Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Top 5 of 2013

Okay, I'm going to jump on the bandwagon and look back at my top five of 2013.  I feel like I haven't really been as prolific this year as I have in years past, so I was surprised that I actually made enough things that I could choose five.  But here goes.

At the top of the list is Vogue 8742.  I LOVE this dress.  I love the color, the design, everything.  It's also an easy dress to make which makes it even more awesome.  I can see myself making this again for spring with a short sleeve or even sleeveless.  It's too bad I didn't have any Christmas parties to go to this year because this dress would have been perfect.

Second on my list is Burda Style 04-2013-109.  This should probably have been #1 on the list simply because I wore it so much.  The Vogue dress is just more dramatic and more "me" the way I'm used to. The best thing about this Burda dress is that in addition to being easy to make, comfortable, and (in my opinion) flattering, it changed the way I think about what looks good on me.  This was the first time I made something straight and with minimal shaping and ended up loving it.  I even made this one a second time.  And I think I might make it again when the weather warms up.

Third on my list is My Image M1303.  It was my first MI pattern, and even though it took quite a bit of finagling, I ended up with a skirt that got quite a bit of wear over the summer.  It was also another pattern that changed the way I look at what is flattering.  I really made this because I was curious about the way the pattern went together.  I wasn't sure the wide pockets would work with my already wide hips, but I ended up pleasantly surprised.

New Look 6095 comes in at #4 simply because it gets a ton of wear.  It was great all by itself during the summer and now that the weather is cold it still gets a lot of wear with hose and a cardigan.  I wasn't 100% happy with the fit through the sleeves and bust, but I think this one might be worth some tweaking to get it closer to perfect.  It could be a TNT.

And coming in at #5 is McCall's 5859, the Flamingo Jacket.  This one had to make the list simply because it is so much fun.  It didn't get much wear this past year, but I'm really looking forward to pulling it out this spring.  I think the problem was that I didn't really have anything to wear it with but jeans, and I don't wear jeans that often.  I'm thinking that a simple black sheath to wear under it will solve the problem.  I even already have the fabric in my stash.

Looking back at my list I'm noticing a lot of red, pink, and black.  Funny how the same colors keep popping up over and over.  I think in 2014 I'm going to try some new colors and see if something surprises me.

I also notice that 3 out of 5 of my top five are dresses.  Looking back over the year I saw that I made mostly dresses.  I think I need to stretch myself and make more tops, skirts, pants, and jackets.

Which brings me back to the jacket I'm working on now.  I got quite a bit of work done on it last night.  I might even be able to finish it before the end of the year!  How about you- any last minute finishes before the year is over?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Holiday Lull

It's now that strange holiday time between Christmas and New Years.  I'm still off work and should be sewing, but I'm quickly coming to hate the jacket I'm working on.

First I lost the pocket flap pattern pieces.  No big deal- I can just draft new ones.  Done.

Then I broke a serger needle and didn't have any replacements on hand.  No problem- the jacket is fully lined.  None of the inside seams will show, so I can just keep going.

Then I ran out of thread.  Full Stop.  I can't use a different color to top stitch.  So that meant a trip to the fabric store to get more.

Did I mention that the fabric- stretch "cordless" corduroy is a pain to work with?  Ugh!

So yesterday the Princess and I had a Girls' Day Out and made the trek to the "local" fabric store (60 miles away) to stock up on serger needles, thread, and 1.99 patterns.  The Princess has been asking for some new dresses and has expressed an interest in a couple of patterns.  We are in two completely different size ranges, so new pattern purchases were in order.

Here's what she picked out:

We both love this one.  Simplicity 1609 is a reproduction of a cute little mod shift dress.  The Princess wants one with the petal collar (green version) and one with the bow (blue version.)  It's sleeveless, so I'll probably put off making it until the weather starts to warm up, but I can't wait to make this up.

Simplicity 1650 (above) and 1687 (below) are Project Runway patterns.  The Princess picked both of them out.  Both patterns go all the way down to a size 4 so I think we will be able to make them work for her.  Both have sleeve options so we can dive right in with these while the weather is cold.

She picked out S2246, a Lisette shirt dress.  I like view C with the puff sleeves, solid bodice, and the full print skirt.

Next up is New Look 6211.  I really didn't want to get this one- it's kind of tacky, and too old for the Princess.  But she likes the hi/lo (mullet) skirt.  View B (the one without the cut-outs) isn't too bad.  We might be able to do something with it for spring.

And last is McCalls 6787, a top, leggings, and 3 dress variations:

The Princess picked out a pretty, multi-colored knit fabric and we chose this pattern to make it up.  She likes the view pictured above.  It's sleeveless, but I think it will look cute over leggings with a tee shirt under it while the weather is cool , and then she can wear it alone with sandals once warm weather returns.  If all goes well with it, I hope she will let me make the little peplum version, too.

And of course I had to pick up a couple of patterns for me.  I snagged Simplicity 1653, which is very similar to S2369 which I had good success with a while back.  The new version offers a straight sleeve, which I was looking for and fresh pattern tissue.  My first version turned out pretty good, but I really need to make the next one longer and I wanted a fresh pattern to adjust.

I also picked up McCalls 6884, a plain and simple wrap dress:

I bought a chevron pattern ITY knit that I might just whip up into this pattern.  I haven't decided yet.

I was able to pick up some more thread, however it was not the exact same color as the thread I started the jacket project with.  So I will be hoarding what's left on the spool for topstitching and button holes, and using the new thread for construction on the lining.  And wonder of wonders, I was able to purchase just enough buttons to complete the jacket.  I already had several in my stash and Hancock's had the same buttons, and just enough!  That almost never happens.

So now I just need to get myself motivated to go finish the jacket so I can start something new.  The Princess is really excited about her new dress, so I need to get going on that pretty quickly.  There are also a couple of Burda patterns calling my name....

Happy Holiday Sewing!

Monday, December 23, 2013

McCall's 5190, a Work in Progress

Well, I made it to the Christmas holidays, and I've been able to squeeze in a tiny bit of sewing.  I'm working on this little jacket, McCalls 5190, which is now, sadly, OOP:

I'm making view A and debating whether to add the back waist band from view C/D.  I'm using a nice dusty periwinkle blue "cordless" corduroy...  looks a lot like velvet.
I've already run into problems.  I cut the jacket out last weekend (after a muslin and quite a few pattern adjustments) but neglected to cut the pocket flaps.  No problem- I had enough fabric left over, I figured I'd just cut them out when I got to them.  Well, I got to them yesterday, and guess what?  The pattern pieces are missing.  I looked all over and couldn't find them.  I fear they may have been thrown away.

So at that point I had to decide whether to forge ahead and make the jacket without flaps (sort of like view D) or try to make my own pattern pieces.  I decided to make my own.  They turned out quite nice- they're already stitched up with a coordinated cotton backing to reduce bulk.  They're topstitched and waiting for buttonholes.  All a lot of work really for faux flaps- there aren't even any real pockets on this thing!

It was right after making the pocket flaps that I broke a serger needle.  I figured that was my sign that sewing was done for the day.

I hope to get back into the sewing room today and at least get the back of the jacket put together.  Maybe the sleeves, too.  There are three pieces to each sleeve- the outer and inner sleeve, and the wide cuff.  Because of the way the sleeves are drafted, I'll have to set them in in the round.  I'm not looking forward to that part, but for a jacket, it's really the best way, I think.

I really need to get busy and make a couple more jackets.  My office is so cold that I often spend the day wrapped in a blanket- not very fashion forward!  

And since tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I'm not likely to post again before the big day, Merry Christmas!  And may your New Year be the BEST EVER!