Saturday, August 27, 2011

I've been meaning to...

clean out my bathroom cabinets,
organize my dresser drawers,
sort out my itunes collection
get some prints from my pictures on my computer,

and so much more....
but now, I'm either forced to or don't have the opportunity to any more. We were robbed this week (or maybe I should say burglarized) They broke in in the middle of the day Wednesday coming in through the sliding glass door in the back yard, which was apparently unlocked. They took my laptop and my daughters, both of our cameras, my grandmother's mink capelet, DHs wedding ring, and lots of other jewelry including DD's diamond bracelet that she just got from her father, among other things. Now that we're over the shock, we're counting our blessings. No one was hurt, not even the animals. Nothing was broken or damaged, they only hit half of the house, and our house was not set on fire (like someone else's misfortune we heard about this week.) So, it could have been much worse.

However, it's still a big pain to clean up all the mess (everything pulled out of dressers and cabinets), and the loss of everything including pictures of my late dad on my computer. So, since I don't have a camera or computer right now, it will be awhile until I post anything on my blog.

I did finish a simple tank out of a brown rayon jersey knit and I really like it. I used Pamela's Patterns twinset. Be Careful if you make this pattern - it has 1/4 inch seam allowances.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

CJ A line Skirt

I finally sewed the first true piece for my 6PAK. It is the A-Line Skirt in the Bell Sleeve Wrap pattern by Christine Johnson. The pattern is designed for a knit, but I used a woven. There is a sheet inside of all of her patterns that lets you know what size to make based on the stretch of the knit. I just calculated it with a zero percent stretch to figure what size to make. I'm very happy with the fit, but because I lined it, I have to either put it on over my head or lose 5 pounds!! The fabric is something that I've had in my stash for ever, so I'm not sure where I got it. I'm thinking maybe a fabric mart bundle from a few years ago! I'm pretty sure it's a poly woven, but it has a very nice drape and is lightweight. Because of this, I decided to line it. I had some brown poly lining in my stash, so used that. I serged the elastic to the top and turned it under. It would have been nice if I had black elastic, but I didn't.

The last blouse I made was a little full above the bust. I contacted Peggy Sagers and she replied right away. She said to try cutting a size one in the shoulders, 2 in the bust, and 3 at the hips. I am going to do this probably next because I would like to use this pattern for my 6 pack. I have another basic blouse that I made several years ago and have worn that thing to death. I really like the Silhouettes blouse, so I think I will be making several.

I really wanted to get more sewing and cutting done this weekend, but ended up working all day Saturday in my classroom. After I got home, DH and I ran some errands and went out to eat. After that, I fell asleep at about 6pm!! We were at church all morning today, but I did get to at least make this skirt this afternoon. It was really quick and easy. I'll definitely be making this one again.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Newest Obsession

Lately I have been obsessed by Peggy Sagers and Silhouette Patterns. I have been watching the live webcasts and even the reruns that are on her site. I have ordered several patterns, and tonight I finished this version of the classic blouse. There were several things about this pattern that I really like.

First of all, all of PS's patterns use 3/8" seams. I like this because it eliminates the step of trimming the seams. It also makes it easier to fit curves and smaller corners. The instructions are very simple, but there is the assumption that you know how to sew. For example, on the blouse it just says to add buttons and buttonholes. They are marked on the pattern, but that's about it.

The most interesting thing is the way the collar and the front facing are done. The front facing is folded over to the front, and that is what creates the front band. The collar is assembled first, and then the seam allowances on the neck edge are pressed inward. Then, after the blouse shoulders are sewn, the collar is just slipped over the raw edge of the neck and top stitched on. This is the fastest, easiest way to make a collar I have ever done. This pattern has a one piece collar, but you could do the same thing with a two piece collar. Also, I used Peggy's method of turning under the seam allowances at the point and not clipping the corner. You can click on the picture to see more detail of how nicely it turned out. I made the short sleeves for this blouse, but next time I would like to change that to a cap sleeve. I will also (at some point) make the longer sleeve.

I used a size 2 with the D cup. The one thing I always have a problem with in blouses is too much fabric between the bust and the shoulder. When I am standing up, the bust darts are in the right place. I did lower the shoulder seam 1/4 inch front and back, which eliminated a bit of the problem. I feel like the shoulder seam is in the right place, although I may bring it in 1/4 " on my next attempt. I'm wondering if maybe I should have cut a size 1 and just made it bigger at the hips, although it seems to fit fine in the bust.

I would have to say that this blouse fits better than any other that I have tried with the least amount of adjustment. I love that the pattern pieces are marked by cup size so that I do not have to fiddle with a FBA. I can't wait to make this again and to try some of her other patterns.

Monday, August 01, 2011

The 6PAC

There is a thread over on Stitcher's Guild for the "6PAC" which is a 6 piece Autumn Collection. I love the introduction. Here's the basics:

The point of these sew-alongs is to create the bones of a mix-and-match handmade wardrobe. The pace is relatively slow (two items a month) to allow you also to add the fun items that aren't the bones. The ideal pieces for this collection are BORING pieces that you wear EVERY DAY. These pieces in your wardrobe need to be beautifully fit, beautifully finished, and made with wonderful fabric. In order to work as separates they should be in a very limited colour palette -- I suggest for autumn this is one or two dark neutrals, one light neutral, and one colour. Good neutrals to pick are neutrals echoed in your hair colour; good colours are in your skin and eyes; but probably you have your own favourite colours.

The pieces are maximised for layering:

ONE jacket -- neutral
ONE bottom (skirt or trousers, though for autumn, I like trousers) -- dark neutral if you're pear-shaped, lighter if you carry weight on top
TWO underlayer tops, one ideally in a print combining your colours, one in a contrast neutral
TWO overlayer tops, one coloured, one neutral
and possibly
ONE more bottom -- skirt if you've done trousers, trousers if you've done a skirt, or a dress if you like them
You can read more about the 6PAC here if you're interested in joining.

I am also trying to follow the basic plan from Nancy Nix-Rice. #21 on

It is still pretty hot here in the fall, so I'm not making a jacket, but a cardigan and then maybe a lightweight jacket. My base color is going to be dark brown and this is what I'm going with:

Brown Rayon knit - tank and cardigan
Brown RPL - cropped pants
Brown poly crepe - skirt
Camel and Dark brown leaf print microsuede - cropped jacket
one other top - probably another tank or T. I haven't decided on that yet. Possibly a coral colored dupioni blouse.

The reason I'm going with the camel is that I have a pair of pants that color already and another that will coordinate. I have lots of different knits that will work or blouse fabrics, so the top will be easy. Also, since I had already narrowed my color down to brown, it was easy to do a little shoe shopping while in the Bay Area a couple of weeks ago and landed a great pair of Fidji shoes. I first fell in love with this brand when I saw them at an airport in Seattle. I've never seen this brand in my area and they are made in Portugal. They are kind of pricey, but if they don't hurt my feet, it will be worth it. I'm really loving these shoes (well, I think so, I haven't worn them yet because it's too hot for anything but sandals here right now.) The color is called Pewter, but there is nothing gray about it. They are really kind of a bronze and black mottled together, so they actually look great with tons of colors, including brown and black. I think these will be great for wearing to work.

Oh, and while I was at it, I had to pick up these as well. Of course, shoes always feel perfectly fine when you're trying them on and walking around in the store. It's after you get them home and wear them for a couple of hours that they kill your feet! I don't think I'll be able to wear these to work, but definitely for church and going out.
The color looks a little off in this picture, but the Nine West are a pinkish taupe color and the Via Spiga pumps are camel.

The 6PAC doesn't start until August, so I'm still sewing some summer things for now...

Today was the first day back to work, and by the time I got home, I was too tired to even sew! I guess for a while, my sewing will be relegated to the weekends.

Oh, some of you commented about my new hair cut - but it's not. It's just up in a bun.