Monday, December 19, 2011

Crazy Pants (or how to embarrass a kid)

"Are you actually going to wear those in public?" asked my son. "Why yes," I replied. "In fact, I am wearing them to work tomorrow!"

I was feeling like a lazy sewer for awhile and I decided I needed something a tad more involved to sew. I have been loving the new fringe trend of printed pants. I've always been a sucker for printed pants ever since I was a little girl. Just ask my mom about my 7 Up pants! My favorite pair of pants had 7 Up logos printed all over them. Even in high school I had some crazy pants. My favorite were pink and purple floral pants from Benetton.

You Look Fab wrote a Blog Post about them and I obviously vote YAY on them.

You Look Fab

This fabric was an original purchase about three years or so ago from my local indie...Fabric Gallery. I thought for sure it would be a coat or jacket but it's been screaming for me to make it into pants for the last couple of months. I guess it would be considered a brocade. It frayed horrible when I sewed it but other than that it was great.

I've been doing my best to utilize stash patterns and fabric. I really wanted to order the new Colette cigarette pants but I was good. I found this pattern and always have great luck with Burda pants and these were no exception.

I wasn't sure about the added bulk of the gathering on the waistband so I left it off. I'm glad I did. The reviews for the pattern are less than stellar but that's mostly due to Burda's crappy instructions which is normal in my opinion. I didn't even use them at all. As usual, I followed Sandra Betzina's Flyfront Zipper never fails! I left off the little pocket in the back, just a waist of time I think. If you don't need instructions or can find them elsewhere, these are wonderfully drafted pants. They aren't so skinny that I look like an apple on a stick. They are more straight legged. I shortened them a smidge so they hit right at my ankle. I think they are meant to be a bit shorter though.

I really like them with this shirt.

Below are pictures of my practice pair. These are a cotton blend I think. There was three yards in a FabricMart mystery bundle. It is wonderful fabric. I have enough left to make a straight skirt at a later date. I wore them today so they are wrinkled. After wearing them, I think they might have some wool in them.

This pair I cut out a size 42 and only took 3/8 inch seams on the side seams. I am usually a large 42 or a small 44...kinda in between. This pattern only went up to 42. I found them to be pretty generous this way and did a straight 42 for the crazy pants. These are really comfortable though and I will get a ton of wear out of them. I wore them all day today running errands. A great alternative to jeans which I am liking less and less as I get older.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kwik Sew 3561...A Montage

My life has been in quite the turmoil lately. I feel like George Jetson screaming, "Jane, stop this crazy thing!"

But nonetheless I have wanted to sew. I'm not in the mindset for anything complicate or new at the moment. There is something to be said for TNT patterns that you love and are totally versatile. I call it "Idiot" sewing.

I was going out of town and I wanted some comfortable and verstile dresses. Jeans take up so much room and I really don't find them all that comfortable anymore.

So I made three versions of my favorite dress...Kwik Sew 3561

Version 1: This is the regular shorter length pattern. The fabric is a wool jersey blend but it is so soft and comfy. I feel like I'm wearing jammies. It kind of has a mottled but not quite tiedyed look to it. I skipped the facings and created a neck edging. I serged it on with clear elastic then folded it over and used my double needle to finish it. Love it! Next time though, I will angle the neck edging so it's slightly smaller on the inside and lays better.

Version 2: This is a rayon knit. For this one, I did the same neckline treatment but cut it cross wise so the stripes were opposite. I made sleeve cuffs and a hem cuff in the same manner. I wanted this one a smidge longer.

Version 3: This was an afterthought. I finished it the night before I got on a plane! I bought this gorgeous scarf and wanted to wear it (sorry not in the picture) so I needed a dress. I had this purple that matched it well so I whipped it up in the short sleeves version for something different. I also decided to cut the back in two pieces for a CB seam. It enabled me to curve it along my back for a nicer line. I think I will do this from now on. I really like it.

Before making these I tried to experimenting with other patterns before going back to this one. I did the McCall 6335 but found it ran huge!!! I would need to go down two sizes to get it to fit right. I salvaged the one I made to be wearable but I don't think I'm a fan of it.

I also tried an Onion pattern, the number which escapes me, but it is a raglan sleeved shift dress. It flares more. I kind of like it but my fabric was super stretchy and I think it needs a bit less stretch to hold it's shape. I might finish it. It was practice worthy fabric so no loss.

These were all made back on October, that's how bad I have been at posting. I did do another round of TNT patterns featuring Vogue 8597. This is another pattern I've made before, but about two years ago. I made three versions. Two tops and one I lengthened to a maxi looks awesome. I made it for my BFF for her college graduation. I did take pictures of me in it so my next post will be of those. I need to take pictures of the tops.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Vogue 1247 Leather Skirt DONE!!!

This was a tuffy! I cut it out and after I did I had major second thoughts. I made some changes, namely moving the zipper to the side so add that to the laying out of leather and I was really unsure what I was doing. I did end up with one blemish in a noticeable spot but oh well. I sewed the pockets on and they didn't really want to lay right. I was very worried they wouldn't work. This is kind of a tricky pattern too with the pockets and there are no second chances with leather.

I sewed in the zipper which actually went in very nicely. The photos look a little wobbly but I think that's glare on the leather from the flash. It actually lays pretty nicely. I sew the other side and the zipper side the rest of the way which is the last blog post.

Last night I started on the lining. I hate doing linings but figure it was a must for this. I started out with some Bermberg and about screamed...I hate working with that stuff. I remembered I had some of this funky charmeuse in my stash. I used it to line my biker coat awhile back. Speaking of which, bet that will look great with this skirt. I self drafted a lining and it worked out nicely. I put the lining and the waistband on last night.

I finished up tonight by hemming the lining and the worst part of this whole process was putting a closure on the waistband. My poor hands are so sore and beaten up.

Someone asked in another post about hemming leather. First off, yes, I only turned it under once and left the edges raw. IMO no need to finish them. Second, I have no idea if what I do is right. I tend to make up my own rules!

So after being unsure about it, I do love it! It turned out like I had hoped it would. It's fun and funky but still work appropriate if I want. Forgive the thrown together look. I was in the PJs sewing and threw something on for photos. I can't wait to play with different looks for it.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Progress on the skirt - Vogue 1247

I know I was teasing with the last post and no pictures. Well, it's together, mostly now. I changed it to have the invisible zipper on the side so there was elss stress on it. It went in beautifully!!! I really like sewing on leather.

I was really wondering how this would turn out. Those pockets are tricky to get to lay right and you only have one shot with leather. Luckily leather really molds to your body and some things smoothed out. I made this version a big snugger than my other one.

I need to put on the waistband on and hem it. I am going back and forth about a lining....ugh...I hate sewing linings. But I should on this one. I just wear a slip usually.

You all have me considering another skirt now ;-) I don't know....maybe. I bought the larger cowskins for some pants. I really want some leather pants. My birthday is coming up soon so maybe I'll ask my Mom to buy me some leather for another skirt. She usually buys me a gift certificate for fabric.

Sorry about the quality. Quickie photo on my phone.

Vogue 1247 in leather (In progress)

I am such a blogging slacker! I have sewn, in fact, I sewed up three dresses and one sweater last month. I have two blog posts in draft form just waiting for pictures that I haven't taken yet.

In the meantime, I finally cut out the Vogue 1247 in leather the other night and have started on it. The day after I cut it out though, I found a skirt pattern I liked better...never fails. It's Burda 7311.

I love the version they show in black leather. I tried to find more leather on FabricMart where I purchased all of my other leather and their prices are "normal" now, not bargain basement. So, I will have to wait for another leather skirt. I do have a a couple cowhides at home too but they are black also. I don't think I need two black leather skirts.

Sorry for the tease...I will post some pics of the skirt soon!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The LRD - Vogue 1250

It's a twofer day!

I have been contemplating a Little Red Dress for a long time. I bought this silk jersey over the summer from FabricMart with the intention of making Vogue 1250 out of it. I wasn't sure though about it because I didn't figure I had anywhere to wear it. It's not a work dress that's for sure! Well I decided to make it anyways, hoping I would find somewhere to wear it.

The silk jersey is almost too drapey for this believe it or not. This is fairly thin fabric though. I made this dress out of a heavier cotton knit and I think that works better for it actually.

As I was making it, I wasn't sure it was going to turn out. It's kind of sad droopy but after I pressed it, it seems better. It definitely flows nicely and skims your body. I put a full slip on underneath it to reduce the static it creates and it lays much nicer now. The back seam kind of puckers but I think it's the weight of the fabric. It was hard to get the side seams nice too. I took them in a bit more in this version that I did the cotton knit one. I wanted this to fit more through the middle. I might have been able to take it in more but I stopped at this point, about a 1/2 inch extra on each side. I made this with the faux FBA again by sliding the fold away from the edge down the front about 1/4 inch. I also have the bodice length shorted for my short torso.

After it is all done now, I do like it. It's fun to have a sexy red just to find a place to wear it!

It's really windy here today so the dress isn't laying very well.

Edited to add:

Here is a comparison from my previous version and this version. I see a difference since I started running.

Vogue Knitting - Grey Tunic

First off...Thanks for all the nice comments on my red skirt! Second...I did not make this! I can knit a scarf, that's about it. My mom is the knitter and she made this for me along with another sweater I need to post pictures of.

Well, I absolutely love it! I have about 4 pairs of boots that will go great with it, thigh high socks, tights, leggings, etc. It's very versatile. I can wear it with jeans, jeggings, leggings, and so forth...even a long skirt would look cool with it.

I don't think this look would go for work but throw a black knit skirt under it and it would work.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Vogue 1247 - Orange Skirt

Love this skirt! I lengthened it about 6 inches, then took it up 1. I'm short and this original would be very short on me. If I was 15 years younger, I'd wear it that length but not at this point in my life.

The instructions were good. I did not so the binding. It just seemed like a whole heck of a lot of work. If I make it again, I might do it.

I am seriously considering making this out of leather. I need to look at zipper options though. I don't want to do the invisible zipper for it and am not sure how to do a lapped zipper. I need to practice first.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sewing Hiatus

Hi All!!!

I've taken a bit of a sewing break. I've had a lot going on lately and sewing has taken a back seat. I am working on Vogue 1247 skirt in a great red/orange stretch sateen. I'm almost done with it and will post a review shortly. I think I might make another one in black leather. Great skirt!

I have also unintentionally started a fabric fast. The last order I placed was August 10th from FabricMart. Two whole months! I almost blew it too and placed an order yesterday with the "Free Bundle" email. I came to my senses though and cancelled the order. I did it partly because I wanted to keep up the fast and secondly because there is a big move in my near future and I want to de-stash as much as possible.

Tonight I went through some of my fabric and threw away a lot of remnants and am starting a donate pile. If it's decent, I can put it up here for grabs if anyone wants it. I will try to do that in the next couple of months. I need to reduce my patterns too. So keep watch for the giveaways!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Kwik Sew 3561 Revisited

I made this dress a couple years ago for a party with some gorgeous fabric from EOS. It sat in my closet because I thought it was too dressy for work. Well, I loved it so much I pulled it out last winter and ended up wearing it quite a bit.

Kwik Sew 3561

I decided I really wanted to try and make myself some more basics this year. I tend to make wild things but I really needed some simple things that I could dress up or down and mix and match. I decided to pull this pattern out. It's a great simple dress pattern with all of 4 pieces. The original has facings...yuck...facings on a knit! So I had planned on trying to bind the neckline but decided to go with a fun cowly neck like this Donna Karan dress which was kind of my inspiration. I lenghthened it obviously too. This pattern is pretty short.

My dress is sort of similar but it was the gist I was going for not a total knockoff. I bought the fabric on ebay from High End Fabrics and I love it. It's probably considered a slub knit or a burnout, not sure which. But the base of it is grey with purple bits.

I'm already planning on a couple more of these for layering in the winter. I'm a lot busier in the morning these days with my added workout so I need some quick, easy, stylish things to throw on for work.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Butterick 5677

Back from the dead...or at least from vacation, a tooth abscess and a crazy job!!! I've been so busy since I got back I haven't had much time to sew but a few minutes here and there. I cut this out before I left.

This took quite awhile. It's easy, but a bit time consuming with all the piecing. I had really wanted to do it contrasting and I might give it another whirl. I like the shape of the dress a lot. I hate the fabric I chose! It's a ponte and we all know all pontes are not created equal. This one is very polyester and the puckering at the seams is driving me crazy!!! I've pressed and pressed but they won't go away.

If I do make it again, I will use something with less poly in it. I didn't line it so I kind of cheated but I wanted to see if I liked it first. If I make it again, I will do the whole thing.

This is a 16, with about an inch taken off the shoulders for my short waist. There is too much stuff going on to do a short waist adjustment I think. And I took in the hips. It kind of had a tulip look to it which I didn't think was right. Easy fix though.

It's a great dress. Lots of bang for the buck and the shaping is very nice. I think I would like to try it in some low contrast fabrics, like a black and a dark blue, or blue and gray.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Scheduled Maintenance (aka Vacation)

Yeah, a vacation! DS and I are headed off to Gettysburg, PA to tour some battlefields. He's kind of a history fan, but then 9 year old boy, army stuff, not surprising. We are joining some friends for a Flyball tournament in Gettysburg on the weekend but we decided to head out early.

There may be some fabric shopping included, if I can convince the kiddo. There may be some bribery involved. I'm hoping for maybe a trip to FabricMart and the PA Fabric Outlet. I'm hoping to meet up with fellow PR friend and Blogger Melody.

It's actually a perfect time to take a break from sewing. I have a lot of plans for Fall sewing but I just can't quite get my arms around sewing the leather skirt I want or the long sleeved maxi dress with the temps still in the 80's. I do have a dress laid out from the new Butterick patterns. But once again, it's a ponte which isn't really summer friendly.

So, it's a perfect time to pack up my sewing machines and drop them off for some much needed service. Hopefully, they will be done when I get back and then I'll be ready to start the Fall sewing!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Vogue 1224 Again (and some misc)

I was really on the fence with making the dress again. I made it here. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it on me either. I have worn it and do get some compliments on it though. I found this fabric at Haberman's here in Royal Oak. I stopped on my way to a Girls Weekend, it was on the way ;-). And as luck would have it, they were having their summer sale. This is a Betsey Johnson print. It's a poly knit with some sheen to it but not a ton of stretch. It kind of reminds me of silk jersey. Usually Betsey Johnson is too frilly for me but I loved the print on this and immediately thought of this pattern.

I decided I would not do the bodice lengthening I did on the first one since I think the extra drapiness (or droopiness) bothered me. I did cut an 18 because I didn't want it too snug and with my bizarre weight fluctuations I wanted to be safe. I did add 2 inches to the length. Twenty years ago I would have worn it the length the pattern calls for, but not now. It's still pretty short and I'm only 5'3".

I left off the ties and just completely enclosed the elastic on the top. I don't like the ties on the other one. They kind of annoy me and I hate putting button holes in knits!

I did line the skirt on this one like the pattern calls for and used the casing provided.

Well, I'm really glad I decided to make this again. But, I'm glad I didn't force it. It needed this fabric. I really love this dress and I can still get some wear out of it for late summer, early fall.

Now for the misc. part. I was home with my son last week and while I can get some sewing done, it's gotta be quick, easy stuff. So, in part because I really lack easy seperates and all the "Hey, Mom's" I was bound to get. I decided to sew up some shirts. I had planned on 5, but got up to 3. I did also get 2 skirts out of the deal too though.

All the shirts are McCalls 6078.

I have one View A, which is the criss cross back and two View B which is the sleeveless cowl front. I did have plans for View C but got sidetracked when I decided I wanted a skirt. I was feeling fat and wanted something cute but comfy. I never wear elastic waist skirts, never! They usually look horrible on me but I really like this one. It's drafted well and it flows away from the body nicely. I ended up making two of them.

The skirt is New Look 6816. I bought it for the top a long time ago. I made the top but really didn't know much about sewing knits 2 or 3 years ago and it didn't turn out well. I'm sure it would be better now and may make one up.