Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A Pretty Comfortable Outfit

This is another New Look 6963, my current favorite loose, comfortable shirt pattern.

I absolutely love it! The 100% cotton fabric had been in my stash for a year or two, I think. I had originally had in mind a shorter, more fitted blouse with short sleeves but I'm glad I changed my mind and made this instead. Sometimes you get an idea and you just know it's the right thing.

I also made the knit slacks.

Not much about them worth showing off but they are comfortable and the color goes with several tops that I already have. The fabric is a soft drapey 10 ounce cotton spandex from Nick of Time Textiles. You never can tell exactly what you're going to get when you order knits online. Even knowing the weight and percent of stretch doesn't tell you much because two fabrics that are allegedly the same weight and stretch can be vastly different. Anyway, I'm pleased with this fabric and the other one I ordered even though it's not exactly what I was hoping for.

One thing I was not pleased with was the shipping charges. Nick of Time is located in the northeast which means shipping cost is so ridiculous it almost seems criminal. Not blaming Nick of Time, not even really blaming UPS but I really wish someone out here in the middle of the country had a good selection of good quality cotton spandex.

Other than being made from a soft drapey fabric, they might be just a tad too long which would account for the wrinkles but they are comfortable and not so long that it will be a problem. When I worry about making things too short I make them too long and when I worry about making things too long I make them too short.

Just For Laughs

For that good laugh that we all need once in a while, have a look at these crazy fashion photos. Such innovation! Did you ever think of wearing a friend as a fashion statement? I don't know... it looks rather uncomfortable to me. Oh! I see bold stripes and see-through crochet dresses are still in style. (#6) Thank goodness for the classics, amiright? The left pic on #14 puts me in mind of Magritte. And there's a nice picnic dress on the last page! Most of this stuff though... I don't even know how to comment on it. Maybe some of you talented sewists and fashionistas will have more to say.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Fabric I Honestly Did Need

I went to the little quilt shop in town yesterday. It and Walmart are the only local places to buy fabric. Strangely, I managed to leave with only two pieces of fabric that I needed to go with fabric I already had.

The upper left fabric, I bought from eQuilter.com. I had originally intended to make a long sleeve tunic so I only ordered 2.75 yards but it is lighter weight than I had expected and I immediately thought, "light, breezy summer dress!" I could make a dress with only two and three-quarter yards but it somewhat limits my options so I thought about it for a while and soon decided that animal print would be the perfect thing to go with it. I bought two and half yards of the animal print, way more than I needed, because it was the last left on the bolt and it was 30% off if I bought it all.

The upper right fabric is also from eQuilter and also only 2.75 yards but for a different reason: that's all they had left. I always planned to use it for a dress and knew I would need something to go with it and so, the pink pin dot. I might make this one next. The weather has been horrible lately and I need to sew cheerful things.

Gathering II

Well, as they say, you're never too old to learn. If you were here last week you might have seen me being all angsty about gathering. I got some good suggestions and I was excited about the dental floss idea but for some reason I decided to try Marcy's suggestion first: always pull the bobbin thread. In 40 years of sewing nobody ever told me that. I don't think my mother knew that either because she always gathered by hand. Anyway, it worked. I gathered the skirt on the little floral print dress and the thread didn't break! Thanks, Marcy.

I'm the kind of person who is very embarrassed by and reluctant to admit to my mistakes and ignorance but if this can help someone else avoid 40 years of not knowing how to gather I can bear the shame.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Another Little Dress

I made another dress for my granddaughter using McCall's 9207. I really like this one. I like it so much I'm a little embarrassed to admit how much I like my own work. It looks a little odd the way it's laying in this photo but the rick-rack is placed exactly on the waist seam.

I added several inches to the length and it has pockets. You probably can't see them in the photo.

* * * * *

I added a ruffle to the first dress I made from this pattern, to make it long enough so here's that one. It's a bit of mess but it will be fine for a 3-year-old to wear for everyday play. (I plan to write a separate post sometime about my adventures with gathering - followup to my previous post on that topic.)

Friday, April 28, 2017

A Sweet Little Blouse

Nothing I wear can be honestly described as "little" but that's how I'm thinking of this one - "a sweet little blouse."

I love this fabric with its little roses on a pale pink background. I used some half inch clear buttons that I had in my button stash. I used to only buy buttons as I needed them but I'm finding that having a button stash makes life so much easier.

The pattern is Kwik Sew 3511, which I have used several times. This time I cut a facing for the hem and that worked out so much better with this curved hem. I could never get it to look quite right before. The fit of this pattern isn't the greatest and I know I should try harder to fix it but it's okay and I'm lazy and not very good at fitting.

Anyway, I love this blouse and I'm going to wear the heck out of it this spring and summer.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Fabric Lust

Somehow I always end up desperately wanting fabrics from three different online retailers at the same time. And Denver Fabrics is having a sale so it might actually be four. Husbands don't understand these things. They don't understand how you can have seven medium size plastic bins full of fabric, plus almost as much stuffed into the closet in its original shipping packages, and still need more. Yes, need. I needs it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Gathering

Does anyone out there have difficulty with making gathers? This is one of the many ways in which, after literally four decades of sewing experience, I am still incompetent. I long ago gave up on the method recommended in all pattern instructions of a double row of long machine stitches because the thread always breaks. If it's just a short piece to be gathered, like a sleeve, I just make gathers with pins. For longer things like skirts and ruffles I do it with a running stitch by hand.

The little dress in the previous post turned out to be too short. Since I had quite a bit of the skirt fabric left over, the simple solution was to add a ruffle. The piece seems ridiculously long for a ruffle on a small child's dress so, feeling a bit lazy, I started trying to think of alternatives to hand gathering. I came up with what I thought was the brilliant idea to use hand quilting thread which is considerably stronger. So, feeling quite proud of myself I filled a bobbin and threaded the machine with quilting thread and did the stitching. I started carefully gathering but in a very little time the thread broke, as usual. It seems impossible that this happened. I was going slowly and carefully, not pulling hard at all and this seemingly very strong thread just broke! How is it that other people can do this but I cannot?

Friday, April 14, 2017

A Quick Little Dress

Something I made yesterday for my granddaughter.

I added the patch at the last minute when I realized that it's very difficult to tell the front from the back.

This is the pattern.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Just a Few Shades of Grey

I am usually opposed to grey except in a strictly supporting role but this cute little floral print was simply irresistible. It sort of reminds me of old black and white movies.

I decided almost immediately that it had to be another Simplicity 1882, this time with white piping.

I like this pattern even though I have not yet been able to get the princess seams to come out right. It's like it was designed for someone with weirdly high and wide set boobs. I mean, I know mine are over fifty and not as perky as they used to be but come on! Nobody is shaped like that. [ahem] Anyway...

This was my first attempt at piping. I've always been a little afraid of it. I definitely need lots more practice but I'm willing to live with this. Overall, I like it well enough. I need some colorful accessories to go with it. I have to confess I don't put as much thought into accessorizing as I probably should.