Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I want this quilt!

My ridiculous brother Madhav is a little bit picky. Or a lot picky. Anyway, once upon a long time ago, he asked my mother to make him a quilt. He was *very* exacting in his requirements - the quilt had to be made of triangles, it had to be scrappy, and the triangles couldn't be too big.

My mother hates piecing triangles and typically avoids them like the plague, but then again, she's very nice, and for some odd reason, likes my brother. So, she got started on this quilt last summer, finally finished piecing the triangles yesterday (it kept going on the back burner), and sent me a photo of the still-to-be-assembled-quilt this morning.

Dear readers, isn't it gorgeous? I think it's perfectly acceptable to steal this quilt before it gets to my brother. Right?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A lace top - BWOF 02-2009-108

Friday night saw me in front of my closet, complaining that I had nothing to wear to a classical music concert I was about to go to.

With some hesitation, I reached for my yet-to-be-seen-on-blog cream lace top. I'd finished this about a month back, but have never worn it out - I look fat, hooker-ish, or both, the lace trend might be over, blah, blah. (Cranky mutterings about my still-useless, still-overcrowded gym.)

The concert was lovely. As for the shirt? You tell me.

Apologies for the crappy pictures - they were taken during the intermission inside Kroener Hall with my Blackberry. I was in the nose-bleed section, but there were still enough people around that I was pretty self-conscious about having my picture taken (how do fashion bloggers do it?)

Technical details about the shirt:

Pattern notes: BWOF 02-2009-108 was one of the patterns I'd taken to Myrtle Beach to sew on vacation. It's really simple - front, back & sleeves, and that made it perfect to fiddle with. On that vacation, I made this t-shirt with the same pattern, and also the bodice of this dress.

Fabric notes: The lace fabric is a relatively recent addition to my stash, bought around last summer, when the lace trend was peaking. I'm afraid it's peaked a bit though, which makes my top seem so last-season!

Construction notes: I was concerned that the lace would unravel when I cut it, but it didn't, and hemmed up pretty easily. On the sleeves, I just used the selvage as a hem (lazy!)

Also, this pattern is designed for a knit. The lace has a tiny bit of stretch to it, but really, I should have added a zipper. I didn't - it does fit without, but I need to be careful putting it on, for fear it might rip. Next time, center back zipper!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A pair of pants is on the sewing table right now...

and I might have temporarily misplaced my sewing mo-jo. I know exactly why - cutting lining. I hate and loathe cutting lining. The damn thing is slippery and it moves, and I'm very annoyed with it. And - I made a mistake cutting it out as well. It's fixable, but I'm annoyed by the whole thing.

So, my dad called me an hour ago, asking if I'm going to be at home tomorrow evening, because he's coming to pick up my sewing machine to take it to be serviced. Aargh. I whined a little - despite the lack of mo-jo, I'm not ready to give up my sewing machine for the weekend. Especially because it's a long weekend here. He's now picking it up (as a result of the whining) on Friday, and I should hopefully get it back Sunday evening. Which is not bad at all.

Which also means, I have a couple of hours tonight, and a couple of hours tomorrow night to finish my pants before my sewing machine leaves for the weekend. I wonder if I can get it done.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

McCalls 6078 - Another easy t-shirt

Dear readers, according to the SWAP plan, I was supposed to either catch up by finishing another pair of pants, or start my raincoat.

Yet, somehow, after the red t-shirt was done, I reached for this printed knit fabric I'd bought in October in France (I like buying a piece of fabric on vacation - it's a nice reminder of the vacation, plus, I get to go fabric shopping in a foreign country.)

I'm happy to say that when I bought the fabric, a cowl-neck t-shirt was exactly what I wanted to make. Looking through the pattern stash, I even discovered the perfect pattern - McCalls 6078, view B. It was a quick couple of hours of work to cut out the pattern, cut the t-shirt and sew it up. Easy-peasy!

Not sure what else to say about the pattern that would qualify for a review. Let's see - I made a small, and took ~4 inches off the hem. In retrospect, and for the next time around, I think I'll only take off 3 inches, to get an extra inch in length. The length is fine, but I sometimes tug at the t-shirt, which is a little silly.

I really like this kind of top for work - I layer it under a cardigan, and I'm neither too hot nor too cold. Plus, as I mentioned, it was really, really easy to sew. I must explore my stash to see how many more I can make!

I did spend a bit of time starting to cut out another pair of pants for the SWAP, and hopefully, that'll translate into me sewing the pants this week. Ideally, I'd like to get in production-mode, and cut out and sew 4 pairs of pants at the same time, but I recognize that this is unlikely to happen... I quite like production sewing, but the cutting? The idea of cutting 4 pairs of pants, and then 4 pairs of lining is quite horrifying, really.

Oh, and I do need t-shirts for the SWAP, and so both this t-shirt and the previous red one could qualify, so I'm not too terribly off-plan. Though I did say I needed a black t-shirt, and I still do...

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Simplicity 2933 Red t-shirt

What a fun, easy t-shirt this was. A few hours of work, some leftover fabric, and voila! - I have a t-shirt.

I've made this pattern before. I've worn the dress countless times, which makes me extremely optimistic that this red t-shirt will get the same amount of use.

Pattern notes - I cut a size 8 - there's a lot of ease in this pattern! - and shortened the top about 4 inches. It's the perfect length now.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Pants! I have them!

I'm rather delighted with these pants, dear readers.

They aren't perfect. But, compared to my many previous versions, this is the best pair yet. (The one that came closest, before this, was this green version.)

(As an aside, I tried them on, and spent a ridiculous time staring at my crotch, making sure the pants fit without wrinkling. Sewists are funny people, aren't they? I've been staring at people's pants as I walk around the city, checking for fit. It's a bit strange.)

The pants look a bit wrinkled in these pictures, but that's cause I'd been wearing them for a few hours - they stood the test of an all-you-can-eat lunch, and still fit. Score!

The back - I'm not sure if these lines are normal, or if I did something wrong (cut off grain?) I'm going to try the pattern again, and see. (It could be that my original pattern was unlined, with a different heavier weight than the fabric I used for these pants.)

The fabric was a thrift store find - $3? I think they are wool, or some kind of wool blend. ($3 fabric is perfect for a trial set of pants!) Inside, the pants are fully lined (I need to work on that though, it's definitely wrong, the way I'm doing it) with some lining fabric I got as a gift from a friend.

Oh yeah, this is a complete SWAP outfit. My blouse is part of the SWAP too - sweet!

So, the SWAP. I'm now a full week and a pair of pants behind. Instead of  (a) starting on my raincoat or (b) catching up with another set of pants, I've decided to sew a quick fun project, a red t-shirt. I'm hoping to use the t-shirt for my SWAP though - but I'm definitely doing it out of order.