Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Getting a jump on spring

So I've been sewing up my oldest fabrics while managing the Fabric Stash contest on PR, and almost everything I have is lightweight and in spring prints and colors.  Ah well, we'll all get some of our spring clothes early this year!

So here is DD's new top, from McCall's 6389.  Very cute pattern, though the sleeves are too puffy for my taste.  It's a good pattern overall, lots of nice details; I love the shaped hem and princess seams.

I really like the ruffles on the front, though you can't see them well in the pictures.  I tried to add some fun to the top with the ladybug buttons and contrasting bumblee print on the inner collar.  

So, it feels like spring early in our house!  Next up, a floral ruffly top for myself, another early spring top. :)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Blast from the past

Wait, is gas 35c a gallon again? Did a man just land on the moon? No my friend, you haven't time traveled back to 1969, although you might have seen a child looking much like this one at Woodstock, if you had the fortune to be there!

So I am totally digging this vintage pattern on Liz, and so is she! When I decided (with angst) to sew up this dino fabric that has been in my stash since last June (a thankyou gift for volunteer work), I was already feeling pretty unsure of how much I was going to like anything made from it.
The colors are SO bright, and the dino shapes very geometric.
Fortunately, I found a beautiful matching lime green shirting for the contrast, and buttons that match exactly!! Still, I sewed it up slowly, as I was still worried that it would be...too much.

This is Simplicity 6121, a vintage pattern from 1969. I think it is one of only 2 patterns I have that are pre-1970's. I got this pattern from Patterns From the Past last year (for only $3), as part of the prize for winning the costume contest last year on PR. Patterns From the Past is a great site with hundreds of vintage patterns for sale, and really good prices as well.

I love this style of shirt, it really brings me back to my own childhood. In the early 70's, I wore many a shirt with similar styling.

This pattern did pose me a few challenges, aside from my worry over the fabric/print. I am pretty new to sewing vintage patterns, and there is a certain amount of sewing knowledge assumed in the pattern and instructions. The shape of the front yoke includes the facing, so the pattern pieces were the weirdest shapes I've ever seen, but it all works out perfectly.
The fit is also just great with this pattern. Not too snug at all, but more fitted on top and open on the bottom for movement. Although I did make the sleeves too long, and had to roll the cuffs up. :/

After I got the facings turned in, and the collar on, I could suddenly tell it was going to be cute. I found my mojo again, and finished the sleeves, hem and buttonholes today.
Although it is very bright, I really like it. I even like the giant collar. My favorite thing is the cool shaped yoke. And I got to use my twin needle for the first time, to double topstitch the yoke, and it looks great! I am still so in love with my new sewing machine. :D

Liz, of course, was adorable for the camera, even though it was about 10 minutes until bed. :) She's such a happy kid, I am so lucky to have her!
Enough pictures of the same kid in the same shirt?? Naw, one more. :)

So my goal of sewing only 6 month and older stash this month, to sew along with the Fabric Stash Contest I am managing this month, is going slow but well. Only 3 yards done, but I think I can still reach my 10 yard goal if I pick it up a bit. It's harder to find time to sew since James started college again. But it is worth it, he's really happy now that he is going to get his degree. :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Prettying up the sewing area

My sewing nook is actually a small table in the corner of the kitchen/dining area, so it is fairly publicly visible. I do try and keep it cleaned up (mostly), but there are so many bits and bobs, papers and pieces, they can just get out of hand when sewing. So I decided to sew up some organizers to help myself get more organized, and also keep our house looking nice!

Also, I think staying organized and feeling good about your area helps sewing stay fun and creative.

I used Simplicity 2679, and made the Chair back cover and the sewing machine organizer. I know, the chair cover is on backwards! I did that to show the pockets, you couldn't see them on the angled back.
I didn't read the ONE review on the chair organizer (why? Just spaced it off I guess) that said this needed to be 2" wider to fit a standard folding chair. And I committed a double sin by not checking the tissue against the chair itself, and checked AFTER I cut the fabric. :/
It worked out though, I just made very small (<1/4") seams, and my fabric and fleece both had a bit of stretch, so it fits well. Whew, dodged a possible bullet there! The pockets are great, sized for patterns, instructions, etc. I am so glad, this gives me a better place for my working pattern than wherever I left it last......And a place for pattern I am planning on soon!

The size of the organizer here is also way off in my opinion. The green braid is actually the place where the measuring tape was to go, and where it should hang from. If I hang it that far down, it pools in my lap! Well, I found the pincushion was also pulling that side down, so I just prefer having it up on the table. The large, darted pocket on the left is also a bit gapey, and things might fall out of it if you bump it. I think I may tack the center of it up, just to keep it more secure.
I am mulling over weather or not to make the apron. It would be handy to keep the pencils and measuring tape and such in while going back and for the between the sewing machine and the coffee table in the other room. I made one for my cousin for Christmas, and it seems like a good utility apron. Quick to make, too.

On a side note, the dark green is probably the oldest piece of usable fabric I have in my stash. I bought it to make my very first real project, an Irish Overdress for the SCA. I still had about 1 yard of it left, and this pretty much uses up the leftovers. The pale green floral was a gift from my MIL a year ago for my birthday, so both of these are old stash fabrics. I only used a small bit of the pale green, and it is a nicer fabric than I realized at first, a good shirting cotton with stretch. I will have to make my favorite camp top TnT, McCall's 6035.

Ok, so my first projects of the New Year were successes, and will help me sew for the rest of the year, and beyond. Hurray!