"Why in the world did you pick this name for your blog?" ...so glad you asked...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Another Pattern Wishlist

I've already given you my indie pattern wish list.  As I continue to peruse blogs and flickr groups, I continue to see people making beautiful garments, which, of course, makes me want the pattern.  I am, as you may or may not know, on a self-imposed pattern ban.  I must work though half my stash before buying any new patterns for me.  I broke it for this top, but other than that I have been a good girl.  I have been sewing steadily since my ban began, but haven't made it through many patterns yet.  I used to always be so excited to get to the next pattern that it seemed a shame to "waste" time making a duplicate of something.  Of course, now that I actually have the goal of working through my stash, I keep going back to patterns I enjoy and making another!
Since I won't be buying more patterns any time soon at this rate, I'd better blog the ones I like so I can find them easily again.
Just by coincidence, these are all Vogue.
Here we have Vogue 8742 which caught my eye because of this Flickr photo.  Her version is certainly very inspiring and I think a solid knit in a beautiful color would be a perfect choice.

Next is Vogue 8810.  This one, I would surely have never considered because the dress on the model looks awful and the illustrations aren't much better, but I saw a feature on the Vogue facebook page and followed it to this blog post by Sharon Sews.  What a beautiful dress!  Definitely made it to my list purely because of her version.

And Vogue 8815 has been on my mind for a bit.  I want to make this from knit too, which might be tricky since it's not meant to be according to the recommendations on the pattern.  You can see some cute versions here and here.

This pattern (Vogue 8819)  I stumbled across by googling "cardigan pattern" I think.  I had already looked through all the pattern catalogues and didn't see anything that caught my eye and I have this lovely coral and grey striped knit from Girl Charlee just begging to be my favorite new slouchy cardi this fall... but no pattern.  Four Square Walls to the rescue!  I'll probably shorten it a bit and narrow the back panel like she did. 

  One of Vogues newest patterns... found this one all by myself... Vogue 8825.  You can see the other variations here.  I like it as a dress.  I like it as a shirt.  I like the long sleeve.  It seems pretty versatile, like one of those patterns that might keep me from moving on to others because I'd want to make it again. ;)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

More Fall Sewing for the Little Ones

I've been continuing to work through all the things I cut out for fall sewing.  I'm trying to be good and finish things instead of just starting them.  I really do like doing the marathon pattern cutting sessions (well, not the sessions themselves) because they make only having a quick half-hour to sew much more productive.  I can just grab a plastic baggie that has my pattern instructions and my already cut fabric and get to work.
Here's a newer pattern in my stash from Burda. (I'll have to check the number later.)  This is the very first time I've bought a Burda pattern.  I never even look through the pattern catalog for Burda when I look for patterns, but I couldn't find a cute overalls pattern in the other books.
This is the little jumper and I made it with the purpose of using up the red riding hood and bunting fabric and at the same time, giving my 4-year old something to wear with her new Gymboree red corduroy pants I bought her for winter.
This runs big but the pieces are well drafted and the instructions are good.  it's a nice little pattern.
I have the overalls cut out for my 2-year-old and hope to get to them soon.

This is a v-neck knit dress (recognize that combo?) called the Sonya Dress from 5 Berries
I like the look of the dress, although the picture on the site is somewhat deceiving because the dress on the dress form is belted, so it looks like a slimmer cut than it actually is.  You can see that the dress is pretty much just an a-line, but you could change the shape and nip it in at the waist or add shirring or add belt carriers for a ribbon or sash.
I had a heck of a time with the v-neck.  I can't say whether that was user error or the instructions not being detailed enough.
Some coral ruffle pants would be divine with this.

Next we have the Maggie Mae dress from Schwin and Schwin.  I know lots of people adore their patterns, but, to be completely honest, I'm having buyer's remorse about the three patterns I purchased from them. :(  (I have the Lovely Rita's and the Abbey Jacket also.)
The patterns are designed for beginners, but I think they could've done some nicer finishes on the button placket in the back and lining without compromising the easy-ness of the pattern. Also, the pleats on front and back are not marked on the pattern.  You are left completely on your own to figure out where to put them and how to make them even.  I have attempted this pattern before and got so frustrated with the pleats that I threw the dress away! 
I was prepared this time, but I still got steamed that I had to spend so much time on the pleats when they could very easily have been marked on the pattern.  If you want it to be easy, then make it easy. If you look at the Flickr group, you'll see all different sizes and placement of pleating.
I got mine pretty near perfect on the front, but I was in a hurry for the back, so they are not perfectly centered.  arg.
Charcoal or peony pink velour or minky pants would cozy this up.

Last, but not least (because it's actually my favorite) my third time making the Brownie Goose Nelle dress.  I love the way this dress shows off fabric.  For some reason, I just don't feel like I need to mix a bunch of fabrics on this dress.  All three times I've made it, I've used just one fabric for the dress.  This is the first time I've added trim on the sleeves.  I ordered several colors of Riley Blake crochet trim with my last Fabric.com order, so this won't be the last time you see it.
Now, you wouldn't really think this would be for fall, but I just so happened to order some periwinkle/purple knit to make myself a pair of Mama ruffles and had enough left over to make some baby ruffles too and they look DIVINE with this dress!

here, let me show you...

SEE!?  I really lucked out.  I added some reproduction vintage fabric for the pocket.
The pocket is from the Monkey's Bug Sweet Sailor Shorts pattern.  I think it's so cute, I just keep putting it on stuff.   

Wouldn't you?  :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Separates That are More Awesome Together

I have two new pieces to show you today!  Two awesome knits 
= two easy-to-wear pieces that have lots of visual interest.
Both of these patterns I've sewn before and both I made modifications to.  I made and blogged about the shirt here.  This time, I made the cowl less cowly by moving the front "cut on fold" line about an inch off the fold of the fabric, effectively narrowing the front piece by two inches.  I tapered out to a bit wider waist line, but this chevron knit is super stretchy, so I wasn't too worried.
The skirt was attached to a dress the first time I made it.  This time, I used the skirt pieces from the pattern and, instead of attaching them to the top part of the dress, I added a yoga waistband.
And now for a gratuitous number of pictures...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Amy Butler Birdie Sling Number Two

The Amy Butler Birdie Sling was the first bag I ever made.  Well, I tried the Buttercup Bag, a free pattern from Made By Rae, but I failed utterly and pretty much don't even count it.
I had no knowledge of bag making and didn't really aspire to make one until I saw this big beautiful bag someone was using as a diaper bag in the signing class I was taking Eden to.  I simply had to know where it came from because the shape was just so striking to me.  She said she made it. That blew me away.  She told me what the pattern was and I told her maybe I'd get to it someday.  Then the best thing happened.  I didn't really know her at all, just another mom in the class, but she offered to help me through and explain the tough parts if I needed help.  That offer of back-up was all I needed to try and tackle it.  It took me a year, but I tackled it.
I ended up just using some helpful blog posts to get me through the confusing parts.  There were times when I thought that it was waaaaayy too much effort (like cutting out what seemed like a million pieces of fabric and interacting and like standing over a hot iron forever ironing on each piece of interfacing... so, pretty much the very beginning steps of making it!),  but thinking about being able to carry a bag just like hers kept me pushing through.
Here's how my first one turned out. 
The second time around I have a whole lot more experience sewing bags, even drafting my own patterns.  I have more experience with interfacing and I know my own preferences.  If you want all the details of what I chose to use where, I can tell you, but for the sake of the readers who would just like to see the bag.  Here are some pictures.

The above picture is right before the last step.  You have an outside and an inside and a strap.  I remember being so scared the first time around that after getting this far, I would totally mess it up putting these three together.  It's counter intuitive how the pieces get sewn together and you feel like you are sewing blind (unless you've made other bags, in which case you've already done something similar to this).
You may see that I've upgraded to a zip pocket instead of the small interior pocket.

There she is.  I was almost too lazy to add this because I'm still not that good at it, but I'm glad to have it now for my phone and lipgloss and hair bows that get pulled out of little girls' hair.
One other thing I did differently was to baste the strap on before putting the bag together.  I just pinned last time and that was really difficult and also made turning the bag right side out a bit treacherous.
I also left the hole for turning in the side of the interior instead of the bottom, just because the bottom holds all the weight and the stitches used to close the hole are less obvious in the side.

I literally wore my last one out and I hope I enjoy this one just as much.  I got compliments EVERYWHERE I carried my last one, so I'm looking forward to that again too. :)
This is not a simple pattern.  The bulk of the interfacing, the curved seams, the gusseted bottom and other things make it a challenge, but if you love it as much as I did when I first laid eyes on it and are too afraid to try it...
I'll give you the same gift that the mom in my daughter's signing class gave me.
I'm just an email away.  Let me know if you need help and I'd be glad to work you through it.  Comment if you need help, leave your email address and I'll contact you.