Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Mrs Stylebook Skirt is a Success!

Mrs Stylebook skirt

Here is a photo of style#36 from the latest Mrs Stylebook magazine made up in a lovely bright pink sueded silk duppioni. The fabric was a gift. Thanks, Pam! It has enough body that it makes the hemline stand out slightly, and I think it turned out pretty cute. I used my regular narrow waistband method instead of their recommended band with elastic in the back. I didn't have to lengthen it at all, and it really went together quickly, not really taking much fabric either. I hope to make another out of a green poppy print charmeuse. It won't have the body of the duppioni, but since it's polyester, it may do all right.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Mrs Stylebook

I just got my copy of Mrs Stylebook today! It was sent to me from California, but came very quickly. There's a thread on Sewing World called Mrs Stylebook Draft Along, and we're all going to draft a skirt pattern from the magazine, which is entirely in Japanese! There is at least one Japanese speaker in the group, and another person who has experience drafting from this magazine. I think it's going to be a lot of fun, and very interesting. It is awfully strange to feel illiterate though.

I still haven't started on my brown knit skirt, but after wearing the olive knit skirt and jacket today, I believe I'll do the brown skirt the same length, which is about 8" shorter than my usual FFF skirts, which are almost ankle length. It just feels right.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Plaid McCalls top with Ultrasuede detailing. Linen/Poly Burda pants.

SWAP Finished?

I think I've finished my SWAP collection tonight. I completed the brown linen/poly pants Monday, and then began on a McCalls 2818 princess seamed shell. I decided to try it out of the very thin plaid polyester before trying it with the lovely batik cotton from Timmel's. I'm really glad I did, as I knew I needed to move the bust point up from last time I made it. I did move it, but not far enough I guess, because when I tried it on, I needed to take a tuck right across the high bust area of an inch! So, I did, tapering to the armscyes. I stitched it down by hand, then added a strip of Ultrasuede binding with a flat bow in the center to cover the stitching and tuck. It really turned out very cute, better than without it, and the fit is great. I tried to take photos tonight, but the flash was doing very weird things to the color, so I'll try again tomorrow in actual light.

The reason I'm not sure I'm finished is that I'm thinking of doing another FFF skirt in the brown doubleknit I used for the band on the basketweave jacket. I planned to make one out of that anyway, and if I make it part of the Official SWAP instead of the dotted skirt, then all the tops will go with all the skirts, as they're supposed to. Otherwise, this plaid top really doesn't go with that dotted skirt. Oh well, it's probably the fastest skirt pattern in the west, so no problem, and it will be a nice little project for this weekend.

Antique Lace

Antique Knitted Silk Lace

This lace is knitted with terribly fine thread. I have 8 yards of it, and it's seamed into a circle. My Mother gave it to me, but I don't really know where she got it. I'm not sure what I'll do with it, but it is quite beautiful. Be sure and click on the photo to see a much more detailed picture.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Olive Tee & Green Pants

Green Double Burda Pants & Olive Jalie Tee for the 2005 SWAP Collection. You can link here to a series of waistband method close ups.

Inside Out

I began on the linen/poly pants this evening, and quickly realized that I had attached the underlining to the right side of one back piece, so ended up starting off with ripping all that out and doing it the right way. Sigh. Oh well, I got them done to the point of the waistband and hem. They go so well, and so quickly, I don't know why I don't make more. Just hate to make pants I guess. I'd like to try some with a drawstring waist for summer. I think they might be kind of nice, and they would definitely be a very thin fabric, and unlined.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Lenten Rose

Lenten Rose (Helleborus Orientalis) blooming right on time, as usual.

Fabrics Etc. from Pendleton

Pendleton Trip

Well, what fun! Yesterday I went to the Pendleton Outlet with Jane, and we did very well indeed! They are unfortunately closing this spring, probably in mid-April, so this may have been my last trip there. I tried to stock up on all the great basics they have, plus fabric of course. I got about 30 yards of various wools, including some of the finest, almost sheer wool I've ever felt; a very soft plaid of butterscotch and cream for a man's shirt. I got 3-5 yards of several plain, light weight, hard finish wools in taupe, dark brown and cream, a navy/natural sharkskin, and several others, including some bright coral tricot, which I've never seen them have before.

Notions included linings, fusible interfacing in black, white and magenta, buttons, shoulder pads, sleeve heads, elastic, Ultrasuede bindings, and zippers. The photo includes some fabric on the right, which I bought there last time.

Last night I cut out the brown linen/poly pants, and the beige cotton underlining I'm using with them, and attached them while staystitching the seams on each piece. I also sewed the darts, so it's on to the zipper today.

I also got brave finally, and soaked one piece of the Resort Tweed in Eucalan, then let it dry flat overnight. This morning I steamed and pressed it, and you can't tell it from the pieces which have not been treated. I'm so pleased! I will do the other two now. I also pressed the Timmel Batik this morning, as I prewashed it last night also. The end of the SWAP is in sight, and none too soon, but I will finish in good time.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Organza Waistband on Green Wool Pants

This afternoon I finished the green wool pants I made for the SWAP collection, and immediately wore them to dinner tonight. They're the same pattern as my tan wool pants, and also a Pendleton wool, but a little more brushed finish than the tan. They turned out beautifully though. I like to use a 1/4" waistband, which I usually make out of a different fabric than the pants, unless they're a really thin fabric. Ribbon works well, but I didn't have anything that went with this, so I stopped at Hancock Fabrics last night, and bought several choices, including a bias binding that was a green mottled-effect print. It really looked great, but I decided it would be just a little too wild for what is a very classic pair of pants. I decided to go with a 1-1/2" dark green nylon organza ribbon.

I stitched the ribbon to the right side of the waistline, then turned it, folding the pant seam allowance down in the process, and pinned, letting the ribbon edge go over the seam on the wrong side and hang down. I hand-stitched it in the ditch, and finished the back end flush, and the front end with an underlap. I used a snap at the edge of the back, and a handworked eye on the end of the front underlap with a hook on the inside band. This is the best combination of fasteners I've found yet for these pants. Very secure, yet easy to open and close, and completely invisible from the right side. I was a little worried that it would be scratchy to wear, but it is not at all. Very comfortable.

I also used the ribbon as a "hem tape," stitching it to the hem edge of the pants, and hemming from it to the underlining. There was no reason to do this really, I just thought it would look cute, and I had plenty of ribbon left. The ribbon has quite a bit of body to it, and actually is a nice hem reinforcement. You can see photos of the waistband at the end of my Pants Gallery.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Bracelet Making

Diamond/Sapphire bracelet I saw that inspired me to look for a suitable buckle to make one in this style.

Inspiration bracelet from Ross-Simon.

This is the buckle set I found at a horse show yesterday that I plan to use to make a bracelet in the style of the diamond/sapphire one above.

Silver Buckle Set

It will obviously be much more casual, but certainly more wearable in my life! I haven't decided what color or type of beads I will use yet.

Wool & Linen Pants

I did most of the construction last night on the green Pendleton tropical-weight wool pants for my SWAP. They are underlined with a matching Pendleton lining, and are my TNT (Tried and True) pants pattern I call the Double Burda, as it was created by morphing 2 Burda pants patterns together. Today I will apply my 1/4" waistband and hem them.

I also prewashed the dark brown linen/poly blend fabric from Timmel Fabrics who are sponsoring the SWAP contest, and it came out beautifully. Very nice and drapey. I plan to use the same pattern for it, although I am toying slightly with the idea of tie-front pants a la Nancy Erickson, but I'm not sure the flat front wouldn't be easier to wear with the other components of the SWAP. I do want to make some of the tie-front pants for high summer though.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Photos of the Olive Knit SWAP Coordinates

I took photos this morning, and some turned out. I didn't know whether I'd like all 3 matching pieces worn together, but it's not too bad.

This picture's kind of fuzzy, but it shows the style well.

SWAPping Along

I started and finished the 2 Jalie Tees from the olive rayon knit tonight. I did the hems with a 3-step zigzag which worked very well, and doesn't show at all due to the texture of the knit, and the very good thread match. So good it's practically impossible to rip out, of course. I now only have 3 pieces left to do in the Stage I SWAP, which is for the competition. Here's a link to my SWAP Coordinates List

If I'd start sewing earlier in the day, who knows how much I could accomplish? I seem to be on a very weird schedule lately, and here I am still up at 1:30, so no hurry, is there?

Friday, March 11, 2005

Olive Skirt

Well, I decided that the olive knit skirt is just fine, and in fact wore it to sing at Musical Art Club on Monday, with the cardigan and a crocheted shell. It's shorter than my other FFF skirts, but still almost mid-calf length, and is actually a more practical length I think.

I'm hoping to get back into SWAP sewing with a will Friday, as my luncheon was today and so I can concentrate on other things now. I'm going to do the 2 olive tops, and then move on to a blouse and the 2 pair of pants.

Friday, March 04, 2005

SWAP Jacket done.

Knit Cardigan Unbuttoned
I finished this cardigan this afternoon, after buying buttons for it yesterday. This is the Jacket for my SWAP, and I'm pretty pleased with it, and I think it hangs well, although it appears to be extremely vulnerable to snagging. I finished the skirt also, but may redo the hem, as it wants to have quite a flare to it, which is certainly in fashion, but I'm not sure it looks too great on me. I may have to look at it for a while before I decide. I also have 2 Jalie Tees cut out from this fabric. They'll go quickly.

Knit Cardigan Buttoned

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Perennial Buttons

Buttons from Perennial Buttons, for Olive Rayon Cardigan. I believe these may be bone, but they're definitely a natural material, with brass pieces inset. They're not terribly heavy, which is good, as the fabric is lightweight.


I finished the Olive Rayon Cardigan and Skirt tonight except for the buttons and buttonholes on the cardigan, and the hem on the skirt. I need to go look at buttons, as I don't have any I like. Hard to believe, as I have tons of buttons. Actually, I have 2 that are great, but I need 4. I think I may be able to get more of these, so I will have to look, otherwise it's off to Earth Bead Gallery to look at their button area. I think I will do a twin needle hem on the skirt. It could use the weight. It's actually a very nice, drapey knit, but it's a little clingy, as it's quite thin. It also seems a little fragile, and perhaps prone to snagging. I hope that does not prove to be the case.

Next I will work on the 2 Jalie Tees I was able to get out of the 5 yards with the cardigan and skirt. One has 3/4 sleeves and the other is short-sleeved.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Anthropologie Scores!

Finally, something I actually would wear from Anthropologie, seemingly everyone's favorite wearable style site. They have lots of cute things, but very few that actually seem wearable by me.
Crinkled silk strips, but not the carwash effect, and the hem is raw, as is the top, probably with petersham ribbon inside. I really like the stitching around the hip area. It reminds me of a similar stitched hip area on a silk pleated skirt in Vogue Knitting last year. This would be quick and easy, and very cute for spring.

SWAP Olive Rayon Knit Pieces

I'm finally back to some "official" pieces of my SWAP collection. I've cut out the NE Cardigan, FFF Skirt, and 2 Jalie Tees from the olive rayon knit. It almost takes longer to do the pockets on the cardigan than the whole rest of it. Anyway, I'm up to putting the front band on. It's nice to be getting somewhere on this collection again.

I went to Sewing Guild tonight, and in fact led the meeting (such as it was) in the absence of the president. The program was given by a member who's a certifies Palmer/Pletsch fitting instructor, and was very good. Everyone agreed she'd have to do another one soon, as she didn't get through all that we wanted to hear.

Gardening has been interfering with sewing for the last few days, but it's quite cold and very windy again, so that may stop for a while.