Sunday, August 22, 2010

Paisley and Zebra Projects

This has been a good weekend for sewing (overcast and rainy) and I've taken full advantage of it!  Because I don't get many weekends like this where I can devote so much time to sewing, I'm going to make this brief post about two completed projects so I can get back to work on another.

First up is Jalie 2921I think this pattern is very cute and has been made by several of my fellow Pattern Review members.  I understand why too, it's very quick and easy to make and no alterations needed, it fits perfect from cut to final sew!  This was the first time I made it and used a cheap polyester knit.  I will definitely make this one again in a beautiful, soft knit...I may a couple of them, makes a great wardrobe builder!

Next, is New Look 6898.  I've made two skirts from this pattern (both view C with ruffle) and this one I like the best!  The others were a little too flirty for my taste.  I made the first one from a bold print and thought if I softened it by using a solid knit the next time, that would help.  Nope, still didn't work for me.  So I won't be making that version again!

View A is the one I chose this time and it turned out really cute, I just love it!  I used a bold Rayon Zebra print in black and white.  I did alter this one a little by making the pocket flaps contrast using a light weight black crepe.  I also fully lined the skirt with a black bemberg (rayon lining for those not familiar with bemberg, my personal favorite).  Not sure what I'll wear this with yet...I don't want to go with the obvious black or white.  That would be a little boring because I've seen this type of print on some of favorite blogs with beatiful jewel tone colors like royal blue and coral.  We'll see what I come up with later! 

I think a nice wide black belt will nicely compliment this skirt too.  Do you think it's too long?  Usually my skirts hit me right above the knee, but I kind of like the longer length, especially with higher heels than I'm currently wearing.  You'll probably see this skirt pop up later in my blog along with something else.

Back to work for me, I have one more item I'd like to at least get half done before the weekend's gone!  Talk with you soon and Happy Sewing! 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Very Late Christmas Gift...I'm a Slacker!

Last Christmas, one of my sons, was bringing his girlfriend here to Florida for a visit.  I had what I thought was the best Christmas gift idea ever for my son...I was going to crochet him an afghan for his new sofa!  I succeeded, it turned out very nice and he loved it!

So why was it late and what made me a slacker you ask?

That's because my son's gift wasn't the issue.  After I completed my son's afghan, I decided to crochet something for his girlfriend too.(you know how you get "on a roll" and think you can do it all!)  I thought I had more than enough time to make something simple and selected this beautiful sweater pattern. 

Crochet Cardigans
The pattern was really easy to understand and follow. Everything was right on schedule until...not paying attention I cut into the body of the sweater by accident!  OMG!!!  I could have smacked myself silly!!! Then having to re-crochet the entire back piece, there was absolutely no way I was going complete the project by Christmas! So I purchased a small Christmas gift for her and explained what happened. She was so sweet and understanding about it.  She's a creative type too (she makes beautiful jewelry!)  So I promised to finish it quickly and send it to her. This is where the "slacker" part comes in...can you believe I JUST COMPLETED IT!  That's so terrible of me isn't it??  I do feel really bad about it! So I'm humbly apologizing to her in front of all my readers! and my son too, for putting him in the middle of it...he had to keep asking when it would be completed!

Here are photos of her completed sweater....

By the way, pink is her favorite color.  I'm sending it out Monday so my son can deliver it to her next week. I hope it fits!!  Pray for me everyone!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Michael Kors Fabric...Hot Red!

I met my first Fashion Week designer!!!  Recently my husband decided to go with me fabric shopping...and if you know my husband, then you know that's a miracle...I almost fainted!  This is something he absolutely hates...waiting on me in a fabric store!  Really excited about this, I decided to do something a little different and Googled fabric stores in the area and went to one I've never been to before.  This turned out to be an AWESOME idea!  We went to a place called Queen's Fabric by Marisu Maranda.  When I walked in the door, I told my husband I was in heaven!  Not only did they have the most beautiful fabrics I've ever laid eyes on, they had goregous garments everywhere in the store.  Some on dress forms and some on racks. This was the store of fashion designer Marisu Miranda and I had no clue! 

All of the garments in the store, were designed and made by her.  She also designs her own fabrics too! There were photos of her recent Fashion Week (in Spain) runway designs adorning the walls of the store.  You could have knocked me over with a feather...I was really like the kid in the candy store!  I couldn't believe she was based right here in Tampa, FL and I didn't know it!!
Well if that wasn't enough shock for me, guess who comes walking out of the back of the store?  Marisu Maranda herself!!!  We talked for quite some time and I told her I blog about sewing and just came in to browse fabrics.  She politely walked me over to take a look at her latest fabrics, some Michael Kors 100% silk jersey in about 5 different colors.  They all looked like little jewels...but the red called my name, so I purchased it.  I told Marisu I'd definitely be back, (not real often though, my wallet is a little too small for the extremely expensive fabrics!) but I just loved being in the store for inspiration!

Here's the fabric I purchased from her store....

It's really soft and silky with a 2-way stretch, very light weight too.  This will be my first time working with 100% silk jersey and hopefully, it won't be my last!  As I stated in my last post, I had already decided to make Butterick 5495. (review my muslin post below).  I decided to add some trim to the bottom of this top just for that little "me" affect!  I think it turned out kind of cute but now I'm second guessing myself and thinking about removing the trim. 

What do you think?  Doesn't the trim make it look more like a night shirt???  My hubbie says no and I should leave it as is!  Let me know what you all think??  

I need your honest opinions! Anxiously waiting...Happy Sewing!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Stripes...Horizontal vs Vertical

Found this beautiful cheap! knit at JoAnn Fabrics and I think it's some kind of polyester stretch knit.  It has a great 2-way stretch which is exactly what I'll need for the topic of this post! 

As you can see, the stripe is  "horizontal" based on where the selvages are placed.  However, it is said we should refrain from wearing horizontal stripes if you want a leaner look (especially at my age!!!).  With my broad shoulders, I need to run away from anything that makes me look wider LOL!  But this fabric was so pretty, I had to have it and thought I could get away with making the stripes vertical!!  (have any of you ever tried that??)

Well it worked!  I love the top! and it's my muslin for Butterick 5495.  

I recently purchased some beautiful Michael Kors silk jersey in a great red color for this pattern but decided to use this striped "inexpensive" fabric as a test for the pattern first.  Good I did...because there were a few issues!   Let's just say, the Michael Kors fabric was not cheap at all so I'm really happy I made the muslin first.  Here's photos of the top on my dress form before my alterations...

It basically looked like the pattern photo, but what you can't really see is the v-neckline is VERY low!  The little horizontal loop in the middle of the front, has too much of an opening on either side of it.  Also, I believe this pattern runs small because my completed top was very snug and I made a size 10 as I normally do with knits.  You can see it's really "hugging" my dress form (it doesn't have the "love handles" in the back like me, so we really have to fix that LOL!!).

So off to work I go...I separated the back from the front and re-cut the back piece larger (thank goodness I had enough fabric!)  To fix the plunging v-neckline , I cut 1" from the shoulder seams and scooped 1" out of the armhole area to accommodate the shoulder change.  Finally, I hand stitched the openings to close them on either side of the loop in the front.

This pattern sews up very quickly with minor issues.  I would recommend it to everyone, however, I would HIGHLY suggest making a muslin first!  With my alterations, the top turned out beautiful and I really can't wait to get started on my red Michael Kors silk fabric! This is my very first designer fabric!! (and there's a story I need to share behind it too. (That will be on my next post!)  In conclusion, this is a great top and I do plan on making it at least two more times!  If it's your style, I hope you'll give it a try too!

Until next time, Happy Sewing!!