Friday, September 30, 2011

Paco Peralta - Pleated Skirt

Cut and Ready

The skirt is cut and ready to go.  That's a major accomplishment, considering I have family visiting this weekend for a long weekend and I've been extremely busy cooking/cleaning/etc. for the past two days. 

I went through my collection of stuff and found a zipper but did not find any lining fabric for the skirt.  I'll have to pick some either this weekend or early next week.

I'm not sure how much I'll get done this weekend - I might be able to sneak in some sewing.  I won't be blogging again until next Wed., so have a great weekend and I'll be back then.

Parting Shot:  Apple Crumble Pie.  Since we're having family for a long weekend, I baked an apple pie.  It looks good, but we'll find out after a turkey dinner tonight!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Paco Peralta - Pleated Skirt


Next on my list of things to sew this fall is the Pleated Skirt pattern by Paco Peralta.  You can purchase his patterns in his Etsy shop.  This skirt is originally drafted to be a midi-length skirt, but because of my fabric selection, I am going to shorten it to knee length.

The fabric I've chosen is a vintage wool plaid that I've had for quite a while.  I got it over five years ago and I know it is much older than that.  It is a classic plaid and I think it will make a versatile skirt for fall.

For the lining, I need to check my collection or pick up some navy blue lining.  I'll do that tomorrow.  As a side note, the lining is drafted differently than the skirt - it is drafted as a straight skirt rather than pleated like the skirt.

This skirt shouldn't be too hard, but it looks like a busy weekend, so it might not get finished until next week.

Parting Shot:  Getting There.  The fall colors are starting to show nicely in the mountains and in the next couple of weeks will be at peak.  I was hiking yesterday and was able to get this photo of the eastern portion of Crawford Notch.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Make The Look

Anthro's Wicopy Skirt

After looking through some of the new offerings from Anthro, I chose the Wicopy skirt for this week's make the look.  Although this is a simple skirt, I think it could be worn with a lot of different tops/sweaters/jackets for fall, and with or without boots, and with or without tights.  There's lots of options here.

To make a similar, inspired-by skirt, the closest pattern I've found is Simplicity 2512.  There are some differences, the first being that there are no pleats at the waist - which may be a good thing if you don't want all that thickness around your middle.  The original skirt also has a paper bag style waist and the pattern doesn't.  The paper bag style isn't really slimming or versatile, either, so I actually like the pattern better in that regard. 

For fabrics, you could chose any wool plaid or boucle and actually splurge on some nice wool plaid and still make this skirt for much, much cheaper than the retail price.  This wool from Gorgeous Fabrics is only $14.00 a yard, and a great plaid for fall:

This tweedy wool from Emma One Sock is pretty affordable, too and would work well with this fall's palette of colors:

All photos from respective websites with links included.

Parting Shot:  Approved!  The new music bag gets approval from Wellie.  Glad my work is still up to his standards.  LOL.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Simplicity 2358, Music Bag


With both the bag and the lining done by Saturday night, all I had to do on Sunday was put the two together, finish the top stitching and add the strap.  Not too much to do, but I was at point where I needed a design consultation with my son.

We had originally planned on accenting the strap with some leather and then using leather tabs on the front of the bag.  I had two pre-made adjustable straps in my collection of sewing stuff, but the problem was that I could not use the straps and the leather in combination.  The resulting product would be too stiff to use the sliders and because he's still growing, being able to adjust the strap is important.  So, no leather.  Since we got rid of that, the bag was going to be very plain. 

I suggested some piping made of the lining fabric, because I had all the materials already and because it would add something interesting to the bag.  He agreed and it wasn't too much work to make enough piping to go around the flap.  I like result and the bag isn't as boring.

The bag wasn't as stiff as I'd liked it to be, so I did add an extra layer of interfacing in the front and bottom and then some really stiff Peltex stuff for the back.  The bag is more stable, and more like what I imagined. 

Just a peek inside:

He's happy with it and since piano lessons are tomorrow, he'll get to use it.

Parting Shot:  Purse.  I bought a new purse recently - this one is a dyed, woven straw type of purse, made in Southeast Asia.  I loved the teal color with the black trim for fall.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Simplicity 2358, Music Bag

A Lining

I've made good progress today on my son's music bag and I think I'll be able to finish it up tomorrow so that he can start using it next week. 

I got the lining finished, including a patch pocket with dividers for pencils or whatever small items he needs to store. 

The lining is also topstitched on the inside, which I don't recall seeing in instructions for a bag before, but it does look nice and will give the lining seams a little extra strength.

I just need to get the body together and finish this up - should be quick!

Parting Shot:  Another Bag.  Wellie has claimed another bag, this time my husband's laptop bag.  My husband put it on the desk and within minutes, Wellie made himself at home.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Simplicity 2358, Music Bag

So far, I've got the bag cut out and fused.  I've also modified the pattern a little and picked up the magnetic closure that I'll need to for the flap. 

Among all the cutting out, would you believe there are no inside pockets for this bag?!?  There are a few pockets on the outside, depending on which view you make, but none in the interior.  Um, I guess guys (to whom the pattern is apparently marketed to according to the cover artwork) don't need interior pockets for things like cell phones, ipods, memory sticks, etc.?  I think I'm going to add some to this bag so my son can at least keep his pencils and other small things organized.

Other than coming up with some sort of pockets for him, I think I'm ready to sew this up.  I think I'll be home most of tomorrow, so maybe I'll make progress!

Parting Shot:  Fast Asleep.  We found Wellie fast asleep in bag in my workroom the other day.  He just made himself nice and cozy and took a nap.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Simplicity 2358, Music Bag

Thank you all for the compliments on the Advance dress!  I'm pretty sure that I'll be able to wear it many ways, like some of you suggested, this winter.
Between piano lessons, trumpet lessons and now Jr. High Band, my son needs a new music bag that will hold all of his music.  His current bag barely fits his piano music, let alone the music for trumpet or band.  We looked at patterns online and chose Simplicity 2358, view D with a few modifications.

He wants the front to be more like view A, with the tabs and buckles.  View A is actually too small for his music; after measuring his books we found out we'd need to make either D or E. 

We discussed fabric choices and decided to go with a black bull denim, a plaid shirting for lining, plus some leather for accents.  I already had the shirting and leather, so all I had to buy was the denim and interfacing.  I also had enough webbing in my collection to make the strap. 

This shouldn't take too long to make, maybe I'll get it done over the weekend! 

Parting Shot:  Ocean View.  Here is one of the photos I took in Acadia National Park from some cliffs near the trail, right off of the Park Loop Road.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Advance 7931, Navy Corduroy Dress


The dress and belt are finally finished!  The belt was easy to make, and I had the right sized vintage buckle already in my collection.  If you're going to make matching belts, I've got one tip.  You're going to have to place the belt over the tongue portion of the buckle and secure it.  In order to do this easily, I make a button hole in the belt, and then easily assemble the buckle.  Otherwise, you'll have to cut the belt and have a raw edge, which is not ideal.

Here's the dress on the form, all done:

Here it is, with me wearing it:

I'm happy with it - the pattern was well drafted and the instructions were straightforward.  Made up in corduroy, this style is good for fall/winter wear.

Parting Shot:  Sunflowers.  My son's sunflowers did pretty well this year.  He's got a variety of heights, but he really loves these tall ones.

Regarding yesterday's parting shot.  The campground is on Mt. Desert Island, ME near Acadia National Park.  Tent platforms are not uncommon here in New England.  Their main purpose is to help prevent erosion and damage due to overuse or because the terrain is so uneven or rocky, making pitching a tent difficult.  Most platforms have hooks or large metal eyes in the corners and along the sides for staking out a tent if the tent is not free standing;  it is usually considered bad etiquette and damaging to install your own, although people do it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Busy Weekend!

I've had a busy, but great weekend away and am trying to get back to routine.  I promise pictures of the finished Advance 7931 dress tomorrow!

Parting Shot:  Tent Platform.  For our trip this weekend trip to Maine, my husband was able to get this really neat campsite.  The tent platform is right on the water and we were able to watch the sun rise over the ridge across the water from our campsite. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Advance 7931, Navy Corduroy Dress

Still Finishing . . .

Well, I got the hem done.  I decided to do this one by hand only because there is no other topstitching on the dress and I thought it would look better not to be stitched by machine.  I serged the edge, turned it up once and then hand stitched it:

Some of the backs of the bound buttonholes are done, but not all as you can see. 

Once those bound buttonholes are done, all I need to do is add the buttons and the decorative front tab.  All that can be done in the car this weekend (see below), and next week I'll make the belt. 

Parting Shot:  Almost Ready.  We're going to Acadia National Park in Maine for the weekend, and I think we're almost ready to go.  See you on Tuesday!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Advance 7931, Navy Corduroy Dress

Some Finishing Details

I am down to the finishing details on this dress and there are quite a few.  For some projects, it seems like finishing is actually half the project!   As far as the finishing, I have added buttons to the sleeve cuffs and made the decorative tabs for the front and back.  I've already add the one to the back, it is just stitched to the back with the buttons. 

I've also tacked down the facings at the shoulder and dealt with a small fitting issue.  The waist was a little bit too big, but taking in the dress at the side seams was not an option due to the inseam pockets.  My solution was to make the waist seam allowances into a casing and insert a piece of elastic just in the back to help the dress fit better.  You can see both ends of the elastic, below.  I just stitched across the ends of the elastic at the side seams and it was done.

It looks like all I have left is the hem, finishing the bound buttonholes and adding the buttons.  I should have that all done between this evening and tomorrow morning.  Oh yeah, and make the matching belt!

Parting Shot: Claimed.  Wellie likes bags and packs for some reason.  He's claimed my husband's laptop bag this time.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Advance 7931, Navy Corduroy Dress

Collar and Facings

I feel like I'm finally getting to the finishing stages of this dress now that the collar and facings are mostly done.  I say mostly done because I need to get the other side of the bound buttonholes finished.  I'll need a few hours to sit down and do that, but that won't happen until tomorrow evening.

The collar is cut on the bias in one piece, but I didn't have enough fabric to do that, so I cut the collar in two pieces and made a seam at center back.  I think it looks fine and certainly doesn't detract from the dress. 

The front edges are now done and you can get an idea of how this is going to look once it is finished:

I should have this dress done in the next few days if I have enough time to work on it!

Parting Shot:  Fungus.  I've been seeing quite a variety of fungus on my hikes recently.  Maybe it is the time of year, or maybe it is because we've had a lot of wet weather and warmer temps, but there is quite a variety in all colors and shapes.  I liked these because of the color and texture contrast with the moss that they're growing on.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Make the Look

Kate Spade - Bardot Sweater Dress

Sweater dress, well you know that sucked me in.  Living in New England, sweaters and other cozy clothes are always important.  A sweater dress is a bonus in my case.  You see, I love really nice dresses and there are a ton of them and patterns for them out there.  The problem is that I am always cold, even in air conditioning in summer.  That means, I'm always wearing a cardigan over the dress, thus hiding the whole thing, and in the end it doesn't matter what the dress looks like anymore because of the sweater!  Don't even think about winter.  Sigh.  Enter the sweater dress!  Now, that's a concept the I can get on board with.  The Bardot Sweater Dress is nice because it picks up on the color blocking trend, and if you look at the shape really closely, there isn't much to it. 

There are two patterns that I'd suggest for making such a dress.  For either, you will have a few changes to make.  First, you'll need to figure out how you want the color blocking.  That is a personal decision and your body shape may have something to do with it.  Second, you'll need to adjust the sleeve length to your liking.  Third, you'll need to add wider binding or bands at the sleeve ends and neck.  Using that bow on the neck is up to you. 

McCall's 6355 is nice.  It also has some bust darts which is really helpful in giving the dress just a little shape.  Your body shape may dictate that additional bust/waist darts and some side seam shaping maybe better for you, too.  A belt may just solve all those problems, albeit, that's an addition to the original.

Simplicity 2054 is similar as well, has no darts at all and will still need all the design changes.

As far as fabrics, the original is done in a wool knit.  Wool knit is cozy and luxe, but wool knit also needs to be taken care of properly.  I'm going to guess that dry cleaning will be involved.  If you want wool knit, and you want to color block, you'll have to be creative.  Try Gorgeous Fabrics or Fabricmart.  My suggestion is this:  use rayon/spandex ponte knit.  I know that's not quite a sweater knit, but it is a heavier knit and very warm (I've made things from it in the past) *and* it comes in quite a range of colors. has a nice selection of ponte knit and if you want to make a pink/red version like the original, they've got pink and red.  Plus, you get the benefit of machine washing!

All photos from respective websites with links included.

Parting Shot:  View.  This is a view from near the summit of East Osceola that I took recently.  While we were spared a lot of damage from Irene, the areas that were worst hit were our roads near any river or stream.  Many of the roads in the mountains suffered damage and some are just starting to reopen.  This view is near the Kancamagus Highway, which just reopened this weekend after many portions were repaired.  A big thanks to the road crews who worked hard to quickly restore the roadways!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Advance 7931, Navy Corduroy Dress

The Sleeves

I was able to get the sleeve done and in the dress this weekend.  The sleeves with cuff detail are much easier to make than they look. 

First, the cuff is made, then made into a circle.  There will be a button on the cuff for decoration, but I'll add that later during the finishing

Then, the sleeve is made and the sleeve is simply gather and sewn to the cuff - there is no placket, slit or anything else.  Very easy.  The seam allowances are pressed up and I've serged the edges clean.  The original pattern has this seam allowance bound, but since I'm not binding anything else in the dress, and the rest of the insides are serged, I will just serge this, too. 

Lastly, the sleeves are set into the dress.  The sleeves went in nicely and I'm happy with them.

I also got all the buttons done.  This dress needs 13 buttons, so this kept me occupied one evening.

Next up:  assembling and attaching the facing and collar.  After that, there won't be much left except some finishing details.

Parting Shot:  Zealand Falls.  I went on a hike recently in this area and got a nice photo of the falls.  There was plenty of water this day and it was flowing pretty quick as it had rained the previous few days.