3.29.2017

Polka Dots Tunic Top | NewLook 6374

With polka dots always on trend and navy/white a classic combination....  why in the world it's taken me so long to embrace navy and polka dots I have no idea.   
Am so glad I picked up this 1/12 yards of rayon challis at Hobby Lobby recently.
Funny because I've always thought navy blue was not a good color for me.  Nor polka dots.  Why, I really do not know.
This was one of those times when I saw this fabric, I knew immediately what it would become....  NewLook Pattern 6374 tunic top.  I've made this pattern twice before you can see here and here.... so there wasn't any fitting issues to worry about.  Cut a size 10 with 5/8" seams and modified the length just like the others.  See how long the back hangs down on the model below?  Not wanting that much length..... using the length of view C I simply moved my pattern pieces up (both front and back pieces) and cut the rounded hem from that point.
And this is a perfect length for me.  Interfaced the neckline and placket on this version and really like the way everything holds its shape.  Also, again, sewed the placket closed @4 1/2" up as it is way, way too low otherwise.
This rayon challis drapes nicely.  A little stiffer than the earlier floral challis, but that's okay as I really like the overall look.  Love the rounded hem on this top.
Well guess my hair covers the back yoke with a center pleat..... but it's there.
Hemmed with a 1/4" rolled hem but this time hemmed the sleeves with a 1" hem and like this 3/4 sleeve look.  None of the tops' sleeves have been finished as per pattern instructions because I really like the way the sleeves are a little flared hanging loosely down with no restriction.
Hard to see, but there are front yokes with gathered seams at the front.
And wearing those hardworking Ottobre white pants..... again!  Gosh these things go with everything!!  Note to self..... gotta' make more white pants.  :)
Happy Sewing Everyone!  :)

3.21.2017

Boxy Sweatshirt/Take 2 | Burda 02/2017 #111A Sweatshirt

When you are on a roll, why stop, right?!  So I made a second version of Burda 02/2017 #111A Easy Sweatshirt.  :)
Earlier this month I finished my first make of this cute pattern and immediately knew I would make another.
Burda 02/2017 #111A Easy Sweatshirt is an easy-to-make boxy sweatshirt with interesting diagonal design lines both front and back.  The front has a hidden pocket that I eliminated on both sweatshirts as the pocket bag hung down in an unsightly way and added bulk to the front that I did not need.
I slimmed this one down a little by folding the pattern at the center front in @1" and folding the pattern at the center back fold line @1". This not only brought in the boxy width, but also narrowed the neckline.
I also wanted a seam line at the side seams, so I simply folded the triangular pattern piece in half, added my side seam allowance to the side seam edge, and cut 4 pieces.  This hangs nicely with a side seam.  The pink version was made with no modifications and though I like the uniqueness of no side seams, it sometimes 'rounds' around my body instead of hanging 'with' my body, if that makes sense.
I liked the top-stitching effect on the recent Burda green hoodie so much, that I top-stitched all the seams on this one.  Love it!  Top-stitching is such an easy little thing to do, and in a garment like this, it really adds to the look methinks.  French terry fabric purchased at JoAnn's.
You can see it is still boxy, but not overly so on my body. 
At first I was afraid I'd slimmed it down too much, particularly in the neckline, but believe it actually 'fits' me better in the long run. 
My pink one slip-slids back and forth on me at times that is a little annoying.  This one stays put.
Kinda proud of the twin needle stitching at the neckline.  :)  Twin needle stitched the hem also.  Seams are serged.  Overall another sweatshirt winner!  I like these sweatshirts because they are sweatshirt comfy, but a little unique and different than just an ordinary sweatshirt. 
Wearing my white Ottobre pants.  Need to make another pair as am wearing these constantly.  Today's photos were again taken at Lake Jocassee at Devil's Fork State Park.  It was a little disappointing to see the water so low, thus the red clay peeking out in the background here.  Usually this area is under water with a sliver of a sandy beach.  
Love, love, love the way the mountains meet the water here.  We are at the southern edge of the Appalachian Mountain Range.
Suzi and I enjoyed a little snack on the rocks before heading back.
Happy Sewing Everyone!  :)

3.19.2017

Anniversary Dress |
Modified Ottobre 02/2016 no. 10 Glorious with Burdastyle 12/2016 #112 sleeves

With longstanding roots in Alabama, and knowing our anniversary was to be spent in Florence, Alabama, this rayon challis was chosen for this special dress because the white flowers reminded me of open cotton bolls from lovely childhood memories of riding my horse around cotton fields enjoying 'Southern Snow'. 
What should have been a project of pure joy, was instead a project of pure pain and frustration.
A mash-up of Ottobre 02/2016....
....no. 10 Glorious Shift Dress....
....that I've made before in linen and love to death.... I misread my own notes on the pattern and cut the back too narrow.  My first mistake.
Added bell sleeves from the Burda 12/2016 #112 Bell Sleeve Dress.  I did not add the lower 'bells'.
Photo credit:  Burdastyle.com
The fabric frayed with every touch.  It was so sensitive, I could not even machine blind-hem stitch this dress and instead top-stitched the final hem as I was running out of time.  This dress was finished in February and I'm only now writing about it because I've not been sure if it would be a wearable garment.... or not.
Fitting issues abounded as for some reason this looked like a complete tent sack on me.... without this belt.   Totally did not get the armscye right when modifying Burda's sleeve pattern for the dress, but am trying to live with it.
So aggravated with the way construction was going, that I really thought this might be my first official wadder,  I used cheap Wal-Mart anti-static lining fabric for the full lining..... and found it was not anti-static.... at all.  Figures.
Even added 2 back vertical darts per Marjorie's suggestion and that helped a little, but not much.
My acceptance of this dress is all about the belt.  During one of the almost breaking down in tears while trying the dress on to realize how awful it looked on me fittings,  I grabbed a scrap of fabric and ruched it in my hands to see what a belt might do.  And I liked the look..... and it was the perfect belt size.  Literally a few minutes later I'd cut and sewn another same-size piece, sewn it right sides together leaving a small turning opening, turned and top-stitched closed, lightly pleated/ruched the fabric and top-stitched that down at the back where I also added 2 medium sized snaps and voila! A self-fabric ruched belt was born.
See that armscye?  It just isn't right but am hoping no one will notice but me.  It still feels odd too.
The dress looks fabulous with the Burda Faux Fur Jacket  it was made to accompany as an ensemble. 
Below, you can see I'm not wearing the belt and it just looks so 'full'.  Pattern includes in-seam pockets which is nice.
And the rest of the story is that we were so busy sightseeing on our anniversary day in Florence, Alabama.... we decided we'd rather continue in that vein, than rush back to our room at The Lodge to change into dressier clothes to make our dinner reservations at an upscale restaurant in town.   Later that evening, tired and in our sight-seeing clothes, we enjoyed a delicious dinner in The Lodge's restaurant.... and THAT was the perfect way to spend our special day. 
So this is the anniversary dress that was not worn on our anniversary and I'm finally coming to terms with its fit after all.

Happy Sewing Everyone!  :)

3.08.2017

Hoodie | Burda 01/2017 #103

With all the walks in the park with Suzi, I've been wanting some sort of jacket-like garment with pockets so it was pure serendipity to see this cute hoodie pattern in the January 2017 Burda issue.
Burda 01/2017 #103 Hoodie  is a raglan sleeve pullover hoodie....
.....with diagonal design lines that incorporate a kangaroo pocket in the front and mirrors those lines in the back.  And see that line at the top of the hoodie, below?  Ignore it.  That thing threw me off like you just cannot imagine as I tried to figure out if it meant the cording was exposed at the top of the hood or what.  No, it does not mean that.  I'm not sure what exactly it is trying to show.... just ignore it.  Cording is enclosed in a casing all the way around the front of the hood.  Not exposed.  Anywhere.  Okay, let's continue now.  ;)
Photo Credit:  BurdaStyle.com
The pattern includes little rtw details like installing metal eyelets for the hoodie cord to feed through and cord stops.  I still need to purchase white cord stops, but it's not keeping me from wearing it in the meantime!  The way the hood crosses over at the neckline gives a nice look to the front and is comfortable to wear.  All front and back seams are top-stitched an extra step that really gives the design a little 'pop' by accentuating all the seam lines.  So glad I did this as the pattern instructions did not include this step.  By the way, please do not let installing the metal eyelets intimidate you.  I cut a small square of iron-on interfacing and ironed it on the back of the fabric where the eyelet would be installed, then after practicing on a sample piece.... installed these quite easily.  No big deal.  Really!  And so much nicer than buttonholes or some other form of opening. 
This top is boxy, slouchy and BIG!  From the way Burda styled their photo, bottom right, I was afraid it might be too 'slim' on me.  Ha!  It is roomy and over-sized and that is exactly what I was looking for.  Who wants restrictive garments when walking a sweet pup?!  I made my usual size 38 with no modifications..... even down to the sleeve lengths.  Seams are serged.  And after looking at these photographs, I may change out my cord to a little thicker cording.
It was a very windy day out at Lake Jocassee and my top billowed perfectly here to show you its boxy shape.
Below, you can see the oversize-ness and the way the hood lays in the back.
French Terry fabric was purchased at JoAnn's and this lovely soft mint green was specifically chosen to match the mint green in my shoes.  :) 
Really like the back coverage here.  Wearing the Ottobre leggings.  Been living in these this winter and Spring.
And showing the hood, below.  I'm not a big fan of 'hoods'..... and actually not a fan of hoodies!.... but have found myself caught in a rainshower or two with Suzi and wanted the option of having a hood to pull up. 
Really enjoying my time with this girl.  She made the photos today much less stressful as I usually sort of stress out when taking photos in *gasp* public. 
This was the first time Suzi's walked on a beach, and let me tell you....... she loved it!  It was fun to see her reaction!  Pockets were perfect for holding treats and after such hard photography work, we sat together on a big rock and enjoyed a little snack before heading home.  A perfectly perfect afternoon!
The hoodie worked well this mild Spring day with a cool breeze (actually more like wind gusts!) and I look forward to wearing it lots this season.

Edited to add:  These photos were taken on the beach at Lake Jocassee at Devil's Fork State Park in Upstate, South Carolina.  Lake Jocassee  is a man-made lake as part of Duke Power's energy system.  I simply love the way the mountains meet the water here. 

Happy Sewing Everyone!  :)
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