Monday, June 30, 2014

One down and one or two to go!

Hooray! My daughter's birthday is July 3, and she's been bugging me for a dress for a couple of years. The problem is she doesn't want me to measure her, she won't sit still for fittings, and I'm just supposed to guess based on what she looks like. As all my sewing friends know, that doesn't work so well.

A couple of posts ago, I showed a "wearable muslin" I had made her hoping it would fit, and of course it didn't. BUT, when I took it over and she tried it on, I was able to do a couple of measurements, lots of photos, and get an idea of what needed to be done to make it actually fit her properly.

At the same time, she "loaned me" a pattern from her favorite dress that she literally wore out. It was an inexpensive knit from Target or Old Navy or some similar shop, but she loved the fit and it was comfortable. I kept trying to get her to let me have it so I could copy it, but she wouldn't let it out of her sight. Fast forward to the disintegration of the dress. My non-sewing daughter cut it apart, made a pattern, and borrowed a machine from a friend and made herself another one, all without asking one word of advice or even mentioning to her mom that she'd done so. Pretty funny, huh?

Well yesterday, I finished the first dress for her birthday which is the original dress altered to fit. Sorry for the hanger shot, but until I see her on the fourth, that's all I have.

It's a royal blue rayon jersey from Girl Charlee. It's pretty light weight, and should be really comfortable for summer use even with the 3/4 sleeves.

I also ran over to Hancock's on Saturday and got another couple of pieces of knit to make her "favorite dress." Since she had to wait a few years for a dress, I figure two or three are in order. So the next fabric is on the cutting table waiting to be cut out and sewn up.

Holiday weeks are usually slow for me at work, so I anticipate having both of the new ones done before her birthday. The other dresses are just basic knits with a slightly raised waist, and slightly full skirt; she wants 3/4 sleeves, and I'll do my usual self fabric bound neckline. Hopefully they'll be quick and easy and not take much longer than a basic tee shirt.

More later!

Friday, June 27, 2014


Well, I've finally got the second blouse don3 and hanging in the closet with a probable wearing today for the first time. I'm still not quite happy with the neck/collar area, and the dye job is a bit uneven. But I do have the fit down almost perfectly now, and that's a big bonus!

That said, my friend Kathleen scolded me roundly for focusing on the negative and not appreciating that I have a blouse that fits me, I dyed myself, and I should consider the color differences are like slubs in silk.

Without further ado...

My next quick sewing job will be a dress for my daughter. Her birthday is July 3rd, and I've been promising to make her a dress forever. I'm using Burda 7828, and have already got the alterations completed due to an unfortunate muslin that I had misjudged the shoulders on. I'm hoping it will turn out perfect and she'll have a new dress to love. 

Here's a photo of the unfortunate "muslin". 

It's a basic cross over top with a high waistline, and she wanted 3/4 sleeves so it could be worn almost year around. Somehow or another I got the shoulder width too narrow by about 1 1/2", so this one isn't really fixable. Too bad because this was a nice heavy weight knit from my stash that worked really nicely for the dress. The next one will be a royal blue rayon knit from Girl Charlee. I think this is my first purchase from them so we'll see how I like working with their fabrics. Everyone seems to rave about them on the blogs and Stitcher's Guild. 

In other news... I found a company in San Francisco via an article in the San Francisco Chronicle called Bootstrap Fashion that will draft a pattern to your measurements and send you a PDF file. They have a lot of patterns to choose from, and in general are $10 each. Right now, they have a promotion whereby if you buy 3, you get a $20 discount by inserting the name Bootstrap in the coupon box. 

I was told over at Stitchers Guild that Lekla patterns from somewhere in Eastern Europe have the same fashions and the same business model for much less money. I'd heard the name but knew nothing about their patterns. I figured I'd rather support a local company, and give them a try. So to that end, yesterday I purchased three patterns. A pair of crop pants which I've been wanting for a while, a cap sleeve blouse, and a cross over top. As promised, the patterns were in my inbox in about 15 minutes after placing the order. I haven't printed them out yet, but intend to do so hopefully this weekend if all goes well around here. 

I'll do a muslin of the cap sleeve shirt without making any alterations whatsoever and see how it matches up to my body and if by purchasing with the proper measurements, it makes my life easier or more difficult. Here's my first one:

I'm hoping for some good blocks of sewing time this weekend, and have multiple things on my list... not the least of which is a trial pair of the Barb pants from Style Arc, a new pair of denim slacks, and there is always the tee shirt marathon awaiting. I am also planning on morphing my TNT tee shirt pattern into a ruched front style ala the Sangria top by Bresnan Studios.
I won't do the ruched sleeves as my biceps are already quite large and don't need the bulk, but I am hoping the ruched front adds length and subtracts width visually and will be attractive.

I've also got a few jackets lined up in my head as well as multiple other garments! If only I had as much time as I do imagination about what I can sew! LOL 

Hope your sewing is fulfilling your needs for creativity right now! 

More later!