Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Decisions, decisions.

I'm really thinking switching my blog over to blogspot. I've noticed that overwhelmingly, most of the blogs I follow are using blogspot and I wonder if I should get on the bandwagon... because it's free, mostly. I've been so hesitant because when I took a little hiatus last summer, I lost quite a few readers. One of the reasons I've discovered is because bloglines wasn't picking up my feeds, which were all wonky. Now that that's straightened out, I'm still thinking of switching over..maybe a different look, a whole new attitude. Hey! that sounds like a mid-life crisis!

It's all a little scary, really. It's like giving up something....all those years worth of posts, mostly! So, I'm still trying to figure out how to save what I've already written, and then continue in a different venue. I'd welcome ANY tips, suggestions, pros and cons of your blog host, ANYTHING.

I've been making tops lately, and have a whole stack of them ready to sew. But first done:

Simplicity 2181


This is a great top. It's flattering, good on it's own or as a layer under a cardigan or jacket.

I got right at it one afternoon and by after dinner, it was's that easy. The interesting thing is, I really didn't know how on earth to do a FBA with this pattern because of the way that it is constructed, so I just cut an 18 and hoped for the best. As it turned out, it gave me plenty of room through the bust and a nice fit in the bodice. The only adjustment I had to make was replacing the fabric loop in the front with a tie so that I could accomodate my boobage. AND it worked out okay. .

It's hard to see that front loop detail, but it's there..


Next time around, though, I think I would do a FBA now that I understand the construction of this top. I'm actually thinking of making another one...tonight.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Here it is...FINALLY!

Simplicity 2446 Amazing Fit jacket.


You can read most of my construction notes here. I am most pleased with this jacket. I can see myself making this pattern again and again, by changing the sleeve options or the shape of the lapel, etc. Because it's just such a good basic fit pattern.

I really had fun with this one...being inspired by a Cabi military-style jacket. I added lots of details...changed the sleeves to have cuffs, added the shoulder epaulets, faux welt breast pockets...


And another fun detail, satin stitch "stripes" on the lapels and the front of the jacket.


The military patch is a vintage WWII naval air-force patch. I was lucky enough to get it so I didn't have to use my blue painted patch from Joann's! I can see loading this up with clusters of decorative old pins . I think it could be really cute. I've worn it and washed it a couple of times, and I like that it gets more comfortable and rugged looking as it ages.

Next time I'm going to wear it over a soft floral dress...won't that be a contrast in themes??? Love it!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Okay, how cute is this????


Can you even stand it?


Find the pattern here by Nicole Mallalieu.

Just last night, I finished up my jacket and threw it in the wash this morning for a washed and rumpled look. I'm so pleased with the results...other than the interfacing. Crud and a half, I used some stuff I had from Joann's and there you go...bubbles and ripples. So right away this morning, I placed my order with Pam at Fashion Sewing Supply so I will not be tempted to make that mistake again.

It reminds me that there are some very important things to ALWAYS remember when sewing:

1. Use the best interfacing possible. It's like buying the best bra makes everything else look good!

2. Make a muslin.

3. Press as you go ( thanks Mom!)

4. Try to have the insides look as good as the outsides. ( hmmm...I think there may be a life lesson there!)

So, after a good pressing, I'll take some pictures so you can see my incredible little twill Military Jacket!

I'm leaving work early today... to clean out my closet ( no, I would not consider that suffering for Jesus!) and to have some quiet time. Today is always a bit of a somber day as I reflect on how little I deserve to have this life of blessing, and how grateful I am for forgiveness.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bad blogger. Bad, bad blogger. Forgive me, readers, for I have fallen short... It has been 12 days since my last blog confession.

No thoughts, no feelings, no projects, no witticisms. No sewing, no knitting, no cooking, no gardening to report. Not that I haven't been doing all of these things, but I just haven't shared. And I've missed you!

Truth is, I have been working on one major project, and one only...that Military Jacket. Last I left you, I had my fitting done, and the muslin perfected. So, since then, a little here, and a little there, I have been throroughly enjoying the process of making this jacket.


I am using Simplicity 2446 Amazing Fit , which I do believe, is probably the best fitted jacket pattern I have ever tried. Right from the package, I cut a 16 C cup, and it fits beautifully with a few very minor adjustments. At first cut it too large, and had WAAAAY too many adjustments to make, until I realized, duh, I just needed to go down a size! This pattern is perfection. But even so, MAKE A MUSLIN!!!!!

Of course, I'm making mega-mods along the way to get the styling I want...including some new tricks for me ( 0r at least things I haven't tried in so many years that they seem new!) ....

Faux welt pockets. (using Make a Dress Blog tutorial) Over a princess seam, no less.

IMG_7375 IMG_7376

Notched collar and lapel. (carefully following the pattern instructions...slowly and carefully)

A new sleeve placket (using Rusty Bobbin's tutorial)


In addition, I completely changed up the sleeves to make a cuffed sleeve, decided to make this twill jacket unlined, added shoulder epaulets, and I narrowed the lapel.


So, at this point, I'm set to do all of the finishing ( hem, buttonholes, top-stitching, etc) and I really want to take my time.

Buttons? I'm so in love with these buttons... they are just vintage-y yet non-traditional enough. IMG_7407

But I wonder, is if it too weird to use the same buttons that I used on another denim jacket that I have already made?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Here is a funny thing: observing your own mother falling in love. And it's a good and funny and sort of weird thing all at once. I just wanted to acknowledge that... seeing your mom make googly eyes and silly giggles and handholding a man named Bob is good and funny and weird and we like it. The darkness has lifted, and it's a joy to know that she looks forward to each day with excitement and anticipation of new adventures.


Okay, that's that. Is anyone else in WNY tired of the rain and cold? I finally decided that if I want to get my sewing mojo back, I have to think Spring. I have to make a date with myself to sew a little each morning and evening. I have lots of ideas for Spring projects and I want to get going on them!

Last night I plowed into fitting the military jacket that I'm making...and fit issues there were...too big across the shoulders, too wide in the waist, too much bulk above the bust-line. I'm starting to think I should have gone down a size ( which really makes me feel good, especially since I feel like a big blob right now.) So, I think I finally have it all figured out, and can move on to setting in the sleeves and all that jazz.


Isn't it interesting how just one perceived hurdle can mess with your head? With this jacket, for example, I was hung up for weeks on how to add a cuff to the a shirt sleeve...with a welt at the cuff opening, etc. It's not like I hadn't done it before, I just wanted to do flat felled seams, and for the life of me, I couldn't figure out that welt. I decided that I wasn't going to do flat-felled seams and once I finally attacked the issue, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and I worked out a solution.

It's kind of like that with a lot of things, really. We perceive a difficulty in life, scheduling, relationships, faith, etc. and it can freeze our momentum...lock us in a place where we're stuck instead of moving forward. Typically, the obstacle is much smaller than what we perceive, and the outcome is much easier than we would's just overcoming that fear of what could bung us up, and behold, we end up wondering why we even had an issue in the first place! Other times, the obstacle truly is huge and daunting. But it's the process of overcoming that ends up being more of the reward than just getting to the other side.

IMG_7361 IMG_7363 IMG_7364

My garden is finally peeking out to say hello! That makes me very happy.

So I wonder...

do you have an obstacle in your life right now?

do you remember your first love?

are you happy it's Spring?