Sunday, October 19, 2014

Catching Up

I have not been in the mood to sew after the recent holiday. I am still adjusting to changes at work and I've allowed myself to get into a funk. I took some time this weekend to refocus the messages playing in my head. I am working at being more positive!  Life is all about change and when it impacts you personally it feels different than when you are directing the change. Enough said about my personal feelings.

This blog is about sewing and so let me share with you what I've done this weekend. I worked on the McCall's tunic top and I am not happy with it. Some of it has to do with the fabric and some of it is just am not feeling happy about the look of the top with the drape.

The draped neckline is a nice touch but with this fabric it's very heavy. You can see a close-up of the neck drape below:

The neckline is somewhat low and I raised it an inch and a half prior to cutting it out. Even with this adjustment, it was still too low and the weight of the drape pulls the neckline forward. You can see the top as it stands now.

I  decided I do not want to spend any more time on this top. I have numerous other patterns waiting for attention as well as other fabric. I am going to put this aside and perhaps donate to a local charity.

I decided to complete the black McCall's dress UFO. It needed the sleeves hemmed as well as hemming the dress. This I have completed and now have a new black dress to wear. The knit fabric was a double knit purchase from Mood.

After completing the hemming, I cut around the pattern pieces for another McCall's knit top.I plan to use some recently purchased knit fabric from EOS.

I have a business trip again next week and I hope that I have an opportunity to visit a fabric store while there.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Chic Chemise or Fall Top #1

There were lots of changes taking place last week at work.  It was somewhat stressful at work to say the least.  Some layoffs and some structural changes; the structural change impacted my area of work. Sewing was not top of mine last week.

My sewing plans changed from my last post.  Though that fabric will get made next.  Last night I traced an Angela Wolf Ruched T pattern and after pin fitting today, decided I did not want to tackle this pattern at this time as there were going to be a lot of adjustments and just did not have the energy to work on those.

I decided to pull out another pattern, a tunic top, I had made a couple of years ago, McCall's 6203.  It is no longer available; yet tunic tops abound and I decided that this was wearable now.
I decided to make View D (bottom right).  The drape neckline is not really a cowl neck, it is a draped fabric attached at the shoulders only.  I thought it would be different look.

The fabric is from my stash and I think it came from Fabric Mart in a fabric bundle.  I have no photo on file and did not take a photo today.

I have tomorrow off for Columbus Day and plan to sew.  More later!

Monday, October 06, 2014

Fall Essential Sew Along

 I thought I would participate in the 4th Annual Fall Essentials Sew Along.  I am always amazed as to what is going on in the blog world and happened upon this activity from reading a couple of my favorite blogs.

There are several categories to select from what you plan to sew.  I decided on Fashionable Foundations for Frosty Weather, Chic Chemises for Cool Climates and Fabulous Frocks.

The "Reunion Dress" was my first fabulous frock for the fall sew along.
With the cool weather that came through yesterday and staying around today through Wednesday, it gave my sewing mojo a boost as it was waning with two weekends in a row with other activities taking place limiting sewing time.  So I pulled out this fabric acquired last year and will make something for the Chic Chemises category.
Not sure what pattern I will use, one of my favorites is Sewaholics Renfrew top.  I have made it three times and the pattern is perfected for fit, so should be an easy peasy sew.

If you have an interest in the Fall Essential Sew Along, visit The Creative Perfectionist.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Home for awhile!

I am back from my business trip to Baltimore and it is a shame that I did not have the opportunity to find and visit any fabric stores.  Carpooling does not allow much independent time.  Besides I was in meetings all day and in groups for dining.  I am happy to be home and plan to go into the sewing room soon.

Sipping on my first cup of coffee for the AM, spent time reading reviews at PR.  Lots of inspiration there.  Prior to sewing my Reunion Dress, I wanted to spend some time sewing tops.  I need more as those in my closet now have been around for some time now and I want/need to refresh my collection.

I also plan to tackle making a pair of pants.  All these years of sewing I still shy away from this garment!  I truly can buy well fitting pants for me from certain clothing lines and thus focus my time on other garments that I can make to fit me better than RTW.  This is my personal challenge to myself and I am armed with enough information on fitting that I should be able to make a nice fitting pair.

I also need to make a few more skirts.  Some skirt patterns have made their way to me via the postman.

More sewing and updates to follow!

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Bits and pieces

  • I had a great time at my reunion.  
  • No sewing taking place at this time.
  • Traveling  today for business trip, will have zero time to shop, particularly for fabric or other sewing related items.
  • Will be back home Friday evening.  Between now and then I will narrow my sewing ideas down to one.
  • Wondering where the cooler weather for fall is as I have some clothes, both sewn and purchased I am ready to wear.
  • Hope your week has and will continue to be a good sewing week.

Friday, September 26, 2014


I finally have some photo shots of the completed Vogue Dress,

Summary of fitting adjustments:

  1. FBA of 1 1/2 inches, I ended up removing about 1/2 inch.
  2. FSA 5/8 inch
  3. Reduction of 2 inches from waist to hip
  4. Added those 2 inches to length.
  5. Sewed 3/8 inch deeper upper back seams for narrow back adjustment
  6. Sewed deeper side seams starting at hip area down to hem, from thigh to hem I sewed 1 inch seam to taper the dress in more.
  7. Took in 3/8 in upper chest area through the princess seams.
  8. Swayback adjustment was closer to one inch than my usual 5/8, trued seam and added to side seam.
  9. Lowered front neckline by 1/4 inch, next time may lower more, it is a high neckline more so than appears on the drawing on pattern envelope.
Here is the dress with me wearing.  The shoes I have on matches the golden brown color in the center panel.  Black shoes will be worn with this dress as well.

I lightened the photo to enable the center fabric to been seen.  In "real" light you can see the panel but with camera, not so well.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

New Iron

Above is the iron I purchased back in 2005 or 2006 at the National ASG conference in DC. What sold me on this iron was that there would not be water leaks. However recently I had two instances where when I pressed the lever for the steam water did spew, thankfully onto the pressing cloth. The leakage was a yellow/red color.

The thermostat still seems to function appropriately. I try to keep the sole plate cleaned and ever so often you are to empty the tank fully and rinse a few times. Recently when I did that a plastic looking screw fell out of the tank and broke apart. I am not sure what its purpose was and so far the iron is still working.

I am not able to purchase an expensive gravity feed iron, though I would love one; getting eight or nine years out of this iron thus far leads me to consider purchasing another similar iron. There are some other Rowenta irons that I have seen; I have not checked any reviews about those.

I would appreciate feedback or suggestions about good irons that you have used. Feel free to leave a comment on this post.

I'm Happy – Completed My Dress!

It's done! I finished Vogue 9017 in time for next week's class reunion. Today I it inserted the sleeves, took a 3/8 inch deeper seam in the upper chest through the bust, took a 3/8 inch deeper seam in the upper back, hemmed the dress and the sleeves. One small thing left to do is to sew the hook and eye.

This is a well drafted pattern. My one dislike is the neckline facing. Part of my dislike has to do with the thickness of my fabric and using a neckline facing added extra bulk to the neckline. I trimmed the seams and use lots of steam and a clapper when pressing the neckline. Earlier on in the sewing process I had thought I would use bias tape and with 20/20 hindsight I would redo that for this dress.

I think if I had used a lighter weight knit fabric a facing would be suitable. Of late I have been using bias tape and find that that seems to be suitable for the lighter weight knits I used also.

Here are a few photos of the completed dress on a hanger:

I chose to use the zebra print fabric for the center back. The pattern illustrations had the back as one solid color. I liked the idea of both center back and center front being the same. I thought that this would be more slenderizing.
Close up upper front with sleeves attached.
I hope to have an opportunity to take some photos of me wearing the dress during the week and at the upcoming event.


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