Tuesday, May 27, 2008

There's nothing like a perfect fitting bodice for a sewing high

This weekend my brother and his future bride came to visit. We had scheduled a last fitting of her wedding dress and of course family time. We had a great time together as always but the best (at least for me) was trying on the dress.

I was apprehensive since this is the first time that I sew for someone other than my boys and husband, and it is a WEDDING DRESS. So...I carefully pin her into the bodice...and we both jumped for joy like silly girls! It fits perfectly, it shimmers and gives her a bridal glow...

So what did I do to obtain this perfect fit? On the last muslin fitting I corrected the back bodice for slight swayback by trimming half an inch in the center and blending into the side seam (Burda WOF has a tutorial on this), I raised the armholes by an inch at the side seam and tapered the addition towards the notches using my French curve(Threads has a great article on how to deal with bodice fitting) and finally I fitted the princess seams as an S-dart which Threads describes in Issue 107 The S-dart Advantage. In my case for the S-darts I fitted the muslin and then made sure my curves were smooth when I transferred the changes to the pattern.

In this pattern(New Look6723 view D) the bodice lining goes up to the edges. Because my lining (cotton batiste) does not match the color of the silk I understitched around the neckline and the armhole to make sure I would not get a sliver of lining peaking through. In the picture you can see the understitching aroung the armhole.

I hope to finish the dress this week and ship it to her next week. She'll be glad to have it and I'll be glad she does.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Burda WOF 2/2008 Knit top 123 view A

This top did not catch my attention when I first saw it, in part because the model was wearing it like it would not stay on your shoulders, but after I saw many reviews in PR I decided that it was really cute.

I used a very stretchy jersey from my stash. I think because it is so stretchy the shoulders pull down a bit(I made my usual 38 at the shoulders). I eased the waist band into the top with no problem but I did gather the sleeves (since the gathers don't go all around) before I sewed the sleeve band. I also added clear elastic to the neckline before I attached the band there. I finished the band hem on the inside by enclosing the seam allowances but instead of sewing it all by stitching in the ditch (which the instructions recommend) I sewed it by hand.

Here is a closer view. I really love this top. I got to wear it yesterday because we had beautiful weather here and received lots of compliments. Today we are back to raincoats...

And the beautiful necklace I'm wearing was designed and made by Trena. Go check out her shop at Trena B designs, it'll be a treat!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My trip to New Jersey

The view is two short city blocks away from my brother's place. Not far from his place (the next town) I lived with my family when I was going to high school. Walking along Boulevard East to look at the view was something we did often. On my last visit to fit my future SIL I did not get a chance to do my walk because the weather was awful. This time we didn't have the best light for photos but we enjoyed our walk.

The dress has been fitted and the bride is happy so now I will cut and put together the dress and I hope to have done in a couple of weeks. I will hold off showing you the final product until I get wedding pictures.

On Sunday we went to Fort Hanckock in Sandy Hook. What a great place for exploring. We walked on the beach,

explored a path that led to beautiful shrubs and a stream,

and we got to explore one of the officer's home. It was a beautiful, practical and well laid out house. The house was decorated in the World War II era which is when the fort was most active. One of the rooms was a sewing room and the caretaker was nice enough to let me step in the room to take pictures.

During this trip I also got to have dinner with some very good friends I don't get to see enough. Even though this is the first Mother's Day I did not spend with my sons and I missed them very much I had a great time.

I'm almost done with a knit top from Burda WOF...stay tuned.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Butterick 6582

I finally finished my dress for the wedding,I'm happy with the results, it was a simple dress to construct and gives a nice fit.

However let's talk about the fabric: silk taffeta. This fabric wrinkles if you look at it, remember Lady Diana's wedding dress? It was silk taffeta. It also water spots...thankfully when it has gotten wet due to unforeseen circumstances (the iron dripped) it quickly dried without leaving a stain. It is a wonderful color, I believe it is cross dyed, one way pink the other blue to give the purplish iridescent color.

I finally decided on making the bows and I like the way they look.

I just love the shoes!!!

I'll have more pictures later after the wedding.

Tomorrow I'm off to New Jersey to fit the bride, wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival happens on the first weekend of May every year. I usually go on Sunday because it is less crowded and therefore more enjoyable. This year I went on Saturday because it was the only chance I would have; it was crowded, lots of lines for everything (you should have seen the restroom line, you really had to plan ahead!), but I had a great time and the picture shows what I came home with.

The green is worsted weight Cascade Yarns wool, I just loved the color so I got enough for a cardigan. The very light blue/grey is lace weight for a scarf/shawl I have been wanting to make for a while. The purple is worsted weight wool from Brook Farms one of their semi-solids, it is a beautiful color for a vest.

I got to meet Jody, well I just introduced myself and left her be since she was very busy at the cash register of the Cloverhill Yarn booth.

As far as my knitting I'm still working on Juliett since I had to frog it because it was coming out too small...

Monday, May 05, 2008

Lemon Cake

Yesterday I baked a cake, instead of cleaning the house. But let me plead my case...My youngest and I were spending most of the day alone since my husband took the oldest on a canoe trip. So when your 10 year old says: "Mommy, let's make a cake, we haven't made a treat in a long time", what could I do? I dropped everything and made a cake.

The recipe is Paula's Lemon Cake and it came highly recommended by Adrienne. Hers looks more beautiful than mine, but it is as good as she says. Today I invited my mom for afternoon coffee and cake, and both of us with the boys enjoyed a delicious piece of cake.

Friday, May 02, 2008


You who are gardeners but suffer from allergies know what I mean when I say that I love spring, but it does not love me. I have to limit the time that I'm outside this time of year.

Yesterday I noticed that my lilies-of-the-valley were at their peak so I could not resist picking a bunch to bring inside and enjoy their fragrance. Lilies-of-the-valley are one of my favorite flowers (up there with hydrangeas and tulips). I wanted them in my wedding bouquet but they had stopped blooming by my wedding date and to import them was too pricey. Anyway, now I have them in my garden and can enjoy them every year.

It has been a funny year as far as blooming, tulips and lilacs did great, but my azaleas did not bloom and I only have one iris. I can always count on bleeding hearts, Jacob's ladder and lilies of the valley, they always do well.

I hope your garden is blooming!!