Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Finally Decided!

Today I decided to go to the sewing machine dealer in the town near where DH and I are staying.  The cool thing is that they sell multiple brands including Babylock, Pfaff, Bernina, and Viking.  After spending a little time talking to the salesperson, who was extremely helpful, we spent a lot of time looking at the  Bernina 530 and 560.  Both are beautiful machines, but I liked the 560 better.  One feature that I really liked about the Bernina is the fact that you can adjust the pressure foot pressure to quite a few different settings.  I know on my Ellageo, there are only 4.  I also liked the fact that you can purchase separate needle plates for different widths.  Most machines have the option of a single hole plate and the max width plate, but the Bernina has another option in between.  With the narrower hole, your fabric will turn and behave better.  Also, that 9mm stitch width is definitely seductive.  I love how powerful the motor is too.  BUT, I still did not fall in love with this machine.  I liked it.  I liked it a lot, but not sold.

Next I tried out the Pfaff.  I was disappointed that they did not carry the Performance 5.0, but they don't carry it because they feel the screens are more cumbersome to use than some of the other machines.  One of the things I have never liked about the Pfaff and some of the other brands are the push buttons.  It's just an aesthetic thing, but still I don't like it.  The Quilt Expression 4.2 was on my list to try, and they had a good price on it.  However, I soon as I started sewing with it, I was disappointed.  The machine is very noisy (compared to what I have now) I really must LOVE whatever machine I buy, and I couldn't believe I did not love this machine either.  I have wanted to have a Pfaff for as long as I can remember, yet, I did not feel compelled to buy this machine.  Sigh.

Toni (the sales lady) was very patient with me and asked me more questions about what I was liking and not liking.  She took me over to see the Babylock Symphony.  Of course, I already have a Babylock, and the Ellageo has a bigger screen than the Symphony.  I do like that stadium lighting though.  Well, guess what I ended up getting?

The Babylock Aria has all the features that I want and more.  I love how quietly it sews and I am comfortable with the interface.  I felt like the buttonholes and threading were complicated on the Bernina, although I'm sure I would learn it quickly enough.  The Babylock just feels like home to me.
Also, Toni told me (after I had decided) that the Babylocks have far less issues and repairs than the Berninas or other brands they carry.  Also, there is nothing extra that I need to buy, since I already have all the extra feet I needd (well, I DID buy a ruffler.  I have been wanting one for a long time and they had all their  feet 20% off)  They matched my local dealers sale price and threw in the extended warranty, which is about $400.  The only thing I want to get is a sew steady table.  They are far less expensive than the optional table that the Babylock has, and I like that they are clear.

I'm really happy with my experience at Dublin Sewing Center.  If I need anything, they will just drop it in the mail to me.  I'm not too worried about getting "free classes" because I already know how to use most of the features of this machine.  Now, the next time I am in the area I wouldn't mind going in and learning some sewing tips from someone who does garment sewing, like the lady who helped me.  I know our local Babylock dealer has a quilting-only point of view.

I can hardly wait to get home and start checking out all the features of my new machine!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Fire and Rain - Shopping for Sewing Machines - The Great Debate

I’m really being spoiled this year for my birthday, which was Monday.  One musical artist I have always wanted to see is James Taylor.  A couple of months ago, we were able to score tickets to see him in Fresno on the day after my birthday!  We went Tuesday night and I loved every minute of it.  I even cried a couple of times.  I never realized the guy was so funny either.  It was so good, I would go see him again.  In fact, DH and I have talked about taking a trip somewhere to see him and making a vacation out of it. 

On the day of my birthday, Mr. W and I started looking at new sewing machines.  (Well, he didn’t look, he just went along.  My main sewing machine is a Baby Lock Ellageo 3.  I bought this machine 9 years ago and it was 3 years old when I got it. It is a great machine and has tons of extra bells and whistles.  It is an embroidery machine, but since the method of installing software and embroidery patterns is 3.5” floppy, I have only used that feature a handful of times.  It did create beautiful embroidery pretty easily.  I also found that I love the manual for this machine.  It is easy to use and I’ve taught myself how to use almost every feature (or maybe all) using this book.  BUT, I have been wanting a new machine for awhile.  A couple of years ago I was having problems with shredding thread and jamming.  I took it to the local repair several times and they could not fix it.  Finally I drove to another town about an hour and a half away, and they got it working beautifully again.  (The more I’ve looked at other machines, the more I realize that I love my Babylock)

I have always wanted a Pfaff.  Maybe this stems back from the old Sewing With Nancy (Zeiman)   videos when she was using and being sponsored by Pfaff.  I’ve been into the Pfaff store several years in a row “shopping” for that someday when I could actually get a new machine.  Well, that someday has come!  I’ve been teaching VBS this week, so Monday when I was finished, Mr. W and I went into Visalia to look at the Pfaffs.  They were closed.  Boo.  It seems like every time I try to get in there, they are closed.  It’s just a little shop in an old shopping center, but the salesman Phil is always super friendly and helpful.

Since Pfaff was closed, we decided to take a drive to Fresno and look at the Berninas.  I’ve always known that Berninas are great machines and that everyone who owns them loves them.  I wanted to look at the 740, but the only 7 series they had were the 770 and 780.  There were a lot of things I liked about that machine, but it felt too huge for me.  I don’t know if it was the table height or what, but I just didn’t feel comfortable sewing on the machine.  Also, the feet seemed huge and wide.  The sales lady was very friendly and helpful, but she was new in the store and had more recently been working for Pfaff and Babylock.  This was kind of cool because she gave me her opinion of which machines were better at which things.  (Which, she probably shouldn’t have done, but was helpful to me.)  Also, because she was new to Bernina, she couldn’t answer all of my questions to my satisfaction (like explaining the BMR - although I finally figured it out.) I was really expecting to LOVE the Bernina.  I wanted to LOVE the Bernina.  This is probably my one and only chance to GET a Bernina.  But I didn’t love it.

A few reasons:  1.  Price.  Of course, everyone knows that Berninas are the most expensive, but this isn’t necessarily a deal breaker for me this time.
2.  Size.  The 770 (and 740) is just too huge and non-portable.  
3.  It’s kind of like a BMW (which I do drive)  You get top notch engineering, but at the cost of slightly fewer features.
4.  The 770 has the dual feed and the BMR.  I don’t think the 740 comes with either.  It does have BMR functionality, but not the foot.(which is close to $500)
So, after I left I thought, maybe I should go back and try the 550.  They had one on a shelf, but we had already been there almost an hour, so I would need to go back to try that.  Unfortunately, the 550 does not have the longer throat, but my current machine only has 7-1/2 “, so I think I would be fine with that.
4.  And then there are those feet.  I am admittedly a foot junky.  I think this machine only comes with 6 or 7 feet. My BL came with almost every extra foot (except the ruffler) and I think I’ve used every one of them.  Bernina feet are upwards of about $50 each.  Very expensive.  And not interchangeable with other feet, so I couldn’t use any of the feet I already have.  (I did look online and find that you can get an adapter to make it work with other feet.  I know from experience that this does not always work out perfectly though.
5.  Location.  Fresno is over an hour and a half away from where I live.  Visalia is only 45 minutes.  I’m not sure I want to have to drive to Fresno for all of my classes and maintenance or any time I want to buy an accessory.
Conclusion:  I’m 95% sure I’m ruling out Bernina.

I did not think I was even going to look at Babylock.  Probably just because I like change.  But then I started thinking about all those feet I have.  And the learning curve of a new machine.  And the convenience of the somewhat local quilt store and getting to know more of the quilters that kind of hang out there.  I have taken a number of classes there and they have a great workspace and selection of quilting cottons (but no other fabrics)

I am looking at the Aria.  The next machine up is the Crescendo and I have a friend that just bought one.  This is actually what made me start thinking about Babylock again.  The only difference between the Aria and Crescendo is that the Crescendo has the laser light and is about $1000 more.  also, they have the Aria on sale right now for $3000, so that makes it $2000 less.  The laser light is mostly for avid quilters, which I am not.  It is certainly not worth the extra money for me.
  1. The lighting is fabulous!  That is one thing my poor old machine does not have - good lighting.
  2. All those stitches!  Baby locks are known for their decorative stitches, and this machine does not disappoint.
  3. The large LED display.  My current machine has this and I really like it.
  4. This machine comes with 13 feet.  Also, all of the feet I currently own will work with it.
  5. OK, this machine is almost as huge as the Bernina, but it just felt like home when I sewed with it. 
  6. All of the things I love about my current machine are here plus more.

  1. Babylocks have really small bobbins.  You usually have to have at least 2 for any garment with lots of stitching.  This is definitely one advantage of the Bernina.  Their bobbins are huge!
  2. The other thing I didn't care for, although I didn't try it, is that they have a belt driven walking foot.  Now this may be a PLUS, but I don't know.  I just thought it looked big and clunky.
Also, I’m not really crazy about the owner of this store, although I know he has his cult following.  This could be a deal-breaker on the Babylock.  sigh.

Now, all I have left to try is the Pfaff!  The salesman in the local store has been on vacation all week and I will be out of the area Monday through Wednesday of this coming week.  You can bet I will be there first thing Thursday morning!

I am looking at the Pfaff Performance 5.0.  There are very few differences between the 5.0 and 5.2.  They are selling the 5.0 for $2800.  I’ve been doing a lot of looking up and these are the things I love about the Pfaff
  1. The appearance.  It just looks sleek and professional
  2. Stitch width and length are a little bit bigger than the Babylock
  3. 1050 stitches per minute - same as Babylock (Bernina is 1000)
  4. Needle to tower space is almost 10”, about the same as the Aria and the Bernina 770.  The 550 and 580 are only 7.5”
  5. The IDT - no need for a walking foot. 
  6. The salesman/trainer at this shop is very friendly and helpful.

**Bernina and Pfaff have both come out with a dual feed option since the patent on the IDT has run out.  However, Pfaff has been doing this forever and has perfected it.  The other two companies are still working out the kinks.  Even the salesperson at the Bernina store told me the Pfaff’s is much better!

The nice thing about the newer machines that they all seem to have is faster stitching, better lighting, automatic foot raise to pivot, thread cutter, needle threader, needle up-down feature, 
more stitches and they run smoothly and quietly.

So, right now it is between the Babylock Aria and Pfaff Performance 5.0.  DH and I are going out of town for a few days, so as soon as I get back, I want to get into that store and try the Performance 5.0!  I'll let you know what I decide.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Best Oatmeal Ever! DIY Instant Oatmeal Packets

Breakfast is always a conundrum for me.  I know I need to eat a healthy breakfast, but I don’t want to take time to make it.  Also, I am not a big fan of eggs, and I am trying to eliminate wheat and processed foods from my diet.  I will sometimes eat yogurt and nuts, but what else is there?  My husband loves instant oatmeal, but most of the varieties are too sweet for me and the plain is just, well, too plain.  Also, I can do without the added chemicals and other additives.  So, I decided to look for a good DIY instant oatmeal.  After reading several, I decided to come up with my own.  Lucky for me, the first hit was a home run!  I am absolutely loving this oatmeal.  The flavor is unique and delicious!  Here’s how I made it.

First, take 4 cups of rolled oats and lay them out on a cookie sheet.  I used parchment paper so that I could pour them into another container more easily.  Toast these in the oven at 350 for about 15 minutes, or until they’re slightly golden.  (most of the recipes skip this step, but I think this is what makes it taste so good!)

Pour these into a bowl and mix with 1/4 c. maple sugar (I get mine here), 1 tsp salt (I used Kosher salt), 1/2-1 tsp cinnamon to taste.  I used maple sugar because it is less processed and has a good flavor without being over the top sweet.  You could substitute brown sugar, but the maple sugar really gives it a good flavor.

Next, I put about 2/3 of this mixture in a food processor and pulsed it 3-4 times.  This is what gives instant oatmeal its great texture.  I poured this back into the bowl and added 1/4 cup chia seeds.  

I store mine in a jar, but if you have a family that makes their own breakfasts, 1/2c. will fit into snack size ziplock bags.  Perfect and healthy instant oatmeal packets!

To make the oatmeal, you can use either of these two methods:
  1. put 1/2 cup mixture into a bowl.  Add 3/4 cup water.  Microwave on high for one minute.
  2. Put 1/2 cup mixture into a bowl.  Pour boiling water over top until desired consistency

I’ve been planning on using the following add-ins, but I’m liking this so much as is, I haven’t added anything yet!  Add ins:  walnuts or pecans, raisins, coconut, fresh fruit, slivered almonds, hemp seeds

 See printable version of recipe here:  Nancy's Instant Oatmeal

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Black Roses and Violins

Even though Three Rivers is a small town in the foothills of Sequoia National Part, we are fortunate to have many cultural opportunities.  One of these is Center Stage Strings.  The program began with the Colburn Institute in Southern California, and is now based out of University of Michigan.  Anyway, the quality of the musicians that come to our little town to do concerts  is absolutely amazing.  We had one of these concerts today, so I wanted to make something new to wear.  

When I was at PR weekend in Chicago, I picked up the Jalie Maxi Dress and Shrug pattern.  After reading Kyle’s review on the shrug, I knew I had to have this pattern.  I have other shrug patterns, but I just really like the way this one looks, and Kyle’s review sold me on it.  My arms are always cold and I can’t stand a fan on my shoulders.  It’s been over 100 degrees every day this week already, so that means air conditioning and fans.  I take a sweater, shrug, or shawl with me everywhere I go.  

So, I bought the pattern for the shrug, but needed a dress.  It took me longer to trace the pattern than it did to make it!  This pattern is quick to sew.  It will be even quicker next time because I realized after I finished the dress that I did not read the directions correctly for the binding, and I ended up making it more complicated and difficult than I needed to.  But, even so, I really like the way this dress turned out.  It skims the body and fits in the bodice without being too tight.  I ended up making a size larger than I usually do because I am now a size larger than I used to be.  Hope to rectify that soon!  Anyway, I made the dress yesterday and wore it to church this morning.  I cut out the shrug before church and finished it after lunch.  I was able to wear the dress and shrug to the concert this afternoon.  I’m really glad I had the shrug, because it was cold (to me) at the concert, but it was hot outside.  I was able to easily slip off the shrug for the wine and cheese party that was held outdoors at a home nearby.  

I definitely see more of both of these in my future!

Friday, June 03, 2016

Sugar Slip

This week I've been working on the Tina Givens Sugar Slip.  It should not take a week to do this, but it did.  First of all,  I did not have enough Fabric.  The pattern called for 1-1/8 yard, so I got 1.25 to be sure.  Well, I think I needed 3 yards!  Most of Tina Givens skirt patterns are cut with a bell shape, which uses most of the width of the fabric.  So, even though my fabric was 50-54" wide, I'm sure that even 60" wide still would have taken more - and I made the small size!

I made mine out of a pretty dotted swiss that I got at Vogue Fabrics on my recent trip to Chicago - so obviously, I was not going back to get more fabric.  I did have some white batiste (also from Vogue Fabrics but online several years ago) that I used to cut out the top half of the back, the back facing (which for some reason she calls "interfacing" and the back of the pockets.  You can see here that I stitched and serged the two sections together.  Unfortunately, the batiste is not as white as the dotted swiss, but I am planning on wearing this under other garments, so it should be OK.  (you ca't really see the difference in color in the picture.

And, as you can see in this photo, it is a bit see-through - so it DEFINITELY will be worn under other things!

When I was serving the side seam, I accidentally nicked my fabric.  Arghh.  I put a little fray check on it, but it still looked bad.  Ended up making a tab and sewing it over the cut.  I made it big enough to look purposeful.

I like the way this pattern has you sew the facings to the front and back before you sew the two together.  However, it's really tricky to sew around the straps on the inside without catching them.  I think this is because the measurements are off.  Either the straps need to be more narrow, or the bodice needs to be wider where they attach.  Before trimming, there was only scant 1/4" seam allowance space along side the straps where they attach.

Here's another pattern snafu.  The pockets.  They are ridiculously large on the top and go above where they attach at the sides.  This makes an upper part that keeps falling down when the garment is warn.  I saw this immediately when I put the dress on the dress form.  I decided to cut the upper part off of the pocket and re-sew it.  Problem solved.

The pattern instructions have you do all the gathering on the sides and sew the rolled hem last.  I think it is much easier to sew the rolled hem before doing the gathering.  It took me a while to learn how to use the rolled hem foot with my machine, but I love what a nice clean finish it gives.  I did still have a couple of places where I had to re-insert the fabric into the foot, but I'm determined to master this one day!

Another problem was that the lines drawn on the pattern do not match the line drawing for view B, which was the one I made.  You are to gather the side seams at the hem and also a diagonal line on the pattern.  The diagonal lines are what were off.  They had diagonal lines going from the side and CF, but that is not what is shown in the line drawing.  Also, the diagonal lines on the sides are not nearly in far enough to the CF, so those needed to be redrawn.  Even still, they probably should have gone up even higher and angled down closer to the CF at the hem.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Seaside Sue (Stylearc asymmetrical top)

This week I've been working on finishing up my entry for the Endless Combinations contest at PR and getting ready for PR weekend.  I finished the last thing yesterday, which was the Seaside Sue top from Stylearc.  I'm really happy with this top and how it turned out.  Of course, I love wearing rayon jersey and I was desparately needing a couple of black tops in my closet.  So, now I've got one me-made solid black top!

This is the first time I've worked with Style Arc patterns.  I love the look of their styles and since they ship from Australia, I was happy when I found out that I could order PDFs from their Etsy shop.  What I didn't stop to think about was that they use size A4 paper, not 8.5x11.  It does make a difference in printing.  Although it didn't throw the pattern off any, I did make it more difficult to line up the pattern pieces.  As soon as I finished taping that thing together I went on Amazon and ordered a ream of A4 paper!

I love the look of this top.  V necklines are my best look and I especially like the asymmetrical hems front and back.  I used the cover stitch to finish these.

This pattern had VERY FEW directions.  Basically said "Sew the front and back together. bind the neckline.  Finish the armholes and hem."  No how-tos, no given seam allowance, no measurements on the pattern.  There are good registration marks for putting the pattern together and a map, but as far as actually sewing the top - not much.  I had to look up how to bind a V neck since I had not done it in a while.  I wanted to do a cross over binding, but didn't cut my binding piece quite long enough, so I had some problems with that.  Other than that, everything was pretty easy.  No darts, which I could have added, but I think its fine without them.  Linda Maynard's book has some great information on how to bind necklines.  Too bad I couldn't find it when I wanted to use it.  Sigh....

This was the last piece in the Endless Combinations contest. In this contest each piece needs to go with whatever the previous piece is.  I kind of rearranged my order since I incorporated the red jeans, but that was within the rules.  I'm glad to have made all of these pieces over the last 6 weeks.

 I've really been needing a black top and I like the way it goes with the red jeans.  Black tops go with just about everything, don't they?  I also want to make another black jersey top out of the Eureka pattern.  I have lots more to say, but I've got to finish laundry and pack.  My next post will be after PR weekend!

Friday, May 06, 2016

Red Jeans

it is getting close to PR weekend and I’m trying to get some last minute items made up for the trip.  There was a suggestion that we all make red jeans from the Jalie Eleonore pants pattern to wear on our shopping day on Saturday.  I just happened to have some red stretch leopard jacquard that I bought a couple of years ago originally intending to make a pair of Colette Clovers from it.  It is not really my first choice for making jeans, but I didn’t have time to order red stretch twill and our local JoAnns did not have any, so leopard red jeans it is!

I made a muslin first according to my hip measurement and it was too small!  I could barely get those things pulled up.  I decided to try again using a bigger size and adding 1” to the crotch length (depth?  I always get them confused) front and back.  I like the details on these pants and they definitely do not look like pull on pants.

The next size bigger did fit, and it turns out I did not need to add that 1”.  Even though I took the waist in a total of 1-1/2 inches, I still need to take it in more.  I’ve worn these all day today and it seems like I keep tugging them to pull them up.  I’m not sure if they are still to tight in the thighs and that is what is pulling them down, or if it is some other fit issue.  I have had this same problem with RTW stretch woven pants before too.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Tina Givens Gypsy Jacket

The Gypsy Jacket is finished, and I do have a lot to say about it :-)

This is only the second Tina Givens pattern I have actually made, although I own several now.  Her website is like eye candy for me and I love seeing the details (on the ones  you can see) on the clothes.  To really get a good idea of how the garments are worn and accessorized, you want to visit her designer website, and the Facebook page.  That said, you are not going to get any of these directions in her patterns.  In fact, the patterns do not even have the same names as the ones she sells.  However, as many have said on the  SG thread, there are a lot of “design opportunities” in her patterns.  Let me add that there are also a lot of fit and pattern making opportunities.  Hmmmm…..

Fit - basically, there is no fit in TG patterns.  I will have to say that by using her measurement guidelines, I fit into a small and it fits me in the shoulders.  Now, on this pattern, the shoulders go straight across.  No one has shoulders that go straight across, so I had to draw in the slope of the shoulders.  Also , these patterns must be drafted for an A cup, so if you want any shaping at all, you will need to do a FBA.  I did NOT on this pattern because I knew it was so loose fitting.  However, if I want to make it again, I will so that it does not pull up in the front.  Even though this fits in the shoulders, that’s where this ends.  I could wear this if I were 9 months pregnant.  Both the front and the back are way-oversized.  I would have to say that TG patterns are not well-drafted in the least, but I do like her aesthetic.

Sleeves:  There is no notch for the top of the sleeve and there is quite a bit to be eased in.  The shape of the sleeve head is a little odd and caused more curvature in the front and back and less at the top.  I will probably redraw this if I make it again.

Pattern:  These patterns come with minimal and sometimes missing instructions.  For example, there are two bands in the front.  The pattern says to cut 2 on the bias, but does not tell you how wide or how long to cut them.  You have to read the pattern to see where they are going, measure the back facing piece and length of the front piece and go from there.  There was a problem with this pattern, and I understand that this is typical on her patterns.  The side front and side back pieces are off by more 3/4 to 1 inch.  The curved part does not line up at all with the concave curve on the CB and CF pieces.  This is something you would have to measure yourself and see how much you need to adjust.  I added 3/4 to both CF and CB, and could have gone a bit more. Another problem was that the shoulder seams are cut straight across, perpendicular to the CB line.  I added some slope, but I should have done more.

UntitledInstructions:  as I said earlier, they leave a lot out.  Also, things are out of order.  For example, they have you measure and prepare the ruffle before you have even sewn the side seams.  Then you set that aside and sew it on later.  There are hand-drawn diagrams, and sometimes these are helpful, and sometimes confusing.  A lot is left up to your own interpretation.   

Fabric:  This pattern calls for a woven such as linen.  I used a double knit I had in my stash instead.  This also meant that I did not have to cut strips on the bias, but needed to allow enough length to cut them on the width of the fabric.  Instead of cutting 1” strips of self fabric for the ties, I used ribbon.  The ruffle calls for a layer of main fabric and a layer of gauze.  I used lace and tulle instead of the gauze.  
The ruffle.  Be aware if you make this pattern that one 8” cut the width of the fabric will not be enough.  I made the small, and one width did not give me any more than an “ease” allowance,  Not a ruffle at all.  This is good in this fabric since the over layers of ruffle I made are ruffle enough (You cut 2 widths of each of those).  Even though I chose a taupe colored lace, it looked like a bright ivory against this fabric.  That is why I decided to layer it with an dark gold tulle.  This is the first time I have worked with tulle.  Well, I looked like I had a tutu on when I first finished that ruffle!  Not the look I was going for.  The first thing I did to combat this was to hand stitch the seam allowance to the upper part of the bodice.  This helped a lot.  Next, I pressed the ruffle.  Be VERY CAREFUL when pressing tulle.  You need to use a press cloth and low heat.  Even doing this, I did melt a hole into a little piece of the tulle ruffle.  After pressing, I put a couple of clappers on top of the fabric to let it cool completely before removing.

Details:  I added some extra details.  I added some vintage lace to the side front pieces at different heights.

There is hand ruffled tulle with topstitching around the neckline.  I used Coats and Clark button and craft thread doubled and an embroidery needle to do all of the hand stitching.  When I did the hand stitching around the bottom of the bodice, I had to use pliers to pull the needle through all of the layers.

My little bird is sitting prettily on a cherry blossom branch in the back.

As noted before, I used ribbon instead of self-fabric ties.

I wanted this to be a comfy but cute jacket, and I think it is.  I’m not really sure of my choice to use the tulle as I am afraid that it will be too delicate.  If it should rip, I’m not sure how I would repair it as it will be beyond my patience point to take apart the whole skirt on this thing and do it over.

I would like to try this again in linen, but I would make several changes to improve the fit. Even when something is not "fitted" it still needs to fit and not hang terribly.  Even though the fit is not great on this jacket, I think I will still wear it.  I wore it to church today and got lots of compliments.  In fact, one lady (who I don't even know) saw me walk by the kitchen and said "Wow!  You belong in a magazine"  Yes, that made my day :-)
Gypsy Jacket finished

Thursday, April 21, 2016


If you are a fourth grade teacher in California,  you know that "Eureka!" means "I have found it!"  And what have we found?  Gold of course.  Well, Eureka is the name of this pattern by The Sewing Workshop, and that is the way I feel about it.  I would have never chosen this pattern based on the line drawing (just kinda blah) but I'm loving this top!  Now, I'm not sure if that is because of the pattern, or because of the fabric, but either way, it's definitely a win!

I was looking to make an overshirt for my Jacqueline slip, and originally I was going to use another knit and another pattern.  But, for some reason, I decided to do this one instead.  The fact that this top only takes one yard of fabric made it a little challenging.  I hate to cut one yard out of a longer piece unless I know something else I want to make out of that fabric.  Do any of you get stuck like that?  It's kind of ridiculous because that fabric is just sitting there waiting to be cut, and yet, I don't want to do it!

Any way, I found exactly one yard of this fabric in a drawer.  It's a beautiful rayon double knit/ sweater knit and I have no idea where I got it!  It looks like something I might have gotten from Casual Elegance, but I really don't remember.

This pattern was fast and easy to make.  I love how the neckline is done, although I didn't follow the directions in the pattern.  They have you mark a line on the band and line that up with something and it just sounded complicated to me and an extra step.  Basically, if you sew the band to the neckline with a 5/8" seam you'll come out with the same result.  I can see why they do it the other way, and maybe if I had done it that way my band would be exactly the same width all the way around, but I'm OK with a little imperfection on something like this.  I still think it looks pretty darn good.

The sleeve bands are sewn onto a kimono/cap style sleeve and give it a nice look.

I did use my serger to put this top together, but on the neckline, I sewed the binding on with the sewing machine first and then trimmed it with the serger.  I'm really loving this top!