Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Polly tank top

I made this using the "Polly" top pattern from By Hand London pattern company.  It's a free pdf download.   Here's the link to the site:  By Hand London patterns.  You print it off and tape the sections together.   It seems daunting the first time you try it, but it's really not hard.  It's like putting a puzzle together.   I made a mistake when taping the pattern back together, so I had to add a panel up the back.  But I actually like how it turned out.

This is a great pattern.  Every piece fits together well and the sizing is accurate.  It's quick and simple to make, but very cute and a little different.

I like the rounded hemline.  If I make it again, I would raise the front neckline as it's a little bit low on me.  I like making and wearing woven pullovers, so it's great to have another pattern for one.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Summer Dresses

I wanted some long summer dresses, and made 2 this month.

First is this pink print dress:

  I used McCall's 6923 and I made a size 14. 

Instead of adding sleeves, I just extended the shoulders.  There's a long zipper in back, but it really isn't needed as I can pull the dress over my head without it. 


Close up showing the fabric.   I got it at Joann's on sale for $2.50 yd. & used 3 yards.


The second one is a "duro olowu" style dress, similar to this. 
I made one like this a few years ago and still like to wear it, but wanted a longer one.
I used this OOP McCall's pattern.

I made the dress 6 inches longer, added a band between the bodice and skirt part; added a band to the bottom of the hem, and a tie belt.    I made a size 12 (instead of my usual 14) since it's very loose fitting.

I used 2 coordinating cottons that I had in my stash.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Dresden Plate Quilt

It's finally back from the quilter and I love it!

Here you can see the binding.  I love it!  I also used this fabric as part of the back.

For the back, I used 4 different prints. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Tropical Print Top - NL6225

For my latest creation,  I used this New Look pattern.
This a pull-over top designed for woven fabrics.

It has round scoop neck and raglan sleeves.
I used view "B", which is the longer length with short sleeves.

  My new tropical print top:

I made a size 14 at the top, going out to 16 at hips. 

The neckline was too wide and gaped in the front, so I added a 1 inch wide elasticized band.  I'm very pleased with how it fits now.  Here's a close-up of the neckline.


I used a cotton tropical print fabric I got at Joann Fabrics in 2013 for $2.00 yd and used 1-1/2 yards.

My 11 year old granddaughter was my photographer for these pictures.  She liked this one:

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Summer Sewing Room

This is my summer sewing room.    It's located on a covered porch just off my bedroom.

When I set this up last summer it was so that I could make cushions for my patio swing.   The outdoor fabric was so stiff and hard to maneuver that I needed room to spread out.  For that project I used my vintage mechanical sewing machine.  

This summer I decided to set up my Kenmore 19233 out there.  I'll mostly be sewing quilt blocks out there.

I also have a card table and a ironing board that I set up when needed.

The end of the porch where I'm standing to take these pictures has a 6 foot porch swing with a nicely padded cushion.  A nice place to take an afternoon nap.  And a bamboo blind I can roll down to keep out the sun.  So even before I added the sewing machine, it was already my favorite "room" in the house.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Button-up Shirt - B4659

Another cotton woven top.   This time it's a button up shirt.

I love sewing with this type of fabric - it's so easy to sew and press.  And there are so many beautiful prints and colors to choose from.  Maybe that's one reason I enjoy making quilts.

For this shirt, I used Butterick 4659 and I made view B.  It's now out-of-print, so I guess I've had it a long time.

I used a pink floral cotton that I got at Joann Fabrics.  It took 3-1/2 yards of fabric and 6 buttons.  Even though this is a quilting cotton, it's a little bit heavier than normal and it doesn't wrinkle badly. I don't usually go for pink, but I really like this fabric.

I started with my usual size 14 and added a little at the lower center back to give me more room at the hip area.   I had to remove 2 inches from the shoulder width (normally I remove one 1 inch).  And it's a little big thru the bust and upper back.  I probably should have started with a size 12 pattern.  I made view B and I like the collar style, but it was a little tricky to sew.

This is a nice pattern.  I like the princess seams and the collar and the sleeve cuffs are interesting.   I've worn it to work and it's very comfortable.  So, I would say this pattern is a keeper.

Monday, April 28, 2014

M5977 - Embellished Tank

McCall's 5977 is the basis for my top.  I started with a size 14, but added width at the hip area & lengthened by 2 inches.  So it's more of a tunic now.  I like the fit of this pattern; the neckline and armholes are the right size, with no gaping.

Side view.   I cut the center front from the print fabric and added to sides of the front using the stripe fabric.    I cut bias strips and used it to finish the neckline and armholes.

Back view, showing narrow strip I added to the bottom.  I used 2 coordinating quilting fabrics.

I added a peter pan collar.

Underside of the collar, showing the stripe fabric

I think it turned out cute & will be good to wear this summer.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Wide Leg Pants

I've been seeing a lot of wide leg print pants, so I decided to give them a try.

In front of the lilac bush.

I used a BWOF pattern from July, 2009.   I used this pattern because I like the size and shape of the legs - loose fit with a slight flare at the hem. The pattern has front & back darts, a back zipper, waist facings, and inseam pockets - I left off all of these.  To get a loose fit, I made the pants a little bigger than my normal size and then added an elastic casing for the waist.  I made my normal fit adjustments: added a 1-1/2" wedge to the back crotch curve and lowered the front waist about 1".    I'm really happy with the fit.  They're loose and comfy without being sloppy.

The fabric is a light weight blend with a slight texture.  I bought it at Joann's probably 15 years ago.  I've always loved it, but never knew what to make with it.  I wanted printed pants, but not brave enough to go too wild.  This fabric is a good compromise.   And it's thin, so should be cool for summer wear.  I have a small piece left that I'll probably use to make a sleeveless top.

Here's a close up

Monday, April 14, 2014

Butterick 5356 - Top

My first spring/summer project.  A pretty woven top.  I really enjoy sewing with cotton woven fabric!

I used Butterick 5356 pattern for this top.  I usually use a size 14 pattern for tops.  I made the M (12-14) and the fit is good, so it runs a little big.  I really like this pattern.  The neckline is not too wide or too low, and there's just enough gathers.  The neckline is finished with a self-fabric bias strip.  I like this method and use it often.  The sleeve edge is suppose to just be hemmed up, but I added a band so that I would have the contrast of the green fabric on the lace.    This pattern works best if a light weight, drapey fabric is used.

I used a thin cotton-blend fabric that was given to me and the lace was a small piece leftover from another project.  I added the lace to the upper front only.   I've used the pattern before.  All I paid for was the thread, so basically this top was free.

I made this long enough to wear with leggings.  I cut it at the tunic length, but hemmed it more than the pattern called for, so it's between the 2 pattern lengths.

Here's a close-up of the front:  I love the cream colored lace on the green fabric.