Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Reina Shirt

 PAULINE ALICE - Reina Shirt
Size 38
Fabric:  Rayon Challis
Alterations:  Added 1.5 inches to the top bodice and added 1 extra button

I purchased this PDF pattern from Pauline Alice last summer but never got around to sewing it up.  Upon looking at the instructions, I knew this wasn't going to be a fast make for me, so I needed to wait until the mood struck for some fine-detail sewing.  This is View A, long sleeves, with a tie.  I'd also like to mention that Pauline Alice patterns match up beautifully.  This is my second PDF pattern purchase, and just like the first, no issues with lines matching up.

You definitely want a fabric with significant amount of drape.  For a clean finish, I sewed French seams, except at the shoulder sleeve.  That is something I haven't quite figured out how to do yet.

I love the cuffs, which have 4 buttons.  I was very happy to discover that if I unbuttoned the one at the wrist, I could slip the blouse off without unbuttoning any others, including those down the front!

The button loops are fiddly to work with.  I didn't have a tool to turn them since they are so narrowly sewn at a 1/4", but a bobby pin works brilliantly.

1) Trim seam.
2) Cut a notch (fold over about an inch and clip).
3) Slide one arm of your bobby pin through your tube.
4) Put the other arm of your bobby pin in at the notch.

The bodice back is gathered before attaching to the yoke; it's hard to see with the print of my fabric. 

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Saturday, December 23, 2017

My Favorites of 2017

Here are my favorite makes for this year!

Jalie ~ 2
Angela Wolf ~ 2
Pauline Alice ~ 1
Burda Young ~ 1

I noticed I haven't blogged as much this year as I have in previous years, but I believe this is a result of more focused sewing for me.  I've tried to approach my sewing with more realistic goals, combining what I want to make with what I will actually wear.  I love to sew, but I'm trying to resist those patterns that are just "eye candy."  I have so many patterns now, and as I look back through them, so many are not exactly my style.  I want a lot of those dresses, but darn it, they aren't exactly the kind of thing I want to be wearing to the grocery store!  I find myself reaching for those comfy leggings or yoga pants (Jalie your yoga pants are the BEST).

I LOVE this dress.  It's a wear-anywhere-kind-of-dress.  It feels comfortable, it's flirty and fun.

This was my first Pauline Alice pattern and I have made it 3 times and there will continue to be more.  With different bodice, skirt, neck, and sleeve options, you can make this pattern over and over and they will all be different.

I'm so proud of this outfit....these jeans!!  I find myself grabbing this top to wear often as well.  The whole outfit is totally my kind of style.

My daughter wanted a Cheetah print bomber jacket.  Ask and you shall receive, especially when you have a mother who sews!  Jalie never disappoints.

This makes the list too since I have made my son 3 and they are in constant weekly rotation.  My son is 16 and he continues to want me to sew for him--I am blessed.

I'm also very excited and proud to announce that I have been selected to be part of a Jalie Promo team!  I look forward to showcasing new Jalie pattern releases on my blog.

If you have been following me throughout the years, you may also know that I am a breast cancer survivor, diagnosed at 45.  January 17, 2018, will be my 5th anniversary of having my cancerous tumors removed, followed by 6 months of chemo, several weeks of radiation, as well as an additional treatment of Herceptin for another 12 months.

Thank you for stopping by and continuing to follow my blog.  There are so many amazing sewing blogs out there and I'm thrilled to be one of the ones you visit!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours,

Sunday, December 10, 2017

A Holiday Casual Outfit

Ottobre 2/2017-8
Hide Away Hoodie
Size 38

Alterations:  1/2" Swayback
Shortened 1" above waist
Omitted Rib Knit hem bands
Lengthened sleeves

Holiday Casual, that's what the invite says for a party my husband and I are invited to.  What to do but make something of course!  I purchased this fabric from SSE.  I wasn't sure what fabrics would match the plaid deer, so I purchased the red plaid and solid ivory french terry, not even thinking that I would combine all three.

These pockets are interesting, aren't they?  Honestly, I was a little perplexed at how to properly add the seam allowances to the lower pocket piece, let alone how to assemble them at the inner curved seam.  I had that light-bulb moment about 6 a.m. of the morning I planned to sew it together.  Does that happen to you?  I guess all my pondering went on the back burner and worked itself out through the night and presented itself in the morning.  I wish all things were resolved that way.

The pictures aren't the best, but it was a convenient moment to take some.  The direction of the sun was too bright in the backyard, and then somehow I ended up with poor light in the front. LOL  Oh well.

It's hard to see, but I used the top cover stitch on my machine.  I love being able to do this!  I kept all my thread gray except for the top cover stitch thread where I used red.

I am turning 50 this week!  It's a busy week for me, but I hope to carve out some time for more sewing.  I always like to make myself something special for my birthday.  However, I'm really pleased with my holiday casual outfit, so it could double as my birthday suit too!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Charlie Bomber Jacket For Me

Charlie Bomber Jacket
Size T

Fabrics:  White Quilted Knit & Black Ponte de Roma from SSE Fabrics

I finally got around to making this jacket for myself!  I made one for my daughter here.  She has already worn my jacket too.  When I sew something for myself, it sometimes results in giving my girls more to wear.  But hey, that's what I love about Jalie patterns, they make all of us happy.

I was really surprised with the Ponte fabric from SSE because it had a lot of stretch, which made it perfect for the collar, band, and cuffs.  I did a little browsing on the internet and saw some RTW white jackets trimmed in black and thought it looked pretty sharp, so that was my inspiration.

This time I bought the recommended zipper size unlike the one I used with my daughter's jacket, which was too big and had to be shortened.  Starting out with the correctly sized zipper made constructing the collar so much easier.  I really struggled with that last time since I didn't have large enough zipper stops to install.  If you aren't savvy at shortening this kind of zipper, I recommend buying the right size. LOL

Wearing with my Angel boot cut jeans.


I've also been busy making a few things for Christmas!  I'm really enjoying using my Silhouette Cameo and cutting vinyl for glass.  It's especially fun frosting the glass too!

I made this candy jar for my husband to have on his desk at work.

I decorated this glass block to take to a gift exchange at a wine tasting party.

And this one I made for my mother-in-law.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Monday, November 20, 2017

Ottobre Jazzy Look Dress

Ottobre 5/2015-20
Jazzy Look Dress

This was the perfect dress to get to know my new Brother 3550 Cover Stitch machine!  Where the angles meet, I removed my fabric and then started stitching again in the other direction, overlapping stitches.

There is a whole lot of cover stitching going on, accomplished by first seaming with a straight stitch, trimming the s/a and then cover stitching.  The only place this gave me a problem was at the top of the raglan seams.  The angle created where the top of the neckline is seamed for some reason got me hung up with my machine at that point.  I'm sure this is due to my inexperience at cover stitching.  However, I'd like to add that it is very easy to pull this cover stitch seam out.  I did it twice ha ha.  I'm extremely impressed with this machine's ability to go over thick seams without skipping or uneven stitches.  The hemline cover stitch goes over the front and back dress seams, which in all is 4 layers of fabric--awesome!

Alterations:  1/2" swayback adjustment
Shortened 1" above the waist
Shortened 3" below the waist

I made this in a size 38.  The only mistake I made was to use a woven interfacing instead of a knit around the neckline.  It turned out okay, but it could have been better. An hem allowance is at the top of the front, back and raglan sleeves, all which are turned under and cover stitched. 

Nice big pockets! The pocket piece is basted onto the dress first.  I used this basting stitch to guide me as I cover stitched around.

I really like this dress!  It's different from my normal style, but I think it will be fun to wear this winter.  I'm wearing my Ottobre leggings made here.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A Casual Outfit for Fall

Named Jamie Jeans
Get Moving Hoodie by Ottobre, 5/2015-15

I felt like sewing jeans again.  I go in waves of simple sewing to something that requires more skill and effort.  I decided on skinny jeans.  I considered taking other jean patterns that I've made before and altering them to a skinnier leg until I remembered the Jamie Jean.  I made them once before here.  Needless to say, those jeans fit a thinner me and have since been donated.  This time I made them in a size 38.  I could have gotten away with a size 36, but I wanted skinny jeans and not skin tight jeans!  

Alterations:  Shortened 1 inch above the knee
Took out a 5/8" dart on the back pant leg piece about the middle waist area
Adjusted back yoke
Removed 5/8 inch at the hemline
Shortened crotch at zipper area 1/2 inch

I really like how the front pant leg is seamed, something that sets it apart from other jean patterns.  The pocket opening panel piece is made using the reverse of the fabric.  I used a very light weight cotton for the pocket bags.  Looks like I need to still remove some length on the pattern since my pant leg is bunching up.

As per the pattern instructions, I did interface the outer waistband.  I used knit interfacing.

The back pocket is made by seaming an upper and lower pocket pattern piece, another cute detail.

This Ottobre hoodie, made once before here, is becoming a staple garment item for me.  I plan on making another out of some holiday FT that I ordered online from SSE.  So Sew English really has some nice FT.  This hoodie was made with one of their bundle deals.  I wasn't too sure if I would like the peach, but I couldn't resist the gray floral with gray stripes!

This time I brought my pockets up 2 inches higher.  They are definitely better placed now and no longer trying to hang down below my hemline.  To do this, I placed a ruler on the placement line on the pattern and just extended it up 2 inches.  I also made my drawstring from the striped FT.  I like it because it is the same light weight of the shirt, unlike cording which feels heavier.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Monday, November 6, 2017

Christmas Portlanders

 New Horizon Designs
Portlander Pants

I made some Christmas lounge pants!  I'm not usually wearing Christmas print early November, but Joann's had this Nutcracker Doodle knit Christmas fabric and I took the last piece on the bolt.

I have been loving all the great Portlander pants everyone is making and finally decided to make a pair for myself.  I'm definitely not impulsive when it comes to buying a new pattern (unless on sale), but since the smallest size (XXS) will fit my girls, it was the final push I needed.  I'm glad I did--the fit is great!  The only alteration I needed was to shorten by 2 inches below the knee.

I used a rib knit for the waistband.  I think CL would have been better, but I couldn't find any at my local Joann's that would match.  I searched through my dwindling fabric stash and found this piece which matched close enough.  I am pleasantly surprised at how well the waistband fits since there isn't any need for elastic.  I like using the fabric for the drawstring and will probably do this for some hooded shirts in the future.

My shirt is a Jalie Dolman made from rayon jersey knit.  It really is my go-to-shirt when I need a simple top to match something.

I have something exciting to share....I got a new cover stitch machine!!  It is the Brother CV3550.  I haven't had a chance to sew with it yet.  Today I unpacked it from the box and watched the DVD that came with it.  I'm so excited just knowing it is in my sewing room waiting for me!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley