Wednesday, June 16, 2010

June cardigan and tank top

 I made a cardigan in that I made in June. It is based on a cardigan from . The original cardigan is made from a crinkled linen fabric. Since I was working with a knit, I decided to try it. I drafted a zipper front cardigan pattern from PMB. I cut a strip of fabric 5 inches wide along the length of the fabric. I sewed a casing along both sides of the fabric. Next I made a drawstrip and eased it thru both sides of the overlay. I cut off the drawstring closest to the body of the cardigan. I layed the gathered strip along the sides and back of the cardigan and topstitched them together. It is heavy so it will not be worn until the weather gets cool.

I worked on a tank top based on a top from the June 2010 Burda mag. I drafted a one shoulder top. I cut a 10 wide strip of knit and finished the side seams. I gathered the fabric down to a 4 inch wide which I attached to the front and back. The next time, I will cut the strip a little shorter so that it is under some tension. The strip on the current top is a little loose.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

It's Sewing time

The plans for this weekend including finishing two dresses and trying a new design for a top. WIP -

This is the inspiration for the top on the sewing table. It is a Eileen Fischer top.  I'm adding cap sleeves and princess seams. The first version looked promising so I am going to cut a second front so I can add more fullness across the gathers. The front was gathered zigzagging across elastic thread. I'm using a black rayon knit which is great to work with but hates heat. I think that I added a facing to the center panel to counteract the weight of the knit. I used a binding for the rest of the neckline.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Our new girl

A month ago, God gave us a new addition to the family. Her nickname is Nia. She was born on May 4th, weight 6 lbs, 14 ozs. Her dad is our son. She is our first grandchild. She is the first girl on my side of the family. DH's family, she is the first great-grandchild. So we consider her very special. We waited a long time for a girl.

Nia and her grandparents,she is about 3 hours old. She had just had her first bath. For me it was love at first sight.
We are just blessed and grateful that she is healthy. God is good. She is a good baby.

Friday, June 4, 2010


This is a long post but I want to write down where I'm at with my pants pattern as a reference for future pants. I'm working on tweaking a couple of pants patterns for a better fit. I drafted one pattern from PMB. I've been working on this pattern for a long, long time and it is close to being a TNT. The only thing that this pattern needs is a full abdomen adjustment. Most fitting books recommend that you add extra fabric to the sides of the waist but I don't need the extra fabric on the sides. I need it across the front center of the pants for sitting room.

I found the right adjustment by looking at a bunch of different fitting books. Then I watched a video at Power Sewing. It showed adding the extra width along the front center of the pattern. This video alone made the fees worth while. I have struggling to get this part of the pattern right. I'm going to change it a little bit by adding the extra fabric with short darts and easing a small amount of fabric across the front.

The second pattern is Louise Cutting One Seams

I made four changes to the original pattern.
  1. I added 3.5" in length. I added the extra length in two places.
  2. I copied the back crotch extension from my PMB pattern and added it to the LC back pattern piece.
  3. Of course I had to add some extra width to the pattern.
  4. I raised the back pattern height by .75" to prevent the pants from dipping down in the back.
The pattern and her directions are awesome. The pants go together like a dream. When I get this pattern right, it will take less than 3 hours from cutting out the pattern to hemming the pants. The first pair turned out so well that I finished them. I made a second pair from a light gray silk/bamboo fabric from A Fabric Place. This fabric was a dream to work with except for the raveling.  This fabric is so soft. I took out some width  with the second pair of pants. The only change in construction that I made was to serger finish the top and bottom of the pattern pieces while they were still flat fabric pieces.

I like both pairs of pants. There is a little bit too much fabric across the front and sides of the pants but they are wearable. I going to retrace the original pattern. Make all of the changes except use less width. I'm going to use the same front adjustment on this pattern. I might reduce the back crotch extension  by .25"

My goal is to end up with two patterns for pants that can work with different fabrics. The PMB pattern will be used for mediumweight or stiffer fabrics. The One Seams will be used for fabrics that are soft. I'm so close to the pattern that I want.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I just returned to work after a 5 day staycation. I was tired and overworked. Stress level way too high, so it was time to take off.

I enjoyed 5 days of hanging around the house w/o any set plans. Time off was relaxing and I finally had time to think. I need more work/life balance. Things are out of balance and I feel it. I realized that I had not enjoy sewing most of the winter. Too many things didn't turn out and I got frustrated. I spent too much time trying new things and playing with getting a better fit. I lost the enjoyment of sewing and my mojo along the way.

I feel like I need to start over with the way that I approach sewing including this blog. I deleted almost all of my posts and will probably delete the rest of them except for the post about the snow. I need a fresh start.

My summer wardrobe is pretty bare. I need a whole new wardrobe. My plan is the 3 S's:

Sew Realistic - Sew for the life that I have. As much as I love skirts - pants are easier for work. Save the skirts and dresses for the weekend.

Sew Simple - I need simple garments because I need a lot of clothes.

Shop the stash - I think that I have all the fabric that I need for now. I've gotten better at not buying every fabric that I want. I love buying fabric. I say no a lot more now. I'm going to try to only buy fabric that sings to me. I can't promise that I would stick to a fabric diet because it would be broken in no time. Fabricmart does me in all the time.

This post may be the re-start of my blog or I may delete it in time. Who knows?