Monday, June 15, 2015

Design on the Dot

I have been inspired this spring and summer with Eileen Fisher's simple, modern, wearable designs.  How did I not know about her sooner?!?  The only thing I don't like about her clothing is the price.

The designs are often so simple and styled so well.  I walk away thinking about how complex I often make my own personal sewing.  I like to learn new things and techniques, but I guess I'm just in a phase where I want simple.  

I want to sew simple, quick, and wearable.
This top accomplishes just that.  

It is a self drafted hi-low design with a split lower back.
I based it off a basic tank created for making simple summer tops.

 Wanting some interest but without a lot of fuss - no yoke! - I cut a horizontal slice about 3" below the armhole and then created the split in the back.  It could be more pronounced, but it is as wide as the fabric I had!  I can see in a future one of these setting those split pieces on the bias.  That will provide a bit more swing.

The fabric is a cotton with a little bit of stretch.  It was kinda thin for pants, which is what I had originally purchased it for.  As we age and our stash stays the same, I don't think I would actually wear polka dot pants now!  
So all good : )

Have you ever drafted a pattern for yourself?

Happy Creating everyone!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Vogue Quilting Cotton Dress

 Ah, that favorite pattern you go to over and over.  For me, that is this Liz Mizono's Vogue 1312. 

 Line Art

I like that it is long and airy and hides my very white and sun damaged legs without the use of pants in the summer!  

I've made this dress here before. 

This time around, I'm using a quilting cotton.  And the large print meant I needed to cut it out carefully. I knew the pattern would not exactly match, so I made sure to center the large blossoms and it came out just fine as you can see below.  

After the bodice, the pattern pieces are a bunch of rectangles - easy to "cut" in quilting cotton.  I just ripped them to get perfectly straight lines.   

This was a very windy day - so great for photographing the dynamics of this dress.  Not so great for my hair!  I noticed all the "good" photos from this shoot are of my backside : (

If you choose to use this pattern, keep in mind that I am 5'10" and I made no alterations to length.  I also lowered the underarm on the bodice and as you can see here, it's too low.  I will raise it back for the next version.  I just don't like things tight or cutting into my arm.

This was actually my Easter dress this year.  I've been behind in blogging.  My daughter moved her wedding up and we had that at the beginning of May.  Hopefully I can get back on track soon!

The perfectly paired sweater is made from matching ribbed knit and is self drafted.  I am working on a less-full version in another fabric and will talk about it in another post in the future : )

Happy Creating!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Style Arc Done in Hand Dyed Fabric

Remember this ice dyed fabric from this past winter? Not bad for a wearable muslin!

This is the Lani Woven Tunic from Style Arc.  I was drawn to the nifty lines in is and how that offered many variations with fabric.

  It has a princess seam on one side going down to a hidden pocket.  The other side has a dart.  I don't know that I've ever had a shirt with only one princess seam and then a dart on the other side, but it works on this tunic.

The pocket took some fiddling since the directions were somewhat lacking.  That is the case with all Style Arc patterns, so I am careful to only order what I think I could put together without directions.

On the back you can see the diagonal lines and center back seam.  

This particular tunic was laborious to cut - first because ever piece except the sleeves is cut of a single layer.  That's a lot of cutting.  And then this fabric had me fitting the pattern pieces around the pattern in the fabric to get something that looked polished without regrets.

 It does accomplish that.  Here is another view of the front. I made 2 small changes.  First, I skipped the front and back neck facings and used a bias strip made from the fabric for finishing.  I prefer to wear clothing without those facings flapping about at my neckline. Secondly, added 1 1/2" to the length of the sleeves.

The fabric is a bit lightweight, but still works because of the pattern.  Next time I make this I would like a fabric with a little more drape and weight.
Overall a good fit and a great tunic.  

Happy Creating everyone!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

How to Dye Easter Eggs Masterfully

Aren't these grand?!?  

You can do these also.

They are simple, really.

They need 100% silk.  Ties are often 100% silk.  
So off to the stash of mens ties.  Here they are opened up and ironed.  Any all silk fabric will do.  Have any old scarves no longer in use?

Cut the silk into about 7" x 7" squares.  
Also assemble 7" x 7" cotton squares as well.

Of course you need eggs!  And twist ties.  And a non-reactive pot.

Wrap each egg in one silk square, then layer one cotton square on top and twist tie.

This is a dutch oven that has an enameled interior.  
Add water and 3 Tablespoons of white vinegar.
When the water was added, the eggs actually floated until the fabric got saturated.
Boil 15 minutes.
Let cool with the wrappings on.  After they were mostly cool, I placed them in the fridge just to be sure.  
Later, when they were good and cold, I unwrapped them and this is the result!

The silk transfers to the eggs!

The silk tie eggs have so much more character than these solid ones...found at a local grocer last week.

How do you dye eggs?

Happy Creating Everyone!


Monday, March 2, 2015

Fat Quarter Dress

Can I just say up front that I greatly dislike doing muslins?  For most of the unfitted and easy sewing I like to do, a muslin isn't terribly necessary most of the time.  And since I also match patterns to my personal slopers, that helps minimize the making of muslins also.  

But a wearable muslin - that is a different story!  This wearable muslin is made from some fat quarters I batik dyed!

This is Tessuti's Eva Dress.
Here's a link to purchase and download their pattern. (I don't make anything from this link.)  It is a basic not-too-tight fitting dress with lots of attitude.
What caught my eye was the great shape - it's like a lantern.  And since there are so many different pieces for the skirt, and they fit onto fat quarters, this seemed like a neat way to test the pattern. 
Back view.
There are 4 pieces for each of the front and back.  While cutting this out, I had to lay the pieces in the correct order on the floor so I didn't accidentally cut too many of one thing and not enough of the other.  I cut a size medium as indicated on the pattern for my measurements and sadly it is a bit snug across the chest. 

So I printed out the PDF, again, and put it together, again.  This time I cut one size bigger - the large.  I also lengthened the bodice 1" from the shoulder to armhole, and 1" from armhole to waist.  I also added 1" horizontally to both the upper and lower skirt pieces.  I am 5'10" tall and needed the length!

I plan to salvage the muslin by adding a strip under the arms.  I may need to add a strip at the bottom just for more length.   It's just so stinkin' cute!

So on to the real fabric - a brown linen with black stripes.  

 back view

view with pocket

This dress will be my summer funeral dress.  Yes, you read that right.  I rarely wear dark colors but need something to wear for those somber times.  This will be comfortable and will cover me well.  My legs have a lot of sun damage so I try to minimize showing them as much as possible ever since panty hose went out of style!

Have you tried Tessuti Patterns?  

I'd like to hear which ones and know your thoughts.  They have cute stuff!

Happy Creating everyone!