Friday, October 31, 2014

New Look 6808 Lace Tee

I made a lace tee shirt.  I'm so trendy!  Who knew?  
(Yes, Anthropologie is the epitome of "trendy" in my book.  I'd consider myself more of a Boden girl, stylistically, though.  UK people, do you really walk reindeer around on leashes, though?  jk... kind of)
 This is how I wore it to church.  Looking a little frumpy in this pic, though.  Oh well.  Let me take the sweater off so you can see the top...
 Voila!  The fabric is from Pennie Fabrics in Sarasota (I've been typing that a lot lately).  It's a pretty pale pink color and has 3 dimensional flowers tacked on top all over for a really lush look.  "Tacked on" isn't really the right phrase, though.  I tried to remove them from the seam allowances and they are really sewn on well.
 The pattern is New Look 6808.  I thought I'd used this pattern to make this top (which I'm totally wearing today for Halloween with an orange cardi) but I have a different pattern on that post.  Oh well.  Same shape anyway.  Like that other top, on this one I left out the vertical darts and side zip and only used the bust darts from the side seam.  I can pull this over my head without a zip.

I used the same techniques as this dress to finish the neckline with the lace border.
 I wore it with a pink cami underneath.  What do you think?  Any other ideas how to style this top?  How would you wear it?

In other styling news, I've figured out a way I really like to wear this top - jeans, cardi, and a long necklace.  I really like it like this.  Win.

Also, there is only one more day to enter the giveaway for the Marbella dress pattern.  :-)

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Podcast 8: Gifts Galore


Intro - I forgot to beg you to be my friend!  :-)
      SSHandmadeJenny on Twitter
      SSHandmade_Jenny on Instagram
      JennyAnne on Ravelry
      JennyAnne on Artisan's Square

My Life - We snorkeled at Egmont Key in the Gulf of Mexico

State of the Podcast - I blogged about the Marbella dress pattern here

Sewing - McCalls 7026                                                           
               Hi-Lo Top

                New Look 6808                                                         
                Simplicity 1696
                 Here are all my recent Pennie Fabrics purchases.
                 I mentioned Myra.
                 Again, I mentioned the Marbella dress.  Comment on the blog post by November 1st for a chance to win a copy of the pattern!

Knitting - Rustling Leaves

                Hubs' Socks
                Whitewood Beret
                                                           (the dress is a few years old)
               Mom's Beacon Hill                                                         
               My Rook by Brooklyn Tweed                                                            
               Baby Sweater                                                            

Gifts - Elephant (to-be) outfit                                                          
           I ramble on about what I'm making/getting for various nieces and nephews
           Jammies for my immediate family
           Made's bean bag chair pattern - Rollie Pollie
           Knock Off Wood - I'm thinking of making this tent
           Curious Handmade with Helen Stewart

Living Handmade
            I need storage for my sewing space.  Should I go the easy route with Ikea or make something like this or this or this

Friday, October 24, 2014

Marbella Dress Pattern Review and Giveaway

I want to introduce you to a brand new sewing pattern company, Itch to Stitch.  The owner, Kennis, asked me if I would like to review her first pattern, the Marbella dress, and I jumped at the chance.  Stay with me until the end for a chance to win your own copy.

I mentioned here that I've been wanting a classic white sundress for years, and for some reason, this pattern immediately made me think of that.  I purchased this white cotton eyelet from Pennie Fabrics in Sarasota specifically for this dress. 
I also used a bunch of plain lightweight cotton to both underline and line the dress.

This is a PDF pattern, a very well developed one.  Kennis created the pattern pieces using different layers in Adobe for different sizes, so you only print the size or sizes you need.  This is explained very clearly in the instructions.  I printed sizes 4 and 6, and I cut at the size 4 for the bust and waist and blended to a 6 in the hips.  I measured myself and picked these sizes based on the size chart with the pattern.  The fit turned out great, and I made zero adjustments.

I needed to print 25 printer pages of pattern pieces.  I opted to read the instructions from my computer and didn't print those pages.  I timed myself cutting and taping the pattern pieces together and it took 30 minutes, as long as my drive to and from JoAnn's.  :-)  Not bad at all.

 This dress was a pretty involved project, partly because of the changes I made just for my personal preference.  The most obvious change is to the skirt.  The tulip skirt, as designed, is really cute, but I've made one or two before and I fear the pleats over my tummy.  Anyway, I used the pattern piece for the skirt front and just changed the side seam to an A-line shape.  I used the box pleats as drafted.  I used the same pattern piece for the front and back and it fit beautifully.  I love the pleats.
 The bodice has interesting seaming.  The neckline is a very flattering wide boat neck, and there is a curved yoke piece with princess seams underneath.  Yea for no darts to mark and sew!!  ;-)
 Gah, why is it all wrinkly in the back?  I think it's just the effect of my belt accessorization.  I didn't notice it any time before.
 The other change I made to the pattern was to move the zip from the center back to the side and cut the back pieces on the fold to continue the pretty eyelet across.  I didn't think ahead about how that side zip would affect my pockets, though.  I refused to omit the pockets, and after a little fiddling around, I am very pleased with what I came up with.  The invisible zip tapers into the pocket opening and ends inside the pocket.  Strange, perhaps, but it works.
 Here, I was trying to get a shot of where I hand stitched the skirt lining to the pocket top.  I can't think of any good way to explain this.  It just worked out after some fiddling and quite a bit of hand stitching.
 I should say that although moving my zipper to the side seam meant I did quite a bit of hand stitching, the pattern instructions are fantastic for avoiding hand stitching!  Kennis even explains how to attach the lining to the zipper using the machine.  Love that technique.  The only hand stitching in the pattern instructions is the hem.
 My lovely hem.  All of the layers make it feel like a luxurious petticoat.  I really took my time finishing the inside nicely with this dress, and I'm really happy with it.

Some more thoughts on the pattern:


*The website and pattern are VERY professional.  I would never guess this is Kennis' first pattern and this is a new company.
*Nice use of fusible interfacing and strips at the zipper opening and pocket edges.
*Detailed instructions and diagrams, including stay stitching, clipping, and explaining why you do things.


*The pattern pages have large numbers in the middle.  All of the other PDF patterns I've purchased have numbers and letters at each edge to help you join them correctly.  I didn't really have any trouble assembling the pieces, but it could possibly be confusing for a beginner.
*Everywhere I'm used to reading "right sides together", she uses the phrase "with the correct sides facing" which I found slightly confusing at first.
*I think the step 61 diagram shows lining fabric where it should be the wrong side fabric color
*Step 81 shows a picture of stitching in the ditch but no instruction - could be confusing for a beginner.

Overall, I am very happy with this pattern.  I recommend it and do plan to use it again.  I especially love the bodice design and think it is a very flattering shape.  I could see it altered to be a woven top or tunic, too.

Ok, did you make it?  Now the fun part - I have a copy of the Marbella pattern to give away!  Just leave a comment on this post with what type of fabric you would love to use for the Marbella dress.  I will use a random number generator to pick a winner in one week, on Saturday, November 1st.

* Disclosure:  I was given this pattern for free to review.  If you purchase the pattern using one of the links on my blog, I receive a small percentage of the sale.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Simplicity 1696 and Faux Welt Pocket Tutorial

Hi, everyone!  This is my second creation from Simplicity 1696, also known as my new favorite pants pattern ever.  We just took these photos after I've worn the pants all day, and we rode bike to my kids' school and walked around for a couple of hours for a Fall Festival.  So... they've been through a lot today and still look great (if a little baggier than they did this morning, and you can see there's something in my pocket).

 I rolled them up today, but they hit right at my ankle bone unhemmed.
 The fabric is from my recent shopping trip to Pennie Fabrics.  I think it's just a cotton bottomweight.  It feels and behaves a lot like denim.

 I knit the sweater years ago.  I have no idea what the pattern is.  I remember knitting it from a magazine pattern.  Not very helpful  :-)

Here is how I made my faux welt pockets, different from in the

This is a pretty quick and dirty tutorial.  It's not the best if you have never made a welt pocket before.  If you've made one or two and are curious how I make basically a welt pocket with no pocket bag, here it is:

Start with a rectangle of fabric about four inches tall and two inches wider than the welt opening.  Place it with the top edge just barely under the top stitching.  Stitch two parallel lines as shown on the pattern.  This pattern only has one line, so I added the second one half inch above.

Here you can see the stitching on the wrong side.

Use your seam ripper to start the slit between the stitching lines.

Use small scissors to finish the job, cutting one long slit and then diagonal slits right to the edge of the stitching lines.

 like so:

Now, shove the welt piece through the slit to the wrong side.

Adjust the welt to fit nicely in the window.
 Fold the welt piece down in the back so that the  fold just reaches the top of the window.  Press in place.

This is where you would add the pocket back for a real welt pocket, but I just fold the excess back up, covering the gap between the top of the welt and the top window seam allowance.

Topstitch everything nicely in place, making sure to get those tiny triangles tucked away to form right angles at the sides.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Haul from Penny Fabrics!

Well, Saturday's trip to Penny Fabrics in Sarasota was a success!

I bought 6 gorgeous pieces of fabric and left many more beauties behind.  The one that's sticking in my mind is a plaid lightweight wool.  I have a strong desire for some plaid pants this year...

Anywho, first up is this turquoise rayon knit.  It's nice and beefy and a bright blue color.  I bought 1.5 yards, so I'm not sure if it will be a 3/4 sleeve tee or a simple knit dress.  I'm thinking about playing with my embroidery machine on this one.  I need to hop over to the Anthropologie site for some inspiration for a little boho stitching.

This is a tropical wool I bought to make some dress pants.  It is so pretty, a light gray with lots of depth.
 Look at these first two together!

It's hard to tell from the pic, but this is a pale lavender cotton knit that is a bit sheer.  I think this called to me because it reminds me of a sheer long-sleeved tee I had about 15 years ago.  I loved that top...  Anyway, though I am tempted to recreate the original, I'm leaning toward a short-sleeved open cardigan with this since I have a pale green version I wear all the time!.
 This is a white eyelet.  I have wanted to make a white eyelet dress for years and I've finally found the perfect fabric.  I'll need to get some white cotton for underlining and lining.  This will be quite a project with all the layers, but I have the perfect pattern.  More on that soon...

This is an olive green cotton bottom-weight.  It feels a lot like denim to me.  I've already cut this out to be a skinnier version of my Simplicity 1696 pants.  (By the way, I wore the navy ones to the fabric store, and they were a big hit!)
 This is a poly charmeuse.  Yes, silk would have been lovely,but this border print was worth the poly.  I bought just one panel, planning to make a simple elastic-waist skirt.  However...
 Look at it with my soon-to-be pants!  Maybe it needs to be a flowy tank.  Of course, I'm a little scared to go there after my recent attempt at something similar.  What do you think?

I didn't let myself cut into this fabric until I finished what was laying around my sewing room, so I have two new projects to photograph today.  I'd better get out there before the rain comes!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Pennie Fabrics

I'm going to Pennie's today... I'm going to Pennie's today (singing a little song in my head).

Pennie Fabrics is an INCREDIBLE fabric store in Sarasota, less than an hour drive away from my house.  Now, if you live near NYC or LONDON, it might not impress you, but here in Florida, it is the garment sewing mecca (according to me anyway).

Got to go get dressed in a creation from the fabric purchased on my last trip...

* I would LOVE to link you to a website, but Nasir doesn't have one (hopefully just not YET, anyway).

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Holiday 2014 Vogue Pattern Picks

The "holiday" Vogue patterns are up!  I'm more excited about this collection than I have been in a while.  Here are the ones I'll probably be purchasing (not in the market for any evening gowns, sorry).

I already have this Kay Ungar pattern, but I like how they used the edge of the lace on this one.  I like the dark lace on the light fabric, too.  The hem is making my eyes twitch, though...  Why is it hanging down in the middle?  It looks better in the photo of the back.  I'd also consider a wider boat neckline so the back zip could be moved to the side seam and the back bodice wouldn't have a seam in the lace.

Ok, let's be honest. This designer dress isn't lighting anyone on fire.  The line drawing is very basic.  That fabric makes the simple lines sing, though, so I couldn't help but include it.  If I found a great similar fabric, though, I'd probably just use it with a very similar pattern I already have (Vogue 8766).  The pattern description does suggest embellishing the fabric with beads (the black centers of the flowers here), and there is some hidden construction underneath (organza in the skirt and stretch mesh in the bodice), so it might be worth taking a look.

This a is a Claire Schaeffer Custom Couture design, so you just know you're going to learn a lot from the instructions.  This will be beautiful for spring in something flowy.  One of the suggested fabrics is silk jersey.  I'm sure that would be gorgeous, but the though of marking and sewing those pleats on a stretchy fabric is scary!  I'll stick with a silk woven for this one.

The lines on this design are interesting.  I like the fuller skirt option, and I like the proportions with the long sleeves.  I'm picturing this in a nice ponte for winter.  Cozy!

This one is really cute, but not really a winter dress in my mind.  Great for spring and summer, though!  Maybe they were envisioning it more as formal wear, since there is a long option.  I wish they had a real life modeled dress, as always.

This looks so simple, but it looks like a great little knit dress.  I don't like the sleeve length, though.  I'd go 3/4 or a shorter short sleeve.  That's just personal preference, though.  I like the top-stitching on the high waistline at a very flattering spot (narrowest part of the rib cage) and that it is designed to pull on (no zipper).  The little tabs would be a great spot for some fabulous buttons, too.  Cute!  

There are definitely other interesting designs that just aren't quite my style (ahem), so definitely go over to Vogue and take a look at all of them!