Monday, August 30, 2010

Hey everyone!

I am still working on Simplicity 2892 for the time being.  For some reason, if I have a lot of pieces to work with, I tend to get intimidated and pull back a little.  I am sure once I get started, things will come together.  If I am intimidated now, what will I do when I commit to a serious project like a jacket or coat?  BTW, I may just try a jacket this fall.  I have been thinking and planning out a fall wardrobe and a jacket seems like just the thing to attempt.  We'll just have to see, right?

So here is where I am in terms of my shirt:

I usually get excited at this stage in the game because I know all of the cutting and marking and laying out pattern pieces is behind me (unless I made a mistake).  I know I can move on to sewing, and perfecting fit, which I prefer.  The fabric I am using is 100% cotton that I purchased at Hobby Lobby.  It is another print, which I also prefer.  I find that I like to sew prints a lot more than solid colors.

Sorry about the shadow, but I think you get the picture = ).  A lot of people from PR have had a lot of success with this pattern, so I hope I have the same.

On another note, I recently had the pleasure of ordering Swedish tracing paper from Amazon, and I am forever sold on it!  It has so many practical uses for sewing; however, the main function of which is to preserve your patterns and allow you to make alterations on the tracing paper, giving you a workable master pattern that you can use again and again!

Here are some of the cool things about Swedish tracing paper:

1. You can use it to trace Kwik Sew patterns that come in the Kwik Sew books, such as Sewing for Children

2. This can be used as a muslin, because it is soft and sewable.  Therefore, you can perfect the fit of your pattern by basting your pieces together, making changes, then removing your basting stitches.  Everything remains intact for the next time you sew the pattern.

3. Some libraries now carry newly-released sewing books with the patterns inside!   I found Anna Marie Horner's book Handmade Beginnings 24 sewing projects to Welcome baby, and it has many adorable baby things inside.  Tracing paper allows you to "try before you buy."  You can determine if you will really like a particular sewing book and its projects, before you shell out your money and discover that it was not worth it!

4. It is also a good solution for sewing for children, because kids grow, and you can use the same patterns over and over again.  You can sew as they grow!

Here it is rolled out so you get an idea of the how the material looks.  I have also heard good things about similar products to this, such as Pattern Ease.  Either way, this is great stuff, and it works well!

Stay sew-filled!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Simplicity 2364

Happy Thursday!

Well, I hope at least most of you are having a happy Thursday.  I am having a great day today because I finally finished my knit top that I have been working on.  For some reason, I kept having trouble with the gathering.  Yes, gathering!  It seems like such a small thing to get hung up on, but I did.  My gathers would not stay so I had to consult my sewing manual to see what I was doing wrong.  The answer was in securing my gathering threads. Needless to say, since I had to learn that after the fact, I spent a great deal of time removing threads.

Here is a reminder of Simplicity 2364...

I made View D, which is on the first column, second row, first photo on the left.  I chose this one because I didn't have much fabric left over from my dress in the last post.

So this is leopard print, part 2 for me, and I am really glad that I decided to use up the rest of this fabric!  The shirt fits nicely, and is also as comfy as the dress.  I did not have a hard time with the directions at all, even though they were not marked "easy" as most of the patterns I buy are.  As a matter of fact, most sewists could  put this one together in one night if they are determined to do so, because there isn't anything really complicated to it.

My only change to the top was to leave out the facings (I didn't have enough fabric anyway).

The top I made is definitely more casual, but I could definitely see this style of top with a dressier vibe using a different choice of fabric.  Mushywear made her version of this same shirt, and it turned out beautiful!  Check out her shirt here.

I must say, when I put this shirt on I felt a lot like a cave woman.  Albeit, a nicely dressed cave woman, but a cave woman nonetheless!!  Maybe I was channeling baby Pebbles from the Flintstones...

At any rate, I really enjoyed sewing this shirt, and I will definitely sew it again.  There is even a long-sleeved version for cooler weather, so that will be a nice one to try.  

I never imagined that I could be sewing my own clothes and loving it!  I now have two handmade pieces in my closet, and I want to wear those more than clothing that I buy!  

I hope all of you are working on projects that make your own heart sing.  

Stay sew-filled!

Friday, August 13, 2010

My first dress

It feels absolutely wonderful to NOT have contact dermatitis anymore!  My allergic reaction is GONE!  It only took a little over a week, but I am feeling so much better.  I ended up seeing a doctor last week and getting a steroid injection because I had itching all over my body, but only the rash on my face.  I was hopped up on antihistamines until this week when things began to look a lot better.  I tell you, I would not wish that on anyone.

So, now I am on to better things, like the pictures I said I would post of Easy Mccalls 5893 when I was healed.

This dress still feels great on.  It is a comfy piece that moves with you and just feels good.

My hubby is the dear photographer, and I have to admit he did a good job (after 20 or so pics later).  Really, he took so many photos of my feet cut off that I had to laugh.  He wasn't laughing, but I was!  I was thinking in my head how I had explained to him what I wanted him to capture (my profile) before he started taking pictures, but I don't know where his mind was when I told him that.  Still, the end results are nice.


I adore this fabric, and am using up every bit of it on any project I can think of.  Usually, I make one thing out of a particular fabric, and then move on, but I am squeezing what I can out of what I have.  Part of me thinks it will be boring to have two pieces in my closet made out of the same fabric, but I can wear them in different ways, right?  

Ok, for this last photo, I have to show one of me and the hubby (since he helped out so much),  We've been married 5 years young, but I love him more today than 5 years ago.  BTW, our 3 year old son took this photo!

I hope all of you are getting some sewing done, and enjoying what you create!  I should have my shirt finished soon, so if I haven't bored you with all my leopard print-ness, I look forward to showing you some more!  

Stay sew-filled!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Easy Mccalls 5893

I finished the Mccall's 5893 dress pattern that I have been working on, and I want to say that I really love it!  I am definitely making another one of these!  Here is the pattern to refresh your memory...

The view I made is view C, an empire waist dress with a scooped neckline and elastic casing at the waist.  Since this was the first thing I have ever sewn for myself to wear, I enlisted the help of Nancy Zieman's book, Pattern Fitting with Confidence.  I took all of my measurements and finessed the pattern in order to come up with this...

Meet my leopard print lovely!  I used a cotton knit leopard print for this pattern, and sewed a size 8, making adjustments to the bust and waist.  The fit came out nearly perfect.  Next time, I will sew a size 10 with the same adjustments.  Overall, I am happy with it. It feels so natural and comfortable on, and is the perfect dress to throw on and know I still look great!  Speaking of looking great, I am in the middle of a horrible allergic reaction right now.  My face has clusters of itchy red bumps on it right now, and so even though I wanted to show you pics of me in the dress, those will have to wait until my allergic reaction has cleared.  

In the meantime, here is a close-up picture of the dress.

This pattern was definitely easy to sew, and great for beginners.  You will sew darts, gather, make a casing for elastic, and sew narrow hems.  My favorite was attaching pockets!  All of this is relatively easy, but it took me more than the "1 hour" that the pattern states.  If I had to do it again, I could maybe sew everything in an hour (yeah right).

I am still not sure what I am going to be working on next.  I have some leftover leopard print fabric, and I think I may have enough for a shirt, but we'll see.  I am having so much fun sewing knits that I don't think I want to give that up yet!

Stay sew-filled!