Saturday, March 7, 2015

Archer, Weekend Getaway, Dolman Top and Renfrew, McCalls 6996....Whew....

I have been on a sewing kick!  I now need to cull my closet!!
Archer has to be my favorite button front shirt pattern.  This is my 4th.  I already have the fabric for my next two.  A lovely soft black chambray and a soft red plaid.  It never dawned on me that this was loud fabric.  I just loved the colors, and the paisley.  The two comments I have received while wearing it were ........"Wow" (not in a good way) and "Boy, you couldn't get lost in that shirt."  Damn.    Knocked me down a notch.....for a second.   I still love it.

The fabric is 100% cotton, Star Spangled Bandana from, the interfacing and buttons from Fashion Sewing Supply.

This pic of the sleeve placket cracks me up.  At the top of the tower looks just like a silly smiling face.

I love this blouse.  Loud it may be, and maybe I won't get lost.  But that is not a bad thing, right? You can see my sewing buddy in this pic.  Ipo insists on being on the sewing table, so she has her own basket to lounge in.

To get crisp turns on the cuffs - after attaching the cuffs, I fold over the edges to the seam line, and steam, steam, steam it and leave my turning tool sitting on it 'til it cools.  I do not trim back the seam allowances, except for where they overlap.  this leaves a nice crisp turn and flat surface for topstitching once they are turned right side out.

Next up, the Liesl & Co Weekend Getaway Blouse.  I saw this blouse on Pinterest and loved it. Weekend Getaway inspiration top  (The downloadable pdf also includes a dress version)
It is a simple dolman sleeve top.  The front facings are joined together wrong sides facing, which leaves the facings exposed down the front of the shirt.  Very simple and interesting.  This fabric is amazing.  I knew as soon as I opened the box that this was the perfect fabric for this top.  It is a beautiful rayon challis from Style Maker.  My first purchase from them, will not be my last. 
The back has a simple inverted pleat at the top, adds a lovely depth to the back drape.

 The upper portion of the front facing fall outwards and creates a simple collar.

I loved the fit and look of it so much, I made another.  Not sure of the content of this fabric, it is from JoAnns.  A cotton blend.  Very lightweight yet still drapes nicely.

 I also ordered this navy blue / white striped ponte knit from Style Maker.  It is a very nice knit.  Beefy and soft.  Time will tell if it pills, but for now, it feels high quality.  The pattern is the Sewaholic Renfrew.  I inserted a solid panel mid waist and as cuffs.  I thought it would look more slimming with a  solid color around the waist, but I am not so sure it does.  It is cute though, so all is not lost!

Next is another dolman sleeve top.  This was a DIY that I saw on Pinterest.  She has a tutorial of how to make your own pattern based on a T shirt that fits you.  Very simple and clever. 

Last up is a cardigan from McCalls 6996, view C I believe.  This herringbone knit is from  Light weight and drapes nicely.  This pattern is a breeze.  Of course I had to throw in  pattern matching just to make it more difficult!!  I sewed a large, but brought the upper back portion in quite a bit after tissue fitting the pattern.    I made the sleeves 3/4 and added a cuff, as I prefer to wear them pushed up vs down.  My only stray from the pattern, was to only attach the outer layer of the collar and then folded the other edge over the seams on the inside.  Much nicer finish.

No wonder I am tired.
Stay happy
Keep Sewing
and if you can't sew,
bake cookies with a cute boy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Travel bag? Tote? Purse?......

I am traveling for work this month and found that I needed a travel bag that would work with any outfit and contain my 'stuff' and a laptop.  DD1 had a nice tote she had gotten from Target a few seasons ago.  Good size bag, pleather and herringbone fabric.   I decided to use it for inspiration!

DD1's bag from Target.  It has an extra long zipper so that it can open very wide.

So I chose a quilted pleather from JoAnns for the lower portion and I could not find a herringbone fabric that would work, so I went with a black and white quilting fabric for the upper portion.  The quilting fabric was much too thin, so I added batting and quilted the fabric (below you can see the quilting on the inside of the upper portion.)  With the busy-ness of the lined fabric, you can't really see the quilting lines from the outside, but it gives it structure and some depth to the fabric.  The blue part at the bottom is a plastic grid I used to give the bottom of the bag structure.

I didn't have a pattern to go by, only the pictures of my daughter's bag, so I just made it up as I was going along!  Below is the zipper portion that will be attached to the lining as the bags closure.  I left the zipper extra long, to allow the bag to open up wide.

Here is the lining fabric (party on the inside!) with the zipper attached.

 The right side (will be the outside) of the zipper.

I added a pocket with a zipper closure to the lining, as well as a pocket for my phone.

On the other side of the lining, I added various size pockets.
The two tall thin pieces below, are the side pieces of the lining.  One has an elasticized pocket for my water bottle, the other side has two pockets for my glasses.

Here is the lining and outer sewn together after pulling the purse through a gap in the lining. 

Push the lining down in the bad and top stitch around the top and whallah!!  I have a new travel bag!! (Only took me 8 hours!!  but I enjoyed every minute!)

 Extended zipper is awesome, bag opens very wide.   Here is the bag inside out. You can see the various pockets, and my water bottle on the end!

Inside out,  Eye glasses on the other end, and more pockets on the other side.

I love my new bag!!   Now.......  if I just had enough time to make a new coat before I head back East.....

Stay Happy
Keep Sewing
and if you can't sew
swimming in the bathtub can be fun!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

April Rhodes Pop Over Poncho

I don't recall where I saw the Pop Over Poncho originally, but I immediately loved it. It is a slimmer fitting poncho, with a cowl neck, kangaroo pocket and the back hangs longer than front (my description, not the designer's)  I knew it would be an awesome Christmas gift for DD2.   Then I forgot about it.  Christmas started closing in... I did quite a few Google searches until I found out who created the pattern.  April Rhodes.  This is the only pattern of hers that appealed to me.  I bought it, $15.00. Kind of steep for a simple PDF pattern, but hey, I liked it and also...the instant gratification of print and tape and GO. 
I already had the perfect fabric.  This is a wool plaid that I picked up at a yard sale years ago.  Over 2 yards, .50.  I lined it with some mystery fabric that I also snatched at the yard sale for .50.  The cowl neck is lined with an old soft knit t-shirt of mine, and the cording is a shoe string my husband donated.  So despite the pricey PDF pattern, this gift came in at $16.00..
I cut the s/m, but with the length of the largest size, as it seems quite short as designed and I wanted a deep hem for added weight to help it hang nicely.  The hardest part of the whole thing was figuring out how to lay it out so that I could match the plaid pattern!  The shoulders look a bit odd on my double (KG2), as she has much wider shoulders than my daughter.

If I were to make this again, I would make the kangaroo pocket larger.  Wider AND deeper.  Below are pics with the cowl collar standing straight up (look at that pattern matching!!)  I now wish that I had redrawn the cowl to be taller in the back so that it could double as a hood.  It is also a close fit getting this over your head, so keep that in mind if you have a big head. 

 Below is the lining.  The pattern does not have you line it, but why not?  I just cut an extra front and back and then shortened them by a couple inches.  I think next time it would also be awesome to have a kangaroo pocket on the INSIDE of the lining, just a secret pocket for keeping your hands warm, or chocolates hidden. 

Here it is on DD2 (the red head is DD1)  She loved it.

Stay Happy
Keep Sewing
and if you can't sew
kiss a cute boy.