Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Vogue 1306 - My COMPLETED November garment!

High five! Well, low five - I finished something :-) And this is cute. I agree, my version doesn't look much like the Vogue picture at right, but gosh. That's the fun part.

This pattern has three really different views - a tee shirt, a twisted tank, and a fluttery top. It's really easy to overlook the tee shirt in this mix. The gathers in the skirt of the tee shirt are what caught my eye - love that look.

Notes on my changes:

Length - Added 3" to the bottom of the skirt. I think I'm on a tunic quest this fall. I'm really into Virginia leggings and Marcy Tilton's skinny pants. And I love a tunic over jeans. So I decided to give this pattern a try as a tunic.

Left out the slit front placket. I mistrust little open plackets on tee shirts - they always flop open. I'm much too picky to go for it. And instead of attaching a neckline band, I applied a bias binding.

Drafted a long sleeve. Since we are into fall and will be having lovely cool winter weather, I went for longer sleeves on my tunic. I kept the fit of the top of the sleeve from this pattern, and the shape of the long sleeve from Vogue 1315, a knit dress.

The top with long sleeves...Ok, but not the best. Kind of look like PJ's. I shortened them to 3/4 length!

Much better!

Whew. That was quite a lot, actually. But one more thing...I sewed a Medium. And the shoulders were way down my arm. After I attached the sleeves, I went back and raised the sleeve and shoulder by 3/4". In the pic above, you can see that the shoulders are still 'dropped', as in the pattern design - just not halfway to the elbow!

Some of the nice details of the pattern (the sleeves are still long in these)...

The skirt gathers, wrong side view.

And right side view.

Side view, showing the hi-lo hemline.


Neckline bias binding.

Such pretty fabric. It's a heathered interlock knit from JoAnn's, the inside is mini-stripes. Perfect for a pattern that shows the inside, like a waterfall cardi. It comes in a heathered orange and in grey - I think the orange is calling my name.

I like how this turned out. Wouldn't it make a pretty cardigan, just slit it all the way down the front... 

Ciao! Coco

Monday, November 18, 2013

Where is November going in such a hurry!

It's been quiet here on the blog...but with good reason. I managed to take a spill in the garden, fall across my birdbath, and break two ribs! All I was doing was hanging a pot on the fence, but the entire thing came away and backwards I went. It has been two weeks, but sewing has been sidelined. I have, however, been knitting up a storm (for me...it puts me to sleep, so an inch or two and I'm out) - and doing a lot of reading, which I love.

This pumpkin creation is the Ayatori shrug style jacket, which I first saw on Yoshimi's blog in September. Super cute and available as a free download on Ravelry! I've made good progress in the last couple weeks.

The pattern is very easy and changes just often enough not to be boring :-)

Nov 18

I just finished "Brazil" by John Updike. What an interesting love story, loosely based on the tale of Tristan and Isolde, somewhat reminiscent of The Gift of the Magi. It's mystical, haunting, and convincing. Enjoyed it so much. 

My other read last week was "Lusitania - An Epic Tragedy", by Diana Preston. Actually a re-read, but I always enjoy revisiting a good book. This one, the story of the sinking of the passenger steamer Lusitania in the early days of submarine warfare in WWI, is beautifully researched. Preston includes a captivating history of the development of both submarine boats and passenger ship service in the Atlantic, as well as the political-economic background leading to and during the early months of the war, in Europe and the United States. And the passengers, among them some well-known names, such as Alfred Vanderbilt, just come to life. Great book.

And I continue with "Victoria" by Lytton Strachey. Dictonary in hand. He wrote with an amazing and challenging vocabulary. And a good sense of humor.

I'm planning to re-read all my Graham Greene books next - feeling nostalgic as the holidays approach.

Bye for now, back soon with sewing! Coco

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Vogue 1306 - A new plan for November

This cute Rebecca Taylor t-shirt pattern has hanging around the loft for a while now. I really like the front side gathers, a little something more than a basic tee. And the slightly dropped back hem. I'm not crazy about the placket - but I don't have to sew it in either!

I found a beautiful 'heathered' interlock knit in JoAnn's in September. The heather is an iridescent thread, really unusual. It looks glittery, but it's not metallic. The back side has tiny stripes, so it would be perfect for a pattern in which both sides show. I think it will be lovely choice for this top.

We've had a string of overcast, drizzly days, perfect for sewing, reading, and knitting. Feeling blessed. And I hope everyone enjoys a nice weekend.

Bye for now - Coco

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Faux fur faux pas...

Aaacck! All this mess is from cutting one small pattern piece from my faux fur! 

Someone out there must have been laughing when I wrote about my plans to sew it - someone who has had this experience!

I could not get the pattern off the fur and the fur in a bag fast enough! My skin was crawling and itchy, and I'm still sneezing. Guess this was not a good project for me :-)

Left the vacuum with Emile (who is modelling a knit cardigan that is almost finished...) and ran for a cup of coffee!

Back soon with a new November project for 'Make a Garment a Month' - Bye for now! Coco

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A garment a month - November plans!

Going boho in November! I'm loving the look of this long, unbuttoned faux fur coat from Burda (10/2011 #131 Long Hippie Coat). 

I started thinking about a faux fur jacket way back in June. I have an ivory Mongolian fur jacket that I bought in 1979, and still love to wear. And decided a deep brown faux fur would be fun with jeans and skirts. 

I had no idea how varied faux furs can be! Looked online in lots of fabric shops - wow, expensive and no clue how they really look or feel. So I went over to JoAnns, which usually has lots of fleece and fur, 40% off coupon in hand. 

Lucky me...I found a light weight, deep chocolate, short-piled fur that's just what I had in mind. The fur is patterned in rosettes and is so soft, not at all stiff or sticky like some of the furs on the shelf.

The Burda pattern calls for a light jersey lining - if I decide to line the coat, I have some Ariel rayon jersey that will be perfect. 

Even luckier...I already have a great pattern that looks just like the Burda. This is the Loes Hinse classic coat that I made in Alova faux suede back in 2012. Alova is also a knit and feels a lot like my fur - should work really well. 

My other plan for November is to finish this project before the end of the month!

Bye for now...Coco

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Burda Style 7297 - A long wrap robe for October

Oops - it's November! Oh, well. I love my long wrap robe. My 'Garment a Month' for October and for every month until I wear it out! It came out just as I hoped when I wrote about my plans for it back on Oct. 8.

I found a pattern from Burda Style that has almost everything that I needed. It's long, wraps, has pockets, and, can you believe it, has a belt that is attached at the back waist. The last detail is one I've always hoped to find - it's so pretty and 40's-looking.

When I studied the pattern pieces, the only issue I anticipated was the depth of the wrap, which was about 4 or 5 inches. I like a robe to really wrap in the front. No peek-a-boo and lots of cozy.

So I spent about 3 hours working with the pattern and my much-loved-soon-to-be-gone cotton robe that's being replaced by this new one. Turns out the best starting place was the size 16 (I usually sew a size 14). And my only 'major' adjustment was for the front wrap.

I added 1.5" at the shoulder (which it needed anyway to match up with my old robe), and then drafted a new front line, easing out a total of 3.5" just past the neckline curve. The same 1.5" were added to the back shoulder all the way to the waist (I was glad to have more room across the back).

The other change was a simple addition of 3" to the length. In the end, 1.5" would have been enough - but I think that is very fabric-dependent and will keep the addition for my next robe as well. Just in case!

My robe wraps all the way across and goes to the floor!

It's really hard to photograph black! But here are some pics I lightened up to show some of the features of the pattern and robe:

Nice big patch pockets! My fabric is a very light weight poly-rayon-spandex jersey knit from
Fabric.com. To guard against pulling at the pocket corners, I boxed the side edge topstitching.

An easy add, not in the pattern - a hanging loop on the inside back neckline!

The back waistband. So pretty. It is actually quilted, I used low-loft poly batting.
Great place for all kinds of fun - monogramming, embroidery...

The inside of the back waistband. Very smooth and comfy.
Edited Nov. 5 to add a note about interfacing for the long neckline/front band and pocket cuff: I used Pellon EK130 easy knit fusible interfacing. Sometimes I just use lightweight nonwoven interfacing with knits, but it would have been too structured for this fabric and garment.

I can hardly believe I actually finished something. Between the re-roof, the slab leak, the water damage and mold, and the rebuild of my garage - not to mention 18 days without hot water and my washer & dryer - I've been kind of  unable to settle down to anything for very long. I am very grateful for silence and the complete absence of any workmen at my house! End of whinge ...

And I really love my new robe. 

Ciao! Coco