5.30.2014

MAGAM plans for June 2014

I've thoroughly enjoyed being a part of a group of such nice, encouraging ladies of the Make a Garment a Month Challenge, hosted by Sarah Liz.  Sarah Liz also give us monthly themes to consider.  This month's theme is:
So, I've chosen the Rachel Comey Vogue 1247 top to make out of the accompanying fabric shown below.  I know, I know, I'm the last female on the face of the planet to finally buy, much less sew!, this pattern but only just now feel my sewing abilities are up to the challenge!  My first Vogue too.  Can I tell you I'm even nervous to cut my pattern?!  I'm thinking I will trace this one.  Plus I've been reading all the reviews to try to figure out which size to cut.  Oh, so much to consider!  The fabric I've chosen is 100% polyester-silk-like with a 'silky' feel and drape.  I'm looking forward to wearing something as lovely as this seems it will be.  And am thinking I am matching the correct type fabric to the proper pattern.    :)
I totally missed making May's MAGAM plans, but feel pretty good that I made 2 Kirsten Kimono Tees, 1 pair of NEWLOOK 6246 pants and 1 (unblogged) NEWLOOK 6192 skirt in the month of May, along with participating in Me-Made-May 2014, our gardening season beginning and a couple of out-of-town trips thrown in to boot.  So I'm just moving on!
http://www.makeagarmentamonthchallenge.blogspot.com.au/
Looking forward to June!

5.29.2014

Day 29 ~ Me-Made-May 2014

You guys are so sweet as I know you've gotta be tired of seeing the Kirsten Kimono Tee, but find myself wearing it again today with the dove gray NEWLOOK 6192 skirt.  To show my hardworking clothes, I took a shot loading my car with recyling and trash.  We live so far out in the country, there is no trash pickup, so we drive to a local Recycling Center (we call it 'the dump'!) where we take our trash, as well as our recycling materials.  We're big into recyling here.  As you already know, we even compost our kitchen scraps.  :)   Another hot, humid in the 90s kind of day.
Earlier this morning, after running a few errands, I stopped by my Dad's place to play with my camera.  Still feels odd calling it 'Dad's place'..... will always miss my mom.  Anyway, there is an old @100 year old barn on the property that I thought might make a cool backdrop.  Playing with the aperture here, per Yoshimi's FANTASTIC blog post!  Thank you Yoshimi!!!!

Haven't got the focused figured out yet, so please disregard the blurriness.  :)
The shot below was set at 0 and seems a little dark to me.
This shot below, is set at 1.3 and seems a little too much light.
 This one is at 1.2 and the lighting seems just right for this day.
After I arrived back home, couldn't resist taking a picture of one of our silly hens.  She likes to hang her head out of the coop wire to make sure she doesn't miss a thing!!
Just a few more days left in May....!

5.28.2014

NEWLOOK 6246 Pants - a new wardrobe staple

Earlier this month I completed a dusky gray-blue pair of pants from NEWLOOK 6246.  Already I've worn them quite a bit and find they are comfortable for errand running and general knocking about, particularly since I added pockets a-la NEWLOOK 6216.  :)  

The photos below are from my Me-Made-May 2014 participation, where I pledged to wear 'something' made by me each day. These are the days I wore my new pants.
Day 9
Day 17
Day 25
I've made the NEWLOOK 6216 pants a number of times now and was looking for another slim-fitting, straight leg, elastic-waist pants when I found NEWLOOK 6246 and purchased the pattern from our local Wal-Mart, where all the NEWLOOK patterns are priced at $2.97 each   Pattern Review notes:  NEWLOOK 6246 view C & D "Woven cropped pants are slim and have hemmed or tied ankle. Pants also have elastic waist and pockets."   Before I did anything, I placed both patterns, the 6216 and the 6246, on top of each other, to see there was a slight difference between the two.  That made it easier to determine the changes I wanted to make on the 6246.
In-seam pockets are not a favorite of mine, so I altered the pocket using the NEWLOOK 6216 cargo-type pocket.   I like the white top-stitching against the gray-blue fabric.
 Added 2" to the length, no ties at hem.....
 .....and raised the center back 1/2".  
Now that I am writing my post, I cannot seem to find the THREADS link to a Sandra Betzina diagram I found about raising the back on a pair of pants, so I've drawn my own little diagram to show you what I did, below.  I am no expert, by a long shot!, in fitting, but this made sense to me and seemed to work.  The front measured about the same as the NEWLOOK 6216, so I knew that would be okay, but knowing the 6216's back was a little low, I took a chance with the 6246.  No slashing of pattern, just used my ruler to draw a line raising the center back 1/2".  The dashed lines are the new cut lines for the waist.  Glad I did.  These fit well.  I cut a size 10 and serged all seams with @3/8" seam allowance.
Don't elastic-waist pants look awful on a hanger?!, but oh-so-comfortable to wear.
Blue-gray cotton fabric purchased at Wal-Mart for $2.00/yard, 44" wide, 2 1/2 yards = $5.00

These pants are definitely worth $5.00!

5.27.2014

Kirsten Kimono Tee - a great little top for summer!

May has been a busy month of participating in Me-Made-May 2014 and gardening with little time to write a post about the two Kirsten Kimono Tees I've made.  Thanks to Nancy D (love her blog and adore her dog!) writing about the 3 cute Kirsten Kimono Tees she made using the free download pattern, I was off to check it out.  I can see why she made 3 at one time, they are easy to sew up, a super quick make, use little yardage and a fantastic little top to wear!  The free pattern from Maria Denmark can be found here.

An oh-so-soft white jersey knit fabric from Wal-Mart was made into the first top.  Below, you can see it looks nice under a jacket.... 
....or holding its own.
The same little top with a more casual skirt.
Nancy's right, there's "Just enough sleeve to keep the sun off your shoulders."
I was so comfortable, even in 92 degree heat this day!
For the 2nd top, I used a multi-colored rayon spandex knit from Joann's and cut a small on top, flaring to a medium from the waist down, so this top gives me a little more 'fitted' look.  Still wanted the 'cap sleeve' look, only hemmed the sleeves a mere 3/8".   This fabric is totally different than the white knit in both feel and drape.  I love it too!  These photos below, this day, were taken at an 1845 restored historic mill.
All seams on both tops, with the exception of attaching the neckband, were sewn on my Bernina, not the serger,   The neckband was basted first on the Bernina, then finished with the serger using the differential feed.  After making my Alabama Chanin inspired top, I really like the seam edges unfinished in a knit yet felt the serger would help 'stabilize' the neck.  My AC inspired top's neck was not done in this manner and seems a little 'stretchy' now.
Can't sing the praises of the ease of downloading the pattern.  After making the medium, I simply downloaded/printed the pattern again and cut the small making my alterations.  So easy!
Come to think of it, this 2nd top completes my April Make a Garment a Month Challenge plans.   My notes had listed this fabric as 1 1/2 yards, but after washing and drying in the dryer, it shrunk to barely over 1 yard, so a Kirsten Kimono Tee it had to be!  I was not convinced the original top I'd planned to make with this fabric is really 'me' anyway...
http://www.makeagarmentamonthchallenge.blogspot.com.au/
...but the nice, clean, simple lines of the Kirsten Kimono Tee are definitely me!

White Kirsten Kimono Tee  $5.97 cost  (Wal-Mart fabric)
Multi-colored Kirsten Kimono Tee $8.99 cost (Joann's fabric)
Pattern = Free!
Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono Tee free download
Reference on knit fabrics:  Threads Magazine's Samplings of Knit Fabrics

5.25.2014

Day 25 ~ Me-Made-May 2014

I've missed a few days of Me-Made-May, but gardening all day on Day 23 in 92 degrees heat did not lend itself well to photographing and Day 24 was spent about the same.   A second (unblogged) Kirsten Kimono Tee has been completed that I am wearing with the (unblogged) NEWLOOK 6246 elastic-waist pants.  Think I'm about ready to up my sewing skills to tackle a zipper and waistband pair of pants because I'm about ready for a more 'fitted' fit.  These are looking a little baggy-ish.  They are really comfortable though.  My husband kindly took my photos for me today.
We took these photographs at Hagood Mill, our local 1845 historic mill that is still in operation.  Below is the 'Mill Stone Memorial' with the actual mill to the rear.
You can still buy stone-ground cornmeal and grits here.
There are also a few historic buildings on the property and I'm standing in front of a restored 1800 log cabin.  In the very first photo of this post, I'm standing by this building's chimney.
The Kirsten Kimono Tee is really a great (free) pattern that sews up quickly, uses little yardage of fabric and looks nice.  I'm already thinking of a 3rd!

5.22.2014

Day 22 ~ Me-Made-May 2014
South Carolina Botanical Gardens & the Old Stone Church

My me-made clothes are now in the repeat phase and I'm sure boring my sweet readers, so this morning was spent on my daughter's beautiful college campus to give me an opportunity to try out different backgrounds and lighting and to *gasp* take my photos in public!  She was busy with class, so my tripod and self-timer were used with the camera settings on 'Auto'.  Let me tell you, it still feels strange to take photos on my own land, so I thought long and hard about taking my photos in 'public'!  As it was already sweltering, ridiculously hot at 8:00 this morning and feeling a little nervous, I decided to go easy on myself and wear the oh-so-soft white unblogged Kirsten Kimono Tee with the light gray NEWLOOK 6192 elastic-waist skirt with my flip-flops.  We had 92 degree temps yesterday with the same forecast for today.
Clemson University is not only home to a well-recognized academic university, (as well as a well-known football team!), but also our South Carolina Botanical Gardens, one of my most favorite places to visit.  I've written about one of our visits in our family's journal.  The red caboose is a landmark, of sorts, and that's where I thought I'd start.

I'm on the caboose end of the caboose with the sun directly shining on me from the front left completely washing out my already pale/white colors.  Also thought this end of the caboose didn't have enough interest....
....so moved to the front of the caboose.  Wanting to have a little fun, the sun is shining directly on this side, but I am under the roof of the caboose in the shade.
Not bad, but you can't see my clothes!
Thinking of some of Yoshimi's beautiful garden shots, I am 'walking' by blooming Japanese Spirea.  I am in the shade, the sun filtering through the trees on my left side.  I tried to 'catch' a sun spot, but this still seems too shady to me.  How do you get your beautiful shots Yoshimi?!
Here I am standing under a couple of magnolias whose limbs formed the most beautiful arch with gloriously blooming blue salvia behind me, in the sun. 
Was hoping to catch some of the 'blue' in my shot, but the sun was too bright on the flowers yet too shady on me...... 
 ...and stood basically in the same spot, just a little further back trying to 'catch' the sun and look what happened.  The entire photo is way too dark.  I blocked too much of the light.... and still can't see the blue salvia.
Moving to a beautiful stone arbor..... I am facing the sunlight and buried too far back in its shadiness.
Same arbor, just turned 180 degrees around and standing in a sun spot....
....and thought this shot turned out nice.  Cropping the photos also gave them a different 'look'.
Let's go check out the Old Stone Church, built in 1797-1802, just a few minutes away from the Botanical Gardens.  Don't you just love old historical buildings and architecture?!  I do!
If you Google 'Old Stone Church, you will find the post I wrote from one of our earlier visits, with many photographs and an essay I wrote about Eliza Huger, the subject of legend and folklore, who is buried in the cemetery.
I've always loved this old iron gate to the cemetery so tried to incorporate it in my photos today... and for some reason had the dickens of a time with these shots.  Thinking so hard about lighting, background, etc..... forgot about my posture and my clothes!
This is a little better.  Looks more like I'm walking through the gate and it's not obscuring the clothes, which is what the photographs are all about..... right?!
At this point called it a morning and enjoyed a well-earned Starbucks coffee!  One thing I did notice about my photographs today is that these backgrounds gave my camera something to 'focus' on, so I was more 'in focus' when standing for the shots.  Finally!  I still have a lot to learn though.
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