Archive for June, 2011


M came over last night to try on the newest version of  Simplicity 2939 and hurray, it fit!  It looked really good, especially the princess seams – success at last.

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Green II Finished

Now there is almost no IKEA sheet left except for a few scraps.

The lining in front was from the same hot pink Target sheet that I used for the blue little girl dress, and the rest of the lining was cut from scraps of a Knoppa sheet.  When I first finished up the top, the lining had gone wrong somehow and was smaller than the outer fabric, but after deciding I would leave it as is, I gave in and went back to it, ripped out the topstitching, ripped out the stitching holding the lining in at the bottom, repinned the lining (more carefully) and fixed it.

The princess seams are a winner, I hope, giving a much smoother line.  I’ll know when M comes over to try it on.

Another corner design put to use.  Picking out different colors and watching the design emerge is one of my favorite things about machine embroidery.

After I sewed the robot Mexican peasant blouse, I swore I would not sew anything black for a long time, but here I am with the rest of that black fabric cut out for a work shirt for A.  Now it’s time to go iron on the interfacing and get started on it.

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Green II

There was still quite a bit of fabric left from the green Dvala IKEA sheet, so I am using it for yet another version of Simplicity 2939.  As you can see, I changed the dart to a princess seam, which will work out well in the back, too, because there is a bit of gaping going on at the center of the back armhole, so a princess seam there will help with that issue.  I hope.  The embroidery design is another one from Brother Card No. 45, which is really a great bunch of designs.  It’s fun to change the colors around to suit the fabric you are using.   The front bodice lining will be in the hot pink color to match the embroidery.

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Another Try

Gave Simplicity 2939 another try.  The Green version was OK, though M thought it was a little tight across the back, but still wearable.  I made alterations on the pattern and pondered the front darts.  I just couldn’t get those darts to fit correctly after I made the initial FBA, so this time I turned them into tucks.  I am not sure I like this either, so my next try will be to change the dart into princess seams.  That should work.

This blouse is made from some quilting cotton I got for a shirt for A, but she wasn’t fond of the print.  It has been languishing in the stash for about a year, which is a really short time for fabric languishing.  I was in a hurry to see if this version fit so I just added lace and button trim without any embroidery.

I noticed that M had just pulled the green top over her head without using the zipper at all, so I decided to leave the zipper out of this one.  It should be a nice cool blouse for summer wear.

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This turned out very nicely even though I made many thoughtless mistakes and spent a lot of time ripping things out.  However, it is a good-natured blouse and always recovered well from my goofs.  At one point, when I was attaching the bodice lining, I accidentally produced a mobius strip of twisted fabric.  A little ripping, a little reseaming, and presto, a nice blouse.  I’m not really happy with the fit of the darts, though they look a lot better on the person than they do on Madame Merp.  Let’s just say that the Madame has had a fall or two that depressed her pretensions, so to speak.

This a a good use for corner embroidery designs and the corners really look  good on this blouse neckline.  M has to try the blouse on, but if it works, I would like to make a few more of these and try out some more corner designs.  The pattern does not call for a bodice lining, but I don’t like facings much so I tend to just line the whole thing.  There is no back opening, so I left the front seams for the last, after the lining was sewn on and turned right side out.  There is a zipper in the side seam:

It’s supposed to be a lapped zipper, but that was another mistake I made when putting in the lining, so I used a centered zipper and it looks fine enough.

Now on to some work shirts for A.

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Sometimes you feel like working with patterns and doing all the fitting and drafting, and sometimes you don’t.  Yesterday was a pattern/paper day so I altered this Simplicity pattern for M.  I used the pivot and slide method which sometimes works perfectly the first time, but not with this blouse.  I made up a muslin for M to try on, and I had to take off some width under the arms and add some width and length to the front bodice.  When that was done, I was ready to put some embroidery on it.  I used the Brother Card No. 67, design number 28.  This design is supposed to be made in several colors, but it also looks great in just one color.  It has a lot of interesting texture.

It certainly is the time of year to be making a sleeveless top since it is about 100 degrees outside today.  It is hard to remember that we were freezing in the rain a few weeks ago.  I am using a green Dvala sheet (100% cotton) for this.  M says that the other two blouses I made from the IKEA sheeting wash and dry very well and need little ironing, which is good to know.

Here’s one of the fronts with the embroidery finished.  I can’t iron this until I remove the marking in case the heat sets the ink.  Here’s a closeup of the embroidery:  This was the first attempt at using the machine’s positioning function, rotating the design around to fit the space.  There’s always something new to learn in sewing. In addition to working on this blouse, I’m cutting out some more workshirts for A in solid color cottons.

In the last week we made the long long drive down to LA and back twice.  My MIL wanted to visit an old friend, so we offered to drive her there and back.  While tiring, the drive does deliver an adventure or two, including a herd of sheep that somehow were wandering over the freeway (I-5) near Harris Ranch where cars were going about 80 miles per hour.  This resulted in a very bad day for one hapless driver who, thankfully, was not injured, but we can’t say the same for one of the sheep.  As we crawled by in the slowed-down traffic, the police were trying to round up the sheep and tend to the victims, animal and human.  I suppose it was a bad day for the rancher whose sheep escaped, too, since he will almost certainly be looking at a lawsuit soon.

When I am not avoiding random sheep, I like to look at the crops all down the central valley, and it seems that almonds have proliferated to an amazing degree.  It also seems like pomegranate groves are spreading everywhere, something I haven’t seem before.

I think the garden waits until we are gone to grow because the plants always seem to be about 1/3 bigger when we get back, even though we were only gone about 18 hours for each trip.  I may pick the first cucumber today.

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Every time I set the sleeves into this blouse (New Look 6027), I am impressed with how well drafted they are and how easy they are to sew.  Flutter sleeves are comfortable in the hot weather though they can be a little tricky to hem neatly.  This blouse has nice shaping to it with a back seam instead of a foldline, and good shaping on the side seams so that even though it is a loose peasant-type blouse, it flatters the figure.The pattern calls for bias binding around the neckline, and I thought it needed a little color to tie it into the embroidery, so I sewed a line of chainstitch at the seamline.  The embroidery design was purchased from Oregon PatchWorks and is called Elegant Florals 4 by the designer Sweet Heirloom Embroidery.

I have been thinking about making a white top with all black embroidery, or maybe mostly black embroidery with accents of turquoise.  This could be because I just got my big cones of black thread in the mail this week and want to use some of it.

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