Monday, February 23, 2009

No Pictures

I'm sitting inside (duh... it's February!) and listening to the wind blow. It sounds really nasty. We had a bit of "warmer" weather recently, and I think I got a bit spoiled. Temps in the 40s - 50s are tropical compared to 30-something and nasty wind. I'm feeling a bit lazy, so I'm not taking any pictures today. So there. LOL

Brigitte, if you're reading... your comment on my last post made me laugh. One of my friends saw the same pic and said I looked rather "blue" and should probably get it checked out. LOL I really, really, REALLY hate having my picture taken, so I usually avoid it. When I can't avoid it, I'm convinced the resulting photos are so terrible that they can never see the light of day. I'm just horribly uncomfortable in front of a camera, so I stay away from them. You'll all just have to enjoy looking at "Wilma" (yes, I named my dress form) in the meantime. ;)

Despite my feeling of laziness, I am working on a couple of things. First is another top. It's a v-neck wrap front design with raglan sleeves. I'm not sure I'll be thrilled with the sleeves when it's finished, but we'll see. The pattern is designed for stretch knits-- I'm using a lightweight polyester in a pretty raspberry color. It will be great with jeans, and shouldn't take long to finish. As usual, I had to adjust the bodice so that the seam under the bustline would be in the right place. And, as usual, I discovered this after cutting it out.

In stitching news, I've done a bit more on Souvenir Sampler. Not much, but I did manage to get past that stupid tree that gave me so much trouble before. I'm planning to photograph it again tomorrow, so there will be pics soon.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

It's finished!

I'm happy to report that as of Friday, my top was done. :) Now I just need some warmer weather, so that I can wear it. The sleeves look a little funky in the photo, because I took a picture before adding the buttons to the sleeves.

Next up will be another top-- this time, in a solid fuschia stretch knit. Bring on the spring!!

I'm also going to post my pattern review here (I've already added one at the Pattern Review site). I'm starting to do enough sewing now that I would like to devote more of my blogging to my clothing adventures.

Pattern: Simplicity 2924

Fabric: Cotton Blend

Pattern Description: Misses' Tops with square neckline and empire waist. Can be made sleeveless or with slightly puffed sleeves. Tops have a wide belt that ties in the back.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, everything was very intuitive and I really didn't need to refer to the pattern much. That seems to be the case with most of the "It's So Easy" patterns that Simplicity produces. As long as you cut & mark carefully, everything goes together very easily.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked the overall style of this top. The sleeves are nice, without being too puffy. The center back seam made for a good fit. The empire waistline is quite flattering, although I think the belt is just a bit too wide.

The only problem I had with this pattern was the bodice. The front bodice piece was not nearly long enough for me-- something I didn't realize until after I was finished cutting. Once it was assembled, the seam that was supposed to hit under the bustline was much higher on me. Fortunately, I had plenty of extra fabric and was able to modify the bodice to fit my figure.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: In order to make this fit my bust correctly, I had to lengthen the front bodice by a few inches and add darts. Other than that, everything else was per the pattern.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would definitely recommend it to others. The only suggestion I'd make is that if you are on the busty side, you should add some extra length to the bodice and put in darts.

I'm not sure how many of this top I want in my wardrobe, but I am considering making it again in white. I think it would be a nice alternative to a t-shirt with a pair of jeans.

Conclusion: Great top in a flattering style. I'm looking forward to some warmer weather, so that I can finally wear it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


That's how I would describe my progress on my current sewing project. Really, this is a top that might have 2 hours worth of sewing, perhaps a bit more given the modifications that I've made. Even with the bodice modifications, there really isn't much to it. That said, I've been creeping along and making progress by inches. Mostly, that is due to my habit of sewing for just a few minutes at a time, never spending much time at it in a single stretch.

After lengthening the front bodice, I ended up with quite a bit of excess fabric at the bottom front. And no, I couldn't just cut off the excess. That would have resulted in things not fitting together correctly, defeating the whole purpose of making a top rather than simply buying ready-to-wear. The solution-- add darts, of course! After adding the darts, I sewed up the side seams. All that's left now is setting the sleeves & cuffs, and finishing off the edges & hem.

It's hard to tell on the dress form, but the fit was absolute perfection when I tried it on. :)

Friday, February 06, 2009

Wretched Little Tree

That's what I'm doing today, after a nasty visit from The Frog. Actually, make that repeated visits.

As I was working on Souvenir Sampler yesterday, adding in more of the optional motifs, I realized I had miscounted on a tree. I wasn't very happy about this, since I hadn't particularly enjoyed stitching that tree in the first place. I had stitched about 90% of it, and had to rip all of it out, because I had placed it one row too high.

After re-stitching that wretched little tree, I carefully checked top & bottom. Perfect! On to the house....

I stitched the brown of the house and was just starting on the roof, when I decided to check the placement. Sure enough, the top & bottom were perfect. BUT... the house was one stitch too far to the right. I couldn't believe it. I checked the position of the house relative to the tree. Of course, it was right. It was that stupid tree. The one I didn't like stitching the first time, and liked even less the second time around.

Here's what the sampler looked like before my frogging session. I haven't made a lot of progress since the previous post, but thought I'd share anyway.

And here, dear friends, is the Wretched Little Tree that has caused me so much grief. I hate that tree.

And no, I haven't re-stitched it yet. I'm almost afraid to try it again, so I've started with the house this time. Who knows, maybe I'll do a different tree altogether. LOL

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Souvenir Sampler

Last year, I was making some pretty good progress on Souvenir Sampler. Then I got distracted by other things and put it away. A couple of times, I tried to get back to it, but just couldn't get into a rhythm with it.

The last photo I took of SS was in early September 2008.

I pulled it back out recently and finally managed to make some progress. Here's what it looked like as of this morning:

I think I've figured out the bodice issues with my top, so that should be easy enough to finish. I'm actually pretty handy with a sewing machine-- I've been sewing most of my life. It's just one of those things that I have to be in the mood for, so I come and go on it. The mood usually strikes me whenever the clothes in stores are particularly unattractive or ill-fitting. Or poorly made. The trouble I'm suffering from at the moment is a complete lack of fabric shops where we live. I got a bit spoiled by G Street when I was in northern VA. Out here, all we've got is JoAnn's, which I am not a fan of, and it's 35 miles away. Before long, I will probably tag along on one of BF's trips back to the DC area, just so I can go fabric shopping.