Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ottobre 01-2010-14 - Corduroy Coat

Right after I finished this coat, I made one more just like it for another new niece. I really liked the pattern and having it all out and being familiar with it made it come together very swiftly.

For the second version, I used a corduroy fabric that I have been hanging onto for awhile. I really like the fabric - both the print and the very soft feel of the corduroy - but I was having a hard time knowing what to do with it. This coat pattern seemed like a good match.

Ottobre 1/2010 Corduroy Coat

Ottobre 1/2010 Corduroy Coat

I used covered buttons on the front and the sleeve tabs.

Ottobre 1/2010 Corduroy Coat

The lining is a lighter shade of the pink flowers in the corduroy.

Ottobre 1/2010 Corduroy Coat

You can see some of the lining fabric used for the under collar to reduce bulk. Ideally, that wouldn't peek out. Oh, well.

Ottobre 1/2010 Corduroy Coat

Such a great pattern. I'm sure I'll come back to it again sometime.

Ottobre 1/2010 Corduroy Coat
What? Another coat that fits me but isn't for me?!? Oh, the injustice...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

McCall's 3830 - Corduroy Skirts

Continuing with my new styles/silhouettes kick, I tried a skirt style that is a little different for me - the straight skirt. Now, this isn't something that is entirely new to me, but I haven't made one in a few years. I thought it was time to try it again.

My pattern of choice was as basic as could be. I wanted to get the fit good without working around a lot of details and since I wasn't sure I would really like the shape on me, I didn't want to invest a lot of time in it. Enter McCall's 3830.

For the first try, I used a piece of corduroy leftover from this jacket. I had just enough of both the corduroy and the lining left for the skirt. In the past, I have been unhappy with how the front of straight skirts fit me. This time I left out the front darts. While I do curve out quite a bit from waist to hip, I don't really curve much at the front - it's all on the sides and at the back. I was really happy with how the fit turned out.

This was posted earlier, but here's the picture again:

Green Batwing Top

Since the corduroy had a bit of stretch, I taped the waist and used a stable twill fabric for the facings. That seemed to work well - the waist doesn't stretch out at all. The skirt wears really well and is very comfortable thanks to the lining and the stretch fabric. I decided to make another using the fabric leftover from this jumper (this is the problem with a good simple skirt pattern - it's really tempting to turn every small cut of fabric into a skirt).

McCall's 3830

I did the same things for this version as for the first except that it doesn't have a lining. I wore a slip with it in an attempt to keep it from sticking to my tights when I walk, but it doesn't work as well as a lining. The color is different from most of the things in my closet and I think it's a good addition.

The top is a quick make from Butterick 3344. I changed the neck and added a twisted binding treatment following the instructions here. It isn't very visible with the sweater, but it might prove to be a good layering top and I didn't want it to be entirely plain.

Butterick 3344

I made the sleeves extra long and gathered the bottom with clear elastic. I've done this on other tops and really like how it feels. When you have really long arms like I do and every top you have ever purchased has had sleeves that are too short, wearing extra long sleeves feels really luxurious.

Butterick 3344

The sweater was comfortable to wear and was a good, warm layer. You can read a bit more about it here.

Silly shot

This picture is courtesy of my daughter, the master of the "silly shot." She coached me. :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ottobre 01-2010-16 and 18 - Striped Dress and Pink Leggings

My youngest daughter turned three yesterday. So hard to believe. I mentioned in this post how she only likes to wear dresses, skirts, jumpers and nightgowns. So, I made her another dress (because I thought she would like another and because I thought I would like fewer tantrums when there are not any clean dresses in her drawer).

Ottobre 1/2010 #16 and #18

Both the dress and the leggings are from Ottobre 1/2010. The bubble sleeves are unique and the pleats on the leggings are a nice detail. In order for the outfit to be a surprise, I did all of the work while my daughter was sleeping and I was nervous about how or if it would fit. The leggings are a little looser than I would prefer, but they are a good length. The pleats don't match up well because I was in a great big hurry to finish them.

Ottobre 1/2010 #18

The dress turned out to be a pretty good fit. I used size 98 and added 0.5" in length to both the bodice and the skirt. The neckline is gathered with an elastic casing. It looked too loose when I was making it, but I left it figuring I could adjust it after she tried it on. And, that's what I did - taking about 2" off the suggested length. I think I may have misunderstood the directions for the bubble part of the sleeve. It is supposed to look twisted, but I don't think these look twisted enough.

Ottobre 1/2010 #16
I love that full, round tummy!

Happy birthday, sweet girl!

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Steamy Sort of Day

It was cold here today (-26C when I took the kids to school this morning- brrrrr!) but I stayed warm inside working in my sewing room.

Back in July, I started knitting a cardigan for myself - Rosamund's Cardigan by Andrea Pomerantz from the Fall 2009 issue of Interweave Knits. I finally finished knitting it while we were away for Christmas and today I finished the finishing - refining the shape and sewing on buttons, hooks, and eyes. Now I am happy with it. Before today, I wasn't sure about it.

Rosamond's Cardigan

While I was knitting, I knew that I was going to want the sweater to be longer than what the pattern said. But, I added the length at the very bottom (the sweater is knit from the top down) when I should have added it in between the waist decreases and increases. It resulted in a sweater that had a shape very different from my own.

Ripping out half of the sweater didn't sound appealing to me (remember that it took me six months to knit this!) so today I decided to try steaming it with my iron a bit to shrink out some of the excess ease. It worked really well and I'm really happy with how it turned out.

Rosamond's Cardigan

The buttonhole and button placement seem a little strange to me - too far toward the center. But, I was just following the pattern and my inexperience makes it hard to predict that sort of thing. It doesn't bother me enough to prevent me from wearing it. I put three hook-and-eyes along the opening below the second button. For now, I like the bottom of it to be open a bit, but I might add more later.

Coat Fabric

Inspired by the sweater and steam success story, I decided to pretreat the wool fabric I have for making a coat using this tutorial from Pam at Off the Cuff. Here the fabric is cooling off, flat and smooth. Nice that the railing is exactly the right length!

I'm taking action with the coat now because it looks like The Preacher and I are going to NYC at the end of March for a church leadership conference. I'll attend one day of the conference with him, but then I'm hoping to get over to the Garment District one of the other days. My goal is to have the coat done by then so I can bring it along and have the buttonholes professionally done. I've been reading and researching the coat making process and am getting pretty excited. It will be a slow process with breaks for other projects, but that's fine with me.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fleece Pajama Hat Trick

I made pajamas for each of my kids.


They’re so happy because they got to pick out the fabric.

My older daughter wanted “pajamas that have the top and bottom connected and have feet.” Kwik Sew 2704 was the answer – sleepers for big kids.


My son wanted the same thing, and was quite insistent that they be cozy. In his mind, cozy and fuzzy are synonymous.


I think both of them are surprised how warm these are.

My younger daughter only wears dresses, skirts, and jumpers for day and nightgowns at night. She’s cute about this as long as there is a choice she approves of in her drawer. If everything that suits her is in the laundry, she’s not so cute. So, here we have another nightgown for her. I modified an out-of-print Kwik Sew pattern to make it.


Oh, and I made her leggings to wear with the nightgown since she doesn’t keep the blankets on at night.


Sleep well, kiddos!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Simplicity 4020–Green Batwing Top

Another new style for me…


The fabric is a bamboo jersey that I think works pretty well for this design – very soft and drapey. I would have guessed that I wouldn’t have liked all that fabric between my arms and my body, but I didn’t really notice it.

Before cutting the fabric, I added 2” in length to the sleeves and 1.5” in length to the bodice front and back. While  putting the top together, the only sizing change I made was to decrease the circumference of the cuffs by 1.5”. They were much too big for my wrists and slid down over my hands, looking very sloppy.


I wasn’t all that impressed with the neckline of the top. I bound it instead of applying a neckband like the pattern suggests, but I’m still not very excited about how it sits on me. It shifts around and I feel like I need to readjust it too much. When I wore it with a scarf, it didn’t bother me.


The skirt in the picture at the top is also a recent make, but I’ll have more to say about that later.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Kwik Sew 2856/New Look 6731–Purple Tunic

I’ve been interested in trying some silhouettes and styles that I don’t currently have in my wardrobe. I’m not a big risk-taker by nature and I really value my sewing time, so I generally stick to fabrics and patterns that I’m pretty certain I’ll like. It is starting to feel like everything I wear is pretty much the same, just in different colors. Much of the time I’m okay with that because I only keep clothes that I really like, but I’ve been wanting something different lately.



For this tunic, I combined two patterns: Kwik Sew 2856 and New Look 6731.

I used the neckline and raglan sleeve seams from the Kwik Sew pattern. I used this pattern before for a sweater and remember really liking the neckline (the sweater didn’t stay in my closet for long – I loved how the fabric looked, but despite pre-shrinking, it kept getting shorter and wider).



The length and style of sleeves came from the New Look pattern as did the bodice length. After checking the pattern tissue against my arm, I added 2” in length to the sleeves, but it wasn’t enough. The sleeves feel too short on me. It was hard to tell how much would need to be added for the part above the wrist to drape well.

I had pictured this top being a bit shorter than I actually finished it. When I tried it on to check the hem length, I pinned it up about four inches. That put the hem right at the widest part of my hips and pretty much at the same length as the sleeves – not a flattering spot. Given the color, I feared looking a little too much like this guy:


So, I left it long and I'm happy I did. The purple knit I used has been in my stash for several months. I bought more than three meters of it when it was a really good deal. It isn’t as heavy as a ponte knit, but has a similar look.

For the most part, I am happy with the final product. I’d like the sleeves to be longer, but the top is comfortable, surprisingly warm, and different from my other clothes. It also felt a lot like instant gratification sewing, which I was feeling due for.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Reversible Apron Revisited

After making the changes that I mentioned here, I made another apron. This one was a belated birthday gift for my mom.


I didn’t get any pictures of it on, so it is hard to compare to the first one, but I like it better. The reverse is a blue/green/yellow stripe.


Similar to what I did for this project, I made some other kitchen goodies to go along with it.


For the potholder, I used the wonky log cabin tutorial from Quilt Dad. This was a first for me. I’m pretty sure I over-wonked it because the center square should still be in the center, but mine isn’t. I’m pretty sure a large (12.5”) square quilting ruler (which I don’t have) would prevent that sort of thing.

The apron fabrics and the yellow flower print in the pot holder and tea towel were purchased at a new quilt shop in town. I’ve been there a couple of times now and I think it holds a lot of promise – a good selection of traditional and modern prints. My Christmas stocking held a gift certificate from The Preacher so I can go shopping there again soon!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Review of Sewing Goals for 2010

It feels like I'm getting to this pretty late. How can it feel like the new year is well underway only three days into it? I considered just getting on with other bloggy things and forgetting about revisiting the goals I set for 2010, but that didn't seem right. So, here we go...


Sewing Goals for 2010


1.  Go fabric shopping in Toronto. INCOMPLETE

I could have made this happen, but honestly didn't feel the need to. I have lots of fabric that I would really like to sew. I need more time, not more fabric. I certainly still would like to go sometime for the experience, but I don't feel badly for not going in 2010.


2.  Knit the owl sweater. COMPLETE

Absolutely my proudest knitting accomplishment so far.


3.  Make a modern quilt for our living room wall. COMPLETE

The quilt that I chose to make isn't exactly what I was thinking when I said "modern quilt," but I think it is a good fit and works with the rest of the room (which isn't modern at all).


4.  Give my blog a facelift. COMPLETE

Pretty minor changes and it's time to do it again, but I still can mark it as complete. Lately I think it might be time to look beyond Blogger, too. The lack of formatting options are really bugging me.


5.  Work on projects for art/craft show a little at a time all year long. COMPLETE (mostly)

I did do this, but not as well as I had hoped in January. The art show was a good experience for me and I will likely be doing it again next November.


6.  Purchase an Ottobre magazine and try at least two patterns. COMPLETE

After using only three Ottobre patterns, I decided to subscribe. I'm a convert. Next year I expect I'll be wondering what I did before I subscribed.



7.  Make a great white shirt. INCOMPLETE

This was a rollover from 2009 and I didn't do it in 2010, either. Makes me think that I don't need to do it at all if I can go for two years without it. But, a few weeks ago I made a vest that really needs a white shirt. Maybe I will get to it in 2011.



8.  Make a wool coat. INCOMPLETE


Here's what I said about this goal last year:
I purchased wool coating about three years ago and haven't had a chance (or the courage) to make a coat with it yet.  2010 is going to be the year.  I'm hoping to use Simplicity 2508.  This is high on the project list so that I can still wear it while it is winter.
Um. Yeah. Still would really like to get to that.

9.  Clean out the fabric stash. COMPLETE (mostly)

I did do this early in 2010, but didn't get rid of as much fabric as I thought I would. Any and all hoarding tendencies I might have are focused on fabric. I love to get rid of other "stuff" and abhor clutter. But, fabric? You just never know when you might need just that piece...


10.  Comment more on other sewing blogs. COMPLETE

I say "complete" because I comment more now than I did the previous year, but still not as much as I should or would like to. It was a difficult goal to measure.



While I haven't gone back through all my posts for 2010, two items do stand out for me.


The best wardrobe addition:
Vogue 2793
I wear this jacket a lot and there isn't anything about it that I am unhappy with.


My proudest accomplishment:
Owls sweater
The Owls Sweater. As far as sweaters go, this isn't a very complicated pattern, but I'm still pleased with myself for making a whole sweater and being happy with how it turned out. I love wearing it.


And for 2011?


I've decided not to set any sewing goals for 2011. How I spent my sewing time near the end of 2010 looked very different from what I expected at the beginning. I expect this year will be difficult to predict also. Ideally, I'd like to sew what I want when I want.


Here's hoping that 2011 is a great year - both inside and outside of the sewing room.