Monday, October 31, 2011

Vogue 1259 - Donna Karen Top


Because of all of the lovely snow we got (over 10"), I had all of yesterday to work on the top and got it done.  Prior to that, I only had one seam finished. 

For the most part, the directions were pretty clear and the top wasn't that hard to make.  There are a few steps, about halfway through the instructions that you just have to trust, carefully observe the diagrams and sew.  It does help to have a dress form and put the top on the dress form during some of the pinning.  Clearly marking each fabric piece on the front and back with the pattern piece number helps, too.  You can use a piece of masking tape, writing the  number on the tape, and it will be fairly easy to remove. 

I'm pretty happy with this top, and like the color better than I thought I would.  The only things I would change is to finish the back opening a little differently so that the facings stay inside, shorten it a bit and cut a smaller size next time.  I used a size 8 and probably should have cut a size 6, as the front drape sags rather than draping nicely.  Tightening it up might help it, but this is the sort of pattern that you really can't judge the fit until the whole thing is complete.

I'm not sure if I'd make this one again, but I do like the fact that it is super comfortable to wear, yet is way more interesting than a plain t-shirt.  I wore it today with jeans and a black sweater, but probably could pair it with many of my plaid skirts and other sweaters. 

Parting Shot:  Mt. Flume.  Saturday's hike was  trip to Mt. Flume in the Franconia Range.  The summit is in the distance just over by the trees, and the summits of Lincoln and Lafayette are in the background, covered with snow.  The weather was sunny when we started, but soon clouded up and probably contributed to us moving along so that we could get off the mountain and home safely.  It had just started to snow at my house when I pulled into the driveway.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Vogue 1259 - Donna Karan Draped Top


Thank you all for the nice comments on Baby V's outfit.  I haven't made these sorts of little outfits since my daughter was that little.  Since she's 13 now, so that's been a while!

For my next project, I've chosen Vogue 1259, just the top.  I liked the draped look and after looking at the pattern pieces thought it would be a good challenge.  I have some gold jersey that I got from Fabricmart a while back when it was on sale.  It was one of those fabrics that was cheap enough, and I thought the color was going to be a little different and just decided not to send it back.  At any rate, if I don't end up liking the top no harm done!

The pieces are certainly interesting and have to be cut single layer; I've already cut out a few in the photo below:

I'll be sure to mark this one properly, as there are a lot of notches, circles and squares that will be needed to make this top correctly.  I think I'm going to have to follow the directions, too, which will be a challenge, since I don't always follow the directions!

This should be a fun one! 

Parting Shot:  Boott Spur.  Yep.  That's it, and yes there was snow and clouds.  Not very exciting, but the snow and ice was.  These are the first signs that winter is on the way!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Patrones No. 265, Models 41 and 42, Baby V Outfit

Done and Details

These little outfits are fun and quick to make because they are so small.  This one is now finished and ready with a few other goodies to be shipped out to Baby V's parents.  I did find my daughter's outfits in storage and got a measurement for the elastic, so the panties were a quick finish.  (Thank you for the offer of measurements, Bunny!)

The dress was not too complicated, even though I made my own piping/binding for the neck and hem.  I didn't really have to finish the dress that way, but I thought it picked up the pink in the embroidery nicely. 

As you can see, the little sleeves are eyelet, too, which coordinates with the panties. 

I even found some cute little buttons for the back:

I think the end result is cute and not overdone for a newborn.  Let's hope her parents like it!

Parting Shot:  Crystal Cascade.  I was able to hike to Boott Spur on Mt. Washington on Sunday and along the way we passed the Crystal Cascade.  Very pretty and not too far from the beginning of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail in Pinkham Notch.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Patrones No.265, Model #41 & #42, Baby V Outfit

A Good Start

My brother and his wife had their first child last week, a baby girl and I wanted to send something hand made along with another gift.  After looking through all my Burda and Patrones magazines, I found this little outfit in Patrones. 

Last week I showed you the embroidery, and here's how it turned out, not yet made into the top.  The fabric is a fine shirting, in pink and white stripes.

I actually started working on the little panties first, and decided to trim them in eyelet, rather than the contrast ruffle.  I found enough wider eyelet to make the sleeves of the dress, so the dress will coordinate with the panties.

The panties are almost done, with only inserting the leg elastic left.  I just can't remember how much elastic goes into each leg opening for such a small outfit!  I'll have to dig out one of my daughter's outfits and measure it. 

Next up:  working on the top! 

Parting Shot:  Destruction.  I have (or had) a ball of cotton yarn that I use to make baby piping.  It did not escape the attention of a large orange cat who thought it would be a good idea to play with it.  Sigh.  It shouldn't be too hard to untangle.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Portefeuille Skirt - Paco Peralta


I got the skirt done today!  The binding took the most time to sew on, and then I remembered about the hooks and eyes and snaps.  Here's the binding, front and back:

The inside of the skirt:

There are two snaps on the inside, plus two hooks and eyes at the overlap edge:

The skirt will still need a good pressing, but I'm really happy with it so far.  I like the style and the fitting was easy due to the way it was drafted.   The pressing will have to wait until Monday, as I will be gone all weekend for a winter hiking seminar at the base of Mt. Washington.  

Parting Shot:  Embroidery.  My new neice's outfit has a little embroidery to personalize it, which I was able to complete between last night and today.  I promise more details on Monday, when I get back and will have time to work on the outfit.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Portefeuille Skirt - Paco Peralta

Almost Done

The skirt is almost done.  All I need to do is stitch down the other side of the binding.  It is even pinned and waiting, but time has run out for sewing today.  It will be one of the first things I work on tomorrow.  

Today, I stitched the skirt and lining together at the top edge and understitched the facing.  I then basted the two skirts together, making sure everything was lined up properly and nothing was pulling in a funny direction.  Putting it on the dressform helped tremendously.  After that, I was able to stitch on the first side of the binding.

The binding is faux leather, which seems like a knit on the wrong side.  I've cut it on the bias and folded it like a regular quilt binding.  Cutting on the bias allows it to be shaped to the curve of the hem before applying it. 

Tomorrow, finished photos!

Parting Shot:  Pink.  My brother and his wife just became parents yesterday with the birth of their baby girl.  This is my next project, a little outfit for her.  Details to come soon!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Portefeuille Skirt - Paco Peralta


I was able to get the fitting changes done and the lining made today.  The fitting changes were pretty easy, just adding a dart to each side of the back and taking in the side seams a bit.  Nothing hard, but the way the pattern is drafted, it does make it easy to make the changes.  I now have three darts on either side of center back, but it does fit nicely:

The lining is now all finished, too, complete with all the changes.  There are separate pieces for the skirt lining and facings, but because I'm going to finish the edges with a binding and because I was a little short on skirt fabric, I'm not going to use those pieces.  Instead, I cut the lining exactly like the skirt and stitched it the same way, and added only the waist facing pieces.  

Both pieces are now ready to be joined at the top edge and then bound.  I'll need to try it on one more time to determine exactly how long I want it.  At this length, it is somewhere between my calves and ankles, which is not terrible, but not the same as the YSL skirt.  I'll get that figured out tomorrow and see if I need to trim it.

Parting Shot:  Lights.  My daughter took this picture of the lights right at dusk last night.  Notice we already have our reflectors in place.  My husband has already started the winter yard preparations, and although the snow won't fly for another 6 to 8 weeks, we'll need those reflectors when we snowblow our driveway.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Make The Look

Kate Spade Chain Afina Jacket

This week's Make the Look is the Chain Afina Jacket from Kate Spade.  This jacket isn't really anything earth shatteringly new in the fashion world, but what I liked about it was the trim.  The jacket is your basic, slightly boxy jacket with welt pocket with flaps and a collar.  The trim is what is interesting - the pockets flaps and other edges are trimmed with a layer of chiffon and chain.  The Chanel jackets are known for the chain at the hems, but this jacket brings the chain to the outside. 

I also liked this jacket because the trim is something you could add to a RTW jacket or to an existing jacket that you've already made.  

If you want to make a jacket from scratch, there have been many patterns available for a jacket of this style, so you might already have something that would work, but currently available are Butterick 5535 and Butterick 5147.  I like the latter, because it has a curvier shape, but obviously you need to pick what works with your body type.  You'd have to add welt pockets or even just fake welt flaps to get the right look.

Butterick 5535:

Butterick 5147:

The original jacket is a black wool boucle blend, and Gorgeous Fabrics has a really nice one:

As far as the chain for the trim, you can purchase that from M&J Trims which has a wide variety of chains or try your local hardware store to see if they have something of the right size, weight and price.

All photos from respective websites with links included.

Parting Shot:  Moose!  My son had to make a poster on a mammal for school, so he picked the moose.  He carved the stamps for the tracks by himself and together we stamped the tracks. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Portefeuille Skirt - Paco Peralta


I was able to get the skirt made up over the weekend and fitted. So far, the skirt is really easy to make and to fit.  The pattern is well drafted, with a center back seam and plenty of darts to customize the fit, which means you can take in or let out the skirt where you need to so that it fits you perfectly. 

I did get the lining bought today, but I will not cut it out until I get the fit just right.  I'm actually going to finish the skirt a bit differently than the pattern, so I need to make sure that both the lining and skirt are the same size.  I'll give those details when I get to them.

Tomorrow, I'm going to try to get the fitting issues fixed, which should be a simple matter of taking in a few seams and then I'll get the lining cut out, and finish making the faux leather binding.  The binding is cut, but I've still got to finish folding and pressing it into binding.

Parting Shot:  Finished Fabric.  My daughter finished up her fabric this weekend.  She's pleased with most of the colors except for the darkest blues, which we'll over dye tonight.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Portefeuille Skirt - Paco Peralta


My next project is another Paco Peralta skirt, the Portefeuille Skirt.  This skirt is very similar to a current YSL design, so this pattern is perfect for getting a very current look.  For this pattern, I'm going to be using a brown/black wool tweed blend that I've had in the collection and some faux leather.  (Colors are a bit darker than the photo.) I'm going to bind the edge with a wide binding in the faux leather for a little bit of contrast. Paco recently showed a version of this skirt with piping along the front edge which looked really nice, too. I'm not sure of the lining yet, I didn't have anything in the collection, so I'll have to pick some up on Monday.

So far, I've got the skirt cut out.  I've shortened it a little bit, and might need to shorten it some more but I'll wait until I can try it on before deciding.  The other fitting change I've made is to shorten the portion above the waist a little bit.  This skirt has a bit of a raised waist, and since I'm short waisted I can't really do any garment that is above the waist terribly well.  I've opted to keep just a little bit of the raised waist by folding out about 3/4".

Tomorrow the plan is to get the skirt done so that I can try it on.  Monday I'll buy the lining and I should have this done some time next week.

Parting Shot:  Dyeing.  My daughter needed some fabric for a school project so the easiest way to get the colors she wanted was to dye them ourselves.  Both of these batches are almost ready to be put into a final wash.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Simplicity 3935, Again


Yes, done.  I cut it out last night, so it was waiting for me in the sewing room this morning.  Between ironing my son's shirts and my husband's shirts, I got the top done.  This really is an easy top and constructing it on the serger made it really easy.  Quick double folded hems done on the regular machine and it was done. 

Here's a closer look at the back neck.  The pattern indicates to use pre-packaged seam binding, but it was just as easy to cut my own from scraps since I needed so little of it.  I only needed less than 10" and couldn't justify buying a whole package of seam binding for such a small amount.

I'm happy with it and it was a fun project to make since it went so quickly.  I don't think there's anything wrong with quick projects.  Not every project has to be an epic, couture production.  Really, does my daughter's pajama top need to be couture?  It's flannel.  It will be washed hundreds of times.  It will be slept in.  Honestly, I don't think so.  Durability and neatness is the order of the day for this item and the four thread serging definitely made that possible, not to mention quick. 

Up next:  another Paco Peralta skirt.

Parting Shot:  The Beginning of the End.  While these leaves look pretty, they are only the start of what will come and what will have to be raked up!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Simplicity 3935, Again

My daughter needs a new pajama top, so I've pulled out Simplicity 3935 again.  I know the top makes up quickly since I've made several of these over the years.  The fabric is an aqua blue flannel which matches the printed flannel of the pants that are still wearable. 

The fabric is in the dryer now, so this should be mostly done by tomorrow. 

This is just a quick project that I know will need to get done before starting on any other large projects.  I'm waiting a little bit before I begin a really big project and may make another skirt before I get to it.  For now, my daughter needs a warmer pajama top!

Parting Shot:  Nest.  My daughter was out taking pictures in the yard the other and found this nest on the ground and photographed it.  I'm not sure how or why it came out of the tree, but the birds will probably build a new one next spring to replace it. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Paco Peralta - Pleated Skirt

Lining and Done!

I had plenty of time yesterday and today to finish up the pleated skirt.  The lining was easy to make, as it doesn't have the pleats of the skirt and was easily installed leaving me only the hems to finish.  You can see that the lining has a waist facing and the long slits so that the skirt moves properly when walking.

I decided to leave the skirt longer, which is almost midi length on me, and make a very narrow hem.  I had planned to make it knee length short, but when I pinned up it and looked at it in the mirror, it read more school girl than it should for my age.  If I don't like it, I can always go back and hem it up later.

I'm really pleased with it.  The skirt is well drafted and not complicated to make.  The style would also look good in a variety of fabrics and lengths depending on the wearer.

Parting Shot:  Moosilauke.  My son and I hiked Moosilauke on Saturday.  It was a really beautiful day for hiking here in New England, and we were treated to some nice views and cool temperatures.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Paco Peralta - Pleated Skirt

Zipper Install

I was able to get the zipper successfully installed today and the second fitting done.  I know that doesn't sound like a whole lot, but do consider that I'm working with a plaid, which requires careful matching.  This project is a whole lot of careful matching:  the pleats, the side seams and the zipper.  The first side of the zipper was easy, that just gets sewn in.  The second side is the part that takes a little more time because all the red and yellow lines of the plaid must match up, along with the wide navy/black sections.  I put this zipper in the way I always do when I need to match up lines, detailed in this tutorial.

Needless to say, I had to re-baste a section a few times to get it just right, but the final result is good:

After that I was able to try on the skirt for a second time and adjust the back waist a bit - all I had to do was stitch the pleats a bit tight to take up some excess fabric.  I'll have to change the back facing and lining to reflect that adjustment.

Now I can get the lining constructed and installed, some time this weekend, probably Sunday as tomorrow will be a nice day and I'll be out all day.

Parting Shot:  P-51 Mustang.  One more plane!  On display along with the B-17 and B-24 was a P-51 Mustang.  We were able to watch it take off and fly.  This is a really loud plane for being so small!  I can't imagine the sound of a whole fleet of these things in the sky together.  As an Air Force brat, I've seen a lot of air shows and all the modern fighters, but these little planes are still pretty amazing.  Thank you all for the comments regarding the other planes - I understand the connection some of you have with these historic aircraft and understand the sacrifices some made to fly in them for everything we enjoy in our country today.