Thursday, June 30, 2016

Simplicity 8059

So I thought this outfit from Simplicity 8059 looked really comfortable and Florida-chic on the pattern envelope, so I went for it all-the-way.  I'm not so sure now, though.  It looks a bit "madame" on me (meaning mature, not French).  Like I could see this on one of the fabulous retirees that live down here.  While I have no problem dressing a bit more mature as I get older (rompers not withstanding), I'm not ready to jump ahead that much yet.

I think it all comes down to the top's hem line, and I am thinking of remedying that this afternoon with a little snip snip and sew.  It's funny because that detail was what drew me to the pattern in the first place, but on me, I'm not loving it.  

I do love the fabrics, though.  Both are from JoAnn.  The top is made with this rayon spandex fabric which is no longer at my local store, but is for sale online, and I am seriously considering getting two more yards for a fun dress.  It starts to pill pretty quickly, but I don't mind so much for a simple top, and I just love all the shades of blue.  The pants are a linen/lyocell blend that I can't find online.  They drape beautifully, and the linen look is nice.  They do require a quick ironing after washing, but it is very fast.

The pattern and instructions for the V-neck are excellent.  These are great results, and I will definitely use this pattern for all my future V-neck needs.

I tried the top with some jeggings to see if I preferred that look to the whole outfit together, but I'm still not convinced on the shape of the top.  I think it is getting a snip.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Spindrift Shawl by Helen Stewart (with modifications)

I have so many projects to share!  I took pictures of 5 other things at the same time as this, and I have a couple more that I still need to photograph.  I've been on a roll! :-)

This is the Spindrift Shawl by Helen Stewart.  I was really drawn to the simplicity of this pattern.  Plus, it was free when you sign up for some shawl workshop emails from her, so bonus!  I can't say I learned a bunch of new things from the emails, but I can see how they would be helpful for newer knitters, and again... they are free!

I knew I wanted to use a beautiful sky-blue skein of Anzula Cricket that I had picked up at a local yarn shop, but there wasn't enough for a whole project.  I went shopping at Roxy's Yarns, a new store in Tampa, for something to coordinate, and I settled on a pale gray semi-solid from The Fiber Seed.  I had heard of The Fiber Seed before, but I didn't know that the dyer lives in Tampa!

 I like how the dk-weight blue pops out a bit from the fingering-weight gray.  This was a very relaxing knit, which is nice sometimes.  My Ravelry project page is here, and I included more info on how I modified the pattern for two colors, if you are interested.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Simplicity 1355 in Rayon Cotton print from Mood Fabrics

I have wanted to make a second version of Simplicity 1355 since I made the first one last summer.  I thought that the pattern would really sing in a lighter weight fabric, and I think I was right.  :-)

The fabric is a Rayon/Cotton poplin from Mood Fabrics in a navy and white geometric print.  I love this fabric!  As soon as I saw it on the site, it had to become this romper.  The only downside to the fabric is that the garment requires a quick ironing after coming out of the dryer, but my tolerance for ironing has gone up in recent years.

This thing is just so comfortable and cool for summer.  Hubs is a bit dubious about the whole romper/jumpsuit genre of clothing, but whatever.  After 12 years of marriage, we can agree to disagree on this.  I figure it's just like a dress but more casual and easier to sit on the ground to play Legos or cut out another sewing project!

 I made two changes to the pattern for this version.  First, I raised the back to cover my bra.  To do this, I laid out my back pattern piece on my fabric.  Then, I marked the intersection of the center back and the armhole depth. Finally, I made a straight line through the top of the back piece (where the back attaches to the shoulder strap, minus seam allowance) through the new mark, and down to the bottom of the piece.  This makes a wider overlap, but that is fine with me.  I also tacked the backs together where they cross.

The second change I made was to use a drawstring waist instead of elastic.  I like the adjust-ability of the drawstring and the style of the ties.  I'd like to add some wooden beads to the ends of the ties for a little pizzazz but need to get some with big enough holes.  I made little fabric tubes for the visible ends of the ties, but for easier sliding in the casing, I used some silk cording for the hidden part.  One of my cleverer ideas, I think.  The only change needed from the pattern was to make to little buttonholes in the garment-side of the casing for the ties to poke through.

Here is a detail shot of the shoulder.  I really like this pleated detail, which is very similar to Simplicity 1810 but with one tuck instead of two.  If you can't find that out of print pattern, this would be a good starting point for a recreation of that dress.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Simplicity 1810 Dress in Rayon

I made this dress pattern last spring, and at that time, I said "This design is the dress of my dreams."  It still is.  Comfortable, breathable, Florida perfection.  However, it seems that it is no longer in print because I cannot find it on the Simplicity website.  Boo hoo!  Here it is on the Pattern Review site, though, for reference.  Why, oh why, would they put this out of print so quickly.  I mean, come on, it is the perfect dress, and I haven't even gotten around to making the top yet!

We have been having the most ridiculous rainy weather for the past few weeks.  Tropical storm Colin wasn't the half of it.  Before that, we had some crazy rain and wind for days.  Anyway, what this means for you is that you get crummy indoor shots of the dress.

There are two ways to wear this dress, which I find fun.  It is a subtle difference, but fun none the less.  You can tie it in the front...

Or wrap the ties around to the back and knot them for a more streamlined look.  I always wear my other version of the dress this second way, but this fabric is more drapey, so I can see myself going with the bow from time to time.

This fabric is a woven rayon border print from JoAnn Fabrics.  I fell in love with the color, the fact that it is not polyester, and the border print.  The only change I made to accommodate the border print was to change the A-line skirt shape to a straighter shape, starting about halfway down the skirt.  This makes for a  less swingy skirt, but it doesn't interrupt the border print.

Now, before this last pic, let me state that I AM NOT PREGNANT... but as I was taking photos, I decided that this would make a great maternity pattern with little alteration.  It's roomy in the bust, a bit high waisted, and you could easily make the skirt even bigger.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Simplicity 1370 White Cotton Eyelet Shorts

I love white shorts!  I have several store-bought pairs, but I never seem to have enough.  Plus, you know, they are white, so they develop stains pretty quickly.  This is Simplicity 1370, view B.  The fabric is this cotton eyelet from JoAnn's, layered over a stretch cotton bottom-weight, also from JoAnn, but I have no idea which one.

This pattern is unique for shorts in that it has a back zip.  I loved how quickly they came together with no fly front to worry about.  They fit very well, too!  I would lower the waist band by about an inch next time.  That's just personal preference, though.  They do not come up super high - just below my belly button.

I debated whether to use an invisible zip or a regular one.  I decided on a regular one for a bit more strength, but I would go with an invisible one next time.  The regular zip is definitely visible if I tuck in a top (so I won't with these).  They are not tight, so I am not worried about the zipper breaking after all.

The only fitting adjustment I needed to make was to scoop out the front crotch about 1/4 inch to pull in some bagginess.  Other than that, these are straight out of the envelope.  Love that!

Overall, I am happy with how streamlined these look under an un-tucked top, and I have some ideas to improve them for future versions.