Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Vacation Update

My Christmas vacation is cruising by and (as usual) I haven't acccomplished half the things I had hoped to do. We did have a White Christmas, though. It began to snow on Christmas Eve and we woke up to this on Christmas morning:


I had hoped to have the BWOF sheath dress done by now, but I've been caught up with Christmas and spending time with the family. My oldest son has been home from college and I haven't wanted to waste a minute with him. I have made some progress, however. This is the gathering on the left raglan seam, the one detail on the front of the dress:

As you can see, I chose to use a dark rose pink gabardine from stash for this dress. (My monitor makes it look a bit darker and more red than it is in reality.) You've seen this fabric before. I used it for S2694, the Empire Military Dress. I am very happy to report that this project used up the last of it!

I still need to finish the neckline with facings and hem this baby. Then it will need a good pressing. I hope to have pictures to share soon...
I have also gotten a little bit of stitching done during my nights off. I like to "watch" TV while I work on a project. Cider House Garden is really starting to come together:

Pardon the fold lines. They will go away once it's done and I press it and then stretch the linen.

In other sewing related news, I have obtained a replacement free-motion foot as well as the neccesary cotton thread and batting to quilt the Sheep Quilt. Wish me luck. It will almost be a miracle if I can get this quilt totally 100% finished!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

BWOF 09-2009-138 I

I got a strange surge of motivation this past weekend, and I made a muslin of this lovely dress from the September Plus section of Burda. Now this dress doesn't look like much- just a simple princess seamed sheath with a little gathered detail at the raglan seam. What you can't see is the lovely fishtail hem in back which is slightly longer than the front of the dress and which is attached with a flattering curved seam! Very nice.
I traced and cut a straight size 46 with one inch of length added through the waist. Once I had the muslin together I tried it on and... it was... promising. The skirt was just a smidge snug. No problem- a slightly smaller seam allowance should take care of that. The top, however, was the problem. Well, that and the waist. BWOF seems to draft their patterns for someone with no waist. If I go by the measurement chart, I would actually need an even bigger size to accomodate my waist, but as it is, I always end up having to take the waist in. What is up with that? Anyway, taking the waist in is no problem. The bust fit okay, but the top, in front at least, was just overall a little too big. The shoulders were slightly too wide, there was just a tad too much fabric under the arms, and the front was just a tiny bit loose. All in all- about like I would expect a RTW dress to fit.
I compensated by adjusting the pattern down to a 44 through the waist, and the front pieces all the way to the neck. So what I have now is a 44 in front all the way down to the hip where it goes out to a 46, and a 46 in back which cinches in to a 44 at the waist. I don't plan to make another muslin. I'll use a stash fabric to make a "wearable muslin" and adjust as I go. If it works, great! If not, I'll decide then whether to continue or toss the whole thing!
I need to go dig through the stash now...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Shifting Perspectives...

I'm warning you- looking at ModCloth is dangerous! I've found another dress I want to knock off, and I don't need to wait for spring for this one: This is the Shifting Perspectives dress and I absolutely love it! I've looked around a bit and I think I could make a pretty accurate version of it using New Look 6643:

I'd have to make a few changes like eliminating the vertical darts, (making it a necessity to use a knit) and adding the color blocked panels. But all in all, I don't think it would be too terribly difficult. The hard part is finding the time and the motivation to get started!

Speaking of motivation, I'm sadly lacking right now. Somehow I cracked my free-motion foot! Yep, after only about a half dozen practice sandwiches, my foot is useless. I should be able to get to my dealer to replace it on Monday, but right now I am, shall we say, miffed.

Anyway, my two week Christmas vacation has begun and hopefully by the time it's over I will have a couple of finished projects to share. I've been sadly unproductive this year, and I'd like to start making up for it. Wish me luck...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I Can't Wait for Spring

I can't wait for spring because I will be knocking off this dress:
This is the Fugita Garden dress from ModCloth. Isn't it awesome? I love it! Thanks to Angie for introducing me to this site. I'd never seen it before, but they have some really cool stuff- go check it out!

I'm already scouting for fabric (I'm thinking black, white, and one color- similar to the print in the inspiration dress) and I've got some ideas about what patterns I can use to get this look. If it weren't for the fact that it's only about 20 degreees outside right now, I'd be tempted to start on it now!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Free-Motion Quilting- Getting My Feet Wet

This weekend I decided to try out the free-motion foot I bought months ago. I have three full size quilt tops waiting to be quilted and it's high time I did something with them. Here is my first attempt at free motion-quilting:
Yes, it's a mess, but honestly, it turned out much better than I expected it to. (Oh, yeah- I expected a tangled, mangled disaster!)

This is my second attempt:

It's better, but still not great. I think part of my problem is that I don't know where to go. I make a nice curvy shape and then I panic because I don't know which way to go next and so I ended up with lots of sharp points and crossed lines. Still, though. I don't think it's too bad. The back looked (relatively) nice and I didn't have a single pucker, so that's good.

Here's attempt number three:

Aaaaah. Now we're getting somewhere. The key here is that I slowed down. I set my machine speed to medium and just took my time. Yes, some of my stitches are too long, but my lines are curvier and I don't have any crossed lines this time. I don't have as many points or sharp angles either. Once again, the back looked good. In fact, the only way I could tell the back from the front is that I used a different color in the bobbin.
I'm going to dig out some left-over quilt blocks I have lying around and practice on those. I want to get a feel for what it's like to quilt across seams, and see if the different pieces affect my ability to "meander" effectively.
I need a lot more practice at this. I also want some of those gripper gloves that machine quilters use. It's hard enough holding onto a 12" square "practice sandwich." I can only imagine how hard it is to manuever a whole quilt!
In other sewing news, the high-waist skirt is pretty much done except for hand stitching the hem. I'll probably tackle that tonight while I watch Criminal Minds on TV. I'm not promising any pics yet, though. It's been cold and wet here and I don't know when I'll be able to get outside to take a good photo. Hopefully by next weekend. I start a two week vacation next weekend and I hope to have a lot of sewing and finished projects to share! (I hope I didn't just jinx myself!)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Quietly Sewing Along

I've been quiet for the past week, but I have been sewing. New Look 6909 is on hold. I finished the muslin and I really like the dress, but of the two stash fabrics that I had in mind to make it, I don't have enough of either. So, I have to wait until I can go to the fabric store and find something else. Hopefully this weekend (fingers crossed!) I will be making the view in the photo, but with the 3/4 length sleeves. The cap sleeves are very cute but the longer sleeve will be much more practical where I work.

Since I couldn't go ahead as planned with the dress, I decided to work on M5590. I've been wanting to make this skirt for a looong time. I love the high waist- this pattern just screams my name. I'm making View B- the one that hits right at the knee, but without the waist tabs. I want to be able to wear this skirt with a top tucked in or untucked- so no tabs.
This is my fabric- a black and white mini houndstooth. Very versatile. The pinstripe in the background was a contender for NL6909, but since there wasn't enough, it may become another M5590!

I have the lining put together (Yes, that's right- I'm actually lining something!) and the outer skirt is mostly done. As you can see from the photo I have the facings put together and finished. It's time to put it all together. I can't wait to wear this! Stay tuned for finished skirt pics!