Monday, May 30, 2011

A Tale of Three Tops

One of the things I love about sewing my own clothing it the ability to modify a style I like in order to make it work for me. When I first started I made garments following patterns exactly and then labeled a pattern good or bad based on the fit. Needless to say most patterns were bad. As I've gotten a bit better I've learned how to add and subtract fabric from a pattern as needed to get a fit that I like.

Enter Onion 2024 a twist front tank pattern with no English directions and only one useful picture. Add to that I'd only seen two finished pictures. One on a very skinny mama and one on a mama who I swear looks great in everything. I liked the look of it though so I got it for myself for Mother's Day.

Here is attempt number 1. There was absolutely no way I could wear a bra with it and I felt horribly overexposed without one. So I spent some quality time pondering the pattern piece and decided some more fabric in the middle. I carefully cut the pattern piece in half then slashed and spread the middle, traced that piece again and taped them together.
That lead to this muslin. Made out of fabric that was supposed to be pink but is actually the same color as my skin and see through. It was closer. You can see it covers more of the dress form label then the first. It still didn't cover my bra though and pulled a bit so I decided it needed more fabric on the top of the cup area as well. Cut slashed and spread again.
Leading to this top which I love. Its out of brown cotton Lycra and it covers my bra well including the straps. I've worn it twice but have yet to get a good model shot. I know from my pictures you'd think I don't care but the first time I got deodorant all over it and the second my daughter threw up on me. Pretty sure no one wants a picture of that. I'm going to make the dress version soon though so hopefully I'll get some good pictures then. Now that I have the process down I'll also try to get some shots of that.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Love This Shirt

This month's sewing mamas challenge was to sew something for a Dad. Your dad, your kids dad, some random dad that you happen to know whatever just had to be a dad. I decided to make another shirt for my husband who of course is also known as my kid's dad.
I used the Kwik Sew 3422. The same pattern that I used for his Easter shirt only short sleeved this time. The fabric is a yarn dyed cotton that I picked up from when I got the fabric for my portfolio dress. I just love the colors for spring and summer.
I decided to cut the back yoke on the bias so that I didn't have to match up the plaid there.  Other then that I did my best to keep the lines well lining up. 
As you can see from the pictures my husband was quite pleased.  Much like my son does he asked if he could wear it for the rest of the day.  Then he wore it the next day as well all with the marker still showing at the button holes.  Oh well, he didn't seem to mind and its good to be appreciated.
If you haven't gotten brave and made a men's shirt yet it really isn't that hard and this pattern holds your hand through the process. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Shirt Surgery

Guess what I did last Sunday! That's right I got up at 5:30 to go line up with 600+ other crazy people for the chance to run 13.1 miles. It really sounds crazy when you say it like that doesn't it? In short I ran my first 1/2 marathon. I guess it sounds a bit crazy that way as well. I'm so glad I did it though.

I know your wondering what on earth this has to do with sewing right? Well everyone who ran the race got a running shirt made out of wicking fabric and they told us the women's shirts ran small. So I ordered an xl. Not my usual shirt size but I figured better too big then too small I can work with too big after all. Good thing too because if you ordered an xl you got a men's shirt. That's right ladies someone decided that if you asked for an xl you were likely the size and build of an xl man. Bite me I say.

Thankfully I can sew and have a long standing love affair with the tee patterns from otto 2/07. I cut mine apart and used the arms and side curve of the pattern to redo my race shirt. I'm so pleased with how it turned out. I kept all the length from the original so I wouldn't have to hem it and so my tummy would be nice and covered.
If you would like to see what I looked like in the last 100 yards of the race check the picture below. I didn't make any of these clothes but I don't think I look bad for someone who'd been running for over 2 hours. I'm enjoying some cross training these days but I imagine I'll do another big race one day.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Contest Winners

So if I had 35 copies of each pattern I would give everyone a copy but since I don't here we go.  I'm using  If anyone left to comments they can only win with their first.  So the winners are......

traci said...
What a great giveaway! I love the dresses you've made for your daughter--so glad I found your blog! I have a 16 month old and would love to try those patterns! and Comment 30
sandyandcosmo said...
I think the pinafore pattern is so adorable, would love to win it!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Vintage Pattern Giveaway

First off welcome if your popping over here from SewmamaSew. I'd love it if you took a bit of time to look around. I could have just as easily called this the my baby is getting bigger giveaway as I'm giving away 2 vintage patterns that I made for my daughter when she was littler but can't make for her anymore.
Here are front and back action shots of pattern 1.  It is a size 2 but as you can see here very short.  There is also a romper pattern included but I never made that because putting a romper under a pinafore seemed like it would make diapers an major issue.

Here is a model shot of the dress I made from pattern 2.  It remains to date one of my favorite dresses that I have ever made Emily.  It is a size 1 but she was able to wear it for 2 summers.  Truthfully she would still be able to wear it if the skirt was longer.  I have to many other things I want to try to make another though.

Here are the patterns themselves.  They are vintage so you will have to treat them gently but they are in good condition and the directions for both are rather good.
So if you want to enter just leave a comment on this post telling me which pattern you would like and why. If you would like a shot at both tell me that too but please only comment once. The contest will be open until May 25th. On the 26th I'll get my husband to do a random number generator to pick a winner. Please remember to put your email in the post so that I can contact you. I'm only shipping within the US. Thanks for stopping by and feel free to look around and give your opinions on other posts if you would like. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Extra Fabric

Do you remember my Easter dress? It turned out beautifully after all the fittings but man did it take a lot of fabric. Add to that the fact that I splurged on nicer fabric it was not a cheap dress. That's OK I'm trying to learn that if I want nice results it helps to use a nice product. I mean really nothing would look good made out of the super cheap Walmart poly. I did really want to use the scraps though. The thing about the Crepe is that it requires a lot of fabric to get all the needed pieces but does not use the full width of all the fabric.
Enter the Oliver + S tea party dress. It was perfect bc its made of a number of smaller pieces. I was able to squeeze a 3T with added length out of my scraps with barely a chard left.
I think this is a very cute pattern. I made a 3T adding 3 inches to the middle of the skirt at the notch. I'm pleased with this but think I will add it to the bottom instead next time to up the twirl factor. I also just did a rolled hem at the bottom instead of using the facing. I'm not a big fan of hemming things by hand so I'm not a big fan of the bottom facing.
I'm sure that I will make this pattern again. I've already got ideas bouncing around in my head.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Portfolio Dress

This is my second Lisette pattern. I bought 3 of the 4 when they were on sale recently. I've already posted about the Market Blouse and Skirt both of which I was quite pleased with. This time I decided to make the dress version of the Portfolio pattern. I was feeling a little more hesitant about this one because I've seen some versions that look way to mumu or house dress like for my tastes. I really liked this version though so I choose similar fabric for mine.
Mine is made from yard dyed tiny hounds tooth check fabric from I made a 14 in the chest tapering out to a 16 thought the waist and hips with size 16 arms. I like the fit but think I would have been just fine in a 14 all over. Its super comfy though and I like the way it looks.
The pattern itself is well written and I was pleased with how the pockets and cuffs came together. The neck gave me a good bit of trouble. For no good reason though it was just flitzy and I wanted to finish quickly. I didn't even have to add length to this one.
I'm saving the pattern but doubt I will make another one any time soon. Too many other things to try. There are some nice looking denim ones in the flickr group so maybe this fall. I won't be making the pants though. They just are not my style for so many reasons.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Emma Top

OK this is not actually called the Emma top but the Purigia or vintage-silk blouse from Ottobre 2/2011. Design number 9 to be precise. It reminds me of Emma Pillsbury from Glee though. Maybe not so much with the pj pants that I'm sporting in these pictures but with the skirt I made it to go with.
I made it out of white swiss dott fabric that is pretty sheer. The directions in the magazine were OK but not great. I got turned around on the collar a few times and ended up deciding to finish it with a bit of bias tape instead of doing it their way. I also used bias tape to bind the sleeves rather then cutting bias strips of the fabric. That was just laziness on my part though.
I'm happy with how it turned out. I'm not entirely sure that its my style but it I will be wearing it this summer. Mostly with the skirt I linked but probably just with shorts as well.
Do forgive me this picture I just had to pose like the super cheesy cover photo. There were some cute pictures in this issue but the photo spread was worse then usual.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

2 for the Toddler Swap

I'm sure I've said it before but I love sewing swaps. Its hard to explain why I think its mostly that we get a box full of fun stuff. I'm getting ready to send my toddler swap box in to be sorted and wanted to share these little nightie/pantie combos.
The nighties are the Strawberry Tunic from 3/08 with 8 inches added to the bottom to make them longer. The panties are size 4t That Darn Kat undies with bound legs like these.
Both of these prints were given to me at a sewing guild meeting so I have no idea where they came from. I had enough of the kitty print to make Emily a nightie and panties as well.
Here she is modeling hers. This has really become our favorite nightie pattern. I'll probably make some bigger ones for her friend Beca's birthday.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Romper Time

A few weeks ago Emily found a romper at Target and begged me to buy it for her. I made her very mad and said no. I really don't buy much of her clothing these days as I enjoy sewing way too much for that. Instead I promised to make her one. The challenge being that when she is at the Y she is expected to handle going potty with no help so I didn't want anything with straps that had to be unfastened.

Then I was thinking of something like this but toned down and one piece. At about the same time Kori posted a picture of the rompers she had made her daughter and I was sold. Too bad she wasn't selling a pattern bc the paypal would have been sent before I gave it even a second thought. Hopefully she will get that tutorial done one of these days.

Mine are still a little different. I used the top from the Ms. Madaline pattern and the bottom from the baby romper in otto 3/2011. I added just a little width to the dress top since she would need to get in and out through it and shirred the neck and arms instead of putting in elastic. I added length to the romper but then ended up having to take it right back out. It was designed for diaper room and Emily does not need that.

I love it. She has worn it once and won't pick it again bc she does not want to be "dorable" she wants to be beautiful. Hopefully she will get over that soon.

I think she looks both adorable and beautiful but I'm just her mommy so what do I know right?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Market Blouse

This is my second go at a Lisette Pattern. It is the Market Blouse from the same pattern that I made this skirt from. The skirt has been in heavy rotation in my wardrobe ever since despite the fact that it must be ironed to lay correctly. I have a feeling that the blouse will as well. It was meant to be a wearable muslin so I used some cheap pink swiss dot that was left over after a total wadder last year. I like the way it came out though and it so light and airy that it will be great for the hot summer here in the South.
I made a 14 in the chest tapering to a 16 at the waist with 16 sleeves. I also added a bit to the sleeve binding (wish I could remember how much) and 3 inches to the length. I should point out that there is nothing magical about 3 inches except that my clear plastic ruler is 3 inches wide so its easy for me to add 3 inches. I also followed this advice and cut two of the button band and facing pieces instead of using interfacing. I had a little trouble positioning the buttons so I used a glues stick to hold them in place while I sewed them down.
My original plan was to make another of these in white to go with I skirt I own but I don't plan to now. On me it looks better untucked and the skirt needs a tuck in shirt so I'm going to try a different blouse for that. I may try it as a dress one of these days though. If I make it again I think I'm going to make the sleeves a size bigger. I have broad shoulders and larger arms so I think that I might like the look of that just a bit more. I really like this one as is though.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sudoku Anyone?

Do you ever want a pattern so badly that you simply have to buy a back issue of Ottobre. You see I didn't have an otto subscription in 2009 and truth be told when 1/09 came out I didn't really see what the big deal was. The only thing that bugged me was the Sudoku skirt. At first it only bugged me bc I could not figure out how it worked. Then I started to see so many cute ones on the sewingmama's runway that I couldn't take it anymore.

Turns out that while it is a time consuming project it is actually not all that hard if you take your time and mark your pieces. I took a bunch of pictures of the process just to prove it too you.

It's a 8 gored skirt with 3 tiers in each gore. Sounds complicated but its not. Start by cutting 8 of each piece at the longest length. Then arrange them so that like fabrics are not side by side.
Then you will decide what length to cut each piece so that each tier has one of each length but in a different order then the tier on either side. Label each piece with its gore and length before cutting then leave them labeled until the gores are sewn together.

Emily enjoyed this part.
Here are both of the skirts I made in two tiny little piles. They take up a lot more space now.
I choose to gather all the pieces with my gathering foot before putting the gores together. Just keep them in order.
Next sew each gore together and finish the seams. At this point I took the labels off the bottom to pieces of each gore.
Now sew the gores together but do not sew gore 1 to gore 8. Finish the seams then add the bottom ruffle and top yoke.
Then sew the side seams and add waist elastic. I pulled mine pretty tight so that skirt would stay up. That is part of why I used a wider band then the pattern called for. I figure this way I can just cut the elastic off and add looser elastic if needed.

Emily was not in much of a modeling mood when I tried to take modeling pictures. This skirt has amazing twirl power though. I used a bunch of leftover pink fabric from my scrap box to make two of these. One for us an done for the toddler swap. All of the fabric in both skirts is leftover from other projects.

Hope that was helpful. I plan to do another one in shades of purple one of these days and love the idea of doing a Christmas one.