Sunday, January 27, 2008

BWOF 1/2008 #116 Wrap Top

Pattern Review

Pattern: Burda World of Fashion 1/2008 #116

Description: The tie-bands on this wrapover top are so long that they can be wrapped twice around the waist.

Sizing: 36 to 48, I made a 38. It fits great everywhere but my upper arms, it is a bit tight there.

Instructions: They were good for BWOF and I didn’t have many problems with the construction. I did read several reviews on Pattern Review to help with some changes. Also, this was part of a sew-along on the Burda English Yahoo List.

Likes/Dislikes: I love the look, a wrap top tons of style.

Changes: I added 2” to the length of the top and the sleeves. I added 5” to each end of the ties. Also, I used fold-over elastic on the camisole part. The instructions state to deduct ¾” from the measurements of the top of the camisole for the elastic. I subtracted about 1-1/4”.

Fabric: A knit from Fashionista Fabrics

Conclusion: A+ is the grade for this top. I love the look and the style, very flattering and fun.

One final picture, take a look at this altered picture. Patricia, aka patsijean, did a few changes in photoshop and I really like the changes. The red shirt was shortened, this looks great and then the sleeves are lengthened. All great changes and something I can do on the next jacket. Take a look at my original photo in the last entry.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

New Photo

Here is a almost full-length picture. Several commenters thougth this would help them decide if they liked this jacket. So, what do you think?

I wore my onion tunic (pictures last post) to a ballgame last night. I received many compliments. Isn't it fun getting compliments? I enjoyed it.

I have been working on BWOF wrap top today but taking a break - hubby and I are going on a date. Heading to see 27 Dresses, I don't think he realizes it is such a chick flick!

So let me know what you think. Thanks.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Another Pair of Ottobre Jeans

First off, I love this pattern, the jeans fit great. Here is the post for the first pair. This time I only did the patch back pocket and topstitched in brown thread. The denim faded a bit with the first washing, so I thought after a few washings the dark brown thread will be more noticeable.

Changes from the first:
I am wearing my first pair (that helped me while making the brown ones today). I thought I would mind the higher waist (just under the navel) but I don't mind that, so I left the brown pair the same. I did take some of the hip curve out while cutting the brown pair. That worked, this pair needed no adjustments in the hips. I do think I will have to take in the waist 1/2" next time. Yes, there will be a next time, these jeans cost $20 and the first pair about $4. For once, I am saving money while sewing!!!

The brown denim came from Gorgeous Fabric but I don't see it on her sight. Sorry, it is nice fabric.

I had my Onion top on today - so you get to see that modeled. The browns don't match so I won't be wearing these together. I had to lighten the dark in Photoshop quite a bit so you could see the jeans a bit better.

I took one more photo while the tripod was set up. This is the Project Runway jacket - Simplicity pattern

I really don't like it on that much. The sleeves hit in a bad spot, and the jacket doesn't do much for my "H" figure. Any thoughts? I might be giving this one away.

Now off to get my hair colored and cut

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Theme Thursday - Winter

Okay, this isn't a very good picture. I took 4 and this was the best one, sorry. This is what I do in the winter, especially cold, cold days. Baking when it is cold means wintertime to me. It is in the teens right now and blowing snow, so I bake to keep warm.

Each of my 3 daughters (still at home) picked a dessert/sweet they wanted. Apple pie for the oldest, Chocolate chunk cookies for youngest and the middle daughter picked the cinnamon roll-ups. They are still in the oven at picture time, what are they? Pie crust rolled out then piled with cinnamon and sugar, cute into strips, rolled up and then bakeds. This is the only time I make pie crust and it is usually a double or triple batch! What about hubby? He likes all three, so I bought him Cool Whip for the pie.

Now to finish dinner, I am not hungry as I have been sampling the goodies as I bake!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Another BWOF Tie Blouse

My first one

Now a second time, my fabric is from Gorgeous Fabrics and Ann recommended this pattern (at least if I am remembering correctly.

I didn't want to buy another pattern and thought my BWOF tie top would work. I added some width to the front shoulder area, to somewhat have the shirring effect.

I added elastic to the sleeves

Here is the back, can you see the shirring in the middle of the back? I added 4 rows of elastic, 5" length on the fabric but used 3.5" of elastic.

Close-up of shirring.

I am pleased with my top and the shirring helps nip in the top at my back waist.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Onion Tunic Top - Part two

Here is the original review.

This time I used a lightweight knit from Joann's. You might recognize the fabric, a Threads pattern uses it on a jumper. My brown knit is from a shirt I really didn't care for. My mom had passed it onto me.

I didn't have enough fabric to make the ties, so I just added the waistband fabric to the bodice and the lower bodice. I did subtract 1" from the pattern pieces of the front bodice and the back bodice. I thought this adjustment would allow for the top to fit closer, in a sense what the tie did. I think it did work that way I like it without the tie for a change. I did subtract 2" from the neckband. The neckline now hugs my body better and doesn't gap when I bend over.

Friday, January 11, 2008

My Kitchen Remodel

My kitchen is finished and I am loving it. So here are some before and after photos to check it all out. This is the before - blue was the theme, can you tell?

Now for the after:

New items:
countertops, lighting, sink, faucet and knobs on cabinets
Here is the country trim above the sink and window. My ideas was to remove this and use the crown molding to frame out the cabinets. I thought it would help bring more sunlight into the kitchen. This is the only window in my kitchen and it is on the north.
Here is the after. Not a great picture sorry but it was I wanted, more natural light.
I have always wanted a bar area for stools. Somewhere for a quick breakfast, lunch, snack or homework. My contractor and I thought it would work at the end of the counter. Just to the left of the picture is the entrance to our great room (an addition).
Here is the bar area, this is my favorite part. I ordered the stools from Bar Stools and college girl helped me put them together. I am a bit challenged in this area and lucky for me she is still home for Christmas break. BTW, she leaves tomorrow and I am really, really going to miss her.

Let's talk lighting, are you just loving this flourescent fixture? I am so happy it is gone.
The after, these fixtures came from Home Depot in the track lighting department. The bulbs are halogen and really put out some great lighting. My contractor put them on a dimmer, which is a nice touch. The small lights can tilt different directions and you can turn the lighting all around. Notice the two fixtures are at right angles, but I can turn the far one and make them a straight line.
Here is the breakfast nook. The only change here is the pictures. I brought them in from another room. The walls in my kitchen are painted a soft yellow faux finish.

My dear husband didn't want to do this, he thought our kitchen was fine and we didn't need to do anything until the twins went to college. That is 6 years and I just couldn't wait that long. Last night he admitted the kitchen was really nice, he still doesn't think we needed a change but does like it. I will take that!
A funny story:
Hubby and I were shopping for the lighting, sink and faucet. I went to buy something and hubby said that won't work. I said, "yes, it will, the contractor said it would." Hubby laughed and said, "I think you love the contractor more than me, he will do whatever you want." I laughed, denied that and reminded hubby, we are paying the contractor!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Theme Thursday - contrast

I am participating in Stacy's Theme Thursday although I missed last week's color theme. This week is contrast.

Here is a photo of Carlos by Carlos Santana pump my 18 year-old daughter received for Christmas from her grandma.

The first contrast is with a few adjustments in Photoshop. Unsharp mask and then bumping up the blue contrast so the jeans pop. I like okay

Now some variations with black and white

Here is just converting to black and white:

More contrast for this look:

Lastly, I played with shadows and highlights. I like this the best.

Any other votes?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Simplicity 4076 with a Bit Extra

I love Simplicity 4076

and have sewn it several times, only the view with the gathered neckline (bottom two pictures on the pattern envelope). Well, I have this wonderful fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics and want to make a knit shirt but this fabric needed a great design. I was looking throught some magazines and college daughter asked what I was looking for. I told her a great top to inspire some sewing. We talked for a bit about what I was looking for in my inspiration. She had the perfect top in her closet. a Christmas present from her boyfriend. It was from Anthropologie and here is a picture:

I loved the shirring and started thinking about how I could do this. Well, I dug in my pattern cabinet and found Vogue 8181.

I used the shirring from the Vogue dress on my top. I redrafted the Simplicity pattern by lowering the neckline the width of Vogue's shirred piece. The shirring was gathered and attached to the bodice of Simplicity 4076. I then gathered the top of the shirring and basted on the binding from the Simplicity pattern. A quick fitting of the neckline proved the shirring was good, binding was just right, so serged the binding to the shirring and then a bit of hand-sewing to tack down the binding to the wrong side.

A bow added to finish it off.

I was going to bell out the sleeves, add elastic inside the black fabric (made it a casing) but I really didn't like this look. So out came the elastic, the sleeves straightened. I do like the black fabric for a bit of detail.

Shirring on the back.

I love my new top and the process to reach it.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Cake by Kaitlyn

Kaitlyn, my youngest daughter (4 minutes younger than her twin), loves to bake. Some Christmas presents included, a cake decorating kit, cake cookbook and a dessert cookbook. Erin found a cake in one of the books and wanted Kaitlyn to make her birthday cake. Kaitlyn made some cupcakes a few days before and practiced her skills. This was the first time ever to use decorating tips and the bag. Erin plays basketball and picked a cake that resembles a basketball. The first cake was a double layer chocolate cake. I think she did a great job and she enjoyed it very much plus she was very proud (as she should be). The only tip she has trouble with is the one for writing/lettering. I think the one that came with her kit is just too thin and it takes too much pressure on the bag to get icing through at a steady stream. With this in mind, Kaitlyn just wrote 18 on the cake. Not Erin's basketball number but her age!

So check it out - side view:

Top view:

Any cake decorators out there? I am sure Kaitlyn would appreciate tips, hints and websites for ideas.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Catching up on sewing and pictures and reviews

I have been sewing and now catching up with pictures, blogging and reviews. Before the reviews, I want to share my one resolution.

The resolution?
To enjoy the sewing process and improve my skills. I guess that is two but they go hand-in-hand for me. No more rushing the procees, racing through to get it done instead I will relax while sewing and enjoy the creativity process.

Three projects in this post. The first one I finished New Year's Day:

Pattern: Simplicity 3538, Project Runway Pattern

Description: Misses’ Jacket in tow lengths with yoke, collar and sleeve variations

Sizing: 4 to 20, I made a 10

Instructions: The instructions are good, I did follow them all. The lining is quite different. The front is a yoke and then the flat or gathered piece and the lining is the same. Okay, now time for the facing, enclose the long unnotched edge with double fold bias tape. Simplicity gives specific instructions on the bias tape and how to shape it with your iron. The next step was the different part, pin wrong side of facing to the lining, baste the outer edges and then stitch the bound edge down to the lining. I thought this was different but I liked the results. Overall, good information for the beginner sewer and many options to make your jacket unique.

Likes/Dislikes: I liked the style. I wish I had finished this before New Year’s Eve. The only dislike, the sleeves are a bit tight around my forearm. I will add ½” below the elbow next time.

For those that do not like buttonholes, this pattern doesn’t have them. The closure is actually snaps and the buttons are sewn for decorative purposes only.

Fabric: Black velveteen that has been in my closet forever. I just barely had enough.

Conclusion: Cute, fun jacket. I really like the yokes and the rounded collar.

Next - this one finished yesterday.

Pattern: Burda World of Fashion 9/2007 #121.

Description: This saucy pinafore/dress jumper shows loads of Sixties’ swing! The hemline nips at the knees, the waist seam is slightly raised and a wide, shaped, self-fabric belt cinches to the waist. Wear it over a close-fitting turtleneck pullover for the true-to-style look.

Sizing: 34 to 42, I made a 38

Instructions: The were good for BWOF, I should have read more of the reviews to see the lining variations done. Diane's would have been especially helpful.

Likes/Dislikes: I like the shape and design. A cute jumper, yet doesn’t look too young for my age. That would be mid-40’s!

Changes: The jumper was way too big in the hips. I took it in another ½” on each side seams in the hip area.

Fabric: Gray interlock from Needle Nook fabrics. I emailed Anne and told her I wanted it just like the picture (sent the link). She had just the item. Not too original, but I have a black turtleneck, black long sleeve t-shirts, black boots and black tights. So gray seemed the best choice.

Conclusion: A great jumper and wonderful pattern, I can see why so many people are making this jumper.

Number 3 was finished today.

Pattern: Burda World of Fasion 9/2006 #115

Description: Wrap-over dress with slim ¾ sleeves.

Sizing: 34 to 40, I made a 36.

Instructions: Okay, this is how it starts in the magazine “Make up more or less as described for style 114.” I thought this was funny and had to share. Really the instructions were fine.

Likes/Dislikes: I love the shape of this wrap dress after seeing some reviews on Pattern Review. I did not have this issue and emailed Anne at Needle Nook hoping she had a copy in stock. Yea, my lucky day.

Changes: I lengthened the bodice by 1” for my long waist adjustment. I will make this again and raise the neckline, for this one I will have to wear a camisole for more coverage.

Fabric: A knit from Gorgeous Fabric. I was not original on this dress, after seeing Leslie's second dress from this pattern, I quickly added this fabric to my cart. Sorry, it is sold out.

Conclusion: Great dress, it looks a bit too long-waisted on my dressform but it fits me just right. I will make this again for spring. My only problem, the fabric has a bit of gold metallic and my boots have silver buckles. I will have to borrow my 18 year old daughter’s boots or go shopping!

Did you notice a new dressform? My Christmas present from my 4 daughters, the old gray flea market find is retired. It is a cute story. Dressforms were on sale after Thanksgiving and I left the flyer out for hubby to see. Well, college daughter went over before Thanksgiving and was told they weren't on sale until after Thanksgiving. So on Friday, 18 year-old daughter went over to Joann's to purchase it. Well, not on sale to Saturday. The girls decided to save their gas (45 minute trip to Joann's for us) and ordered it online and had it shipped to my mom's. Well, the Friday it was delivered my parents were out-of town. The dressform box sat on the front porch for 3 days and I even went out there to feed their animals. I just buzzed in the back door and didn't pay any attention. I was so excited when I opened this box and loved the story behind it.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy 2008 and Happy Birthday

Welcome to 2008 and no resolutions here but I will have a big shout out to my now 18 year old daughter. Yes, 18 years ago today, I gave birth to my second daughter. She is a New Year's baby and loves it. Her cell phone goes crazy with calls and text messages just after midnight. Plus, you are always at a party when it is your birthday!

Now, my thoughts, how did she get to be 18?
The picture? The twins wanted one of the ball in Times Square!
Sewing you say? I finished a Simplicity Project Runway jacket on the 31st. Pictures soon. I traced and cut out a BWOF jumper.