Monday, September 27, 2010

Kitty Love!

My new kitty, Fergus, loves to help me sew and quilt. Unfortunately, he is too young to be trusted with a rotary cutter, so he really isn't much help at this point.
His talents will be much more useful when the quilt is done, and I need some quality control.
[Which explains why so many of my projects are embellished with cat hair.]

Fergus also loves wrestling with his combat bear. Fergus is a fearsome fighter. He always beats the bear.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

and now, the top

To go with this skirt of the previous post, I used a lustrous bamboo knit that I bought at Expo from Vogue Fabric Store. The fabric drapes, wicks, breathes, its production is kind to the environment -- it is wonderful!!
The pattern -- eh.

I used Butterick 5354. I love the design. The construction -- well, probably my dissatisfaction is my own fault. Since the pattern specified using 2 or 4-way stretch knits only, I assumed that I was making a t-shirt. As such, I ignored the pattern's instructions and proceeded as I always do to make a Tee. Wrong. This is not a T-shirt. It is a blouse made of knit fabric.

I started off on the wrong foot, with the fit. I cut a size 20, as that is the size that corresponds to my full bust measurement. had I been making a large, shapeless Tee, this would have been fine. Instead, I have a shirt that fits at the bust point, but is too large in the neck and shoulders. had I treated it like a blouse, I should have cut a size 16, and done an FBA.

Then there's the sleeves. A typical T-shirt applies the sleeves flat to an open armsceye, then sews the underarm and side seams at once. This pattern instructed to sew the side seams, sew the underarm seams, install ease stitching, and attach it in the round. I ignored this, and sewed it flat. Wrong. Now I have some tiny puckers in the sleeve cap, and a slightly protruding point (possibly only noticeable to me) at the top of the sleeve. Since I attached the sleeve with my serger, ripping it out would take more than the seam allowance, and would not leave me with enough fabric in either the sleeve cap or the armsceye to re-construct. I am going to have to learn to live with this. Oh, bother!

Still, I like this pattern well enough, that I shall make it again. I think the tucks around the neckline are flattering, and lend a polished look to an otherwise ordinary top. This style is pretty enough to wear to work with a suit, even if this particular shirt made of it isn't!

next up: monkeying Around PJ's for my grandson, Logan. Then, I'll get back to making a silk blouse and jacket for the rest of this ensemble.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sewing up Expo

You may recognize this fabric as part of the haul from Sewing & Stitchery Expo. It is a cotton/rayon plain weave, whose hand is somewhere between a challis and broadcloth.
I made it into out of a Vogue pattern 7880. I had used this pattern once before, to make a thin metal-flecked silk/cotton gauze that I bought in Dubai.
This skirt has a completely different look, and attitude to it. The gauze one is a grayed-pink, and is floaty -- somewhat ethereal. I wear it with a pale pink silk Tee, and a short unlined jacket of the same gauze as the skirt.

This time around, the fabric is more substantial. It hangs straight down. I am making a hot coral pleated-neck top out of a bamboo knit to go with it for business casual, and a light coral silk charmeuse blouse, and olive damask jacket for a more polished professional look. Those items are still in my head - but I have purchased fabric and patterns for them, so it will happen!

This pattern is less challenging to sew than it first appears. Keep each pattern piece with its fabric piece until needed to avoid confusion. The only tricky part is the stay. A short, kind of half-lining, it is attached to inner layers that are longer than outer ones, and then attached at waist. Sew the wrong side of the stay to the right side of the bottom layers and when you attach it and turn, the skirt will be lined.

I shall keep you updated on the rest of the ensemble as it progresses. Time, work, family, and energy permitting.
Fingers crossed!!!