Monday, June 9, 2014

yeah, I sew clothes too!

I promise,  I don't just sew bags.  I got some cool clothes sewn in May too.

The first was a dress that for some reason I don't have any photos of... strange.  It's a oversized knit dress from vogue's Marci Tilton collection Vogue 8813:

I made it from a navy cotton knit w/white polk-a-dots that you can kind of see here:

I liked the pattern - (though I like it more in person then in photographs now that I see it).  It seems to be a bit large.  I ended up pleating the two front parts together instead of just doing gathers across the front. I also found that it needed much more cloth then showed on the envelope so mine's a lot shorter the shows on the envelope, but I wear it with leggings and I like it ok.  It's great for just hanging out and being comfortable in.  I do LOVE the HUGE drapey pockets though.  Just love them.   

About 1/2 way through the month I had a toga party to attend, and rather then just drape an old sheet over myself I decided to make something awesome and toga like to wear.  I found my answer in vogue 2880 a Bellville Sassoon dress that is covered with draping.  
With some white cotton muslin, gold cord and a day's work cutting and fitting I had this:

It really wasn't that hard to make and I think a few adjustents in the boob area I'll be able to turn this into a wearable date night dress!  I'll make it out of the this red metalic poli/lycra that I picked up from fabric mart a little while back.  

Isn't that amazing!

One project I didn't finish was vogue 8812 a vintage vouge pattern that I'm making out of white eyelet.

I had to make major changes to the top to fit my 'assets' and once I got it attached to the rest bodice nothing was fitting right.  Luckly I brought it with me to the Bay Area Sewest meetup this past weeeknd, and they were able to help me make changes to it and I should have a finished version of that very very soon!  (Squee!)

Sticking to the eyelet theme I made two things from a lovely white/green eyelet that I picked up from Beverly fabrics for next to nothing.  a blouse for myself from Mccall's 6711  which is a hidden gem in that pattern and a quick  but nice project.

and this tiny little baby's dress from a vintage pattern for a child TBD: (all my kids are in their 20's)

My last eyelet-like project was Burda 6950 in an embroderied fabric that I got on clearance at Hancock's - this was probably one of my favorite makes of the month.

This is just so cute and so comfortable!  I wear it a LOT.

Now, if you've gotten this far, thank you for hanging in there!  Believe it or not, this isn't all!

I also cracked open a vintage pattern and sewed it up in seersucker.  

This was an Advance patter (I love their patterns) and I was able to make it up almost exactly out of the package.  It's hard to see here, but it's got awesome huge pockets in the front, and it's the other favorite make of this month.

But that's not all -- I found this gorgeous white stretch terry at Beverly's and decided to make a robe out of it as part of the Sew Monthly sew stretchy  challenge.  I chose vogue 8888 even though it was labled as a woven pattern because I loved the shape, the collar, the way the tie is attached and the lace details. 

While I was at it I decided to go ahead and make the 'shorts' that were in the pattern.  I trimmed both them and the robe with stretch lace and I think they turned out cute as well as being comfortable!

And - that's it for the month of May...And before you ask, I do have a job out side the home.  I work 40 hours a week as an IT project manager.  But sewing is my hobby.  My ONLY hobby - I don't watch TV or do other things - when I go home I spend my evenings and weekends in front of my sewing machine :D

And yes, I do already have some projects done for June that I'll be sharing soon.  I promise not to wait until we're 1/2 way through next month to be back and blog again!

Edit!!  Forgot one last project I finished in May.. (Heh).
My first pair of pants!

I ended up cutting about in inches off the top - and after wearing them I can honestly say I need to cut off at least 1 more.. *sigh* no wonder RTW pants never fit!

Monday, June 2, 2014

May - the month of the bag

I missed two months of the Big City Bags Sew along so this month I was determined to catch up, and I did!

The first step was to create  the Meringue Clutch:  The idea for this bag was for it to have cute gathers in the outside fabric, but I had other ideas.  The big reason was my fabric.  Because this is a clutch I wanted it to be 'fancy' and to that end I found this amazing gold fabric (already backed no less) in the remnant pile at Joanns.  I knew this fabric would take well to gathering and since it already had an awesome texture to it, I left that part of the instructions off.  Also, to bring back the 'puffy' look that would have been provided by the gathers I used fusible fleece inside instead of just the shapeflex and deco-bond that was called for.  The results... I LOVE IT!

Finally made a Meringue Clutch. And it's shiney!!

The lining, contrast and handle are all from a heavy duty shirting (almost feels like ultra-suede) I had left over from one of my husband's shirts, and yes, it's a little large for a 'clutch' but honestly it's a great size for actually carrying stuff!  I want to make more of these as they made up rather quickly.  I may even try scaling the pattern down slightly by printing it smaller and see how it turns out.  The only thing I think I would do differently is to just attach the handle to the zipper.  I own other clutches that are set up that way and it not only works well to keep the thing closed ( the weight of the bag hanging from your arm keeps it zipped shut, but the handle makes a good zipper pull as well.

Next was the wonderland bag

This is one of the nice barrel bags and I decided to make mine out of Red and Blue striped upholstery fabric from the 1/2 off flat folds section at Beverly's Fabric and blue piping.  I have to admit I LOVE THIS BAG!

The wonderland bag. Red and navy upholstery fabric with navy lining. Finally caught up with the bag sew along! The wonderland bag. Red and navy upholstery fabric with navy lining. Finally caught up with the bag sew along!

 It's seriously HUGE (as one of my friends said - looks like it's the size of a mailbox) and just so cute!  My son's girlfriend fell in LOVE with it and I thought may try to take it :D.  This is certainly going to take it's place as my every day bag... as soon as I figure out the zipper.   The zipper I used is way way way too small to effectively use this bag and the process of trying to fix it when the bag is already assembled is vexing me.  But this bag is worth figuring it out.

And lastly we come to this month's bag.  The "Bee Sweet" Bag.  for this I used another upholstery fabric for the body and a leather like vinyl for the flap.  for the lining I used a gold satin.  This bag challenged me but more because of the fabrics I chose then anything.  The upholstery fabric frayed if I so much as looked at it and the satin I had picked up out of the remnant bin did the same.  the vinyl + fabric + fleece lining were so bulky in the flap that I jammed my machine a few times and combined they all make a fap that doesn't want to close :-\  (though I've decided to try closing it with velcro) and frankly I think it's a little small for the bags opening. Had I to do it over I would leave out the scallops on the edge - as they were added to leave room for the handles wich I didn't add anyway because I only wanted the one long strap.  Despite all my issues, I think it's a rather handsome bag and I've started using it right way as my new laptop bag (it's a great size for it and all the fleece in the bag's body makes it perfect padded for the job).

The Bee Sweet Bag - AKA my new laptop bagThe Bee Sweet Bag - AKA my new laptop bag

And that's it for the May Bag roundup - I'll be back with a little to say about the actual clothes I made this month :D

Friday, May 2, 2014

Viva las Vegas!!

Been back from vacation for a week and still haven't recovered.  I'll my feverish sewing paid off!!

Here's some of the things I finished just moments before leaving! :)

Vogue 2401 - super complicated sew (made worse by the fabric I used) but oh so worth it!  I love this dress!

Vogue 2902 - a little weird in how the contrast attaches.  I would like to make this again when I have more time.  May even take this apart and improve the fitting

Simplicity 1590 - I struggled with this.  The raglan sleeves were a mess and I couldn't figure out how to do a FBA - need to try this one again, but love how it turned out all things considered.  My first try with sewing with silk!

And my favorite - a bowling shirt to 'match' my husbands.  I love this top!!  Even more proud of the fact that I totally hacked this together.

The men's shirt pattern I had been using for all the men's shirts I had been making was Way too big in the shoulders and arm holes, so I wanted to start with a woman's shirt.  My critera was - 'boxy' style button down with facing (not a button placket) and a fold down collar.  The closest I could come was this vintage pattern I owned.

Amazingly it pretty much fit from the package!  I took the right panel of the shirt and split it into three pieces - added seam allowance to all three and poof I had my contrast front.  

for the sleeves I actually used the original Kwick Sew pattern piece and graded between the sleeve edge and arm scythe to make it fit.  This gave me the more loose 'bowling' look to the shirt.

for the collar I again toko the Kwick Sew pattern and just shortened it at the center back to fit the length of the new neck opening.  I have to tell you, I was a little amazed when it all came together - but over the top pleased.

As an added bonus, I made the under collar out of the contrast fabric so that it matches my husband's shirt in every detail  

In conclusion, from April 1st to April 15th (when I left for vacation) I managed to complete three men's shirts, three dresses and two shirts for me... not bad, not bad at all!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sewing for others...

doesn't stress me out as much as I it used to, but it still does to some degree and it does take me longer.

I had a lot of things I wanted to make in March and I as I stated, I had a busy busy month w/work and chorus activities going on too.  So I didn't get 1/2 of what I wanted done and quite honestly, most of it got pushed into April.

1)  Shirts for my husband - I had planned on making 3 shirts total (don't know why I said 3+1 earlier in the month as it was always only three).  The process for this involved retracing out 3484 in a new size as my husband wanted a bit more room then the last shirt had given him.

This basic patter is really quite good and I love the versatility of it!  Not to mention that it makes a good basic structure to add embellishments too.    I made two shirts from the basic pattern itself: first was Green w/leopard print accent.  I actually thought this shirt was pretty fun - but it's probably my husband's least favorite

The under collar is out of leopard print too which I think is a fun little surprise

And I used these Black and white buttons that have a kind of animal print vibe to them.

despite the fact that it wasn't his favorite, my husband did wear this shirt out once already.  

I have all the fabric to make myself a purple version of this shirt, but it's not at the top of my list at the moment.

I did almost the same thing with some brown solid and a cotton w/pin-up cowgirls on it.  My son loves this shirt and would probably steal it if it shirt would fit him.

And, for the third shirt, I used the Kwik Sew pattern but added shoulder yolk pieces and welt pockets from a vintage pattern I have:

This one is everyone's favorite!

I got started with the "Sew bossy" play suite, and got all the pattern pieces traced and muslins made for all of the pieces.  The blouse... well it turned out terrible, but the skirt and shorts fit first try.  but there are other things higher on my priority list at the moment so I've set that aside for now because...

I finally cut into my apple print fabric:

And made great progress on that dress (to take to Viva).  

I think it could still use a little fine tuning on the fit, but overall I'm really happy.  Especially with all the work I put into the collar.

The pattern instructions were really wonky around how the facings are turned to make the button plackets so I had to make it up :-\ and that's probably my least favorite part of the dress.  I'm really happy with everything else - even if my husband does think the apple print is 'too much'

I also spent a LOT of focused time cutting out some additional projects with the goal to get as many of them as possible done before we leave for viva on April 15th. Including this wrap around dress in a green shantung. 

as well as a sun dress out of purple roses and a silk vintage blouse.

Monday, March 3, 2014

March Plans

March is going to be an interesting Month... I'm out of town for two weekends and one entire week - and yet I still have a lot of things I would like to complete before the end of the Month.  Viva Las Vegas is coming up quickly and I would like to make my outfits for that to be 99% Me Made!  Plus I've told my husband I would work on a few things for him.

So, the plans look like this...

1)  3 shirts for my husband (and one for me) from Kwick Sew 3484.

I made one of these shirts last year -- it was a mess :)  I've learned a lot since then.  I've got a few fabric combos to make these with various contrast etc (like leopard print) and I'm excited about seeing these come together.

2) a Short sleeved - convertible collar version of this shirt

I'm making the 'western' version w/skulls and roses fabric on the contrast yokes - totally Bad ass :)

3)  My "Play Suit" that won the Sew Bossy Poll

I even bought some fabric just for this

I just have to wait for it to arrive and see if it's actually heavy enough to make a pair of shorts out of.  I should (at least) be able to get a shirt and skirt from it.  In the meanwhile I need to redraft the pattern in my size *sigh*

4)  Pattern Review is doing a Fitted Blouse contest - I'm going to enter that and use this pattern; view C
McCall's 3629
Fabric is still TBD but I'm thinking This from my stash might work out.

this will be extra challenging since I also have to redraft this pattern in my size (darn vintage patterns)

5)  Later in the month we'll be continuing the Marfy Sew-along with the jacket.

I'm going to be making that out of this BEAUTIFUL Raw silk suiting

6)  Oh, and I want to make several of the Meringue Clutch from the Big City Bags sew along, because I want to make this cute little clutch in a rainbow of colors to go with my vintage dresses - I hate carrying a purse at Viva and a clutch is the perfect alternative.


I also need to finish my Albion Coat, finish my husbands's suit coat and I have a ton more vintage dresses in the queue that I want to finish before Viva - no, I'm not ambitious at all!  I wonder if I can figure out how to take some sewing with me when I'm out of town for a week for work.