Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Loving the Love Notions Sabrina Slims...

Top: New Look 6323

One or two was not enough...more Sabrina Slims!

I admit that sewing has slowed down a bit in the loft. I think it's because I'm really enjoying my 'culled' closet. It has only my very favorite clothes now - and it's so easy to choose something to wear. Who would have known? Less is more?

Well, not always. I really love these Sabrina Slims. As soon as I finished my first pair(s), I ordered a couple fabrics to add some new fun to my spring and summer wardrobe. Of course I wanted white - it's seasonless down here. And I wanted a floral print, because the inspiration pics on the web were so nice when done in a print. Oh, and apparently floral pants on trending this spring. Like I need an excuse...

I used a medium weight (10 oz) cotton spandex knit from Girl Charlee for the white pair. It has 4-way stretch and is perfect for these pants. And as long as I was doing repeats, I made another McCalls 6987 tunic to go with. I don't see much of this tunic on the web, and I imagine it's not terribly popular - the envelope pic is awful. But I really like it. Done in challis, it's weightless and just floats around.

And here's is the floral print! I love it. 

This is also a cotton spandex knit from Girl Charlee - mid-weight at 8.5 oz, with 4-way stretch.

Let's see - what else... Last weekend I put down 100 lbs. of fertilizer in the garden. Not an easy task! But it's that time of year, and I need to fertilize ahead of the heavy summer rains. The palms are putting out flower spathes (pollen everywhere), and the mahogany trees have shed their leaves and are sprouting a beautiful new green canopy. The plants are hungry!

Other than that I've been just monkeying around. A monkey muslin...

Ciao! Coco

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Doll making and this and that...

I got the gang all together for a group pic - yes, I continue to play with my dolls. 

The smallest one (no head yet) is about 5.5" tall, and she's new. And the largest (alas, no arms) is about 20" tall and was in my previous post on doll making. 

Note: The second one from the left is a Tilde-style doll. The web is (maybe unfortunately) full of patterns taken from the Tilde publications. It's such an appealing doll, of course I gave it a go - but the design is absolutely not mine.

You'd think I'd make some clothes to go with! I might- I've made an assortment of bloomers, jumpers, and dresses, but they're all muslins, just cut out and hand sewn. My favorite part is making the doll, not dressing it - which is the real reason I have a bunch of naked ladies :-) 

Here's a solo of JoJo, who's also new and one of my favorite dolls ever. She has a name, unlike the rest of the gang. It's her hair, which is just some orange yarn tacked on the back of her head. When I looked at her with that hair, well, the name seemed to fit. Love her belly button...

All  the doll parts are drawn with a Pilot Frixion Erasable Gel Pen on a double layer of fabric. These pens are wonderful! because the ink disappears with a warm iron. I use them  all the time, and not just for the dolls - they're great for marking notches and darts, or even writing, on any sewing project. I ordered mine from Doll Makers Journey, but I think many art supply stores carry them. Note: I've seen clicker-type Frixion gel pens at Staples, Target, etc., but I honestly don't know how they do on fabric.

These pens are also indispensable for drafting doll faces.

Here's a JoJo, all sewn, trimmed, and ready to be turned and stuffed.  

My main turning tools are various tubes, a 10" hemostat, and a crochet hook (to push out fingertips and tight curves).

The small brass turning tubes are a recent acquisition, also from Doll Makers Journey. They're wonderful for turning little fingers, skinny arms, and ears.

And then there's the stuffing. It's a great, mindless kind of thing to do with a good movie or the news on the telly. My very favorite stuffers are the chopstick and the cocktail skewer. I used my kitchen shears to make depressed circles on both ends of the chopstick, and the end of the skewer is naturally a little scuffed - the stuffing catches on both, making it easier to move along inside a doll part. I've also used a variety of orange wood cuticle pushers...whatever works!

So far, I've been disappointed in the stuffing fork, which I bought specifically for fingers. It's my most expensive tool, and I just don't have much luck with it. I've watched it being used on YouTube videos, and it was impressive, so more practice should help.

If not, I'll put it in the kitchen drawer and use it to spear pickles!


I'm sewing clothes, too, but I'm too happy in my PJ's to do photos today. 

That's either awful or awesome!  Bye for now, Coco

Friday, April 1, 2016

Love Notions Sabrina Slims Pants...

Any second now I'll start doing the twist in my new Sabrina Slims! 

This pattern and the designer, Tamy Meyer, are both new to me, brought to my attention by Deepika at Pattern Review in a recent blog post. I checked out Deepika's Slims and a bunch of versions on the Love Notions site. Great look.

The pants are styled after 1950's cigarette pants, shades of Audrey Hepburn. But I keep thinking of the dance scene in 'Pulp Fiction' - Mia and Vincent doing the twist at Jack Rabbit Slims.

There's a lot to love in this pattern: lots of versions in sizes 0 - 28, easy printing based on size and version, a great instruction booklet, including how-to's for addressing fit issues - and the best waistband I've ever sewn on a slim pant.

These are meant to hit at the ankle, so I used the 28" inseam for my muslin. I think they're a little short on me (although this length might work in solid black).

So I redrafted them with an additional 4" at the hem (basically the 30" inseam + 2 more inches). Much better, this is the look I wanted...

OK, the difference is subtle! I like both pairs. 

Sewing notes:

  • Sewed the size 14, plain vanilla - no pockets or front center seams.
  • Used ponte knit from Girl Charlee. I love this fabric - it's light, washes beautifully, and is so easy to sew.
  • And I made only one change! It's impossible to see on this print, but my first pair are a little close below the knee and the side seam wants to twist forward in that area. On the second pair I added 3/8" to the front outside seam, from the knee down, which made them hang perfectly - fitted above the knee, straight below the knee.

Now, that incredible waistband - it's slightly contoured and finishes at a little over 2" wide (calls for 2" elastic). And I love it.

I like this so much that I'm planning to redo the waistband on my 2 yoga-band maxi skirts. 

And the second trick here is the design of the back rise - it rises. It looks funky on the pattern, but boy, it works. Normally I have to add 1.5" to the back rise on my fitted knit pants. Not here - these fit and my pants stay up.

This morning I'm working on a pair in white cotton/spandex. It's mid-weight at 10 oz. and has 4-way stretch. I like that additional stretch for this pants style - no baggy knees for this girl.

Bye for now! Coco