2013 ESSENTIAL TOPS SEW-A-LONG FINISHED PROJECTS

May 31, 2011

FEELING A LITTLE CRAFTY - TUTORIAL...

I have never considered as a crafty person, but I would so LOVE to be.  I can't help wanting to be crafty when there is so much eye catching craft inspiration on the net.  I admit, pretty decor, pretty clothes and neat crafts are delicious eye candy to me, and every now and then the craft bug bites even me.

Whenever I go to Hobby Lobby or Jo-Ann's I find myself picking up a couple of how-to craft pamphlets like these.


 Initially I think to myself "that's so doable".  Then before very long I've talked myself out of how easy it is, or suffered crafting paralysis that brings me to a standstill trying to choose the fabric and embellishment to perform the task.  It's like the thought of getting right down and doing the craft dies (how sad). 



I've been needing a off white or ecru lapel flower pin, but I keep forgetting to pick one up.   So I thought I'd give this project a try.
Image and directions compliments of JoAnn Fabrics
Just a few supplies were needed

  • 1 pc. Antique white felt square
  • 1 Rhinestone Button
  • 3/4 yard cream crochet trim - 1" wide
  • 1 1/2" pin back
  • Basic Sewing Supplies (like needle and matching thread)
 And the directions were super easy:

Cut a 2" diameter felt square.  Hand gather trim 1/8" from the edge of the crochet trim.
Pull up thread so length of trim is 18" long.  Begin stitching the gathered trim to the outside edge of the circle with the ruffle facing outward.  Continue working in a circular pattern, overlapping ruffles until you reach and cover the center of the felt circle.
Attaching crochet trim to outside edge of felt circle.

Sew Rhinestone button to the center of the ruffled flower.  Sew pin back to the middle of the back of the felt circle.  And viola, there you have it...

My finished lapel pin.
Not to bad for a non-crafty person.  Thank you JoAnn's; and thank God for other people's inspiration and craftiness...

TOMORROW'S THE BIG DAY - 2011 IDEAL SUMMER DRESS CHALLENGE














Tomorrow is our big day - the first day of the 2011 Ideal Summer Dress Challenge
  • 43 participants have responded (This is the largest number of any challenge I've hosted - so exciting!)
  • 5 participants have not responded*






*Since email addresses don't always line up with our names or blog names I'll just note the first part of the email addresses of those who not responded.  Again, if you did not get an invitation yet, please let me know.  I don't want to omit any one who is interested :

Cindy - Color by Number
asewfit

kjej
csmith
minniemoocher

Some people responded with different email address (which is quite alright).  If that is the case with the 5 people listed above, please let me know - so I will know that you are in.

On your marks, get set...

May 30, 2011

LET'S GET IT STARTED (hummed to the tune by the Blackeyed Peas)...

Don't you think it's time to start prepping for our "Summer Dress Challenge".  On Sunday afternoon I pre-treated my fabric and altered my pattern according to Threads Fitting DVD on Torsos.   I performed a full tummy surgery adjustment down the center front pattern piece.  Since the dress buttons completely down the front I want to make sure I don't have to deal with any gaposis problems in that area.

Threads suggests a cut and spread method to deal with this adjustment.  So I cut the pattern and spread it 1 inch.  This adjustment worked beautifully on a previous jacket pattern so I trust it, and besides I'll be making up a muslin - so if the adjustment is too much I'll have time to make it a smaller spread on the actual dress.

 The only other adjustment was on the collar pattern piece.  I'm not sure if it was necessary for a dress, but to assure that the collar will lay correctly and to allow for proper turn of cloth, I traced a separate under collar pattern piece to be cut on the bias rather than on the fold like the upper collar piece.  I also cut the under collar pattern 1/8" smaller than the upper collar and also added a 5/8" seam allowance.
1/8" was removed from the edges where the pattern weights sit, and 5/8" seam allowance added to the edge where the pencils sit.     
 Now I'm ready to cut out the muslin.

May 28, 2011

DID I MISS ANYBODY???


TO:  ALL "STAY COOL...STITCH UP A DRESS" CHALLENGERS;
This is just a quick check to make sure that I have not left anyone out.  If you have made a request to join the dress challenge and have not received an email invitation, please do not hesitate letting me know.  I am trying hard to catch every request, so if you haven't been added yet it is surly an oversight on my part.

Dress challenge update:
  • 29 challengers (including myself) are in and ready to post
  • 15 challengers still need to complete the signup process by responding to the email invitation that has been sent out.
  • Only four (4) more days till sewing blast-off
The excitement is mounting, girls start your engines....

May 27, 2011

There are some really nice styles and fabric being shown over at "Stay Cool - Stitch Up a Dress".  Mmmmmm kinda getting me a little riled up and ready to sew.  So I thought I'd take just a minute to show ya'll some Pattern Love.  I've had this pattern and fabric for about a year now.  I didn't get around to making it last summer - so I think it's high time to stitch it up for this challenge.  I was in love with them then - and I'm still in love with them now.  It's  been a long term love affair (ha). 


I just love view C - the white one.  It's a princess seam, slightly flared skirt, button front dress with racer armscye.  This is only one of my "ideal" summer dress patterns, but I've decided to make this one up first since it's been on my mind for such a long time.


My vision of the Ideal summer dress is:
  • very cute
  • not too stiff or restrictive
  • not too frilly but a little whimsical 
  • and of course it's cool
I think I'll start working on a muslin for this dress this weekend.


A big "THANK YOU" to all who joined in the challenge.


SIDE NOTE:
I am a firm believer that you can find sewing notions/tools wherever you go.  I stopped by an auto parts store to buy a replacement headlight, and look what I found...an L-Square and  Triangle, and a five piece scissor set. 


Who would have thought - at a parts store...

May 26, 2011

EMAIL ADDRESSES NEEDED FOR THE DRESS CHALLENGE...



THE FOLLOWING EMAIL ADDRESSES ARE NEEDED FOR THE SUMMER DRESS CHALLENGE:
  • PICNIC FAN
  • ALIZAW
  • MONTANA CHIC
Several people asked for more information on the dress challenge criteria.  Please click here to be directed to the original Dress Challenge information.

Thanks in advance!

May 25, 2011

STAY COOL - STITCH UP A DRESS...

  • 10 PEOPLE ARE ALREADY IN (COUNTING ME),
  •  6 INVITES FROM MONDAY WAITING TO BE ANSWERED, 
  •  JUST SENT OUT 10 MORE INVITES FROM TODAY'S RESPONDERS.
  • IF I MISSED SENDING YOU AN INVITATION, PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO LET ME KNOW.  I CERTAINLY DON'T WANT TO LEAVE ANYONE OUT!!!
ONLY 6 MORE DAYS UNTIL THE SUMMER DRESS CHALLENGE BEGINS!!! DON'T MISS OUT ON THE FUN!!!

May 23, 2011

THE IDEAL SUMMER DRESS 2011 CHALLENGE..... (UPDATE)

UPDATE:
  • 2 PEOPLE ARE ALREADY IN (3 COUNTING ME),
  • THERE'S 1 INVITE FROM LAST NIGHT WAITING TO BE ANSWERED, 
  • I JUST SENT OUT 10 MORE INVITES.
AND THE EXCITEMENT INTENSIFIES! ONLY 7 MORE DAYS UNTIL SUMMER "D" DAY!!! COME JOIN IN ON THE FUN!!!






...What's the weather like where you live?  Our current 90 (100 degrees today) degree temperatures make me want to whip up some really cute summer dresses.  What about you???


    WHAT CONSTITUTES "YOUR" IDEAL SUMMER DRESS???
    • Is it frilly and frou-frou,
    • Cotton or georgette,
    • Long or short,
    • Sleeved or sleeveless,
    • Halter or not,
    • Woven or knit,
    • Fitted or full,
    • Casual or dressy,
    • Party or picnic?
    I am so interested in knowing!, and would be delighted if you would join me in my quest to fashion my ideal summer dressSo are you ready for a challenge?  Come on!  The more the merrier!
    THE IDEAL SUMMER DRESS 2011 CHALLENGE
    (badge picture compliments of Leko-mail.net)
    CRITERIA FOR CHALLENGE:
    1. Begins:  June 1st (that's next Wednesday)  Ends:  June 15th
    2. SHOW YOUR PATTERN AND FABRIC CHOICES
    3. Write a short review describing "YOUR IDEA OF A GREAT SUMMER DRESS". (fabric, design, etc.)
    4. Post as often as you can during construction, sharing tips and technique used.
    5. Finally, post a picture wearing your finished product.
    To take part in the Challenge, please do the following:
    • FIRST, leave a comment with your email address here letting me know you are interested.
    • SECONDLY, you MUST LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE COMMENT.
    • THIRDLY, be on the lookout for your "Ideal Summer Dress  2011 Challenge" email invitation.
    • FOURTH, respond to the email invitation & then you are in.
    It's a win, win sewing challenge.  Sew, let me hear from you...

      May 22, 2011

      LAST WEEK'S RE-CAP/THIS WEEK'S HAPPENINGS ...

      Last Week
      • What do you do when your week just does not go as planned?
      Roll with the punches!  And that's just what I did.  I had so very many sewing plans for last week, but none materialized.  I worked three nights and by the time I arrived home at night - all sewing inspiration had taken flight.

      THIS WEEK
      • Guess what y'all...tweet, tweet.  Had to get with the program, keep up with my Grands, and stay in tune with social networking technology.  How's that for a laugh!
      •  I am currently working on my first jacket of the season, and all is going pretty well (except) yesterday I sleep/serged one of the sleeves.  Kick myself - of course I did!  Rats, I knew I should have taken that nap!  But, it is what it is, and I must sew on.  Luckily, the cut was only a little under an inch, it's located slightly on underside of the sleeve, and my thread matches so closely that I was able to zigzag the repair.  No one will notice - I'll swear if it wasn't for the little things that happen that "only we know about" all our projects would be perfect - wouldn't they?
       I knew after making this jacket last summer that Butterick 5333 would become a TNT jacket pattern. 


       

      The great thing about using this pattern now is it has already been fitted.  I even saved my muslin complete with fitting notations written right on it.   Cut and go projects - PRICELESS!
      Here's a picture of my progress so far.
      CAN'T REMEMBER WHERE OR WHEN FABRIC WAS PURCHASED.  BUT IT IS A TAUPE TWILL THAT I FOUND IN THE CLOSET STASH IN TWO SEPARATE PIECES - JUST ENOUGH FOR A JACKET AND MATCHING PANTS.


      ADDED DOUBLE TOP-STITCHED, LINED FAUX POCKET FLAP. 

      SERGER BO-BO! - PRE-PRESSING.  MAYBE PRESSING WILL FLATTEN IT OUT MORE?
       I'll be lining the jacket this time rather than hong-kong finishing all of the princess seams.  I also added a back stay, and front shoulder support (per my tailoring books) to give the fabric a little more umph.   This jacket will be paired with matching pants from my TNT pants pattern that's been working out pretty good for me.

      • STAY TUNED FOR AN UPCOMING NEW SEWING CHALLENGE...I'm so excited about it!  You won't want to miss this one.
      • Hope all sews well for you all this week...

      May 14, 2011

      MY VERY FIRST 2011 SUMMER DRESS: THE "Y" DRESS...

      I did get to finish my own Vogue 8724 dress on Thursday.  I shipped the other one to my Mom on Wednesday and she received it by Wednesday.  I think you can clearly see why I call this the "Y" dress.  The pattern was easy to put together except for the front skirt pleats that need to be matched up.  I am convinced that the pattern markings are incorrect, but I still love the dress.  Even in making the dress a second time I couldn't figure them out.  This time I used two different color threads for making tailor tacks to distinguish between the small and large dot markings.  But on  both dresses I just had to go for what I knew on that part - they still turned out nicely.  The armscye and bottom hems of both dresses were serged, turned under using steam a seam, and then machine stitched.  Easy peazy when you have large areas that you want to hem evenly.  I do think this dress is figure flattering as it hides all of my bumps and rolls.


       



      With the completion of this dress it's time to move forward with another project.  Problem being I don't know what to sew up next!!!  I have so many ideas and so much inspiration that it's hard to know in which direction to go.  I hate it when that happens to me...

      May 9, 2011

      MORE TOPS...HELP ME, I CAN'T GET ENOUGH...

      Thank you all for the nice comments about my belated Mother's Day dress.  It did get put in today's mail.  I already cut one out for myself and I should be able to get it done by this weekend.  My weekend sewing consisted of Mom's dress and two tops for myself.


      My first pick was this Simplicity pattern.  I'd falling in love with this top when the last group of Simplicity's hit the drawer back in April.
      I made View D

      I was well prepared to answer the question "Would you make this pattern again or recommend it to others" with a resounding NO!
      My reasons?:

      1.  Two darned many pattern pieces for such a simple looking top (3 pieces for just the front of the thing - and two back pieces);
      2.  The project just took to much dat blamed time for what I am willing to put into a knit top;
      Yes, that's a Wegman's Super Market shopping bag that I hauled all the way from Upstate New York.  It holds my muslin fabrics.
       BUT, after wearing it to work today, I had to recant my verdict.  The top fits and looks just as I envisioned it and I am so very glad.  I sort of love the camouflage print of this knit, and if it hadn't worked out I would have been more than a little bit ill about messing it up.    The only alteration made to the pattern was to cut the size 16 through the shoulders and armscye, and transition to size 18 in the waist area (although I still had to end up taking up the side seams).  It's a good summer pattern that fits really good.
      Don't know what the temperature got up to today, but as you can see every curl in my hair wilted.



      My second top was from  Butterick 5493 that came out last summer - I think:
      I made View B
      I'm a sucker for a cowl neckline - I actually think they are classy.  This one is unique in that it is actually a collar piece that is attached to a v-neck front.  One word of warning though:  Discontinue stitching at the shoulder's as instructed. (If you make this, you'll know exactly what I mean.)  Haven't taken this one for a test drive yet, maybe tomorrow.


      I got to swing around now to see what I can get stitched up tonight....

      May 7, 2011

      WHAT IS THAT SMELL....

      ...you've experienced that smell before - I know you have - it's coming from the sewing room, or where ever you have your sewing area set up.  But what exactly is that smell???  I know what it is, I'm familiar with it...IT'S THE SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS!  The success that comes from a pattern that delivers exactly what it promised; the exuberant feeling produced by a quick, easy to fit project.  This smell is especially welcoming immediately after your last dreaded wadder.  Can I get an amen!

      Vogue 8724 is just that - a quick, easy to fit sewing project.  I chose to go down a size in the bodice area of the dress, so I made a 16 instead of the 18 that my measurement dictated for that area; then I transitioned to a 18 for the waist and hip areas.  Was I scared to do this without first making a muslin?  Yes, I was.  But this time I was correct in doing so.  If I don't get the bodice (shoulder, bust) area of a dress correct it ends up swallowing me - resulting in my having to add tucks or pleats in the back trying to compensate so I can get some wear from the garment.

      Here's the dress - it's a (always late as usual) Mother's Day Gift.
      Told you you'd see this fabric again.  Me trying on my Mom's dress.

      Front

      Back

      WILL I MAKE THIS PATTERN AGAIN?  Yes, I will.  Now I've got to have one for myself.
      DO I RECOMMEND THE PATTERN TO OTHERS?  Yes, I do.
      TIPS IN USING THE PATTERN:  I used Steam-A-Seam Lite to hem and turn the armhole area under. (SNUGBUG did a SAS tutorial earlier this week).  It's a real time saver and gives a nice hem without wavyness, pick up a box at Hobby Lobby or JoAnns.
      SEWING WITH KNITS TIP:  Increasing pressure foot tension just a notch, and change the throat plate to the one with the small hole.

      WHAT ABOUT THIS FOR A NON-TRADITIONAL SEWING NOTION:

      It's an Orange Wood Stick; I use it as a stiletto to guide my fabric on the sewing machine or the serger.
       Happy Mother's Day to one and all...

      May 3, 2011

      THE TRUE SEWING TEST...

       GIVE-A-WAY UPDATE:  What's Up CupCake is having a great book give-a-way!  Check it out here.

      ... the TRUE TEST OF SEWING is wearing my hand sewn garments during an entire work day.    Although I muslin, and try  the garment on all through the construction process, just when I think everything is perfect - guess what?, sometimes it isn't.   I work  a little bit too far to come home for lunch to make adjustments or change clothes, so whatever  I choose to wear in the morning is it for the day - good or bad.

      I wore the second pair of green pants today, and really and truly I LOVED THE FIT!

       I have at least four more pair planned for the summer.






      Only 15 days of school left this semester so every one wanted in on the pictures.  These girls are all seniors so this is the last year that they will be with me.  It's a bitter sweet situation....

      BOOKS ACQUIRED

      • Pants Sewing Guide
      • Denim Revolution
      • Pants for Real People
      • Jackets for Real Peopls
      • Easy, Easier, Easiest Tailoring - Palmer & Pletsch - Gifted
      • The Sewing Machine Attachment Handbook
      • Ribbon Crafts
      • Professional Sewing Techniques for Designers
      • Successful Serging
      • Making Trousers for Men and Women
      • Couture Sewing Techniques
      • Singer - Perfect Plus
      • Cool Couture
      • Couture, The Fine Art of Sewing
      • Singer Sewing Reference Library - Tailoring - GIFTED
      • The Perfect Fit: The Classic Guide to Altering Patterns - Creative Publishing International
      • Fit for Real People
      • DK-The Complete Book of Sewing