Monday, March 29, 2010

Simplicity 2807

Here is the line drawing, you can see the gathers and the sleeve pleats a bit better.

Description: Misses’ Skirt in two lengths and blouse with sleeve variations. A Project Runway pattern
Sizing: 4 to 22
Instructions: They are good and have some nice features, such as back yoke lining. I learned this technique at a Louise Cutting seminar, it is nice to see it in a Simplicity pattern.
Likes/Dislikes: I wanted a stylish white summer blouse, a bit oversized like shown in this Lucky magazine spread

One of the drawings on the pattern envelope show the top belted. Well, that will work but it isn’t that oversized. Also, the blouse is longer on the pattern envelope. I added 1” to the length and it isn’t that long. So if you are wanting a longer blouse to use a favorite belt, check the length

Changes: Measure the width of the sleeves at the hem. I had the sleeves completed (the hem is a facing with understitching and that was finished). I then slipped the sleeve on my arm and it was tight. I did some unsewing and made the pleats in the sleeve a bit smaller. Then the underarm sleeve seam went from 5/8” to ¼”, to give me a bit more room. So measure first and save some time, is my advice.

Fabric: A white shirting in my stash leftover from another project.

Conclusion: A fun blouse that will get lots of wear this spring and summer.

Maybe wearing it like this, somewhat like the Lucky magazine spread.  This is a BWOF skirt I made last year.

Next up a pencil skirt, hopefully finished for Easter.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Simplicity 2603

Description: Knit top and Cardi-Wrap with front variations.  This is for the tank.

Sizing: XXS to XL (4 to 24)
Instructions: Very good, even though this is a simple tank, Simplicity gives good instructions for the band.
Likes/Dislikes: I really liked the details of the band, dresses up a basic tank
Changes: I added 1” to the length
Fabric: Rayon knit from Joann’s
Conclusion: Super-easy tank and it looks great. I will be making more for spring and summer

side view - a bit shiny in spots from ironing this type of knit.

with my new favorite jacket

Thanks all for the wonderful comments on my garments from the last post, I really appreciate it.

Have a great weekend. 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Modeling - Spring Coat and Cynthia Rowley Jacket

Heading out to meet hubby, annual meeting and dinner for a board he is on.  So I snapped a couple of photos of me in a couple new garments.

BWOF coat for spring review here


Front buttoned

Front opened

Cyntiha Rowley Jacket review here

The brown tank is new, too.  Simplicity tank from the cardi-wrap.  I will review it later.  Made it just for the jacket.

Gotta go, don't want to be late!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Baby quilt

One of my co-workers had a new baby girl on March 4th.  I made  a baby quilt for their present.

I used a charm pack from this cute fabric group, added a border, sent it to the machine quilter and then added the binding last night.

Lightened it a bit, pictures taken before 7 a.m., the sun was barely peaking over the horizon.

Close-up of the fabric and quilting.

My co-worker took the present home over lunch and the 3 year-old big sister proclaimed it "spectacular"!  Her new word for the week, too cute.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

BWOF 11/2006 #109

Description: This hip-length jacket not only keeps you warm, it also looks very smart with sporty waist tabs and patch pockets. The fake fur collar is buttoned into place.

Sizing: Size 36 to 44, I made a 38.
Instructions: Typical BWOF, mostly vague.  I really was okay with their instructions until it was time to construct the notched collar, facings, etc.  The instructions stated to go to pattern 107 and follow the collar instructions.  I turned to 107, read the instructions and this is how I felt after reading and re-reading those instructions:

Picture from
 So I pulled down my trusty

And read their instructions.  A big thank you to this book, it was quite easy to understand now.  The rest of the coat was very easy to construct and it went very smoothly.

Likes/Dislikes: I liked the look of the coat and its features.  The pockets were unique but most of all I liked the belt, you get the look of a belt without having to tie a belt.

Changes:  I added 1" to the hem of the body and the sleeves.  Also, I cut the under collar on the bias.  I added a back stay and interfaced all the hems.

Fabric:  A Nanette Lepore fabric from a co-op years ago, this is the oldest fabric in my stash.  Well, not in my stash anymore.  Very pretty fabric and it was a dream to use.

Conclusion: A fun jacket to construct and it will be fun to wear this spring.  I looked through many BWOF magazines to find a pattern for this fabric and I think this is a great combination.  This jacket is rated Intermediate difficult - more advanced, which surprised me.  The most difficult aspect is the notched collar and as long as you have a good reference book, you will do fine.

Front, the belts are even, it is just hanging funny on my dressform.  Meredith took the pictures for me and she just clicks and goes!




It snowed yesterday and today it is cold and nasty.  So the girls and I made these

We need to work on our piping but take at a look at Bake at 350 for some great cookies, cookie ideas and tips and hints.  We had a great time flooding these cookies with royal icing. Kaitlyn wanted to use an oval cookie cutter and make Easter egg cookies.  No luck the oval shape has disappeared so we used a round one, a good choice for our first time at this type of decorating.

Friday, March 19, 2010

If I First You Don't Suceed.....

try, try again.  Right?

So I am making this jacket, BWOF 11/2006 #109.  Except in a lightweight fabric for spring.

The technical drawing:

I have the outside almost completed, just the beltloops and belt to finish.  Thanks to this wonderful book

making the notch collar was so much easier.  Plus, great results.  This book might be a bit dated with the styles of the jackets but the information is wonderful.  I am a visual learner and the photographs in this book are wonderful.  You can buy it here at Amazon if you might be interested.

Anyone else cleaning out their sewing room?  Spring is here a bit, although snow tomorrow but today it was almost 70 degrees.  Well, that has gotten me inspired to clean up my sewing room.  I don't have much of a fabric stash but I do have magazines, lots of magazines.  I went through my BWOF and kept the ones, I really liked.  The rest I sold on Pattern Review's classified.  Next up a couple of Jalies, some Big 4 patterns and I am going to list my Topkids (a magazine from Australia for kids clothing, similar to Ottobre, it is no longer in publication).  It feels good to declutter, plus it gives me some extra cash to buy fabric!

Meredith did a fabulous job on her solo, very proud parent moment.  Thanks for all the comments for her, I appreciate it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Not this Trench

What is it they say - best laid plans?  Well, this pattern- fabric isn't going to happen.  I cut a size 38 and it is huge - take a look here:

The pattern is double breasted - but I can take the front edge and meet up with the side seam.  Plus, the fabric just isn't me, one good thing I bought it at $1.95 a yard - so it was a good muslin. Wadder and all.

I put it on a few minutes ago and told hubby, I was going to throw it away.  He said, let me look.  I did and he grinned.  I said it looks like a bathrobe, he replies a Las Vegas bathrobe!

Off to the next jacket but first I have to look through my patterns.

The girls have a spring concert tonight.  Meredith is playing a solo on her cello, fingers crossed for her.  It is a very long piece and one she will be playing at contest next week.  I will be nervous but Meredith will be much more nervous.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sewing a Trench Coat

I started working on a trench coat for me, from some $1.95 Vera fabric but first I went to Anthropologie for inspiration and I found this cute trench:

On Saturday, I saw this trench in person on a cute 20-something girl shopping in Lowe's.  I commented to the twins, look at that cute trench.  Kaitlyn responds, it looks like shingles! I don't think that at all but isn't it funny what she thinks?  It might have been a response from being in a home improvement store but today she said the same thing.  BTW, it is a darling trench with wonderful buttons, we ran into her several times in Lowe's and I kept staring at the jacket.

I looked at several of my BWOF for a pattern and then my Big 4 patterns.  Finally, I went to my four Ottobre Women magazines, and decided on this one from  2/2006.  The fabric is cut (not the lining), the interfacing fused and one of the pockets is stitched into place. 

I am planning on making two coats this spring, this trench and then I have a beautiful pink and cream Nanette Lepore fabric from a coop a couple years back.  I am thinking about a short trench from that fabric.  I don't know what it is about coats/jackets, but I really like making them and I have a closetful of these type of garments.

Today, the twins and I went to my brother's house for a short visit.  It was a great time and after we left their house, went to a nearby mall.  The twins found some things at Charlotte Russe (a store we dont' have in our mall).  Me?  I had no luck and commented on this fact.  Kaitlyn states, "aren't you glad you sew?"  Yes, Kaitlyn I am so happy I sew.

Friday, March 12, 2010

McCall's 6031

Description: Misses' top, tunic and dresses from DIY style (design it yourself) with Allyce King and Melissa Watson

Sizing: 4 to 18, I made Meredith a size 4

Instructions: Good instructions, especially for a beginner or new to sewing. The pattern instruction sheet had sketches of Allyce and Melissa with conversation balloons. The balloons included tips and hints. Such as “Stitching in the Ditch” definition, gathering tips and an idea to use contrasting or metallic thread for topstitching.

Also, the bodice is self-lines, allowing for a nicely finished garment. Only, if you have purchased enough fabric for this!

Likes/Dislikes: Trendy was a like for my 15 year old daughter. She likes all the views and looks.

Changes: Since I had a fabric shortage. I used self-fabric and bound the armholes, cut the fabric 1-1/2” wide and about 4” shorter than the finished armhole measurement. Stitched this fabric around the armhole, turned it to the wrong side and then coverstitched it into place. The neckline I made a binding about ¾” wide.
The instructions for view A and B have you insert ¾” elastic into the waistband. I had Meredith try on the tunic before I inserted the elastic and we felt it wasn’t needed.

Fabric: A cotton interlock from Joann’s. Not the nicest fabric, but perfect for making this garment the first time and the ultimate test – see if she wears this. If she does then I will buy nicer fabric for more tops, tunics and dresses from this pattern.

Conclusion: A super cute pattern, easy to sew.

 Right now this is hemmed for a tunic but Meredith might want it for a top. She is taller 5’8” and the tunic isn’t all that long, about high thigh. So the length might need to be adjusted.

Meredith wanted the sleeves from view C – on the model with leggings but I didn’t have enough fabric. After talking about how she was going to wear this, we decided sleeveless and then she would have more options with cardigans and jackets.

I went up to her room to photograph the tunic on my dressform (which I adjusted for tiny size).  I went through her closet to find some cardigans, only came up with this one.  The rest are either in the laundry or in the pile of clothes on her floor!  I finally found one more cardigan and surprise, camera battery died.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Simplicity 2443

Description: Cynthia Rowley Collection. Misses' dress sewing pattern with knit bodice and jacket or vest

Sizing: Size 6 to 22

Instructions: Excellent for all levels of sewing. Here is a couple of examples:

Step 1 is staystitching. The pattern instructions state, “This stitching stays in permanently and helps prevent stretching on curved edges.

Then in step 2 front dart: “TIP – to prevent a “bubble” at the point, make the last few stitches right on the fold and leave the thread ends long enough to tie a knot. DO NOT back-stitch at the point. Press the dart seam flat along the stitching line to “blend” the stitches, then press dart toward center.”

Now aren’t those great instructions. I don’t know if it is just me and I haven’t been paying attention making a garment or if Simplicity is really stepping up the instruction sheet and giving great sewing information.  Whichever it is, thank you Simplicity, your great instructions are very helpful to all level of sewing abilities.

The rest of the instructions are very good with a nice order of construction

Likes/Dislikes: I like the look of this short sleeve jacket. Stylish, fun and a bit different for my wardrobe and I look forward to wearing it.

Changes: This jacket does not have lining, you could draft your own if you wanted. I serged all my seams to finish the inside and used this facing tutorial for the facing, gives a much nicer look.

I also stitched the front and back band with 3/8” seam allowancs, gave me a bit more length on the jacket.

The instructions state to stitch the pockets to the jacket with a 1/4" seam allowance.  I did edgestitching and the 1/4" seam allowance. 

Fabric: A linen from Joann’s last year. My ribbon matches better than the photos depict. If your selection of ribbon is limited at your favorite fabric store, pick the ribbon first then the fabric, that might be easier.

The pattern called for 2 pairs of d-rings for the sleeve buckles but does not indicate the size, I used 1" rings.

Conclusion: I am so pleased with my fun jacket. I debated for quite some time if I should do the ribbons and decided, sure why not! This pattern went together beautifully and it has so many details. Pockets, button loops, d-ring closures on the sleeves.  

Here are the d-rings and sleeve vents, I see I have a bit more pressing to do on this sleeve:

Several front views, trying to find some natural light on this cloudy and rainy day.