Thursday, January 31, 2013


Well, the name of this dress pattern is making me hungry! I have ham and bean soup cooking on the stove, which is more appropriate for our -13 windchill (-25 C), but still not quite the same. I think my nose is red in the photo, since this area of the house is drafty, and I'm not appropriately dressed even for the indoor temperature.

It's become clear to me, upon looking at other versions of this dress, not to mention the pattern envelope, that I cut all the pieces wrong as the stripes are going a "different" direction. I did recut the waistband and binding pieces so the stretch would be correct, but left the main dress pieces. Not really being a perfectionist, I think it looks fine.

The Tiramisu Dress is, of course, from Cake Patterns. I was really intrigued to try out Steph's novel approach to pattern sizing. You select different sizes for the individual pattern pieces according to your bodice, bust (cup), waist, and hip sizes, and when you sew them together, they are supposed to match up.

Would it work? By golly it did. The pieces matched up and I didn't have to do any sort of grading. In fact, I didn't muslin or adjust anything (except the stripe arrangement of course).

I chose a thinnish jersey from Girl Charlee. The air here is sooooo dry right now that the fabric is clinging to itself and the pockets are a crumpled mess when my hands aren't in them. A sturdier jersey would  no doubt mean nicer pockets, but I think this one'll improve in the summer humidity.

So, I'm not liking how the static-y pockets are sitting in this version, BUT some features I do like are:
1. the unique midriff band (as opposed to a waist band)
2. amazingly, there is no gaping from that wrap bodice
3. the high comfort factor which doesn't yield any frump

Also, the instruction sheet is just what I like:
1. it's all on one smallish page (not too big to sit on my table)
2. the order-of-construction steps are clear to see at a glance - If I wanted more details, I could look further, but what I really want is the basic steps to keep me on track.

My husband, who I can assure you does not read sewing blogs, thought it looked "vintage" and "straight from the 1940's".

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Brought to You by the Year 1948

1948 was a good year. After all, velcro was invented in 1948. Think how we have all benefited from that invention. You're missing out if you haven't seen the Velcro Song video.

But something else happened in 1948: McCall printed #7462: Boys' Two-Piece Pajamas. 
We're 65 years too late to enjoy it as a new-release but, like wine and cheese, patterns have so much more charm when they're vintage.

The size in the envelope is a size 10 and both my boys are hovering around a size 10 RTW (although I personally classify them in Ottobre sizes!).

The pajamas are definitely charming. I looked around online for classic boys' pajamas in linen and seersucker (the fabrics you see above), and I could find almost nothing similar. What I did find was sold in children's boutiques .... at boutique prices.

You can see the pjs are very roomy. The pants would fit me. All the better for tossing and turning OR sleeping like a log. (Like most brothers, I suppose, these two are opposites in every way. One's a pensive insomniac; the other's out like a light....once he stops talking.)

The kid on the left was squirming from the prickly linen, so hopefully it softens up in the wash. I'll put some vinegar in with it.

The kid on the right was so excited he said he couldn't wait to go to bed. (He then retracted his hasty statement.)

And last, but not least....Thanks, Erica, for giving me this pattern!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Some Warm Winter Duds

It was high time I made another comfy turtleneck (of the Burda 9-2010-121 variety). I made a red version, whaddyaknow, two years ago. This was the turtleneck that made me stop hating turtlenecks, because the looser neck doesn't resemble a tourniquet.

I already knew I was going to love the turtleneck (especially since I used a nice soft jersey), but the pants were a new venture.

Ottobre calls them "Fitted Basic Pant", but I would call them "Your basic semi-wide legged pant". The pattern is #11 from the 2-2006 issue. Can you believe it's a 7-year-old pattern? Ottobre manages to put out a lot of timeless classics. Some of their kids' clothes from the early 2000's look dated because of their looser fit, but I still find plenty of good things in those old issues, too.

Anyway, back to the pants... I didn't make any changes except to tack on some random back pockets. They're "fitted" (as the pattern name suggests) through the waist and hips, but straight in the legs. I like the wider waistband.

The verdict? I love them, and have worn them numerous times. It's my first pair of pants in this color scheme which I've been wholly pleased with. I plan to make a denim pair later on (these are linen).

As a side note, I added back pockets to my khaki Lisette Portfolio Pants. They were great otherwise, but I found I wouldn't go out in public without back pockets on them. Problem solved!

 Now we transition from the warmth of my sewing room to our winter wonderland...

We love to torture our kids my making them go winter hiking. We weren't the only ones, as we saw plenty of people - young and old - out cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, and photographing.

The kids forgot they were freezing when they got to climb on snow mountain (these mountains are created by snow plows piling/spraying all the snow from, say, a parking lot into one large mound).

 Sliding around on a frozen pond.

Later on, we went out onto our lake to shoot off our model rockets. We were absolutely frozen, but frozen lakes offer the perfect wide open field, albeit a field shared by snowmobilers, ice fishers, and hockey players.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Stats For Your Inner Nerd: Version 2012

Happy New Year to all my lovely readers!

Continuing with tradition, I've decided to represent the past years' sewing in pie and bar charts. As usual, I did the sewing and collected the data, and my husband created the charts.

If you're really nerdy, you can view the previous years' charts:
Stats for 2009
Stats for 2010
Stats for 2011

This year I sewed a grand total of 169 items, using 154.08 yards of fabric. Compared to last year, I sewed 3 more items, but used about 20 fewer yards of fabric.

I added a new chart category this year (oooh, exciting!): fabric types used.

August and September were a major slump, as evidenced on the bar chart, and I still haven't gotten back into the swing of blogging yet. But I do have a nice backload of projects to photograph as soon I can find a satisfactory indoor set-up for use during our endless winter. Only 3 more months!

I was surprised to see that I sewed twice as much for my older son than for the my younger one. It makes sense, though, since #1 refuses to wear RTW, and #2 seems to gravitate more toward his RTW clothes.

Ottobre comes out as the clear winner, heh! When I want a guaranteed-to-fit, practical garment, I'm going to  choose Ottobre or Jalie, or my well-used t-shirt block. The rest fall into the "experimental" or "fun" categories.


©2009 21 Wale | by TNB