Friday, November 28, 2008

Two Tops

I keep saying that I'm going to do this, but I never do. I always admire people who make a pattern, and then make it again immediately. It is such a smart thing to do. First of all, you already have everything out (pattern pieces, notions, etc.)and all of the directions are fresh in your mind. If there are any fit issues, it is easy to tweak them, since you just made it and you know what needs to be changed. But do I do this? No, well, not until today. I started out making the off-white top because I needed a basic top that would go with just about everything. I wear a lot of white and off-white tops, but I never seem to have enough of them. I had this acrylic sweater knit from and made up the top from McCalls 4517.

I also knew that I wanted to make another knit top out of this purple and black fabric. Since I already had everything out, I just cut and made another one. It took about half the time of the first, because I already knew what I was doing. I really like how the second one came out. It is from a poly lycra knit that reminds me of chrysanthemums, so I'm calling this top my "chrysanthemum top".

I did make a couple of changes on the second version. First of all, I made it about 1.5 inches longer. Next, I lengthened the dart in the front. The gathers in the front are done by taking a dart in the CF, and then gathering it up with elastic. I really like how this works, and the sleeves are done the same way.

We're going to be gone most of the day tomorrow, but I would like to get the black wool pants cut out this weekend.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

FSG 1960 Cardigan

I finished the cardigan to my "twin set" this morning. I had orignally decided to make these sleeves long with cuffs, but after realizing how little stretch the fabric had, I changed them to 3/4 length. I'm always pushing my sleeves up, and the cuffs would have been too tight to do that.

This is what it looks like on the inside. The fabric looks like it is "bonded" so the back is solid black.

In the picture above, I am wearing it with the matching top underneath, which was made from the Christine Johnson Basewear 2 pattern. The more I wear these "Razor Sharp" pants, the more I don't like them. I just don't like pants that are baggy in the back of the leg, unless they are full all over. I bought some wool yesterday, and am going to try to make a different pair of pants. One of my favorite pair of pants seems to be a pair of Simplicity pants I made about a year ago. I don't have a good picture of them, but I think I'll try those again.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Survey Fun

Here’s what I want you to do:
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Mark any items that you would never consider eating.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred: (I have to admit that I don't know what some of these are.)

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos Rancheros
4. Steak tartare – tasted it, but wouldn’t eat it
5. Crocodile -
6. Black pudding - if this is like blood pudding, no thanks
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp -
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush.-
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans - I live in Central California - what do you expect??
25. Brawn or head cheese - no, I don't think so
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi - I think I've had this, but not sure
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar - I don't smoke
37. Clotted cream tea - this sounds disgusting
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat – no, but I saw cabeza Del Chivo served to my x-mother in law. Not a pretty sight - they serve it in the skull
42. Whole insects – I’m not eating them – whole or parts
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk – only when a baby, but I love goat’s cheese
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu-
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel - only in sushi (unagi)
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin – and I didn’t like it
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi -
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst - no, but we were brought up on liverwurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis -
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini - I don't eat caviar
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill - not eating it
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail - did I mention that I'm becoming a vegetarian?
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom Yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse - it was served to me in Paris. I didn't know what it was until after
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake –

OK, It wasn’t’ on the list, but I’ve also eaten buffalo

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I just realized that my "D" post did not ever get published. So, here it is

(Be sure to click on the link that says "here" to get to the D page!)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

HP Razor Sharp - I started all over

I was not happy with the direction my HP Razor Sharp pants were going. Friday night, I was reading Nancy Zieman's Fitting Finesse book, and she has a whole chapter on fitting pants. I woke up at 4:00 Saturday morning and couldn't sleep, so I got up and started taking measurements. I went over to my cutting table and started retracing the pattern, using the pivot and slide method. This time I started with a 12 and made adjustments from there.

The directions in the pattern were very confusing, and because I did not understand their facing/fly front directions, the facing pattern did not fit. I had to re-cut a front facing, and then I used bias tape to finish the edges of the fly facing so that I would not cover up the zipper. I know there has to be a better way to do a fly front with no waistband, but I haven't found good directions yet (or maybe I just don't understand them) I tried to get a good picture of the fly front, but black just doesn't photograph well. This picture is of the inside of the fly with the extension sewn in place.

Here is the inside views of the fly front.

From Endless Combinations
From Endless Combinations

This time I used Sandra Betzina's Power Sewing book for the order of construction, and disregarded the HP directions completely. The only problem with this, again, was the fact that there was no waistband.

The whole time I was making these I was thinking, "These are turning out pretty good. I sure hope they fit!" Now that I've tried them on, I think the fit is pretty good, but the legs are still a lot fuller than I would like, and the shape of them is nothing at all like the front of the pattern. Now that I'm in my 50's, I can see that I've acquired the "low butt, high tummy" syndrome. Damn... I guess I really should start going to the gym. You can also see in this picture that the pockets kind of stick out at the top, and I'm really hoping these don't stretch out in the waist. The lining is showing a bit on this side, but it doesn't on the other side. I think if I would have top-stitched the pockets, that would have eliminated that. The fabric is a triacetate that I got from Fabric Mart last year, and I've never worked with it before.

Overall, I think the fit is good on these. I'm really glad I used N.Z.'s method of getting the fit right. It worked for me on these, and I will try it again on a different pattern. I won't make this pattern again. Even though the fit is right, I don't like the way the waist is and I don't like the shape of the legs that much. I don't think they look as "modern" as I thought they would (but maybe I'm disillusioning myself and need to be thinking about how to get a more "modern" body to put the pants on! LOL. I'm glad to have a good pair of black pants, but the fly, fly facingings, and doubled fly back flap make for a really heavy front of the pants. Also, the pockets add to this. The one thing I DO like about this pattern is the extra wide waist facings. You need them because of all the weight of the pants.

Next up, I'd like to make a couple of quick and easy things. I am going to make a twin set using this black and brown knit.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Razor Sharp Pants are cutting me to shreds!

Why, oh why do I keep buying HotPatterns? Answer: I love their styles, hate their patterns! Every time I make a Hot Patterns pattern (admittedly, I've only made a few) they give me fits. I've heard so much about the HP pants's infamous L-shaped crotch curve, I thought I'd give them a try.

First of all , let me say, the pattern piece is nothing like you'd expect. There is no fly extension/facing on the front piece, but it is a separate pattern piece that is added on. Their directions are very confusing, and they have you add the waist facing to the fly facing before you attach it to the center front. That was about all I could get from their instructions (no illustrations, of course,) After reading this several times, and then trying to play with the pattern pieces, I still couldn't get it. I found a similar application in the Readers' Digest Sewing boook, but it did not include the facing instructions. I tried looking at a couple of tutorials on line, but ended up kind of using a combination of everything to figure it out on the muslin.

The next problem is, that in the picture and the line drawing, the pockets look like they are at an angle. In reality, they line up almost exactly with the seam line. You have to be really careful not to catch them in the seam and now they kind of stick out funny. I read some information in Sandra Betzina's Power Sewing Step byStep book that I think will help me with this.

Next, the crotch curve. The muslin is made and I try them on. I have already raised the waist by one inch, and overall, the fit is pretty good. However, the back of the legs is super full. I get out my Pants for Real People book, and see that I need to not only reduce the lower part of the L by about 1/2", but I also end up lowering the crotch curve in the back an additional inch! Now, some of these adjustments I was able to make on the muslin and some I just made on the pattern pieces. I guess I'll have to cut them out with wide seam allowances and hope for the best. Oh, and yes, as I'm wearing the muslin right now, I squatted down to get out my black fabric from the cabinet, and the back seam split on the pants. Hmmm.... guess I need to add a little more fabric there too!

Friday, November 07, 2008

F is For

F is for FUR! If you watched even one episode of the Rachel Zoe Project, you know this woman lives her life in fur. But catch any winter runway show, style magazine, or fashion website, and you’ll be seeing or hearing about fur. Fur can be real or faux. But, as I’ve said before (obviously, I’m no animal rights activist), there’s nothing like the real thing for warmth. Now granted, even If I could go out and buy the real thing, I wouldn’t buy a new fur coat. But a vintage fur coat? I’d be all over that.

Fortunately for me, when we were cleaning out my father’s house ( a job still unfinished) I was able to get my great aunts fur coat. I don’t know what kind of fur it was, but I’m sure it was gorgeous when new. This had been stored in a back room with garage access out in the country for probably 20 years. Yes the garment bag came complete with a few dead mice (well, just their skeletons) and lots of crumbled up leather at the bottom. Fortunately, there is a lot of good fur there, and I’m hoping one day to tear it apart and make something of it.

And, as any good fashionista or seamstress knows, F is really about FIT. It doesn’t matter how well-made your garment is, how beautiful the fabric, how expensive the outfit, if it doesn’t fit right, it won’t look good. If you sew, invest in some good fit books or take a class or two on fit. There are lots of great fit books out there, and you just have to find one or two that work for you. My personal favorites are Sandra Betzinas Fast Fit, and Nancy Zeiman's Fitting Finesse. I have many others, but these are always the first I grab when I have a fit issue to resolve.

And If you don’t sew, or even if you do, try the option of taking something to a tailor. Now, I have never done this because we have not had tailors in my town. I have taken things to an “alterations lady” and had sleeves taken in or shortened. We do now have 1 “couture” sewing shop (not sure what her training is)and boutique, and a couple of “tailors” who work from their homes (don’t know anything about them either.) I still think I’d like to get a great pair of pants and take them to a tailor and see what they can do. What about you? What have your experiences with a tailor been? (and does anyone remember the Seinfeld episode where Jerry goes to the tailor?)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

EC Blouse- S2938

I finished my second garment in the EC (Endless Combinations) contest. It is Simplicity 2938 made from a polyester charmeuse. This fabric wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be to work with. I probably would have gotten this done in about half the time if I wouldn't have made so many mistakes. Mostly I had problems when stitching on the bias tape and not catching it on the underside. Other than that, everything went pretty well. Yes, the best thing about making something you've made before is that the fitting part is already done! I do like the blouse, but it kind of poofs out in the center front. There are more pictures here. If I ever do make this again, I will probably try it as a dress.

Next up? I think I'm going to try some black pants from the Hot Patterns Razor Sharp pattern. I know Nancy K has had great success with these and I've had the pattern for a long time, but not tried it yet. Pants can be a scarey thing sometimes. I'd really like to get this pattern to fit well so that I can have a good TNT pants pattern.
Now, looking at this pattern illustration, take that model, cut her legs off just below the knee, and add feet. Yep, that's about what they'll look like on me. Oh, and add some width at the hip and thigh, that ought to do it.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Oh, how could I forget to add ACCESSORIES to the list of A's? I will add this to the post

Accessories are a must. You can make or break an outfit with the accessories. Now, I’m no expert on accessories, and I can’t affort to hire Rachel Zoe, so it’s the trial and error or “practice makes perfect” theories you want to put into effect here. Think of this, vibrant green satin blouse, black skirt, and clogs. Just doesn’t work, does it? Or how about that beautiful evening dress and a big black leather hobo purse? I think not. If you’re iffy on what’s “hot” as far as accessories go, check out any number of style magazines, and pay attention to jewelry, shoes, bags,

E is for EVENT WEAR. Now, most style books will tell you that an EVENING GOWN is an essential in every woman’s wardrobe. Well, I wish that were true of my wardrobe, but it simply does not fit the way I live. I would love to own a beautiful evening gown, but where would I wear it? The biggest gala in my town is the annual Christmas Tree Auction. Now, from what I understand, many of the men will wear tuxedos, but most of the women are wearing cocktail dresses. But maybe if I made a beautiful evening dress, I would purpose to find an event to wear it to!

But more realistic for my purposes is the EVENT outfit. We all have special events that come up in our lives where a regular day dress may pass, but really shouldn’t. Some of these events may include weddings, ceremonies, special parties, and holiday events. It seems that people like to dress up more for the holidays and add a little more sparkle. The time to make an event outfit is before you have an event on your calendar! You do not want to be rushing around looking for a special dress or trying to make something a week before your special event. It is best to have one or two pieces on hand, so that when the invitation comes, all you need to worry about is how you will accessorize it!

Let’s talk dresses first. When deciding on a pattern for your event dress, look through the patterns you’ve already made and see if there is one that is particularly flattering. If you have one, and it’s a style you think will work, use this as your basic pattern. The most versatile style will be one that skims the body and is not too baggy nor too tight. We do want to be able to eat at these special events! We will talk about the LBD (Little Black Dress) in a later post, but for this wardrobe essential, go for some color. This season jewel tones are really in, so pick one that flatters your overall complexion. You will want to choose a fabric that says “special” so look for things like silk, satin, crepe, shantung, chiffon, velvet, panne velvet, or lurex. Many special occassion fabrics are made of polyester. They are more difficult to work with than silk, but easier on the budget (in some cases) and can usually be washed. Some of the sequined fabrics are fun to work with , but it takes a little more experience. When the stores start putting out the Halloween fabrics, that is the time to find those glittery and glamorous pieces that are usually not available other times of the year.

There are some great knits out there with lurex threads running through or glitter or sequins. You can use a very simple pattern and a great fabric and have a one of a kind special dress in just a couple of hours!

You’re not a dress person you say? Well, picture something like this pants suit in an all ivory wool, a statement necklace, and metallic shoes. Add a lacy camisole or satin blouse underneath, and you’ll be set for almost any event.
Another quick and easy option for evening wear or a special event is to make a great top and pair it with a black skirt or black pants. Now the pants or skirt should be of nicer fabric and cut (no Docker’s style here please.) One year I got some great silver knit fabric from Textile Studio Patterns and made a simple tank top. I wore it with a black knit skirt, some great earrings and a necklace. It’s still one of my favorite holiday outfits! Nothing says special event more than satin in a bright color. Now, a hot pink satin dress may be just too much over the top, but a simple bright pink (or insert other color) blouse with a pair of wide legged black pants and heels would look fab. Again, the blouse can be either a simple style with a great fabric, or it can be a blouse with a lot of details. Either way, make sure it’s something you feel good in, because when you feel good, you look good.

Remember, if it is evening, or cool/cold outside, you will need some kind of appropriate wrap. Please do not wear your favorite down parka with that special event outfit! Evening wraps are great, and a satin shawl in a muted tone would be easy enough to make. If it’s going to be cold, you will want something warmer. One of the things on my list for the Endless Combinations contest is to make an evening coat. I’m using a a very plain coat pattern (FSG ) that I’ve made before, but making it out of a very special fabric. It is a black metallasse-looking fabric that has a silver thread running through it. It may not be warm enough, so I will underline it and put a heavy lining in it. Another great option is a vintage fur stole. This can be real or faux, but real fur is amazingly warm. I have my grandmother’s mink stole and although it only covers the top half of me, it is super toasty.

*And speaking of accessories, I must go back and add this to the A page:
Accessories are a must. You can make or break an outfit with the accessories. Now, I’m no expert on accessories, and I can’t affort to hire Rachel Zoe, so it’s the trial and error or “practice makes perfect” theories you want to put into effect here. Think of this, vibrant green satin blouse, black skirt, and clogs. Just doesn’t work, does it? Or how about that beautiful evening dress and a big black leather hobo purse? I think not. If you’re iffy on what’s “hot” as far as accessories go, check out any number of style magazines, and pay attention to jewelry, shoes, bags,

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Bias Skirt Finished

Yes, I finally finished the bias skirt. The two hour skirt that took me more than 2 days to finish. Oh well, I really like it. But I must have gained 5 pounds in those two days, because it is a little snug in the waist. It seemed like it was going to be too big, so I took it in and then I had to really ease it in to fit the waistband. I should have cut the waistband a 14 instead of a 12. I'll know for next time.

Tips I gleaned from other blogs and websites:
1. Iron the pieces after you cut them out before you sew them. This helps simulate the natural stretching that will occur from hanging and wearing.
2. Stretch the seams as you sew. They will look rippled when you do this, but they will press out and hang nicely.
3. Use bias tape to make your hem. I got this idea from something Summerset said about circle skirts. It worked perfectly on this. Also, pre-press the bias tape, curving as you go. I used wide single-fold pre-made bias tape.

4. A lapped zipper turns out much more nicely than an invisible zipper on bias cuts skirts. Believe me. Really.

Monday, November 03, 2008

D is also for...

DETAILS! One of the biggest things that changes the look from “Happy hands at home” to “Designer” is the details. The next time you’re out shopping, whether in real life or online, take a look at all of the details in RTW. Even Walmart has details in their clothing that would put some of our creations to shame! A plain, unadorned garment is perfectly acceptable if you have fabulous fabric and beautiful seaming. Otherwise, you’re going to want to add something if you want to make it look special. One of the greatest things about sewing is that we can make our garments unique, one of a kind creations.

Here are some examples of details that take your clothing up a notch:

  • buttons, buttonholes
  • binding on neckline, hem or sleeve hems
  • piping
  • pleating
  • topstitching
  • pintucks
  • trim - lace, ribbon, soutache, braid, gimp, embroidery, beading, couched yarn, etc.
  • bows, tabs, straps
  • belts, lapels, collars and cuffs
  • interesting seaming and seam finishes.

As your skills as a seamstress improve, take one little thing up a notch with each new garment. Try a different buttonhole, or a bound buttonhole, Try a patch pocket with gathers or pleating, or a welt pocket. Instead of gathering a neckline, try pleating it. Get out that sewing book and try a new skill. You will be thrilled with the results (I always practice on scrap fabric first.)

Try choosing a pattern that has an interesting detail. People never think your clothes are “home made” when you have appropriate details. Take a look at some of the style magazines and RTW and notice things like button size, seaming details, zipper techniques, fabric combinations, use of lace, ribbon, and trim. Be an inspector.

And those camera phones really come in handy for remembering some of
these details!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

D is for...

D is for DENIM JACKET. Now, I have purchased 2 patterns for denim jackets, and have yet to make one. I have not owned one in years - but I really think I'm missing out here. The first pattern I bought for a denim jacket was this one from Jalie. I still intend to make it at some point. What I love about this jacket is its classic styling and traditional design. It definitely does not have that "home made" look.

But then I found this pattern from Sandra Betzina, and knew I HAD to have this denim jacket. I think it is more my style. I am planning on making it this spring.

What I love about this pattern is it's unique design and all of the detail seaming. The more I think about this jacket, the more I think I may want to move it up in my cue.

Now the trick to looking stylish in a denim jacket is first of all - dark or colored denim. No faded denim here (or jeans either, unless you're going for the rocker look.) The second thing is, there is too much of a good thing. So, typically, you do not want to wear a denim "suit." The same color of denim head to toe is going to look like you are advertising for a clothing catalogue or something. White jeans and an indigo denim jacket look great. Indigo jeans with a colored denim jacket work. A denim jacket with cords, khakis, or a variety of skirts all work. You get the idea.

D is also for DAY DRESS. Now, what is a day dress you may ask? Simple my darlings - it is a dress to be worn during the day!! LOL! Now, the day dress will vary depending on what your day looks like. In the summer (which lasts from about May to October around here) I am a big fan of cotton and linen dresses. They are more comfortable than pants, shorts or skirts, and they definitely are more flattering than capris. (Did you notice that capris were not on my list of Cs? I admit, I own and wear them, but they are not really flattering, and why should we wear anything that doesn't make us look and feel fabulous when we have the option? More sewing I say! Get rid of those capris and sew up some day dresses and skirts!) OK, back to the day dress. The dress shown on the left is probably my favorite dress off all time. It is a Kwik Sew 3050 pattern and made from a beautiful red linen from Fabric This seems to be the dress that I grab whenever I don't know what I want to wear. It is comfortable and hides a multitude of sins. I made it in April of 2007, it's probably been washed at least 20 times, and it still looks great. Yes, I definitely need to make another one of these, since I seem to wear it all the time. Another favorite of mine (which I took to the cleaners and keep forgetting to pick up, is S3539. I made it out of tropical wool and lined it. It's cool enough to wear in the summer, and great in the winter with a top underneath and tights.
Sun dresses are perfect for just hanging out, going to lunch with friends, or even hot summer nights. However, they are not appropriate for the office. Something with a more modest bodice, and possibly sleeves is a better option. In the fall and winter, I love long sleeved dresses. Sleeveless or short sleeved dresses with jackets or cardigans also work.

On Friday, I purchased this Butterick pattern that I will be using as part of my Endless Combinations endeavor. I have some beautiful Taupe Diana Double Knit from Sewing Studio that I think will make this look beautiful. I bought the fabric during their end of season sale, and I think they only carry that color in their spring collection. I love that fabric so much, that when I get some space cleared of (read SEWN) from my knits shelf, which BTW, has now started encroaching on my wool shelf, I would like to purchase more of this fabric for a couple of projects I have in mind. I also have this in an amethyst color that I will be using to make a CARDIGAN. I'm loving the collar detail on this dress. I'm not sure if the "sack" silhouette will be flattering for me, but there's no reason I can't belt it. I will be making it a couple of inches longer as well.

I recently purchased some other dress patterns that I'm really wanting to try.
Of course, there is the infamous Hot Patterns Cosmopolitan Dress, but I'm also really liking the Hot Patterns Indispensable Dress.

I just got the November BWOF magazine and I really like the two versions of the boatneck dress they show in there. I also am planning on making up one of my vintage A line dresses during this contest, perhaps out of a linen, or a wool blend. I have many, many dress patterns that I need to get going on. I'm hoping to work several into the Endless combinations contest, starting with the Butterick one above.

Bias Cut Skirt and Blouse

What am I sewing right now? A bias skirt, of course! Pattern Review is starting its Endless Combinations contest, and it runs the months of November and December. Basically, you make a garment. The next garment must coordinate with garment 1. Garment 3 must coordinate with 1 or 2. Each new garment must coordinate with at least one of the previous garments sewn during the contest time frame, but not necessarily all. You can see the rules at the link above.

I haven't done a contest in a while, but they are good motivators. I think quantity is what will count in this contest, so I know I won't win. I just don't have as much time to sew as I used to. I'm still going to shoot for 1-2 garments a week though, until I get to a coat or a jacket. In other words, I'm picking EASY patterns. For my skirt, I am using the McCalls 4258 I mentioned before. As I was cutting it out this morning, I realized I didn't have enough room on my cutting table to do this, so I moved some of the livingroom furniture and cut it out on the floor. I am determined to make all garments (with the exception of one - more on that later) from my overflowing stash. I am allowing myself to purchase lining, trim, and notions, but not if I have something in my stash that will already work! I did purchase 3 great pieces of fabric at JoAnns on Friday, but I am going to try to really stick to my plan. (I may just be forced to make a Silk Baron purchase, but we won't get into that right now :-) )

The skirt body is from a beautiful deep plum wool that I picked up at Hancock's Fabrics last year. I didn't have any lining that would go with it, so I decided to use the floral print you see in this picture. The picture doesn't show the colors well, but when I post the finished pictures, hopefully I will get a better shot. The print is a poly charmeuse that I bought online last year planning to make some kind of lining with it, so here we go!

I am going to have enough charmeuse left over to make a blouse as well, so I've got that cut out too! I'm using the Simplicity pattern 2938 shown here. I decided to cut the side fronts on the bias to see how that works. I do think I need to purchase some bias tape for this one.

So, what else will you be seeing in the EC contest from me? Well, I'm going to try to follow my ABC's. So, from A-C, you'll be seeing:

  • A-line dress,
  • anorak,
  • bias cut skirt,
  • Blouse (which I just realized I left off of "B is for" and had to go back and edit it,)
  • black pants,
  • cardigan,
  • coat, and maybe a
  • cropped jacket.
So, I better get off this computer and get busy sewing!!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

C is for

C is for CARDIGAN. Now, I know a lot of style books say “C is for Cashmere.” And, I do love my cashmere sweaters. BUT, I also have some acrylic sweaters that I love just as much, and they can get thrown in the washing machine Also, I’ve noticed that my acrylic sweaters do not seem to pill as much as my cashmere sweaters do. So, it’s like just about anything. If you look for something well-made, and that fits good taste, you will have a winner. But the advantage of all this is that we can make sure that something is well made by making it ourselves!

(Click any image to make it larger)

A Cardigan is a great pieces to bring an outfit up a notch. There are long and short cardigans, button, zip, tie, and open versions. Some are heavy, some are light. Last year I made this cardigan from a New Look pattern. Although I loved the pattern, I wasn’t that thrilled with the fabric. In fact, when I prewashed the fabric, it pilled like crazy. I was very disappointed because it was not “cheap” fabric. Sweater knits aren’t always easy to come by, but cardigans (and twin sets) can be made of any variety of stretch knits. I recently ordered some knits on line and they just came yesterday. I figure that 3 yards will get me a sleeveless shell and a cardigan. This time I’m going to try Fashion Sewing Group’s cardigan pattern. I made the top and really liked it, so I'm sure I'll like the cardigan as well

C is also for CROPPED JACKETS. Now, I could go crazy over cropped jackets, because I have the right body type for them. I am big in the bust, hips and thighs, but have a small waist, rib cage, and narrow shoulders. This makes me something in between the typical pear shape and hourglass shape. From the side I look definitely hourglass, but from the front or back, I look very pear shape.
The cropped jacket emphasizes my small waist and does not draw attention to my big bottom half. I’ve bought a few patterns I would like to try out this year. I'm really loving the little red jacket shown in the McCalls 5528 drawing. This would be so cute in linen for spring or summer, or a boiled wool or brocade for winter.

I'm also really liking the Vogue 8319 jacket (and the dress too!) Wouldn't this make a great LBD with a nice evening fabric for the jacket? I also think the whole outfit would look great in a wool crepe or silk dupioni.

C is also for CAPE . Now last year, the BWOF cape was all the rage, and there were some fabulous versions out there. There were 8 different people who reviewed it, and they all looked different, and they all did a fabulous job! I also really happen to like the cape in this Simiplicity 3959 pattern shown on the model with the hat. I'd love to make that out of a warm coating fabric.

The last C for tonight is CLUTCH. This season's "must have" bag! I can hardly wait for Vogue patterns to go on their $3.99 sale at JoAnn's so I can pick up this pattern.

I'm also looking for other clutch bag options, but haven't seen any. I know Hot Patterns has a large envelope bag that they're calling a clutch, but I'm looking more toward something like the yellow, white, and red bags shown on the left. Or maybe different. Any suggestions?

OK. I lied. The last C for tonight is CUT. We can have hundreds of patterns, and cabinets full of fabric, but if we don't cut it out, we never get to the sewing part! My plan is to cut out my bias skirt tomorrow morning, either before, or after, church.