Sunday, September 23, 2007

Another Project Finished

The Leopard Dress is done! This is New Look 6583 in Savannah's favorite "color." Of course, it will look much better with some black tights, and a turtleneck tee underneath. But, we couldn't find those things this afternoon and we wanted to go ahead and post the picture.

Originally I planned to just do the base model of this dress which simply has the two flounces out of the main fabric. But I had this piece of black and white gingham lying by the ironing board, and I started playing around with it and wondering how it would look as a contrast fabric. So I cut two more flounces out of the gingham (Nothing like narrow hemming four flounces instead of two!) and basted it all together. I liked it, so I kept it. You can't really tell from the picture, but the gingham really breaks up the leopard and adds a "girlie" touch to the outfit. Plus, I'm thinking of doing the jacket out of black corduroy and I'll be able to use the leopard and/or the gingham for trim!

This dress is really easy. Narrow hemming the flounces was time consuming, but not hard. I considered using my serger to do a rolled hem, but decided that wasn't the look I was after. It would have been much quicker, and it's something I might try next time. There are only four pattern pieces to this dress- front, back and two flounces, so cutting is quick. It goes together in a flash, too. I used an invisible zipper because they're so quick and easy to insert. You can't see it, but I used bias strips of the gingham to bind the armholes and the neck edge. I made a size six, and there's plenty of room for a tee underneath and to grow. Thank goodness I took the time to trace this pattern before cutting because I can easily see myself making this again later.

And here is the Lizzie McGuire dress and shrug that I blogged about a while back.

This is Simplicity4248 out of Hello Kitty quilting cotton trimmed in white crocheted lace. The shrug is lime green Kona cotton. The silk flower is a pink daisy from Hobby Lobby with the stem removed and a pin back attached so that it's removable.

This dress turned out cute, but really short. Savannah won't be able to wear it very long. I made a size six, as usual, and I didn't think to check the length before cutting. It would have been very easy to add a couple of inches to the dress pieces. I won't be making this again, but I have lots of other Lizzie McGuire patterns and I know now to check the length if I decide to make any others.

So this wraps up two more works in progress. I have two smocking projects going right now, too, and I'm looking forward to a relaxing night in my armchair tonight watching TV and smocking. I might post pictures of those later. If I share them, I'll hopefully feel motivated to finish them quickly.

Back in Black

Simplicity 4483, the black gauze dress and shrug are done! I knew the project was a success when I put it on to take pictures today, and my husband thought I had bought a new dress. When I told him I made it, he was shocked. (I don't know what he thinks I've been working on all this time!)

I cut a 16 through the bodice and tapered out to an 18 at the hip and the fit is perfect. I did do a one inch FBA, and I was able to contain all the extra fabric in the under-bust gathers... No dart! My only complaint about the dress is that I wish I had added maybe one inch to the length. It feels short. The bodice is fully lined with the same gauze, but the skirt is not, so a slip is an absolute necessity with this dress, but that's okay. I also think I need a pair of sheer black hose to wear with it.

I'm quite happy with this dress, but I probably won't make it again. I really didn't enjoy narrow hemming the entire outer edge of the shrug, although now that it's done, I'm pleased with it. Besides, I think shrugs have kind of run their course. A jacket would be a little more stylish. I really like this style on me, however, and I have a similar pattern picked out for one of my next projects:

Although the bodice on this dress, Simplicity 4014, is different, the sillouette is exactly the same. And the jacket is pretty, too. I can't decide if I like the hip length or the full length jacket best. I already have some dark rose gabardine picked out for this one.

I'm off to work on the leopard dress. I worked on it most of the day yesterday, and I decided to add contrast "under flounces" to the flounces at the bottom of the dress. It looks pretty cute. I need to cut some bias strips today and bind the armholes and the neck and I think it will be done. Pictures will follow shortly!

Monday, September 17, 2007

I Slept the Day Away

Yeah, I got nothing done yesterday because I slept the afternoon away. My allergy medicine knocked me out. I hate it when I do that. I almost never take naps, but sometimes I just can't help it. I figure if I've gotten to that point I should just lie down and get some rest, because I'm probably not going to get anything done anyway.

So this is the next project on the drawing board for me. New Look 6583 ( I think it's OOP) out of the brown leopard print fabric on the left. The Princess loves leopard. She can zero in on the one leopard print item in a department store and drag me over to it to check it out. I've been promising her a leopard outfit for some time, and it's time to make good. I'll be making view B, the plain A-line jumper with double flounces at the hem. The black rickrack will be stitched over the flounce seam. We may add an applique or something to the front, but I haven't yet decided. I'm picturing this worn with a black or cream turtleneck underneath, black tights, and black shoes- maybe boots. I also have this cool hot pink leopard print. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this one yet. But I better think of something, because the Princess has seen it and I'll never hear the end of it until I whip it up into something for her to wear!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

And Another New Shirt

Finished at last! This is McCalls 5471, the "White Shirt". Except mine is not white.

I made view A, the plain ruffle cuffed version. I wanted to make view B, the Bubble sleeve, but I ran out of fabric and had to "make it work." If you don't have this pattern, run out and get it ASAP! It is so easy. It's one of McCalls new patterns with the separate front pieces for different cup sizes and it is great. I made a 16 from shoulder to waist with the C cup front pieces, and tapered out to an 18 from waist to hip. I really could have just made a straight 16 because there seems to be plenty of ease through the hem. When I make it again (I already have two fabrics picked out) I will cut a 14 through the shoulder and a 16 everywhere else. I used the size 20 sleeve because I need extra room for my large arms, but I had trouble easing the sleeve in. There was just too much fabric and I got puckers. So for the next version, I will use the 16 sleeve and slash and add tissue to the middle of the sleeve. That should take care of the puckers.

I used a lightweight quilting cotton for this top. I'd had my eye on this fabric for a couple of months, and last week when I made a trip to the fabric store, it was on sale, so I thought why not make a cute shirt. I like the colors. The brown, taupe, and peacock blue pattern have a kind of William Morris/Art Noveau vibe going on. I quickly fell out of love with this fabric when I went to cut it out, though. Once I got it home, it seemed kind of thin for a quilting cotton. But I thought, what the heck? It'll be okay for a shirt. I machine washed and dried like I always do. Then I tore the fabric at one end to get the crosswise grain straight and I pressed it. When I laid it out to cut it, I could not get the fabric to lay straight to save my life. If I lined up the torn edge, the center fold was off. and if I got the center fold to look straight and lay flat, then the torn edge was off. So I finally just got it smoothed out and straight as I could and started pinning. There was one section of the fabric that seemed to be wider than the rest. I couldn't measure from the selvedge to the grainline and get my pattern piece straight. I just gave up and lined it up with the print rather than the selvedge. The shirt turned out okay, and no one will ever know what I time I had, but it sure gave me a headache.

In other news this weekend, I got the black gauze dress done, and I'm working on the matching shrug. I hope to have pictures soon. While at the fabric store last week, I wanted to get a black invisible zipper for the dress, but they were out. I was really irritated, thinking I'd have to wait to work on the dress, but then I found this:

It's a roll of invisible zippers! There are 4.5 yards on here and twelve zipper pulls, for ten dollars and change! I was able to get the black dress done, and I still have plenty of zipper for 11 more projects. How cool is that?
I'm off to sew. The black shrug has to be narrow hemmed all the way around. I'm also going to cut out a new project for the Princess. Stay tuned... it will feature her favorite "color"- Leopard!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

New Shirt

Here's a photo of my finished shirt. This is the ever popular New Look 6407.

This top has been reviewed on PR countless times and most people seem to love it. I think it's a great classic blouse. I made view A out of a cotton batik. This was really a muslin that I made over a year ago when I was quite a bit heavier. Actually, it's a second muslin. The first muslin started out as a size 20 and it was entirely too big, so I made this one. I started with a size 18 and made a one inch FBA. I got the whole thing done except for the buttons and button holes, but I never finished it because I though it was too fitted. I do have a tendancy to "overfit" stuff. I dragged it out this weekend and tried it on again. It's a lot looser now that I've lost some weight, so I decided to go ahead and finish it. Actually, it's a little too big (I cheated in the photo and pulled the excess fabric to the back so it would look like I have a waist). The V is too low and the front is loose enough that gaping could be a problem, so I wore it today with a tank underneath. You can't really tell from the picture, but the white tank is quite cute with some beading around the neck.

I'd really like to make this again, but next time I will probably cut a 14 through the shoulders, tapering out to a 16 at the bust and then on out to an 18 at the hip. I think that will give me a better fit through the bust. The sleeves are perfect as is. I cut the size 20 sleeve and added another inch to the width through the bicep. I had read that this pattern ran narrow through the sleeve and I really need the extra width. The sleeves were still snug on me when I first made the top, but now they are just right. And no, my arms aren't really as short as they appear to be in the photo, although they are pretty short.
If I remember correctly, I bought a piece of dusty pink cotton with pussywillows on it to make another one of these. I wonder if I can find it, or if my stash has eaten that fabric, too.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

A Change in Plans

I was all ready to start my new dress this weekend, but I couldn't find my fabric! I know, it's hard to believe, but I seem to have lost my brown gauze somewhere in my stash. I know I bought a four or five yard length, and later I went back and it was on sale so I bought the rest on the bolt- another 2.5 yards. All I can find now is the shorter length which is maybe enough for the dress, but not the dress and the shrug. I searched through eight plastic containers of fabric, not to mention all the fabric piled up all over my sewing space, but I couldn't find it. I know it's in there somewhere and it will turn up someday, but I want to make this dress now. So I have decided to go with plan B which is to use the same fabric in a different colorway- black with purple embroidery. I loved the fabric so much I bought it in a second color! And thankfully, there's enough for the dress and shrug.

Unfortunately, I got so frustrated searching for the brown fabric, that I never did cut the project out. But that's okay, because I used my time this weekend to finish several UFOs. I finished a New Look blouse that I made for myself a year or two ago. All it needed was button holes and buttons. Then I whipped up the Hello Kitty dress that I blogged about in a couple of earlier posts. I'll have pictures of those two projects soon.

I also finished Emma from Children's Corner:

It's a little bit rumpled in this picture- Savannah wore it to school today. I used a quilting cotton with kittens all over it. The collar and waist seam are piped with pink mini-piping and the dress is fully lined- also in pink. The collar is white pique. It's kinda hard to see in the photo, but I put the buttons on in "pairs." I think it added some interest to the front. I really like this pattern but I've made it twice now and I'm ready to move on to something else. It goes up to an eight, though, so who knows? I might decide to make it again next year.

I'm hoping to get my dress and shrug cut out tonight. That is if I can find the scotch tape to make the FBA! Angie, you know what I'm talking about!