Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Vogue 8807 - pansies and violets!


I am absolutely in love with this pattern and fabric...I feel like Marilyn meets the flower garden! Just what's needed at the end of summer and a hot, muggy month.

It's been sleeping in my stash for a year. I got the cotton calico at Holly Lobby last summer (they still carry it), and I ordered the pattern at the same time, specifically for the fabric. Now finally, what a fun dress.

The pattern is designed with a full lining - but I'm not about to line a summer calico with all this volume! 

Instead, I drafted facings for the yoke, front neckband, and armholes, and assembled them into a one-piece facing.

Then I treated the facing as though it were the lining. Worked out great.

Usually I sew a size 14, but I cut a size 10 in this pattern because it is so roomy. I made only two concessions to the smaller size:
  • Added 1" at the yoke center back. 
  • Lowered the armhole by 1/2".

Even the hemline (the short version) worked for me. I did add 3/8" to the length so that I could turn a 1" hem, rather than 5/8". Picky picky :-)

Check out this darling 'obi-ish' belt! I've made a couple more for other dresses, including one in a cotton knit.  

Tech note: I faced one side of the belt with mid-weight interfacing, and the other side with craft 808 interfacing, both fusible. It doesn't double up on itself at all.

Great pockets!

And here's how it looks without the belt. Just in case someone wants a super comfy tent dress, it's cute too.

Bye for now! Coco

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Kwik Sew 2895 Jeans jacket - the curtain remake!

I had a great trip to see the grandson - he loved all his Spidey gear, and we played to exhaustion (moi, he does not know exhaustion...). After one recovery day, I've been working on a jeans jacket - I've decided it's something in the air, because I've read two jeans jacket reviews on PR this week!

This one is a Kwik Sew pattern and I love it. I sewed View B, the classic jeans jacket look, in a size Medium/10-12. (I'm 5/7" and generally sew a size 14/40).

Great pattern. It has faux flat-felled seams. What's that, you ask? Well, you sew a regular seam, neaten the edges together, press the seam allowance to one side, and double-topstitch it on the outside. And it looks just like a flat-felled seam. But is super fast and easy, particularly in a heavy fabric, such as denim.

An inside view: the vertical seams are faux flat-felled. I added bias binding to the edges of the cuff, front, and waistband facings. I just cut the binding from scrap cotton - I really don't like purchased binding, it's so stiff and not as nice as fabrics I have in the stash. Plus mine are all pre-washed.

The medium fits me really well - as long as I don't try to button it! The bottom meets in the front but at 38 1/2", it definitely will not close comfortably unless I blouse it up! Fortunately, I don't intend to button the jacket, I like it open.

I made only a couple changes, mostly just to suit me.
  • Left off the pocket bag - the pocket is not going to be used, so why bother!
  • Did away with the buttoned cuff approach and used a closed cuff. You can see some soft gathers in the upper sleeve in the pic above. I used the original cuff pattern, but shortened it's circumference by 3/4". 
  • A tip - since the right facing is always turned back just below the collar, I sewed the top buttonhole on the 'wrong' side. This way, the 'pretty' side of that buttonhole is on top.
  • Also cut the undercollar on the bias. It's amazing how much easier it is to work with, when there's no collar stand.

Loving the fabric, it's the leftover panel from my IKEA Merete (heavy twill/denim) bedroom curtains! This is the first time I've used a heavy denim on either of my machines (Singer Quantum Stylist 9960, Janome 8002D serger), no problems at all, whew! I was pleased.

Have you noticed it's the weekend? Hope it's lovely. Ciao! Coco

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Saturday afternoon artist...

My grandson's hero. 

I'm heading up to Orlando at the end of the week to visit with my son, daughter-in-law, and my precious, magnificent, princely, most handsome, and brilliant... (ok :- he's my only grandchild)... grandson. He loves Spidey. At the age of three, it was Toy Story, but he's definitely moved on. Now four, he's into transformers, Ninja turtles, pirates, and Spiderman.

One thing I have learned in my short tenure as a grandmother. These little people do not have a lot of things crowding their brains - they remember everything. At Thanksgiving, DGS told me he would like a Spiderman cape and gloves that shot out strings of webs - could I make them please?

Oh. Spiderman does not wear a cape. Not even thinking about those gloves. So for Christmas I made him a wonderful Batman cape. His comment: "Gammi, it was supposed to be a Spiderman cape".

Pause for a pic of a Florida gator Spiderman - something I've kept in mind since Christmas:

Saturday afternoon and I'm an artist. Painting a spider.

I Googled and found that I am not alone - there is actually a consensus on what a Spiderman cape would look like, if Spiderman wore a cape. I am so laughing here. But it was very helpful!

Here is the topside of the  boy's cape, with the black spider painted in Tulip slick fabric paint...wow.

The cape lining will be black.

Needing to trump all other contestants, I also got him a 28" Spiderman action figure (no, not a doll, these are action figures. Barbie is a doll). 

Who will have his own cape, once painted with the reduced logo.

Tools: Paint, paper towels, paintbrush, and parchment paper under the fabric.

Credits to Georgia Leigh, who has a wonderful hero cape pattern, as well as lots of licensed super hero logo patterns for download.

I'll take pics, I'm so looking forward to this trip. After 2 years at St. Michael's Episcopal Church pre-school, DGS starts pre-kinder at Lake Highland Preparatory School on Wednesday. He should have so much to share by Friday. I'm so blessed.

Bye for now - Coco

Friday, August 9, 2013

Doing things that need to be done...

I've been so busy...and not with sewing. I finally accomplished some things that I've been putting off for a while.

The light fixture in my powder room fell from the wall 4 weeks ago. Actually, I caught it before it crashed. What a close call, it would have been such a mess.

After climbing up on the counter, undoing everything, and taping over the light switch, I just turned my back on the whole situation. Too much, not in the mood...

It's not easy to hang a light fixture by yourself! Even if you're the resident handyperson. But I did it. Flipped on the switch - and nothing happened. I could have cried. Of course I was so sure of my work that I had already put on the globes and everything. So off they came again. One of the wire caps was not on securely. Second time was a charm. I have light. What an exhausting project.

The next project was better, but still not my favorite thing to do. I had decided that the brown velvet curtains in my bedroom were showing age and were too dark for my current mood - I really had light on the brain!

But those curtains take some thought - I work hard to keep heat out of the house. Sheers just don't work, even with mini-blinds and sun-blocking shades.

Hats off to IKEA. I love these Merete curtains. They are a very heavy cotton twill. Perfect.

Bonus - I used 5 of the 6 panels and have enough leftover fabric to make a jeans jacket!

The biggest project of all is looming. I had two roofing companies come out to estimate a new tile roof. 

It's time - the roof is 22 years old and has several leaks over the garage. Even with repairs, it hasn't been the same since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. I accepted a proposal on Monday, and I've done the paperwork for my association. I guess the hard part is over - getting my head around spending so much money! 

Recovery - yesterday I cruised over to the library to look for some good books. I actually bought 6 books from the Friends of the Library shop, for $1 each. These are all titles I know I'll enjoy, and I can donate back any I decide not to keep. This was nice.

Hope everyone has a pleasant weekend. Ciao! Coco

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Thank you, friends...

Thank you, my dear blogger and reader friends... Yesterday Coco's Loft passed 100,000 page views since my first post in March, 2012! You make it fun and meaningful - I'm so happy you share with me and keep me company. My life is enriched in wonderful ways for which I'm very grateful.

XO - Coco

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Burda 04/2012 #113 Snap Front Jacket

What a great little jacket! I love the curved lines, gathered and cuffed sleeves, and boxy look. And it's a perfect length for throwing over shorts or jeans or pants.

Burda describes this as a snap-front jacket, because it has four sewn-on snaps inside the front facing. And the original pattern front actually closes well past the center point. However - I redrafted the front pieces to overlap an inch at the center front, and did not use the snaps at all. It's just not a jacket I would wear closed.

Burda also suggests lining the jacket, which might be nice for a light color (it looks like I should have lined my shorts, but my camera settings are just not right. I'm used to shooting outside). No lining needed here. I just finished my edges to prevent the ravels, as my fabric is a linen/rayon blend.  

I generally sew a size 40 in Burda, but went with a 38 in this jacket. It is plenty roomy, but I  can't really go down to a 36 - I need the width in my shoulders and back.

Part of the fun was in the topstitching detail. I used a thread that was just a little lighter than the fabric, and went to it!

The key to neat topstitching: no backstitching!

Bring threads to the wrong side, tie them off, and bury them!

I like it a lot and want more colors!

Bye for now - Coco