Saturday, May 7, 2016

Wrap Pants and Fringed Poncho Vogue 9191

Have you ever tried wrap pants?  I've tried wrap dresses and even a wrap culotte jumper from the 70's.
But never wrap pants, so I had to try Vogue 9191 , a five piece wardrobe with two ponchos, wrap pants, shorts and a crop top.

Not knowing whether this was a style that I wanted to wear, I didn't want to invest too much money in it, so I hopped down to our local WalMart (or the evil empire as it is known in our house), and found some amazing fabrics for $1.50/yard!  The white is a loosely woven cotton dobby, which I thought could fringe well for the poncho, and the blue is a polyester challis.  So, for all three pieces, my fabric cost was only $9.

The pants are so much fun.   In motion, they are really pretty.  I had a couple of concerns- how to go to the bathroom and what happens in the wind.  Neither of those things turned out to be a big deal.  Going to the bathroom was surprisingly easy- just untie the back and flip it over your shoulders.
What wasn't one of my concerns and should have been, was what happens when I cross my legs.  Oh boy!  I absolutely cannot cross my legs in this without showing my legs all the way to the thigh.

The top looks pretty plain from the front, but the back has several pleats which are really pretty.  I lowered the front neckline a couple of inches so that I could skip the keyhole opening that the pattern includes.

The poncho I made is View A, but I did a self-fringe instead of adding a purchased fringe.

To make the fringe, I stitched a line about 3-1/2" from the bottom all around the lower edge.  Then,  I cut 3" strips, 1/4" wide, put it in the washing machine, and crossed my fingers.   After it was dry, I gave it a good shake, and then took the cat brush,which is a wire brush and brushed it out.  This is my result, which I think is pretty cool.  I think it will be nice to wear when it is a little chilly or at night.  

I still want to make the shorts from this pattern as well. I had a lot of fun making it, as it is really simple to sew and quick to put together.  When my daughter came over today, she said "You are brave- I wouldn't wear that, and I don't know anyone else that would wear that, but it looks good on you!".    I do feel that lately, I've been experimenting a lot more with unusual styles, and I've been really enjoying that.   I'm embracing the freedom that comes with being able to sew your own wardrobe.  Why not have fun?

Happy Sewing!


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Roses and Cherries Summer Pajamas

Options are good to have, especially in Illinois, when the weather can turn from freezing to blistering hot in a few days.  So, I made another pair of pajamas for my daughter to wear while she recuperates from surgery.  These will also coordinate with the robe that I made here. 

This time I used the short sleeved version of Kwik Sew 2811 and the shorts and top from Kwik Sew 3882.  I used Caravan Dreams Climbing Vines in Orange for the body and Field Day Cherries for the contrast.

I had just enough piping left from the robe to accent the pocket with yellow piping.  And I used pink buttons for the front.

The collar is from the cherry print:

The for the shorts and tank, I used a grey rayon knit for the tank, and the same fabrics for the shorts.

I serged the tank with peach and yellow thread, and then turned that to the right side of the neckline and armholes.

The shorts have a paperbag waist with elastic, and a drawstring.  The cuffs are made from a contrast fabric. There are pockets as well.

So, she is all set to mix and match any piece!  These are fun to make, but all of the details do take some time.  It took me all day yesterday to make all three pieces.  But, I hope it will be worth it and she will love them.  Pink and orange are her favorite colors.  These are certainly one of a kind!

Happy Sewing!


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Linen Separates from McCalls 7368

Did you know that "separate" is the most commonly misspelled word in the English language? At least according to The Telegraph.  I am not surprised, as I had to look it up to write this post about separates!   I could have just written "Linen Jacket, Pants, and Top", but then I wouldn't have found out that interesting bit of trivia.

I bought McCalls 7368 specifically for the jacket, but then decided that the whole pattern was pretty darn nice, and decided to try some of the other pieces as well.  This is a Khaliah Ali pattern which are designed to be flattering on larger sizes, so I usually feel confident that they will be a good bet for my figure.   I love seeing her as the model too.  I think she is so pretty, and how nice it is to see a real curvy woman on the cover! 

 I had three pieces of the new designer linen from Fabric Mart, and my vision for them was something Eileen Fisher-esque.  I admire  Eileen Fisher styles for that effortless sophistication that somehow eludes me in my fashion efforts. Here is my first try at the jacket made from a linen/cotton patchwork blend.

When I opened the pattern and looked at the pieces, I had second thoughts about the jacket.  The underlap side is snapped to the inside at the shoulder.  I wasn't really sure I was coordinated enough to manage that!  And also, I thought it might look a little strange if it was worn open.  But I did like the asymmetrical concept, and thought if I could just figure out how to get it to tie at the waist, then I might be able to dress myself.  So, I redrew the left front (which is the underlapping side), so that it would tie at the waist, as you can see here. If you look to the dart area, you can see that I also lowered the dart.
Since I had lowered the dart, that also meant that the placement for the tie would need to be lowered as well, since it hits just below the dart. So, I cut out the section that has the tie attached and moved it lower and to the left.

There were also facing pieces that would go along the right front and the neckline.  Since I was changing the neckline to a straight line, I decided to skip the facings all together, and use a narrow hem.  The only curve that I was particular concerned with was the back neck, so I fused a strip of interfacing there to stabilize it.  This sounds like a lot of changes, but really they simplified the construction so much that I'm sure I came out ahead time wise.   So, here is the jacket closed with my changes:

And this is what it looks like when you are tying it.  This is my final version made from solid black.   I substituted twill tape for the ties on the black version, so they are thinner than the first versions ties.

 And if you don't want it tied shut, you can just tie the ties at the side and let it open like a cardigan!

The top is very simple. I also lowered the dart on it, and added side slits  so that I could reach into the pants pockets without having to lift up the top.    If you are wondering what shades of linen these are on the Fabric Mart website, the pants are the brown-olive, and the top is from the natural. 

 Here's a close-up of the finishing on the armhole- I used single fold bias tape, which behaved beautifully.

I don't mind the wrinkles in linen, and really love how comfortable they are.  I hope I get a lot of use out of these!  I think the pattern is a good investment, and would recommend it.

Happy Sewing!
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