Thursday, January 28, 2010

Navy Trousers

How can I stop wearing jeans every single day? Hmmm... Maybe if I had a pair of neutral trousers? The ones pictured on Simplicity 3688 seem cute and relatively simple. Question is, will I actually wear them?

I chose a sueded navy twill from the stash. It is a really effective cat hair magnet and once it gets the hair, it doesn't want to let it go. I could use up an entire roll of lint tape, I think, without getting all the hair off. Its probably safe to say that a dark colored sueded twill is not an appropriate fabric for someone with a light grey cat.

The trousers were really easy to put together. However, I essentially ended up making them twice because I didn't bother to check the fit before I started stitching. I was surprised to discover that there is no wearing ease at all in this pattern. I found this odd considering how most modern or modern-repro patterns have way too much ease.

I cut out the 14, as usual, and just plunged ahead using my ordinary crappy technique for making a modern patterns fit: I made 1 inch giant seam allowances all around to make up for the extra ease. When I tried them on I discovered that they were binding in the thighs, the zipper slit would barely close and they were riding up something fierce.

I had to take them apart and start all over again this time narrowing my allowances to 1/2 an inch or so.

The crotch rise is simply way too short, so I made that allowance less than 1/4 inch. I finished the seam with a tight zig-zag against the straight stitch so hopefully that will add some stability.

I'm pretty happy with them. Photographing them was difficult because they are so dark. The darts don't quite look right in the back, but I can live with it

I'm thinking about putting big decorative buttons on the front, to give them a nautical feel. What do you think?

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but I really did win the In-Law Lottery. They are smart, sweet, wonderful people and they are CRAFTY! Yay!

For Xmas, the Hub's mom made me this gorgeous hostess apron. It is really beautifully done. It's hard to see, but the waistline gathers are gorgeous! I love all the cheerful and glittery rick-rack.

Not only is it super pretty, but it is long enough that the ends easily meet in the back. I have half a mind to put in a zipper and wear it as a skirt (with a square dance crinoline underneath, of course)!

Look at how wonderfully twirly it is!

I am a very lucky daughter-in-law. Thanks Ma D!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mmmmm Yellow

I bought four yards of this fabric, intending to make a shirtwaist out of it. I forgot about it in the stash for a long time. It's much sunnier yellow than it appears here.

I made the bolero from Simplicity 1657 way back in May and never got around to putting it away. While cleaning up the sewing room I found it again decided that it was the right pattern for this yellow fabric.

This dress was super easy to put together. I was worried that the instructions for the pleating would be difficult to understand, but it wasn't hard at all. I transferred all the pattern markings to the fabric (I don't always) and it really helped a lot.

I got a little confused while putting together the bodice. The front part of the bodice isn't faced (the fabric is just folded over and ironed flat) and I was sure that it would look strange or flip up. It doesn't. Turns out that not facing the front neckline allows the fabric to drape. Who knew?!

The only thing that gave me real trouble was the width of the neck. It was really wide and the sleeves kept slipping off my shoulders. I had already sewn in (and top stitched) the sleeve facings when I realized that it was going to be a problem. I had to invent a quick fix in order to avoid having to unpick the sleeve. I put my crappy alteration techniques to work and sewed a steep triangle along the shoulder line towards the neck.

It worked perfectly, even if the shoulder is a little thick. It's like there is a tiny shoulder pad on the inside, but I don't plan to trim the excess. It doesn't slide off my shoulders now at all, and I think the slight padding looks good.

It doesn't pull or twist in the back, I swear! It's just my weird pose that is making the fabric twist. Its hard to get a good back view shot. I never know what to do with my arms.

C'mon spring! I'm looking forward to a warm day when I can wear this dress.

Oh, one more thing: I have an interview tomorrow morning so wish me luck!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Home Decor III (Part Two)

Here’s what I did with the breakfast nook!

I already had green chairs and a blonde convertible table with a blue sheer to cover the window: plain, basic and serviceable. Very plain. I wanted to find a way to spice up the area and make the green chairs and blue sheer work together.

I selected three possible oilcloths for the table cover, each with a blue and green design. The Hub was asked to make the final decision. He chose a blue gingham background with yellow and green sunflowers.

To coordinate I bought some yellow gingham in a sunny flower print and some green gingham ribbon for the tie-backs. As usual, everything came from

Unfortunately, the person who cut my fabric did so at a super sharp angle. I had to trim about three inches from each end to get it straight all the way across. This made my curtains about six inches shorter than I’d intended. Oh well. I just had the Husband install the curtain rod a little lower. No big deal.

Making the curtains was easy as pie. I simply cut the fabric down the center so that I had two long strips. I made a rolled hem on three of the sides and left the fourth one alone as I liked the fuzzy look of the selvage edge.

I made a casing for the curtain rod and slipped the curtains on with the selvage sides facing each other. Then I bunched the fabric together and tied on the gingham ribbons.

The Husband says it looks weird with the sheer over the top. I don’t think he’s wrong, exactly, but the sheer is here to stay. Fogville is always kind of grey and that tends to make me feel a bit droopy, so the curtains must be open at all times. I neeeed as much light as possible! The sheer is the only thing between the sun and my vintage cookbooks which live on the counter across from the window. Even though the sunlight is weak it does tend to fade things rather quickly. I like to think the sheer helps slow it down.

So it’s still a little funky but a ZILLION times more interesting than before. It's bright and cheery and I rather like it.