Sewing Classes and Lessons

Saturday, October 31, 2015

You're never too old for footie pajamas


This is my daughter, Ariana.  How old would you guess her to be?  I know she looks young, but she is actually 27.   And she still loves pajamas with feet. She's been asking me to make her a new pair for a while.  I've been putting the project on the back burner, and was in no hurry to do it.  So she made me an offer that I couldn't refuse.  "Mom- if I made a flourless chocolate cake, would you make me the pajamas now?"

Who could pass up that offer? She wanted them to be made of natural fibers, not polyester.  So, we found some french terry in the SewBaby fabrics that was perfect- thick enough to be warm, but breathable so she won't get too hot.


Finding a current pattern with feet that was designed for knits proved to be impossible.  There are several jumpsuit type pajama patterns, but none of them have feet.  And there is a Kwik Sew women's pattern with feet, but it was designed for woven fabrics.  She is petite, so I went back to my Kwik Sew children's footed pajama pattern and compared measurements.  She is 3 inches taller than the XL child's size, so I graded the pattern to be one size larger.  Voila, a perfect fit!  See- it pays to hold on to those patterns- you never know when they will come in handy!!!


 I used an orange zipper and turquoise ribbing to accent the colors in the print.



You wouldn't think that this was a stripe, but all of the circles are in a row, so you really do need to treat it as a stripe.   I tried to align the circles when cutting out the pattern, and it turned out pretty well!

For non-slip feet, I used this slipper gripper in red, also available at SewBaby.


The feet are cut out of both the fabric and the slipper gripper, so there is an extra layer of cushioning in them.  A package has enough for two projects, so now I've got to figure out who else might want either slippers, or another pair of these?


As you can see, she is in love with her new pajamas.  Isn't it nice to know that there are still things that Mom can do that a store can't quite duplicate.  Oh, and the cake was delicious too.  A fair trade.

Do you have grown-up children who still want you to sew for them?

Happy Sewing!

Ann

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Faux Wrap Dress with Drape- Butterick 6166

It's been glorious weather here in Illinois.   We're in harvest season, and the field behind our house, (which I posted photos back in June when the corn was growing here), has now been combined and all that is left is little stalks. 


It's a whole different kind of beauty, and I love watching the field in all of the seasons.   I also love making clothes that reflect the time of year, and this dress is meant to do just that.  The burgundy, the muted green, the burnt orange- all remind me of the changing foliage.   The pattern is Butterick 6166.  It's a knit dress with a faux wrap overlay and a drape across the waist.



I like that you feel like it is a wrap, but you don't need to worry about the wind.  The fabric that I used is 100% cotton jersey from Hancock fabrics.  It has a horizontal stripe which you can see from the back.  I wasn't sure I wanted the horizontal stripe going all the way around, so I turned the overlay to go up and down.  It is a single layer, and the vertical edge is narrow hemmed. 


It doesn't have much stretch going that way, and I wasn't sure that it was going to work, but luckily, it didn't hurt the fit at all.  In fact, I think it may have helped to stabilize the neckline.  I lowered the neckline by quite a bit, probably 3" or so.   With a larger bust, I feel like a lower neckline is more flattering.  And it's easier to find a necklace that works with it also.  The neckline is narrow hemmed, and I stabilized the back portion with a strip of fusible interfacing before I did the narrow hem.  Since you narrow hem the under-dress and the overlay together on the front, I didn't add any interfacing here.


Here you can see the back with the horizontal stripes more clearly.  There are also some darts at the back for fitting.  And you can see that I left out the zipper, as I most usually do with knit dresses.


 Overall, it was very quick to sew, and I think I'm going to love wearing it! I can pop a cardigan over it when it gets a little colder. If you make this, the only recommendation that I would make is that you choose a fabric that handles narrow hemming well- as there is quite a bit of it in this pattern.  


I'd like to try this pattern again with some colorblocking.  You can also skip the overlay layer, as Sheila did on a gorgeous dress on her blog at SheilazCTK .  I can see a lot of possibilities with this one! 

On a completely different topic, my assistant at SewBaby, Shirley, is retiring at the end of this month, and since she was primarily responsible for filling fabric orders, I've decided to significantly reduce the fabrics that we offer.  We've got all of our cottons, corduroys and flannels marked 60% off!  So, head on over to SewBaby and take a look.  You might just find the perfect project for that next baby shower!

Happy Sewing!
Ann

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Pillow Talk


Fabric Mart is having an incredible Home Dec sale right now, and I ordered two yards of fabric for recovering some throw pillows- 1 solid and 1 print.   The one thing that I have learned over the years in making pillow covers, is that the home dec fabric really is superior to using regular cotton fabric.  Pillows actually take quite a bit of stress, and regular cotton fabric will tear and wrinkle,  but home dec fabric doesn't.

I use down pillow forms that I got from IKEA in various shapes and sizes.  I like down-filled pillows because they seem to last longer than regular polyester filled pillows, and I can just change the covers on them. And you cannot beat IKEA's price on them!  They are the same price that you would pay for polyester filled pillows at a regular fabric store. Again, you really need home dec fabric to use down pillows, as it is dense and won't let the pointy feathers through.   Those feathers will manage to get through once in a while, but not often.

For the covers, I don't do anything fancy.  I just cut a square or rectangle the size of the form plus 1"  for seam allowances.   I serge the raw edges, and use the selvages for edges if I can because that will be the best edge finish.  I insert a zipper on one side- whatever zippers I have on hand.
Here I used some brass zippers that I got in an assortment from Sew True Sewing Supply.
I don't see the assortment there anymore, but they are still a pretty great price for a very heavy duty zipper. 

I was able to get 3 covers from each yard.  The geometric print was $5, and the solid was $3.50, so with the zippers included, I was able to get 6 covers for less than $15 total and less than 2 hours of work!  Not bad for a fresh look to the living room. Isn't that right, Fred (our cat)? 


Have you bought any home dec fabrics lately?  What do you like to make with them?

Happy Sewing!
 

Ann


 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

McCalls 7249- a Rectangle's Best Friend

Meet my new best friend- McCall's 7249.  How is it that putting extra fabric around your midsection can actually help you to look like you've got a smaller waist?  I can't explain it, but this pattern does exactly that!  Here is my first version with what I call my EKG print.  I wasn't really sold on the print, but it was cheap, and now that I see it in a dress, I really love it!

Here is my second version with a fun chevron knit print:


I was feeling in the mood for some new dresses, and even went to JCPenney to try some on, but ended up  at Hancock fabrics instead, and picked up this pattern.  Here are all of the views included.  The dress takes about 2-1/2 yds.  


My fabrics are both ITY knits that I also picked up at Hancock's on a different visit.  I had said that I was going to stay away from polyester, but these both feel so nice!  Of course it is the perfect weather for them also-not too hot, not too cold. 


The pattern is just 4 pieces- 3 if you want to make the sleeveless version. For the dress with sleeves, it's just sleeves, front, back, and then the overlay, which also functions as the neckline finish.  Here's a close-up for you to see.  It's a little difficult to see where the overlay is with all of the zigzagging going on.


 It is one of those patterns that goes together like a puzzle, and I recommend that you read the instructions first.  Unlike me, who immediately sewed the overlay to the front with the right sides together, when it should have been right side to wrong side!  It's only one page of instructions, so it really would have taken less time to read them, than to rip out that section.


But, once I got that right, the rest of it went together like a dream. The length of the dress was 38" which is usually a really good length for me, so I didn't lengthen it.  However, I think that perhaps the ruching takes up some of that length, as it feels a little short.  I would like it a tad longer.

So, if you have a rectangularish shape like I do, I highly recommend giving this pattern a try!  It's a winner in my book.  Do you have any patterns that can perform optical illusions like this one?  If so, please share!

And thanks to all who have taken some of my fabrics with my Super Stash Reduction Sunday last week!  I've sold about half, and have condensed the remainder into a new photo album, that you can see here.  Best offers will be considered, so please don't hesitate to ask me at sewbaby at sewbaby dot com if you see anything that you'd like.

Happy Sewing!

Ann

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Amazing Ottobre Woman Index 2006-2015

If you are a long time Ottobre Woman subscriber, you probably know the feeling of going through all of your old issues to find just the right style to suit you at a particular moment  It can be a little confusing, flipping back and forth, comparing one thing to another.

Alice Hall from Abilene, TX  has come up with a solution!  She has taken the time to compile all of the Ottobre line drawings from 2006-2015 by specific garment type.  It's fantastic!  Now I can just thumb through this, instead of going through 10 years of magazines!  She's organized it by garment type, fabric type and even by sleeve type!  Alice has given me permission to share her work with you.  She would like for everyone who is interested to have access to the index so they can see how great Ottobre patterns are!  Here are a couple of pages from it for you to see, but there are many, many more!

Alice created it in Powerpoint because it is easy to move photos around. You can find the Powerpoint file here.  If you have Powerpoint, you can save a copy to your computer and make changes to reflect the issues that you own.  If you don't have Powerpoint, I've converted her original file to a PDF file, and you can download the PDF file here.

If you want to print it, just be sure to select Landscape mode as the pages are laid out horizontally. There are 34 pages.



Many thanks to Alice for the many hours that she spent compiling this information!  Alice doesn't have a blog herself, but if you'd like to leave her a comment here, I'll make sure she sees it!

Happy Sewing!

Ann

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Super Stash Busting Sunday

Have you heard of SABLE?  Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy?  Well, I've achieved it. If you'd like to take some beautiful fabrics off of my hands for a good price, please check out the fabrics below.  If you click on the links below the photos it should take you to my Google photo albums for each group.  For some reason, the links don't work from the Bloglovin reader, but they do if you are on the blog directly.

Each group has at least 10 items in it, which the descriptions and prices included.  All are good quality apparel fabrics- many are just colors that I've decided aren't the best for me, or too similar to other fabrics that I also have in my stash.

Price varies, but average of $10/yard.  Free shipping to US included for orders of 3 or more pieces.  Please send me your address for postage quotes for 1-2 pieces ,or if you are out of the US.  E-mail me at sewbaby at sewbaby dot com if you would like to order any of these fabrics.

Fine Fabric Sale



If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

Happy Shopping!

Ann

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Off to Bangladesh with Butterick 4238


Certain people think that I am like Samantha in "Bewitched", and can just wiggle my nose; and voila-  a garment appears!  Those certain people would be: my adult daughters.

My youngest daughter left for 6 week work trip to Bangladesh this morning, and yesterday morning, she picked out her fabric and pattern for me to make her a work appropriate tunic for that part of the world.  So, I didn't get a photo of her in it, but I did manage to snap a few on the dress form.   She chose this lavender and green ikat print from SewBaby, and Butterick 4238.



This is an out of print pattern, but with the asymmetrical hemlines, I think it still is very current.  I made View B, and the body pieces are cut on the bias, which I think looked pretty interesting with the ikat print.  It only took 2 yards which is pretty great for a long sleeve tunic cut on the bias!  I raised the neckline about 1 inch, per her request, and I also raised the spot on the pattern where the side slits start.


Here's a back view for you.  I feel like the back has some odd fullness in it that is related to the fabric being on the bias.  When she gets back, I'd like to tweak that a bit- perhaps but in some waist darts.


I approached the neckline with a little trepidation because of the bias issue as well, but it actually lays pretty nicely.  It's finished with a facing.



I just love the fabric.  It is currently on sale at SewBaby here, if you are interested as well.

I hope that she gets a lot of use out of it on her trip.  In Bangladesh, women dress very modestly, but the clothing is also very colorful.  She says that most women wear beautiful clothing, even while doing work such as farming.  It's funny that it's kind of the opposite here- so many people are wearing blue jeans when working in offices. 

While she is there, she intends to order some custom made sets.  Apparently, you can get complete sets that include a tunic, scarf, and pants for under $25!  And made to fit you as well!

Have you seen Vogue's new patterns?  There is one that would have been just ideal for what she wanted, Vogue 9159.  It is designed for knits though, which might be a little warm for Bangladesh- I think most of their tunics are rayon.  But, I'm putting it on my wishlist anyway!

Do you like this style of tunic?  I do, but I have yet to make myself something like it.  And, do you have certain people who think you are magic and can make something in a blink of an eye?

Happy Sewing!
Ann


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