Friday, September 30, 2016

Final Project for September Sew for 30 - A Renaissance Revival Top

Project Number 9!!  Butterick 5925 - a Katherine Tilton top.  This is the second time I have used this pattern and I still love it.  First version can be seen here.  I call this version my Renaissance Revival top.

The fabrics and trims for this top all came from the stash.  The "faces" print, was purchased at the ASG Sewing Garage Sale earlier this year.  The polka dot used for the sleeves and pockets has been in the stash for a long time and the trims - well - one of them I know is older than I am as it was passed onto me from my grandmother.  

The "faces" fabric is very, very drapey, so I knew it would work well for this top. The polka dot fabric - not so drapey, but it's ok in the places I used it.  The "faces" fabric was just wide enough to cut out the front and back pieces - being extra careful of the face placement so one didn't fall on my boob or right in the middle of my backside!  I barely had enough fabric leftover to squeek out the one pocket front out of the faces fabric too.  

I am looking forward to wearing this top when our weather finally starts cooling down.  It was 89 degrees outside when my dear Mom snapped these pics and we were both starting to sweat - especially with leggings and boots on!  Thank goodness we found some shade in the backyard.

Here's the trim I mentioned earlier that is older than I am.  The neckline and one of the pockets is trimmed with it and I think the bronze portion of the trim is made from actual metal!  It's a bit scratchy and it has sharp edges to it.  I sewed the entire neckline trim on by hand as my machine was having nothing to do with it.  This top will have to be a handwash only item as I'm sure this trim would snag the rest of the garment if it went thru a regular wash.  Who knows - it's so old that it might just fall apart the first time it is washed too!

Here the pocket front cut from the faces fabric.  It too is trimmed with the metal braid.  

The other pocket edge is trimmed with the faces fabric and if you can believe this - that fancy trim on the edge - well - I had a 1/2 inch to spare on that piece - which means it was meant to be!  I think it was leftover from a pillow I made years ago.

I've done fairly good this month for the September Sew for 30 projects.  I've completed 9 out of the 10 I had planned.  The only item left is the garment bag - which is cut out and the bias tape completed - I just need to sew it together.  Hoping to finish that one this weekend and then I'm onto other projects.

I hope everyone has enjoyed incorporating 30 minutes a day of sewing into their schedule.  I know I have - especially after my nearly two hour commute home on Wednesday due to an accident and traffic jam - I couldn't wait to relax a bit in front of the sewing machine.

Here are the stats for this project:
Total yardage for this top = 2 yards
Total YTD yardage = 91.125

Happy sewing everyone!


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Simplicity 2281 (Again!) and some Christmas Projects finished

Here are projects number 6, 7 & 8 for September Sew for 30.

Number 6 is Simplicity 2281 - A Cynthia Rowley dress that I modified into a blouse instead.  I really, really like this top.  This is the second version I have made and this green is such a bright and cheerful color too.

I first made this top a few months ago in a dark blue version and here's where I can demonstrate the importance of not skipping the stay stitching step when the pattern calls for it.  See how low the armhole is in the blue version when compared to the green?  I did not stay stitch the armhole on the blue and it stretched quite a bit whilst sewing. The green armhole is much higher - and they are both using the same pattern and pretty much the same fabrics.  The only difference is the stay stitching.  Note to self - DON'T SKIP THE STAY STITCHING INSTRUCTIONS TO SAVE TIME!

Back view - the neck has ties - can't get much simpler than that!

Project Number 7 is the completion of the "Christmas Woolies" ornaments.  I only had two more to finish before I could call this project complete and now - it's COMPLETE!!  Another UFO done! These are going to look so cute on my Christmas tree dedicated to handmade ornaments only (Yes, I have a separate tree for these!).

And Project Number 8 was another Christmas UFO started a few months ago but never completed.  This was an advent calendar panel that I picked up in England last year while on vacation.  There is a little stocking for each day of the month.  The DH will be much happier with the size of the goodies I can put in this advent calendar in comparison to my old quilted wall calendar.  Bring on the Chocolate!!!

Just two more projects to go to complete my list of September Sew for 30 items - the faces top and the garment bag.  This month has been super productive for me and I can see sewing for at least 30 minutes a day as something that is easy (at least on most days), to incorporate into my daily routine and I look forward to continuing it for as long as possible - I think I've formed a new habit here in the process! 

Here are the updated stats for those of you playing along!
Yardage stats:
Blouse = 2.5
Advent Garland = 2 yards
Total YTD = 89.125

Happy sewing everyone!


Friday, September 23, 2016

Something old to something new

Project number five for September Sew for 30 is a recycled project.  I had made Simplicity 1881 - the dress on the left a few years ago and always felt like I was wearing a circus tent.  I really liked the dot print and couldn't bear to throw it out, so I decided to remake the dress into something new.  Here is McCall's 6745 on the right - with a gathered skirt rather than the pleated skirt as seen on the pattern envelope.

The old dress was trimmed in this colorful piping - which I reused on the new dress too.  I still had some of the original green linen in the stash that I used on the first dress so I used it for the halter portion, paired with some black cotton from the stash for the waistband.

Back view.  It's a simple halter top with a regular zipper.  I didn't have an invisible zipper in the stash that matched, so I just opted for a regular zipper.

The straps have pant hooks and eyes at the back neck.  I find pant hooks to be much more comfortable against the neck when compared to smaller hooks and eyes.

I added a fun stacked button on the outside of the top strap.

Now that the dress is completed, I'm not sure which version I actually like better.  I'm leaning towards the first version more I think.  Anyways, it's too late to change it again as I'm thrown out the top portion to the old dress so I guess I'm sticking with the new one!  Even if I only wear it a few times, it will be worth it.

The top halter portion adds to the stashbustin' quest too!

Total yardage for the new top portion = 1 yard
YTD total = 84.625 yards

Happy sewing everyone!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

New Pajamas!

My fourth project for September Sew for 30 is some New Pajamas!  I just love pajamas and this is my favorite pj pattern - McCall's 3017.

I recently purchased this flannel on sale for only $2.00 per yard.  It has a cute "bug" print on the flannel that I'm sure was meant for a child, but hey, aren't we all kids at heart?

For the buttons, I used my button stacking technique, trying to pull from all of the colors in the print.

And for the pockets and the bands around the leg bottoms, I added some matching baby rick rack.

Just a quick post for today.  I am so pleased with how my September projects are coming along.  I really am enjoying sewing everyday and think I will make a habit of it!

Here are the stats for the PJ's:
Total yardage for the PJ's = 5 yards
YTD yardage total = 83.625
Whoop!  Whoop!  I'm getting close to 100 yards for the year!!

Happy sewing everyone!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Sew Together Bag

My third project during the September Sew for 30 quest.  The Sew Together Bag by Sew Demented is a handy little bag.  I made 3 of these, one for a Christmas Gift, one for a dear friend and one for me!  Aren't they cute!

The pink and yellow bags have a pink lining, with either yellow or orange zippers.

With a matching pink and green "trees" pocket lining.

The green and black bag (which is my favorite) has a green zipper on the outside...

With a colorful lining and matching blue, yellow and red zippers on the inside.

The pockets are lined with the same polka dot fabric that is on the outside zipper binding.

One step in the sewing process that I did modify was to create a template for marking the sewing line for the pocket linings.  Using an old file folder cut in half, I drew a line 3.25" from the center of the folder. 

Then cut out the template on that drawn line. 

To mark the stitching line for the pockets, simply place the template on the center of the zipper and draw a chalk line next to the edge of the folder.

And voila!  You have a perfectly marked stitching line!  

Total yardage for each bag is approximately 1 yard so that adds another 3 yards to my stashbustin total!  Yippee!!

YTD Stashbustin total = 78.625 yards

Happy #septsewfor302016 everyone!


Saturday, September 10, 2016

A quick and easy Turtleneck

It was time for a quick and easy project after my last garment.  This turtleneck was almost completed before I started the vow renewal project so all I really had to do was hem it to finish it.  This is an old Simplicity pattern that I've probably had for 20 years or more - no number on it though - it was just a handout that I picked up at Cloth World years ago and they have long since gone out of business.

This green and blue basketweave knit I picked up at Mill End Fabrics in Reno, Nevada a few weeks ago.  It has a really nice feel to it.

Side view.  Nothing too special here.

The pattern includes little cuffs for the sleeve bottoms.

Back view - again - nothing special here.

Ah hah - but the hem is special!  Hemmed on my new coverstitch machine.  Just look at how pretty that looks!  I'm really liking the Janome CoverPro 1000 CPX machine.  I'm getting a better feel for it and could actually do a straight hem this time!

That's it for today.  Just a quick post for this one as it's nothing too special.

Adding this yardage to the stashbustin total:
Total for this turtleneck = 1.5 yards
Total YTD = 75.625

Hope your sewing it going good!


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Vow Renewal Dress Completed

It's finished!  I have been working on this project solid for the past two days and it's finally done!  For those of you not familiar with this project, click here for more info.

Front close-up.

With the quilted wrap.

So - let's start at the beginning here for this project.  Here is my original wedding gown in it's box as it has been for the last 25 years.

With the lid removed, ah, there she is, resting peacefully.....Until two days ago....

I was surprised how well she had held up after all of this time.  Not too shabby - but boy - look at those sleeves!  Holy cow they are huge!

Close-up of the front.  I knew I wanted to reuse the front bodice portion somehow.

Side view of the sleeve - I think one sleeve is as big as my head!!

And the back view.  There was no way I was going to be able to zip up that zipper so the back had to be completely reworked.  And look at that bow - did I really have a bow that big on my backside?  

And here's the train.  I liked all of the lace cutouts and insets on the train, but they turned out to be more of a pain to work around than I originally thought. 

So - first things first - remove that skirt and train.  

And the sleeves.  Geesh - it still looks big here on it's own!

Here's the sleeve ironed completely flat.  That's alot of fabric in a sleeve!!

Using the train, I was able to cut out a basic straight skirt using Simplicity 1465.  My original plan was to cut a high/low wrap skirt of some sort but that didn't work out.  The majority of the train was cut on the straight grain, but it had all of the lace insets running thru it.  Those lace insets made it difficult to find an area big enough for just a straight skirt let alone a high/low wrap skirt.  I also needed to squeeze in the back of the halter from the train portion. I used McCall's 6745 as my starting point, but heavily modified it by adding 2 extra darts and extra width to the sides to make the front portion fit properly.

Here's the back view.  The only separating zipper I had on hand was a large one with plastic teeth.  A non-separating zipper just wouldn't work for this.  I know it's not the correct zipper, but it will serve it's purpose here ok.  The zipper and darts on the skirt look a bit wonky here, but they will be fine after a good pressing. 

For the wrap, I used the front of the skirt to cut out three different pieces to get the length I wanted for the wrap.  It is 14" x 60".  Then, using some lining and batting from the stash, I quilted the wrap.  Using the lace cut-out from the sleeve, I then transferred that onto the center of the wrap, zig zagged around the edges and then removed the quilted backing to create the see-thru effect.  From the bottom ends of the wrap, I used the bottoms from each sleeve and gathered the quilted portion slightly to make them fit the sleeve ends.  At the bottom center of the wrap, I used the same pearl bead that hung in the center of the back on the original dress and hand sewed some of the remaining pearls from the back around the edges of the inset.  

Another view:

Can you see the pearl drop on the center of the wrap?

Close-up of the end of the wrap using the bottom of the sleeves.

So here you go - from start to end.

Here is what's left from the train:

Not much left from the front portion.

My original goals for this dress are below and I think I satisfied them pretty well.

1.  When we travel, we only take a small carry-on suitcase per person, so it must be able to fit in that suitcase, along with the rest of my travel clothes. I don't want to travel with a separate case of some sort to house the "renewal garment".  Yes - this garment will fit in my carry-on, but, I may just bring a separate garment bag to save ironing it when I get there.  
2.  I'm looking for something simple yet appropriate for the occasion.  As you can see, I have alot of yardage to work with here, so I'm game for any ideas you have!  Yes - this is simple and very appropriate I think.  I love the way it turned out!  Is it too early to start thinking about how to reuse this again for our 50th anniversary?  

So - now that the big project is done, I'll be moving onto other simple garments for the rest of September Sew for 30.

How are your projects coming along?

Happy sewing everyone!