Sunday, November 13, 2016

Four tops and a laptop ago...

Yes, it's me! I did disappear into a black hole in October due to various reasons. A big one was the Technology Meltdown (TM) at our house. It seems that one after the other, the lights started flickering out, beginning with my laptop! Getting back on track with new equipment is taking some time but I have enough for a blog post!

In early October, just prior to the TM, I made four tops using knitted fabrics. I was on a roll!

The first one is my first try at the Bento Tee from Liesl & Co.  I sewed up a simple version without the pockets just so I can try the sizing. The fabric is a cozy sweatshirt like organic cotton.  I like this! Next time though I will add a bit more length to the body and the sleeves. (Remember I'm 5'11" or 180cm.)
This next one is the Plantain tee by Deer and Doe. It is a free pattern to boot and has been sewn up and enjoyed by many worldwide.   The fabric is an Art Gallery cotton knit and has great body. I would like to try this pattern again but with a lighter knit with more drape. I will also add length to the bodice and sleeves. In this case it's not so much that the bodice is short; it's because the bodice has some flare away from the body and I think it would look nice longer, with more of a drape using a lighter knit fabric.
The third one here is the Lane Raglan by Hey June. This one is just about perfect for me and I want to make a couple more!  I used ARt Gallery cotton knit for the body, then some generic grey cotton knit for the sleeves. I bought a lot of the plain grey fabric so no doubt you will see it repeated in some other makes.
The previous three patterns were all first-time sewn ones and I am glad they turned out so well. My last one is my well tried Lark tee from Grainline Studio. I have made a couple of boatneck versions last year, and this time I decided to try the scoop neck. I did raise the neckline at center front about an inch. Otherwise no changes. Again, another Art Gallery cotton knit. I love this print! 
All four knit tops have been in heavy rotation the last few weeks. I lucked out on having "keepers" on this round.

Then my sewing halted. The TM, as mentioned above, happened. October was one of those record setting rainy months. The US pre- Election "shows" set a depressing mood. Followed, of course, by the stunning (shocking, more depressing, etc) results a few days ago. All in all, it's no wonder I had the blues!  Instead of sewing, I've been knitting away the blues. Wool yarn reminds me of cuddling with my cats. Knitting is a very meditative motion. So, clickety-clickety, there I sat quietly in the corner, listening to audiobooks.

In case you are wondering about whether I have any audiobooks to recommend. Here are a few:
The links are just to the books on Amazon so you can read the synopsis, they are not links to the audiobooks as I borrowed mine from the library.

As a knitter, I often read the blog from the Yarn Harlot. She did a post called "The Best Policy" and I found that she provided a  safe space for people on both sides of the US Elections results to express their views but in a civilized manner. It made interesting reading. I think now, more than ever, it is important to understand "the other side" and how "we" got to where we are. I'm a Canadian and of course not involved in this election, but the results effect all of us worldwide. That's all I am going to say on this topic; and... Peace, Love, Compassion. 

I will keep on knitting. I plan to do a post on knitting very soon as it's coming up to my one year anniversary of when I took my first class knitting (a hat). I can call myself a knitter now!  I hope to get back to sewing soon but no promises on that. However, I was enticed by this new dress pattern from Grainline Studio!

I would love to hear any book recommendations that you'd like to share! Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Summer sewing wrap-up

Hello! Since we are officially in Autumn, I am reminded to do a wrap-up of the last of my "summer sewing".

First up, my first Lottie top and another pair of Pants no.1.  The Lottie pattern by Christine Haynes is chock full of possibilities. Since this is my first try at the pattern, I decided to start simple by making the top.  The pattern is a Japanese seersucker I purchased from Miss Matatabi sometime ago. I seriously love the grid lines on this fabric!

The Lottie pattern is great. I love those gigantic pockets! I will definitely make it again!
The Pants no.1 pattern is from 100 Acts of Sewing and I've made in a couple of times already. The fabric I used is Tottorri Cross, a Japanese seersucker from Merchant & Mills
The two pieces make a great outfit together. 
Then we have my never ending love for the Lou Box Top pattern by Sew DIY.  The fabric I used is an Indian hand printed cotton purchased at Maiwa Handprints.  The brown culottes/wide pants (can't decide which) is something I mashed together, made in brown linen.
I was able to make one more top by taking the concept of using up your fabric scraps.  I love the big pockets!
So, a short and sweet blog post.  I've been spending time this week putting PDF patterns together and today can do some tracing. Hopefully I can get some sewing going soon.

Till next time (that's a wave).  Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Dressing up Lou x 2

Just a couple of days ago, we were in the middle of a heat wave (for our area it was a heat wave!) and I was longing for a summery dress that covered my shoulders more than a tank top dress would. Enter, the Lou Box Top pattern once again, ready for a little pattern hacking.

This pattern has been an unexpected and delightful hit this season for me and I love it to pieces! The first dress version used up 2 meters of Nani Iro fabric that I was saving for a long sleeve top. Well, I guess I couldn't wait.

Basically I used up all 2 meters of this fabric and I would've added a bit more length if I had more yardage.

For my second dress, it was a happy coincidence. I had purchased the last meter of the grey floral Nani Iro fabric on sale, and was pondering making one such dress but I could not find a plain fabric to complement the greenish-grey tinge of the fabric. Then just last week, I stumbled across this skirt that I had made last year (Nani Iro as well) but rarely worn so I decided to remove the waistband, add some in-seam pockets and attach it to the Lou Box top. I used some charcoal linen for the bias binding around the neckline. 

This last dress, fortunately is just past knee length and quite perfect for transitioning into Fall. I want to knit a little brownish-pink cardigan to wear with it!

I love both dresses! Since the skirt had a bit of an a-line to the shape, I ended up with a bit of a tulip shape to the dress which I love too.

If you want to try this yourself, it is super easy. The photo below shows the layout of the Lou Box top pattern pieces. Basically the pattern pieces come where you get changeable bottom sections of different hemline treatments. So, I simply  just use pattern pieces 1 and 2 for the top. Then I cut out lengths for the skirt to whatever length you want. For the blue dress I cut straight across the width of the fabric ( approximately 42") for the width of the skirt but you can make that narrower if you wish.  Then just gather the skirt pieces to the top pieces. You can add patch pockets, or in-seam pockets.

I hope you will get to try this pattern yourself. I simply adore it.I've made it up five times already. If I make two more, I can wear one every day of the week!

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate the comments as well as the emails asking about my makes. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Carson Dress

If you've been reading my blog or Instagram account, you will know that the silhouette of the Carson Dress is right up my alley. It was a recent release from Paddle Boat Studio.

My first make was to try out the sizing, for which I chose XL.  I used a couple of pieces of linen that I had around to make up the dress.
The XL, I decided, was too big so for my next one, I decided to make the bodice between size L and XL. Actually I needn't bother. I should be size L all the way and it fits me much better in the shoulders too. 

I decided to do the long sleeves for this next one, while losing those pockets and making simple in-seam ones as that was the best use of the limited  (Nani Iro) fabric I had.

I love this version. The length is good on me. Here's a silly face photo, just because I can! 
Final verdict? Love the dress! Will make another one sometime.

I can't believe I've made four posts in one day but I am so glad to cross them off my to-do list! Thanks for stopping by! Happy weekend to you!

Endless Summer Tunic

Have you a pattern or two that you've been putting off making because one of one thing or another? Well, for me, one of them was the Endless Summer Tunic by A Verb for Keeping Warm (AVFKW).  It doesn't look like a difficult dress, does it? It's just that the instructions are few and mostly written, and every time my eyes took them in, my brain just kinda...shuts down!

Fortunately for me, a little serendipity happened. I did tell myself to grow up and I did cut out my first version this month.  Then Creativebug announced that AVFKW just finished their video class for the Endless Summer Tunic. The timing was perfect. The class, by the way, is excellent!

The pattern sizing was a bit confusing for me to start with. They only state the finished measurement. My bust size is 40" so I decided to go for the 43" instead of the 41" since that would give me some room to make changes. (As it was, I didn't make any changes.)

See that smile? Yes I am pretty happy with the fit and how it looks. I may play around the bust sizing next time as it is a bit gape-y when I lift up my arms. But the plus size is I could layer it with a light tee shirt underneath.

Now, the fabric! It is a cotton chambray and hand-printed by the lovely and talented Marilla Walker. Marilla gifted this this fabric and I am so happy with how it worked out! Thanks again, Marilla!

Willow Tank and Pants No.1

I have been wanting to find a simple, elastic waist, cropped Pants (Trousers in the UK!) pattern and I have finally found it with the Pants No. 1 pattern by 100 Acts of Sewing. First off is my wearable muslin out of some old quilting cotton in my stash.
These are cropped pants on me and fit well. I call these my gardening pants. The pattern does not come with pockets. For this first version, for ease of fitting, I did not make in seam pockets. Instead I made patch pockets, much like cargo pockets, along  my leg which works way better for gardening purposes.  I made a size L and they are perfect for me.

Next up, is my first try at the Willow tank by Grainline Studio.  I love this tank but the darts were too low, which has been a common complaint among many people. The simple fix next time was to raise the darts about an inch. 
The result after making these two patterns once, was to make a two piece out of 2 meters of  (Hendy Blue) linen from Merchant and Mills

I look a bit miffed, don't I? That's probably because I was taking a lot of photos and a bit frustrated at times! Never mind, I have some more smiley pictures on the Carson dress post coming up. I do love this linen outfit and know I will get a lot of wear out of the two pieces.

Inari Crop Tee/Dress

Today I am playing catch up and will be creating a few posts about my recent makes. I thought it would be best if I group them by the pattern.  The first is the Inari Crop Tee/Dress pattern by Named. I have made it before here and here, but I am finally getting down and serious about the sizing!

The Cropped Tee is indeed cropped and too short for me. I have lengthened it by 4 inches (hem is 1.5 inches).  This was made at the beginning of July and I just love it. The fabric is from the Nani Iro S/S 2016  Collection. (Sorry no photo of me wearing it.)
Back in February I made the dress just to see if how the fit would be. I knew it would be short but it also fit the fabric I had on hand, an older quilting cotton in my stash. Back in February I'd wondered if I would ever wear it, it being very thin and short. Well, we are finally getting a stretch of warmer weather so I thought I would pop this on this morning, and I am still wearing it as I write this post. 

As others have attested to the love of the comfy feel of the Inari dress, I now know why! I just need to add a few inches for next time, and try to add some pockets, as some others have done. So, the changes for me for this pattern is mainly length and the sizing (44) worked well on my shoulders. Note that I used bias binding to finish my neckline and I think I widen the neckline just a smidge too to accommodate my big head!

By the way, I want to thank you for those who have left me comments on my posts. I don't always get to answer them but know I appreciate them! And welcome to new followers of my little blog!

Now, onto the next post!