Friday, April 30, 2010

Pattern Challenge: Cynthia Rowley Dress to Top

I've completed another pattern but in record time.  I cut out the pattern one night, then sewed almost all of it last night.  I started around 7:30 pm and stopped around 1:45 am.  I was trying really hard to get the top made so I could enter it into Rae's Spring Top Week challenge.  The deadline was today by 8pm.......EASTERN TIME.  I didn't realize the time zone till I went to add my top to the Flickr group.  We are PST so I was already 3 hours late.  Booo hoooo!  I was a little frustrated that I stayed up till 2 and then had to get up at 5:45am the next day for a seminar.  Oh well, at least I completed another pattern toward my Pattern Challenge! Yeah me!
Here it is:
Simplicity Pattern 2406 Designed by:Cynthia Rowley

There's an opening at the back that closes with a hook & eye closure just at the top/neckline.  I think I might just put in an invisible zipper.  I shortened the opening to 8 inches instead of 16 inches.  It looks so cute and sexy on the dress but not as great on my version.  I was trying to make a more practical version (so I could wear a bra).

I'm happy with how it turned out.  The sleeves were very tricky though.  I was stuck on them for an hour last night.  I finally figured it out on my own.  The directions were also very confusing on attaching the sleeves to the top.  Again, I just did my own thing.  Why can't patterns be a little more detailed.
It's fun to be adding to my wardrobe with things I've made!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pattern Challenge: Chiffon Pleated t-shirt

I completed the t-shirt!  I'm so excited it turned out well.  I was a little discouraged the first time I made the neckline.  I made a binding from the fabric and attached it with some chiffon all around.  Even though I used a stretch stitch the neckline looked way too big.  I ripped it out and tried a different method.  This time a used a zig zag stitch all the way around then folded the neckline toward the inside.  I then attached the chiffon from the inside and the neckline didn't stretch out. 
Here is a before picture and the after shots:
Ugly stretched out neckline

New neckline and added chiffon pleats
I love my new t-shirt.  It's so comfy and soft.  I think I can wear it casual or dressed up.  The chiffon was left over from the Can-Can Skirt I made for Avery's 1st Birthday outfit.  It's nylon chiffon from:
I entered my shirt in Made by Rae's Spring Top Week.  It's not a flashy shirt but I like simple and feminine.

I also participated in Andrea's (from The Train to Crazy) "Make it, Wear it" blog party. 
It's so fun to see what everyone else has made.  Go check it out!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pattern Challenge: Jacket Frustrations

We have been so busy lately but I have been trying to work toward my Pattern Challenge.  I had started my Jacket awhile back and finally got a chance to really get some sewing done.  I didn't want to start anything else till I finished this project.  Well, everything was going fine till it was time to sew the back and the sides together.  I realized that something was REALLY wrong.  I think I cut some of the pattern pieces backward.  It didn't seem like there was any going back so I cut some things and just sewed to make it work.  It was also way too big, so again (yikes) I cut (ahhh) and sewed to make it work.  I've decided to stop working on it indefinitely.  I don't see how the sleeves are going to attach to the way the arm holes are now.  Once I get my dress form, it will be a lot easier to visualize and plan.  Until then, I'm moving on.

Cute pockets and pleats.

Back detail with pleats
Top of front arm hole is too narrow and how am I to attach to back and the sleeve.  Ugh!

I'll take it as a learning experience as I  teach myself to sew garments.   

Next project. . . I'm making a t-shirt to enter in Made by Rae's Spring Top Week. I found some cute fashion knit jersey on sale at Joannes.  I love this light pink striped fabric. It's so soft and sheer.  I used one of my shirts that fits me well, for a pattern template.  I made my own bias tape from the material and added some blush pink chiffon to the neck line.  For some reason this made the neck stretch out even though I was using a stretch stitch.  Since then I have redone the neck line and it's much better.  I'm going to embellish the front of tee with more chiffon.  I'm still planning out the design and taking inspiration from one of my favorite stores, LOFT.

Here are the before/in process pictures of my t-shirt:

Three-quarter length sleeve

Stretched out neck line with chiffon.  This has been ripped out and redone.  
I hope to post pictures soon of my completed t-shirt.  I'm also going to make a matching one for Avery.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Happy Easter and a VERY EARLY Happy Birthday to me!

Hope everyone had a nice Easter.  Ours was wonderful.  It was so good to see family since we hadn't seen them all in over a month.  Avery has so many dresses (a girl can never have too many).  It was hard to decide which ones to bring for the weekend. Here are some photos from the Saturday egg hunt.

 Avery was having a good time I swear. She wasn't feeling quite herself because she was fighting a nasty cold. 
 With Daddy and Grandma
 Papa was doing his own egg hunt. . . a hunt for the chocolate candies.

It was a nice Easter weekend.

Early birthday present #1
I was at a Joann's while out of town and I wondered (okay, actually purposely walked) over to the sewing machines.  I had seen in my coupon mailer that some machines were on sale.  I have had my little Pfaff for almost 10 years now.  It doesn't have very many stitch options, but I have loved it because my grandmother bought it for me.  It has been a great beginner's sewing machine but now that I have been bit by the sewing bug, I think it's time to graduate to an upgraded machine.  Sooooo, it was the last day of the sale and this particular machine was reduced by $100.  I decided to get it, do a little research at home and then either return it or it would be the right choice for me.  Rod said it would be my birthday present.......which isn't till July.  Yippee for early girfts! Here's the machine I bought.......SINGER CONFIDENCE 7463

After doing some research, I decided to keep it.  It's listed for beginner sewers, but when I did a comparison to pricey-er  machines, it had just as good of capabilities.  It just didn't have 2000 stitch options or have a computerized screen.  I read all the reviews and it was rated overall very high.  I've been so busy this week (Rod and I are on Spring Break) that I haven't had a chance to  use it yet.

Early present #2
Then later that day my mother-in-law and I went to a local thrift shop.  We were walking up to the register when I spotted a dress form in a shopping cart!!  An adjustable dress form at a thrift shop?!  My heart started beating fast and I reached for the form.  Were they about to put it out on the floor? This is my luckiest day EVER!  Then quickly my heart was crushed.  A lady quickly walked over and said she was buying it.  Noooooo!  If I had only gotten to the store before this woman! Well, later that day my Mother-in-law surprised me by ordering an adjustable dress form online which was on sale.  Wahoo!  It's her birthday present to me.  Happy Birthday to me AGAIN!  Can't wait to get it.

I was doing some looking on Craigslist and found a sewing table for $25 bucks.  It's shaped like an "L" and has a slot/hole for your sewing machine.  It's really old and made from particle board but I liked it and it was cheap.  We have set up a sewing "nook" for me in our guest room.  I'm so excited to have an official space to sew now.  No more orphan sewing at the small dining table.  I'm still getting everything set up.  I'll post pictures of the nook when I'm done decorating and moving in.

Man I am sooo behind in sewing.  With being out of town, getting our house ready for "open house", visiting with friends and normal wife and mommy duties,  this Spring Break week has flown by with no sewing.  But, I have been getting in some knitting.  In the evenings when I am tired and we finally have a moment to just sit, I have been working on a blouse for myself.  It's from a free pattern from the Lion Brand website. "Spring Essential Top"
I'm only on the bottom band and I'm knitting in black yarn that was already in my stash.  I have a big stash that really needs to be used.  I had the black and this really pretty brown/black speckled yarn for the top of the blouse.  I hope this blouse turns out.  I'll be so excited to model it if it does.
Tomorrow is Saturday, and I have high hopes of getting to my sewing after I get my hair done.
Have a nice weekend!