Thursday, May 22, 2014

MMM 2014 Week 3

May is almost over and so is Me-Made-May. Though the time has flown, I must say it's been a bit more challenging this year because I've been traveling so much. I don't feel as inspired by what I'm wearing, even though it is mostly me-made.

Day 16 - My new purple dress. Wait. What was I saying about inspiration? I love this dress. I love the color. I love the lantern shape.

Tessuti downloadable dress pattern made in rayon batik from Sawyer Brook fabrics

Day 17 - Oldies, tres comfortable.

Cutting Line Design (CLD) patterns - top is Anything But Ordinary in silk noil 
with tapered one-seams in stretch denim

Day 18 - Oh, well, I like this too. And it's purple. And I was on Rainbow Row. And the weather was perfect.
Folkwear pattern Japanese Field Clothing (the men's hipari/kimono) in a very flowy silk, with CLD pieces - one-seam pants and shell, both in silk noil.

Day 19 - Oh my goodness. More purple. And those denim tapered one-seams again.

Newish pattern from CLD - Simplify Your Life top view B

Day 20 - OK, this is boring, but it sure is comfortable. And I had room for enchiladas.

CLD Anything But Ordinary top with Sewing Workshop Urban pants, both are black linen

Day 21 - Hmmm...just went with the PJs. Sorry.

Folkwear hipari from Japanese Field Clothing, this time in denim with sashiko stitching,
Folkwear monpei pants, and self-drafted shell

Day 22: Running errands, back at home...

Top is my favorite Tee pattern (Katherine Tilton for Vogue), pants are from Marcy Tilton for Vogue

So now I cannot wait to get back into my sewing room. I am so, so anxious to make something. Do you ever get like that?

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Eva dress

This dress pattern has been aging in my email *in* box for a while. I saw it posted somewhere, clicked over to Tessuti, saw that it was an online download, and purchased it.

From time to time I've seen versions of this on other's blogs and, I think, on pattern review. Periodically I'd say, now is the time.

Now is the time.

I panicked just a little, thinking I would not be able to find it hiding in my in box with its 5K messages. But, really no problem.

I had thought about sending it to my local copier, but decided on instant gratification instead. After all those months.

The first page of the pattern contains a 10 cm square to allow you to gauge the accuracy of the printing process. My square was smaller than 10 cm so I decided to go with size L, instead of size M, even though my measurements place me in a size M.

Having just purchased some rayon batik from Sawyer Brook, I could see the possibilities with this pattern.

These days, I have mixed feelings about rayon. You know, it wrinkles, it air dries slowly, it hates steam, and so on. But batik like this one was just too pretty to pass up. I totally love rayon batiks.

So I completely emptied my iron of any hint of steam, and prepared for a little frustration. But the top-stitching was easy with a dry iron.

Before I cut into the batik, I cut out a muslin of just the bodice. The size L was perfect, though I did decide to raise the front neckline and make the sleeves a little longer to cover more cellulite.

The shape of this dress is so pretty, I think. It has a slightly raised waistline and then two tiers of skirt. Each tier contains 4 identical trapezoids. The skirt is lantern shaped, so I had to pay attention in order to avoid inverting the lower tier, with its larger edge on top.

Instructions have you finish the hem of the lower tier prior to attaching to the rest of the dress. Of course I could have ignored that, but I'm glad I didn't. Finishing the hem without the rest of the dress was easier, because of the bulk.

In addition to the pretty shape, this pattern has inseam pockets. I do love a good inseam pocket, especially on a dress like this with a loose fit through the hips.

The third thing I love about this dress is the opportunity to use bias binding at the neck, the sleeve hems, and even the skirt hem, which I particularly like. I used a light weight plaid linen since I had too little rayon batik left over.

I am drawn more and more to purple right now.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

MMM 2014 - the halfway point

Half way through Me-Made-May 2014. Growing bored with these pix of myself, but I am learning some things.

Day 8: Katherine Tilton's new top for Butterick (6026) in linen from Sawyer Brook fabrics, linen tapered one-seams from Cutting Line Designs (CLD).
May need to rethink my opposition to Spanks or whatever they call those 21st century girdles

Day 9: Old, old navy cotton sateen ensemble, shirt is Trio top from The Sewing Workshop (TSW), pants are TSW's Urban.
Cannot determine why I love these cropped pants so much. Oh, yeah, they are comfortable.

Day 10: Newest shirt - Simplify Your Life from CLD in a cotton shot, skirt is microknit made with Christine Jonson's Basewear II pattern.
Plain. I like plain.
Day 11: A very happy Mother's Day. All pieces made with CLD patterns - Of The Moment jacket in washable silk tweed, Pure and Simple shell in navy linen, tapered one-seams also in navy linen
That one on the left is so darned cute (IMHO) - wish she would let me sew for her!

Day 12: Both pieces are Japanese cotton. Top is the Mimosa top from The Sewing Workshop, pants are the Hudsons also from TSW. Truly one of my favorite outfits.
The look of stubby legs does not seem to deter me from loving these cropped pants
Day 13: Another old top from TSW, this one from the MixIt pattern in a crisp cotton print, pants yet another picture of those Urban pants in black linen.
Wore them til the button fell off
Day 14: Modified that CLD top shown above to create a slight high-low hem. Pants are purple silk noil, tapered one-seams from CLD.
Part of my Purple Binge
Day 15: Katherine Tilton Tee (V8793) in cotton knits, pants are made in a microfiber with a bit of lycra - TSW's Urban pants modified to eliminate front seam and added a couple of pockets.
Eva dress - will blog on this soon!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Simplify Your Life

The latest pattern release from Cutting Line Designs (CLD) is named Simplify Your Life. It contains two very cute tops, each with a different twist, both perfect for upcoming Hotlanta weather.

Finally I have finished view B, which at first blush, appears to be very, very simple. As with many CLD designs, there are subtle, clever characteristics that make it fun to sew and wear.

The obvious detail is the buttons running down one shoulder to the sleeve hem. It actually slips over my head easily but I like this detail at the neckline.

Found pretty buttons at Sawyer Brook while visiting last week. It's probably apparent below that I need to adjust their placement a bit.

And, oops, I have it on my dress form backwards. (She is actually shaped like me. I'm just not quite that buff. Ha!)

And the top has great opportunities for top-stitching, a signature detail for CLD patterns. I do like the look of top-stitching, especially on this cotton shot fabric. It is shot with navy in one direction and lavender in the other, yielding a rich bluish purple. And the top-stitching definitely shows.

What I did not realize in advance is the placement of the shoulder seam. It sits right on my shoulder, right where I prefer a shoulder seam. And the top-stitching highlights it.

The sleeves are curved and roomy - perfect for the upcoming hot humid weather here.

It has a slight shirt-tail hem that I think is universally flattering.

Not the best proportions here, probably better with pants.

And the neck/button opening facing is quite clever. I used remnants from a favorite printed linen from Sawyer Brook.

Fun pattern - I'll make it again.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sewing in New England

Now home from another fun visit to NH to visit my son and his family. These trips always include some sewing. I am, therefore I stitch.

A regular stop for me when I visit .- Sawyer Brook Fabrics show room in MA.

Next time, I'm going to ask if I can take pictures inside their show room. Wish I had thought of that. I think I just get so focused on the gorgeous fabric and what will fit in my suitcase. I'm single threaded. Ha!

Here is a highlight - got to see Dixie of With Needle and Brush, who had just returned from Hawaii. Always great to see her and her creations. This time I got to see her Marcy Tilton coat in person. Fab.U.Lous. You can see it better on Marcy's blog but I captured a picture from that post. Can't find where Dixie blogged about it.

This coat is both artful and wearable (very). Wool flannel base with kimono remnants and pieces Dixie silk-screened. Dixie lined the collar with some lovely silk. It must be great to wear.

Lastly, here are a few pix of actual sewing done in New England, as opposed to shopping for sewing in New England:
Tunic for granddaughter, tennis dress for her BFF

A little RTW to DIY

Me Made May 2014 is here!

It is that time again - Zooey has once again hosted Me Made May. Thanks, Zooey! Click here to learn more.

I, Martha, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavor to wear something I created each day for the duration of May 2014.

Actually I should have posted that last week. 

Here are my me-mades for week 1. Because I was traveling, the scenery is more exciting than my clothes. Lots of repeats.

May 1 in NH - does not get much better than this!

Vogue 8793 (Katherine Tilton Tee) and CLD tapered one-seam pants

May 2 - Vogue 8793 (again - this time in ITY knit) and Vogue 8929 (Marcy Tilton pants in stretch woven)

May 3 - Brunch at Parker's in NH, CLD Artist In Motion tunic in cotton chambray, CLD one-seams in linen
May 4 - Favorite Tee made from two Big Face cat Tees, again Vogue 8793 top and Vogue 8929 pants

Cinco De Mayo - selfie in the mirror, Vogue 8793 this time in rayon jersey, Vogue 8929 pants again

May 6 - CLD Anything But Ordinary top and Sewing Workshop Urban pants, both in linen

Day 7 - Headed home, Hartsfield Airport, Vogue 8793 (again) and Sewing Workshop Urban pants (again)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Flying without a net

While visiting son in New England I of course must sew. So I brought my sweet 222K featherweight in my carry on. What a joy it is to use.

I also brought some ITY knit selected by GD a while ago when we shopped Sawyer Brook fabrics together. 

We sketched and discussed options. She decided on a tunic to wear with skinny jeans. 

Using a Tee she likes I traced off a front and a back, stitched the shoulders and partial side seams, thinking we would tweak the fit - length, neckline, armscye, and so on. 

She slipped it on and determined it to be finished. And she does look adorable, in my completely unbiased opinion. 

While she's at school, I may sneak in some finished edges. It is hard for me to walk away from a raw edge...

When GD's BFF, guess what happened? The two of them designed a tennis dress for me to make for the BFF. Hmmm... 

Then BFF says "but you don't have to do it..." Well that settled it for me. One tennis dress coming up. 

Similar process but the girls had already sketched out their design. I must say I had my doubts about this design - sewing without a pattern is flying without a net. Like flying, it can be exhilarating. 

The fabric is light weight ponte Roma so easy to sew. 

The girls suggested adding a white band to the bottom but I'm inclined to just hem and call it done. What do you think?

Such fun to sew for little girls!

Thursday, May 1, 2014


Thanks to recommendation from Ginny, I attended the CARLA FERNÁNDEZ show at the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum in Boston yesterday. The exhibit was small but well worth the effort. Carla Fernandez, who was a visiting artist at the Gardner museum about a year ago, integrates indigenous work with contemporary design. She produces RTW, I think, as well as runway pieces.

There were continuous loop videos running showing the indigenous artisans at work in Mexico, as well as models wearing Carla Fernandez' designs, in motion. Also there was a hands-on table where you could handle some of the very finely hand-woven fabrics, as well as flip through her sketch books. And there were a number of examples of her designs, as well as examples of the indigenous work with embroidery, weaving, leather and wood.
This piece incorporates hand-knotting by Mexican women.

Very fine hand-woven piece

Contemporary use of hand-turned wood

Leather accents combined with elegant simplicity of design