Friday, November 30, 2012

Anticipating Santa

My mom used to give us new robes and jammies most every Christmas. It was the one gift we got to open on Christmas Eve. In retrospect, the idea there was probably so we would look cute for the Christmas morning photos. No was always so exciting to me to go to sleep on Christmas Eve in my new nightie with visions of sugarplums in my head.
My niece is getting her first American Girl doll this Christmas. I already had the idea to make her and her brother Christmas Eve robes and then decided how fun it would be for her doll to have a matching robe under the tree the next morning. How did Santa know?? And Joann's had their flannel on sale for 75% off so how could I possibly resist?
I won't review the doll pattern but it is B3329. Did it take  2 hours from start to finish? Maybe...but it was two hours of sheer joy and happy memories.
Olivia's robe is B5724 and is reviewed here if you have any little ones to surprise.
May all your sewing projects produce visions of sugarplums!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Defying Frumpy

This is the cardigan from the Kwik Sew 2948 twinset. There were comments on some of the Pattern Reviews about this sweater set being frumpy and only to be worn by women of a certain age. Well, I'm pretty sure I qualify for the age bracket but I certainly don't see how something as basic as a wardrobe-building sweater set could be considered "frumpy".  Please feel free to clue me in if I am out of touch with what's "in"!
I finally found this out-of-print Kwik Sew on EBay, advertised as new and unopened. Sadly, it only contained the cardigan, not the shell, and the seller hastened to return my money. No worries on that, though, because I love any opportunity to use my favorite Vogue 1141 and it paired perfectly with the cardigan:

I used a yummy milk chocolate knit called "Opening Ceremony" from High Fashion and found some adorable wooden buttons:
I stitched with satin embroidery thread over topstitching thread to make corded buttonholes:
I love my new sweater set. Go me frumpy. I'll wear it proudly!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Make It Yours!

Vogue 8793 by Katherine Tilton is a blank canvas with unlimited design potential. It's a fun tee shirt-type top that could go a little bit dressier, if needed. I wasn't in High Fashion more than 5 minutes when I spotted this striped knit with all my favorite colors in it.  The rest was easy!
What looks like piping on the collar is actually a zipper! Cute way to incorporate a fun detail. I used a sport zipper to add a little more girth since my knits were on the heavy side:
A fun sew if you're looking for something a little bit different. I might make it again without all the distraction of the different fabrics. See my complete Pattern Review here if you'd like more information on the pattern itself.
If I'm not back before next week I wish all of my friends in the states a very Happy Thanksgiving! 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fixin' to SWAP!

Newsflash! I'm about to delve into the world of Sewing With A Plan and have joined with others to do the Artisan's Square SWAP2013. It officially begins December 26th and ends April 30, 2013. So, still plenty of time to join, plan and sew.
I happened on to this idea when reading about it on BeaJay's blog On the Road to Sew Wear. Check out her great ideas and plan so far.
Basically, the idea is to make two 4 or 5 piece collections, with a single other bridge garment that can be worn with both capsules. There are other rules, but not too many. You are allowed to start with one garment you already own, either sewn or purchased. I believe I will incorporate my new "across the border" top since it has all my favorite warm colors in it. For the other capsule I might bring in my cool palette colors like teal and turquoise. The bridge garment? It almost has to be a jacket in order to be worn with everything. Such problems to solve... I love it!!!
I think it will be so much fun and I'll end up with 8 to 10 new garments. ! I'm going to be sewing anyway so may as well have camaraderie and a mini-wardrobe, to boot!
I'll be posting my progress here and on Pattern Review so stay tuned!
Is anyone up for joining me on this odyssey?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What I Learned Across the Border

I had more fun with this project than I've had in quite a while. Although Vogue 8390 is a simple design and an easy sew, it was the use of a border print that took it up a notch from a basic wardrobe builder to a one-of-a-kind, boutique-chic standout. At least that's what I was told countless times yesterday when I wore it!
When I spotted this fabulous ITY knit at High Fashion here in Houston I was immediately thrown into auto-swoon. It had every element that appealed to my senses, warm earth tones, some animal print but with a twist, a lot of artistic contrast, high energy but at the same time soothing and the most important ingredient that dropped the brick on the gotta-have side of the scale...a pop of orange.
I spent a good bit of time playing with the positioning of my pattern pieces. The print coming up from the border was different on each selvage edge so it gave me a lot of possibilities. You can see that the back, with the exception of the border, almost seems like a companion fabric from a different bolt:

So, what was the take-away message I learned from making this top? I need to take more risks with my sewing projects and elevate the "oomph factor" of my finished garments. I think the perfect mix can be achieved between a garment that is edgy.. but still classy. Cledgy? You heard it here first.
A long time ago one of my sister's gave me the ultimate compliment about one of my projects. She said, "that's the kind of thing...that when you die...people fight over." I want to sew those kinds of things!
Thanks for stopping by and here's hoping all your days are only sew-sew...
P.S. if you'd like to read my Pattern Review of this top you can find the link to the right in the "Hot Off My Bernina" box.

Friday, November 2, 2012

We Need a Cold Snap!


This is Vogue 8795 and it was SO much fun. Great pattern that lends itself to a lot of creativity. My pea brain cannot process the color brown without trying to finagle a way to get orange next to it so...I serged my seams in orange as a decorative element and also decorated the zipper tape with a pop of it.

I gave kudos to Sew4Fun on my PR for doing all the fitting on this for me. I so wish I was like her...tracing my patterns and making beautiful new pieces with all of my changes noted and alterations incorporated within the new pattern piece. Sadly, I didn't come into this world with that gene. I'm more of a "start drawing with a Sharpie then go at it with my rotary cutter" sort of girl. I'm learning to embrace that trait. Anyway, we both arrive at the result we want so...
Back the collar!

Here is a close up of the double zig-zag stitching on the zipper tape and the serged edges in what else? Orange!

Thanks for stopping in...have a great weekend and if you haven't already done so...VOTE!!