Saturday, November 24, 2012

O + S After School Shirt in Shot Cotton

I have confession to make -- I have a walk in fabric closet that I can't even walk into.  I am genuinely grateful to have the space but lately have been feeling weighed down by the excess I have in there.  Before our renovation, I would only buy for a specific project because I had nowhere to store any extra.  Now I don't even know what I have . . . And it doesn't fit on the floor to ceiling shelves.  It's shameful really.   Part of the problem is that I love to dream about what I'm going to make but overestimate the amount of time that I have to actually make things.  Then there's the whole "I'm paying for shipping so I may as well add ____" trap.

Anyway, last week I decided to make written a plan -- a list of projects and which fabric I'm going to use.  It was going quite well and things were starting to look better when I got distracted by this shot cotton (it's Kaffe Fassett in Aegean from Mad About Patchwork).  I used the bulk of it for a top for myself (Vogue 1247) but when I pulled out the leftovers, I decided to see if there was enough for a After School Shirt for J. . . . and that was the end of my organizing for the day :).

So here's the top. I was short a couple of inches for the back but otherwise was good:

I struggled with it though -- I misread the directions and lined up the notches on the yoke.  I didn't notice until after I'd put the piping in and went to attach the front panel that it was about three inches too small.  Then for some reason I had lots of trouble setting the sleeves -- I sewed gathering stitches on them but didn't need to gather them.  In fact it seemed like the front was bigger.  I ripped out a few sections a couple of times but I still see some puckers.   Oh, well. I give up.

I bought these sparkly square buttons when we were travelling this summer and I think they suit this top wonderfully.  Plus they're like little jewels, which makes my daughter happy.

I added piping in a voile from Girl Charlee.  I used the same fabric for a band on the back where I didn't quite have enough of the blue.  It's kind of loud on it's own and more like a quilting cotton than a voile but it's magic fabric -- it seems to go with everything so I don't mind the extra bit on the back.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sewaholic Alma

I was so excited when I received this pattern that I traced and cut it right away.  Then the Halloween madness began so it sat unfinished on my desk for weeks.  Even though it's not the right time of year for it now, I'm happy it's done -- it's a flattering, comfortable blouse that's not too fussy.  I can see other variations in my future.

The fabric is a super lightweight summer cotton that was on clearance 3 metres for the price of one.  I certainly wouldn't have bought it at full price ($14/m!) but it is pretty and works for a trial run.  

I'm not sure what I will change next time.  I debated about the size and ended up cutting a size bigger than my measurements because I know I wont wear something if it's too tight.  I think it'll take a couple of times wearing this before I know if it was the right decision.  But the larger size  meant that I didn't need to add a zipper.  Woo hoo!

I made a couple of changes -- I don't find cap sleeves all that flattering on me so I lengthened them by an inch or so (in a totally half-assed way -- by tracing the top for the size I wanted and then the line for the smallest size.  I had to adjust the sleeve again once I'd partly sewed it on because of course it didn't quite fit properly.  I should have drafted a whole new one but I don't know how to do that!).

I also lengthened the top by two inches partly because I'm long-waisted and partly because I wanted a deeper hem; I find small hems don't lie as flat.

Overall I think it's a great pattern. You do need to have some sewing experience, however, as the instructions aren't as thorough as O+S.  They're as good or better than the big 4, though.

Monday, November 5, 2012

O + S Bear Carrier

My little niece is about to be joined by a new baby brother or sister. (Tomorrow!!!)  I'm going to wait to find out if it's a boy or girl before I make a baby gift but I've finished the big sister gift -- a bear carrier from Little Things to Sew.  What a fun and quick project this was!  I used the same ultra suede type fabric I used for her cape and It's A Hoot scraps for the pocket, lining and straps.  I added batting to the straps to make them more sturdy and more comfortable for carrying around those extra heavy stuffies :).

I asked K. to be my model and she didn't want to take it off so I'm thinking I need to add one to my (growing) list of Christmas gifts to make.   I still need to trim the straps but I promise it's straight and fits well and she was happy about wearing it.  She was running around the house in an old flower girl dress and bare feet when I asked for a picture outside.  It was pretty cold so I snapped a couple of shots before she raced back in (mean mom!). 

K. thinks her cousin will love it but recommends that I include "instructions for the parents because they might not know how to get the stuffy in and out" :).