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Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Sunday, August 13, 2017

a very fall-like dress: McCall's 7561

I scored some lovely Stof knits the last time I was in Baton Rouge, visiting DD1, SIL1, and granddaughter 1.  I so love this stuff!  It is 95% cotton and 5% Lycra.  It sews like a dream!  

I knew I wanted a simple dress for fall that I could highlight with shoes, jewelry, or style.  I used McCall's 7561 as my base and added a super simple design with adding little bias strips across the chest...just for something different.  I see styles like this all over the place.  

Here is my base pattern: 

Image result for images McCall's 7561'
I used the neckline of C, the sleeves of D, and the length of A & B.  

See what I mean about the shoes and jewelry?  I love these shoes! Super simple and minimal jewelry.  

So lets talk a minute about the neckline.  All I did was turn the neckline under 1/4" and secured it with fusible knit stay tape by Emma Seabrook.  Her company is called Seweyekeys.  Truly this is the best stuff in the world.  For the neckline, as I said I used 1/4" and for the sleeves and lower hem I used 1/2" tape from her as well.  

So, back to the self-fabric tubes I made.  I just cut two strips about 1 1/4" wide with my rotary cutter and a straight ruler.  After cutting, I sewed these on my serger, turned them, and pressed lightly.  Next I just played with the position and length until there was no pulling on the neckline.  It really didn't take very long to get this right.  Before stitching down, I measured both to make sure everything was symmetrical and after a very minor adjustment, I sewed these down.  

Here is the stitch I like to use on my regular sewing machine.  It is for stretch fabrics and works so much better than my coverstitch.  I really should just sell that thing.

And here is an obligatory photo of the back.  I like how it fits.  

So, as you can see above, I still need a tweak or two to fix the front.  I made my usual FBA, sloping shoulder adjustment, and swayback adjustment.  Those little folds at the armpit area are either due to my needing to create a dart with this very stretchy fabric or the tubes I added.  Honestly, they were not there prior to sewing those on.  Any advice would be appreciated!

Thanks for reading and I hope you are enjoying the remaining days of summer!


Saturday, August 12, 2017

A little fall sewing--Lorie Jacket and Angela Wolf's fringe skirt

Starting late-ish summer, I like to start making some garments that will transition into fall.  When I found this boucle from Fabric Mart, I knew exactly what I was going to make--a sort of 'modern suit' for work.  

First of all, thanks to DD1 for taking the photos.  We took these in Louisiana, where it was super hot and humid that day.  

Pattern wise, I used the Style Arc Lorie jacket, one I've made before.  

Lorie Jacket Sewing Pattern By Style Arc - Designer look without the complication!

The first one I made I used the self fringe trims at the yokes and center front.  This time, I knew I wanted to highlight the fringe on the skirt, plus fringe on both would have been too much.  

Image 1

This is a cute little skirt pattern.  It is fully lined and you use self-fabric for the fringe.  Using a boucle works just great!  

I really love the lining fabric.  It is a Maggy London print, also from Fabric Mart.  I wish I would have bought an entire bolt of it as it is so fun and cheerful.

Here you can see me in process of the binding.  I used a lightweight denim I cut on the bias.  This fabric was in my stash.  I also decided to cut the front band the bias, just to add another bit of interest to the jacket.   

I really love how well the skirt fits.  I feel like this pattern runs large.  I started with a 14, per my measurements, took this in more than two inches.  Be aware of the sizing!  Before I sew in the darts on a skirt, I try it on and then pin where they should lie.  This works well for me.  

I did quite a few things to keep my sleeves hanging properly.  First, let me back up.  I interlined the front and back garment using fusible interfacing from Joanns.  For the sleeves, I did try interlining but it didn't look right as the sleeves looked stiff.  However, the sleeves were collapsing at the head so I took two layers of medium weight sew-in interfacing that was cut on the bias and attached those to the sleeve head.  This also didn't prove enough so I added another layer of hair canvas, also cut on the bias.  This was exactly what I needed. 

This skirt calls for an invisible zipper.  Don't be afraid of putting one in on a textured fabric.  Take your time, practice if necessary and then do it!

I think this fringe is super cute!  I want you to keep in mind that I am 5'7" and this length is unaltered.

The skirt is also lined with the fun print I used on the jacket lining.  

I am very happy with my new outfit!  

What's on your sewing table this time of year?
Sue :) 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Sewing for Elaina! A frakenpatterning of Simplicity 8304 and 2264.

This project is the first time I have 'frankenpatterned' something and know what, it was fun!  

You can see in the above photo which two patterns I morphed.  Maybe it wasn't that big of a stretch to put these two together but I did it anyway!

One thing I find a bit odd about some of the infant patterns is that the buttons or zippers on located on the child's back.  With the back to sleep campaign that has been going on for years, who wants to lay their child down on a back full of buttons or a zipper?  Not me!  So the photo above is the 'new' back.  I redrew the back and front neckline so this would button up the front.

I also attached panties to the waist area of the dress.  If you've held a wiggly little one, their dresses or shirts can creep up and no one wants that so I attached the panties from the pattern on the left to the dress on the right.

Elaina isn't quite big enough for this but I made it anyway out of this beautiful Stof cotton fabric.  This just sewed like a dream!  I can't wait to see her in it!  I just wish she didn't live so far from grandma!

I plan on sharing more infant and toddler creations I've made this summer for the grandkiddos.  They are so much fun to sew for!

Thanks for reading!
Sue :)

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Sewing vintage--Simplicity 8541 from 1969.

    Do you remember that upcycle contest I won a while back?  Well, I won a gift certificate to a site called oldpatterns.com.  It was a very enjoyable experience picking out some vintage patterns to try!    

    I just loved this one shown above.  It sort of reminds me a flight attendants dress.  The slight A-line shape with the front pleat and of course the collar drew me to this pattern right away!

Here is my version of view 1.  Short sleeves that I had to cut on the bias due to my limited fabric.  This fabric has been in my stash since last summer.  This was a purchase I made when Hancock's was still in business.  I am still in mourning over that loss.  

I only made a swayback and sloping shoulder adjustment.  This pattern is a size 16 for a full bust of 38 and might I say, this fits really well?  I didn't even muslin it but did tissue fit it to find out if I need an FBA.  Turns out, I did not!

Those buttons are purely for asthetics.  I debated whether to use them or not.  These are a cobalt blue and while they are fine, I am not sure they truly work.  

I am so thrilled with the overall fit of this dress and the floral print of my linen.  

Look at the back!  If I do say so myself, I think that fits very well and my zipper application is pretty darn good!  

I have several other patterns to try that are also vintage.  I really enjoyed sewing this one!  DH likes it as well but not the buttons.  Maybe I should remove them?  

Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Simplicity 8383 a swingy dress!

Have you seen this pattern yet?  I skipped past it last time I was looking at patterns.  That was a mistake!  I could have had this adorable dress in my closet much sooner!

Image result for images Simplicity 8383

Look at how adorable this is!  That is if it is okay to say so myself!

This is an easy to sew dress and I literally sewed it up in less than two hours.  

It is super, duper short so I doubt I will wear this as a dress but more of a tunic.  Have you heard that rule, no mini skirts after 35?  I am way over that year!

I knew this would be short but with my limited amount of fabric, this was all the longer I could make it.  

I love how this fits at the shoulders and bust and then just flows.

This gorgeous fabric is from Stof.  It is 94% cotton and 6% lycra.  It stitches up beautifully!  

I reinforced those little areas where the sleeve attaches to the arm using a small piece of stay tape.

Look how smooth that upper back is along with the sleeves and upper arm.  

I recently promised a tutorial on how I stabilize the neckline...well here it is!

I use ordinary Dritz stay tape.  I can easily find this at JoAnns.  You can see where I stitched it on with it barely extending over the seam allowance.  

I use about every landmark I can on my machine or feet.  I line up the edge of the stay tape with a part of my presser foot.  After this step, I apply the neckband as usual.  The little edge of the stay tape is covered by the neckband.  

I had a blast making this dress/tunic!  It is well drafted and I can see making another view in the near future!

Thanks for reading!
Sue :)

Monday, July 24, 2017

Simplicity 1467 top made with some precious silk!

Hello all! I have been sewing up a storm lately and one of the projects to complete this summer was to use this silk fabric my son and daughter-in-law brought me from their trip to Thailand.  This gorgeous silk was a pashima.  It is very delicate and required some care to work with.

I had made a different top with the other portions of the silk that was a total wader even though I had made a muslin and worked out the fit details.  Again, it was due to this fabric being super delicate.  I managed to have enough left over to put together this top with a contrast back.  I am so much happier with this!  

Here is the pattern I used:

                        Image result for images Simplicity 1467
I like the clean lines of the top and the fact it is sleeveless.  


This fabric is also somewhat iridescent.  See what I mean when you look at the photos?


I really like the pink back!  This isn't the most precise sewing I've ever done but I knew from previous experience working with this fabric that what ever happened, was going to stay that way, much like when you sew with leather.

I did my best to sew very carefully but this was the 'shiftiest' fabric I have ever sewn with!!!

I did have to cut the front yoke on the bias.  I think it is fine given the jumbled way the elephants are strewn on this fabric.  

I enjoyed sewing this!

Thanks for reading!

A disaster for me--McCall's 7591

This pattern...I almost lost all faith in humanity as I sewed it.  I love the shape, the fact it can be made into a knit and I really loved my fabric.  What I didn't love is HOW FREAKING LOW CUT THIS IS!!!  
Honestly, I am very self-conscious even having my pictures of this dress online.  I merely wanted to show you how low cut this is.  My fashion photographer was making some silly comments to me as I modeled this, so ignore some of the goofy looks please!

I can't remember what he said here, but it obviously struck me as funny.  


I should have put a cami on under this.  What was I thinking?  

I do really love the bodice back and the way this snugs up at the armscyes.  At least there is no gaping there!

My intent was to make this into a maxi but I cut the skirt out incorrectly and didn't have quite enough fabric.  I ended up having to piece together the front of the skirt.  It works, but since this is a wadder for me, I will make a note on the pattern.


I had such high hopes for this dress!  This fabric, which is a Maggy London ITY knit, is just so wonderful next to your skin!  Plus it washes, dries, and sews up so beautifully.


I doubt I will sew this again, but I am glad I tried it. And yes, I did make an FBA :(

Until next time!