Saturday, June 28, 2008

New Pictures

Okay, I took better pictures today. I was too lazy (and sick) to edit the original post, new pictures in a new post.

Bodice close-up

I made Simplicity 2892 View B earlier and after seeing Toy's version. I hade to make my very own white tunic. I so like this one.

Here are the pictures:

Neck edge

Back view:

Thanks, Toy for the inspiration, I hope you don't mind we have matching tops!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Simplicity 2942

Pattern Review

Pattern: Simplicity 2942

Description: Project Runway pattern, Juniors’/ Juniors’ Plus dress, mini dress and tunic with sleeve variations.

Sizing: 5/6 to 25/26+

Instructions: Very good, this pattern has nice written instructions plus many diagrams. This pattern can be for beginner to more advanced sewer, depending on which options are chosen for the garment.

Likes/Dislikes: I made this for my 18 year old daughter and she liked the style right away. It is a flattering, stylish pattern for a teenager.

My only dislike is the fabric requirements. Simplicity lists the fabric for the basic dress, then you add on for the sleeve styles. You can quickly purchase too much fabric.

Changes: My daughter is a softball pitcher (heading to play college softball in the fall), with this in mind I made a broad shoulder adjustment. I just purchased, “The Perfect Fit” book and used their broad shoulder adjustment (minor adjustment). I also lengthened the bodice 1” and transferred this amount to the back (one long piece) and the 1” to the bodice lining. RTW tops in this style always hit her too high so this adjustment really makes a nicer fitting garment for her. I added some length to the dress, it looked quite short on the pattern envelope. This was a good thing, as I compared the finished dress to one of my daughter’s RTW dresses. I had 1” hem to turn up.

Design changes – I added piping to the front at the seam between the upper front and the upper side front. Also, piping between the band and the sleeve. I redrew the sleeve pattern and sleeve band so these pieces did not have the curve as Simplicity designed them. I thought my piping would be much easier to apply with a straight pattern piece.

Fabric: A rayon jersey from Joann’s.

Conclusion: This fits my daughter beautifully and she is quite happy. Unfortunately, you won’t see her modeling it. Yesterday she had shoulder surgery (yes, the pitching arm) and she is in a sling for 2 weeks. All is well, as the doctor believes she will be back throwing by September.

This is a cute dress with some very nice design features and doesn’t take a long time to sew.

My apologies on the blurriness of the pictures. My camera focused on the flowers and not the dress. I just went outside for a quick couple of pictures, as I was very busy being the nurse today!

Garden shots - Hydrangeas are big and beautiful

Corner of my garden.

Today's fun, my friend's quilt shop opened today. The twins and I went up for just a bit but managed to purchase 2 bags full of fabric. Meredith (the sewing twin) bought fabric for a lap size quilt, she did quite a bit of sewing on it and will probably be done this weekend. I bought a new purse pattern and fabric for several more purses. I might be brave and make another Amy Butler's Weekender bag. Wish me luck!

Meredith also made a fabric belt from this book "Pretty Little Patchwork", a very fun book with great projects. She isn't very interested in clothing right now but that is fine, she is sewing and loving it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Project Runway Dress - Simplicity 2942

I just finished making this dress for daughter #2, it is very similar to the navy dress on the model but I added some piping. Pictures will be tomorrow and a review, hopefully.

I am also working on a t-shirt for me (of, course).

Friday, June 20, 2008

Another Purse

A new purse for Erin, quick and cute. She picked this fabric out at Joann's last Sunday. It was in the clearance section and total cost $3.00 with snap! The fabric is fun for summer, surfboards but in a non-traditional color way. Erin also picked out fabric for 4 pair of pajama pants (they are done) and a Project Runway dress pattern (fabric, too). That is my next project.

The twins are coming home from Church Camp today, hurray! I have missed them.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Simplicity 2850

Pattern Review

Pattern: Simplicity 2850
Description: Knit mini dresses or top

Sizing: 4 to 18, I made a 12. Check the finished measurements on the pattern. This garment only has 1-1/2” ease allowed on the bust, so adjust accordingly to your comfort level.

Instructions: Good this is a relatively straight forward pattern. Simplicity does have you set in the sleeve in the round. Not sure that is necessary for a knit but I did it that way.

Likes/Dislikes: I liked the gathered neckline and the gathered sleeve bindings, an interesting design feature. The neckline is two pieces, one is cut like a wide binding and the another piece is the gathered neckline piece. The gathered piece is attached to the neckline and then it is sewn onto the garment. This gives a bit more stability, a good thing for my fabric, it was a bit thin.

Only one dislike, the neckline is not as gathered as it appears in the line drawing.

Changes: As I stated earlier, there is very little ease. I added a bit more to the pattern at the bust line and only sewed the side seams at ¼”. These adjustments were fine and I like the amount of ease now.

Fabric: A knit from my friend, Virginia. Here is the post about the fabric

Conclusion: A cute top that has the look of this Tory Burch Tunic, especially the 3/4 sleeve top (View D) I think I am going to make the dress but had a few inches, Stacy and Clinton (What Not to Wear) would say a woman in her mid-40’s does not need a mini!

I took pictures inside and belted my top. My belt selection is a bit lacking and this top would not need a belt at all.


Another belt

Simplicity 2892

Pattern Review

Pattern: Simplicity 2892
Description: Misses’ Tops with neckline variations and tie belt.

Sizing: 6 to 14, I made a 10. This might have been a bit too small for a woven, but I like the look of this size, not too full. I went by the finished pattern measurements and it fits fine, the only trouble I have is getting it off!

Instructions: Fantastic, superb. I noticed with this pattern Simplicity has added extra instructions. Take this for instance, “Turn lining to the INSIDE. You will notice that the lining is shorter than the sleeve. The pattern is made way so that the sleeve will hold its “puffed” shape.” I think that is very valuable information, otherwise, you might be under the impression a mistake was made. Here is a close-up of the sleeve interior, poor picture but it shows the

Likes/Dislikes: I like the shape and style. It is a loose top but not too loose, does that make sense? I really like View E, that is on my evergrowing list. I like my button on the back. If you are a regular reader to my blog, you know I have trouble choosing buttons. I bought these buttons at Hancock’s at the same time as I purchased this fabric, thinking I would make a blouse and would need buttons.

Changes: I added 2 “ to the length of the garment. That was the only change. If you made this from a knit, you could eliminate the back opening.

Fabric: A cotton blend from Hancock’s and it gives the appearance of dupioni.

Conclusion: A pretty blouse with a great neckline and fun sleeves.

Here is a picture from my front porch, this shows the color most accurately.

This pictures shows the details.

Back view:

Garden pictures. Hollyhocks.

Asiatic lillies and bee balm

More lillies. I love these flowers but they only last such a short time.

Another view:

I just planted this Gerber Daisy, these flowers were in my bridal bouquets almost 25 years ago (pink and white ones)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Two New Purses

My friend, Meredith, is opening a quilt shop, two more weeks, I can't wait. I am not a quilter but I love to look and buy the amazing new quilting fabric out there. My friend and I have very similar tastes, so it will make shopping at her store all the more fun. Meredith asked me to make Amy Butler's Kimberly bag as a sample for her store. We picked out this fabric and it does make a very cute bag.

My Kimberly Bag:

Amy Butler's pattern

This is a very long bag, 18 inches, in fact. Kaitlyn told me it looked like a hot dog! It does have that shape.
The construction is pretty easy, I find Amy Butler's patterns to be wordy but that is a good thing for the new sewer.

I had some fabric leftover and thought I would make another sample. My picture is a bit at the angle, I took 3 pictures and this is the only one that turned out. So turn your head at an angle to get a good look!!

The purse came from this book, I really like the shape of the purse and the ruffle at the top.

The twins are at church camp and I imagine having an incredible time. They were so excited.

I planned on sewing and sewing and sewing. Well, plans change a bit, my 18 year old daughter has plans for us in the afternoons. It has been a long time since she has had mom to herself and in 2 months and 1 day she will be heading off to college. I am going to soak up my time with her this week, my sewing can wait.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

Okay, I have to share a story from our Father's Day dinner. My parents came out and the girls were showing my dad (their Papa) the card they gave their dad. It is one of the musical cards and plays MC Hammer's "Can't Touch This". Well, dd#2 asked her Papa if he knew who sang it. He looked around for help and one of the twins whispered the name. Papa proudly stated, "Empty Hammer!" So much for getting help with the name, it did provided a great deal of laughter and a story we will be able to share for years to come.

Hope it was a great Father's Day for all. We had homemade ice cream, so it was a great day for me, too!

Sewing you ask?

Well, yes, I made 2 purses the last couple of days, 2 pair of pajama pants for soon to be college girl. Also, a trip to Joann's today for patterns, thread, buttons and some fabric.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

June Capsule - 3 Items completed - Pictures, Reviews and Details

Ready for a long post? I finished 3 garments this week all from my Storyboard and I only have one more to go. I am going to review 2 of the garments here, refer you to another blog post on a third garment and hopefully start sewing on my last garment tonight.

Let's start with the blouse.

Pattern: Kwik Sew 3620
Description: Misses’ Fitted blouses have v-neckline, collar, bust darts, back waist darts, and front button closure. View A has three-quarter sleeves finished with facings and wide ties attached in the seams. View B has shawul collar, short sleeves with elastic rolled into casings and back ties attached in waist darts.

Sizing: XS to XL, I made the Small. If I only looked at the standard measurements on the pattern envelope, I would have made the Medium. After referring to the finished measurements on the pattern envelope, I made a small and it fits perfectly. There was more than enough ease to justify a smaller size and the blouse is just right.

Instructions: The instructions were very thorough and understandable. Kwik Sew always does such a nice job.
Likes/Dislikes: I liked the look of this blouse, reminds me of this blouse from Burda World of Fashion Magazine August 2007.

I knew Kwik Sew would be easier to make and I liked the three-quarter sleeve option. I really like the wide ties, flattering to wear and gives a nice waist definition.

I really didn’t have any dislikes.

Changes: I added 1” to the length of the body and the sleeves. The pattern has you turn the wide ties under and topstitch, I thought this wouldn’t be the nicest look for the ties. I had enough fabric to cut 4 ties and just sew two ties together, turn right side out, press and topstitch. A more finished look, the only reason not to do this would be if your fabric was too heavy. I also topstitched the front of the blouse and collar.

Fabric: A stretch shirting from Gorgeous Fabrics

Conclusion: I love, love my blouse. It fits perfectly and I think it looks great on, hope that is how it looks to others. This pattern gives you such a nice garment and it is just as the name states Kwik!

Here is with my pants.
A close-up of the blouse.
Now let's talk pants. You can read my orginal review at this blog post the pants are at the end of the post. My changes on these pants, I had to take them in about 1/2" on each side and I made the dart in the back a bit bigger. My first pair of Ottobre pants were from Wal-Mart fabric and it must have a great amount of lycra or elastine. The fabric would shrink before your eyes if I steamed the pants too much. So as a muslin, it wasn't the best indicator of size. I did taper the legs a bit more, I thought the black and white seersucker would look too much like pajama pants if I left them with the wide leg look. To make them look a bit dressier, I added faux back pockets. I just made a flap for each side and added a button. Take a look:
Full back length. I like these so much, cool and comfortable. I don't remember where I bought the seersucker but I had just enough, barely squeaked the pants from my yardage.
Pattern Review

Pattern: Burda World of Fashion 3/2008 #122
Description: A-line skirt with two lengths

Sizing: 38 to 46, I made a 38 and it fit perfectly.

Instructions: I really didn’t look at them, this is and easy skirt with basic construction.
Likes/Dislikes: I liked the classic look. I wanted a simple skirt for my textured black fabric. I was just flipping through my BWOF magazines for a pattern and this line drawing caught my eye.

Changes: No changes.

Fabric: A Nanette Lepore cotton fabric with a diagonal pattern (tone-on-tone). I purchased this from Ressy’s coop a couple of years ago.

Conclusion: Great pattern with a classic style
My eyes are closed in one of the pictures, sorry. My photographer wasn't too interested in taking pictures. She wanted to play ball with her sister and wanted me to finish up so I could play, too!

I am pleased with my garments for ASG convention. I received my packet yesterday about the convention and it stated that the classrooms might be cool. My next garment is the Kwik Sew jacket.

Monday, June 09, 2008

My Sewing Friend

I had such a fun Sunday evening, Virginia came to my house to visit. This is so fun and special, why you ask? Virginia and I became acquainted through a quiltropolis sewing email list. Virginia was passing through my area after attending a wedding and made a detour to my little town. We talked about sewing (of course), kids (ours are all about the same age), and life in general. I was even brave and showed her my very messing sewing room! It was so fun to meet her in person.

Virginia brought me a present. A knit fabric on the left and a shirting on the right. Wasn't that so sweet of her?

Here are a few pictures from the garden. An Asiatic Lily

Climbing rose and clematis

Shrub rose

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Two Garments Complete

I just finished the red blouse from my storyboard and earlier today I finished my pants. I will take pictures tomorrow. I have been home all day by myself, nice, yes but at times a bit lonely! What did I do with myself?
  1. Went to a greenhouse about an hour away, it has been advertised on our local stations all spring and I really wanted to check it out. It was wonderful and all I bought was one beautiful rose bush.
  2. Went to an antique store on the way home.
  3. Planted my rose bush and a few more annuals.
  4. Finished my pants
  5. Went to the closest store for buttons (15 miles away) so I would have them for my blouse.
  6. Started my blouse.
  7. Went to town and walked just over 2 miles.
  8. Stopped by my friend's quilt shop, it is going to open in a couple of weeks, very exciting. She wants me to make purse for a store sample. It was great fun to look through all her bolts of fabric.
  9. Took her kids for ice cream.
  10. Came home and finished my blouse.

It has been a long time since I have had this much uninterrupted time at home and I am happy I was able to accomplish so much.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

BWOF 5/2008 #103

Pattern Review

Pattern:5/2008 #103

Description: You’ll be right on the fashion mark in this clingy jersey top that's furnished with a self-fabric belt cleverly constructed as a wrapover section - slim silhouette guaranteed

Sizing: 34 to 42, I made a 38

Instructions: The instructions were pretty good. I agree with Karen, the loop instructions are quite wordy, it is easier to do your own thing.

Likes/Dislikes: Let’s start with dislikes: take a look at the picture of the model, see the the cut of the fabric under the wrapover section?

Well, the front piece goes up and has a nice angle cut. This is great if you haven’t had 4 kids and want to show of your navel! That is the only true dislike, I am not sure about the gathers at the midsection on the front but I can live with those.

I really like the wrap and the general look of the top.

Changes: First change was adding sleeves, my workplace is always freezing so I had to have some sort of sleeves. I compared the armholes on this pattern to my Simplicity 4076 and they were the same so I just used that sleeve pattern. Next, the navel issue. I cut this out before my DC/NYC trip and forgot about Karen’s review. As I was reading the directions for the front, the light bulb came on in my head and I realized I didn’t want the peek-a-boo look. My solution was to finish all the sewing on the front section, then cut the bottom straight across right at the “V”. I then matched my fabric with the front section and added the correct length. The seam is hidden behind the wrapover section. Hope this is clear.

BWOF has you line the front and back sections, this is a great idea if you are making the sleeveless version. I cut out these sections and sewed the lining to the top at the neck edge. That was quite a bit of extra fabric, especially for hot and humid Missouri, I won’t be in the office all the time, right. I used my coverstitch and topstitched around the neck edge and then trimmed close to this stitching.

Fabric: Beautiful knit from Hancock’s Fabrics.

Conclusion: A cute top with unique designs. I don’t know if I will make it again, I will wear it but not sure it is my favorite. I think the gathers might be one of the issues as I look at the picture. The add bulk there and I really have a relatively flat stomach. Oh, and I didn't style my hair that way, it was very windy

Some garden shots:

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


I was very inspired by the Mini-wardrobe contest at Pattern Review and now there is a discussion at Artisan's Square on June Wardrobe Capsule. I probably won't enter, the rules state no black and I have black. Thanks to Sigrid and her wonderful Tutorials, I was able to create my first ever storyboard. It was so easy and I did it in just a few minutes.

I have not decided on a skirt pattern yet, as you can tell. My inspiration and motivation is ASG Convention in just over a month. I have cut out and started sewing the pants.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

My Whirlwind Trip

Okay, here is a few shots from my whirlwind trip but you have to picture the start time and conditions. Wednesday morning, 2:30, to be exact, 34 junior high kids and 8 adults start the two hour bus ride to the airport. This was a very chatty bus ride as for many of these kids it is their first plane ride and they are so excited. I so enjoyed hearing their excitement and you should have heard the oohs, ahs and cools as the plane climbed above the clouds.

Our first stop, Washington, D.C.
The White House:

An unexpected stop at the National Archives, the line was short and the tour guide wanted us to see the Declaration and Bill of Rights.

This is one of my favorite places to see in DC, the changing of the guards and the playing of Taps, I never have a dry eye.

We did several monuments, in fact most of them and arrived at the motel at midnight.

Back up at 5:15 a.m. for a half-day in DC

We went to the Jefferson Memorial and FDR Memorial and the Capital.

Here is a fun shot, I composed with the girls.

At noon, we climbed on a bus to head to New York City. We ate in Little Italy.

Shopped lots in China Town and then went to the Empire State Building.

This was the favorite of many kids. End of Day Two, back to motel at 11:30.

That is all my pictures, the next morning I had an accident with my brand-new, Mother's Day present camera. I bought a bottle of Diet Pepsi and put it in my purse after drinking a bit. You guessed it, I did not have the lid on tight. The camera would not turn on for hours, I worried about the pictures I had already taken. Finally, the camera did turn on and I could see my pictures, a sigh of relief went through me. Something was not right for the picture taking mode, the colors are all in pinks, blues and yellows. To make matters worse, the twins' cameras batteries had died and we did not have their charger. Well, super-mom or crazy mom came to the rescue. On the ferry, to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, I bought a $18.36 disposable camera. The girls were thrilled and I felt happy as they could take pictures of this once in a lifetime event.

What else did we do: Wall Street, Trinity Church, Ground Zero, saw the Broadway Play, Wicked (fabulous, incredible, wonderful, specatacular), Times Square after the play (my least favorite, too many people and it was hard to keep track of our group) Okay that is Day Three and we are back at our motel at 12:30.

Day Four, we get to sleep in a bit 6 a.m. is the start of this day. We ride the Subway for our fourth time, old pros now, you know! Central Park, 5th Avenue (only an hour here), we went into FAO Scwhartz, Tiffany's and I took them into Fendi's for sticker shock! We only had an hour on 5th Avenue, I was trying to soak up the designer's windows while guiding 10 kids around. Then Rockerfeller Center and Times Square for a quick walk. On the bus for hour ride to JFK, our plane delayed, might have to spend another night in NYC or in the next city at our connection. A collective sigh went through the group, we want to go home. Well, thanks to our wonderful airline, Northwest, we did make it home, 4 hours late but that didn't matter we were home and now can look at the wonderful pictures and remember the sites we saw.

Want to hear about more water and my belongings? Well, we have had way too much rain since March and while I was gone the unfinished side of the basement flooded. What is in this part? Washer, Dryer and my sewing machines. The countertop where all the machines sit had standing water on it when my husband got home from work. He cleaned it up, lined everything up to dry and turned on my machines. I held my breath as he told me this, they came on. Hurray. This is the one thing did when I arrived home last night! Want to know what day this happened? You guessed it, the same day as the camera mishap.

So as my oldest daughter said 17 years ago "It is glad to be home!"