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Having finished up a few T-shirt tops, it was time to tackle another shirt for A.  This fabric came from the big (huge, really) fabric warehouse in Minnesota that we stopped at on our trip about two years ago.  It was shirting fabric so worth a try.  The fabric sewed up very easily and pressed nicely, but seems to wrinkle easily, too.  I will be interested to get a report from A to see how it wears.  She didn’t seem to worry about the wrinkle factor that much since she always wears a lab coat.  It took me about 4 days to sew the shirt which I was trying to finish before A came home for a visit.  She was pleased with it and tried it on for me over the pretty lace dress she was wearing, so it looks a little ill-fitting in the photos, but we have made this same shirt enough times to know it is OK.

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Here are a few of the other shirts made from this same pattern, with variations:

Abby's Blue Striped ShirtWhen she was visiting, A showed me that she still has a pair of pajama bottoms made from a waffle knit that I made for her years ago.  They were shortie pajama bottoms so that got me thinking about all the flannel and knit  remnants I have kicking around in the stash.  She was eager to get some more pajama shorts, so after she went back home, I dug around in the fabric stash.  So far I have two pairs cut out using her regular pajama pant pattern which I shortened to about a 14″ length.  Should have the first pair finished today.  It is the sad truth that it often pays to be a fabric hoarder.

Still working on the knit cardigan with the buttonholes and buttons still pending, but it fits well and the sleeves are not too wide.  In the meantime, I don’t think I ever showed this shirt in its finished form though I did show the fabric:

DSC02128It has the side-darted front though the ends of the darts are covered by nearly invisible pockets.  There are 3/4-length sleeves, shirttail hem, and a lapel collar.  I have several aqua tanks and t-shirts I can wear underneath.

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DSC02122This was a semi-wild print that I bought on a whim at the craft thrift store, but it has a nice weight for a summer jacket.

Here’s a preview of the knit jacket cardigan waiting for its buttons.  I found some large buttons that are black with a teal splotch in the middle that are perfect even if a little big.

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First, here’s a picture of the vest I was making from heavy knit that was finished some time ago (https://redpajamamama.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/more-shirts/).  I just couldn’t find any blue separating zipper anywhere so I went with a white one since this was just a wearable muslin.  The vest turned out pretty well except that I discovered that I don’t really like a hood with a single seam up the back but prefer one with a panel down the middle.  This hood on the vest was taken from a Japanese pattern, but in future versions I’ll just use the hood from the fleece vest pattern.

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So, on to the next T-shirt.  There was a lot of yardage in this print fabric, so I made this top and am currently working on a sewn cardigan to match.  This fabric really made me wonder about people who design prints.  Is it really a good idea to have large flesh-colored roundish areas with a dark center?  You really have to be careful to avoid these “bulleyes” ending up in the wrong place, and it wasn’t easy.

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Here’s the necklace that my daughter made for me a few birthdays ago that will look good on this top:

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DSC02220The drought here has eased a bit, so we are putting in a medium-sized garden this year.  There has been a bumper crop of plums so far, and I have already made some jam and donated the rest of the plums to the Food Bank.  I like to keep track of the number of pounds of produce that we give to the Food Bank every year to see if we can beat our last year’s record.  So far this year the total is 112 pounds which already beats last year (but that was a drought year).  Last year we thought the volunteer old peach tree was dying, but my husband pruned it and it came back healthy and strong and is covered with peaches.  We have no idea what kind of peaches they are except that they are delicious.

I’ve made so many of these t-shirts that I stopped counting.  The other day I found a length of this fabric at the craft thrift store in the bin for bathing suit fabrics.  I liked the wild and crazy print and the fabric didn’t seem too plasticy, so it became another t-shirt.  This time I took the basic altered-for-me cap-sleeved pattern:
DSC02229and added 2 inches of length to the sleeves and curved the waist in a little:

DSC02228The fabric was really easy to sew and has a great drape.  Next time I go to the craft thrift store I am heading right to the bathing-suit fabric bin.  It doesn’t look all that great on Madam Merp (she looks a little tipsy in this picture) but looks really good on me.  The longer sleeve length is a big improvement.

DSC02200This led to a t-shirt sewing binge.  Now that I have 4 new tops, I decided to see if any of my existing necklaces would look good with them.  I found two that I made a long time ago that I could wear with this top.

DSC02202The idea for this necklace came from a book on ethnic jewelry, and I made the amber-like bead and the other larger beads from polymer clay.

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The other necklace that goes with this shirt was made from polymer clay and was supposed to have rainbow-colored beads.  The beads didn’t turn out with bright rainbow colors, but I liked the necklace anyway:

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My daughter is a talented jewelry maker and often gives me gifts of handmade necklaces and earrings for holidays and birthdays.  It’s fun making clothes to match, something I never tried before except for the royal blue top I made 2 years ago (https://redpajamamama.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/adventures-in-royal-blue/).  In the next post, I’ll show another shirt with a necklace she made for me.

 

More Shirts

Still having fun drafting different shirt designs using the Sure-Fit Designs system.  Yesterday I cut out another jean-jacket-type shirt jacket with smaller pocket flaps in a pretty aqua denim-weight fabric and will start sewing that next. Before I get to that one, though, I’m going to sew a quick vest to wear with jeans. For some reason, I love hooded garments so I looked at a lot of Japanese patterns to see how a hood could be drafted to fit the lowered neckline I prefer, and have one ready to try out.   There are several lengths of fabric in the stash that don’t have enough yardage for a shirt with sleeves, so they will be used to make some light-weight hooded vests.  To try out the pattern, the first version is cut from some fairly thickish double knit:

DSC02129It’s a nice denim color and should look good with jeans.  It will be sleeveless with top stitching and a zipper up the front.

After the brown shirt was finished (and I found it so comfortable and flattering), I decided to use that pattern without the pocket flaps in a lighter cotton shirt.  This red fabric has been stuck in the stash for years and years and was originally going to be a shirt for A but she vetoed the fabric choice.

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DSC02116As I mentioned in the last post, sewing a collar and stand all the time began to lose its appeal so the next shirt has a lapel collar.  This fabric is a lot slinkier than I usually sew and it was a challenge because it raveled like crazy.  The shirt turned out great, though, and I think it will get a lot of wear.  The most amazing thing, though, is that this fabric had been in the stash only a few weeks!

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Right now the vest princess seams need a good press and some top stitching, so back to the sewing room.

April Sewing

There’s another completed shirt ready to photograph but it has been too dark to take pictures.  We are having a rainy April so far which is not the usual California weather, but we are happy about it.  The last big storm pushed our rainfall totals over the normal yearly amount.  This week there is just not enough light to photograph a garment, so I have pushed ahead with new projects.  There’s been a lot of pattern drafting and examining of fabric, but today I finally got with the program and cut some new shirts out.  Here’s the fabric that was pulled out of the pile:

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I’m a little tired of making collars and stands at the moment so wanted to make a lapel front shirt like the red and white one I made but with 3/4-length sleeves.

DSC02055 and with a pocket or two:

DSC02058This would be my basic Sure-fit Designs blouse with a shirttail hemline, 3/4-length sleeves, and a lapel collar copied from McCall’s 7066.  The lapel collar is easy to sew and looks really nice.  Here it is on the red and white shirt:

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The floral shirt is all cut out and I had time to cut out a royal blue print, too.  I’m not sure of the fabric content but probably a rayon blend since it has a nice drape to it.  I’ve gradually been accumulating a collection of those big metal washers to use as fabric weights and they work very well.

DSC02054Long ago I used to have a pair of electric scissors and the scissors got a lot of use until they died of overwork, but I got another pair for a gift a few years ago and am finally getting around to using them.  I tried them out on the rayon fabric, but they are probably better for using on heavier fabrics since the lighter ones scoot around while you are trying to cut them.  Maybe they could be used to cut the thick fleece I’ve been sewing.

Between Projects

I didn’t sew at all this week, which is unusual for me.  I discovered Picasa Web Albums and the wonderful magazines people have posted there and spent a lot of the week going through sewing and needlework magazines.  For a break towards the end of the week, I went up to the next county to visit the craft thrift store and came home with a nice haul of fabric, mostly lovely linens and printed knits.  I am amassing quite a large mountain of fabric in the guest room so better get busy and sew a lot of it up before it falls on someone.

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My daughter, A, picked up the gray shirt and tried it on.  It fit very well, so I have been mentally designing different variations of it to keep the sewing interesting while I crank out multiple versions for her to wear to work.  I pulled out several patterns with different kinds of collars and cuff variations so will be trying these out.  My fabric from the craft thrift store includes over 8 yards of a most beautiful teal linen, which is calling out to be cut and sewn.  However, I have a red shirt for me all ready to go, I just need to get off the computer and over to the sewing machine.

 

 

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