Happy New Year/RTW Fast 2014!

I have been very lax in updating my blog, but I will now have incentive to post more often. I have signed up for Sarah from Goodbye Valentino’s RTW Fast. That means no purchasing of any ready to wear clothing (except undergarments and shoes) through December 31, 2014!

I was tempted to sign up last year, but I needed to update some jeans and coats, both out of the realm of my sewing abilities at this point. I am out of excuses for not participating so I look forward to pushing myself to use new patterns and reducing my sizable fabric stash.

Hope you have a happy, healthy new year and stay tuned for more sewing…

Use It Up

Last weekend I started gathering up my quilting supplies. I could not believe the number of half-finished and never-started projects I owned. Then I got to inventorying the countless pre-cut fabric packs purchased with the best of intentions and decided it was time to start producing some finished items.

1st Project – Drunkard’s Path Tabletop Quilt

quilt

Quilt Close Up

quilt closeup

This project was aided by my Accuquilt for cutting and the Curvemaster foot for my piecing. The best part of the Accuquilt is that you can quickly cut an abundance of curved or intricate shapes in very little time. The worst part is that it’s easy to end up with a lot of UFOs (UnFinished Objects) as a result. The Curvemaster is the only way I will piece curved shapes. I think it cost about $20 a couple years ago and it really makes piecing curves tolerable.

Next projects were a bunch of quilted coasters. I stuck these on my etsy shop last weekend, but I will be happy to give them as gifts if they don’t sell. This is a quick project and I think a very cute result.

ab1

All wrapped up for gifting.

All wrapped up for gifting.

And some final sets:

Coaster 1nest 1

I have told Kate, who has recently started sewing with me, the goal is to sew all of the existing fabric during the academic year. She has not accepted this challenge as of yet, but I continue to plug away.

Last Minute Request

My oldest daughter has done quite a bit of traveling this summer. Her final trip before heading off to college was a youth retreat with her church to Florida. In the evenings, the girls all dress up for services and Shannon requested a red Butterick 5639 in view B. I had a week to sew the dress but only 48 hours to get the fitting in during a brief stop at home between her travels (and my work).

red dress front

Shannon is tricky to fit because she is petite yet her chest size usually puts her in a larger size than the rest of her. The last dress I made was a 14 which should have been her size according to the size chart, but it ended up way too large in the bust area. Since she is normally about a 6 or 8 in ready to wear, I decided to go down to a 12 this time and the fit was definitely closer without major adjustments. Luckily the straps are not fitted till the end and I took in quite a bit in the length of the straps for it to fit her comfortably.

Shannon loved the dress and I’m happy I got one to sew for her one more time before she is off on the next chapter of her life. I still plan to harasss her with trips to Joann’s on every holiday visit home, though.

red dress back

Catch Up

I have been extremely prolific in my sewing lately but not so good with the blogging. I will hopefully update some of these with modeled pictures later and I have a whole bunch of other things that I plan to do proper reviews of, too.

But for the time being:

pendrell

The Sewaholic Pendrell blouse. I loved this on the dressform, but the sleeves were way too much so I ended up converting this to sleeveless. Maybe if a fabric with more drape and less body was used the sleeves wouldn’t make so much of a statement. The Pendrell definitely felt costumey as it was pre-alteration.

Next up is the Papercut Patterns Coppelia cardigan and a tank dress from the big 4 (will update with pattern #).

cardi

The Coppelia is a fun cardigan to make. It is more cropped and fitted than I would usually wear, although I like the look of it with a sleeveless dress. I will definitely be making a few more of these. The dress was quick and easy and I’ve had that Paris fabric forever. I am happy to finally put it to use.

And my favorite of my recent projects:

grad1

For my daughter’s graduation, I made The Lisette Diplomat dress from Simplicity. This was a breeze to make. The biggest challenge was trying to match the patterns where the seaming meets in the center front. I think I’ll go with a solid fabric next time to show off the top stitching.

Completed: Cordova Jacket

cord front
I instantly loved this pattern when Tasia from Sewaholic released it last year. I held off purchasing it because I have not had much luck in the past with making jackets that fit. One of my sewing resolutions this year was to complete a jacket so I bit the bullet with the Cordova.

cord 1

cord back

After reading a couple reviews on Pattern Review, the general consensus was that the pattern runs big and to size down. I trusted their opinions and cut a 10 instead of my usual Sewaholic 12. Then I panicked while tissue fitting. I felt like my arms would end up straitjacketed if I went with a true 10 so I decided to use a 1/4″ seam in the shoulders and top of the sleeves.

I am kicking myself for the fabric I used. I was reading everyone’s reviews but the pattern creator’s. Tasia had made a sample out of an almost identical linen fabric and noted that it wasn’t the most flattering color. Unfortunately, I kind of agree. Since I am pretty pale a good chunk of the year, a darker color would have served me better. I also am not sure if the shoulder poofiness is something I can pull off. I’m good with the peplum style, though.

cord lining 2
cord lining

Overall, I’m pleased to report that the jacket came together pretty easily and looks how it is supposed to look (always a bonus). I probably could have gotten by with the 5/8″ seam and the fit could be better through the shoulders. I’m not going to focus on the negatives with this project. I made a jacket…a lined jacket…and I’m fairly proud of my efforts.

New Favorite

I have had great success with Jalie patterns over the years. With zero alterations, their patterns always fit me perfectly right out of the envelope. I was very excited to see their new releases and loved the Drop Pocket Cardigan 3248.

The pattern instructions are confusing to envision, but if you try not to overthink it and just follow, it’s fine. Plan on using a lot of fabric (this took about 2.5 yds).

jalie cardi 1

Love this cardigan!! I made this version out of a drapey purple jersey and have plans for a whole rainbow more. These are the perfect thing to throw on when a sweater is too much and the pockets make it in my opinion.

jalie cardi 2

Robe Belladone aka My Easter Dress

belladone front

I can’t remember where I first spotted the Deer & Doe patterns, but I’m happy to have discovered them nonetheless.

The pattern I selected for my Easter dress was the Robe Belladone: it’s a fairly classic looking dress with a surprise opening in the back.

belladone back

I had some issues with the binding I chose – I should have used something narrower to get the full effect, but I still like the look of the gingham. Also, I didn’t have an invisible zipper foot when I installed the zipper so that’s a design element I wasn’t really going for. And my last issue: I accidentally cut a slit in the top of the bodice when serging the waistband (don’t ask!).

In spite of all of that, I received many compliments and would try the dress again, improving upon my previous mistakes.

And finally, a picture of me in the dress with my girls on Easter:

Easter

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