Saturday, February 10, 2018

Warm and Cozy

Wanting to use a piece of fabric from deep stash (my Mothers's from the '70's) is great justification for buying more fabric.  I have a  4 meter cut of Liberty fabric. It's lovely but in colors that I know if i made a dress, I wouldn't wear it that much.  On the other hand it would be perfect for a pair of Carolyn pajamas.

Back in August, on the Jackson Heights Fabric Crawl, one of the items on my wish to find list, was flannel fabric to make a tester pair before I cut into my vintage fabric.  At Liz Fabric's I found a plaid in lovely colors.  The fabric on the right:

The hand is wonderfully soft, which is terrific for something you are going to sleep in.  Unfortunately the print was off.  Not just off grain, but it somehow the lines of the plaid actually curve:

While I made a good stab at pattern matching, which worked in some places, see front at the top,  I couldn't carry that through the whole garment when i reached a curve patch.  And Ididn't have enough fabric to cut the pant cuffs on the bias. In the end I had enough length to just leave them off. But hey,  pajamas.

Size wise its a 4 for the neck, shoulders and sleeves graded out to an 8 for the rest and that worked perfectly.  For the waistband I used 1" elastic and cut 1/2" off the top and the bottom.  I am very happy were they sit just under my waist.  Good call on not doing a petite adjustment which I usually need.

On the top, in addition to the grading,  I took in the cuffs by 1" and took the sides of the sleeve in to match, starting just under the armhole.  Hopefully this nice narrower sleeve will be easier to keep out of the dishwashing.

Only change to make on the next pair, is to either use a slightly narrower cord in the piping (yes I made my own) or leave out the cording and just use a flat piping.

This was my 4th Closet Case Patterns, pattern.  I guess I'm officially a fan.

I'm sure I'm going to get a lot of use out of these.  I love sewing lingerie/loungewear items as you really get worn.  My bathrobe gets worn everyday and I have a unblogged nightgown, that is a floor length Doe and Deer Plantain Tee, that I really enjoy.

Now to get the 2 projects I have waiting to blog about photographed

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Black and White and Worn All Over...

So after my last post, I went ahead and sewed up a few things, enjoyed wearing them, but never posted.

I think every sewer gets to that point when you realize you have all the pretty dresses and brightly colored items, you need and don't have any me mades of the kind of clothes you wear daily.  It becomes especially apparent when you try to participate in MeMadeMay and as happened before I gave up in the second week.

Now that's not been a big issue for me.  For my general work wear I source basic pieces from Banana Republic and J Crew, often on the sale rack or the outlet stores, but I decided it was time to sew for this category of my wardrobe.

 The print is my last purchase at the now gone Paron's, a store I'd been shopping at for over 30 years. I still have a shopping bag from when they, and all the good fabric stores, were on 57th St.

There are 2 lovely darts in the neckline.  On this printed silk charmeuse, I choose to leave them as unstitched pleats:

The top is my first competed Burda Style garment.  I was nice to finally tackle one.  When I made the muslin, it was way to big but the neck and shoulder lines were nice and all it needed was a major take in down the side seems.  1" per seam for a total of 4".  That left me with a perfectly fitting armhole and I still have plenty of ease.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about having less items in my wardrobe that don't get a lot of wear.  Now when I purge, the question I've been asking is "Is this something I could be happy wearing once a week?"

I am keeping less of those, "oh I'll wear it sometime items".

I had bought a nice piece of black poly crepe from Kashi at Metro Textiles with the idea of making another cold shoulder dress.  I realized that while lovely and fashionable, it would not get an awful lot of wear.  So instead I made a pair of culottes.   Perfectly good for work wear for me.  The patten is   McCalls 7445.   The outcome is just okay. I you really look closely three are some unwanted folds in the fabric.  It may have been a the weight of the fabric in combo with the zipper weight or it may be a crotch curve issue. While the not quite perfect fit it doesn't really show at all.  Hey its black.

There was quite a bit of fabric let, so I cut the Burda Top out in the solid black too!  Only change was this time I sewed and then topstitched the darts.

On both tops, I used the facing the facings method that Peter describes here. 

A nice, and very useful 3 piece capsule.

Stay turned for some much more ambitious projects with excellent results.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

August Was A Very "Sewcial" Month!

Sorry blog again its been a long time and so this will be a long post.  There should have been 3 posts. And it should have been done a few months back.

I love nothing more than getting together with a group a people who share my interest in a hobby and August was a terrific month for that.

First on the calendar was MPB day.  Peter Lappin's of Male Pattern Boldness annual get together.  I'm pretty sure that this was my 4th attendance.

I meet the group at the FIT museum a little too late to be in the group photo:

Photo courtesy of Male Pattern Boldness

 4 pieces of fabric we bought:

For 3 projects as the white cotton is for underlining the winter white wool crepe.

The chiffon print, from Fabrics for Less,  was sewn into a kimono jacket and sent off to my niece.

A very quick and fun project to make.  Cut, french seam the seam that goes from sleeve bottom to the hem.  Serged the edges and then roll hemmed them.

The other purchases have now been sewn as well.

Look who stopped by for lunch:

Kenneth D King

I'm wearing a McCalls 7542 made in a gingham from Metro Textiles.  I should blog it.  I had to address sleeve cap issues.

A nice moment of the day was seeing a new fabric store opening.  We've seen so many close...

We also visited the new French Couture Fabrics.  I plan to go back there for some leather for a skirt.

And what does one do the weekend after a great day of fabric shopping?  One goes fabric shopping again:

Photo courtesy of Diary of a Sewing Fantatic

Thanks to Jinx and Gunner to we had a terrific day on the Jackson Heights Fabric Crawl.  We visited 5 great fabric stores all located very close to each other in this Queens neighborhood.

So my commitment to myself this year was to limit fabric purchases to that which would be used right away.  As they say about best made plans.....:

The two to the left are both Rayon Challis'.  Having been lamenting the lack of pretty Rayon Challis in the Manhattan Garment District, we found the mother load in Jackson Heights.  These both came from M&J fabrics, where everyone of us purchased fabric mostly rayon challis.  I hope that they will still be stocking this substrate next year.   We've already made plans to have a spring crawl, but I can easily make a stop here on the return from my infrequent visits to my office.

They grey floral is for a dress I've been thinking of for quite a while.  I have a pair of grey shoes that don't go with much.  TNT shift bodice with a half circle skirt.  A version I've not done before.

The solid blue is planned for a Style Arc Marilyn Dress.  Carolyn did a nice job with this one.

The flannel is for Carolyn Pajamas as December Holidays' project.

And then on the last Tuesday of the month there was #NYSewcial hour:

If you're in the New York area and haven't joined us yet,  Grace and I have been hosting a monthly happy hour gathering on the last Tuesday of every month.

Almost always (except for special occasions) at:

The Houndstooth Pub
520 Eighth Avenue at 37th Street

We'd love to have you join us.

Now to catch up with posting the sewing that I've been doing.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

When Life Gives You Lemons make a skirt.

I've been eying lemon prints for awhile, but neither black or white grounds were doing it for me.
Just before my birthday I spotted this Navy ground print at EmmaOneSock and, Birthday Fabric I hit the buy button.  I am working towards a no-orphan wordrobe and I had the twin set and numerous pair of navy patent leather shoes.

The skirt is the pattern same one from Pattern Review that I used on this dress.

Hard to tell with the print, but it has lovely pleats that cross over the stomach, but lay flat.

I think I will enjoy this one a lot.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Sew Nice I Made It Twice

Well not quite.

The Taylor Skirt from Style Arc Patterns:

This was my first go at a Style arc pattern.  I bought it through Etsy so while I got three sizes, but they can only be printed out one at a time and aren't nested.  My measurements put me at a mix of the 8 and the 10.  I don't like clothes that are too tight so I went with the 10.

And it came out way to big.  It was the begin of winter and I put it away.  Now that Spring is here (though we've had a couple of days Summer) I figured it was time to fix it.

I took it all apart and took 1/2" off each of the side seams, then reattached the waist elastic and redid the hem.

Now it looks quite perfect. Even the back view:

The fabric is one of the stripe pontes that Mood always has available whether in-store or on-line.
I used one to make a Coco Dress pre blog as did Lauren.  Sarah used one very recently.

I love what the seaming does to the stripes:

Ultimately I've ended up with a successful make, but I'm still hesitant about using a Style Arc pattern again.  There are a few bloggers for whom their styles really work, but I think I'm really not their body type.  If there's a style that I just can't find elsewhere, perhaps.

One more view:

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Bra Making Begins

Sorry blog, it's been awhile.  Between my cheapy camera not handling the winter light in my apartment, lots of winter knitting, a series of muslins that haven't yet lead to something I'm ready to cut out, and yet another pair of Ginger Jeans which might be too boring and a bit loose so that photos look very wrinkly, I haven't had anything to blog about, but.....

I've made a bra!

As someone with a not easy to find size, who has probably never worn a bra that fits properly in her life, I'm really taken with the idea of custom making my own bras.

I've bought all three of Beverly Johnson's Craftsy bra classes and started with a Pin Up Girls Classic bra.  Unfortunately I took some sizing advise that didn't work out.  I was so excited when the Cloth Habit Harriet Bra was released and saw that it was available in my 28G size.  According to the size chart my measurements put me in an F, but I went with the G.  This one isn't going to work either.  Band is very good.  The gore tacks really well, the the cups are still too small.  Its close enough to try one size up.

What I really want to make note of is that I used a Bra Maker's Supply Kit and if you are going to use one to make a Harriet, there are a few things to know.

I thought my size called for a 3 hook closure but the back height is for a 2 hook closure.  I think the 2 size packs is what through me off.  Luckily I had one (not the right color so  I just basted it on to test. Easy enough to redraft the back band for a 3 hooks and I will do so on the next one I make, mostly because I already have the closure.

To get the wider bottom band elastic to work I had to trim some of the elastic out of the way of the wire casing.  This worked out fine.

Because I was using wider elastic than the bra was designed to use, for the second pass of stitching on the bottom band elastic, I stopped it when I got to the casing seam, started it up again for the center, stopped again for the second cup and then started again to finish the other size.  Not a problem with this either.

Another workaround that I did was to figure out a way to attach the strap elastic to the back band before stitching the side under the slider.  On all my bras the straps are tightened as much as they can be and I thought I'd want to shorten them.  It was a bit tricky but if you loop the the end loosely like this:

you can thread the slider after the back is attached.  I need to take at least a couple of inches off the length so the slider stays in the front.

The other big note if you are using a Bra Maker's Kit for a Harriet is that you will not have enough strap elastic. The Pin Up Girls patterns call for a large part of the strap to be sewn of the cup material.  Either add some extra strap elastic on to your order,  or add a sewn strap.

I may not have gotten there yet, but I believe I will.  I should have enough supplies for 2 more bras before I need to place another supply order.  Colors next time.

Friday, November 11, 2016

About once every 30 years

Like most people who sew I'll take a new project over an alteration or repair anyday, but sometimes it really is worth it.

I have a well loved (and worn) leather jacket, who's lining was very shot.  Having relined a beloved wool coat worn during college a few years post, I knew it was a job I could tackle.

Having a coat relined professionally is cost prohibitive.

Doing it myself it was done in 3 days and the cost was just $10 for a perfect piece of lining.

I carefully removed the old lining:

As you can see it really needed being replaced.  I certainly couldn't take it off in front of a customer anymore.

Used it as a pattern to cut the new lining.  It's not always the recommended way to go, but it worked out fine.
I picked up the lining at Fabrics Garden on 39th .  I usually go there for inexpensive fabrics to use for lining.  A lovely silver twill for $5.00 a yard.

The label and the hang chain were carefully replaced.


My very useful jacket, for the current weather, is now being worn again.