Sunday, November 27, 2011

Black Lace and Cream

Here is my lovely new skirt! I think it turned out to be a very pretty skirt! Here modeled by me and my Red Poppy Blouse

Pattern: M5523

Project Cost: $18

Note to Self: Hand wash, and wear a waist cincher!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Plaid Dress, Planning

Wow, look at this pattern! It's beautiful, refined, flattering! I love the new patterns with lots of options for altering for cup size or curviness... so convenient, as I'm not so wonderful at changing patterns yet. I hope it works in this fabric, I really want a warm flattering dress, and I really love this plaid. I need perhaps more solids in my wardrobe, but I'm a sucker for prints and plaids and stripes! This is a nice flannel from JoAnne's, they've discontinued it, I think. I can't find it on the website now. 

Today I'll start cutting it, I think! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Chicago Yarn

When I travel, I buy yarn as a souvenir... usually sock yarn. This yarn I bought on a trip to Chicago to visit my sister... I also taught her to knit on that trip! I'd put off making socks for awhile with this yarn. I think because I wasn't sure how the colors would work up and I was nervous to pick a pattern. I finally decided to just make a toe up vanilla sock with a short row heel and just enjoy the colors, and I do!

Notice my peacock blue velour jogging suit! I'm a real suburban housewife, I promise!

Here are a few reasons to buy sock, or lace, yarn as a souvenir (or just as a gift for ME):

1. Easy to pack in a corner of your suitcase or stuff into your purse, or if push comes to shove, into your bra to carry home.

2. The more local the yarn the more memorable and evocative of the area it will be, so choosing a yarn that reminds you of the locale is a fun exercise in creativity. Combine that with the thousands of sock patterns available, you can pick something that evokes the feeling of your trip, perfectly, even if it was full of detours!

3. It's relatively inexpensive. Yes, a ball of sock yarn can be pricey, but it's just one or two small balls.

4. Finally, you'll get to think of the trip the whole time you knit the socks AND every time you wear them, much more useful than a knic-knack you stick on a shelf.

Damson Jacket

FIRST A DISCLAIMER: I know this jacket is too small for me, I do not care... I will shrink. So there.

So, anyway, purple wool, simple, slightly deconstructed jacket.  I bought it,tags still on, and a matching pair of pants, at the local Goodwill. I knew it didn't quite fit, and I knew I didn't care... as I'm working out regularly and losing weight like it's, well, most of the things in my house (so I suck at housework, nobody's perfect). I couldn't resist the color, and it's really beautiful, so I figured I could find SOMEone to wear it! Me first...

And look, it just so happens to be modeled by ME, with the Silk Poppy and my reconstructed Grey Skirt!

I do not like slacks, and think I'll probably turn the pants into a wool skirt, buuuuuuuuuttttt, after I lose enough weight to WEAR them, I might change my mind!

Cost: $5

Note to self: Girl, get to the gym!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Blue Silk Flower

You know what? These are addicting... just as fun as knitting socks, only almost instant gratification... I used the scraps from the skirt lining and a vintage button, soooo pretty. This one I singed the edges of the petals using a candle, while I watched a kind of disappointing movie with hubs Sunday night...

Won't it look smashing with my pin dot blouse? When I finally make it???

Project cost: $0.25
Time: 30 min 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Big Plans

Next Project is a skirt. I bought this MAGnificent black on cream brocade woven at JoAnne's. Lots of drape and it just happens to look amazing with my new Poppy flowers... I think it's gonna be smashing, but should I put in some black piping or bias tape on some of the seams to really make it pop?

Here is the same lining I used on the first legacy skirt: a beautiful bright blue synthetic... china silk isn't cheap... sigh... BUT, I think I'm gonna need a turquoise blouse to wear with this skirt. And probably a cream wool skirt to go with that. Sorry, rabbit trail.... 

And beside that is a lovely chiffon, black with a tiny pin dot... which will look amazing with the copper skirt and the black lace brocade skirt as a blouse... OH, now I'm gonna need a black camisole (add it to the list! Fortunately I already have the pattern for THAT, mmmmmm black charmeuse, REAL silk this time...) 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Legacy Skirt #1

This was my first venture into Meemaw's wonderful stash... a wool and linen blend, in a gorgeous copper hue.  It's perhaps the least scary of the fabrics that Meemaw had bought for the wardrobe, excepting perhaps the turquoise flannel(interlining for a coat, perhaps?), which is still really good flannel! I lined it in a turquoise synthetic... and used a turquoise hem tape, which makes me happy
every time I put that skirt on or cross my legs! This skirt was made last fall, and I've lost 20 pounds since then, so I'll need to fit it to my new bod, but I think it was a marvelous debut for Meemaw's Legacy wardrobe.

It's definitely wool, but perhaps has some linen or silk, but it's rustic... not refined, so I thought a refined silhouette would be a nice juxtaposition.  Plus, cute with my new brown shoes, right?!?!

I had fun with the finishing, and will use this lining for more of the skirts in the wardrobe, including the next one..... more silky fabric scrap flowers?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bonnie's Legacy

My husband had a grandmother who was a sewing genius... she had a fabric stash any good home sewer would kill for.  It's no wonder, as she used to own two different fabric stores in Texas. Her name was Bonnie and she was one of those people who could hardly sit still for two seconds together, energy to spare, all the time. Meemaw made my wedding dress as a wedding gift, and it was as beautiful inside as out: and gorgeous white dupioni with chunky lace (I did bead it myself with little tiny pearl beads!!!). About eight years ago, she had me go through her fabric stash and get whatever struck my fancy. I've always had a taste for luxury, so I chose the best (OK, I had no idea it was so luxurious, then): gorgeous silk and woolen suitings, some beautiful silks, and a bevy of teal and copper fabrics that all coordinated beautifully.  I was aware that my sewing skills did not merit the use of these amazing fabrics, but I knew one day I'd love to have them in my wardrobe so I took them home and put them in a suitcase and would get them out to pet occasionally. Meemaw passed away about two years ago, and I think it's high time I put those fabrics to good use! My sewing skills have progressed to a point that I'd not hesitate to try just about any pattern, adjust it to fit me and make something marvelous...

These are the fabrics that coordinated... along with a copper wool that I already used.

And these are the ones I'm planning on using for garments, soon!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Everyday Mitts

Our house is COLD in the winter, warm enough when you're moving about being all domestic, doing housework or cooking, but downright chilly for sitting and knitting or blogging or reading or sewing. SO, I wear mitts in the house... even though my fingers aren't covered, wearing the mitts makes my whole hand warmer which keeps me comfy and the heating bills at a reasonable level. I made these last winter.

I have been on a green and brown kick for a while, so they go with lots of my casual clothes, like the outfit I threw on this morning...

 Since we're being all colorful on my blog, I did my eye makeup to match today, too!

Pattern: KIS Mitts by April Klich

Project Cost: Nothing, used scraps from other projects

Time: 3-5 hours, I can't really remember, it was last winter, I know I made the pair in one day.

Note to Self: Great Gift knit!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Red Poppy Blouse

I love this blouse... though it was a challenge to make.  This is my first silky, slippery fabric project, and I think I did alright.  If I was to be persnickety, I should have marked the pleats more precisely, and perhaps lengthened the blouse slightly above the bust line, but as the fabric was $3 a yard, it was a sort of practice run or muslin to determine fit for my nicer fabrics. The collar is interesting, but it was challenging to figure out how the heck to sew it!!! I still may need to tweak it a bit, and I've already tweaked it twice!!! I really want a simple shell pattern to make with a moderate scoop neck and swingy, full sleeves with a pretty cuff.... THIS pattern was a bit challenging to make, but the blouse is infinitely more flattering than a simple shell, and it looks just as stunning under a jacket, and looks amazing all on it's own!

Project cost: Approximately $4, Polyester Joanne's silky solid

Time: 12 hours... pinning was meticulous, both for cutting and for the pleats. Hand finishing time consuming, but as I like handwork, it was fun the whole time!

Pattern:McCall's 6399

Note to self: I need a Dressmaker's Dummy for pics and fittings!!! Loved ones please note Christmas Present idea.

Bonus: Silken Poppies

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Boucle is Delicious

I love thrift stores... I love finding something wonderful for almost no money, and I love taking things that aren't quite right and making them right... a la Sixteen Candles (why oh why did she cut up that pink prom dress to make that pink disaster for prom????) This skirt's fabric called to me at the local Goodwill... such a pretty boucle, a misty, purpley grey background with lovely orange and purple and red and gold boucle yarns popping out... I just couldn't resist, even if it was inches too big... It was only $4!!! So, I put in a movie one night, and pulled it apart... taking out zipper, cutting three inches off the side seams, opening up the waistband seams... Then yesterday, I put it all back together again! I fused thin strips of interfacing to the stitch line on the boucle... it's so stretchy, after all... sewed up the right seam, sewed on the zipper (I almost had to replace it... getting it out of the garment was very difficult). I'd like to mention here, invisible zippers are so easy to put in a la the Sew Serendipity method... Then I just re-hemmed it, did some hand finishing around the zipper, took out the old label (it's MINE now!), and threw it on!

It's fabulous!

Project Cost: $4

Time: Approximately three to four hours in total, but I was dawdling... 

Note to self: Mama needs more boucle in her wardrobe!!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Silk Poppies

Well, I've been busy... I bought some burnt orange silky material at JoAnne's for a blouse... and from the scraps I made these pretty silk flowers... I also bought buttons at G Street Fabrics in Alexandria, VA for another project that is in the works... I'll not elaborate, as of yet, because it's a massive undertaking and it may never get started! Burnt orange is one of my favorite colors. I'm a fan of bright, saturated color, and I have green eyes and auburn hair, so warm autumnal colors look best on me, not to mention make me happy!

These flowers are extremely easy to make, and there are a million flower tutorials online, but I'll just quickly outline what I did... I'm sure you've all made paper hearts, fold the paper in half, cut out a half heart shape, unfold and, voila, a pretty paper heart.... This is very similar... only I folded the fabric in half, in half again and in half again to make a pizza slice shape, then just cut the wide end of the wedge in a half circle shape. When unfolded the fabric makes a scalloped circle. I just took five or so of those scalloped circles, folded them in half and then in thirds to make a fluffy pizza slice and arranged a fluffy silk pizza. Then I just sewed the centers together with a needle and matching thread, added a pretty button to the middle and voila (again!) a fabric flower.  I liked it so much I made two:

Project Cost: I'll estimate $1.25 per flower, for the button and fabric only, a clip or pin would up the cost slightly
Project time: less than 10 minutes per flower