RSS Feed

Tag Archives: sewalong

Fall Sewing Plans

Since school started my days have been a blur of non-sewing activity. The youngest is playing both JV and Varsity football and my college alma mater is also in full swing which has not left me much time to post or sew! After a couple of weeks away from my machines I’m starting to have withdrawals so even though I won’t have a chance to sew much until the weekend, I have spent the last several lunch hours plotting my fall sewing.

First up is the Fall for Cotton challenge being hosted by Rochelle and Tasha. Both ladies are geniuses at taking quilting cottons or novelty fabrics and turning them into wardrobes of art! While I aspire to someday reach that pinnacle, this month I am more interested in using the fabric I bought initially for the Sew Weekly Reunion before the By Hand London Anna pattern swept me off my feet. The pattern was one I received during the Patterns and Notions Swap from Amanda and fits my style perfectly. The pattern Amanda sent me also included a knitted jacket that I have almost completed. I have about 20 rows and then this jacket will be off the needles!

Green/Black Cotton 2013

Green/Black Cotton 2013

Mail Order 9387 Size 22.5

Mail Order 9387 Size 22.5

Though I have already completed my first Anna, the gals at By Hand London are hosting a sewalong so I plan to stitch up another during the next few weeks. The pattern is pretty straightforward but I can always use a few tips on the finer art of finishing so I plan to take advantage of the tutorials being offered.  This time I may use a more structured fabric similar to Lauren’s seersucker version using some blue geometric Ralph Lauren fabric I picked up in Harrisonburg, VA during our trip to Gettysburg this spring.

Blue Geometric 2013

Blue Geometric 2013

Last but certainly not least is Sarah’s Fall Essentials Sew Along 2013. I plan to utilize the corduroy and suiting material in my stash to add some basics to my wardrobe.

Blue Corduroy 2013

Blue Corduroy 2013

Rose Suiting 2013

Rose Suiting 2013

There are several new patterns coming out in the next two weeks and many are definitely going to be on my must sew list for the fall. My current pattern wish list includes:

Are you taking part in any of this month’s challenges and if so what patterns are you planning to use?

The “Pantone Anna” Dress

Pantone Anna 3

The Facts

Fabric: Silky 100% polyester something or other from the clearance bin at Hancock’s $8

Notions: None!

Pantone Challenge colors: Acai, Carafe, Linden Green, Deep Lichen Green, & Turbulence

Pattern: By Hand London Anna $23

Year: 2013

Time to complete: 4 hours (including unpicking the zipper twice!)

First worn: For these photos

Wear again? Absolutely

Total Cost: $31

This is my submission for the Sew Weekly Reunion Pantone Challenge. When the theme was announced I realized I didn’t have anything in my stash that would suit so I decided to check out Hancock’s clearance sale to see if I could come up with something. I immediately snatched up this fabric for $2.47 a yard! Sew Busy Lizzy posted several versions of the By Hand London Anna dress so I jumped on the bandwagon and ordered the pattern from We Sew Retro to cut down on shipping costs.

The Anna dress is deceptively easy to sew. I had to grade up the pieces to fit my hips and make the arm openings about an inch longer but other than that the pattern went together well. Anna does call for an invisible zip but after a couple of tries I wasn’t happy with how it looked (more sewer than pattern!) so I simply stitched up the back and called it a day. I think the main reason my dress didn’t require a zip is because I am extremely pear shaped so it was very easy to get over my head.

Though the fabric colors fit perfectly with the challenge, I don’t usually work with such slippery fabric and it was a P-A-I-N to sew. The fabric also raveled like crazy so I had to serge everything just to get the dress together. I am not completely satisfied with the seams along the waistband so next time I will try my hand at french seaming to see if the look is more streamlined.

Overall though I think the dress is very flattering and I especially love the bodice. The pleats work perfectly to accentuate a smaller waist while giving you enough room in the bust. I already have the fabric for two more Anna dresses and may even try the maxi length with the thigh high split like Heather Lou’s fabulous version! Have you tried this pattern yet? If so, how did you like it? If not, what are you waiting for???

Pantone Anna 4

 

Bombshell Swimsuit Pattern Review

Posted on

I finally finished my bombshell swimsuit and must say I am truly happy with the result. Heather Lou of Closet Case Files not only designed a sexy suit, but also made it modest enough to wear around family. Heather Lou hosted a sewalong which certainly helped as I am a visual learner and some of the techniques were new for me.

Bombshell Front View

The pattern is only offered as a .pdf  but the assembly was quick and relatively painless. The pattern has three variations: halter, maillot and high waist bikini. I made the halter version but will definitely try the maillot next.

Bombshell Side View

Things I liked about this pattern:

  1. Sexy look without having too much skin showing
  2. Flattering fit through the waist and booty
  3. Sewalong  provided tons of visual instructions

Things I would have preferred about this pattern:

  1. Larger sizes (though Heather Lou was kind enough to provide personal instructions for grading up to my size)
  2. Paper pattern option (though I understand the .pdf kept the cost down)

New Techniques I learned:

  1. Installing Lining (can you believe this was the first time I had lined anything????)
  2. Ruching
  3. Sewing with Lycra/Spandex materialBombshell Back View

Final thoughts on this pattern…if you have never tried to sew a swimsuit you should definitely start with the Bombshell. Not only was it remarkably easier to sew than I would have imagined, the suit is comfortable and flattering!

Hummingbird Sewalong Wrap Up and Pattern Review

Posted on

The Sewing Cake Hummingbird Sewalong ends tonight so I finally got around to taking photos of my completed skirts. The Hummingbird was the first time I used a Sewing Cake pattern and I really liked it.  Steph’s patterns are not traditional but I really like her approach to garment sewing. The pattern is printed on thick waxy paper and intended to be traced instead of cut out. This method allows multiple sizes to be sewn over time without damaging the pattern.

Denim Hbird Front

 

I made one skirt in 7oz denim and another in red cotton twill. Both were part of the sewalong, so I cut and stitched them at the same time. The pattern allows for a high level of customization while tracing and cutting the pattern which was super helpful. Since there is a nearly 12 inch differential between my waist and hips, skirts usually require a ton of fitting which always bogs down my sewing mojo and leads to many half finished garments. This was not the case with the Hummingbird pattern. There is a “mid-construction” fit check to allow for some tweaking but I found that other than deeper waist darts in the back, there were no modifications required.

Red Hbird Front

 

Things I need to work on from a sewing/experience perspective for the next time are:

  1. Back dart apex on the red skirt does NOT lay flat. Steph had a good tutorial on the sewing cake website that I used for the denim skirt with no issuesRed Hbird Back
  2. Peg the side seams so they are not as “flowy” at the bottom. Since my booty protrudes, I think the skirt would look better a bit tighter at the kneeDenim Hbird Back
  3. Do a better job lining up the waistbands. I didn’t take a photo of this but had to realign the waistband at the zipper multiple times to get it right!

Now it’s time to finish my Bombshell Swimsuit designed by Heather Lou before July 4th!

Cake Patterns Hummingbird Peplum Top

I finally finished my Hummingbird peplum top two days late which is pretty good for me! This was the first time I had used a Cake pattern but it won’t be my last. I truly love the way Steph has developed the patterns…sheer genius!!!

Hbird Peplum Top

The patterns are printed on a thick coated paper which makes them easy to fold and the printing is color coded and clear. I purchased some tracing paper from Amazon and used that instead of cutting my pattern. Due to the large range of sizes and quality of the pattern, I should be able to make multiple garments over an extended period of time by simply tracing.

Hbird Pattern

I used my  late 1960s/early 1970s Kenmore with no problems. This machine does not have dozens of fancy stitches or the specific lightning bolt stitch Steph recommends but after reading the manual, I did find the stretch stitch which is used when sewing knits and had no issues. I also finished the seams with my serger for a sturdier garment.

Hbird Sewalong Stitches

The only issue I encountered while sewing this top was due to inexperience and not the pattern. I initially sewed the peplum with the notches in the wrong spot which made the peplum hang awkwardly. After spending a good half hour trying to rip the seams, I finally took my rotary cutter and sliced right along the seam and started over. The second attempt looks much better!

Hbird 2nd Attempt

The rest of the sewalong is devoted to the Hummingbird skirt which I am making in both red cotton twill and a 7oz denim. Hope to finish them both by Thursday so the garments will count as part of the Anna’s House total.

Cake Patterns Hummingbird Sewalong

As if I didn’t already have a lot going on, I have joined StephC’s Hummingbird 30 Minutes a Day Sewalong. It starts today and will run for the next two weeks. The patterns were shipped in colored envelopes and the color indicates which “House” you are in. The houses are named after specific types of hummingbirds and I am in the pink Anna house. To make it more fun, there is a contest to see which house produces and photographs the most garments. The winning house gets a $10 gift certificate to spend at Cake Patterns. I plan to do my part to insure the Anna house wins!


SewingCake

The first week is devoted to the peplum top, green view. I plan to make one top using this knit I bought from Fabric.com:

HBird Top

The second week is devoted to the straight skirt, orange view. I plan to make two versions of this skirt using fabrics I bought at Joann:

HBird Skirts

This is my first foray into Cake Patterns but based on the reviews it won’t be my last. In fact I already have StephC’s new Cabarita RIFF pattern and I will be trying that out over my July 4th vacation. I also have the Tiramisu dress and Bonny top patterns on order so I fully expect my summer to be filled with sewing Cake Patterns!

Bombshell Swimsuit Sewalong

I never thought I would be writing these words for all the internet to see but I am going to sew and show a swimsuit! Heather Lou from Closet Case Files is hosting a sewalong using her new Bombshell Swimsuit pattern. The sewalong starts tomorrow and runs for two weeks. There are three variations to the pattern and I plan to make the gathered bust version. My goal is to have a swimsuit that fits wonderfully and provides sexiness without showing too much skin.

Bombshell Sewalong

As a nod to the women such as Esther Williams and Marilyn Monroe that inspired the pattern, I have chosen a gold and black metallic fabric. The fabric shines and looks wet which reminds me of the glamorous studio shots from the 1950’s. Heather Lou claims to feel completely at ease in the suit and she looks great. Hopefully my  figure will fill out the suit as it is intended!

100_1268

The Simple Day

My quest for a transformed life

Sewing Pies

handmade couture

Sewcialists

If you use social media to chat about your sewing, then you're a #sewcialist. Sewing + Social = Sewcialist

Lisa Moorefield

a little scrapbooking

Tumbleweeds In The Wind

Vintage style for a modern world

Tilly and the Buttons

Vintage style for a modern world

Sew Hopeful

Vintage style for a modern world

Handmade Jane

Vintage style for a modern world

The Monthly Stitch

Come sew with us...

Sew Busy Lizzy

she sews by the seashore...

Modern Vintage Cupcakes

new things, old things, and cupcakes too

The Sew Weekly Reunion

because we missed it...

The Seeds of 3

Sewing, Gardening, and Homeschooling Adventures

Did You Make That?

A sewing and knitting blog

Purls and Pleats

A Sewing and Sometimes Knitting Blog

3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

Design Inspiration, Sustainability, Sewing, Style & Cake

A Stitching Odyssey

Vintage style for a modern world

Casey's Elegant Musings

...tiny bits of inspiration

Posie Gets Cozy

Vintage style for a modern world