Saturday, January 26, 2013

Have you been to Yalta

I have been meaning to get this post up since last week, but have been feeling a little under the weather.  It has been freezing cold here and it doesn't help when the building you work in tends to run on the colder side.  I was fighting a sore throat that finally turned into a full blown cold today and I have a pulled muscle in my lower back.  Let's just say Motrin is a wonderful thing when you finally take it.  A heating pad doesn't hurt either.  Anyway, I would like to talk to you about Lena Merrin and her blog, The Sewing Space.

I had the honor of being selected with 9 other lovely ladies to test sew Lena Merrin’s Yalta top.  

It is a downloadable pattern consisting of two pattern pieces.  I have worked with downloadable patterns before and I will add that this one does have a few pages to tape together, but it is so worth it.  

This top is very well drafted.

The fit is spot on, and from looking at the pictures of the other testers, there is not one body type this top does not flatter. The fabric used is a 4-way stretch rayon knit I purchased from Walmart a year or so ago.  There is nothing like stash busting.

I plan on making a few more of these.  

Check it out for yourself.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Soup for a Dreary Day and a Knitting Review

There is nothing like soup for the soul and on a dreary day like today, I thought a bowl of soup was in order.  I wanted it to be hearty, so I went with a chicken and kidney bean soup with kale.

I wasn't sure what it would taste like as I was winging it, but I can now say two bowls later, it was pretty good and I would make it again.  If you're interested in the recipe, let me know.

In my year end round-up for 2012 I showed a picture of the Lace Caplet I knitted from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2010.

I first saw this pattern when a friend of mine loaned it to another friend and she was giving it back.

I thought it was a lovely caplet that would be great for a cold day to keep the chill off.

 I had not been doing any serious knitting, and it was a great project to get the fingers moving and it refreshed my love of knitting.

I'm now working on the Rib and Cable Cardigan from Vogue Knitting Fall 2009 and I'm loving it.  I'll have pictures to show soon.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The One Seam Rectangle Skirt by Rhonda Buss

For the past year I have enjoyed reading Rhonda Buss’ blog, Rhonda's Creative Life.  She is one sweet lady for sharing her talents with us every week. Her hobbies range from sewing to knitting; cooking to piloting a plane (Amazing!!!).  If you have not had a chance to check her out, please do.  And did I mention she even gives out cooking recipes on Sundays?  Hello!!  Anyway, every Friday she gives you Fabulous Free Pattern Friday.  For the longest time I’ve wanted to try one of her patterns and the list is getting longer with every Friday that passes.  

There was no time like the present, so I decided to start with her One Seam Rectangle Skirt.

                                                       This picture is courtesy of her blog.

Rhonda’s patterns are very simple to put together and she explains and gives directions in a way that it's easy to follow and you can’t go wrong.  

I enjoyed making this skirt up and when I tell you, I think it only took an hour tops from cut to finish.  Did I mention I made this whole outfit with 1 5/8 yards of fabric which I purchased from Fabric Warehouse I think a year or year and a half ago.  It's a sweater knit. 

I have paired the skirt here with McCall 4517 (OOP).  

 I definitely see a few more of these skirts in my future, especially during the summer months as it can be worn as a coverup and/or with a tank to keep cool.  

If you've been thinking about trying one of her patterns, please do.  You will not be disappointed.  I wasn't.  I know for a fact I am going to try a few of her other patterns in the near future.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Burda 9/2012, #107/109

With the biting, cold weather that has been coming our way lately, I thought a few new sweater dresses or rather garments were in order. The office I work in tends to be very cold on Mondays. I’m assuming it is from the building turning down the heat on the weekends, so I wanted something other an your usual sweater and slack/pants to wear.

When I went through my Burda Magazine back in September, I knew that I would eventually sew Burda 9/2012 #107/109 up.

Fast forward to last week when I was looking through my fabric stash and thinking this dress would be perfect for it, now, "what issue was that dress in again?  Well after spending an evening going through a few magazine, I found what I was looking for only to realize, hello Renee made the dress, I could have just gone to her blog and gotten the information I needed as to where to find the pattern.  Oh well, I got to look through a few magazines and add a few more patterns to the ever growing list of things I want to make so it was a win, win all around. 

Now I gave you pattern numbers 107 and 109 because the dresses are basically the same except that 107 has leather patch pockets on the front and the neckline is also made out of leather. When I first decided to make this dress I actually was going to go with the leather pockets and neckline but Mr. D and my mother chimed in that it would give the dress a different look and take away from the fabric and they preferred it without, so I left the leather off. It wasn’t until after making the dress I realized that I could have still done the neckline and maybe trimmed the sleeves in the leather. Oh well, next time. Here’s my review.

Pattern Description

Shift Dress with front darts below the chest area
Pattern Sizing:

36 through 44.  I made the 40 which is a Size 14 in American sizing.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once
you were done sewing with it?

Yes, but I omitted the zipper and did the v-neckline in the back.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yes, the directions were very easy to follow.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I liked the simplicity of this tunic dress. It has two princess seams/darts in the front from some shaping but that’s it.

Fabric Used:
Sweater knit purchased from Joann Fabrics last year.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I lengthened the dress by 3 inches.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I do intend on making this dress again and already have the fabric prepped. This time maybe I’ll add the leather trim to distinguish the two dress apart a little. I would recommend this dress to others. I think a few people including Renee have already made it up.


This one is a keeper. It’s simplistic, very easy to make, and only takes a couple of hours or less to make. Depending on your fabric choice, and accessory choices, you can dress this baby up or wear is very casual.  It's up to you.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

2012 Wrap-up

I don’t really have too much to show for 2012.  I did complete garments, but I was a very bad blogger.  A lot of changes happened on the home front and they took precedence so everything else took a back seat.  I’m hoping 2013 will be a better year (as I keep my fingers crossed.  Here are a few of my favorites, and I’m also including pictures of some that were not blogged about.  Hopefully in the future I’ll talk about them or make them again because quite a few should be repeated.

These were a few of my favorites

McCall 6118. It might be an OOP, but I still love it and it looks great on stage.
McCall 6206(OOP) and McCall 6440.  I plan on making this jacket again in a tweed.  I have made these Palmer Pletsch slim pants three times now.  Would that be considered a TNT yet?

McCall 4517 (OOP)

McCall 6559. One for me and one for a friend as a thank you.

Vogue 1247.  I think everyone has made this one.  If you haven't, give it a try. 
New Look 6130 and McCall 3830.  I love knowing that I can wear these two pieces together as you see here or as separates. 
The Kimono t-shirt by Maria Denmark.  I see more of these coming this Spring and Summer.
Burda 8/2012 #112 for Faye's sew-a-long.  There is nothing like a flashy skirt.  Love it.

McCall 6402 (OOP) but you can still get it on the McCall site.  I enjoyed working this skirt up.

The top is Vogue 1291 and the leather pants are McCall 6440 which I made and pictured above.  One pattern different looks.  You can't beat that.

McCall 6556.  I loved making this coat and it was probably one of the easiest patterns I every worked with.

Simplicity 2181 or Sheila's 1849.  I used 2181 so that I'd have more choices in the future as to the variations of tops to make.
Vogue 1267 (the Tom and Linda Platt dress) a dress I made for a friend for her college graduation.
Crochet cowl made is variegated chenille yarn

Crochet newsboy cap made with Noro Silk Garden.

Kwik Sew KP-2935 made for Mr. D's birthday.  Pattern is compliments of Clio.  Thanks girl, he loved it.
New Look 6036
Chunky newsboy hat (crocheted) with matching cowl.wrap knitted.
#3 Lace Caplet by Tanis Gray from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2010.

I want to thank everyone who has stopped by, called, emailed, or texted me to catch up.   You are all awesome and talented individuals and it is an honor to get the chance to communicate with you all about crafting.  You brighten my days and spark my creativity just when I least expect it.  You are all very talented individuals and I value your expertise and advice immensely.  I wish you all well for 2013 and happy crafting.  I can't wait to see what we'll all work on in the coming year. 

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Plans for 2013

For 2013 I have decided that I want to be a better blogger.  2012 was a bust with blogging so I will definitely try to do better this year.  It’s something that I miss, and it’s a great way of tracking what I actually accomplish in the course of the year.  I was freaked out when I saw the amount of posts I actually accomplished last year.  It was just pitiful.  **Note to self, schedule more time for me and not everyone else.**

Here are a few of my sewing goals for 2013 so far.  The list might grow as the year progresses, but right now, this is what is on my mind:

 Work more from Burda patterns.  I think I say this every year and I'm doing better, but this year I really want to sew even more from my stash of Burda magazines.  I am going to commit to making at least one pattern every other month.  If I can make one every month that would even be better.  The directions are spotty but if you have a fairly good sewing background, you can muddle through.  The patterns are very well drafted and the fit is spot on for me.  To show you that I mean business, the first pattern I worked on for 2013 on New Years Day was, 9/2012, No. 107/109 which I wore to work on Wednesday.

My review is coming up in an upcoming post, but here is a sneak peek.

I would like to sew more for others.  I did a little bit more of that last year and the people that I got a chance to work with were fun to sew for.  I liked doing it because it educated me on the different types of shapes that people have and it really made me think.  It was kind of cool learning to work with a different shape that was not mine.  I’m working on a coat for my mother right now.  I think I mentioned the coat in my last post.  It is McCall 6456, View B.  

I’ve been working the pattern out in my head and the placement of the fabric.  I have already made one fabric change during the thought process, but I think I like it even more now than before.  

The other side of the quilted mosaic print looks like this

 I’m almost ready to get started. After the coat is complete I’m going to work on a hat and Henley shirt for Mr. D.  His birthday is coming up in February and I’d like to have these 2 items done in time for that, we’ll see.  I also have an unfinished coat that I started for myself last year that I want to finally get completed.

I only need to sew the lining sleeves to the lining of the coat and do the finishing touches.  I don't know why it has taken me so long to finish it up when I'm actually in the home stretch.

 I was looking through my wardrobe the other day assessing it for what I actually need and don't need.  For the past year and a half or so I've been making my clothes and not buying from the store unless I really had to.  It has been working out very well for me and it feels good knowing that I can actually put clothes on my back that look decent and well made.  I feel that the the quality in clothing in the stores has gone down and the pricing is just ridiculous.  And, unless the item is purchased in a high-end store, boutique, Jones of New York, Talbots, The Loft, etc., you really have to look through the racks for something worthwhile to purchase.  Anyway, after assessing my closet, I think it's lacking in the jacket category. For me that's good because I’d like to focus more on making more tailored/structured and labor intensive garments.  I love the easy stuff, but I also like working on projects that make me think and work a little extra harder. The benefits in the end make me feel really good about myself knowing I was able to accomplish what I set out to do.

Another major goal for me in 2013 is that I have to try and cut back on buying fabric and work more from my stash.  I think I say this every year, but I really mean it this year.  I swear I have a warehouse to shop from right in my own home and I don’t really need anything except for the occasional zipper, bias binding, snap, etc.  So, unless I can’t find it in the house, I’m going to make do with what I have.  I think this should also count for pattern shopping as well, because I'm starting to notice that is starting to get out of hand as well, and I need to slow down.  I have a subscription to Burda, but hey, that’s something I’m already signed up for and the issues have been pretty good lately, so I’ll leave that alone.  Plus, their patterns seem to be pretty much on trend for what I'm seeing on the runway or close to it anyway.

I want to work on doing a little designing/pattern making.  I don’t know what I’ll accomplish in the coming year, but anything is good on that front even if it’s copying something I see browsing online or in the fashion magazines.  I also want to make use of the classes that I purchased on Craftsy.  That site is blowing up with some really good classes I want to make use of.

In knitting and crochet thoughts, I have a few things (2 sweaters one knit and the other crochet and a Dr. Who scarf for a girlfriend) that I need to finish up that I started at the end of the year before the holidays.  After I finish them, I can sit down and start working on some ideas that have been muddling around in my head.  

Aside from these thoughts the only other thing that's been on my mind is losing some weight. I did so well last year until I gained it back. Well, I plan on jumping back on the bandwagon this weekend.

That’s it for now, but I’m sure as I think of something, I’ll add it to the list.  What are some of you planning for this year?  I'd love to hear what you're got planned.

Happy New Year and Happy Crafting!! 


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