Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Sampler for My Girl

Here's a little birth sampler I designed and stitched for my daughter a few (seven) years ago. It's stitched on 28ct Carnation Pink Cashel linen using Caron Waterlilies, Weeks Dye Works, and DMC floss. Mill Hill beads are sprinkled across it. The focal point is the footprints at the top. Yes, those are real. Hard to believe now that her feet were once that small... smaller even since this was made when she was a few months old.

At the top of this photo you can see the Caron Waterlilies in color #088, Mountain Meadow. The inspiration for the colors in the sampler came straight from this beautiful silk thread in shades of pink, gold, and green. Right below it is the Weeks Dye Works over dyed cotton floss in "Cypress."

Here you can see the tiny cross stitched duckies and some of the fancy stitches and beads.

And in this portion there are tiny back-stitched rattles, my daughter's name, birthdate, and birth weight, and some more duckies and hearts. There are lots of hearts in this piece because she is so dear to me.

I loved the colors so much I also bought a piece of creamy yellow linen and added her footprints in pink paint, thinking I'd make this again in a slightly different colorway. I will probably go ahead and do it. It will be interesting to see if what kinds of changes I make to the design now after seven years.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I'm a Knit-Wit

Well, I said I might cut out a knit dress yesterday, and I did. Sewed it up, too.

This is New Look 6802. I've been wanting to make this for a long time, but I've been putting it off because I'm not very experienced with knits, and because I was leery about the fit.
It turned out okay, though. I made a size 16, with a 1/2" FBA and 2.5" added to the length of the skirt. I used the sleeve pattern from BWOF 01-2009-110 (from a couple of posts back) to narrow the long, blousy sleeve, and make plain, long sleeves. I really like them. I didn't realize when I was making pattern adjustments that my chosen fabric had as much stretch as it did. It has significant lengthwise as well as crosswise stretch, and honestly, I really didn't need to adjust the pattern at all. The fabric, by the way is a cotton knit, I believe with a touch of lycra- it's pretty "springy." I picked it up summer before last at Hancock Fabrics.

The dress is cute, and super comfortable. I'm going to wear it to work tomorrow to test drive it. I'm worried that it might "grow" thoroughout the day since the fabric is so stretchy, but we'll see. I may end up having to hem it a little bit shorter.
Hopefully I'll have progress to report on the high waist pants soon.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Progress and Something Pretty

There has been progress this week on the high waist pants from my Fall Sewing Plan. This is the front with the pocket:

Not a lot of progress, but I've been taking it slowly and working on them here and there during the week. I hope to get a big chunk done this weekend, but I'm not going to sweat it.

And not to stress anyone out or anything, but Christmas is right around the corner. Now is the time to start working on gifts and decorations, and to start shopping, if you haven't already.

This is a little tiny piece I stitched back in 2001. It's high time I finished it up into a little Christmas ornament, don't you think? The motifs on this piece come from the Christmas Memories sampler from Just Nan. This little ornament was included in the sampler leaflet. It's 2.5" by 2.75" stitched on antique white evenweave, in DMC floss, metallic thread, and Thread Gatherer Silk 'N Colors. It features tiny, backstitched gingerbread men and angels (my favorite parts) a tree decorated with metallic gold, packages wrapped in shiny gold, and it's sprinkled with tiny gold beads and pearls. I can't wait to get it made up and see it on my Christmas tree this year. It's been lying in a drawer, forgotten for eight years!
I've spent the early part of the day sorting and organizing some of my needlework stash. (I had no idea I had so many skeins of Caron Waterlilies!) and now it's time to sew. I'm going to work on the pants for a while, and I may cut out a knit dress.

Monday, September 7, 2009

I Made a Knit Top!

Look what I whipped up last night!

Alright, technically, that's not completely true. I already had the pattern traced and I made a muslin a few months ago, so all I had to do was cut and sew. And I finished it up this morning. But you get the idea.

This is Burda 01-2009-110, the knit top. I haven't made these pants yet, but I have my eye on them...

I made a size 44 with no adjustments. I used this cool geometric knit I got last Friday at Hancock's. I'm pretty pleased. The top went together great and it was pretty easy. I didn't quite understand Burda's back neck facing instructions, so I didn't use them. I ironed a strip of knit interfacing along the neckline of both fronts and the back piece, sewed the pieces together at the shoulders, and serged the long edge. Then I just turned it under 1/2" and stitched it down with a twin needle. Looks just fine.
My only complaint about this is the super plunging neckline- this is a little extreme even for Burda! But, I knew it going into the project from my muslin. And the knit fabic I used is a little bit sheer, so I knew I'd be wearing a cami underneath, so it's okay. I've already adjusted the pattern pieces to help with this next time.

Alright, I'm psyched! I've got my high waist pants ready to cut out, and I've got several more things on tap. There's a load of fabric in the wash right now! Stay tuned for updates!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Little Show and Tell

Here are a couple of tiny samplers I stitched a few years ago. These are both Birthday Needleroll kits from Victoria Sampler. Each kit contains the fabric, needle, chart, and all the fibres needed to make the sampler which can be framed or stitched up as a needleroll.

I received the August kit as a gift from a secret stitcher friend. It's stitched on 28ct antique white Quaker Cloth and measures approximately 5.3" by 4". It features the August birthstone, peridot, and gladiolus. It's stitched with perle cotton, floss, and metallic thread.

I liked the August kit so much, I made the July kit for my daughter. It's the same size, stitched on 28ct Confederate Grey Quaker Cloth and it features a ruby heart and larkspur. I also made the October kit for my Mom.

These are quick projects, and if you don't want a needleroll, they are designed to pop right into a 5" by 7" frame. I put mine in an 8" by 10" frame with a small mat and they look great. They make a nice gift stitched up for someone, and the kit itself is a nice gift for a stitching friend.

In other sewing news, I've made a muslin of the high waist pants from my wardobe plan. They need some tweaking, but maybe I'll have a finished pair of pants to show soon.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Fall Wardrobe plans

Pattern Review has just kicked off the Fall Wardrobe Contest. This time around, participants have to make ten pieces: 5 tops, 4 bottoms, and a "topper." I'd really like to participate this time, but ten pieces is just a little unrealistic for me. I haven't been very prolific this year and I know what all I have on my plate in the next three months and I just don't think this is doable for me.

However, I could use some new things, and I want to sew, so I've decided to have my own little Mini-Wardrobe project. Feel free to sew along with me if you'd like!

This is a mini-wardrobe plan that I put together a while back using just pieces from the August issue of BWOF.

My plan consists of two tops, two bottoms, and a dress. ( I love wearing a dress!) From the top left:

08-2009-117 A simple ruffled blouse in georgette. I think this would be cute tucked into the skirt or pants.

08-2009-103 A classic bow blouse. It is shown in the magazine in a semi-sheer crepe chiffon- love it!

08-2009-128 A simple, yet very pretty dress. I'll definitely need to make a muslin to make sure those skirt pleats don't emphasize my tummy!

08-2009-105 The high waist pants (hallelujah!) I've already picked out a black and white tweedy fabric very similar to a houndstooth.

08-2009-110 A high waist skirt. I haven't picked out a fabric for sure yet, but I have several things in the stash that would work nicely.

So while the urge is upon me, I think I'll go trace some patterns. Maybe I can get a muslin made today.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

BWOF September... My Picks

I've had the September issue of BWOF in my hot little hands for over two weeks now. I haven't made a thing out of it, but there are several things that I like and that I might make sometime. I didn't like this issue quite as much as the August issue, but I have a feeling that this one is going to be a sleeper. I'm going to come back to it in the months to come and find more and more to love.

This is blouse #118. It's simple and pretty. I love the scoop neckline with the bow. The sleeves are nice, too with the pleats and the simple cuffs.
This is blouse #120. I love the pleated collar. It's absolutely gorgeous and would really draw the eye up to the face. However... I would leave off the flappy thing running down the front over the buttons, and I would probably substitute the plain cuffs from #118. With that beautiful collar, you don't need a lot of other frou-frou going on.

This is blouse #139 from the plus section. This is incredibly beautiful in the photos made up in a white silk chiffon. What a classic piece. I love the V-neckline, the gathers at the raglan seams, and the bow that you could tie as high or as low as you like. I'd wear this with a fabulous high-waist skirt and pearls.

Okay, this piece, waistcoat blouse #129, is kind of odd. But I kinda like it anyway. It's like a vest and blouse all in one. I'd omit the ruffles on the sleeves- they take away from the pretty pleating, and I'd leave off the waist ruffle. Without them I think this would be a really cute top for work.

And here we have Jeans #113. I love the yoke detailing, the pockets and the fact that they aren't low-slung. (Thank you, BWOF!) And the best part? They're the extra pattern with the illustrated sewing course!

And last but not least, is the sheath dress, #138, from the plus section. At first I didn't really give this one much attention. It's just another princess seamed sheath dress. Yeah, the gathers at the shoulder are a nice touch, but still. Then I saw the back. It has a swishy little fishtail hem! How adorable! I'd definately have to make a muslin of this one- the neckline appears a bit wide in the drawing and in the photo. I already had a disappointing experience with a wide neckline once this year. I don't want to have another one.
All in all this a good issue. I can't wait to scrape up some mojo and make something out of it.