Friday, April 29, 2011


Pattern: Vogue 8287 (OOP but still on their site) shown here with the Vogue 2886 gray pants and before I added the buttons.
Fabric: Cotton shirting from Janie's Sewing Corner
Pattern Adjustments: View A without the sash.
Fitting Adjustments: Full bust adj., added width to upper arm, added length to the sleeve (3/4")
Construction notes: Followed the pattern instructions except for the cuff. Since it's almost a french cuff, I didn't bother to turn under the seam allowance on the inside. I just stitched them together and serged the SA - nobody will know except me...and now you.

This blouse is so easy to make! If you haven't made many or have a fear of making blouses, I highly recommend this pattern. You have to be careful when attaching the collar but everything else is a breeze!
App. Prep time: 20 min. I've made this before and just made a few minor fitting adjustments before cutting out.
App. Sewing time: 2-1/2 hours (guessing)
Real-life sewing time: 3-4 hours without kids.
Goes with my: Gray, and black skirts and gray, black, and tan pants. Do you sense a theme?
Miss Alaney: I've made this one waaaaay too many times. This is #3.
I'm in a rut with my blouses and even though I have many blouse patterns I go to the same two patterns each time. This Vogue and New Look 6783 (OOP). Will try to break out of my rut. I have over 20 blouse patterns, for pete's sake!

P.S. I joined a sew-along for the first time ever (that I can remember, anyway)!
I'm so excited about this one; learning the real RTW techniques. I'm way behind in every step but I can't wait to really tackle the jacket. As a matter of fact, I'm supposed to be making my pattern adjustments right now! My jacket is going to be a boring old basic black jacket but something I desperately need in my closet. I have two black jackets already but they're not basic and can't be thrown on over just anything. This one will fill that void. Even if you don't make a jacket, you should join and read through the instructions you might find something you've never seen before - I did!

I'm getting drawn back in. For months I've been able to resist my favorite vintage pattern websites...but tonight I caved. This is not good, not good at all.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pattern: Vogue 8633
Cotton, from Janie’s Sewing Corner in Cleveland. I noticed just before I cut this out that the pattern is for knit fabrics so I went up a size but just ended up taking it back in again. If you're going to do the same, I suggest making a muslin first just to be sure.
Pattern Design Adjustments: none
Fitting Adjustments: Most alterations are shown with orange pattern paper. Construction notes: I sewed the skirt using the lining as underlining technique. I fused interfacing on the entire bodice. Changed the bodice lining construction by enclosing the armholes before following the pattern instructions.
App. Prep time: 5 hours for fitting adjustments, muslin, transferring adjustments, cutting fabric, lining, interfacing, and applying interfacing.
App. Sewing time: 5 hours
Real-life time: 3 Days
I'm made this while on spring break and was able to dedicate some serious daytime sewing to get it done in less than 2 weeks.
Goes with: Green duster from New Look 6518
Miss Alaney:
Hahaha! - see it? It's the attack of the pins! This time I sewed right over one with my zoom zoom (industrial straight-stitch). The machine didn't even slow down! I only noticed it because it sounded funny. So, add about 15 min. of real-life time while I tried to get it out without cutting the thread.

Also, my kids got these fun nerf-type pop guns and we were all playing while waiting to go to lunch at a really nice restaurant but one of the balls got lost. About four hours later when I changed into my "relaxing" clothes guess who found the missing ball? It was secretly hiding in my cleavage all afternoon. If you didn't notice on the pattern adjustments, I raised the depth of that V by about an inch. Apparently there was still enough room for a small ball to hop on in!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


In an effort to increase my blog activity without losing hours of possible sewing time, I'm going to try and just give the facts.

Pattern: Vogue 8601
Fabric: Wool denim
Pattern Design Adjustments: None. I made the one-button version (view DE)
Fitting Adjustments: Alterations are shown where you see orange pattern paper.
Construction notes: Bagged the lining, added sleeve heads, used Steam-A-Seam at the back vent (instead of under stitching) to control the lining from rolling out.
App. Prep time: Didn't really track it this time. But I did make a muslin so maybe around 4 hours.
App. Sewing time: (totally guessing) 10 hours
Real-life time: Most of the jacket was complete after a Saturday sewing marathon. The finishing parts - closing up the lining, adding the button, attaching the shoulder pad, and then opening up the lining and doing it again (see Miss Alaney) were done in a couple of evenings over the next two weeks.
Goes with: Black, dark gray, purple (yes, purple) wool pants and black wool skirt. On top - well, it's all about the turtleneck for me and I've got black, dark gray, and purple of those too!
Miss Alaney: See the pin poking out of the sleeve head? Well, I didn't. Not until the jacket was complete - hence the need to open up the lining!

New notion that I think I love! It's chalk in pencil form. It goes on so easy with very little pressure and most of the color can be rubbed out. I picked up the last one at Janie's Sewing Corner a couple of weeks ago. I'll try and remember to update if it works any better/worse than my first impressions.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fabric Shopping!!!

It's official I have a local fabric friend! We've been talking about it for at least a year and finally had a date. A shopping date, of course. Joan lives in a third or fourth ring suburb and I needed to introduce her to some of the non-chain fabric stores that are a little closer to the big city. Our first stop was Stitch-Cleveland where we ogled and purchased a few Amy Butler cottons. Next it was on to Virginia Marti Fabrics (an offshoot of their school of Virginia Marti College of Art and Design....). This is the only store that I had thought to take pictures and the only one where we didn't buy anything!
It's still good to know that it's there and that your purchases support a great cause. Lastly we spent a good deal of time at Janie's Sewing Corner (check out the upcoming seminars - Mr. King makes an appearance in July and I will definitely be there!). Great fabrics and great conversation.

As if having a fabric shopping partner weren't enough, the night before I went to pull out all my spring/summer fabrics....screeeeetch....I could only find four pieces! That's certainly not enough to make a new wardrobe. And so, I was able to shop guilt-free because I really did need new fabric! It was a great day. See? The geometric print in the middle is my second purchase of this fabric. A few years ago I made this and just wasn't happy with how it looked on me. But I love the fabric!

Then even though our date ended my shopping/creativity motor was still going full force. The only store we didn't visit was JoAnn's so the next day I picked up a few more additions.

Ahhh! an hour on the computer - I've got to go sew!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Where Exactly Does Time Go?

How is it that I thought I'd missed about three weeks of blogging but it turned out to be two months, and that turned into four months?? I have been sticking to my every-other weekend sewing, but haven't worked in the time to blog. I've decided to write everything down and give it to you in pieces, well, I'm going to try anyway. (We'll see how that goes...I started with this plan in March and I'm only able to finish it now because spring break finally arrived!)

At last, it's the gray pants to go with the gray to with the jacket made over a year ago - yay! I used the pants-fitting webcast at Silhouette Patterns to fit my muslin for these and I'm very pleased with the result. I took my hip measurement while I was sitting down and transferred that measurement to the pattern. I also took the pocket pattern from Simplicity 2700 (best pockets ever designed, imho) and adjusted the pattern to include pockets. The original pants go to the waist but I planned on using the waistband from 2700 too so I just estimated where I wanted that seam to be placed. Here are the glamorous fitting pix.

The finished garment is one of the best-fitting pair of pants I own. I know those drag lines in the back look bad but I don't care! That will get fixed with the next pair I make. I didn't make a single adjustment to the crotch area. Instead, while fitting I pulled them up until they felt comfortable and then pinned everything so they would stay that way. Until I see some other (as far as I know I've tried just about every other way possible including computer software) method I'll be using this one for all future pants. Period. Here's the inspiration (from Akris Fall 08, pic from and my completed version, gloves and all.
The pants fabric is an unbelievably soft wool purchased in November from my old friend SR Harris in Minneapolis, the jacket is a wool denim from the now extinct Cutting Room Fabrics. This is one of the few times I've sewn both pieces of a pattern and I'm really pleased with the result. I'm a sucker for a longer jacket and I really like the narrow but not too narrow pants.

Off to work on a little something for Easter (didn't realize the patterns was for knits until yesterday. Mine is a cotton. Wish me luck!)