Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mud Cloth Plaza Jacket

I recently returned from a wonderful trip to South Africa where I was happy to be able to buy a piece of true african mud cloth. Do you know about mud cloth? It is hand woven by men in Mali using their own hand for the loom. Because it is woven on the hand each strip of fabric is just about 5 inches wide. These strips are then sewn together to form a textile about a metre wide. Once sewn together the women dye the piece using traditional symbols all of which have some meaning to them. They use natural dyes in earth tones, black, brown, tan, olive. Mud is used as a resist in the dying process. My piece was about 2 metres long which seemed to be typical. As you can see mud cloth is a very dramatic textile.

I had in mind a different pattern but, once home and after washing/shrinking, I realized I really had very little fabric to deal with. The Plaza Jacket is perfect as it uses very little. Even so I had to fold out 5 1/2 inches on the front and back to fit on my narrow fabric. As you can see the jacket is still very wide! I lengthened the jacket also to use all my fabric adding about 2 inches to the length.

Speaking of the washing/shrinking, I carefully washed the fabric in cold water as recommended. I knew it would fade and the color would bleed into the white areas to make them less bright. Even so it was necessary to wash the textile as it came with a very "natural" odor. To my surprise, not only did it fade and bleed, but it turned my dryer into a brown mess. I had to wash down the inside of the dryer to remove all the crud. I washed it a second time throwing 3 of those dye catching papers into the wash. They came out dark bown but the textile looked a lot better. This time the dryer stayed clean.

As to sewing mud cloth, I'm glad I picked a design with few seams or details. This was a bear to sew. Even the serger didn't like it. I broke needles on both machines and even with a heavy duty needle, I needed to sew very, very slowly. It is like a heavy burlap.

There was a stripe on the selvedge edge of the textile so I eliminated the turned back hems on the front edges and sleeve hems so that I could use it as a design element.

I'm very pleased with my mud cloth jacket.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Vogue 7802 Sandra Betzina skirt

Finally I got time for a photo shoot. Here is my wonderful Moulin Rouge fabric turned into a can can skirt. I acquired this fantastic Moulin Rouge fabric some years back. Every so often I would get it out to try to envision what it should become. You know how it goes..... look through lots of patterns, pick a few, not enough fabric for those, try again, nothing inspires, put the fabric away for a few more years. The more you love a fabric the longer this process goes on it seems. Finally I decided it would be a skirt using this Sandra Betzina pattern with black trim. Since I so loved my fabric I did a rare thing for me. I made a muslin. You know... to check the fit. Hated that skirt. Put the project aside again. Changed my plan to making a jacket or shirt. Bought 3 more skirt patterns. In the end, as you can see, I went back to the SB pattern. I realized that the muslin was ugly because of a)fabric used b) no contrast trim c) no whimsy. Fit was fine. Just needed to add the whimsy.

So I threw this fabric out on the cutting board and with trepidation cut my precious. Now I'm so happy with my skirt!

I think this is a vintage cotton, probably designed to be for curtains in the 40s or 50s? Anyone know?

I left off the bias trim at the hem and waist. I added an underskirt with tulle. I made that by serging tulle to an old slip. I did multiple tucks to the lower skirt.

I remember seeing Sandra wear this skirt some years ago and it looked fantastic because of her quilted fabric with leather trim. Her patterns always look much better in person in her chosen fabrications than they do on the pattern envelopes. This was even photographed in her fabrics but maybe it just has to have her wearing it to look fantastic.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Catching Up

Wow it has been a crazy summer. 3 reunion trips, 2 trips to Jackson Hole to see the kids, multiple trips to Bay Area involving DS#2 home purchase and move in, home only a few days since June. Home now for 2 weeks and finally getting caught up but soon will be off again on an international trip for a month. So now I have been sewing and loving it, finishing up some projects and dreaming up others.

Today I made a skirt from a fantastic vintage fabric that has been in my stash for almost 10 years. I loved the fabric so much I had a hard time deciding what to make with it. I think it was a drapery fabric from the fifties maybe, depicting Moulin Rouge subjects. Photos soon.

See my reviews listed at the right to see what I have been up to in the few weeks I have been at home. How will I ever use up my stash if I am never at home???

Monday, July 19, 2010

Vogue 1165 Sandra Betzina blouse

Where do I start? This was the project from h**l. Who would expect it? Not I. I have had lots of success with Sandra Betzina patterns. Usually her instructions are excellent and the fit works for me with my usual alterations. The one other reviewer of this blouse here on PR didn't seem to have any trouble. Maybe I have lost it. Indeed, some of my issues were caused by myself but most came from problems with the pattern. I would say probably driving a pin through my thumb was my own fault although if I hadn't had to redo the sleeve after trimming the seam allowances I would not have had that pin so near my thumb. A little neosporin and a bandaid fixed that mishap.

Here's the pattern description from the envelope: "A line shirts with pleat detailing and darts in front, choice of snap or button closures. View A has long, pleated sleeves with placket. View B has three quarter length sleeves". I would call the front detailing tucks as they are not pleats. This has Today's Fit sizing A through J. I cut my usual size B at the shoulders, sleeves, and neckline and size C at the sides except I added even extra in the seam allowances there.

It looks like the pattern photo especially since I used a white fabric. My tucks pucker. Not surprising since they are all sewn on the bias. I happened to look at the Power Sewing forum where Sandra answers questions about her patterns. Someone had asked about the puckering tucks problem on her own project. Sandra said she has made the blouse 3 times and never had a puckering problem. She suggested a technique to help with that using a fusible thread inside the tuck. Of course at this point all my tucks were sewn so I didn't try that. I've decided that the puckers are a design feature.

Another problem I had with the tucks involved my marking technique. It is very important to mark the lines carefully. Sandra suggests tailors tacks. I started doing that but it was way too time consuming. So I switched to a tracing wheel and transfer tracing paper. Of course I used red to show up on the white. (I just got out the transfer paper envelope and there I see that they admonish me not to use red or blue on white fabric. Why do I notice these things after the fact?) I also did it on the wrong side since I usually mark on the wrong side. Once the tucks are sewn the marking is on the inside and were very resistant to removal. After lots of blotting with water and scrubbing with soap I finally resorted to washing the whole blouse front, soaking it with lots of suds, to be sure it would come out before I spent more time on the project. At that point things had gone along okay and I hadn't put a whole lot of time into this. Little did I know, what with the collar and sleeves and other issues that this blouse would take around 20 hours to sew!

There were a few problems with the instructions. The collar was quite confusing primarily because on the pattern piece it says to cut 2 on the fold. I did that and interfaced as instructed. I spent a great amount of time trying to make the collar work with both those pieces. Finally I looked at the cutting layout and noticed that only one collar piece was shown. That helped. It made a lot more sense with only one collar piece. However there was still a problem with step 24 and it's illustration. If you have done this type of procedure before you will be able to do this but not because of the instructions in this pattern. It would be simple to make it clear by saying "temporarily tuck the body of the shirt inside the collar to stitch around the corner of the collar to make a clean facing." But they didn't say that.

My next issue with the instructions involved the sleeve placket. I have done these before but it has been a long time as I don't make shirts much. The instructions were vague. Sandra says "if sleeve plackets and neckbands are your nemesis, I have made a DVD called "Shirts and Blouses" where construction is demonstrated in close camera work." A few more words in the pattern instructions would have been more helpful.

About the sleeves: Sandra has this sleeve sewn in flat. I'm not sure why except some sewers think that is easier. Not in this case. The sleeve has a high curve with easing and was not easy to sew in flat. She does mention to sew with the sleeve on top. I stupidly ignored this particular instruction because I like to have the sleeve underneath to allow the feed dogs to help with the easing. However in this case, because of the curve of the sleeve cap, it is very hard to stitch around that curve without catching the sleeve in the stitching if it is underneath. Don't ignore this instruction. I serged the sleeve edge with the garment on top and this led to disaster. Yes, I cut a slash in the sleeve top with the serger blade.  This is why I had to rip the sleeve off, cut a new sleeve, sew on another annoying placket and resew the sleeve in place (this time with the sleeve on top).

Finally after all this trouble with the sleeves I finally got to the point where I could put on the shirt only to find that the sleeves were too tight at the sleeve cap. Never have I had this as a fitting issue. Usually sleeves are too loose on me. Maybe my arms have grown lately. Once again I removed the sleeves and sewed them on with the tiniest possible seam allowance (which led to pin in finger episode). They are still a bit tight and not terribly comfortable but wearable if I don't raise my arms or try to dance.

Next the cuffs: not too much trouble here. If you have figured out the collar sandwiching then the cuffs will be easy. One small issue on the cuffs: if you use the size button recommended and place the buttonholes as marked on the pattern, the buttons will bump into each other.

Before I started this epic adventure I thought I liked the style with the diagonal tucks and spread collar. Now I don't. I did like several nice tips that Sandra included. One was to use Steam-a-seam 2 Lite for the hem applying it to the right side of the fabric at the edge. Then you iron up the 5/8ths hem while the paper is still on the steam-a-seam. After the hem is ironed up you remove the paper and turn under the 1/4" edge and press it in place. This makes a curved, turned under hem very easy. I was happy to use that trick on another project with curved flat felled seams.

I used a white pima cotton with a woven in design purchased in Cairo a few years back. My size alterations were as mentioned above. Also I dropped the dart which I always have to do. The problem with doing that is that the lower dart will cross into the tucks. Thus one must shorten the dart. Of course I didn't realize this until after the fact so a bit of ripping and restitching was necessary.

Now that I am recovering from this experience I am liking the style again. Hopefully some of my suggestions might help you if you try this. This garment has 53 steps of construction, some of which are confusing. Why is it labeled "Easy"?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Recent projects

Here are some photos of those projects I promised you. I see that I never took a photo of the latest Jalie top. Should have taken a shot yesterday as I wore it for a Mother's day visit to the new baby. The previous post shows the Soho robe/coat. Will I ever catch up?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Sewing Workshop Soho Coat

Sewing Workshop Soho Coat
Originally uploaded by happy10ann
I intended this to be a new coat. I love the Soho Coat pattern and when I saw this double sided fleece in two of my favorite colors I thought, ahah! a wonderful coat. However as it came into being it decided to be a robe, thus the slippers. It will be a lovely, cozy robe. I think the fabric is just too poufy to make an acceptable coat although I could wear it in an emergency.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Recent projects

I've been sewing quite a bit in between exciting visits to see my new granddaughter, born April 13th. I have a new version of the Sewing Workshop Liberty Shirt pictured here. Also a color blocked shell from an old Vogue pattern, a linen dress from a new Burda pattern, a drapy rayon top from a new McCall's pattern and a fleece coat/bathrobe from Sewing Workshop's Soho Coat pattern. I also made another Jalie Criss Cross top (love that design). I'll get pictures up I promise. Meanwhile here is a shot of the new baby, Sierra Naima Smith, wearing a sweater and booties I made for her daddy before he was born 39 years ago. I saved it along with the blanket she is lying on until it could be used again! She is 6 days old here, the same age I have a picture of Derek wearing the set.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Vogue 8559 Marcy Tilton jacket as a vest

My garments are sewn using Marcy Tilton's jacket pattern view A without the sleeves. It is a loose fitting unlined jacket with dropped shoulders and fronts longer than the sides. View A has no side seams. Without the sleeves it is just one pattern piece. It is hard to see on the pattern envelope as it is shown in black. It is an entirely different pattern from view B/C which is shaped differently and has bands.
Pattern Sizing: Sizes XS-S-M or L-XL. I made size Medium.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Well, except for no sleeves and no decorative stitching and my edges were bound with ribbon from the fabric.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Marcy has excellent instructions.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I have made this pattern before using the other view with a matching tank top. I was intrigued to try this view. My fabric is very unstable so I wanted to use a pattern with few seams. I like the drapey, relaxed style.
Fabric Used: A fantastic fabric with ribbons woven through. I bought this fabric at Marcy's booth at Puyallup after I saw a sample garment they had there using this fabric. Katherine Tilton had made it (using a different pattern) binding the the edges with ribbon pulled from the fabric. I decided to try this too. The selvedge has the ribbon looped along the edge so I used that along the bottom edge.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: As I mentioned, no sleeves and bound edges.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I have made this view again in a sheer lacy knit using the 3 thread rolled edge on my serger for the finishing. Here's the back
Conclusion: Quick vest to make especially if you use the serger for the edges. Wrapping the edges with the ribbon took a while but since the sewing only takes a few minutes it is still a quick garment to construct. I'm wearing it here with the Jalie top and Tilton pants I recently reviewed.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

About the MT outfit

Thanks everybody for your reassuring comments about the pants. I love them.

Kathleen, I cut the edge with a wavy blade rotary cutter. That was a quick and really fun thing to do. I tried it at the neckline but that didn't really look as cool so I turned that edge in as a binding. Thank you.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Vogue 8637 Marcy Tilton pants with Vogue 8497 MT top

This is such a great pattern. I made the skirt last month and have been wearing it constantly. I forgot to review it I think because it seemed like such an old favorite already. I will get photos soon. Meanwhile I have now also made the pants from the same fabric and they are my new favorites. So comfortable and funky. They are an elastic waist pull on pant with wide darts at the lower side edges which control the fullness of the curved side panel.

Pattern Sizing: Size BB includes 8 - 14. Size F5 has 16 - 24. How do they come up with these sizing labels?? I made size 12 which is one size down from my measurements. I also cut the size 8 crotch since I am a short person. I also shortened the length 1 1/4" (I usually shorten 2') but that was too much and I had to skimp on the hem depth.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes
Another view
Pants closeup
Pants back

Were the instructions easy to follow? Very simple design and easy to follow.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?Love the slightly funky look combined with easy comfort.

Fabric Used: Cotton interlock or double knit.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Size changes as above. Also changed the waist slightly to use my 1" wide elastic that I had on hand.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Definitely. Love these and will make them again.

Conclusion: I still had a bit of the fabric left after making the skirt and the pants so I squeezed out the top using Vogue 8497, another Marcy Tilton design. As this fabric doesn't curl up attractively on the raw edges I decided to get creative and used my wavy rotary cutter to cut the raw edges.
Another view of top
Top back. I think I am not standing up straight causing the back to be all wrinkled.

I was quite surprised to see the following comment on my review at Pattern Review. I thought these pants look pretty good on me but more to the point is that I don't usually see this kind of comment on anyone's reviews: 
"I was planning on making these but after seeing yours I've decided against it. While your sewing is fine, I don't like how it makes you look shorter and dumpy."

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Tracing from Polka Dot Overload

The blogger Polka Dot Overload at has an interesting topic open for discussion right now. She asks if you are a cutter or a tracer. She has converting from fear of tracing to loving tracing, attributed primarily to finding the right tracing material. This led to me thinking about the topic and formulating my feeling about it.

I am a cutter. I hate to trace. I have tried different tracing materials and do it when necessary. But it is not about the problems with the different tracing materials but the act of tracing. It is very time consuming, it hurts my back, it is easy to be inaccurate, etc. I like to cut right into the pattern. It is only a pattern. I get them at sale prices. They are not expensive. Even expensive ones I cut out. My time (and back) are worth the expense. So what if I render the pattern unusable for the future. The chances are slim that I will use it again. If I do want to reuse a pattern it is a rare chance that it will not be reuseable. You can always tape it or add tissue where needed. Also, I don't like heavy paper patterns. So much bulk. I like the flimsy tissue.

How about it? Anybody like me?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dress for baby

I will try to do some catching up here. I've been gone on several trips (baby shower in LA, Puyallup Sewing Expo, visit to kids/grandkids in Jackson Hole) but I have been busy sewing since I got home. While I was on the trips all I managed to do was to knit this adorable little dress for the soon to arrive baby girl. It went together very quickly and was knit almost entirely while we drove to Jackson. The top part is faux cables so I didn't have to fiddle with extra needles which made that section pretty easy. I just had to remember my decreases for the shaping.

It is supposed to be sized for 3 - 6 months but it looks bigger than that to me. The nice thing about it is that it can be worn as a dress first and later as a tunic or top.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Jazz Cats diaper bag

My #2 son and his wife Rachel are expecting a baby in April.  I made another diaper bag from the Simplicity pattern I used 3 years ago to make the sock monkey bag for #1 son and his wife Suzanne. The previous bag was such a success that it was totally worn out. This time I decided to use a fabric that son #2, also a musician, might enjoy. There are jazzy cats playing congas and other instruments. I combined this with 2 other coordinated music fabrics. With the scraps I made 3 envelopes with velcro closures to help organize inside the bag and also a changing mat with a strap to hold it rolled up. I thought I had taken a bunch of photos to document this one a few weeks ago but they have disappeared. Maybe I imagined taking the photos. I did get just two at the shower this weekend. 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Vogue1097 Sandra Betzina Coat

Sandra Betzina's coat pattern described thusly: "Loose fitting, lined or unlined coat below hip or mid-calf has two-piece raglan sleeves with sleeve tabs with Velcro closure forming cuffs to hold sleeve fullness, two-piece hood with elastic casing, optional shoulder pads and belt, concealed separating zipper closure, side front pockets, upper and lower back seaming." Whew! Lots of detail. This coat took awhile but was fun creating.

After I started cutting this out I realized I should have used a simpler design, such as Sewing Workshop Soho Coat, because this fabric has enough going on all by itself. If I had only chosen that pattern I would have been done many hours earlier. Most of the details in this more complex design don't show up that much and broke up the fabric pattern unnecessarily. Also, I feared I wouldn't have quite enough yardage as my fabric was 3 inches narrower than the amount listed. Because of this I made no attempt to match the fabric designs. See the 
back. Then surprizingly I had more than a yard left over out of the 4 yards I started with. Darn, I could have done some matching. Same thing with the lining.... more than a yard left over. I don't know what went wrong with their yardage estimates this time.
Pattern Sizing: Today's Fit sizing. I used B above the bust and C below. This helps keep the neck and shoulder line in scale for me while adding the ease necessary at the hips and bust.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes except my fabric is so different. Side back
Were the instructions easy to follow? Excellent instructions. Sandra adds lots of tips and detailed instructions beyond the normal Vogue instructions. The bagged lining is especially well described.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?Love the ruched collar/hood (although it looks a little crazy when pulled Up), love the design of the pockets (in the seam), love the unusual cuffs (except...see dislikes), love the seam lines (that you can't see very well with this fabric). Dislikes: the cuffs are gathered up by the band and secured with velcro. The problem is that every time you have to wrap this around your arm and attach while fiddling with the gathers. Too fussy and even hard to get right. I soved this by tacking the band in 3 spots so I only have to pull the band snug the last few inches. You can't attach it entirely because it would be too narrow to put your hand through.

Also dislike: this may be my error. The front band pulls and curves out as it heads toward the bottom hem. I don't know why this happened. I was careful with the cutting and stitching and pressing.

Also don't really like how the front band is off center. Looks a bit odd to me.
Fabric Used: A taffeta (poly or acetate? don't know) with patchwork and embroidery. I intend this as a raincoat but I doubt it is practical. With all that patchwork and embroidery there are thousands of little stitch holes. Plus who knows what the fabric will do if soaked. I will spray with ScotchGuard but plan to carry an umbrella. Lined in copper crepe back satin.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:None.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I think once is enough for me but I do recommend this. I think it is a very cool design. It would be best in a solid or simpler fabric so all the lines can be seen.
Conclusion: Although I said I probably wouldn't sew it again, now I'm thinking how cute this would be to make it in the shorter length.
p.s. I should have changed to my brown boots for the photo shoot.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Burda Magazine 9/2009 #115

Here's Burda's flowery description: "You don't have to rob a bank to afford this suave knee-length coat in posh wool fleece coating. You sew it yourself which is actually quite easy as the coat is unlined, has kimono sleeves and a scarf collar." Interesting that they describe it as quite easy but give in 3 1/2 stars on their difficulty rating. I picked this pattern for the interesting seam lines and unique scarf/collar.

This is drafted in sizes 72 through 88 which are the tall size range. I am not tall so I scaled it down as necessary. 

I need instructions primarily for order of construction. I have a hard time remembering that and don't want to think too hard about it so I find Burda's instuctions okay. The important steps are there. They do leave off things that I should be able to remember but the senior brain blanks out.... for instance there is no mention of stay stitching at the corners nor slashing them. How many 100s of times have I done this when told to by Vogue, But since it wasn't mentioned here I didn't think of it until I found myself struggling with those pointed intersections.

I used a wool melton double cloth from at an amazing low price. The pattern calls for coat fabrics with a soft surface and only fabrics that do not fray. Mine has the soft surface but does fray. I don't see any reason to use only fabrics that don't fray. I guess they suggest that because it is not lined but all you need to do is finish the seam edges inside. All exterior edges are faced or hemmed. I decided to line mine to make it more comfortable. I used a silk charmeuse from my stash.

Originally I cut the coat to be longer as in design 114 in the magazine. When it was together enough to try on I showed my DH who thought it was a bathrobe. That, plus the alarming green color, made me annoyed with the project and almost threw it out. My friend Barbara encouraged me to continue so I cut off the extra length, added the lining and pressed the edges vigorously. Much better. I used a large 
snap at the neck to close. The design calls for 5 snaps but I didn't think that was necessary. I think I may add one more just below the seam across the front. Both snaps will be hidden by the scarf when worn. Oh yes, I also reduced the width of the collar by 1 1/4". You need to be that tall person the pattern is sized for to wear that tall collar.

 I might make it again if I found the appropriate boiled wool. In that case I would not face all the edges or make the scarf doubled to keep it lean and mean.

The color is much more intense than the color looked to be when I ordered it. Maybe I'm just sick of looking at it and once it hides in my closet for a while my eyes will have recovered.

I have recovered: I wore the coat last night to a concert and it felt good. Someone even complimented me on how good I look in green. So it will be worn and loved.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Jalie 2787 Criss Cross Top

This is my first Jalie and I'm quite pleased with it. I chose the Criss-cross top which has bands that cross and are stitched into the side seams. This creates a secure, non-gaping front. The lower part of the front is a separate panel that lies underneath the criss cross bands but is not attached to them. In a stretchy fabric this top can be used for maternity and even as a nursing garment. Not that I need that!!

Jalie has every size from young girl to plus size 22 in one envelope. I used size U which is 3 sizes less than my bust measurement but close to my waist and hips. I did a flat pattern measurement and the pattern seemed similar to some of my tops of like material. I chose that size so the shoulders and neckline would fit correctly.

I used an onionskin from EOS 5 years ago depicting the Sistine Chapel. The Jalie instructions are brief but accurate and adequate. The diagrams are especially good.

I decided to leave all edges unfinished. I like the look in this kind of fabric. Also I think it helped keep the top from being too tight. I feared the bust would be overly snug after I cut it out and held it up across my body. But by not stitching or stabilizing the pieces in any way it keeps the maximum stretchiness. I shortened the length by 2 inches for a more flattering length on me.

I plan to make more of this pattern and other Jalies waiting in my stash. I definitely recommend this one.
By eliminating finishing the edges and hems, this only took about 20 minutes to sew. The pants are Sewing Workshop Plaza pant in brown wool jersey.

I say it took 20 minutes to sew which would be correct except when I put it on I noticed the sleeve had a curved and slanted bottom. I thought "hmm, I hadn't noticed that look on the envelope picture." Then I noticed that the other sleeve was straight across. Finally it dawned on me that I had sewn the sleeve in upside down. Yes the hem edge was sewn to the shoulder. The amazing thing is that the edges are exactly the same length so I didn't notice this goof while I stitched. So be aware the curved edge and flared hem edge are equal. It actually felt alright on due to the stretchiness of the fabric but, though my DH couldn't see it, I didn't like the images being upside down. Out with the ripper!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Burda 7594

 I made this again using a neat textured knit from Stone Mt. & Daughter in Berkeley. The stripes are raised and puckery. I changed the cutting layout to vary the direction of the stripes, much like I did in my first version. I thought it would fit the same as the previous one but when I got it together and tried it on it looked awful. It was quite loose through the torso and really added bulk. Not a good look. Many inches were taken in at the side seams, maybe 4 - 5 altogether. I can wear it without the tee underneath once the weather warms up as I sewed the side seams up higher under the arms than the pattern indicates.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Simplicity 4076 top & Vogue 8561 skirt

I haven't been posting but I have been sewing. I got way behind on my reviewing somehow. 
First up the Marcy Tilton skirt Vogue 8561 that I made last year. It was so problematic because of errors in the pattern plus a fussy fabric. I've had my eye out for a nice pin stripe to use to simulate the details of the skirt in the pattern photo. A few weeks ago I visited my DIL in the Bay Area and had time for a quick stop at Stone Mountain and Daughter. Love that store. I found 4 pieces that had to come home with me. One is this lovely light weight wool charcoal/creme stripe. It worked up nicely.

The skirt is a bit time consuming because of the top-stitching especially if you need to keep changing the thread color each time as I did. Hemming is a pain because of the different grains at the hemline making it hard to get it even. One has to call on DH to help in a case like this. 

With it is that great top that has been such a popular pattern. I wanted a red top to go with my latest skirt and I love the shape of this top. View A is very similar to Simplicity 4095 that I have used many times for both the top and the skirt. This one, 4076, has flared sleeves which I didn't want so I used the sleeve from 4095. The other difference is that 4095 has gathering at the forward shoulders and slightly more curved in waistline. The red rayon jersey was waiting in my stash.

This is my best neckline. It is low but not too low and doesn't gap. Although I changed the sleeve to the narrower one I forgot to take it in even more at the lower arm. I really prefer it to be snug so I can push it up. Too lazy to take out the topstitching to change it now.

The size I cut, though right for my bust and hips is too big for my shoulders. I took in the sleeve seam 1/2 inch and eased out more than an inch at the back neck.

Everybody loves this one. There are 163 reviews on PR! I definitely will be making it again.