Thursday, March 22, 2018

Patchwork picnic blanket

This picnic blanket has been eight months in the making.  It is a very belated wedding gift for a dear friend, made using the leftover fabric from another, very belated, wedding blanket for a dear friend.  Etiquette apparently dictates that one has up to a year after the wedding to send a gift, and I'm still just within the window.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Simplicity 1563

Pajamas are one of those things I have never been able to bring myself to spend money on.  I know, it's stupid, I could easily pick up a cute pair at Marshall's without breaking the bank.  But for years, my go-to night look has been a pair of ratty pj pants (bought by my mother some 10 years ago) or ratty shorts with on old, equally ratty t-shirt that I stole from my husband.  It's not a cute look.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Testing the Calyer Pants

Perhaps those of you who are about my age will remember the flowy rayon palazzo pants that were popular in the mid-90s.  I had a pair, bought, I think, at Pier One Imports.  I used to wear them with a white or gray v-neck t-shirt and my $97.52 suede Birkenstock Boston clogs.  (Why do I remember how much they cost?  Because I talked my parents into giving me half the money for my birthday and my father was appalled at how much I was planning to spend on a pair of shoes and didn't let me forget it for years.  I'm no longer a Birkenstock kind of girl, so I don't really remember why I wanted them so badly.)

Thursday, March 1, 2018

February 2018

February was a busy month, and though I sewed quite a few individual garments, most of them were underwear and other things that don't take much time to assemble.  I still have to blog a couple of these projects, and others will only be recorded here.


1) Simplicity 1563A pj pants.  These used up 3 yards of flannel bought from FabricMart in January for this precise purpose.  Completed 2/2.  These will be on the blog soon.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Joining the M6996 party

This cardigan has been on my to-sew list forever.  It gets great reviews, and all the ones I had seen in the blogosphere looked fabulous.  The pattern is McCalls 6996, which I picked up during a $1 sale last summer but just got around to sewing up.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Copycat Plantain dress

Earlier this winter, I saw a lovely dress on Instagram and immediately fell in love.  It was a lengthened navy-blue jersey Plantain dress and the shape was perfect and easy.  

Fabric Mart had a sale a few days later and in the sale was a 4-yard pre-cut of this navy jersey, which was listed as cotton/rayon/lycra.  My striped Blackwood cardigan is also cotton/rayon/lycra from FabricMart, and I really liked the heft and hand of the fabric, plus it was in the exact shade I wanted, so I was sold.  The fabric didn't disappoint, and I was even more pleased with my purchase when the yardage came out of the wash with that unmistakeable wool smell.  I don't think it's a pure wool/lycra, but some percentage of the fabric definitely came from a sheep.  The dress took just under 2 yards, and I have about 2 yards left for another garment in the future.

I made up a Plantain from the same adjusted pattern as the purple Plantain tee I made last month.  I lengthened it 17", continuing the side seam angle all the way down.  I ended up cutting about 2.5" off before hemming it up another inch.  (I actually didn't realize that I had ended up with a dipped hem in the back until I saw these photos.  I might even it out, I might not.  Haven't decided yet!)

Following my frustration with the Plantain sleeves when I last made the pattern, I decided to use the size 16 Renfrew sleeve with 1/2" shaved off each side seam. The Renfrew has a symmetrical sleeve, but it generally fits me with the right amount of ease once I take in the side seams.  

I had assumed that the sleeve was just wider at the top, but I was curious, so I compared the two pattern pieces.  Apologies for the blurry iPhone photo, but it illustrates the differences well enough.   The Plantain sleeve, in white, is underneath the Renfrew sleeve, in pattern tissue.  

I walked the Renfrew sleeve cap along the Plantain sleeve cap, and they are almost exactly the same length.  But as you (probably can't) see, the Renfrew sleeve cap is about 1/2" taller than the Plantain sleeve cap.  I was also surprised to find that the Plantain sleeve is actually a bit wider than the Renfrew sleeve at the top of the arm (and more than it would seem, because this newest version of the Plantain only has a 3/8" seam allowance, while the Renfrew has a 5/8").  And yet the Plantain sleeve is much tighter on my biceps than the Renfrew sleeve.  So it turns out that the height of the sleeve cap has a good deal to do with fit at the bicep.  I feel like this is a pretty significant lightbulb moment for me, and am looking to the prospect of better-fitting sleeves in the future!

There is a bit of fabric bunching at the front armscye.  I think I could fix that by moving the center of the sleeve cap towards the front sleeve, the way you do when you adjust a sleeve for a forward shoulder (and this would take care of making the sleeve asymmetrical).  I may try that out next time I make a Plantain (which might be sooner than I thought, now that I have a better-fitting sleeve for it).  The folds on the lower 2/3 of the sleeve indicate that it's too big, but they really don't bother me - they pass the "would I notice this if it were on a RTW dress sleeve?" test just fine.

All in all, I think the dress was a great success and I am very excited to have it in my closet.  I'm looking forward to wearing it with clogs and bare legs in the not-too-distant future!

Thanks for reading, and see you next time!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Layette in Blue

My kids acquired another cousin in early January.  Due to illnesses (particularly the flu, which downed all four children like dominos over a two-week period), we just managed to go for a visit this past weekend.