Tuesday, September 30, 2014

High/Low top from Simplicity 1872

This is my second-to-last piece of fabric from Penny Fabrics in Sarasota (the last is a pink lace I can't wait to dive into).  It is a silky cotton print that probably has some poly in it, too.  I wanted to make a casual sleeveless top with the high-low hemline that seems to still be trending; something that feels a bit like this.

Unfortunately, I don't feel like I really nailed it.  I used Simplicity 1872 , a Cynthia Rowley pattern, as a starting point.  I wanted the gathered shoulder detail for a little interest.  Here is how I cut the front on the fold, eliminating the wrap bodice:

Here is my final top, and actually, looking at the pic, I think it looks fine.  the only part I'm not in love with is the neckline.  For some reason, it feels like the neckline on scrubs to me.  I don't know.
 What do you think?  I purposely placed the darker circles around the bottom half and the light ones around the bust.  I'm not new to the camouflaging rodeo.  I don't think I could take in the sides since this slips over the head, and I do want a casual, easy fit.
 For some reason, I have it stuck in my head that this could be really cute with a cropped, chunky navy sweater on top, for proportions sort of like this.  What do you think about that?
 Ideas for improvement?  I'm not against redoing the neckline lower, but I'm not sure if that would help.  Maybe a scooped neckline?

By the way, here is that pink lace and the pattern I'm planning to use.  I want to finish this before October 11, when our little Tampa sewing group goes down to Penny together.  I can't wait!  

Friday, September 26, 2014

Whitewood Beret from Interweave Knits Fall 2014

Here is my Whitewood Beret.  The pattern is from Interweave Knits Fall 2014.
 The yarn is a skein of pure alpaca I purchased from the alpaca breeder at a fair in Ohio on vacation.  Fun!  Here is the yarn online.
 I almost frogged this hat halfway through it since the soft alpaca yarn didn't give great stitch definition to the cables, but I'm glad I kept at it.  The cables are distinct enough and I love the drapy, slouchy effect.
You can find information on the dress I am wearing here.

Time for a rant.  Is anyone watching Project Runway this season?  Did you see the zipper drama last night?

First of all, it so was not the model's fault.  The designer has the responsibility to stitch the zipper closed at the bottom after shortening it.  Geez.  Give me a break.  Stop blaming your model because you jacked up your zipper so she slid the zipper pull off the bottom.

Second, what's with all the zipper problems throughout all the episodes and seasons?  I've put dozens of zippers in garments and do you know how many have broken in any way, shape, or form?  0.  I don't get it.  What's with the zipper drama??  Are their zippers of inferior quality than the ones I buy at JoAnn's?

End of rant.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Podcast 7: Knitting Knitting Knitting


Intro - Be my friend!  :-)
      SSHandmadeJenny on Twitter
      SSHandmade_Jenny on Instagram
      JennyAnne on Ravelry
      JennyAnne on Artisan's Square

State of the Podcast
      Please leave an iTunes review!  :-)

My Life

      McCalls 4440 in denim
      McCalls 4440 in rayon batik
      Simplicity 1696 - new TNT pants
                 I also mention Vogue 2907
      Toddler outfit - McCalls 6781
      Baby outfit - Simplicity 2291
.                Urban threads embroidery

      sweatshirt - McCalls 7026

      Gnarled Oak Cardigan from Coastal Knits
      Rustling Leaves Beret from Coastal Knits in Kettle Tweed; here is my first one!

      Beacon Hill for my mom in Ella Rae Classic  (first version, which I apparently never blogged about.  For shame!!)
      Husband's socks

      Plum Frost Cardi

Gift Plans
      Socks for my dad using this pattern

Living Handmade
      Clean My Space

Yarn Shop
      Fiber Art, Inc.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

McCalls 4440 in Rayon Batik

Let's call this McCalls 4440, part 2 (part 1 is here).

While I was sewing this, I told Hubs we need to go on a cruise.  This feels like a cruise dress.  Of course, that hasn't stopped me from wearing it around town for everything else.
 I used the same pattern view as the denim dress.  It has the crossover bodice.  Unlike that one, though, this one is nicely finished inside with a blue lining.
 I'm wearing this one with a cami underneath for comfort for everyday, but I can also pop on the strapless and get a little crazy.
 The fabric is rayon batik, which I purchased at the Bernina Sewing Center (where my husband got my Bernina).  They usually only carry (very nice quality) quilting cottons, so this fabric was a nice surprise.
 These photos aren't my best effort.  We've been getting so much rain lately.  It was actually raining when we took these.  We just stood on the front porch.  :-)

If you can handle an F-bomb or two, check out my friend's hilarious burlap wreath tutorial.  I'm going to try it, definitely.  This is the childhood friend who commented on my TNT pants, and I quote, "I can see why they call these TNT pants... because your butt looks DYNAMITE in them"  Love you, Shirley!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

McCalls 4440 in Denim

I've been enjoying my denim skirt so much that I wanted a denim dress, too.

I used McCalls 4440, which is super old and out of print.  I'm not sure how long ago the pattern was released, but I do know I used my copy to make this dress 6 years ago (which I still wear regularly, though I recently had to replace the fraying straps with ribbon).

(By the way, those photos of my now-7-year-old are KILLING me!!)

Ok.  On to the new dress.  I'm getting definite '90s vibes from this one, in a good way.  This is the exact same fabric I used for my recent A-line skirt.  It has just a tiny bit of stretch.
 I'm modeling the dress with a strapless bra here, but I've also worn it with a contrasting cami underneath for a little more comfy, casual vibe.  I really like the effect of the beige top-stitching.
 It's a bit rumpled from wearing.  I've been wearing it a lot.
 Getting the top-stitching to work with the zipper was a bit tricky, but I managed.  I'm happy with how it turned out.  This dress is unlined, and the inside is not pretty, though.  I like the breathability and ease of no lining in this dress, but I do wish I had a serger  for the seam finishes inside.  Of course I could have done zigzags or a hong kong finish, but oh well.
 I'm happy with the outcome, inside not withstanding, and this is already a workhorse in my closet.
Next time, another dress from the same pattern, using rayon batik!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Simplicity 1696 - My New TNT Pants

I have a new TNT pants pattern - Simplicity 1696.  It's one of their "Amazing Fit" patterns, and it delivered for me.  You definitely need to follow the pattern instructions (not go on auto-pilot, like I usually do) since there are some changes in the seam allowances and order of construction to make them easier to alter as you go along.

 I widened the legs a bit and lengthened them to full length to make some dressier trousers, but now that I know how they fit, I plan to make some more versions - maybe some skinny cords and some crops.
 The only fit change I needed to make was to scoop out the crotch an additional 3/8" and then take in the inner leg seams 3/8" tapered to nothing at the knee.  I think the crotch fit is great on these.  What say you?
 The only real problem I have and am not sure how to fix is the front pockets sticking out a bit.  I can work on that on the next iteration, though.  I will also lower the waistband 1/2", just for personal preference.  No more faux-back welt pockets either.  I'm going for the real thing, even if I stitch them shut with no pocket bags.  They are too bulky made this way.
 This pattern offered straight, average, and curvy fits pieces.  I thought I'd be straight or average since I consider my shape to be pretty rectangular these days.  Imagine my surprise to find out I'm "curvy" all of a sudden.  Any thoughts on getting rid of the wrinkles in the back below?  I think I'm in danger of over-fitting soon.  These already fit better than many of my store-bought pants.
Edited 9/20 - I was so excited about the pattern that I didn't even mention the fabric!  It's a recent purchase from Penny Fabric, a great fabric store in Sarasota (no website, sorry).  It's a cotton woven jaquard, I think, with navy and white.  I should have gotten a closeup.  It's gorgeous!  I'm thinking of getting the same fabric in tan/white on my next trip (if it's still there).

Monday, September 15, 2014

Vogue 1208

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this one.  Please help me out and tell me how I feel.  I made Vogue Patterns 1208, a Tom and Linda Platt design.
How gorgeous is that red dress??  Simple bias cut with a cute little bow detail.  Love it!

Here's mine:

Enh.  Meh.  Not what I envisioned on me.  The fabric is a lightweight tropical wool, so light enough for the style. The model's sleeve side seems to drape more, so maybe I should have cut it bigger in the shoulders.?  I don't know.  I made it hoping it would be good for singing at funerals.  I think it will be fine for that, but it doesn't get me really excited for much else.

I think it highlights my rectangular-ness.  
 I added the belt because here it is without.  It looks a lot better in the picture than I felt in real life.  I felt like a big bell.  Zero waist definition.  The bias-cut did not cling to the curves at all.  I guess this fabric wasn't the great match for the pattern I thought it would be.  The recommended fabrics are crepe back satin, silk dupioni, and jersey.
 Anyway, I don't know.  I'm not crazy in love with it.  I'll keep it in the closet for funereal duties, but I don't think it will come out for much else.

Podcast 6: Pennies

You can get the podcast on iTunes by searching "southshore" and it will pop right up.  If you are so inspired, please do go write a quick iTunes review since I think that will help it show up on other searches like "knitting" and "sewing" and stuff.  You can also just listen to the player at the bottom of this post.  Thanks for letting me keep you company for a while. :-)



My Life

Sewing - TNT tees - actually voting is already finished!
                    Flamingo tee (MiniBoden inspiration)
                    Red tee
                    Yellow tee
                    Stripes tee
                    Purple tee

             One Pattern Many Looks - I'm using McCalls 4440, super old.
                    Denim dress - I haven't blogged about it yet, but I'm wearing it today!
                    Batik dress
                    Lavender lace dress

             Pink border print dress

Knitting - VK White Cowl
             Plum Frost Cardigan

Gift Knitting - Sweaters for Mom and MIL
             Antler Cardigan for niece
             Socks for Hubs

Living Handmade - Gardening and Baking

Penny Fabrics
          Pink border print
          Yellow knit
          Cotton print

          Jacquard Bottomweight

          Pink Lace

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Princess Seam Border Print Dress - McCalls 5232

Sometimes, I think I have no idea what looks good on me...

I purchased this fabric from Pennie Fabrics in Sarasota.  It was love at first sight.  Nasir gave me a very generous 2 yards (more like 2.5), and I wanted to make the most of the yardage and the border print.  I decided to go with a classic princess seam style with a full skirt.  I found McCalls 5232 in my stash.  It is so long out of print that it's not on the McCalls website anymore, but here is the envelope pic:

After, I finished the dress, I was happy with it, but I feared it looked a little twee with the pink flowers and full skirt and all.  I wore a gray cardigan closed over top for church today, as shown below, and considered changing it into a skirt.
 However, after all of the compliments I received, both with and without the cardigan, I'm not changing it at all.
This dress was a hit with everyone from little girls to very mature ladies, little boys to gentlemen, not to mention my hubs.  I really don't generally get comments from anyone other than my husband and closest friends, so this was definitely a noticeable uptick.  My favorite comment was "you look like you stepped out of Roman Holiday."
 Well, I'm not shy.  I'll take the compliments and continue to wear this dress with and without sweaters over top.
If I make the pattern again, though, I'll make the top back a bit narrower and the bodice 1/2 inch shorter...

Thursday, September 4, 2014

TNT Tees - final post, I promise!

Voting is underway for the Pattern Review TNT Tees contest.  Go on over and vote for your favorite (if you are a member).

I'm so pleased with my 5 new tees.  I've been wearing them all.  My favorite is the gray and white stripes, though. :-)