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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Simplicity 2215 Skirt Version & McCalls princess seam blouse

      What's a girl to wear?  This month I had to attend a Home & Garden Show for work and I really wanted to wear something light, comfortable and forgiving....especially considering I would be moving around all day. Also, I had to make sure I wore nothing low cut or too short.  I didn't want any distractions!  The choice was simple: a black and white gingham blouse with already adjusted pattern and Simplicity 2215 skirt version.



     The blouse was easy peasy since I had  just finished one.  The gingham fabric is 100% cotton and very lightweight.  I did use a special coarse sew in interfacing for the collar and cute pearl rose buttons.........I love decorative buttons.  Since the pattern was already adjusted, I sewed this up in no time. 

      For the skirt:  I choose a 100% cotton twill black fabric (From the stash).   I love how easy the twill holds the pleats, and again it is very lightweight.   I cut and sewed a size 16 pattern.  Normally I do a muslin test for a new pattern, but I  sewed it on the fly and did have to loose a front pleat and extend the waist band an inch so I would have a little more room. Fortunately the pleats are not evenly spaced, so loosing a pleat was no big deal.  What I truly love about this skirt is the pockets!  Side zipper pockets were a mystery to me, but  the pattern's instructions were really easy to understand.  Overall the pattern was easy to sew and went together quickly!  

     Check out the photo from the Show.  I wish I had put my hands in the pockets to show them off..........but I was working and this was quickly photographed.  Of course I would have straightened my blouse too!

B&W Gingham blouse with pleated Skirt



   

Friday, February 17, 2017

McCall's 6124 in Purple Cotton Gingham with Pearl Buttons

     Even though most of the country is dealing with winter; aka cold, & snow...down in New Orleans we are busy preparing for Mardi Gras in springtime weather.  Seriously our azaleas are blooming right now.   So the timing was perfect to photograph my newest blouse.....MCcall's 6124.


Look at those azaleas blooming 



      This particular pattern gave me lots of problems, especially where the back of the sleeve seam meets up with the back seam.  Although I did a few adjustments to the pattern, I still was unable to get those two seams to meet up. And after two years of adjusting and readjusting,  I said to hell with it.  However, I don't think anyone will notice, except for me or those sewing enthusiasts. 

MCCall 6124


      Fabric:  a beautiful purple cotton gingham from Fabric.com   
      Buttons: sweet little pearl buttons from my stash.

    Adjustments and sizing:  Typically I cut a size 18 for McCall and Butterick. Adjustments: shorten sleeves.......however, I did shorten them 1/2" too short, but   I already lengthened my pattern for my next blouse.  Enlarged sleeves for my upper arms. A little increase for the back.  I didn't have to do a full bust adjustment but I did have to increase by about 3/8". ( Also, the blouse is a little tight right now b/c I gained weight since sewing the blouse.  Yeah, got sick, a cold of all things,  for 3 weeks and now I am finally back on track with working out and dieting.  ) 

detail of button 



  
   Now that I finally got this pattern adjusted for a good fit, I am very happy to have it in my collection.  Already I am sewing a cute black and white larger gingham print in cotton.  In addition, I know I will continue to sew up this pattern..............it is a classic.

    Happy Mardi Gras!

   

  

Sunday, January 8, 2017

CC made treasures




         Now that the holidays over it is time to take a breather and start focusing on this years sewing goals.  Mostly, I plan on sewing more warm weather dresses and coordinating outfits......lets face it in New Orleans you may wear your beautiful sweater only three times a year.   (Although, right now the temperature is currently 29 degrees!...so today is one of those beautiful sweater days.)  

        In addition, I have containers upon containers of beautiful lightweight fabrics that I plan to sew first before buying new fabric.  Already, I have a cute black and white gingham cotton fabric cut, marked and ready for sewing.  I love having a pattern that has been already adjusted to fit me. 


      Moreover, before I start my next sewing project, I decided to do something dangerous....I unscrewed the top part of my machine and cleaned around the tension wheel and the parts in between.  I have never cleaned the top part of my machine, thinking that it needed to be professionally cleaned and after sewing with it for 3 years now I knew it needed to be done.  Yikes! It was filthy, and my fear of taking the top off is now alleviated........I know I can clean it without destroying it! 


     Now onto the little holiday treasures I sewed: 



    First up:   Simplicity 1441 . I made the butterfly rag pillow.   




Review:  This pattern is very easy. The sewing time was only about 3 hours. What took the longest was cutting all the pattern pieces.  Each pattern piece needs 3 to 4 layers of fabric. I used cotton flannel so I could only cut a double layer of fabric at a time.  If using flannel, I wouldn't suggest cutting all the fabric in a day, cause you might pull a muscle or bruise your hand.  Electric scissors would have come in handy for this project.  Overall I think the pillow came out cute. 
front of pillow



back of pillow

   Next up :  functional drink coasters, using Sweetly Stitched Handmades  book, by Amy Sinibaldi

front of coasters


back of coasters


 Review: First things first.  I love this book.  The photos are beautiful, and the author gives you wonderful tips at the beginning of the book.  In addition, the templates are in the back of the book. I will sew more of these lovely projects.

Sewing easy. Although, sewing the ric rac even on the coaster takes patience. In addition, the author suggested using interfacing in between the fabric; however, I used flannel.  I read somewhere that flannel sandwiched in between the outer cotton fabric will absorb moisture better.........so that is what I did. In addition, I added top stitching to the coasters.  

   Next up: pillow with hand embroidery.

You can check out the link to the last pillow I made. 


pillow





detail of embroidery 

      Last but not least, a little bib.  Again, Sweetly Stitched Handmades, came in handy. 


bib

      Looking forward to sewing cute outfits, and blogging about them! 

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!