Saturday, February 28, 2009

Two Projects and a Sewing Lesson

PROJECT 1: McCalls 5669 and a Sewing Lesson
Before you can sew, you need to really get into the pattern and study it.

Then you need to read the instructions. Don't let difficulties like reading upside down hinder you.

I used some cheapo cotton blend fabric that I bought from Walmart back in December 2007 for this jacket. I chose to line it in ecru Imperial Batiste from my stash and purchased the ribbon from MJ Trims online. It was very easy to sew and allowed me to practice matching plaids. I am not so sure how I did but I am pretty happy with it.


The finished product
complete review at PR

Second Project: BWOF 2-2008-123

This is my second project from BWOF 2-2008. This issue of Burda is my favorite so far. I have been subscribing since April 2008 and managed to get my hands on a copy of the February issue of that year from a nice poster at Stitcher's Guild.
I made this top from a Poorboy Knit from I used a white shoestring to run through the eyelets for the neck tie. I am looking forward to wearing it with navy ankle pants this spring.
The complete review is at PR.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Learning to Knit---Does this even look like a purl?

I am trying to teach myself to knit using the English method. I have been watching videos on and I have caught onto the cast on and knitting stitch okay, but I am not so sure about my purling. What do you think? I know I need to work on tension, but does this look like a purl?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

New Simplicity Patterns

Simplicity has released their early Spring patterns and there are lots to behold. I really like some of the design elements on these patterns. Yellow is a popular color for Spring and origami is considered to be one of the wearable Spring 2009 trends . I am seeing both in this yellow dress. The only thing that concerns me is the possible preggo look it might give.

Simplicity 2659

I am loving View A with the ruffles around the keyhole neckline--minus the ruffle sleeves. Ruffles are in for Spring, but that is just a little too much of the good stuff for me. I can just image this in a silk charmeuse. YUM!!

Simplicity 2650

There is only one thing to say about this red dress below---TO DIE FOR!!!

Simplicity 2648

I just love the shape of the pink (another hot color for spring) dress below and I love the twist at the waist on the printed one. There are so many pretty views of this dress. The neckline on View B of the sleeveless version is so elegant.

Simplicity 2644

I was concerned this maxi dress trend would be over before I got to try it, but it still looks to be fashionable for this Spring. Now, I don't wear things just because they are fashionable, but I don't want to wear a trend that I like that is not in style anymore for risk of being a fashion victim.

Simplicity 2642

Shorts suits are considered a Spring trend, and I think the pattern below is so cute. I love in hot south Alabama and shorts are a staple for me in the summer.

Simplicity 2665
Now, if only I had the time to sew all of this.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Two Hobbies?

I have wanted to learn to knit ever since I saw Princess Diana in that cute red sweater with the one black sheep. I am dating myself.

I remember not being able to find a sweater like that, so I bought a knitting pattern for it. I did not know how to knit a stitch, and I still don't, but I want to learn. I have no idea where that pattern is. I bought a How to Knit CD and a knitting kit from Walmart. The CD is not that fantastic to me. I ended up going over to Knitting Help and watching a couple of their videos. They cover the way to hold the yarn a little more clearly IMHO. Last night I taught myself the long tail cast on (it is so fun). I am planning to teach myself the knit stitch tonight and the purl stitch later this week. I hope they go as well as the long tail cast on did. Anyway, my problem is that I feel like that by taking up knitting, I am going to fall behind in my sewing. Since I learned that I should make muslins, things have been going well lately after some rocky sewing experiences awhile back. I have quite a list of projects I want to do. I try to complete one sewing project per week, and knitting will get me off this schedule. But I don't know why I think I have to have a schedule. I have just always had this goal-oriented, competetitive personality. I have a love/hate relationship with that part of me. Sorry to wax so psychological,

I taught myself a little crocheting a couple of years ago and made the cutest baby bonnet and booties, but all I could think of was that I should be sewing instead. For you ladies who have two hobbies, how do you balance them without feeling like one is taking away from the other? Of course, I may not have to worry about it--if I can't learn to knit.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

1st garment for Spring

I have wanted to make these pants ever since the pattern came out. They are my first successful pair of pants that I have ever made.
I cut a size 10 and widened to a size 12 in the hips.

I used more buttons on the flap than was shown in the pattern drawing, but I think mine may have been smaller (1/2") than the pattern called for. I also used 14 eyelets instead of 12.

The instructions easy to follow except for one part . I borrowed that pic from Erica. If it had not been for Erica's tutorial. I would have never made it through it. I highly recommend reading through her tutorial, or print it out like I did, while you are going through that part of the construction.
One of the things I love to do is see if I can knock off a desinger piece of clothing I love. Marc Jacobs clothing is a brand that I love, but, alas, cannot afford. I just fell in love with these pants when they came out awhile back and knew I did not have enough skill to design the pattern myself. However, I am so happy that HotPatterns did that. I am also thankful that Erica was so kind to share the construction details on the difficult part.

Marc Jacobs (back)
Marc Jacobs (front)

His version was over $300. Mine is under $30. I used some cotton blend off the sale table at Hancock's. It cost about $2 per yard. It has very fine blue and white stripes. I also could not find any 1/4" white eyelets in my Hancock's or online, so my husband spray painted some I already had. Here is the back.

I will definitely sew these about two more times. I want a pair of yellow ones for spring and a pair of winter white wool blend ones when fall comes around again. I highly recommend this pattern. It is one of my favorite patterns ever!!! These are the first successful pair of pants I have ever made and the first HotPatterns pattern I have sewn.
Now I just need a top to go with them. I have on a navy blue one in the picture, but I just wonder if a navy blue top, navy blue & white flats, and blue/white stripe pants is just a little too much navy and white. I am not sure what color top or style? There have been some cute patterns in BWOF that I have been looking at. Any ideas?

Friday, February 6, 2009

The latest addition to my "collection"

I have wanted some Marc Jacobs mouse flats for the longest time. He has designed several varieties:

I have never been able to afford any, and when they did go on sale, they either weren't marked quite low enough or my size wasn't available. I had even given serious consideration to trying to make some. I thought I would get some basic white flats and glue on eyes, a nose, and a tail. Well, today I was doing a little internet surfing and , lo and behold, what do I come across but Marc Jacobs latest rendition of the mouse flat on sale for LESS THAN $100!!! from a regular price of $250. With great anticipation I clicked on the pic to see if they were all sold out, and they only had once size left----my size. Whooopppeeeeeeee!!!! In a split second I decided it was just meant to be, I spent the rest of my Christmas money on them. Here they are:

If I could just figure out to make shoes. Hmmmmm....

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A quick weekend project--McCalls 5241

I bought this pattern McCalls 5241 awhile back during one of Hancock's $0.99 (or $1.99) pattern sales. I've been wanting one of these cardigan wraps for about a year but I wanted to make one---not buy one. I am in the middle of making my first item for Spring and hit a standstill until I can get some notions I need, so I decided to make this. The description says it is a 1 hour project---I think it took me that long to get the sleeves in--but it is quick. I made View B.

The fabric I used is a cotton tube knit in heather gray from Vogue Fabrics:

Here it is on Lady Burgundy, my dress form: