Saturday, February 26, 2005

Interesting fabric.

Wonderful fabric from Diane von Furstenberg. Wouldn't this be fun to create with applied knit or bias strips? Even the same color would be very interesting. Perhaps a jacket with the embellishment, and a plain skirt or dress.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Very casual!

Monday, February 21, 2005

Cardigan Is Done

I finished the cardigan Saturday night except for cutting the buttonholes open and sewing on the buttons. I applied FrayCheck and left it to dry overnight.

In general I'm pleased by the way this turned out. Especially since the fabric was not considered ideal for this pattern.

My SWAP progress appears to be mostly sideways, as this is yet another adjunct piece and not one of the actual 11. I suppose it could be, but I'm planning on starting on the Olive Rayon Knit cardigan, skirt and top next, and those are some of the
real SWAP pieces. I still have quite a lot of time left, so should be okay.

I bought two interesting knits this evening. One is a sheer, lacy cream colored piece that will make lovely undershirts, and the other is a thin rust colored matte knit. I think it will be a Tee. Still buying fabric faster than I seem to be able to make it up. It was ever thus.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

More Cardigan Work

I'm so pleased with the Italian Wool Basketweave Cardigan. I bought this fabric under the mistaken impression that it was recommended for this pattern, even though it's a woven, and then found that it wasn't. I read on Sewing World of someone else who was adapting the cardigan pattern for wovens, and it didn't sound like she was changing much. So, I finally just forged ahead and tried it. It has turned out beautifully, and last night I hemmed it and put the shoulder pads in, so it is all done except for the buttonholes, and I think I'm going to line it. It would be nice to have a slick interior. It makes it so much easier to slip it on and off. I will also be using some of the brown doubleknit to make a top and skirt. I may use a little of the basketweave for trimming.

Italian Wool Basketweave from Nancy Erickson. Posted by Hello

Chanel Cognac Boucle' from Michael's Fabrics Posted by Hello

Friday, February 18, 2005


I've been very busy doing lots of fabric prep, working on my SWAP, purchasing fabric, etc.

I got my Marfy patterns Monday, and checked them against my Saran block, and they are incredibly close to what I need. So, I hope that will mean few alterations. The patterns are so interesting looking. They're on a heavy tissue with almost a waxed feel, cut out already, and darts, etc. cut out. No instructions, just stamped letters on the pieces showing where the match points are. I'm really hoping for great results.

I decided to go ahead and prewash the olive rayon knit for the Nancy Erickson cardigan, etc. and also changed the shoulder slope on the cardigan to more closely match mine, and removed some of the space allowed for shoulder pads. I like a small pad, but this pattern has needed a pretty big one. I got brave and cut out the brown wool basketweave for this. The scan of the fabric is posted above. I bought it specifically for this pattern, and then was told it wouldn't work, as it's not a knit. I really thought it would, and it's actually great. I used a dark brown doubleknit for the front bands, and it looks great. I'm now trying to decide whether to do some kind of triangular embellishment on the left front shoulder, or put on fake welt pockets. I don't want the weight of regular pockets, but the line might be nice. I will just have to see. I put some of Judy Barlup's straight staytape down the inside of the band foldline. I've had trouble with those stretching out before, even though it's interfaced. I hope this will do the trick. It needs hems, buttonholes and a lining. Then it will be done.

I bought a fabulous fabric on Tuesday. It's a Chanel boucle in a cognac color from Michael's Fabrics. It's even more gorgeous in person. The scan of the fabric is posted above. It will be a suit, and I just hope I can do it justice. It has cellophane as one of the components of the weave, so it is rather unusual.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Colorblocked Vogue 2683 Bias Top from Pendleton rayon/wool blend. Posted by Hello

Bias Top Unbound

I finished the bias top from Vogue 2683 Sunday evening. I finally got some pictures today, and one of them is posted above. Here is a link to more photos.

I also took and posted some photos of shoes I have covered to match various garments. I hadn't thought about them for a while, then hemmed a scarf this winter from a remnant, and realized I have shoes to match it (and a 2-piece dress too.)
This is the scarf and shoes. There are more pictures here.

I also got my Marfy patterns in the mail today! I only ordered last Sunday, and I think a week is amazingly fast from Italy. I can't wait to get started, but I do have a few other things that ought to come first.

I received swatches from Michael's of several fabrics today too, but especially of a cognac boucle that is really calling my name. A friend alerted me to it, and she really knew my taste. Thank you Patti! I will be calling them tomorrow to order.

So, all in all, quite a lovely day, although no actual sewing was done. It was 65 degrees today, and I worked in the garden for an hour or so. It was wonderful to get outside and just do something.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

More Bias Top

I attached the binding around the neck and armholes of the DKNY top today. I did it by hand, and it turned out very well, and probably was faster than if I'd pinned, stitched, ripped, etc. I think I could cut in the front armscyes a little with no trouble, but it's a nice look the way it is.

I took in all the seams at the bottom after turning up the hem. The instructions only have you stay stitch the seams from the waist up before stitching, and I think it would have been a good idea to do the whole seam. I wondered at the time, but I'm not a bias expert. After I tapered the seams, I turned up the hem again, basted it and eased it. I will hem it tomorrow. I think this will be great in the tweed and in the silk, although I suppose it will be a whole different experience in a thin silk. Oh well.

Now I'm wondering if I should be making the bias skirt to match the jacket, or if the shapes are even going to work well together. In my book there's nothing wrong with a nice, straight skirt. I wonder if I might possibly have enough fabric for both. I guess I'll just have to see.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Bias Top Beginning

I cut out my test of the bias top (Vogue 2683) last night, and put it together. I am very pleased with the results so far. I will attach the armhole and neck bindings today, and probably hem it also. I let it hang overnight so it should be ready to hem. I was very worried after I sewed the sides to the front. It seemed enormous, but I went ahead and put the zipper in (I only used a 7" zipper instead of the 22" they call for, and it's fine) and sewed the backs to the sides. Once you put it on, it hangs out long and skinny, like bias should, and it's fine. I had to do a little tweaking on the side/front seam on one side, but I think that's the nature of bias fabric. It looks like it could be a great dress if you lengthened it. I'm doing a color-blocking effect on this, with one side and one half of the back in the reverse side of the fabric.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Forging Ahead

Well, I finally just plunged in and finished altering my pattern for the top of Vogue 2683. this evening, and will test it tomorrow. It will eventually be done in the Resort Tweed if things work out, but right now I'm testing in the brown rayon/wool that I made the Drafted Jacket from. I followed the advice of many sources in purchasing the pattern by the shoulder size and altering the rest, which is a lot of altering in my case, but why not try? I'm kind of excited about this, as the pattern looks fairly good in my opinion. We'll soon see!

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Fabric Prep A-Plenty

I just couldn't decide what to work on the last couple of days. I've been altering a pattern, but I just am not inspired with it yet, so I've been doing all kinds of prewashing of fabrics. I did the NE Italian Wool Basketweave and FabricMart Dark Taupe Wool Crepe in Eucalan and dried them flat, then steamed them. Both came out beautifully, with no shrinkage or change in hand. I also washed some knits, including a mottled chamois colored Slinky knit. I haven't worked with Slinky before, and I'm sure that's what this is, but of course, it's officially a "mystery knit."

Today may not be a real sewing day either, as I go to Morning Musical Review this morning, and another appointment this afternoon. We'll see.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Change of Mind

Change of mind...wouldn't that be nice? Or not. Oh well, it just struck me funny after I typed it.

I've been thinking and thinking about what's wrong with that Marfy top, and tried it on again last night with a long skirt, thinking that might help elongate the line, and improve the look, and I realized that its problem is that I didn't shorten the top between the shoulder and bust. Quite an oversight, and look at the problems it caused. I pinned the shoulders where they should be, and suddenly it all falls into place, and is much better. Here is even a photo of the new, improved version. It's still not my best thing, and even with a matching skirt, would seem to be for an event I'm not planning to attend, so it's going to a friend's 7-year-old for the Dress Up Box, along with the rest of the embellishment yarn. She's learning to knit, so a boa would be great fun with this. I may make another version in a different color, with perhaps more subtle embellishment, and I really think sleeves or something would improve this. Perhaps swags of the yarn over the shoulder in lieu of sleeves.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Semi-Productive Day

Not really a productive day in some ways, but I got a lot done. I finished the Marfy top and embellished the front panel with tufty eyelash yarn and the Embellisher, which is kind of cute. I also put one row of yarn around the neckline and armholes. All this in aid of trying to make it look good on me, which it isn't ever going to because of the hemline. I also don't really need all those gathers in the front, but it's the hemline that's the worst. I just don't need curves like that. Oh well, the fit was what I was after, and I found out that's the size I need, so I ordered the other patterns today. I assume it will take at least a couple weeks to get them. We shall see.

I also did enough on my second version drafted jacket to find that it's not a success. I will revert to the version I used with the brown fabric. I'm going to check it and my block against Cynthia Guffey's pattern and see how that will be. I suppose I'd better do a muslin of it too before I try it, if I do. It's time to decide on the official jacket for my SWAP though. It may be the olive rayon knit NE #1960 cardigan, which I need anyway.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Marfy Top

I finished the Marfy top last night except for the edge finishes (which they give no clue about) and the embellishing, which I didn't do yet since this was a fit test, and I wanted to be done in a hurry so I can order the other patterns today. I was very pleasantly surprised that the fit on this is really good without any alterations. I measured the pattern, which seemed like it was fine, and hoped for the best. I used a tan heather jersey knit (jersey was the first recommended fabric) and interfaced the center panel. I omitted the back zipper since it's a stretchy knit, and I have no trouble getting it over my head. It is fairly close fitting, but certainly not too tight, so I am pretty pleased. It definitely needs the embellishment so that it has a good focal point. I am thinking of using binding at the arm and neck edges, turned to the inside, with perhaps topstitching which would "match" the embellishment. Otherwise, I think just turning and invisibly hemming will be the way to go.

I think this would be very nice in a crepe, which is the other recommended fabric, or something with a nice drape and not so much clinginess. I will think about how to embellish this, and post a photo if I like it. The color will definitely go with my SWAP. What more can I ask?

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Marfy Pattern

I received the Spring/Summer Marfy pattern catalog this week, and I made up one of the two free patterns offered so I could see what size I need to order for the two patterns I want to order. The first one has the most interesting skirt, and the second one is to be made in a print fabric with lace overlay around the edges. I plan on a straight skirt with this one rather than the pleated one shown.

The free pattern is for a top and a kimono sleeved jacket. I made the top and am very pleased with the fit and moderately pleased with the style. It's not something I would have chosen on my own, but it's interesting, and I think I will do some embellishing on the front triangle as is shown, which will improve the general look. I used a jersey fabric for this and skipped the back zipper. This is the free pattern. . It would be cute in crepe too, the other recommended fabric.

Because I wanted to be able to order the Marfy patterns tomorrow, I put off working on my second version of the drafted jacket pattern similar to the one I finished on Thursday. It's a little smaller and more fitted, so I hope I like it as well. I'm using a small houndstooth check in a very pale pink and black. I don't know what it will go with, but I had the fabric, so thought I might as well use it.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Jacket Pictures

I took photos of the brown drafted jacket today. . I think it turned out pretty well. It's definitely a casual look, but that's what I expected. I think narrowing the shoulders and using fusible underlining on the next one will improve it quite a bit. You can see
more photos here. The cream tee in some of the photos is from the SWAP collection too.

I also took photos of the tees and first FFF skirt I made for the SWAP being worn. You can see them here. I like all of them, and am especially pleased with the clay colored tee. I found enough of the fabric to make a matching skirt, and possibly a Nancy Erickson cardigan too.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Jacket is Done

I finished the brown "test" jacket tonight. The lining worked very well, I like my adjustments, and it is quite nice to wear. Looks like it will go with a lot of things, including the large-scale Pendleton plaid skirt I made last year that was sort of an orphan. I hope to take photos tomorrow, probably after I go to the dentist.

Laryngitis imminent today. My voice comes and goes, and I try not to talk. Coughing is still a problem, but not too often. I scheduled a rehearsal for the soprano/oboe/piano song cycle next Wednesday. Surely I'll be healthy by then.

My fabrics from Timmels came Saturday. Very nice, and also got the new swatch group. Quite a few cute things, but I'm trying to just stay out of temptation for a while. I'm afraid I probably do have enough fabric for a while anyway!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Jacket Progress

I've been fighting a cold/sore throat since Friday night, and today I'm losing my voice a little. So, I'm not talking much, which is quite a penance.

I've been slowly but steadily working on my jacket, and it's coming right along. The lining is all in, I've taken in the Center Back seam about 2" at the bottom, tapering to nothing near the neck. This is quite an improvement. I think my next effort should have an inch taken out of each side of the back at the center of the shoulder all the way to the hem, and the same in the front, but only to the bust point.

I've hemmed the jacket itself, and decided on an even hem all the way around. Next I will hem the lining. This is going to be a very handy jacket, which seems to go with a lot of things in my wardrobe besides the new SWAP. I'm hoping to finish it tomorrow and perhaps take photos.