Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Renfrew Shirt in Abstract Print

If I like a pattern, I tend to use it over and over again.  That is Sewaholic's Renfrew shirt, I have made several garments from this pattern.
Mood Fabrics' abstract matte jersey sewn using Renfrew pattern
I recently purchased this Mood Fabrics' red and black abstract matte jersey and thought it was perfect for the Renfrew.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

McCall's 6278 - Houndstooth Dress

What do you start with first -

the fabric?


the pattern?

This time I started with this houndstooth from Girl Charlee

Friday, January 24, 2014

Another Henley for the Little Guy

This has been a busy two weeks on the work front, which I am not complaining.  Well, the only complaint, not much sewing time.  I did just finish another henley for the little guy, like this one

The  deer fabric came from Girl Charlee and the brown neckband is from an old shirt of mine.  I had no brown knit or ribbing, so I went to my closet.  The deer fabric is part of the Wildlife Collection but this particular one is sold out.

I did have to make the next size but took off 1" in the length.

Guess who is starting to walk?

And that makes it very hard to photograph him! I finished this top during his morning nap, so I just slipped it over his thermal shirt.  The new deer shirt looks a bit tight in this picture, just wanted you to know he is wearing it over another shirt.

The back:

Serious side:

Cheesy Smile!

And if I need to get somewhere fast, crawling is the best.

Now if he takes a good afternoon nap, my plan is to work on a houndstooth dress for me, fabric from Girl Charlee.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mood Fabrics' Sweater Knit - Simplicity 2309

You know those days when you need comfort foods? Well, some days I feel like I need comfort clothes and for those days what is better than a sweater knit. Online at Mood Fabrics' there is quite a selection of sweater knits. After much deliberation, I ordered Mood Fabrics' Mallard Blue Brushed Cozy Acrylic Knit, blue tends to be one of my favorite colors.

 Thanks to JStarr's review, I went with Simplicity 2309,a cardigan with a wide collar and a flounce at the bottom.
Mood Fabrics' sweater knit using Simplicity 2309

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

McCall's 6752

I have made this pattern twice before a top and a dress   This time a sleeveless version

The fabric I used was this metallic knit from Mood Fabrics.

Since the top was so loose, I added elastic to the fronts, adding it while a I serged the neck edges.  Then I turned it under and used my coverstitch machine.

I don't care for it much by itself but showing you this picture so you can see the top

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Not One but Two Cooper Bags

When Colette Patterns released The Cooper Bag, I knew I had to make it.  I really enjoy making bags, something relaxing about the construction.  I think it is the straight sewing, lots of topstitching and occassionally, I just like not having to fit.

 Canvas and faux leather are some of the recommmended fabrics, which particularly appealed to me. Mood Fabrics' Beige/Silver Sparkle Canvas was my main fabric choice, which in person has more of a gold look.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Cooper bag - Strap and Lining

Tomorrow the finished Cooper will be on the Mood Sewing Network, so check out the finished project, it is a fabulous bag.

I have a blog post with some basic information about the bag and sewalong link.  If you plan on making this bag the sewalong is fabulous, tutorials are good and you might want to purchase The Cooper Companion, an extra pdf full on photos and little extras for the bag.  What type of extras? bag feet, self-fabric strap, key fob, etc.  Well, worth the money.

Since Colette Patterns has such great tutorials, videos and The Cooper Companion, I really don't have too much to add on the constructions.

Here are a few tips:

I used a ruler when lining up the straps to make sure they were straight.

The magnetic snap......the instructions have you put the female snap on the bag.  The flap is constructed next with the male snap on the flap.  I had better luck, waiting on the female snap.  I completed the flap, basted it to the bag and then marked the placement for the female snap on the bag.  See the pink dot?  That is my placement.

Waiting on the female snap makes it easier to line up the straps.

Next the pockets on the lining, which is quilting cotton.

First step is press the bag body and pocket in half, that way they will match up.  Another perk, the pocket is perfectly centered.

Colette instructions have you press up the bottom edge of the pocket and just stitch to the body lining.

Instead I pressed up the bottom edge and  drew a white chalk line on the body of the bag.  This white line, which is the stitching line

I stitched on that pressed line and then trimmed to 1/4".

 Press the pocket up and pin in place

Edgestitch on the sides and bottom of the pocket.  After edgestitching, stitch again a fat 1/4" and that enclosed the trimmed edge at the bottom of the pocket.

Finally, topstitch  the center of the pocket, I always stitch from the bottom up, eliminates a pucker at the bottom of the pocket

Here is a picture of the lining in place

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Lessons From Ella

On December 4th, I was amazed with Lynne's post on Lessons on Style from Ella and with just a few changes you can go from looking good to looking amazing!

It didn't take me long to schedule a session with Ella (her blog here).  My session was Friday, January 3rd, Erin was still on Christmas break from teaching which meant I did not have the little guy.  My only concern was my very slow internet and how that would effect Skype, which wasn't much of an issue.

 This post is long and picture heavy, just warning you!

What I learned from Ella:

  1.  My first concern, not dressing too young.  No, Ella said you are not doing that, in fact maybe dressing too old.  
  2. Layers are good things
  3. Mixing patterns is a good thing
  4. Belts wear them high just under your ribs.
  5. Look for brightness around the face or add pop of colors
  6. Since I am more of a "H" shape, Ella suggested "building in shape by cinching in the waist and adding volume around the hips"
I am going to show you pictures of outfits Ella helped me with and since this is a sewing blog, I tried to use garments I made in each outfit.
So let's start with the silk blouse I just made.  It looks good like this

Now with Ella's suggestions, pop of color with the belt, layers and texture with the jacket and then building shape with the belt and finally a statement
necklace.  I think the blouse looks totally different and as Ella suggested take the jacket off and another look.

One thing I should of done was roll the sleeves of the jacket two more times and add bracelets.

Something I would have never thought of with this Renfrew top.

In fact, this was what I was wearing when my session started with Ella.  Ella said let's start with this and do you have a stripe shirt.  I did have one, so this is the new look

How about a layer to this look, adding my denim wool bomber

one more look with the shirts

On Saturday, Mike and I went to a movie and I did this outfit all by myself!  I had Kaitlyn snap a picture with my phone and I emailed to Ella.  She loved it!  Yea, I did good.

After several jean options, which is my work wardrobe.  Ella suggested we move onto dresses and skirts.

First up my Lola Sweater Dress, a good looking dress and Ella saw it on the blog.  Great dress but in the picture looks a bit boring.  She is right but I explained, I have to show off the sewing but in reality I had not thought of wearing it any other way.

Ella suggested a plaid shirt, yep I had just the one, my Archer

Put a Lola and an Archer together and you get a whole new look.  I sure didn't think of a brown belt and my brown booties but I love it.

Then Ella said how about a jacket (which is an oldie but goodie made it in 2009)

Now a skirt and a peplum top.  I made this skirt a few years ago and can't find it on the blog.  The peplum top is recent and we used the same jacket from above.  Another cute look and a way I feel good in the peplum top.

I took all these pictures this morning, so by the end, my hair was a bit frazzled and wild.

A couple more suggestions from Ella
Ponte pants, stripe sweater with a white blouse.  The camera didn't focus but you get the idea.

Then on my own but using the Pinterest board Ella created for me, I added a vest.

Ella suggests to plan your week wardrobe on Sundays.  Hang it all together with scarves, necklaces and belts.  I did do this last Sunday and here is today's outfit.   I tried belting it on the outside of the cardigan but the cardigan was just too big, I felt like a marshmallow.

What do I need to purchase?  Ella said red lipstick and that was all.  I did purchase that on Monday and it made a world of difference.  Who knew a little tube of lip stain would have such impact?  Ella did.

A parting shot, my bedroom floor after my session with Ella.

You can see what Ella wrote about our session  and see all her other remarkable consultations.

I highly recommend this, you will look at your clothes in a whole new light!

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Tree Climber Trousers in Corduroy

I made these pants first here for the little guy and he really wears them lots.  Another pair was needed and corduroy was the choice.

Here are some action shots.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Cooper Bag

Frigid temperatures and blowing snow are a great combination for staying home and spending the day in my sewing room.  I finished up a couple of projects and then went to work on my next Mood Sewing Network project.  That project is Cooper by Colette Patterns

source - Colette Patterns

My fabric for the main is this canvas, Beige/Silver Sparkle Canvas

Colette Patterns had a sewalong for this pattern a month ago.  Their tutorials and sewalongs are excellent, so if you are planning to make this bag make sure you use this resource.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Birdies and Flowers Baby Quilt

I bought this cute quilt kit at my local Pfaff dealer and also took the class that was for the quilt.  Which by the way is something I want to do more this year.  Get out of my sewing room and into a classroom with other people who sew.  I did it a couple of times last year and it is was so refreshing and fun.  Just hanging out with others who love to sew and also getting great ideas, too.

Oh, yes, back to the quilt

The shop owner digitized the flowers, artwork from a children's coloring book.  The cute birds are from a purchased embroidery pack.  

I think the strips of gray background just makes the designs pop right off the quilt.  The strips are cut 2-1/2" wide and it is a nice variations of lights and mediums with the darker gray framing the entire quilt.

Since this quilt is so girly, the back is solid hot pink.  One of my favorite parts of a solid back, is the ability to see the quilting design.

This quilt was sent out to the local longarm quilter and she always does a spectacular job.

Quilt club is next Wednesday night and this will be my show-and-tell.  After which, the quilt will be wrapped up and given as a gift to a friend at work.  She is going to be a first-time grandma to a little girl. I am so excited to give it to her.