2013 ESSENTIAL TOPS SEW-A-LONG FINISHED PROJECTS

December 30, 2013

IT WOULD BE A CRYING SHAME IF...

...I didn't use this pattern again this season, especially since I was willing to fight somebody to get my hands on it.
McCall's 6844


So I thought I'd give it another whirl using this floral sweater knit that I picked up at Joann's Fall of 2012.
Thus the fabric has had plenty of time for marination, and since I'm a cardi type of girl I thought it would be perfect for this pattern.  I used an Aztec pontederoma print my first time around with this pattern, (you can read about it here) but knew this floral sweater knit would be perfect for my second version.  Surprise!, turns out I was right.  It was a little shaky there at first because my sewing/fabric and size selection radar has been a little off lately yielding one failed coat muslin, and a dress that the jury's still out on.  When things don't go right in the sewing studio - guess I should just take a break from it - but you know me, I pressed on in spite of...

This time I went down a size from an XL to a L.  I don't know about you, but patterns with that sizing (s,m,l,xl,xxl) are sometimes a little tricky leaving me unsure which size to choose.  Yes I used the XL for the first jacket and ended up taking it in quite a bit.  This time I knew I needed to go down a size, but was still unsure because of the differences in fabric.  Two recent failed projects lingering in your memory tends not only to cause sewing paralysis, but complete terror when starting the next one.  I tell you - I prayed at the start of this simple cardigan - Imma start praying over EVERY PROJECT from now on.  Should have been doing that anyway!

I want to mention that I did not interface the band/collar of either cardigan, because I wanted the whole thing soft and cuddly.  I plan on adding a snap closure at the front of each one cause I like the look of having it closed.  I use steam-a-seam for the hems (no serging) just applied, flipped up 5/8" and stitched down.  All interior seams are serged however.

Front view
Back View
So finally something turned out right!  I do plan on making a navy pencil skirt to match...

December 28, 2013

December 18, 2013

CLOUDY WITH A SLIGHT CHANCE OF RAIN...

...that's tomorrow's forecast - but as for today - it was 40 degrees when I first woke - stayed that temperature the entire day.  Not too bad seeing that it was 10 degrees higher than yesterday.  Not a cloud in the sky, just a seriously beautiful hump day if you will.  

This morning I asked my Mother if it was really cold on the day I was born.  She replied that she really couldn't remember seeing that she was busy with the process of giving birth to her very first little baby girl, that being me; and she really didn't have much time to be concerned about the weather.  She said that I was born well after 10 a.m. on that December morning.  It seems we reminisce every year about my birth, and I never fail to learn something new and touching about the event.   I love my Mother so much, and yes, I await her birthday call every year.  I also never fail to feel all mushy inside when she tells me about that special day - it reminds me how wonderful it is to know that you were wanted right from the very start.  I have the best Mother, and she thinks she has the best children.  After all - it's a poor frog that doesn't praise her own pond!

I didn't make a new dress for my birthday, but I think my color blocked Kay Unger Vogue dress, paired with my Simplicity jacket was very fitting for the occasion.  I've never been able to think my birthday without thinking of Christmas; or Christmas without thinking about my birthday so a picture next to the tree seemed all together fitting and proper.  I'm wearing the wrong boots in the picture (had on a higher heeled dressier type earlier), but these arrived just in time for my birthday this morning so I had to try them on to see how they fit.

I know Christmas is not about the tree, the dress, or even me for that matter; it's all about commemorating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I'm just blessed to have been born during this time of year - it just makes my birthday all the more special.  It's just 7 days away you know...

December 16, 2013

WEATHER REPORT...

...29 degrees this morning!  I could hardly believe it - but winter does start this weekend after all.  I love dressing for Fall/Winter, but do so I hate going out to warm up the car.  I wanted to make sure I'd be toasty all day long so I test drove my Missoni-esque knit midi dress made earlier from McCall's 6612.
I love that I underlined the body of the dress, as it made wearing it without a slip possible.  Just when I developed such a dislike of slips I cannot remember, but whenever I can go without one, I do.  The dress has a HUGE cowl that could easily be worn as a hood, but it's comfortable and controllable.

Some sewing has been going on in the form of a muslin of a project that I'm considering ditching.  I need just the right inspiration to spur just the right project.  I'm still looking...



December 13, 2013

RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE...

... I've been caught right in the middle of indecisiveness as to exactly what my next project will be - seriously not a good place to be.   I did manage to get a whiff of inspiration from Pinterest yesterday when this simple color combination caught my eye.

I immediately knew I could pull something similar off.

I teamed my black knit version of Vogue 8939's turtleneck dress made in late August with a blazer I've had in my closet for a very long time.  I haven't worn it in years because it's such a bright color, but the Pinterest picture inspired me to make use of it today.  The blazer is 100% wool crepe by JH Collectables that I purchased way back when my daughter was still in high school.  It was actually an investment piece when I bought it, and I could never bring myself to part with it.  It's just hung in my closet in a plastic covering for many years.  Everyone at school thought it was a brand new piece, and were surprised when I told them that it's actually older than my grand-children.

I did manage to make another black knit pencil skirt from McCall's 6654.   I already have a black knit pencil, but it's a real form fitted longer length that I think looks better all dressed up - heels, jewelery and the like.  I needed a black knit pencil skirt made for my simplier life - a little roomyier, and a little more casual that would look good with even flat boots - you know, a throw on and go comfy type. McCall's 6654 to the rescue because I've made it at least 5 times before.  I like it and it works well for me. I didn't bother taking a picture - it's so simple - but will go with so many things that I already have in the closet.

Well it's almost the weekend and just maybe I'll be able to break through my indecisiveness and get my next project started.  Keep your fingers crossed for me...

December 5, 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOTHER...


OIL AND WATER and...

...sick and sewing just don't mix.  At the end of last week while recuperating from dental surgery I came down with a really B-A-D cold.  I was feeling miserable needless to say, but still wanted to get some sewing done.  Well, I should know by now that for me -  sewing while sick is not a good mixture.  When my head is all stuffed up my sewing judgement and motor skills are all out of whack.  I wanted to make a trendy, glitzy, baseball like glam tee, so this simple NewLook pattern looked like just the right option.

Since I've tried lots of NewLook patterns that just didn't work out well for me for one reason or another, you know me, I'll make a muslin in a minute - even for a knit top if I'm not sure of the pattern.  So I made one of this top planning on using it as a PJ top and I was so glad that I did. The neckline on this pattern was just too wide for my comfort so PJ top it is.  I've never altered a neckline that included a raglan sleeve; however, I thought I might be able to make the neckline narrow, but at the time just didn't feel like working it out.

Not wanting to give up on having my glitzy top I looked for another pattern and this is what I came up with:
Vogue 8670 view B but added the long sleeve
The fabrics:  a glitzy silver drenched stretch knit that I found in the bridal section of Hancock's for 50% off and a black matte jersey

Back View

No muslin this time, but the fit is really good.  I'm not much of a bling girl, but I felt like adding something sparkly to my closet.  The bottom hem is blind stitched, and I just turned up and machine hemmed the sleeve.  I was very unorthodox with this top in that I omitted the bust darts because I HATE bust darts in knit garments.  I didn't fold them out, but rather stitched the side seam and worked out the difference at the hem.  Told you, very unorthodox, but I really don't think it makes that much difference at all.

Per the pattern directions the neckband is double stitched on, then the seam just pressed down.  Duh!, how's that supposed to keep the seam down in place when wearing???

I think I'll be storing this top in a ziplock bag and in a drawer because sparkly stuff is already all over me,  my sewing room and everywhere else for that matter.  So there it is, my contribution to the world of glitz for the season...

December 4, 2013

BURDASTYLE MAGAZINE QUESTION???

...Last month I bought the new BurdaStyle winter 2014 magazine.  What can I say?, after all I am a confessed pattern-a-holic.  Besides, who knows, I just might get a notion to trace off a pattern or two  and actually make something from it.

I've perused the entire magazine and cannot find information on how to find and use the 20 free digital downloads that come with the magazine.  What am I missing?  Can anyone help me out with instructions on how to find them so I can download them to their own little BurdaStyle folder on my pc???

Thanks in advance!