Friday, April 30, 2010

Loop Neckline T-Shirt Tutorial

I wanted to make one more top for SMOT since it coming to an end. This would make top #4 for me. I was trying to figure out what to make when I came across some inspiration from the LOFT.

I really liked the way the top was embellished and thought to myself, I'd like something like that but in a basic top/t-shirt. Since I didn't have a pattern for the basic t-shirt, I decided to come up with my own. Now, I did promise a tutorial of how I've been coming up with the self-drafted tops I've been making lately. I didn't want to disappoint anyone so, here's a little look see of how I've been doing it.

I started out with a t-shirt that I've had for quite some time. I liked the neckline and cut of this shirt. From there I place the shirt on my drawing table/workboard. I lay my tracing paper over it and place drafting tape at all 4 corners. From there I use my blunt edge tracing wheel by Clover(If you don't have one of these, get one, they're great). I then trace the outline of the top front and back. It looks a little something like this when you're done. Next, draw the lines in with a pencil. I then double check what I drew by folding the top in half and laying the drawing up against it. I start making any corrections there. Lastly, I lay the back and front pieces against each other to make sure they match, if they don't(which they normally don't), I make any necessary corrections to make sure that they do. From there, I drew in my seam allowances and cut the pattern out. I then sewed my top together. For the neckline embellishment I cut 2 inch strips 60 inches long, or however long the width of your fabric is for bias-tape trim. Fold the strip in half lengthwise and iron. Open the strip back up and then fold the edges in to the center fold and iron. Now fold the piece in half again and stitch it closed. At this point you are now ready to start pinning your bias stripes on to your blouse. Make sure to finish off your neckline first, even though you don't see that in these 2 pictures. I tend to work backwards sometimes. If you have a dressform, use her. If not, lay your blouse on a table or your ironing board, it's just as good. That way you can get a sense of what the blouse will look like as you go along. Pin the edge of the bias stripe to the blouse then fold the bias strip in a zig zag formation forming a loop and pinning as you go. The first row should be about a quarter to a half inch from the edge of the blouse. When it looks the way you want it, baste the strip to your blouse and then take it to the machine. Do the same thing again, but this time, make sure that the bias strip is covering the edge of your blouse. Pin, baste and then stitch it to your blouse permanently. That it. Enjoy, and Embellish to your heart's content.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Easy Breezy Fun and Easy!!!

Last Saturday morning, I got up real early and finished by overlay top I talked about in my last post. I'm putting all my information together on how I drafted it. So, more to come soon.

I've been on the Amish Friendship Bread kick for about a month now. One of my friends gave me a starter a few weeks ago, and I've been making it ever since. This batch was my third. The one on the left has raisins in it, and the one on the right is plain. I've also made it with bananas and chocolate chips. Very Yummy. I like eating it for breakfast with a cup of tea.

Last Monday night I started working on this baby. Sista Girl Sheila gave me this pattern about a year ago and I thought it was about time I worked it up. Plus, who wouldn't love an easy breezey top every once and a while. I know I do. It went together pretty fast so I made another one. This second one is a bit longer. I can wear it as a mini dress or hike it up even more and wear it as a tunic with leggings. I plan on making a few more of these. Last night I did some tracing. I'm hoping to get a bit more done tonight, We'll see.

So, last night I finally caught up on the last 3 episodes of Project Runway that I needed to see. In my opinion, I believe that Seth Aaron deserved to win. Some of his garments are a little over the top for me, but man, can he tailor. He does beautiful work. Emilio produced a beautiful line, and I agree with the judges, it was very commercial which is good, but I expected a little more from him for the runway. I wasn't too crazy about Mila all season, but I love what she produced for the runway. Did anyone see the Reunion Show? Who else wanted to slap Jay Nicolas besides me?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

SMOT #1 Update - Self Drafted Pattern

First off I want to thank all of you for the lovely comments you left me about my jacket. As soon as I wear the whole outfit which also includes the Vera Wang skirt, I'll get pictures. Rachel, to answer your question, I based and sewed the jacket and lining pieces during the week. On Saturday, I sewed in the sleeves and took care of all my fitting issues.

In my last blog post I said that I was going to try and replicate a top or top overlay that I saw on a woman I passed the over day walking down the street. Tuesday night I cut my drafted pieces out, and last night I got a chance to work on the top a little. I still have a little tweaking to do. The back neckline is drooping a little. I have it pinned in the picture so that I know what needs to be taken in. I figure I can take the shoulders out to a point and then re-sew it pulling the back neckline in. I also need to do some maneuvering on the sides where the front pieces overlap. They are drooping a little to and also need to be taken in. Other than that, I think it looks good so far. I'm hoping I can finish it up by or on the weekend. If anyone is interested, I can do a post on how I drafted the top.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jacket Love!!

Can I just start off by telling you now that I'm loving my Simplicity Jacket. I could not have picked a better pattern to work with for my first lined blazer. I'm sorry that this pattern is an OOP because it is a very well drafted pattern and the directions are pretty well written.
On Saturday morning I got up and headed straight for the sewing room. I proceeded to gather the sleeves and ease them into the jacket. Upon trying it on, I realized that the jacket was to big for me and there was some major gaping going on in the back. I have broad shoulders, so I had cut out a size 16 for a more comfortable fit. As usual like pretty much every Saturday morning, Ms. Sheila and I were doing our morning catch up. I told her my issue (more like she heard me cussing while we were talking and she then asked me what was wrong. She then told me to fold the front in by about an inch on both sides and hopefully that would take care of my problem. As I had already sewn the leather trim on the jacket, I had some major ripping out to do. With fingers crossed, and teeth mashing I dove in. I was able to get the trim off. It is so delicate and I kept thinking I might rip it. I then moved the trim over a little more than an inch and then folded the fronts in. I tried the jacket on again, but I still didn't like the fit, so I then pinched the fabric between the back and side back pieces on each side and started pinning. I tried the jacket on one more time, and the fit looked pretty good. From this point. I made notes of everything and did the same adjustments to the lining. I then installed the lining in the jacket, attached the trim to the sleeve cuff area and slip stitched the lining to the sleeve cuff area by hand. This view of the pattern has ties that you attached to the front of the jacket. Because of the trim I decided to use, I thought that the ties would take away from the jacket so I decided to go with a hook and eye closure. Originally I thought about using just regular metal ones but upon looking in my stash, I found some brown hooks that I must have taken off of an old jacket of mine. The weird thing was that I couldn't find any eyes. No problem I decided to try my hand at making one with thread.

For my first attempt I sewed both the hook and the thread eye at the jacket edges where the ties should have gone. I didn't like it very much because it left a gap. I then went in a little on the inside of the jacket and did the thread eye there. This did the trick. It now closes much nicer. I still have to hem the bottom of the jacket, which I plan on finishing tonight hopefully. All in all, this baby is a winner, and I can't wait to wear it.
Next up, Spring Month of Tops. I am so behind. I already have 4 patterns cut, 2 of which are for my mother (Mother's Day is right around the corner). I just have to pick the fabric out. I also am going to try my hand at designing a top. I was with Mr. D on Sunday walking back from the museum and we passed this woman wearing this really cool looking top. I loved it from the start. I've been thinking of how to reconstruct/recreate it since then. Yesterday at lunch I sat and drew pattern pieces using one of my t-shirts as a template. I'm going to try and see what I come up with tonight and tomorrow night. Hopefully, it will work out. I got a box of goodies in the mail yesterday, but haven't tried anything out yet. More to come.

Tonight is Glee!!!! I can't wait!!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I'm in Jacket and Lining Land!!

It is always still amazing to me when I purchase a piece a fabric, bring it home and then cut all these cool and different rectangular or oval shapes out. After doing that, I, take a needle and thread or the faster version (machine) and put everything together. End result, a nice garment to wear outside of the house. How cool is that? Sometimes I take that skill for granted, by not remember how cool it is, and then I get reminded by one of my awesome neighbors. Like yesterday, I was in the house and my neighbor Danielle stopped over for like a hot minute. I was working on my Simplicity 4256 jacket. I tried it on and then walked over to her house. I was like, "what do you think?" She then looked at me as if I had 2 heads and said "wasn't that in pieces a minute ago? That's crazy, but I love it. I think it's so cool that you can do that." Well ladies and gents, I think it's cool that we all have this skill/talent whether it be sewing, knitting or crochet. It's even cooler when you walk outside and know that no one else is going to look like you, because you put your own spin on things.

I finally cut the lining out for my Simplicity jacket over the weekend and I marked it up on Monday during lunch at my favorite hangout spot. The Bellvue Food Court. I ate a quick lunch and got busy with my thread and chalks. I had a ball. Yesterday while waiting for my mother, she had a doctor's appointment, I basted my pieces together to check the fit. I can happily say that everything is going well so far. Last night I pretty much sewed the jacket together except for the sleeves. I also pinned the trim (it's a faux leather with cool roping around it) on that I'm going to use. I wasn't sure about putting the trim around the collar area, so I tried it out and then took it off. I thought it was a little too much. I do intend to put it on the bottom of the sleeves though. I hope it give it a nice added touch.
This will be the first jacket that I've ever done with a lining. I'm feeling a little apprehensive about it. That's probably why I've taken so long in making this jacket. This is also the first pattern that I'm working with that has the different bra cup pieces to pick from for your cup size. I have to tell you, I like it, and the fit is nicer.

I did finish hemming the Vera Wang skirt this past weekend. I don't have any pictures yet as I'm waiting till this jacket is complete. I want to wear it with it.

I have been working on some knitting designs and I'm nearing the end on 2 sweaters that I have been working on for quite some time. Hopefully soon I'll show some pictures.
Today I ordered these lovely items from Mary Jo's Cloth Store. Point Presser and Clapper $16.49

Ham Holder $13.49

I don't know how good they are, but the price was right for me. I also purchased a seam roll at JoAnns. They were 50% off if anyone is looking for one.

If anyone is a Christian Siriano fan from his Project Runway days, check him out on Bravo. He has a new how that came on called Christian Siriano, Having a moment. Thanks Victoria for the link. The show is great!!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Crisis Averted!!!!

Everyone I know started getting their April Burda issue last week, but my copy was no where to be seen. I had purchased my subscription through Amazon, and you know I wasn't happy. I spoke to my buddy Karen and she agreed with me that I should check things out because I didn't get a renewal notice and she stated that she didn't think Amazon did renewals. Well my friends, I was freaking out by Monday. I checked my subscription and it stated that it wasn't expired until May 2010. I put an email in to Amazon, who then transferred me to the magazine company that handled my subscription. On Tuesday I received an email back on my inquiry and I was a little upset. I found out that my subscription had been fulfilled with the March 2010 issue, which meant Ms. Andrea was not getting an April issue. Well, we couldn't have that now could me. I was on the phone yesterday morning with a quickness. I found out that Amazon does NOT send out renewals for subscriptions (bad, bad, bad BADDDDD), THANKS Karen for the heads up again. I was able to renew my subscription directly through the magazine company and they assured me that I will now get renewal notices on a yearly basis. I have also calmed down because I was able to get my April issue, so hopefully I'll see that in a few days.
In other sewing news, I finally cut out Simplicity 4256. View C. It's the beige jacket to the far right at the top.

I still need to cut the lining out. I'm hoping to get that done tonight. Then I just need to mark it up and do some thread tracing and I'm ready to go. I'm hoping to get some sewing done this weekend. We'll see.
I finished the Vera Wang skirt except for hemming.
I plan on finishing that up by the weekend as well. I think I might serge and then prick stitch the hem. I haven't done prick stitching on a hem in a long time. I need to bone up as they say on my hand sewing skills.

I also finished the chemo hat that I was working on for a friend. Sorry it's not modeled but I'm sure you can understand. I can tell you this, the hat is sharp when it's worn. My hairdresser saw it Friday night and now she wants one, and personally I like it too, so I guess that will be hat #3 in the works.

I started working out again a couple of weeks ago, and I'm still going strong. I've lost about 6 pounds. It's a slow go but I'm trying. On Tuesday night I took a Zumba class for the first time, and LOVVVVVVVVVVVVVVE it. I am totally hooked. It kicked my butt, and I was crying for the last 15 minutes as I wanted to quit, but there were these 2 older women in back of me, I'd say around the age of 65 and older. I wasn't quitting if they weren't. Plus the class was packed. I didn't want to leave my corner.


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