Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sadie's Winter Coat

Just because my dog is a mutt (beagle/rat terrier mix, adopted from a local shelter), doesn't mean that she isn't a diva. She is, and with short hair, she gets cold in the winter months. Unfortunately, at 20 lbs., her size often prevents her from being able to fit into many of the cutest RTW doggie clothes. This year, instead of being frustrated at the selection of coats available in XS and S, I decided she should have her very own custom creation.

The pattern is Simplicity 2695, which I did with very little deviation from the design instructions. The body of the coat is a single-sided pre-quilted nylon fabric; the contrast is ivory/pink leopard print minky. My only complaint about the pattern is the exposed edges. The instructions had the contrast binding simply folded in half and sewn on with topstitching, which would leave a raw edge all the way around. The minky doesn't really ravel, but it still seemed unfinished to me, so I did my own thing. I pinned the binding to the coat with right sides together and sewed the strip on, then folded over (leaving the unfinished edge on the inside), and topstitched down. MUCH better! I also added sparkly pink buttons to each side of the tab closure.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Not thrilled

I finished B5497 today, but I'm not terribly excited about it. The color is good. The fabric... not so much. This is the same type of fabric that I used for the purple top I made recently and there is something about the drape that I just don't love. It's a shame, because it comes in really great colors.

I was in doubt over this pattern before I even cut it out. I think the sleeveless version might be okay, but it's November and that just wasn't an option. I was a bit concerned about the cut-in sleeves. Sometimes they work on me, but not always. My plan was to cut them off if they were a complete disaster. (Oh, how I wish that was my only issue with this top. LOL)

First things first. The good... the pattern was very well-drafted and went together perfectly. The elastic insertion at the bodice seam was a little weird, though. It works, but I would do it differently if I ever tried it again. (Don't hold your breath!)

Some of the issues in this photo are due to Wilma's poor modeling techniques. The shirring on the top of the sleeves is completely lost in the gap, and the draping is a little off because of the way the fabric sticks to the dress form. Those things aside, there are actually several things I would change if I was going to do this top again. First, I *hate* the way the neckline is finished. It's done with a narrow hem, something I never like on a round neck. I thought about doing a bound neckline, but followed the pattern instead. I really wish I had gone with my instinct-- it would have been so much better.
I also don't really like the way the sleeves hang. Because they are cut-in rather than set, there is a seam that runs from the shoulder all the way down the sleeve and there is elastic at the shoulder to create shirring at the top of the sleeve. Sounds good in theory, but it shortens the sleeve on the top side, making the hem look odd.
At the moment, I doubt I'll ever wear this for anything other than yard work. My plan is to let it sit for a little while and see if I feel any differently about it later. If my feelings about it change, I plan to fix the neckline (I screwed it up a bit when I was doing the narrow hem). And I might chop off the sleeves and have this as a summer top instead.
On a brighter note, the pajama bottoms have been keeping me warm and comfy. :) There will definitely be more of those in my future, though I will make a couple of changes. For starters, they need pockets. And after looking at the photo, I realized that they aren't nearly as pink as they look here. The photo makes it look like they glow in the dark... they're not quite that bright. LOL
Oh... and Julie... the top for the pajama bottoms were these tiny little spaghetti-strap things. Definitely NOT suitable for cold weather. Anyway, I usually wear t-shirts with my flannel bottoms. (Probably more than you wanted to know. LOL)

Friday, November 05, 2010


I'm not generally a fan of pink. Fuschia is okay, but not little-girl pink. But when I decided that I needed some girly pajama bottoms, I went straight for the bolt of oh-so-girly, complete with butterflies, pink flannel. I'm glad I did-- they're too cute! :)

The pattern is McCall's 5248. Not much to tell, really. Pajama bottoms are unbelievably easy to put together... just four pieces and a tie. Not much fitting required other than getting the hem right. Speaking of the hem-- these ran LONG. I made the medium and shortened a little when I cut the pattern, but still ended up taking off another 1".

I'll probably make more of these to replace the ugly men's flannel that I normally wear around the house. This will certainly be more cheerful during the dreary winter months.

Thursday, November 04, 2010


I seem to be on a purple kick lately. Or, I was. This is the third purple garment in a row that I've made. Yes, that last top was purple, even though it appeared blue in the pictures. (I really must remember to change the filters on my camera.) At any rate, the latest in my "purpler series" is this skirt.

I was having a bad hair day, so you're getting this one on the hanger. LOL

This pattern has lots of positive reviews on Pattern Review, and with good reason. It is well-drafted and goes together very easily. Lots of fun to make! My only complaint is the fabric I used. I absolutely love the color, especially for fall/winter, but my adoration of this fabric ends there. It wasn't bad to work with, but it seems to look rumpled pretty easily. It also attracts pet hair. BADLY. This is not a good thing in my household. :( Aside from that, there is also a nasty crease down the front of the skirt from where the fabric was folded on the bolt. I haven't washed it yet (yeah, I know... I should have done that before cutting & sewing), so I'm hoping it will come out eventually. Meanwhile, I've tried just about everything else.

It's a rainy day here, which gives me a good excuse to stay at home and sew. I'm not sure yet what I'm going to make. I have two tops cut out already, and some pretty pink flannel that is going to be a pair of pajama pants. I also picked up a piece of "maybe" fabric recently. You know... the kind that *might* work for something... or *maybe* it will be a disaster. It really could go either way. But it was inexpensive enough that I just had to take a chance on it.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Halloween Treats

A big, big THANK YOU to Angela, who sent me a wonderful Halloween exchange package last week. (Well, she sent it way before then, but the mail was unusually slow.) She has been a dear friend over the years, so it was a special treat to receive something sent by her. She was also kind enough to let me "borrow" her photos of the exchange-- hers were much better than anything I came up with.

I really wish you could see these in person. They're all stitched over one and are just exquisite. The finishing on the tin is truly lovely. I had to confess to Angela that I always wanted one of these, but had never made one for myself because i've always been a little intimidated by the finishing. Now that I have such a nice example of one in my own two hands, I'm going to try to put one together.

The exchange I sent hasn't arrived at its destination, so no pictures of it yet.