Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Simplicity 2192 - a second try

My first try at Simplicity 2192 turned out unwearable, not because of my sewing, but because of the fragile nature of the fabric. 

I did like the pattern though, and thought this worthy of another try. 

Thoughts? I like it. It's stash fabric, I'm happy to use it. I'm hoping it'll soften further in the wash, since I think the silk of the earlier version drapes better - something that's a necessity in this boxy shirt. 


I'm making a lot of really easy tops, and am wondering if it's time to branch out to a more complicated project. We'll see. After a summer of not very much sewing, easy tops have got me back to the swing of things, and I like having sewing mo-jo.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Simplicity 2246 - The Lisette Traveler Dress


I can't remember when I started this dress. I'm going to say - June. In any case, this dress was on my table when my ex-machine went away to be serviced, and came back in bits and pieces.

Then, I bought a replac


ement machine, and started a different project.

Then I needed buttons.

Then, my serger was threaded with white thread, not black.

Basically, I procrastinated and procrastinated about this dress, but it is finally done.


I made a size 10 on top, size 12 on the bottom. Shortened it as needed, etc. I wish I remembered more, but this dress got done over many months. It was easy enough to sew, but it did have many steps. The fabric was a gift from my aunt and uncle, a couple of years ago. (Again, stashbusting, yay!)

I didn't sew the fabric belt. I've decided the fabric belts that come with sewing patterns are just not flattering. Even the pattern photo has the model wear a store-bought belt - that should say something.

Minor quibble - looking at the photo - the top pockets are clearly too high.

Slightly not-so-minor quibble - the damn dress shrank in the wash. 100% cotton. Should have known better - next time, I'll prewash.


I'm now down to 2 WIPs on my table from the summer. One just needs hemming, the other, buttons. It's amazing how I can procrastinate on the simplest tasks, really.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The quest for the perfect casual t-shirt: McCalls 6566 - version 2

As you may recall, I made my first version of McCalls 6566 at my cousin's. I cut out a medium, sewed it up, decided I looked like a complete and utter frump, did what I could to salvage it.

Still, I thought it was worthy of another shot, and here it is.


This time around, I cut a Small. I took 2 inches off the length, and 1.5 inches off the length of the sleeves.


Verdict - so close! Ok, I like the sizing, it has that casual slouchiness that I think I'm going for. The only thing I'll nitpick about is the length - which is more obvious when you see the back - that hem is too long. 2 additional inches shorter, I think.


I'll save that for the hypothetical version 3.

But hey, I've sewn 3 things so far in September? Even if they are easy, easy pieces? Three is a good number. I like three.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Another quick top - McCalls 6510

I'm nurturing along my sewing mo-jo like it's a skittish colt. I feed it gently, I make no sudden movements, I sew the easiest of easy makes.


Including this one, which, in essence, is a glorified rectangle. (Yes, vs. drafting it myself - somehow, I thought it was better to spend 99c at a JoAnn's McCalls sale buying a pattern of a rounded up rectangle. You may mock the laziness now.)


For a simple pattern, this did give me a bit of trouble - the neck is super wide and deep - I need to wear a tank top for modesty - plus I raised the neck at the shoulders by at least an inch, and then it was too long, so I took an additional 3.5 inches off the entire thing. Still, given that the thing is the easiest  pattern to sew, ever - even with all the trouble I had, it took only a couple of hours of actual effort to make.

Laziness caused me to serge the hem, vs. actually sewing it. Meh. You can't see it, it doesn't matter.


During the make, I felt like this was speeding, head-first into failure-land. Somehow, though, it turned out quite okay. Yay! (And double-yay - this is old, old stash, bought ages ago at a Wal Mart. I bought one yard, I have just bits and pieces left.)

You'll have to excuse the lack of jewelry, make up, and coordinated clothes. It's hot; I spent a fair bit of time this evening making tomato sauce, plus I was roasting potatoes in the oven. It would be the understatement of the year to say that I couldn't be fussed with primping in the middle of all that. 

Friday, September 06, 2013

A quick top - McCall's M6751



 Dear readers, this has been the summer of obligation sewing - not a good feeling. There have been three baby quilts, some hand-embroidery for a friend's wedding, assorted mending, and so on and so forth.

Not surprisingly, I've been on a sewing slump. Let's be honest, mending does not inspire me.

I needed a little trifle to cheer me up, and so, on Wednesday night, I quickly whipped up this little top. McCalls 6751 - view C. (Fall is definitely in the air, and this is the most out-of-season make. Nonetheless. It was quick and easy, and I wanted results!)

The fabric was a gift from my parents, bought on a recent trip to India. (Unfortunately, not stash. I've decided anything bought in 2013 does not count as stash sewing.) It is 100% cotton, and feels all kinds of soft and luxurious. Also, it presses easily and well. I didn't prewash, and I'm hoping it doesn't shrink.

Pattern sizing, changes - I made a small, and took out 1" off the length at the marked alteration lines to petite-size it.

Thoughts on the pattern? I love the front. It's got that loose unstructured vibe, but it isn't unflattering. It's exactly what I was looking for. Other likes - the high low hem, the square neckline.


The back? Less love. If it isn't hitched up at the right point on the shoulder, the back just looks sloppy. If hitched up, it looks better, but in either case, this is not flattering. (Also, I think it's probably about an inch too long, maybe?)
Slouchy back

Hiked up back. Not a lot better.

Pattern instructions? Not sufficient. I've been sewing for a while, and can muddle through, but basically, there's two layers in the back, and the hemming instructions offered no guidance on whether you were supposed to hem them together or separately. I hemmed them together, but that can be prone to some bagging if you don't get the hem exactly even, and there's probably a better way/order to put this top together. Given this is an easy pattern, probably geared towards a beginning sewist, better instructions should be a must.

Overall - A good make, with some quibbles. But I'm going to cut out and make the view D soon, so maybe I'll be happier with that. But at the end of the day, a make, just for me, made up just because I felt like it? Happy happy days.

Mine. Mine. All mine. My precious.


Friday, August 23, 2013

Bounty from the garden - Aug 17 and Aug 22

Dear readers, I'm drowning in garden produce. 

This was Saturday's haul. There's tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers and one mutant zucchini. 

And then, a mere 3 days later, there was this tomato explosion. (Also, more peppers, and tomatillos.)
Yesterday, in desperation, I gave half the tomatoes to my mother, begged my neighbor to take some tomatoes (she didn't, her crop's come in too, and she's also got more tomatoes than she needs.) I also made roasted tomatoes, per David Lebovitz.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

De-UFO-ing the UFOs - Dave and Erin's baby quilt

Dear readers, I'm buried in a pile of UFOs. I'm evidently in the middle of 4 makes, and I'll be perfectly honest, I don't function that way. While I'm often tempted to start many projects in a row, I am best at working sequentially - one project at a time.

When these two urges clash, inertia occurs. Nothing gets done, I'm too stressed to enter the sewing room.

As with everything in life, the solution is - unfortunately for me, who craves the easy answer - one step at a time.


And so, this quilt top, made for my friends Dave and Erin, who are about to have a baby in September. I'd finished the quilt top in July?, but I don't enjoy the quilting process, and so, it lingered on as a UFO.



Last week, I swore that I'd work 30 minutes every day on the damn thing, and get it done. It took a little more time than that, but hey - you know what - it's now done.


The front fabric is stuff I just stole from my mom's stash (don't feel bad for her, she has a lot of stash.) The back though, I pulled something from my stash - this grey cotton is lovely and soft, and I didn't really have enough of it to make it into anything else. It looks perfect in this quilt. (Also, yay, stash sew down.)

It isn't the best quilting in the world, but I'm not a good quilter, and it's a pretty good effort for me.
Unfortunately, my mother brought me a quilt top I need to quilt for her. (Trust me, this isn't altruistic in the slightest, it's one of my patterns, and she's been kind enough to test the pattern for me.) And thus and therefore, the UFO count still stands at 4. Sigh.