Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Late Resolutions... No Wait, Let's Not Call Them That

I don't make New Year's Resolutions so I didn't even think about it at the time everyone else was making their resolutions but now I have thought of two that I want to try. Except, I think I just want to call them goals, not resolutions.

#1. At least once a month I will sew a fabric that I have had in the stash for two years or longer. I decided to make this a goal because in 2017, especially the second half of the year, I kept finding "shiny" new fabrics that I absolutely had to buy and sew right away. This one should actually be pretty easy though.

#2. I will use at least four patterns that I already own and have not used. What, only four? Yes, only four. This one will be the more difficult of my two goals. I have about half a dozen patterns that I use over and over again and some fairly large number of patterns that I have not used at all, the oldest of which I bought in the 1980s. I like finding new patterns but making myself use them for the first time is hard.

* * * * *

Here is the first of my Goal #1 makes. I have had this fabric for a fairly long time, maybe as long as ten years.

I am a woman of varying moods. Sometimes I want to look like I just graduated from clown college; other times I'm in the mood for a sweet little print in sensible colors.

For a long time I was indecisive about what pattern to use but I finally decided to go with my original plan which was New Look 6078. That's one of my TNT patterns but it has been quite a while since I last made one.

I don't like the front band on this pattern so I always make it with a standard front placket from a different pattern or a simple self facing as I have done here. I also usually leave off the Peter Pan collar. Something was not quite right this time. The fit seems looser than my earlier versions and it is definitely not because there's less of me. But I like it. It's a good, basic top for my more "sensible" moods.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Crazy Fabric Saga Part I

You know, sometimes fabric has a mind of its own. It knows what it wants to be and sometimes what it wants is different from what we had planned for it.

I guess I should call this Part II because I first posted about this fabric back in October but let's just call that the prologue. Anyway, I only bought three yards of it or else this wouldn't be a "saga".

My original plan was to make a tunic, McCall's 9065, my current pattern obsession, but the fabric started speaking to me and telling me that it really wanted to be a circle skirt. A lovely idea but... my tunic... my vision!

The solution to the problem was in the comments to that original post - make the back and sleeves a solid color. Thank you, Jo. I'll be honest, at first I wasn't wild about this idea. I wanted the whole tunic in this fun fabric. But it was the perfect solution to my problem. I love the way it turned out and I have enough of the fabric left to make a half circle skirt with a solid color bodice. That will be Part II, coming this spring or early summer.

The solid color is Kona Cotton Pomegranate. I ordered several swatches and this was the one I liked best, which was a bit of a surprise. I had in mind something closer to a true red but this pomegranate color is wonderful. I love it! It doesn't show true in any of the photos, sadly.

Here's a pic of the side.

I'm glad it was warm enough to take pictures outside yesterday, a little bit cooler than I like but tolerable for a quick photo shoot. This morning a cold front moved in. It was 55F when I went to the grocery store at about 8:30 along with the hordes of people who rushed to the store because there's a 20% chance of half an inch of snow and we might be snowed in for a whole....... day. By the time I got home it was 33F.

This fabric is a bit lighter weight and less stiff than the other two Dutch wax prints I purchased last year, just about perfect to go with the Kona cotton. Here's one more happy pic. Sorry, I know you're probably tired of looking at my face by now. :-)

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Green and Pink Flannel

This is not my best work but I'm not going to criticize it too much because I love it anyway.

It's soft and cozy and light as a feather. And it's green and pink plaid. And it has sparkly buttons. What more could one want?

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2017 Hits and Misses

We sew because we want unique clothes that suit our own personal styles. We sew because it's fun. And we sew because we cannot resist buying more fabric and we have to do something with it. Inevitably, some of the garments we make will be loved, others not so much, and some are loved but for sometimes inexplicable reasons rarely or never worn.

Here are some of my hits and misses of 2017. I'm not going to rate everything I made in the past year, only the biggest hits and the definite misses.

Hit: The Klimt tunic

Definitely a huge hit. I've worn this one a lot, most of the time with black knit trousers though.

Miss: The purple drapey thing

I have not worn it at all except to try it on and take this awful picture.

Hit: The pink rose blouse

Totally love it! Unfortunately, it suffers from Too Pretty to Wear Syndrome but I am going to try harder this year.

Hit: More pink roses

A huge hit. I love it and wore it several times even though I mostly wear dresses in the summertime.

Miss?: The yellow and pink floral dress

I don't know... I like it. At least I like the colors but I just didn't wear it. I think I don't like the loose fit although I have other dresses from the same pattern that I like and wear a lot.

Hit: The cute control panel shirt

I actually wore this one more than the roses tunic made from the same pattern.

Hit: The vintage sewing ads dress

I wore this one a lot last summer.

Hit: The happy flower faces dress

I'm calling this one a hit because I love it but I have only worn it twice. Both times I spilled something on it. The stains came out, no problem, but it has made me a little "gun shy" about wearing it.

Hit: The little ladybug maxi

A huge hit for my granddaughter. She loves it and wore it a lot before it got too cold. It was pretty big on her so I think she will get to wear it again when the weather warms up.

Hit: The bright floral dress

One of my favorites of all time.

Hit: The sparkly little dress

Another one I made for my granddaughter. I don't know how much she has worn it but she seemed to like it when I gave it to her. I'm calling it a hit mostly because I love it.

Hit: The purple Dutch wax print dress

I think this is my favorite thing of the whole year. I haven't worn it much yet because I made it so late in the season.

Hit: The red and white flannel tunic

It finally got cold enough to wear this. Love it! So comfy and cozy.

Hit: The brown, teal, and orange tunic

A relatively recent make but I've already worn it several times.

So that's it for 2017. Not a bad year sewing-wise. Onward into 2018.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention, I also made about half a dozen shirts for my husband that were mostly hits but getting him to model them is never going to happen.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Fancy and Cozy

Oh, how do I start? I can only start by saying "I love this!"

The fabric is a dark emerald green stretch velvet. It shimmers and shines in the light and looks rich and elegant and it's as comfy as an old sweatshirt.

The pattern I used is Butterick 5215, which doesn't include the long sleeves but it really should because I've made it with long sleeves twice now but have yet to make a short sleeved version.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Bold Patterned Fall Tunic

And here it is. Finished last week, finally photographed yesterday. (I'm standing in the middle of our construction site, which has the advantage of having a level spot to put the tripod.)

I love it. The fabric is very stiff but it's still comfortable anyway. I added a bit of rick rack, which I suppose is controversial stuff but I like it. These colors say "fall" without being a typical fall print. I think I'm going to wear this on Thanksgiving, even though we're staying home this year.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Been Sewing

It feels like forever since I posted anything new here but I have been sewing. I finally started quilting a quilt that I had planned to have finished by now. I have been working on the top off and on since this time last year but it wasn't going well so I got discouraged with it and procrastinated. But now I'm going to try to rush through it and just get it done.

I did make the teal, brown, and orange tunic and I love it but I don't know when I will get around to photographing it. Maybe today, maybe next week. I also made a pair of sweatpants which are now my favorite sweatpants ever - so comfy - but I probably won't be showing those. The part of me that wears pants is very camera shy, if you know what I mean.

Finally, I do have one little thing I can show you. This doesn't look very good just thrown down on the table but I'm very happy with the way it turned out. It's for my granddaughter. I put fancy, sparkly buttons on it because she likes sparkly things. And so do I, so I'm thinking I might do this for myself sometime. Flannel with sparkly buttons? Why not?

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A Lack of Impulse Control

I was going to sew the orange, teal, and brown fabric next but the morning I was going to cut it... HOLY SHIRT it was cold! So flannel was on my mind. I knew - I knew - that in just a few days it would be near 80 degrees Fahrenheit again but the flannel kept calling to me and so...

This is really a very nice flannel. I'm guessing it's about 7 - 8 ounce? Very warm and soft. I love it. I think this might be my Christmas outfit. Unless it's 70+ degrees on Christmas which totally can happen in Oklahoma as can -20. We hope for something in between those two numbers.

The pattern is McCall's 9065 again, view B all the way this time. I had to shorten the sleeves about two inches. That and raising the neckline an inch like I did before are the only adjustments.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Two Fabrics

I wasn't going to post about these fabrics until I made the tunics but I'm hoping to get some feedback, about the second of them especially, so here goes. These are both from the same Etsy shop that I mentioned before.

First, I have washed this one but not ironed it so it looks a little wrinkly. I suspect that it's going to be one of those "wrinkles are a feature not a bug" fabrics anyway.

I love the colors in this one. Naturally, they don't look quite as deep and rich as they do in person. This is going to be another McCall's 9065. This is bold but actually a pretty typical print for me.

And now it's Crazy Time. I wanted something a little crazy and "out there" so after days of looking and thinking and seeing my first choice (which actually, in retrospect, wasn't especially out there) sell out, I chose this. (I think my other half is going to have words about this. He's not really into crazy.)

From top to bottom in the photo is nearly the entire width of the fabric. It's oriented differently than I expected but that doesn't change my plans. My original plan to was to center one of the shapes - I don't know what to call them, wavy columns? - vertically on the tunic but which color, the pink or the red and teal? Then I thought, maybe I don't want to center that shape after all but rather have the zig-zag space between them run down the center, more or less, and the more I think about it the more I'm liking this idea.

I'm excited about this fabric and was going to sew it right away but now I'm thinking it might be best step back and let it simmer for a few weeks. Looking forward to your thoughts.