Sunday, January 29, 2012

Impatiently waiting for spring...

Balmy Houston, TX has yet to have any kind of noticeable winter so I thought I would just start sewing for spring. I've had Vogue 8747 on my wish list for a while but I'm not sure why. I never wear blouses. I think I have might have 3 in my entire closet. I was convinced that I didn't like blouses. And then it occurred to me why. I have never been able to find a RTW blouse that fits properly. If it fit in the bust without gaposis then it was swimming around my neck and shoulders and waist. Enter custom fit patterns with cup sizes! Hello great fitting shirt, good bye pain in the a** FBA!

This shirt is adorable and I love it. Especially with the fabric I found. A cotton with 3% spandex. Perfect for this fitted shirt pattern. I can't wait to wear this with a white skirt or pants when the weather warms up. In fact, I think I'll buy some more and make a skirt to match, belt it at the hip, cute sandals and voila!

This was the first time I've made buttonholes in I can't remember when but it came back quickly. However, sewing buttons on has always been a pet peeve of mine. Then I remembered a Bernina class waaaay back and learning to sew buttons on by machine. I marked the button placements in the usual way then scotch taped a button on its mark. My buttons have 4 holes. Two would work just as well. I set my machine for its widest zig zag stitch. Using my buttonhole foot because it has a big opening I positioned the button so that the zig zag would go in one hole then cross over to the other. I used the hand wheel manually so as not to accidentally stab a button. Six or seven stitches then I turned the button for the stitch to create an X. Lastly I set my machine to stay on one hole and did 3-4 stitches to "lock". sewing buttons on by hand!

I love this little blouse and will make it again, maybe with the collar. I like the 3/4 length sleeves. I like the band without the looks sort of Mandarin-ish. Especially with this leafy fabric. Come on spring...I want to wear this cute blouse!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Whoo-hoo! Who knew?! Vogue 1197 is Great for Workout Pants!

On the eve of a monumental birthday tomorrow, the last one in my 50's (gasp...I have no idea how it happened) I thought it apropos that I review something a little on the healthy side while I sip wine. I've been steaming ever since having recently paid $70 for a pair of Nike running pants. That's ludicrous! I had to revolt! They end up being laundered 2-3 times a week and get faded out in no time. So... I decided I needed to get creative. Last weekend I made the cute pants from Vogue 1197, actually, almost leggings... because I pegged the ankles in a lot more than the pattern called for... see below if you missed it the first time. The whole time I was making them I was thinking "this pattern might make cute workout pants!" The waist is especially comfortable with 1" elastic that makes a nice, flat band that I thought would be perfect for working out:

So...I ran downtown to High Fashion this week and picked up 1-1/4 yards of black polyester knit, sort of a mid-weight... not too heavy but solid enough not to be see-through. Eureka! I was right! The only change I made was to cut the lower legs and ankles as the pattern indicated so that they would top my shoes properly. I don't know about y'all, but I consider myself somewhat tall... 5'6"... and every pair of workout pants I buy is long enough for a 6' tall woman... and I haven't seen many of those lately...even in Texas! No more! Now I have the perfect length. In any event, I am ever so excited about my pants and christened them on the elliptical them...

These pants might be Garment 1 of a line of workout clothes that is noodling around in my brain. I'm so sick of manly looking workout clothes simply cut smaller for women and dyed some gawd-awful color that's supposed to be feminine. Yuck. And how many workout tops or jackets can you find that cover your butt? If I need to run an errand or run by the grocery before or after working out...I want my butt covered. Call me an old fart... it's okay... tomorrow I will ;)

Besos to all my PR and Blog friends!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Shhhhhh... Don't Tell Anybody... These are Pull-on Pants!!

I just zipped up the pants from Vogue 1197...and they have NO zipper! I had already made the cute tunic from this pattern and have continued to be intrigued by the simplicity (no pun) of the pants. One (1) pattern piece! Inseam and crotch seam and that's it. Adorable vent at the ankle and an elastic waist with no gathering that fits FLAT at the waist:

Now, in order to get the pegged leg at the ankle I graded down to a size A from 14" above my ankle down:

You can then fold up and check your angles:

I will be making these babies by the dozens! Easy peasy and cute! I'm even going to make some to work out in...perfect for yoga!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

My Palette is Calling

Happy New Year! I am so happy to welcome in 2012! I can sense that there are good things in store for all of us this year.

Since returning to sewing last spring I have been consumed with all things fabric and style. However, after reading of the continuing education offerings coming up this spring at Rice University's Glasscock School, my right brain is urging me to dust off my art supplies and take a class called Fauves in the Galleries, Drawing with Expressive Color. The word "fauves" translates as "wild beasts" and was the name given to a group of French impressionist painters who, in the early 20th century, began a movement characterized by the use of vibrant, vivid and expressionistic color such as Matisse used in the portrait above and Andre Derain's almost Van Gogh like style shown below:

This class is being taught by my friend and fellow artist Kathryn "Kitty" Klauber, a most talented portrait artist, teacher, art historian and lecturer. The majority of the classes meet each week at one of 3 of Houston's world class art museums and we will actually draw using masterpieces as subject matter while learning the history of color theory and its Fauvist application.

Not to worry! I will not be forsaking my sewing projects. Since returning to my love of sewing last May I have not purchased one piece of RTW clothing. I am curious to see how far this trend can last!