Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Inspired by...part 2...

So here's the new top, after a day of work.  Something that didn't occur to me when I drafted the facings...the neckline is meant to have a small neckband.  I should have taken that into account and actually raised the neckline about 3/4" all around, THEN drafted the facings.  That's probably a major reason why the top feels a little big.

And, to be honest, it's a little longer on me than the original inspiration top (see yesterday's post.).  But any shorter and it would fail the 'Praise Check' so I'm ok with it being a little long.  That means I don't have to wear a safety cami under it.  And not wearing extra layers is a good thing under stage lights.

The knit this is made of is perfectly yummy...very, very soft and  comfy.  I've got another yard-ish left.  Might could get a more fitted cap-sleeve t out of it.  Maybe.  Or maybe I'll just use it for trim and accents on things.  Stripes are good for that.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Inspired by....

Wow, two garments in one month!  (hashtag sarcasm).  But still...sewing a bit at a time is better than not sewing at all, LOL.

This was a sudden inspiration.  I don't follow a lot of fashion blogs...it just seems that so many are hung up on the latest latest and designer labels and...I don't know.  Just seems kinda silly to me.  And expensive.  BUT...of the two or three that I do follow, my favorite, by far, is one I'm sure is familiar to everybody.  Janice Riggs 'Vivienne Files' is a practical style blog.  Sure, she throws in some expensive things (I will never own a Hermes scarf. Ever.  $60 is my top scarf allowance, and I would have to ABSOLUTELY BE SMITTEN with a scarf to pay that much for it. But whatever), but a lot of the stuff she uses comes from places like Lands' End and Eddie Bauer.

But, in her recent series, she posted a top that caught my eye.  It's Eileen Fisher, and so out of my price range, but....

So simple, so elegant.

And it's just a slightly modified Sewing Workshop Eureka Top:

Substitute a facing for the neck band, leave the sleeve bands uncuffed and lengthen it just a hair (it runs short on me) and...

Wouldn't you know, I had some white on black stripe knit in the stash.  A little narrower than the stripe on the EF top, but, hey, it's inspired by, right?

It's funny...I've made this top 3 times before and this one feels really big.  Guessing it's the extra length. But if I want to wear it in choir (and next month is gray scale...black,white, gray), it has to pass the 'praise check'...that is, it can't hike up past my waistband if I raise both arms.  So I needed the length.

If I wear it to work next week, I'll take a mirror selfie. ;-)

Oh, the fabric is a really, really nice 4-way stretch rayon/lycra that I got during one of Fabric Mart's big sales.  So the top cost a whopping $10.37 US.  About $120 US less than the organic cotton EF version.

hashtag why i sew... :-)

Monday, July 16, 2018

A little testing, a little sewing...

Well, a few months back I got some Brussels Washer Linen, in a nice light cross-woven gray, for some drapey, comfy summer pants.

I  knew, though, that I'd need a fairly loose style.  And I didn't think my TNT Oxford pants were quite drapey enough.

I thought about just altering that pattern, but, goodness gracious I've got something like 600 patterns stashed in an old Simplicity cabinet; SURELY there was something?

Well, I pulled out this OOP Simplicity pattern, copyright 1996:

 Y'all.  That's the year the Flute Player was born.

But that top could be in today's pattern books.  And the pull on pants...well,  it was a possibility.  Unlike 85% of the patterns in the cabinet, which were purchased when I was a much smaller me, this one had a wide enough range of sizes that I thought I could make it fit.

But I didn't trust it enough; didn't want to use my nice rayon/linen on an unproven pattern.  So I went rummaging through the 'bottom weight cottons' bin and found a 1.25 yard remnant and cut out the shorts.
I trimmed a pinch off of the front and added the wedge to the back as a compromise low-butt alteration that, surprisingly, worked.

Sorry for the flat photo.  I've no idea when I'll actually get to wear them.  Certainly not on a work day.

These are an otherwise unaltered Medium.  MEDIUM.  I didn't even use my cheater adjustment of using skinnier seam allowances; full 5/8" on these puppies, because of the inseam pockets.

I will say this:  were I  a skinnier me, there would be ENTIRELY too much fabric collected around the waist.  But, being post-menopausally absent a true waistline, these work just fine.

I can trace off the longer version (I'll probably just trace the legs and overlap the pattern, lol) and cut away.

And, you know, I may look for some drapey something woven to try that top.  Just for fun.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Making one post work for two...

Not sewing related at all...although I did wear something I made...

We spent last weekend at the ol' stompin' ground, celebrating my In-Law's 70th wedding anniversary.

Rather than re-write the post and re-load the photo...I'll just link it up to the Other Blog.


Tuesday, June 26, 2018


The first sewing publication I subscribed to was Sew News, back in the 80's, when it was a large format, newsprint deal.  Before long, I had discovered and subscribed to the Sewing Update Newsletter, the Serger Update Newsletter (anybody remember those?  I still have mine in binders...) and the creme-de-la-creme of sewing publications, Threads Magazine.  My first copy was issue number 37, from October 1991.

The Update Newsletters eventually closed down; I don't remember if I subscribed to the end or just until I decided I had to pick amongst the subscriptions.  Sew News changed formats...and dumbed down its content to the point that it was like reading a women's magazine that had crafty discussions.  I didn't save those, but I do have a folder full of articles that I cut out of them. I gave it another go a few years back when I won a subscription in an online contest, but I was disappointed to see it no longer was a monthly publication.  And, while the content had improved somewhat...it still seemed more basic than creative and it didn't really seem worth the expense.

But Threads has rolled on and on.  Not too long after I subscribed, (maybe a year?) they altered their focus a bit from all-things-fiberly to strictly sewing.  I missed the interesting articles on making buttons from polymer clay and felting wool into hats, but since I wasn't likely to really use that (although I do have some aging Fimo somewhere...) it wasn't tragic.

But today I got this in the mail:
I haven't renewed yet.  I'm dithering.

The content has dropped over the years; those first issues were over 100 pages; this potentially last one has 82.  The quality of info has kind of vacillated; it's better now than it has been.  The decline in the printed product is a reflection of the times more than anything else, I think.  I mean, we haven't had a daily newspaper in these parts in years...it's all online.

And, to be honest, that's my biggest beef.  I'm a print subscriber, but I have to fork over more dough if I want to see the online content they call 'Insider'.  Maybe it's just me wishing for a perfect world, but it seems to me that the print subscribers should have access to the online content.  I don't even click most Threads links I see on social media anymore...what's the point if it's likely to be 'Insider only'?

And...then there's the fact that I'm simply not sewing as much.  It just doesn't seem justifiable to keep up the subscription so I can flip through it, smile at the end page story and put it on the shelf.

Maybe 27 years' worth (that's 162 magazines, all stashed in custom slipcovers) is enough.  Maybe.

Or maybe I'll put a check in the  mail next week...lol.  Can I really pull that plug?  Do I really want to?  Do I have good reasons not to?

Hm, hm and hm.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Butterick 5925 - slightly modified

This is just a fun top.  It's swingy and comfy and I may make more.  Maybe with cap sleeves, maybe with the ones in the actual envelope.

I need to find some largish scraps that kinda sorta go together and do the color blocking shown on the envelope.

Because I can always use more fun tops.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Another choir top...

I'm slowly sewing through the fabric in...next up was the medium blue bamboo/lycra jersey.  Since the decision came down that we were not going to change our colors for June, I had a little more time to get the blue in use.

I bought 2 1/2 yards, with the intention of making a Pamela's Patterns Cool cardi and a shell top.  But, try as I might, I was about 4" short of having enough fabric for both the cardi and the top.  I didn't re-measure the fabric after I pre-washed it but I really think it shrank up a good bit, just based on how much I had hanging off the end of the cutting table.

But whatever.  The fabric feels great on...but the serger didn't like sewing it.  I had LOTS of skipped stiches, and it kinda fed through unevenly.

I am seriously thinking about taking the serger in for a check up.

But, I just did a narrow zig-zag on the serging to catch the missed stitches so, it's ugly on the inside, but I won't tell.

Anyway, I ended up making another Butterick 5925 ... the Katherine Tilton tunic-y T top w/ pocket gores in the sideseams.  Only I borrowed a cap sleeve from another pattern ...summer and all.  And I cut my own neckband, just because I don't care for the floppy neckbands the Tiltons seem to love on their knit tops.  To each her own...

The hanger shot is pretty boring, but it's very comfy.  Ugly seams and all.

Maybe a photo of it on tomorrow....

I need to find the scraps from the light blue top and see if I can patchwork up a little top from the leftovers.  I'm SURE I kept them...even though there wasn't much.  I'm just NOT sure what I did with them, lol.

In other news, Number Two Son, AKA The Actor,  has found himself an apartment in Jacksonville, Fl, so My Sweet Babboo and I will be heading south with a vanload of his stuff shortly.  I haven't been to Florida since...2004?  Probably going to go a little more frequently now.  He seems to be doing well in his job.  They did their summer day camp event last week, which seems to have been a success.  Their children's ministry is very similar to ours, so he's fitting right in.

Lotsa road trips on the docket for this summer, as well as the final push to the remodeled-gym-turned-sanctuary.  Official first service is August 5.

It's gonna be a busy, busy summer....