Friday, January 15, 2010

Time off to Sew!!

Finally, I took two weeks off and really needed it.  Last week my brother visited and we went to the BCS Rose Bowl.  This week I slept and sewed.  So, I've finished all my "crafty projects" (minus one more that is almost finished).  Next, I'm on to the serious projects - real dresses with adult fabric (the Colette Macaron dress and a Kwik Sew 3576 dress).

So, in order of success (I'll post the pattern reviews separately but will summarize here):

1.  Indygo Junction Best Bias Skirt (lined).

 I needed to use up some of my "crafty fabric" after my mother didn't want an apron.  So, I lined a skirt (with cotton - making it heavy but I live in temperate Ventura) - I ended up loving it.  I'm not a huge fan of "unique pattern" skirts - but this will be great for Hawaii (I teach there frequently) and summer nights.  This looks great with a tank but for the purposes of my blog - I wore a light cotton shirt (from Anthro).    Another success was that I used a yardstick (and J.) to measure my hem.  Finally, my back hem is perfect.  I also learned lining.

The skirt reminds me of my college roommate - whose clothes I used to "borrow."  Her mother would make her skirts - and they were comfy!!

2.  Kwik Sew 3070.
Brown Wool Fleece elastic pants with pockets.  J. couldn't be happier - he's barely taken them off.  They run slightly large, by the way.  We call them his "fuzzy bear" pants.   Best thing:  no overlock stitch needed. Here, I learned pockets!

3.  Kwik Sew Boxers (Four Pairs!!).
I've made these before but did a production line of 2 boxers for Jonathan and 2 for my brother Todd.  Note that the medium is much smaller than the large.  Quite a difference.  I also am having quality problems  - none of these boxers is quite like the other ... Tip:  Reinforce the fly with interfacing.

4.  Apron.  From "A" for Apron book.  It's the "Provence Smock."  I originally bought the book for the Lorelei apron.  I will post extensively on this at pattern review.

In short - you have to enlarge the patterns yourself.  Ok, that's no big deal.  But the kicker is that the directions are largely and substantially incorrect throughout (reviewers on Amazon echo the same thing).  And, when you cut out the patterns there are no directions.  So, my straps and lining had to be recut.  And I'm a RTW top size 12 - and I could use 2-3 inches of ease across the straps.

My research indicates it is not the designer's fault, rather - the publisher - the author provided the ingenious retro designs.  The key is to think through the pattern spatially before cutting.  And ignore the directions, Aprons are easy - so you don't really need the directions - but the pattern cutting has to be thought through (and I will measure if I make another).

I like this Apron but I don't love it.  In the book they say many sewers wear this out of the house to cover T-shirts.  Please note that I don't plan to wear this out of the house.  Gardening, Yes.  Writing stories, questionable.  Farmers Market, No.  On a cool scooter (like the model), I don't see it.

I learned sewing gathers on this smock.

5.  Horrible Horrible Pants (great fit -scary fabric): Kwik Sew 3271 View B.

When I walk the dogs, neighbors and bystanders walk the other way.  They are truly hideous from a fabric point of view.  I learned how not to pick fabric and how to (or not to) get fabric designs to line (or match) up.

But fuzzy southwest fleece is very comfortable.  Maybe if I go to Wyoming, I can wear them.  I'm trying to justify a Frye boots purchase with this same reasoning, BTW.

The picture to the right is the back view.

I'm finishing up the last pair of flannel PJs (they are anthro knockoffs with a shirred waist!). And I will probably finish some alterations on a few items before beginning my "adult" projects.

Finally, if anyone knows how to post on Sewing Retro - I'm open to tips - I wanted to post "How NOT to sew Vintage" there but I can't figure it out.  I keep sending them emails with no reply.  Maybe I'm not providing enough information?


  1. Wow!! You have been crazy busy! That first skirt reminds me of one in the most recent Anthro catalog - you go! The SW pants may be horrible, but you can pat yourself on the back for that superb stripe matching. Nice - and I bet they are comfy!

  2. I'm impressed - you've been sewing up a storm and have made yourself some beautiful things. I love that skirt - the print is lovely and that style really suits you. I rather like the 'horrible pants' and the 'fuzzy bear' pants are great.

  3. Thanks!!! Well, the one item I wear more than anything else - my horrible SW pants - they are not so bad with a brown henley (in the house) - Jonathan has objected to out of the house wear:) I kinda agree. They are so so comfy!

  4. Have you seen the light of day the past couple of weeks? I don't see how you could with getting all those projects done! I love the skirt! You could wear it with several colors of tanks and tees.

  5. I know all I did the second week of January was sew (and stay in bed) - it was the ultimate act of escapism!! Which left me refreshed - I'm about to get back into the sewing wagon again this week. I am loving it! Thanks regarding the skirt - yes, it looks great with an eggplant-colored tank (of all things!) I'll be in Hawaii next January and will definitely wear it! Thanks!