Saturday, June 29, 2013

The 3-D Sheer top a la Cynthia Rowley

With this project I need to figure out sheer hems on the  bottom edge and sleeves and also what to do with the neckline edge. The pattern has the neckline faced. A full facing of georgette would have been very distracting on this top so I needed to figure out something else.  I immediately thought of Kenneth King's Tiny Hem tute which you can find in the sidebar of tutes on the right. But Professor King has also recently taught a method of using netting to make hems in 4 ply silks that really intrigued me. While I used netting for one of the samples, it was not the King method. I sampled two techniques. On the top is a facing made with skin colored netting. On the bottom is the KK tiny hem. For the neckline I decided on the net facing. You may see a tiny gridwork in the georgette. That is not the netting. The netting does not show. Since KK's hem has two turns of stitching it was a bit more rigid than the netting method. I wanted a softer edge for the neckline so decided on the net facing. At this point I should change my words. It is actually skin colored tulle from the local chain. 

The first thing I did was carefully iron the tulle and then cut out the facing pieces. They looked identical but aren't so it was necessary to label them with some Frog Tape. To do the seams I simply overlapped the shoulder seam lines on these pieces and stitched across. Stitching a regular seam and pressing it open and having that bulk just seemed a bit more trouble with no gain, so I overlapped them.

I found it easiest to pin the tulle to the top while it sat on the dress form. Then I carefully lifted it off and went to the machine. This was all done while the shoulder seams were stitched but the side seams were still open and unstitched. The neckline was sewn with a 1.5 stitch length and trimmed back to an 1/8th of an inch.
The georgette SA was pressed toward the tulle and then folded to the wrong side and pressed. I then stitched the edge to secured down the netting as you can see in the sample I made above. I used a 2.0 stitch length for the topstitching. This gave a really soft finish to the edge. The tulle is ditch stitched by hand to the shoulder seams. It needs no more security than that. 
 You can see the front and back neckline here all completed. 

What is left to do is French seam the sides and sleeves and do the hems. I think I will use KK's method for that so it can be floaty with not tulle attached. .....So close to done!

Goin' Bloglovin!

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I've just claimed my blog! I think I am understanding this all. You can now follow me on Bloglovin. I really like the look of their reader, very clean and easy on the eyes. I think this will work out fine. I will put up a Bloglovin button shortly in the sidebar.

My computer has been down with a virus for a few days and we just got it back. I had nightmares that it wouldn't be fixed until after the google reader death and I would lose all of you precious, very appreciated readers. Thanks for sticking with me. If you would like to follow you blogs on Bloglovin and haven't signed up go here:

If you are following me and other blogs on Google reader, which will be disappearing Monday, you can now follow all of the same blogs through Bloglovin. It's easy. You need to do the changeover before Monday or you will lose all of your blogs that you follow. Happy weekend!...Bunny

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

CR, One More Time!

Last week I wore my Cynthia Rowley tops to work and made a decision. I will make my wedding top, the one using the 3-D pink georgette, out of this TNT pattern, Simp 2192   . I won't use the wing sleeved number I was considering. First, this is a  TNT. I know it fits, no messing with that. Next, I love the bateau neckline and 3/4 sleeves. Also, it's simplicity will really let the fabric shine, my goal. So it was a no brainer decision. Let's get started:

I cut the fabric out on the cross grain. This was to take advantage of the plain fabric border on the sleeve hems and bottom hem.
All seams are French seams. They are coming out better than I thought, given the bulk the 3D business can add. 
This is the armscye seam that you see above, inside and out. It really didn't take much effort, just your basic French seam. 

For the hems I will use the Kenneth King method. Not sure about that bateau neckline yet though. I do know it won't have the facing the pattern comes with. Maybe a tiny bias binding will do. I will do some experimenting first. 

I have been thinking of also making a simple jacket out of the same linen as the pants. You just never know what the weather will be or if we encounter a cool restaurant either. We will see how my time works out. The wedding is August 4th. 

Well, my Sure Fit Design project sure has been a fun one, particularly with the input from all of you, dear readers. I will get those muslins totally done and will wear them. I will consider the tan pants my Marlene Dietrich trousers. They could look great with a super white shirt and belt. I think my recent white up-cycle top, again the CR design, would look great with the icy pants. So I will get wear from both. I can't wait to start my linen pants. They won't be lined but will have Hong Kong seams. More to come!.......Bunny

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Sure Fit Design Muslins

Or should it be titled, " How does she dare show these pics?"  Well I do dare and I will. I am pleased with my results.  I am going to show and comment on my second muslin first. Is it the best muslin? The crowd is hushed with anticipation......

First I took my measurements sort of snuggish on the first go around. I liked my muslin but I also like my clothing with a bit more ease than these had. The next day I took my measurements again. We are talking full hip here and I repeated this several times. It was a half inch larger than my measurements the day before. I started this second muslin and here are the results. This fabric sucks. It is a poly microfiber that ravels like the dickens and slides like the finest silk velvet. I just don't like it but hey, it's a muslin.

Side hangs straight, lots of fullness in front and in the legs. These, for the sake of the muslin, are a straight cut pair of pants. See that dip I have in my front waist?
Love the crotch line on this pattern. Both pants look great with that. Again you can see these legs are full. Now, remember, these are the ones cut with the half inch larger full butt pattern. What a difference that half inch makes as you will see. Nasty fabric!

Back, not too bad. You can see my unevenly shaped hip. I usually have to raise the  right side seam a quarter inch but did not as I wanted to see how the muslin played out. The left side hangs better.  Ok, That's it for muslin number two.

Muslin Number One was made with a half inch smaller full hip measurement, right below where the watermark La Sewista is in the above pic. I found it a teensy, and I do mean teensy, bit snug around my upper thighs and hips. I let it out 1/8th inch in that area on the side seams and here are the results. Now this fabric is a nice quality poly gabardine, way better than that microfiber yuck. Not so sure about the color, though.
Side seams nice and straight, no crazy dip or fullness in the front or legs, hmmmm....could muslin number one with it's adjusted side seam be better than muslin number two?

Backside, waaaayyyy better. You see a pull on the left high hip from the pinned zipper area. It is pinned shut, no zip yet. I do think once a waistband is on this one that higher hip will pull the right side out of whack so what I will do is leave that area of the waistband unsewn and tweakable.  But I think I've got it with this one, Muslin Number one with a 1/8th inch wider full hip upper thigh area. As the currently infamous Paula Deen would say,  "Wutchall think?"......Bunny

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Simplicity 1757

Hubby and I will be attending a wedding in August. It will take place on a quiet beach in Maine with a group of about 40 guests. Brunch will follow at a nice venue. What to wear, what to wear? I have been tossing this around for a long time. Forget anything heels and typical. I thought of the cute little sundress and nice sandals but am long past my PYT stage (pretty young thang) so that did not appeal to me. Then I saw this georgette with it's scallop edged flowers and it was love at first sight. It drapes really nicely, is poly but seems to be really nice. I have already washed and dried it in the dryer and it survived perfectly.I NEVER wear pink. I've been told it is my best color but I am just not a pink person. For this fabric I will become one. I thought it would be really nice with some beige linen pants from my new Sure Fit pattern  (Love!) . But when I placed the georgette next to this rosy brown it was kismet. Home they both came. Now for pattern thoughts for the top.

Then I find Simplicity 1757 and it really gets me thinking. OK, this is a dress. We will just shorten and turn into a top. It is WAY too wide but I like the idea of those fluttery side seams. I think I will make them much narrower so I can have a shorter sleeve and also will try to taper to the hem so there is only a small fluttery flange in the side seam.
So that is where I am in the design process. It would be a quick make and that is good. My other option being considered is the Cynthia Rowley TNT top I have made  lately. That is not out of the question. What do you think?

With this I will wear the rosy brown linen slacks I plan to make and some super cool pinkish maybe sandals. I'm still looking for those. The wedding is in August so maybe I can find a good end of summer deal on those. I would love to know your thoughts on this.

Sure Fit update:  I made my first muslin. It truly fit better than any pants I have made with multiple alterations. It doesn't have all that infamous volume behind the leg that you get in the Big Four It was just the teensiest snugger than I like but that was easily fixed and a result of my egotistical measuring spree. See, I had measured my hips and they were a bit less than I had remembered, a fair bit. So I immediately wrote down that lovely number and proceeded to plot my pattern. Once the muslin was made and I realized I wanted just a tad more ease, I remeasured myself the next day, over and over and over and over. Every time I came up with a larger measurement and the same measurement each time than my ego measurement. I plotted out a new pattern with the "good" hip measurement and voila. I can't wait to show you all. I am making another muslin with the new measurement but will show you as soon as it's done.

Our river in the back yard has been roaring and at it's high water mark recently because of all the rains we have had up here. This is the first video I have ever done with my camera so pardon the amateurish result but I think you get the picture. It is really weird to hear one's own voice....Bunny

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Sure-Fit Journey Begins

Today I started my Sure Fit Pants  journey. In case you have dropped off the sewing universe, Sure Fit design is discussed with great depth, happiness and critique both on the Stitcher's Guild Forum as well as Pattern Review.  It is well worth taking a look. Sure Fit, owned and proliferated by Glenda Sparling, maven of fit, is a very easy and very simple way to get a great fitting garment. You will see proof of that in those two links.  I chose to start with just the pants pattern. Who doesn't need improvement there?

The Kit came with all I needed as that was one of the many ordering options. I got a v. generous roll of vellum tracing paper, really nice stuff, a patented stylus, the "patterns", and lots of great info both in print and on DVD. The "Mix and Multiply" part came with its own DVD as well to help you stylize your sloper in many ways.

Last night I watched the DVD and must say Glenda knows how to do a very crisp easy to comprehend presentation. I watched it once and went over to the table and made my pattern when she told me to. Prior to this I took some simple measurements, some of which I found surprising. My full hip was 2 1/2 inches smaller than I thought and my waist one inch larger, (sigh). I guess that's a fair enough trade off. It's also the result of stripping down to my barest clothed minimum to get my results. When I measured my hips after, over some pants, it was a full inch larger. So take those clothes off when measuring!

It took not much time at all to get my sloper drawn with her method. Less than an hour and a half maybe and that included a bit of back and forth with the DVD. So this is ready to go now. I just need to dig up some fabric for my muslin and we will see how it goes. I am not sure that will come soon as another project is looming but I am looking forward to hopefully getting as great results as I have seen on many of the ladies who have tried this out. They sold me!!!  Let me know if you have any and/or what your experience is. I think we would all love to hear about it....Bunny

Sunday, June 2, 2013

New Uses for Fabric

I didn't even think about sewing this weekend. Instead I gardened. This was the first weekend where there was not torrential rain, a very ill husband, a weekend to work, or a trip to Boston for DH. We have 9  acres that my husband maintains like  heavenly sod. I care for the gardens. Lately I have wondered if I have too many beds to care for. But this weekend I had two wonderful women, angels in my opinion, who helped me. We worked side by side for 7 hours Saturday and I worked 8 more by myself today, my way of honoring the Lord. It is looking lovely now and I am no longer depressed over the condition of our homestead. Like my sewing room, a disgusting yard makes me very upset, hubby too. But what can you do?

When I finally called it a day and the last plastic pot was put in the trash I went into the house and as I walked in something huge, well relatively, buzzed my hair and flew into the house. I thought it was a bumblebee or a giant moth or such. No, it was a beautiful female hummingbird. She tried in vain to get out of the house but couldn't figure out how to drop lower and get out the door. She kept buzzing the ceiling. Needles to say, I opened all the doors but the day before I had put all the screens in the windows so couldn't open those. We watched in frustration as we took red Tshirts and put one just outside each door open to attract her back out, but poor baby just could not figure it out. We watched and did all in our power to get her back outside. While I was near the door a male HB was buzzing the door, either looking for his honey bun or getting ready to come in and get her. I shut that door. After a bit we could see her tiring and thought maybe she will land somewhere. She did, the top of the cabinets. Then brilliance hit hubby and I simultaneously. FABRIC! I ran downstairs looking for some net or gauze or something very light. We didn't want to injure our little princess. I found this very lightweight rayon lace and ran back upstairs. She was still on top of the cabinet, clearly exhausted and pondering her future. I got a step chair, climbed up from behind, and gently, very gently put a layer of the lace net over her. She went limp and didn't fight at all. I think she was just whooped. Then I gathered the lace around her and went to the back porch where her teeny feet were entangled. But I pulled the fabric out straight and lifted it off and she fluttered to freedom but not far. She decided to rest a bit on the back deck and eventually flew to a limb close by. She was on that limb a good 20 minutes regaining her composure before she flew away.

Who knew such an ethereal light fabric would be the savior of this tiny little beauty?  So buy on with your stash. You just never know.............Bunny


The Periwinkle Linen Dress

The Dandelion Dress served as the muslin for the Periwinkle Linen Dress. I love them both and they  are really both quite different as...