Saturday, June 27, 2015

More Linen for Summer 2015

This time a royal blue. Luscious fabric. Enough to make one of the tops in CLD's Simplify Your Life, and a pair of pants, Hudson pants from the Sewing Workshop (TSW). This will be a staple in my wardrobe.

Just a few changes to the SYL top: omitted the button shoulder, so scooped out the neckline in the front just a little, added two chest pockets and a small bias patch at the back. No changes in the Hudson pants.

And a TNT pattern also from Cutting Line Designs, Hearts A Flutter tank top:

Monday, June 22, 2015

White Linen

Is it possible to let the hot, muggy season go by without a white linen project? Oh, I hope not because it is the best possible warm-weather fabric to sew and then great to wear too. There is something about the texture and the way the soft white works with summer light. The camera cannot capture it but here is my best try:

This shirt is based on an older pattern from The Sewing Workshop (TSW), the Mix It Shirt. The pattern contains a straight 3/4 length sleeve. Yawn. But it fits through the shoulders and stands away from the rest of my body.

The sleeve change was easy - I just lengthened it and used Cutting Line Designs (CLD) The Blouse Perfected pattern to make a placket opening in the sleeves and a cuff. As usually I was short on fabric by the time I cut the cuffs, so they have a little different shape. 

Now if you do not have CLD's shirt pattern, then you must simply go right now to the website and purchase it. The instructions are just wonderful for anyone interested in classic shirt details. One day it will be out-of-print and you will be so sad if you have not purchased it yet.

The Mix It Shirt is also an nice little shirt to make. I especially like the little collar:

I like it quite a lot and look forward to wearing it. So, any white linen in your future? Next up for me - royal blue linen!

Monday, June 15, 2015

A Wing and a Prayer

Two years ago I purchased a panel of fabric containing one of Diane Ericson's paintings, titled *A Wing and a Prayer.* I displayed it raggedly in my sewing room.

Then I decided it should be incorporated into a jacket, a Tabula Rasa jacket designed by Fit For Art.

The panel piece from Diane is a medium-to-heavy weight cotton, very much like denim, and it washed softly. The piece was just barely large enough for the front and back pieces of the jacket pattern. I love the combination of colors, as well as their proportions and shading that Diane used. And the bird is lovely, I think.

I'm really pleased with the way the bird sits across the shoulders.

Changes I made to the pattern: I had to shorten it because of the size of Diane's panel. The original Tabula Rasa jacket pattern has a kimono-type collar band running down the front and around the neck. I changed that to a round neckline, adding a stand-up collar. I more-or-less kept the front bands, adapting it to my scarce fabric. I added an angular pocket, based on the shape of one remnant from the painted panel

You can just barely see *and a Wing and a Prayer* above Diane's signature.
The gray is a medium-weight linen and the flat piping is light-weight navy denim. It is lined with white China silk under the cream colored pieces and gray rayon Ambiance under the gray portions. The pants are entirely lined with the gray rayon Ambiance. 

So I don't need a lined jacket and pants, a suit of sorts. But it was fun to make. And it will work with a lot of other things in my closet - a white, cream or navy shell, navy pants, and many future pieces.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Like Facebook

Mindless. But more relaxing. 

A while back I posted about this vest for travel. A layer to have handy and something to stitch in airports or riding in the car. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Warming Up

It's been a while since I've posted. I've been sewing, but it's been different. Some travel to visit the grands. Two weeks of sewing camp - one for teen girls in a temporary home and one for the youth at my church. And now I'm catching up on my beloved sleep.

This is a warm-up exercise. The shirt is a very old cotton-linen blend ordered from Lands End back when they were just a catalog outfit somewhere in Maine.

When I took the indigo class with Roland Ricketts, I gave it a few dips with some resist paste. Kind of cool, but one sleeve was torn and punctured, probably from back when I gardened.

So I removed the offending sleeve and used it as a pattern for a new sleeve. The new sleeve is a cotton batik. I pulled out The Blouse Perfected from Louise Cutting to create a tower sleeve placket and for a couple of pockets. I also shortened it by about 5 inches. It may need new buttons next.

It was a fun warm-up. Now I'm ready for some summer tops and pants.

So what are you up to? Summer sewing? Other fun projects?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Letting Go

We all have orphans in our closet. Well maybe some people do not. But I do. There is a reason I keep these orphans.

In this case, it is a sentimental reason. Shortly before my mother died, I went to live with her. She had liver cancer and was living independently but on hospice.

She loved to shop for clothes and beautiful fabric. And she seemed to enjoy encouraging my pursuit of same. Plus she taught me great patience while teaching me to sew.

Soon after I arrived at her home, I told her she needed a new pick-me-up ensemble. She agreed but was unable to go anywhere by that time. So I shopped for her.

I found this pretty ensemble at one of her fave dress shops. It included a shell, a casual shirt jacket, and pull-on pants. Some pieces were in turquoise, others in royal blue, all washed linen.

She looked lovely in it. I think she wore it once. I took it home with me.

A few years later I decided to cut it up and make something to wear in her honor. I used the Sewing Workshop Ikina jacket and barely had enough. You can see lots of piecing with bias piping here:

Each spring I pull it out again and attempt to make something that matches it. In the above picture you can see my first attempt for Spring 2015. A shell from CLD and a pull-on skirt from the left-over linen. It is not me. And the match is not quite right either.

So I decided I needed something that would blend, rather than trying to match the two colors in the jacket:

The fabric is cotton batik from a quilt store; the pattern is Cutting Line Designs Simplify Your Life view A. It was a blast to make. I always enjoy the CLD patterns, especially my first time through one.

When I finished it, I thought it might work to just wear it with jeans and toss the jacket over it all.

The more it hung from my dress form, the more I knew. This is a PJ top.

I pulled out a piece of rayon challis I had dyed years ago and made some Japanese Field pants with it. And now I have PJs I rather like:

Fun new PJs are a good thing. The colors are cheerful. It should be comfy. And I need a pick-me-up right now.

But I'm not letting go of that jacket.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Travel clothing

Must contain (at least) one pocket:

And as Susan Brubaker Knapp pointed out in a recent Quilting Arts article, it is even better if you can continue to stitch it during your trip. Wear it; stitch it; wear it; stitch it. What a great formula.

Here is Susan's denim jacket:

hand embroidered art to wear brubaker knapp

Susan started with a thrift store jeans jacket that she embellished into an entirely unique piece, mostly using intense stitch. This traveling project took two years! I think it is just beautiful.

My travel vest started with a remnant of denim from my Sandra Betzina pants plus the Sewing Workshop's Peony vest. BTW, I see that TSW has it on sale for $12 right now. The current rendition of the pattern contains only the one vest. My version contained two, the Poppy and the Peony.

Line Drawing

As you can probably see, the Peony is composed of just a few main pattern pieces - back, left front and right front. Because I was short of fabric, I cut two left fronts. I also extended the left fronts by about 2.5 inches down the center front, just because I had enough fabric to do so. I figured I could always cut it off later. I also raised the arm hole because it is very deep. It is still pretty deep.

Looking at the scraps remaining I decided to add a collar and a pocket. The collar had to be pieced front 3 pieces but it was fairly easy to line one seam up with the center back, and line the other up with my front top-stitching.

At this point it is ready to pack. It has one pocket, but I'll add more. It is finished and can be worn. It can even be worn after I start the decorative stitch. What fun. Thanks to Susan for a very clever idea.