Saturday, October 27, 2012

Shrug Top

Here's a quick and easy project to close out the warm weather sewing with.

I was so original with the choice of color (NOT)... I used a hot pink cotton knit from Joann Fabrics. If I make this top again, I would not use such a heavy knit. The neckline draping just doesn't have the desired affect as pictured on the model. A rayon jersey or ITY jersey probably would have been a better choice.
This was super easy to make, I spent less than 3 hours on the construction.
I don't know why, but in my opinion the Big 4 pattern companies do not do negative ease well. So if you have a knit pattern that you would like to fit snugly, you better size down. I ended up making a 14, 2 sizes smaller than the pattern recommends. I probably could have done a 12 and it would have been just a bit snugger without being too small.
While I'm not dieing over it, it is a cute top that I've worn a couple of times now. I may attempt it again with a drapier knit in the future.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Renfrew and Clovers

Looking very Americana in red, white, and blue! Here's another outfit inspired by my Spring/Summer 2012 project!
Pop question: didn't Jenny already sew a blue and white short sleeved tee this year? Yes! I blogged it here. I  washed and wore it so much that it lost it's shape a bit and got a few of those teeny snag holes that knits get. So I retired it and made a new one. I wanted to switch up the style this time so I went for Sewaholic's Renfrew. I used a blue and white striped knit, this time from Mood Fabrics. I spent $12 for the fabric. I love the weight and texture of the fabric. My only gripe is that the stripes were printed a bit off grain so my stripes don't line up perfectly. No matter- no one notices except for you- my fellow perfectionist sewists.
You all have probably sewn up the Renfrew several times over but, if you're tardy for the party like me, I'll tell you this sews up like a dream! I spent less than two hours sewing it up on a conventional machine. If you have a serger, I'm sure the time is cut in half. I love the neck, arm, and hem binding instead of the fold over hemming. It looks so much cleaner and gives it a really nice style. The v-neck is one of my favorite necklines. It is very flattering and was easy to sew. 
It fit like a dream. Now, if I went by my measurements I would be a 14 in the bust, 12 in the waist, and a 10 in the hips. I went with a straight 12 which is what I usually am in RTW and this was just fine. The only adjustment I made was to shorten the length by about 1 inch. Next time I might add a teeny smidge to the arm binding. It's a bit snug but not uncomfortably so. If you have plump upper arms like yours truly, then you might want to add a bit to the arm binding.
Overall, I love my new striped tee. I know I will be sewing up several more of these... this is such a great pattern for some good basic tees!
Next up is the Colette Clover. Again, you all have probably made several pairs for yourself already. This is another really nice pattern for a great basic pair of pants. They're actually a little more sexy than I usually go! My hubby called them "booty-licious"! These ankle pants were also inspired by my Spring/Summer 2012 project. In the photo, they are pictured in yellow. I first made them in red, and I already have a goldish/yellowish/greenish fabric to make another pair. I searched and searched the fabric lands over for the perfect stretch twill in red. I found this fabric on Harts Fabric. I spent about $22 for the fabric.
I made a muslin first. Now in all honesty, I don't usually do muslins. The first one was supposed to be a true pair of pants but because of the fit issues, I called it a muslin and moved on. I made a 12, based off of my measurements. I ended up needing a bit more room in the waist so added a quarter of an inch to the side seams. I shortened the length by about one inch. My red clovers ended up fitting perfectly!
This pant is very easy to sew and the instructions are geared toward the beginner seamstress which is great for someone wanting to try something new. One issue I had was that once I got them all sewn up and tried them on, my invisible zipper split beyond repair. Now these are a form fitting pant but I certainly wasn't busting out of them by any means. So I ripped the invisible zipper out and did a regular lapped zipper instead. Next time, I want to try to alter the pattern to do a front fly, with the assistance of tutorials provided by Sallieoh.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Seersucker Blazer

Hello, hello! It's been a few weeks. I've been getting in some great sewing time but haven't had the opportunity with my hubby fashion photographer for a photo shoot. Well your wait is over! I know you all have been waiting at the edge of your seats for my next project...
Introducing the blue and white seersucker blazer! This jacket was inspired by my Spring/Summer 2012 project. I saved the jackets and ankle pants for last because I knew I really wouldn't get  much wear out of them until more into Fall. Here in the Southwest it's still in the high 70's... still a little warm for jackets.
I used Simplicity 4698, an oldie but a goodie. This is a great pattern for a structured blazer jacket. You can make one with either a notch collar or no collar. It has princess seams and is partially lined. It has pocket and sleeve length variations. I sort of mixed views. I did the notch collar with 3/4 length sleeves and patch pockets.
I used a blue and white cotton seersucker from I used "china silk" to line it. Dont' let the name fool you- it's cheap polyester lining. I spent about $20 total.
The jacket sewed up smoothly. The instructions were great. I finished all the exposed seams with seam binding. If I make this again, I will probably fully line the jacket. The partial lining is kind of odd. I made a size 16 right out of the envelope and it fits great. The only change I made was to make the petite adjustments. I've never been one for shoulder pads but I almost think this jacket could use some. All of the pictures are without shoulder pads but I really think it could benefit from some added shaping.
What's not to love? I really, really like this jacket and I think it can be dressed up or down. Here, you see it paired with my Burda ruffle blouse. I think it would look great with a basic tee or with a pretty cami underneath like my floral cami top. It looks great with jeans and flats. I can also picture it with a white skirt, over a white dress, or with slacks. The possibilities are endless- which is the point of my Spring/Summer 2012 project! I've got so much wear out of all my looks so far. I'm planning out my Fall/Winter 2012 wardrobe. I have not found a ready-made wardrobe to rip off inspire me for the cooler months so I am actually conjuring up my own sewing plan.