Sunday, January 23, 2011

Claudia Statler Pants Take 2

As they say, if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it. For the past few months everyone and their mother has been trying to accomplish the perfect fit when it comes to pants. Now I haven't tried Simplicity 2700 which seems to be a big winner, but I did start working with my Burda patterns more, and so far, with minimal tweaking here and there, I have been able to get a really good fit. I know that some of you are not big on the tracing part when it comes to Burda patterns, but if you can get past that, it's actually not bad at all. I wasn't crazy about it at first, but I think of it as if I were a designer working on a pattern that I want to make. It makes the tracing out part go a lot easier and faster. Plus, it's so worth it in the end. I get a much better fit from their patterns than the Big 4.

The one thing I LOVE the most about Burda pants is the length. I am 5'9 and I only have to add an inch to the length for hemming and that's it. With the Big 4s I usually have to add 4 inches. Not a plus. Anyway, back in November I tries these pants, and really liked them. So much so, I have made another pair in charcoal gray gabardine. The fabric I purchased about a year or year and a half ago from Walmart. Let me say now, that I am really missing their fabric department as I purchased this fabric for $1 or $1.50 a yard. It sewed beautifully on my machine and the feel of the fabric is so nice. The difference between both pairs of pants is in the first pair I made, they had stretch, these do not. That may account for the slight pulling I'm getting in the front of the pants, but hey, I'm not going to complain, I've seen worse, and these pictures were taken close to the end of my work day, so I think they held up pretty good. If I could change anything right now, I might take the waistband area in just a tad because it is a little loose but otherwise everything else fits pretty good.I have enough fabric left over for a jacket and possibly a skirt. The jacket I have chosen is OOP McCall 5597. If there is enough fabric left over I might try my hand at BurdaStyle 2/2011 #103. By the way, did you notice that I paired my pants with the top I wore to Karen's wedding? I'd say my Gray Days Collection is off to a good start.

Next up are my velour sweat pants.
Stash busting - 4 garments (2 tops, I didn't show black 9/10 Burda Turtleneck, skirt, pants)
2011 Fabric purchases - 0.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Momma use to say!!!

Growing up my mother taught me to be practical when I purchased items to wear. She always would say "don't go for the trendy, but signature pieces that will stand the test of time". She also taught me that when you are buying a garment, remember what is always in your closet and make sure whatever you purchase will at least go with something you already have.

I always kept that in mind when I purchased a garment. I can't say that I've always done that in picking out my fabrics. If I saw it and liked it, I bought it. Well, 2011 is a new year, and my sewing will hopefully take me down some new roads this year. So far, my year has started out with a bang. First of all, I am putting it out there so that you all can help me if I fall which I haven't so far, but this past weekend was a challenge. I have put myself on a fabric diet until PR Chicago. That's right I can't buy any fabric until May 13th.

I have enough fabric in my house to open up a small store, and I plan on shopping in it. I had a weak moment over the weekend. Fabric Warehouse was having a 50% off sale, and they always have the best knits. I prevailed by shopping through my patterns and picked out a jacket pattern for the pants I made last week(post coming soon on that). I also picked out emerald green velour stretch knit fabric that I've had in my stash for like 3 or 4 years. It's going to be a sweat suit as this month PR is doing the activewear contest. I don't know if I'll get it done in time, but at least I'll have something new to wear for just lounging or working out in.

Last week I worked on a new outfit to wear to Karen's wedding last Saturday. During the summer she came to work wearing BurdaStyle 1/2008 #106. Since I didn't have that issue, Karen was gracious to lend me her's. What better way to show my appreciation than to make it and wear it to her wedding. To complete the outfit, I had enough fabric left over to make a fitted knit skirt. It completed my outfit and although the pieces were separate, the outfit gave the illusion of a dress. This outfit also plays into my theme for this year wherein I shall be making garments that can interchange with one another. This first collection I am working on is called Shades of Gray. Please stay tuned for more. Next up BWOF 10/2008 #132 again in a charcoal gabardine.

On a last note, for those of you that think I've given up knitting or crochet, I've got new for you, here's a crochet tunic that I'm presently working on. It's actually a lot further along than this, but I'm trying to keep track of my progress. I have one more cap sleeve to work on and the cleanup work and it should be finished. I'll have more details on this soon.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy 2011!!!!!!

I am sending out a Happy New Year to all you craft minded savants!!!! I also would like to send out belated holiday wishes. I wanted to blog during the Christmas holiday, but I chose crafting instead. There was just too much to get done. Crazy me decided to make this a handmade holiday, and you know there is nothing like waiting to the last minute. With that in mind, I would like to share all that with you before I move on to 2011 and my goals and such.

First I'll start off with the gifts that other people asked me to make for them to give to others. Two of my co-workers asked for gifts for their daughters and I was too happy to oblige them. The first was a painter's smock.

The fabric is a raincoat type material that I saw at JoAnns and thought would be perfect. I trimmed it out in some bias binding and found a tye-dye in hues of hot pink to make the mini pocket which I embroidered her name on. I got a very happy momma when she saw this.

The second was a hat and scarf set of my own design.

I used Deborah Norville's Everyday Collection yarn I found at JoAnns. The color is Parrot. It was pretty good to work with and it's anti-pill. The yarn was variegated so I worked it up Vanna's Choice Baby Yarn in two different shades of pink, Pink Poodle and Berrylicious to bring the colors out. The little diva this was made for likes her garments blinged out so I had to make sure I was on point, so I added the stones for a little extra. I didn't want to disappoint. I heard the 3 year old was shocked on Christmas morning. She couldn't believe the set was for her and loved it.

The next gift I made was for another co-worker who is expecting his first baby any day now. I used Manos Silk Blend for this one. I found the pattern on Ravelry. It's called the Maile Sweater. This was a quick one to throw together at the last minute and they loved it.

We did Pollyannas at work and the person I got asked for wine and a wine glass. I was aiming at giving her two glasses but time was running out and I wanted to do something special so I tried my hand at glass etching. I finally got it on glass number 3. She loved it and the personalization I gave to the gift. I'll do a tutorial for this in the future. If anyone is interested before I finally get to it, here are a few tips. make sure your stencil is secure on the glass. You can use blue painter's tape or masking tape. When picking out stencils and they do have specific ones for glass etching, go with a larger pattern than a smaller one. The smaller it is the harder it is and you will get smudging. Trust me, I learned the hard way. Always use gloves. The etching cream is nasty.

I made a few gifts for the other secretaries in the office. Sticking with the whole handmade theme. I went with earrings. I knew it was something I could do in a night, and boy did I have fun. These are not the greatest pictures(photographing these earrings were hard) and I know I didn't get pictures of everything but this is what I have. Excuse my earrings on the side. Hey, I got home from work took my earrings out and got busy.

I had to make a bracelet for one of the ladies as she doesn't have pierced ears.

I didn't make anything for Mr. D for the holiday, but I'll make up for that by his birthday next month hopefully. I did make a few items for the mothers though. My mom was very easy. Since I was on a role with the Burda turtleneck for the Sept. issue, I knocked out three for her and another two for me. Mine are not photographed here but one is all black and the other is blue and white striped. You know staples for the wardrobe. Anyway, my mother loved them. She especially loved how well they fit. It was really easy to fit her. She can pretty much wear anything that's in my closet. That was a great thing for me when I was younger. I use to raid her closet before getting dressed to go to school. Her pants never fit me, but I didn't care. I only wanted the tops anyway.

For my MIL, I made 2 nightgowns using BWOF 12/2008-114.

She loved both of them, and was shocked when she found out that I made them. Then she told me they looked kind of big. Mr. D then promptly told her, "Hey, they should fit you, she measured it against one you wear now."

After getting all that done, I made mini banana bread loaves for the neighbors and a dress for me for the Christmas holiday. It's BWOF 5/2009-103. I cannot stress to you how much I love this dress. I wore it to my office holiday party and Christmas Eve to church. I received so many compliments. There are a few adjustments that I need to make to it but I'll talk about that later. I do need to do a review on it. Oh and the fabric used was from the August PR Day trip to NY. I purchased the fabric from Metro Textiles for $5 a yard. It was so worth it and the fabric was a dream to work with.

My final dress for the year was a quick and easy one for New Years Eve. I sang that night, and wasn't going to make anything, but crazy me at 2:30 in the afternoon decided to jump up and run over to JoAnns to see if they had any stretch velour to make this cute little number. It's a franken pattern of yes, the Burda turtleneck pattern and I used the skirt portion from my Christmas dress. I figured it looked pretty good for last minute thinking. I received quite a few compliments on this one as well. At the end of the night a gentleman walked up to me with his wife and said, "We love your dress but how are you getting out of it. We don't see any visible zippers. " I smile and started laughing and then explained to him about the fabric being stretchy. I like this dress very much and plan on making it again. I think it will work well for work with a cardi or jacket.

That's it for me right now. Up next. Goals for 2011 and hopefully a small recap for 2010.


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