Friday, January 29, 2016

Plaid Skirt

I hoped to get a picture of me wearing it, but I don't guess that's going to happen, so I'm going to go ahead and post a hanger picture.

I used this Simplicity pattern:

This is the second time I've made this skirt.  The first time my fabric was too stiff and didn't drape well.  This time I used a flannel that I bought at Joann Fabrics and it hangs nicely.

The only thing I changed was to cut the center front and back on the fold so I wouldn't have to try to match up the plaid.

I wanted to fringe the hemline, but due to the way the fabric is cut, it wouldn't ravel nicely.  So, I found this perfect color blue trim in my sewing supplies and decided to use it.  I didn't measure it before I started sewing it on & had maybe 6 inches left over! That was luck!

Here's a close up of the trim:

February Plans

Quilts - charity baby quilts, Riley's quilt, MIL's

This is not a long list like last month and may not seem like a lot, but when I start working on pants, it can consume me.

January report 
Some basic solid color knit tops for layering -  4 done
Long plaid flannel shirt to wear with leggings
Gray cardigan
Gray knit pants
Start on a simple quilt with my 7 yr old DGD - just large flannel squares
Start on English paper piecing quilt
Clean-up and organize sewing room
Go through UFO's and trash ones that I won't finish
Bind a quilt made by my MIL - I'm giving it to my DGD
Work on hand-quilting a quilt I started several years ago


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Fur Vest

I've wanted to make a "fur" vest for a couple years now.  Recently while going through the fabric closet looking for something, I ran across a bag containing this fur and a vest pattern.  I had planned on making this last winter, but I put it aside and forgot about even having it.

I made view "E" of this old pattern.  This is a really good, basic pattern with multiple styles. I made size medium at shoulders and neck going out to a large at hips.

This was my first time sewing with fur, so wasn't really sure what I was doing.  But it was easy to work with and not as messy as I thought it would be.

For the lining, I used a sturdy piece of polyester silky type-fabric I've had for many years.

I knew this would be too bulky to try and turn it by pulling through the shoulders and side seam, so instead I added a seam to center back of the lining and left an opening in it for turning.  Then I sewed the vest and lining together along the edges and bottom hem.  After turning it, I used black bias trim to hem the armholes. I'm really happy with how nice that looks.

It was a quick and easy project that only took 2 years to make. ;)  Glad to have this UFO finished.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Tee Shirts

For my first sewing project for 2016, I made four long sleeve tee shirts.

I used this out-of-print Kwik Sew pattern #3338 and made view A.  I used a size large, except medium for the shoulders.  What I like best about this pattern is the shape of the neckline and the fit of the shoulders.  This is one of the few patterns that I don't have to narrow the shoulders.

Top 1:
The only pattern alteration I made was to add a little width to the center front fold, to give more room over the tummy.  The main fit issue I have with this pattern is a fold I get in the armhole right at the bust.  If you look at the picture on the pattern cover above, you can see it on the blue top on the right.  Fabric is an olive green cotton without much stretch and was bought at Joann's in June, 2015 for $2.25 yard.

Top 2:
This fabric is a thin and very stretchy rayon.  I bought it at Joann Fabrics last year for $4.00 yard. This will be great for layering.

Alterations I made:
sway back adjustment
lengthened by 3 inches
lengthened the sleeves 1 inch
made a small dart in the front armhole
added to back fold line at hip area

Top 3:
This white fabric came from Walmart and I paid $3.50 a yard.  I made the same alterations as for the second top.  I also added 1" to the sleeve cap height and reshaped the sleeve a little trying to fix my usual sleeve twist problem.   These changes helped, but didn't completely take care of the issue. 

So after doing some research regarding the sleeve twist, I realize I have an inward elbow rotation like in this picture:  (Some call it forward rotating shoulder).

Good timing for me, Jennifer Stern recently posted an alteration for this issue "how-to-adjust-forward-rotated-shoulder"

Top 4:
I decided to make one last top and try the forward rotating shoulder adjustment.   I'm surprised how much this alteration helped my sleeve fit, and plan to make it a standard alteration for my future tops.  I made this top a little looser fit and longer length. 

The fabric for this is a men's xxl tee shirt that I bought at Kohl's on clearance for $2.50.  It's a nice weight cotton.  I didn't have enough fabric left to make the neckband, so I used a piece of black & white print from my scrap bag.

I have 4 new knit tops and learned a new fitting solution.  Now I'm ready to move on to something else.