Wednesday, January 30, 2013

McCall's 6603

McCall's 6603

Well.....I'm continuing to chip away at my stash and finally got an idea for some fabric I've had since the 90's.  Yes....the 90's.  It's a beautiful loose weave wool plaid I bought it at Britex in San Francisco.  I was inspired by this post from My Sewing Space and have always wondered what to do with this pattern.  I made view A and shortened it about 4 inches.  Both the cowl and the sleeve bands are cut on the bias and I think it worked really well with my fabric.  I'm happy with the top but truth be told with our California weather..... I'm not sure how much I'll be able to wear it.  That said, I'm still happy the fabric finally got out of the cupboard and a life of it's own!  I'd like to make it again in a soft knit maybe even sweatshirting.  Here's my review on Pattern Review.

Overall, I started this year in a sewing frenzy.  I think I'm a little excited to power through my stash and hop on those New Year's resolutions.  I already made my goal of 3 items this month and I'll put up a final score on the 31st.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

On Stash and Selfish Sewing

I've been going through my stash and folding it neatly and realizing I have a lot of pieces from before I had kids!  Am I really going to use these?  My plan is to fold everything, take a good hard look at it, decide what I really will use and donate the rest to the local middle school.  Often times my daughter will sit in my sewing room and play guitar so while she's there she can help me edit.  She'll say "Yeah, that's super cute" or "Mom, no's gotta go."  Tough helps!

With my goal of making 3 items per month I should be able to make a pretty good dent.  My new fabric purchases will probably be knits (because I don't have a single one in the stash) and fabrics I choose for other people.  Which brings me to my new idea:

I love reading the end of the year recaps on sewing blogs and marveling at the projects one person can complete in just a year.  I was really inspired by this post from Girls in the Garden (one of my favorites) on the best things she made for OTHER people last year.  This year I want to make more things for other people (I've been so selfish!)  namely my mom, daughter and son but I also may venture into sewing for a special man I love (I haven't made him a shirt since we were first married!)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

It's My Birthday

It's my birthday.  And I always love my birthday....I'm happy to be here.  But where did the time go?  I mean the time between gifts of trendy clothes, jewelry and cool boots to being "over the moon" excited over new non-stick pots and pans?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Simplicity 1805

This is Simplicity 1805 and my third (or maybe even fourth) project for the month!  I'm humming along on my "3 Projects a Month" new year's resolution....give it to me for my "stick-to-it-ivness".....for a whole month!  This was quick and very easy and similar to another pattern I have but I thought I'd try it anyway.  I made it out of a rayon knit from  The fabric is very drapey with little recovery so I needed to choose a pattern that work.  I added a smocked bottom (different from the pattern) using this tutorial and I think it makes the blouse.  I simply put elastic thread in the bobbin and sewed straight lines....that easy!  And really fun!  Here's a picture (not a great picture):

To keep the neckline from stretching I fused interfacing to the fabric BEFORE I cut out the neckband.   I then attached it to the WRONG side of the top (opposite of the instructions) so I could topstitch it down from the right side.  I used a ditch foot and put the top in the machine with the neckband to the left of the foot and lined up the fold of the neckband against the "ditch" in the foot (be sure to check your needle placement).  So easy and it turns out so accurate! Here's my review on Pattern Review.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Christmas Sewing

I did quite a bit of Christmas sewing this year and one of the things I did was make new pillows for my daughter's bed.  She desperately needed new bedding so I thought I'd make some pillows to finish it off.  I was a little nervous to make her something for her room without her picking it out because what you live with is so personal but....there's Pinterest!  I went on her Pinterest board and was able to gain inspiration from photos on her board.  I know it seems a little stalker to look at Pinterest for gifts but it worked and she really likes it.  The dark pillows in the back are from Anthropologie (she loves all their bedding) so I used them as the starting point and added two shams, two rectangular pillows (I prequilted the fabric before construction) and one ruffled square pillow which is my favorite because the fabric has handwritten words in French and she takes French at school.  Her room is calm and feminine but not fussy and she really loves it.

Here's the inspiration photo from Pinterest:

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Ever Popular Renfrew Top

So I, like everyone else, had to try the Renfrew top from Sewholic Patterns.  I've seen some pictures (very cute) and heard the praises of how fun it is to put together and how great it is to have a hundred of these in your closet.  I had some left over fabric from a dress I made (pictures soon) and I took my stab at making one.  I loved the color and did have fun putting it together but the armhole was too tight.  So here's my second one where I adjusted the armhole....Ahhhh.....much better.  This fabric is medium weight and stretchy with good recovery.  These are good fabric properties when making this top because the bands need to really hold their own (Sewholic has a great post on how to choose fabric for this top).  Since these tops are so great and really fun to put together, I'm planning on making a hundred of these Renfrew tops (hopefully some for my mom too) I'm off to find fabric.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Haircut

I saw that picture of myself in the blue cowl neck top and realized immediately I need to get a new haircut....something other than the "helmet" I am currently wearing.  I'm choosing between the Lisa Loeb style on the left (I love her!) and Mandy Moore on the right.  I showed my daughter the Lisa picture and said I would like this cut with the bangs a little longer because I am too old to have bangs that short.  She said "Everyone's too old for bangs that short!".  Hmmmmm.....I think I may end up going with the Mandy Moore then, right?

New Look 6144

Oh I've been dying to make a ponte knit dress.  I wanted something with a simple style but great fit (and isn't the color glorious!).  I decided on New Look 6144 view F and I just love it.  I made a few changes: I turned the neckline darts toward the inside instead of the outside like the patterns suggests and I made it aline (swinging out about 3 inches).  It went together in about 3 hours (after a quick muslin) and this ponte knit from Fabricmart was dead simple to work with.  I wore it on Christmas Eve with boots (my most comfortable-ist pair) and a belt I love but never seem to have anything to wear with it.  I'm very happy and can't wait to wear and make it again.  This time I want it in gray to match another belt I love but have nothing to wear with it!  Here's my review on Pattern Review.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Vogue 8597

I've only had little bits of time to sew this holiday so I've picked projects that are "quick victories".  I originally wanted to make a butterfly sleeve top out of this fabric but I ended up not having enough.  I pulled out Vogue 8597 (I made view A last year) and decided to make view C.  The fabric is from Fabricmart and part of an order I made at the beginning of December (more on the rest of those fabrics later and how I eeked so much sewing out of so few yards!!!!!).  This piece is a soft medium weight knit (about the weight of a ponte knit) with sheer stripes.  It has lots of texture and is really comfortable.  It went together in about an hour and a half and is perfect for our recent chilly days.  Here's my take on Pattern Review.  And here's another photo of the entire top in which I clearly see I need a new hairstyle....why didn't anyone tell me?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year....and New Blog!

It's 2013 and I'm excited for a new year.  I'm feeling creative and looking forward to working on the projects swirling around in my head.  I'm starting a new blog with a new name but I will continue sharing my sewing projects.  Since we have a new year it's a great time for me to state (in writing so you can hold me to it) my resolutions for the new year:

  1. Sew 3 projects per month.  They can be anything but I mostly want to focus on garments and even more specifically on knits, pants and even some workout wear.  
  2. Run 3 half marathons.
  3. Give away my "Penguins on the Beach" pajamas given to me by my dear friend Carolyn.  They are so worn they have to go!  But they're so comfy I don't want to let them go......but I will......this year.....I have all year right?
I made quite a few things at the end of the year (I don't know how I found the time) so I'll be posting some reviews soon.

If you're here from my other blog....Thanks!

Happy New Year!