Monday, June 20, 2011

Yoga Skirt Surprise!

A few weeks ago I enrolled in a Sewing with Knits E-Course in an effort to overcome my life long trepidation about sewing stretchy fabrics.  The single best thing about the class is that it simply required me to sit down at the machine to practice sewing knits, and just doing that helped me discover there was really no reason to be so intimidated. 

I skipped a few of the projects that didn't hold any interest for me (hairbands, baby blanket, spaghetti-strap tank top) and focused on the tee shirt, as well as several knit garments (dresses, nightgowns, tank tops) that were not part of the curriculum.  Since the class is winding up tomorrow I decided to give the lounge pants (no pics of those yet) and yoga skirt projects a somewhat unenthusiastic try.  It turns out that I like the lounge pants quite a bit in spite of the fact that I'm not really a big fan of knit pants --- we'll call those pajama bottoms and make a matching top tomorrow :D. 

The unexpected pleasant surprise of my last minute garment sewing was the yoga skirt!  Wow, do I ever like this skirt --- super duper easy and quick to make!  It was finished in less than an hour (including cutting out time) even though I dawdled a bit over details.  I fully expected to dislike it and was already mentally presenting it to my niece when I tried it on.   Hah, she's out of luck since I love it!  It is so comfy / cool to wear and I'm sure that I'll be wearing it a lot in the coming warm weather months.  I used about a yard of medium weight cotton lycra jersey (that had been languishing in my fabric stash for nearly 2 decades) to make the skirt.  I'll definitely be on the lookout for fabric to make a couple more of these.  If you want to make one for yourself, here's the super simple instructions for doing so:  yoga skirt


 A sort of close view of the skirt --- see the wide fold-over waistband?  Super comfy!

My photographer was a pretty funny guy today --- hence the cracking up LOL!  The salmon orangey-pink tee is a rather unfortunate choice and is certainly not a good color on me, yuck!

Check out the clogs!  They are sooooooo comfortable, love them!  The happy result of some random shopping and a steal at $20 when on sale a couple weeks ago!   They're still available for just a few dollars more, highly recommended by moi!  Marvy Clogs

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I've been intending to write this post for quite awhile, hence its unseasonable topic.  If you happen to be enduring sweltering summer temperatures, you might want to skip this one --- or at least turn up the AC LOL!

Last winter I purchased this lush scarf-lette from my friend, the uber-talented Sue of MaddyandMeDesigns to keep my perpetually chilly neck warm during my daily walk.  It coordinated nicely with my favorite purple jacket (now sold out in purple) and is super soft and cosy.  I love it and have worn it dozens and dozens of times already!

A few weeks ago I snapped up a couple more jackets in different colors since they were on clearance for such an irresistibly great price.   Shortly afterward, while wandering around in my LYS, I came across two enticing skeins in the clearance section and thought that (obviously inspired by Sue!) I'd whip up neckwarmers to go with my newest jackets. 

Yep, that's definitely some yarn porn!

While not nearly as nice as Sue's scarflette, these were a fun and super quick project.  Alas, it hasn't been chilly enough to warrant wearing them --- but I'll be all ready for the cooler temps when fall rolls around.  Check out how that pale gray jacket's bright pink lining goes with that nubbly red/pink/gray yarn --- yum!

The fabulous timber buttons used as closures are another Etsy find, I purchased these from my sweet friend Kylie's supply shop Meluna .  I think they are the perfect finishing touch :D.

Under the category of lovely mailbox surprises, check out this cutie-pie ceramic narwhal sculpture that arrived in the post from my amazing muddy buddy Felicia .  I ♥ it so much!  Felicia, I ♥ you too, but you know that :D!


Oh, I think this handsome fellow warrants a view from another angle too!

I'm simply enchanted!  This little guy now resides on a shelf overlooking my sewing table area --- he's my new mascot :D!  Thank you so much Fifi!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Two Done!

Dress #1 and #2 complete, and hopefully, soon to be joined by dress #3.  Though it remains to be seen whether I'll successfully complete another dress prior to Wednesday's deadline.

Anyway, dress #1 --- the red dotted rayon faille sundress made with Simplicity 2638 turned out pretty well.  However, since I'm not totally comfortable baring my arms in public, it's a good thing that it goes nicely with my lightweight tencel denim jacket. 

Here's the dress sans jacket, albeit a bit creased (I confess that I plucked it out of the laundry basket for this photo op without giving it a touch up with the iron):

Not too crazy about this zipper plus keyhole opening with button closure.  It seems unnecessarily fussy to me and I'd opt for a zipper alone next time I use this pattern.   This dress turned out a bit large, in spite of a well-fitting muslin, so I ended up doing some post-construction alteration to improve the fit.

Dress #2 was a complete success and is super-duper comfy too.  I used a cheery green and ivory ITY knit from in combination with McCall's 9574.  Per the instructions, I basted the back seam and tried it on to see if I could skip the zipper.  Since the knit was nice and elastic, I was able to easily slip it on and off without adding the zip (yay!).  This dress fits me really really well and the hubs is quite taken with it :D.  My only dissatisfaction with this pattern is how the waistband insert is only on the front of the dress, the back is plain and seems a smidgen unfinished/unstructured as a result.  When I make this pattern again, I may try continuing the waist inset completely around the dress --- seems as if that would be an easy tweak.

Onward to dress #3!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cutting it Close!

Phew!  Just barely enough fabric to cut out my first dress!!!  Sure not very many scraps left.

 I decided to kick off the summer dress challenge with a shortened version of Simplicity 2638 in a red dotted rayon that has been so well-aged in my fabric stash that it is approaching vintage status.  I only had 2 yards, but it was 60" wide so I was able to just barely squeak out all the pieces for this dress.  Though I did end up cutting the (self) lining for the back bodice on the cross grain, rather than the length wise grain. 

I did a FBA, which allowed me to cut out a straight size 12.

Please avert your eyes from the visible mid-section pudge, I did attempt to crop as much middle as possible out of the frame!  The muslin fit well, and I feel confident that the little horizontal wrinkle under the bust will be smoothed by the addition of interfacing combined with the weight of the skirt.

Sewing will commence in the morning :D!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dresses! Dresses! Dresses!

I was unable to resist (not that I wanted to resist) the temptation of joining in Faye's 2011 Summer Dress Challenge.  The fun starts tomorrow and is scheduled to be completed on June 15th.  Hoping to have a few new dresses by mid-June.  Here are the frocks on my sewing agenda --- though my plans are always subject to change :D.  Who knows, I may race through making these and add another dress or two to the queue!

First up, McCall's 9574:

I'll be using this summery rayon blend knit for this dress.  I'm working on a "muslin" of the bodice today, which I've cut out of an old knit nightgown that was destined for the rag bin.

Also in the running is this Butterick 5315 shirtdress, though I may opt for the plain short sleeves instead of the puffed version.......

.......stitched up in this nice summery cotton broadcloth I picked up for 50% off at JoAnn's last week --- garnished, of course, with prominent red topstitching (and a red belt :D).  Love the retro vibe of this pattern and fabric combo.

I'm also loving this Simplicity 2638 maxi, but will shorten it to knee length.  I'm pretty short and busty and the maxi dress isn't a particularly flattering look for me, but I do love the style of this dress.

I had thought this small scale bandana print rayon/linen blend would work nicely for the above pattern --- perhaps with some skinny black piping to define the waist inset.  But now I'm wondering if I should use something that's more "drapey" and just rummaged around in my fabric closet and found a deep red rayon with white dots that may work better.   Opinions anyone?

Fabric  #1

Fabric  #2

Not too sure about the tiny, super short puffed sleeves of Vogue 8469 --- my upper arms are not an area that merits any focus --- so I may change up the sleeves or omit them altogether and wear this with a fine gauge cotton cardigan.

This modern print cotton voile is my most likely choice for this dress.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Semi Lazy Sunday

I wake every morning with my head full of optimistic notions about what I will accomplish that day and I invariably fall short of my good intentions --- however, I like to imagine that's a fairly universal experience.  Please tell me that is true :D!  So while I didn't really end up doing exactly what was on the agenda, I did have a slightly productive day.

Today's accomplishments included some glazing --- which is something that I never seem to catch up on.  I absolutely adore working with wet clay, but always find glazing to be an uber tedious task.  However, I'd never want to have someone else do it for me as I am a ultra nitpicky glazer LOL!  Too bad that I still have many, many, many more trays of itty-bits to glaze!

Unfortunately, I didn't get around to doing any sewing today.  I did prewash fabrics for several skirts that are in the queue though --- does that count as sewing related at least :D?  And took a nice long walk with the hubs.  But mostly I curled up in my favorite chair knitting on a new pair of slippers.  I'll share that project soon, really loving the pattern!

Among the day's distractions was a sweet little goldfinch warbler crashing into the window and knocking itself senseless --- poor little fella!  Excuse the so-so photos, it's really hard to hold a bird in one hand and take photos with the other.  But he's so cute, I had to share in spite of the crummy pics.  Awwww, look at that little scwinched up right eye :(.

It took him about 20 minutes to feel better so I had an extended opportunity to study him up close (hmmm... some ceramic goldfinches warblers coming up, you think?) and carefully check out his coloration.  His feathers were brilliant chartreuse with gray'ish olive edges. 


Feeling better, but still quite content to just sit in my hand.

Perking up and almost ready to fly away!  Hope he's ok.

 Hope your weekend felt as relaxing as Mister O's :D!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

First Post Plunge!

I'm overdue to confront my lingering bloggy trepidation and plunge in with a first post!  Really looking forward to chronicling my good times with clay, fabric and yarn.

As evidenced by the trio of buttons to the right, I'm a sucker for a sewalong and am currently signed up for three.  The RTW tailoring sewalong is well underway --- I've finally caught up with all the fittings, pattern alterations and cutting out and will begin sewing later today.  The Crescent Skirt sewalong begins on Monday and promises to be loads of fun --- I plan to make at least two skirts for myself and one for my niece.  The Bottoms Up Challenge is all about sewing garments for the lower half of one's body --- I have a swirly, multi-gored skirt on the agenda as well as a couple pairs of shorts and/or skorts. 

First things first though and topping that list was making a new cover for my ironing board to replace it's threadbare 20 year-old predecessor.   The sleeve board was in dire need of the same treatment, so I made new covers for it as well.  Pretty sad and raggedy aren't they?

I really did like the grid pattern printed on my old cover, it was nice when I needed a straight line reference when pressing, but I couldn't locate any similar/appropriate fabric so opted for the silvery ironing board fabric for this project.  I do like this choice because of the slickness of the fabric finish --- easy peasy to wipe clean if needed, however the color is quite meh.  While I do like the idea of a pretty patterned fabric for a cover, I tend to find that sort of thing very visually distracting in my workspace. the nice smooth snug fit of the new cover, it almost makes ironing fun!