Saturday, December 31, 2011

Welcoming the New Year

The past week or so I have been going through my fabrics and remnants to put some order in the stash. Out of that came out one Christmas present for my mom, which I will show a picture of later, since I forgot to take one before giving it to her. I also found a couple of knit remnants big enough to make simple skirts out of this pattern, Christine Jonson's Base Wear Two 1025

Photo from

I have used this pattern before for the skirt and top before I started blogging.

I also traced two tops from different Burda Style issues

7/2010 112

9/2011 108

I lengthened 108 to turn it into a dress but because the cut on sleeve requires so much fabric I did not have enough in the knit I pulled out to cut it as a dress. I did make it as long as possible to wear it as a tunic. I will still make it as a dress I just have to have a different fabric.

I'm planning on a quiet day sewing interrupted by family time =). We will wait for the New Year watching Avatar in our new blue-ray dvd player with sparkling wine for the boys and a good bottle of wine for DH and me.

Happy New Year to all my wonderful readers! Feliz Ano Nuevo para todos!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Feliz Navidad!

Merry Christmas!  Feliz Navidad!

Today after having lunch (leftovers from last night) my husband and I took our Clio for a walk in one of our beautiful county parks. We were forced to take a different path than usual because the park was officially closed, even though us hardcore hikers parked farther out and found a new path that it turned out super enjoyable; we are planning on coming back to take this new way in the future. Don't you love it when a little twist on your road allows you to discover something new and wonderful?

Here is hoping that whatever twists life throws your way will help you discover an unexpected and enjoyable path!

And because I don't like photo-less posts here is a picture of a Danish style ornament I made years ago following instructions from a Martha Stewart show. I still love them and put them on my tree every year. You can see one hanging near my head on the first picture of the previous post.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Burda 7428

The fabric I had picked for this jacket was soft and almost sweater like but I didn't have enough so back in the bin it went and I pulled this loose weave wool instead. The fabric was bought at PA fabric warehouse, back when we were lucky enough to have one in our area.
Buttons also found in my collection.

The fabric came with a tag " Cecchi made in Italy" so I looked it up. Anywho I wanted to show you the cool weave design.

This pattern does not include a lining but because I interfaced the whole jacket for more body I included a lining. The lining fabric came from my stash, I think this one is actually from my mom's stash :-) I forgot to modify the construction of the sleeve bands to attach the lining so I ended up attaching the lining by hand there. After wearing it yesterday I tacked the lining a few more places along the sleeve to prevent too much peek-a-boo; as you can see in the pictures it was bubbling out of the sleeves a bit.

This is an easy jacket to construct as you can see not much fitting went on and it doesn't get easier than cut on sleeves.

If I were to make view B I would downsize the pattern and give it a little more shape at the side seams. While I like it, I do recognize that it is pretty shapeless as is.

I'm deciding what to sew next, I think I'll make pants, it has been a while since I have sewn any. They will be Burda since their patterns fit so well.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Paco's half circle skirt and Vogue 1261

Photo from In Style Magazine
After finishing Paco's gorgeous skirt I wanted a new top to go with it. I had saved this picture from a In Style magazine and I decided I would replicate the look.

Paco Peralta half circle skirt Pattern Review

Isn't it gorgeous?


Working with Paco's patterns makes you feel very special. Paco hand draws every single one and clearly marks all pertinent information, both in Spanish and English. This pattern is drawn whole for single layer cutting, as you can imagine you need a very large surface to cut out the maxi! Once you see the shaping of this pattern you know you will get one fantastic looking skirt.

I cut the skirt before I started working full time on Peter Pan so it has been a while, but I believe I traced the medium and added a bit extra, since my measurements fell between these two sizes.

I used a rayon lycra jersey with a wonderful weight. Because of the weight I made sure that I stabilized the waistline with Seams Great (which gives you stability with a bit of stretch) The waistband I interfaced with weft interfacing. I let the skirt hang overnight but there was no additional stretching so I felt confident inserting the zipper and finishing the waistband once I had a good fit. I referred to Paco's tutorial for the zipper placement into the waistband. I added a lining, a tricot that I hoped would smooth everything out, and it does!

I love my skirt! I could have one in every color! I am planning many more outfits with this skirt, I hope to share them with you as I wear them.

Vogue 1261

I bought this pretty lacy sweatery knit from Gorgeous Fabrics without a plan, I just liked it, and then I knew it would be perfect to replicate the above In Style inspiration.

I had two other patterns with raglan sleeves, Burda which had the ease I was looking for since my knit is not super stretchy but I did not want a cowl and without it the neckline was too high. The other pattern (from Burda Stle magazine) had a boat neckline and very tight fitting, two style features I did not want. I did try to modify the Burda envelope pattern but got myself all confused with matching the seams at the neckline so I gave it up. Then Vogue patterns went on sale online and I found the perfect pattern with raglan sleeves and the pretty round neckline I wanted!

As you can see I did not make the uneven hemline, not that I don't like it but I just wanted a simple hem for this version. I removed some of the flare at the hem and I cut the back on the fold since I did not want to cut up my knit's cable design.

The instructions have you leave raw edges, this is not the kind of fabric for those finishes so all my hems are finished, including the neckline binding.

Looking at the pictures I'm considering taking in the side seams of the tunic for a slightly more fitted look...I'll keep you posted.

And a last picture wearing the coat I made since I left the nurse at my son's school speechless when I told her I had made it after she complemented it.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Winterizing a summer frock

I had planned on wearing this dress (Burda 5/2010 105) with a green tee in the same shade in the print, and blue tights (which I did wear). However when I put on the tee with the dress the neckline pairing did not work (don't you hate it when that happens?)and instead I pulled this lightweight black sweater whose low scooped neckline worked with the dress'. I also own purple Mary Janes that I can wear with this dress and I will get yet another look.

I hope to have something new to show in the next post!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Time to move slower

So the whirlwind that was the Peter Pan project, the family visits preparation and crazy work (Parent/Teacher conferences) has ended.

The Peter Pan performances were a success, the kids really came through and every night they were better than the night before. The flying looked fantastic and so did the sword fights. I saw every performance except one, when I baby-sat my adorable nephew so that my brother and SIL could see the play. I was on hand to fix wardrobe malfunctions and help find "lost" stuff, "my boots! I can't find my boots!", "where is my dagger?"...

And you know what? I was listed as "Seamstress"! And given "special thanks" for my "sewing expertise"! How cool is that?
Here is Peter trying to strike Tootles (aka my son) for shooting Wendy. I made all the leaf print covers in this set and of course Peter's tunic.

When I had some time this past week, well yesterday, I found a pattern I had prepared the fabric for but the weather changed so it had been put away. I did my usual alterations to it and I hope to cut it out today.  Today the sewing room will be available again so I will first sew Paco's skirt.

Here is the pattern

I'm making view B.

Yes there will be fashion sewing coming soon!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Peter Pan is coming!

So tomorrow is opening night for the fall play and I couldn't be more excited. On Tuesday I got to sit in the audience with the director/theater teacher and a couple of other parent volunteers while they ran the whole show for the first time. There were "oops" moments but all in all not bad. Amazing all that goes in these productions!

The set looks wonderful and I'm so proud of what I accomplished. The last bit I did was to add valances to the Darling children headboards using a piece of lace leftover from curtains that used to hang on my living room window. My husband is part of the "flight crew" and he is having fun making the kids fly.


News from the sewing room. Before I started sewing for the theater I cut out this gorgeous skirt by Paco Peralta

I used a rayon knit in a yummy chocolate brown. I won't get any sewing done until after Thanksgiving since I'm having company for the next couple of weeks and the sewing room will become a guest room.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Sewing for theater

I'm still very much involved sewing for Peter Pan at my son's high school. Here is the tunic Peter will wear. It looks great on with leather boots and belt and sword. It also looks fantastic when Peter flies, the leaves fluttering along!
I picked up leaves from my backyard and made the templates and cut the shapes out of three different color synthetic suede and attached them to the faux leather tunic (pattern from a Simplicity costume, I think a Roman tunic?). Peter's mom (one of the directors and a professional actress) and I ripped the hem and the sleeves. They don't want to do a "Disney production" so costumes and props are earthy and old looking.

The closure looks a bit wonky, it is velcro and it's not closed properly =)

I am now working on the covers for the props that turn the nursery into Never Never Land. It is going to be a wonderful show!!

Monday, November 07, 2011

The swing cardigan

I finished knitting this cardigan (Bergere de France Swing Cardigan) in the spring so I put it away to be sewn until the fall, therefore it is now making its appearance.

I like it but I was disappointed with the sleeves I thought they would be more bell like. I really couldn't make many changes to this because I was very limited by the amount of yarn I had. As it was I had to send away for an extra skein, after having paid quite a price for this kit; I found I didn't have enough yarn to finish the collar. It is simple to knit, the designs on the sleeves are purl stitches that you incorporate following a chart.

Here is the project page in Ravelry

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Butterick 4080 and what I'm knitting

I hope this is the last apron I show you for a while! =). This apron had the big ruffles on the shoulder straps that the Peter Pan director (drama teacher) had requested. I changed the pockets to make them practical, since Nana (the nanny/dog) carries stuff around and she needed a place to put it. The pocket tops are finished with purchased bias binding.

The fabric I used for the ruffles and ties was lightweight so I doubled the ruffles and I used a stiff netting sandwiched between the layers to make the ruffles to "perk up".

how shoulder straps attach to waistband  

I have a number of knitting projects all on the finishing stage. Since I can't have some knitting when watching tv and I am bored with the Missoni scarf currently in progress, I started a new project. It is a dress from Phildar in a yummy merino wool yarn.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Victorian Apron

Butterick 5509

Yesterday I delivered the apron and the two caps for the play. They were very happy with them.

The eyelet fabric and ruffle were in my stash, I bought a bit of bleached muslin to use as lining and interfacing since I did not want to use fuseable interfacing on the eyelet. I also used muslin for the collar because I ran out of eyelet.

I used the border as the hem.

This is a good pattern if you need a Victorian era apron =)

The caps are from Butterick 3071

I spent yesterday afternoon going around with one of the assistant directors looking for props for the show. We were amazed at the generosity of our local businesses!, where we didn't get a discount it was because the items we needed were donated or given on loan. I have my van packed with stuff that I will deliver this morning to the school where once again we are gathering to put the set together.

Have a wonderful weekend and as always happy sewing!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Aprons and caps, oh boy!

So I have managed to cut and interface all the pieces for these two patterns.

I am making the one in the middle and it will be worn by the maid in Peter Pan.

The teacher/director wanted an apron with ruffles on the shoulders for Nana (the nanny/dog)so I'm making a large size and I hope it will fit around the dog outfit the student will be wearing.

I dug into my stash of white fabrics and I also purchased some bleached muslin. I made the caps which are from Butterick 3071 which I made a few years ago.

I have Paco's maxi skirt cut and waiting to be sewn but it has to wait =( . After I'm done with the aprons I will tackle the Peter Pan tunic, and by then I will be helping with the fabric to cover the stage props.

I'm trying to keep up with the blog reading, forgive me if I'm not leaving as many comments as I usually do!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Burda Style 5/2010 Knit dress 105

This dress has been reviewed many times, it is a very easy to make pattern and very easy to wear. Since my fabric, a rayon knit is lightweight I added a lining to the skirt.

As you can see this is a very large print and I tried to space out the flower centers as well as I could, considering that I had very little fabric to play around with (note to self, when buying large prints always get a little more!)

I wanted to show you this dress when I had some time to take pictures, so this was a quick session (no accessories and flip flops =0 !) I will not be sewing for me in the next couple of weeks since I'm rather involved making costumes for my oldest son theater production of Peter Pan. He is playing one of the Lost Boys and he is super excited to be on stage for the first time since his involvement before had been as part of the tech crew. So far it has been lots of fun! I will share what I end up making with you.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

A baby quilt

Today I mailed the package with this quilt which is going to good friends' baby girl born the weekend of Irene (so glad she didn't get named after the storm!). Like I said before I thought it would have gone faster but I got a little fancy with the quilting, really it was more that you had to maneuver the quilt all around the needle to make the rectangles inside the blocks. I love how it turned out and I hope they enjoy the bright cheery colors I picked for them!

I have been wanting to make a modern backing and I thought this design went well with the quilt top, just pieced left overs from the top and used a pretty Kona solid. The binding is a Kaffe Fassett print that I found at a local shop.

Here is the tutorial I used for the quilt top.

Next up the Burda dress. I'm feeling much better and I am ready to sew again!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Where did September go?

So much for September being (at least in the US) Sewing Month! Things have been slow around here, as far as sewing.

On Friday I managed to cut the Burda dress above. The temperatures around my area have gone up again so I decided to go ahead and make a sleeveless dress.

I have been trying to finish a quilt which is a gift for a newborn baby. I decided to quilt inside the rectangles and while I like how it is turning out it is taking longer to finish than I thought. Of course it doesn't help that I have been having a flare up with the back/leg pain; it's time to have some diagnostics tests done.

Stay well and happy sewing!