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Showing posts from July, 2011

Simplicity 2443 - Grey and Yellow Dress

When I bought these two fabrics, I thought they would be for a skirt and top. But, I'm enjoying adding casual dresses to my closet lately, so I used the two together in a dress (Simplicity 2443) instead.

This is an all together different look for me - different style, different colors. And, I'm not really sure what I think about it. I don't think it's the most flattering shape for me, but I think it's a pretty cute dress.

Construction-wise, this isn't executed all that well. There are some ripples under my arms. I did make a muslin of the bodice and felt like the neckline was too low in the front for me to wear it comfortably. But, I didn't want to add a lot to the band since that would ruin the proportions. I debated about what to do for awhile and then decided to raise the neckline a bit by adding (3/8") to the band. I figured that was simple enough, but wasn't enough to make the band width very noticeably different from the rest. I also shortened …

The Next Big Thing is Finished

Yay! The quilt is done! I worked on finishing the binding in lots of small chunks of time last week. Some of those chunks looked like this:

My kids love doing workbooks. I don't require this - really, I don't. But, I'm quite happy to sit and help them while I stitch.

So many things I love about this quilt...

...the stitch pattern and texture!

...the colors!

...the back (which I will want to see as much as the front)!

...the stitch pattern and texture (did I mention that already?)!'s both useful and beautiful! that's it's done I can start thinking about the next big thing!

Basic White Shirt

I don't wear many blouses or shirts made from woven fabrics. For comfort and ease of fitting and wear, I generally prefer knits. But, there is one traditional button-up shirt in my closet that I do like and wear regularly. This shirt came off the clearance rack at Kohl's about 7 years and 10 pounds ago. It no longer looks good on a hanger or on me and needs a replacement.

The reason I liked this particular shirt is because it didn't restrict my arm movement or pull across my back when I would reach for something. The armholes were cut quite high and the sleeves were pretty slim. The style was pretty classic and casual - yoke, collar and stand, bust darts in the front, vertical darts in the back, placket and cuffs.

Since the fit wasn't so great anymore, I couldn't just use the original as a pattern. Instead, I looked for a similar pattern and figured I would just need to do a lot of tweaking. Burda 04/2010 #114 was my pattern of choice. It doesn't have back dart…

Kwik Sew 3703 - (unsuccessful) Green Tank Dress

I like tops and dresses with a racer back, but I don't have any. Recently I picked up both Simplicity 2443 and Kwik Sew 3703 to change that. The Kwik Sew looked about as complicated as a T-shirt, so I started with that one.

I'm pretty sure that this is a good pattern and the fact that it turned out badly is all my doing. The main problem is all the puckering and puffiness around the neck and armholes.

I may have not quartered the holes and bands properly (which is embarrassing - how hard is that, really?) resulting in needing to stretch the bands too much in some spots. And I think I probably sewed the neckband and armhole bands on in opposite directions, giving the shoulder straps a bit of a twist. I did press the seams after I stitched them, but they really would prefer to stay puffy.

Thankfully, I set out intending for this to be a test garment. I'm considering making View B of the pattern with this navy striped fabric and a solid navy for the contrast pieces, but I wante…

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

I quilted! There is a lovely quilt shop near my mom's house that offers a Gammill longarm quilting machine for rent. So, I took my flimsy, quilt back and batting along when we went to visit her. Before you can use the machine, you have to take a one-on-one class where they teach you about the machine and different quilting patterns. After the instruction, you're left with some time to practice the patterns.

I went back another day to do my quilt. A very minimal amount of the class was about loading the quilt on the machine, so most of that was new on the second visit. I don't remember exactly how all the quilt parts are put in the machine, but I do know I thought it was quite genius. The quilt back and top are attached to separate rollers that keep the fabric straight and taut. The quilt sandwich gets rolled or unrolled in order to quilt certain parts.

You stand at the end of the machine and move it instead of the quilt. The speed that the machine stitches is regulated by h…

McCall's 6032 - Black and White Dress

I believe that I made this dress right after this one, which I was so happy with. Knit dresses are great for summer and I don't have very many (I have plans to change that). But, not all knit dresses are created equal. This black and white one isn't nearly as nice as the brown and white one.

I picked up the fabric, a rayon jersey, when it was deeply discounted awhile back. But, the quality isn't that good. I won't be surprised if it doesn't make it past the end of the summer. I stabilized the neckline and armholes with strips of interfacing in an attempt to prevent them from stretching out. To avoid a ripply hem, I fused it in place with a lightweight interfacing before twin-needle stitching it.

I found the technical drawing on this pattern appealing. I thought the belt was caught in the midriff seam, but it isn't. It's just twisted a couple of times and caught in both side seams. I didn't want the dress to be tight, so the belt on my version doesn't…

Kwik Sew 3338 / McCall's 3830 - White Top and Plaid Skirt

Thank you for the lovely comments about the quilt top! The quilting is complete now too, but I don't have pictures to post yet. It was a really good experience using the long arm machine and I'm so happy with how it turned out. Finishing the binding might take awhile as I don't find that quite so exciting. In the meantime, I have a few projects sewn that I haven't blogged and will try to get caught up with them.

The first two things were actually sewn several weeks ago. They are the first pieces of fabric from my NY trip that I cut into. While I really liked this plaid fabric, I didn't buy very much of it. When I decided I wanted to sew it up, I was hoping to make a paneled pencil skirt with the center panel being cut on the bias. However, when I tried to fit all the pattern pieces on the fabric, it was impossible to make it work. In the end, I made just a plain skirt using McCall's 3830.

I guess I'm not unhappy with it, but not as excited about it as I was …