Thursday, July 30, 2009

Rosalind T-shirt



Some more basic (i.e. coordinate-able) stitching was in order and you can't get more basic than white. Sara really needed a white t-shirt since I'd resorted to having her wear little sister's white t-shirts under tunics and jumpers.

I chose the "Rosalind" t-shirt pattern from Ottobre 3-2009-29.


The puffed sleeves make it interesting - gathered at the armhole and elasticated at the hem. Instead of the regular elastic method, the instructions have you use elastic thread in the bobbin with regular thread on top. The gathering happens by itself. Brilliant!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Capri pants

These pants are one of the last handful of summer things on my list before I dive into sewing for fall.

For a reason only the mind of a 5 year old can comprehend, Sara can wear only skirts and capri pants, thus leaving untouched the nice little pile of khaki and jean shorts in her drawer. Since she sorely needed plain (i.e. coordinate-able) capri pants for those occasions when we leave the house, I made these tan ones. The pattern is the "Audrey" capri pants from Ottobre 3-2009-17. I'm pretty excited because these are my first pair of non-elastic-waist-pants.

If you look closely (please don't) you can see the two sides of the waistband don't match up exactly. The same thing happened on the blouse she's wearing, so that's obviously a detail to work on.
Also, I think I could have used a shorter zipper, he he.


There are two darts in the back and I slimmed the pattern down by two sizes. Overall, I'm very pleased with the fit. However, in the future I will need to lengthen the rise because they are too low in the back when she bends or sits, which she finds really annoying. I've noticed this problem on other pants I've made her, so that may be a standard adjustment in the future.


The fabric is a decent quality cotton quilting fabric from Hobby Lobby. I hadn't intended to buy quilting cotton for these pants, but it was the best of my options at the moment and I actually like the results.

Side vents are a nice detail.





Monday, July 27, 2009

Summer Romper

This little romper is from BWOF 7-2008-137. It's a little big for Molly, but that hasn't hindered her in any of her basic activities (sleeping, eating, waving her arms and legs).

Front view. The gathers and the design hide the fact the pockets are slightly crooked. How do I do that?

Back view. The straps button in the back. I considered using snaps, but didn't have enough matching ones.


Inside view. French seams on the sides, elastic casings, and a double-sided bodice create a neat finish. (Very important to a 4-month old!)




The fabric is leftover from this tunic. I didn't have enough for the ruffles in back.
















Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Square Neck Blouse

I eked the pieces for this shirt out of a large scrap of quilting fabric I had. It's a mental challenge to see the magazine photo of a garment and the blackline drawing of the pattern, and to be able to choose a very different fabric from your stash (or elsewhere) that fits perfectly. I don't know if this fabric fits perfectly, but I love how it turned out.

The pattern is from BWOF 3-2009-134. It's a raglan-sleeve, square neck top with a button placket in the back. The neck is trimmed with lace. The neck was kind of a bugger to do. It was like a two-layer puzzle of trapezoids with a layer of lace sandwiched in the middle.

The verdict? She loves it and has been wearing it with a variety of loudly clashing printed pants and skirts.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Knights' Tunics

My boys were riding on cloud nine the entire week I was making these. It seemed that every minute they were begging me to keep working on their costumes.

The pattern (simplicity 5520) is essentially a long-sleeved t-shirt with embellishments. The hood does not attach. I used white jersey for the tunic, silvery sparkly poly/rayon jersey for the "chain mail" and felt for the emblem and dagging. There is also gold braid (gimp) at the hem and armholes. I made them a little big so they'd be able to wear them for a while 0r put them over their clothes.
Actions shots with the wooden swords and shields hubby made the boys for Christmas. Homemade entertainment through and through!













Friday, July 17, 2009

TNT Tee Quest, Part 4

This is BurdaStyle's Lydia tee again. I made a narrower hem, but I think the shirt's a tad long. I'll see how it looks after it's been washed a handful of times. I did add an inch to the hem both times because I'm always worried my shirts will shrink up (even after preshrinking the fabric).

You can see there's quite a bit of fabric bulking up in the back. That's something I've never noticed in my shirts becauase I never see myself from this angle. Also, there's nothing like making clothing to make you notice how clothes fit (or don't).

TNT Tee Quest, Part 3

This is t-shirt effort #3 using Burdastyle's Lydia pattern (#3197). I made this top once before as a long-sleeve shirt. This time I shortened the sleeves and made a regular neck binding rather than a facing. The hem on this one ended up a little wide, but overall I like the fit and shape.

The shirt isn't really crooked like this - my photographer forgot to tell me to adjust it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

TNT Tee Quest, Part 2

I've dubbed this one "the green monstrosity". The fact of the matter is that my machine can't handle rib knits like this. I've tried all the tricks I've heard of to make smooth hems on regular sewing machines, but to no avail. I still have bell sleeves and ripples. It looks worse in person.

I used the same pattern as the previous tee (Ottobre 2-2006-1), but went up a size. I went up yet another size in upper back and shoulders (tapering back down starting at the armhole) as part of my first experiment with fitting an inverted triangle. Ack! Since the shirt is baggy all over now, and because I used a rib knit (as opposed to the previous cotton/lycra) I can't make a good assessment of the fit alteration. Note to self: use the same fabric when trying to make comparisons.
I'll probably come back to this pattern in the future, but next up is the basic "Lydia" tee from BurdaStyle.

Monday, July 13, 2009

TNT Tee Quest, part 1

I'm on a quest to find the pefect-fitting basic T-shirt. I have so many in my closet that are wrong in some way or another - most of them have shrunk and become too short and wide. A t-shirt's a pretty simple garment, right? Why do I have such trouble buying any that work? Well, I've decided to put my energies to sewing instead of shopping, and we'll see what comes of it.

This is the "basic t-shirt" from Ottobre 2-2006-1. The pattern gives you a number of options to make your own combination: short, 3/4 length, or long sleeves, and crew or v-neck. This is obviously a short sleeve crew neck. The magazine describes the top as "slim fitting" and you can see that it is very slim fitting. I added 1" to the hem and I like the length. However, it feels too tight across the upper back and under the arms. The sleeves seem very slim compared to other tees. That's fine since I have scrawny arms, but it's worth noting.

Next up, another try at this t-shirt pattern.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Island Wrap

I made this skirt for a luau hubby and I were attending. With the scraps I made a little tunic for 3 month old Molly. The pattern is from bwof 7-08-115 view A.

You can see a flash of orange when I'm walking - that was an unintentional design detail due to a pattern tracing error. I ended up having to add two center panels I had somehow omitted while tracing. I still haven't figured out what line I traced - I don't know if it belongs to another pattern or to a facing or what. Anyway, some of the fabric had to be from the orange shirt I was making hubby because, alas, I had already cut out a baby tunic from my "scraps".

My 7 year old photographer caught this . . . unique view of me. I think it looks like the back view of a buddhist monk with mile-long arms. So odd. But don't worry, I wear my shirt untucked with this skirt anyway.

The skirt has box pleat on the sides - which I like because you get the look of slits without the large gaps when you walk. I did add two sew-on snaps on the inside because the skirt really did split open to the waist when I walked. Yikes!
I also lined the entire thing (from the waist to the top of the pleats) because the fabric is almost sheer. This took quite a bit more time than I expected with such a simple skirt. I lined each panel separately and then assembled the skirt so the lining wouldn't interfere with the design of the skirt. All the seams inside are mock french seams . . . interesting to do with so many layers.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Kerttu Tunic

Is it a shirt or a dress? If I were to make this again, I'd probably lengthen it to make it a dress.
This is a tunic pattern from Ottobre 1-2009-14. It has elastic at the neck and armholes, a heart shaped pocket decorated with rickrack, and ties at the sides.










Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Retro dress

After my last failed attempt to make Grace a dress, I'm happy this one fits her. The skirt has 8 gores, a lined bodice and back zip. I slimmed the pattern down 2 sizes, but ended up removing the darts (front and back) and easing the bodice to the skirt to eek out a little more space so it wouldn't be too snug in the tummy. There's plenty of room now, but I had to cover up the irregular little puckers caused by my modification with some fuzzy pink rick rack.
The pattern is from Ottobre 2-2002-16. The instructions happen to be in Finnish for this issue, he he. Although they were kind enough to send me a German translation of the instructions, I ended up winging it (although not as smoothly as I had expected).

There's a little gap at the neckline - the way she's standing is exaggerating that a little. I'm not sure if it's a problem with the pattern (even though I narrowed the pattern by 2 sizes), the way I sewed it, posture, or narrow shoulders. Hmm....
Grace loves this dress and has worn it 4 days straight. She's wearing it now, napping on my lap as I type.