments:  I did a pattern fit and it looked like it was long enough in the torso; however, after sewing it up I really should have lengthened the torso about an inch.  Yeah, there is not a lot of flowing fabric near the waist line.  Easy fix for next time. 
Spike likes the blouse too!


        All and all I think this is a very easy pattern.  And cotton jersey knit is so comfortable.  I am not really a t-shirt person (unless I am exercising or working in the yard) so this blouse is a great compromise. I plan to make another one in a different color after I finish a summer dress that is already cut and ready to be sewed up. Also, I do plan to sew up the cut dress version. Lastly, I do want to get a pair of white slim jeans for spring to wear with this blouse. 

      Onto another completely different topic:

       We just put our Asheville house on the market for sale.  After living in Asheville for almost 10 years, I couldn't help but miss my family and friends in New Orleans.   With years of debates, we finally came to a decision to move. I closed our business last year and decided to make the leap.  It sounds crazy, but I have hope that it will work out. 

       We put in lots of landscaping....I mean, veggie garden, herb garden, spring garden, fruit trees, blueberries, grapes, etc.  We are crazy gardeners, and the yards have really matured after 5 years.  Check out some photos:


The front of our yard


Backyard with blueberry patches


Glenn with grape crop last year/2014


Digitalis with Spike (Can you see him) 


Last year's snow in backyard
Asheville is a beautiful place to live, but for us, New Orleans is home.