Saturday, May 21, 2016

Back after a Slight Delay

All my sewing came to a halt when I had cataract surgery earlier this year.

Even before that, I got a little bit of sewing done.

For example, I stitched two lengths of fleece together to make a king-sized blanket.  This was done of necessity because all the blankets that we saw in the stores were just plain ugly.  I found five yards of this fleece at about the same price as an average blanket at W-M:

I also got caught up in pattern testing for an independent pattern company.

The fact that Stitch Upon a Time needed pattern testers for something my husband was needing - a T-shirt, specifically with long sleeves - was not lost on me.  I joined the pattern-testing world so hubby could have a couple new T-shirts.

The link to the men's Huntsman T-shirt pattern is here.

I sewed for him two long-sleeved shirts and one short-sleeved shirt.

Here is his second shirt, after we finessed the fit:

With inspiration - and scraps - from the top I made my friend, I cut one out for me, too.  Here is my friend's top:

Inspired by the cold weather at the time - mid-February - I cut out two long skirts using McCall's pattern 6654, a basic knit skirt with straight or flare options.  I cut a thinner, but denser, knit with a straight line.  I cut a more open knit as an overlay with a hi-low hem and a slight flare.

Right about this time, I had my first cataract surgery.  Here's a "before" picture. I'd had thick glasses for years:

After two months of not sewing - and, unfortunately, not exercising, also - I went from "can't see far" to "can't see near."  Because of the surgery, I can see colors more clearly now.  Cataracts had changed my perception of colors, and it was a shock to "rediscover" white and colors!

I have a small collection of "readers," which are those eyeglasses you see in drug stores and dollar stores.  I have ordered two pairs of prescription glasses which correct my vision to 20/20, something I'd not had for years.

So, I finally got back into sewing.  I finished my top to match my friend's top.  We went out today as "twins."  Here's my top:

The skirt is still in process.  It was going to be two skirts, but now I think I will make it as one.

Google has this year changed how pictures work, so I had to update the links to my photo albums for my Patterns for Sale page (above).

Saturday, January 2, 2016

From One Year to the Next

I was surprised to see in my spreadsheet that I sewed 22 things in 2015.

I made another quick flutter sleeve knit top with Simplicity 5723.  Click here to see my previous version.

The main difference is that I lengthened the top with my French Curve Ruler:

I also made the Easy Cosmetics bag from So Sew Easy,  Click here for the free pattern. This was a gift for a coworker.  It really was easy to sew.

I've already gotten a start on projects in 2016!

I made this Box Bag from Stacy Sews for a friend.  Click here for the free pattern.

It really was quick and easy, but I think it would have looked boxier had I followed the instructions to apply the zipper to the short edges, not the long edges!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Flutter Sleeve Top

I've had this really interesting fabric for quite a while - at least two years, but maybe more than seven years.  I'n not sure, but I finally acted on wanting to make something with it.

I originally thought I'd use this Butterick pattern.  I more recently decided that the pattern was too fussy for me, so I sold it:

I finally settled on this pattern.  I made the bottom view without sleeve slits:

Hubby helped me decide how to place the stripes, so the layout was fun.  I mostly cut it out for size 18, but I cut the smallest neck size:

I pinned the shoulder seams:

I used a log, narrow zigzag stitch to sew my seams:

After I made and attached the facing, I understitched with a three-step zigzag stitch:

I finished by topstitching about an inch from the neck edge.  then I sewed the side seams.

Because it's a knit, I did not hem the sleeves or the lower edge.

It was quick to make and it's easy to wear:

When I make it again, I will lengthen it by about three inches, since it barely tucks into my shorts and skirts.

I highly recommend this pattern!

Flannel Nightgown

In 2007, I made a flannel nightgown for my mom:

It's been eight years, and she asked if I would make another one. Sure, but I could not find the same fabric. Well, not at my local JoAnn Fabrics store. I sent her pictures of available fabrics, and she selected three. Of course, when I went back, there was only enough of one of the fabrics.

She asked that the nightgown be made slightly smaller, that the sleeves go all the way to her wrists with elastic, and that it be lengthened.  These were all minor changes.  By the way, I modeled the nightgown above, and my arms are shorter than hers.

I started by sewing the sleeve seams.  I also interfaced and stitched the outer yoke.  Then I trimmed those seams with the serger.

I started pinning the body to the yoke using the center front and back points and the shoulder points. I also pinned all the other matching points:

I found the center of each section so I could place a pin at the middle:

Finding the middle again gave me this result:

What you see is a good start on the pinning:

When all the pinning was done, it looked like this:

All that tedious pinning was for a specific reason: I do not like to pull gathers, so I made small tucks all around as I sewed:

Here's another perspective:

...and another view:

Crossed seams are bulky, and I forgot to trim some seam allowances.  Here's how I trimmed the yoke seam allowances after the fact:

I pressed the yoke seam allowances towards the yoke.

Having remembered about bulky seam allowances, here's how I trimmed the yoke lining seam allowances as I was preparing to attach it:

I attached the yoke lining to the yoke, trimmed and understitched the neck edge, and turned the lining to the inside.  Then I edge stitched the lower edge of the yoke to hold the lining in place.

I finished the sleeve and hem edges with the serger, then stitched the underarm seams, and finished them with the serger, too.

I hemmed the bottom, and also folded the sleeve casings.  When I stitched the sleeve casings, I left just over an inch unsewn, inserted some elastic, and tied the elastic so my Mom can adjust them to fit.

Here I am modeling the latest version of the flannel nightgown for my Mom:

She's already received the nighgown in the mail, and was delighted!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Flouncy Bouncy Skirt

I follow a blog and store by Deby of  So Sew Easy.- Lin here.

She has a tab at teh top for free patterns, and another tab for patterns for sale.

I found this free skirt patatern on her site, and knew I would eventually make it.

What precipitated the making of my skirt? A weigh-in for insurance purposes caused me to wear my lightest-weight clothes that day. I didn't have a suitable skirt, so I took a thrift-store find from the back of my closet and shortened it: I was told by my coworkers that it was a good length for me:

My ah-hah moment was remembering the Flouncy Bouncy Skirt Pattern. It's a skirt with a full circle attached to a yoke.

I poked around the So Sew Easy facebook page - link here - to find other examples of this skirt. I decided to go with a knit stripe from my stash.

I traced the pattern pieces and placed the stripes so they would go across the fornt and back, yet down on the sides. That basically means I didn't have to match the stripes at the sides:

The yoke pieces form a shart point at the sides:

Deby recommended I round up the bottom of the yoke, so I used my French curve ruler to do that. I adjusted the pattern

...then I adjustged the fabric the same way:

I pinned the skirt pieces to the yokes:

I stitched with a long, narrow zigzag, pressed towards the yokes, totpstitched, then pinned the sides together:

Preliminary views looked good:

I found a wide elastiv the same color as my fabric.  I adjusted the lenght to fit, overlapped and stitched the ends, then laid it over the outside of the skirt and pinned:

I used a zigzag stitch to attach the elastic to the skirt :

I turned the elastic once and topstitched. I figured that I would not usually tuck a top into this skirt:

This is how I usually wear it:

Yes, the skirt is twirl-worthy: