Sunday, April 21, 2013

Summer Separates

Birthdays for grandgirls are coming to an end, at least for this year. Don't know how much longer they'll let me sew for them. I am hoping they'll last longer than the daughters did.

These little pieces are so very satisfying.

This one was a bit of a challenge mostly because I am not at home. I brought my sweet Featherweight with me. But no serger. No rotary cutting. No automatic buttonholes. No tube turning devices. Hmmm... I seem to need lots of stuff.

So I improvised. That's what we sewers do, right?

I played with making quasi-bound-buttonholes. I made a few samples which gave me a false sense of competence. So then I wrecked the first one on the actual garment. I do not have my super sharp little scissors and so I managed to cut the sewn threads.

Easy to correct - just sew it again. But - it became huge and ugly.

Luckily I had enough fabric to cut this away and replace it with a strip of fabric.

And I actually like my buttonhole alternative better than buttonholes.

John Lennon - "Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end."

Sew Beautiful, Summer Separates

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Kinenbi pants

You may remember this OOP pattern from TSW - the Kinenbi top and pants. The top is definitely more memorable than the pants because it was such a signature asymmetrical piece from TSW, one of those very big shirts with an Asian feel.

The pants are sort of interesting, I think. Very narrow pull-on pants. Evidently I made them years ago and they were too short. Now they seem OK, at least with sandals.

Oh, yeah, I might have been taller then.

These are made with a limited quantity microfiber. I had too little to make any other pair of pants without piecing the crotch. I've done that, but not today.

This microfiber has been in my stash perhaps as long as this pattern has been there. It's a very dark charcoal-chocolate color. Let's call it crude oil.

Despite my strong preference for natural fiber fabrics, especially linen, these pants were a dream to sew and they feel wonderful on.

Here they are with my Katherine Tilton top from Butterick 5891.

I was thinking that this top has a different silhouette but now I see that it is very similar in shape to the Hibiscus shirt from TSW. The pattern pieces and construction techniques are completely different. Both have unique (and different from each other) peplums. Both have a single unexpected pocket (again different from each other). Both fit through the chest and shoulders then flare over the hips/tummy. Both were great fun to make.

Actually I like both tops a lot.

Monday, April 15, 2013

B5891 Almost Perfect

When I look at the finished version of View A/B from Butterick 5891 in my sewing room, I struggle. The pattern is unique in a good way. It stretched me. It is a style that has great appeal to me. I love the colors. I had fun making it.

But when I look at it, I cannot stop myself from seeing my goof. And with these words, I vow to just let it go. Let. It. Go.

Isn't it a wonderful style though? There are so many things to like about it:

  • The funnel neck line.
  • The way the collar is simply laid in place and top-stitched down. Looks like a double collar.
  • The single inseam pocket.
  • The peplum that defies description.
  • The off-center backseam.
  • The opportunities to use interesting combinations of fabric.
  • The fit through the shoulders and chest.
  • The flare over the hip fluff.
  • The overall use of single layer fabric.
  • The asymmetrical everything.
As others have noted, the instructions are light on seam finishing. And if you wear the collar open, the wrong side of the collar shows. That's one reason I'm really glad I made a muslin.

Normally a muslin is intended to help with fit. It confirmed the fit. I could also look back at the muslin as I constructed the final version to determine when and how to finish seams. Like Marcy, I made the collar double layer - inner side in the circle print, outer side in the purple plaid - so that it looks good open or buttoned.
Love this little pocket on one side

It's a little too bad I didn't use the circle fabric for the majority of this but it is printed a little off grain. The plaid is a thread-dyed piece and I should have been able to match it better than I did. 

let it go. let it go. let it go.

Great pattern, kAtheRine Tilton! Now starting the little layered dress.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Muslin Love

Completed front of muslin
Do you love making muslins (or toiles)?

Yeah, me neither.

But I have to say that making a muslin for Butterick 5891 was great fun. It is a clever and well-crafted sewing puzzle. Love.

Butterick 5891 is that new top and jacket pattern that Katherine Tilton designed for Butterick. I loved the cover photographs, as well as the versions I've seen on her blog. I was pretty sure I would enjoy making it and wearing it.

Ordinarily I am not a big fan of Butterick and if I look hard, I can come up with things to criticize. But this pattern shows careful design and drafting. At least, my copy does.

Some reviews I've read are not positive. And that's why I made a muslin. It was not only necessary, but fun.
Completed back of muslin

Here are the issues I found:

  • It's rated easy. I would rate it average to advanced. The order of construction is unexpected, and if you don't follow them carefully, things go awry. There 15 pieces in this little sleeveless top, most cut single layer. The jacket might be easy though.
  • In step 32, there is a reference to large and small circles, as well as a marked stitching line. My pattern piece had 4 large circles and no marked stitching line.
I must remember to mark these pieces carefully to tell up from down
Step 32 covers the pleat in the left front peplum. The pleat in the other peplum is correctly marked and so it's pretty easy to just repeat steps 28-29 for the left front peplum.

I tried it on, and as others have indicated it fits most closely through the shoulders and bust, then angles away from the body. A style that appeals to me.

I should really take a picture of me in it to see if it suits me. Sometimes I get gaga over a design and forget to notice how it looks on me.
Double collar, each single layer. Love.

Back with no peplum, no collar

Oh, and this pattern is on sale right now. So go buy it now. You know you want it.

Front with no peplum, no collar

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

High Five Jacket for Warm Weather

I really like the way the hem drapes with the front shorter than the back.
Each time I see someone wearing a High Five jacket (from Shapes, the joint venture between Louise Cutting and Linda Lee), I am reminded how much I like it.

So easy to make; so easy to wear. There are many ways to alter it but I'm happy with it in its original form and proportions.

I made one in a very dressy black and enjoy wearing it. However I seldom have occasion to get that dressed up. So I've been on the look-out for just the right fabric to make one that I will be able to wear often.

Just recently Terri posted a gorgeous white Hearts A Flutter over-blouse. I kept visualizing how pretty that is and then, voila, a lovely sheer cotton appeared at Gail K. Thanks, Terri!

Decided against a standard button hole with this light-weight fabric. For now I have a loop on each side and a turned tube tying them together. Something else may occur to me later - for now this is fine, I think.
This fabric is a soft, sheer white cotton with overall embroidery similar to dotted swiss (though softer) and then a pretty border embroidery. It should work nicely over any column, I think. I'm thinking I'll enjoy it quite a lot with a navy linen column made late last fall.

It's a cheerful spring day here - hope your day is cheerful too!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Three Little Skirts

It's always a pleasure to make gifts, especially for little girls. Unfortunately, I temporarily forgot how nice it is to sew something simple. Take this skirt, for example. 

DGD1 selected these charming marbled cottons in Easter egg colors. And I added this black and white batik. And I added tucks, then pleats, then slot seams. zipper, waistband, binding on the hem...

Yep, way overworked.

Next day, I was sewing with DGD2 who had selected fabric, sewn many seams, and was content to watch me finish her skirt. She selected the additional lace. So sweet.

So I made another skirt for DGD1. I needed a little reminder I really love simple. 
Really I do.
And it's so cheerful.