Thursday, July 31, 2014

Autumn Berry Mini Wardrobe

Update:  8/11/2014-  I'm SEW excited that I won! Thank you all for your kind words. The Patternreview community has been so inspirational and encouraging to me over the years, and I'm honored to be recognized by such a talented group of individuals. The competition was fierce! Congrats to Toile and Trouble too!

I love so many of the other wardrobes. I wish that we could all share virtual closets. Maybe in the future...

Thanks to Sigrid for her outstanding work in managing the contest, and to Deepika for the generous prizes. I can't wait to take a class!

Original Post:

I decided to enter's mini-wardrobe contest which ends today!  The challenge was to make 5 items in one month that could be combined to make 6 different looks.

You know that time of year when it is still hot enough for short sleeves, but chilly in the morning, and the leaves start turning colors? The perfect time of year to go for long walks, and sit outside at cafes enjoying time with friends. It's my favorite time of year! That is feeling that I'm trying to create with my Autumn Berry Wardrobe. 

 So, I made a dress, a skirt, pair of pants, a top and a sweater.   I switched out the accessories- boots, shoes, necklaces and purses. to try to make the looks a little more distinctive. Here are my 6 looks

Look #1.  Orchid sueded silk top from McCalls 6711 with wool skirt from Vogue 1082

Look #2.  Raw Silk dress with Learther armbands from Butterick 6066.

Look #3.  Orchid top and Wool pants from Hot Patterns 1139

Look #4  Cocoon Wrap from Butterick 6065 with Orchid sueded silk top from McCalls 6711 with wool skirt from Vogue 1086

Look #5
Cocoon Wrap from Butterick 6065 with Raw Silk dress from Buterick 6066

Look #6. 
Cocoon Wrap from Butterick 6065 with Orchid top and Wool pants from Hot Patterns 1139

I had so much fun doing this challenge.  It really energized my sewing, and stretched my abilities to the max!  There are so many other beautiful wardrobes entered in the contest that I'm getting lots more ideas for next time! 

 Have you ever entered a sewing contest?  What did you make?

Happy Sewing!


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cocoon Sweater Wrap from Butterick 6065

 Here is a fun, easy and satisfying project for you!  I call it a Cocoon Wrap, and it is from Butterick 6065.

This is so easy, it is literally only two pattern pieces:  the main body, and the neckband.

I used a novelty Missoni type sweater fabric.  I'm not sure what is in it, but it has all of my favorite fall colors.

This is so comfortable!

I can't wait for it to turn chilly enough to wear it!

Since my fabric was very loosely woven, I hemmed it with a satin bias strip.  But you could just narrow hem it if your fabric is closely woven.

My 21 year old daughter wants one.  How cool is that?

Happy Sewing!  


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Piped Pencil Skirt Vogue 1082 Review

I'm still dreaming up ways to use my daughter's torn burgundy leather jacket.  You see, the leather is so soft and worn, and it would be just a shame not to use it!  So, I'm looking at all patterns with the thought "where could I sneak in a little of that leather" in the back of my mind.

I've had this skirt pattern (Vogue 1082) for a number of years, and I thought- "Hmmm... maybe the yoke in leather?"  This pattern is gorgeous, but WAYY more detailed than I usually sew. But, I had a piece of wool gabardine that was the right amount of yardage for this pattern, so I thought, "Let's give it a try!

You might think that after sewing for 40 years, that everything is easy.  You would be so wrong!  This skirt took me two full days.  So, why did it take two days?  Well, one word:  PIPING.  In all my sewing, I cannot recall using piping.  It's clear to me now why.  I'll show you why later.

First, let me show you the leather jacket salvage operation.

When I took apart the jacket, I was left with three fairly large pieces- the sleeves, and the back.  The front had too much going on with the pockets, facings, etc.  The back had it's problems too- it was princess seamed, so It had lots of seams.

I decided to cut the front skirt yoke out of the back piece of the jacket, placing the center front at the center back seam.  The back skirt yoke was in two pieces, so I used the sleeves for it.  Cutting was a breeze.  Now it was time for the piping

Let me take you through the steps.

I still had leftover raw silk from my last dress, and I decided to make my own.  To do this, first you have to cut out 1-1/2" strips on the bias.

  The pattern called for 8 yards of piping, so I cut 8 strips and pressed them in half.  I decided not to insert the cording.  I thought that might feel a little weird when sitting, so my piping is flat.

Now comes the tricky part.  How to sew the piping in, so that it looks even.  The one thing that I had going for me was Wonder Tape.  I placed a strip of Wonder Tape 1/4"  from the raw edges.  Here is what it looks like before you peel off the paper layer.  Just peel off the paper, and you have a nice sticky tape to press your fabric to.  Sounds easy, right?  My first try-too much piping showing.  Out comes the ripper.  My second try- not enough piping showing.  Ripper is getting lots of use.

My third try- just right-in MOST places.  With selected surgical ripping, I kept at it, until it looked fairly even.  The problem was the curves.  Even with the wonder tape and the ruler, the curves have a mind of their own.

The next hurdle was the invisible zipper.  I don't think that invisible zippers and leather go together at all.  The leather is just too thick.  The first insertion- zipper wouldn't zip!  Ripper again.
The second time I sewed it in a good distance away from the coil, and it worked okay. 

This skirt would be sooo long on most people!  I am 5 feet 9", and I ended up taking off 3 inches, making a 2 inch hem, and it still is below my knee!  I think it might have actually been more attractive shorter, but after how much work I put in that piping, I couldn't bring myself to cut off anymore!

  I had a pretty orchid satin that I used for thelining. 

Even though this was hard, I'm glad that I challenged myself. 

Happy Sewing!


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