Saturday, November 1, 2008


Just because I have been lax in posting lately doesn't mean that I haven't been sewing. In fact, I have sewn a lot since mid July, and much more than usual. I just hope I can keep up the pace which will help reduce the stash and increase the wardrobe which desperately needs updating. With one exception, all fabrics came directly from my stash and have been residing there for at least a year and some are four years old. Here's a quick rundown.

In July I made a couple short-sleeved shirts from Cecelia Podolak's The Classics Fearless Shirt #106 making one from cotton and another from a silk print using the convertible collar view for both. I was pleased with the results of these two shirts and made a couple more during October using the two-piece band collar and the long sleeves with cuffs. I realize that the two long-sleeve shirts appear to have different length sleeves, but both were cut from the same sleeve pattern on the same day no less. The white is a very drapey rayon and the light sage is a pima oxford cotton. Different fabrics just react differently which I will keep in mind the next time I sew up this shirt. I also cut down the size of the oxford cloth shirt cuff by an inch and will do this to all other versions of this pattern.

Next up the Loes Hinse Sweater Set. I have sewn the cardigan at least five times before. This is a quick pattern. I added vintage metal buttons which came from my aunt's button stash and may also have even belonged to my grandmother. These buttons could be anywhere from 50 to 100 years old. This set goes well with the La Fred Iris skirt below and the shell looks nice under the La Fred Maia Jacket. The fabric is a rayon speckled knit that was easy to sew.

In August, Pattern Review had a Lined Jacket contest. I had made the La Fred Maia Jacket three years ago, but mistakenly over fitted it. It looked great on me as long a I did not move. Also, the fusible interfacing bubbled and did not look right. I so wanted to wear that jacket since I loved the style. Well, by entering the contest, I got the motivation to plug away at this jacket again, made a new muslin to refit it, made several fitting changes, including lowering the bust which evidently had fallen in the last couple years. But I am so pleased with the end result and then went on to make a matching skirt from the La Fred Iris Skirt pattern in the a-line view. This skirt was so easy to fit. The suit is made in a herringbone weave linen. I used fusible interfacing in the jacket and underlined the skirt with silk organza. I spent August on these two items and other than cutting out other projects, sewed nothing else.

Since I had such success with the suit, in September I decided to make another one, but in wool. I had bought this wool a couple years ago from Michael's, however, this suit was not what I had originally intended to make with it. But I am so pleased with it and have worn it as a suit or just the jacket with a pair of dark grey pants several times already. Again, I underlined the jacket with fusible weft and the skirt with silk organza. This time I made the pencil skirt version of the Iris Skirt. When I went to the PR event at Sawyer Brook, I picked up Bemberg lining and buttons to go with this suit.

Next up, a couple of Loes Hinse Bianca Sweater tops. I had originally made one from another fabric for my trip to Paris last spring. I really liked the way this top looked on me and it is so comfortable. So I made one top from a speckled dark brown knit from my stash (which is not showing up as dark in the picture) and the other from a lovely black rayon knit I purchase at the PR/Sawyer Brook event. Both tops have seen a lot a wearing in the past month. I wore the speckled one to Sawyer Brook and the black top looks great under the grey suit.

Then on to two more blouses. I had originally made the Loes Hinse Italian Blouse when it first came out about eight years ago using a rayon jacquard. I loved this blouse and actually wore it out. Last year I came upon a similar rayon jacquard and purchased it with the intention of duplicating that blouse which I did do in September. This blouse is not fitted, but has a lovely neckline and looks great under suit jackets. Now to find another drapey fabric in different color to make another one. There must be something in my stash.

The second blouse is a silk georgette I purchased at least four years ago at a sewing expo. It has a lovely drape, but was not the easiest fabric to cut and mark. I ended up using spray starch to stabilize it and that worked out quite well. I had actually run the fabric through the gentile cycle of my washing machine and even machine dried it to get the shrink factor out, so water spotting was not an issue. I will definitely use the spray starch again when I have a wiggly fabric such as silk georgette. The pattern I used for this blouse was Vogue 7063 which I had purchased with this fabric in mind. The front has a hidden placket. I used more decorative buttons on the sleeve cuffs and flat black buttons which are hidden under the placket. I cut down the size of the cuffs by an inch which I think looks better with a drapey, sheer fabric. This blouse also looks great under the grey wool suit.

Last of all, I finished one of the coats for the Great Coat Sew Along. I spent June and July fitting this pattern and cut out the fabric in August along with the fabric for the other coat I plan to make. In September I started and finished this coat which went together in less than a week. The only changes I made to the design were I shortened the length and made single welt pockets rather than welts with flaps which looked too dated for my taste. This jacket has only a single button, so I needed to find something that made a statement. I found a two color carved horn button which gives the jacket a little pizazz and I love my choice.

So what's up next? I plan to make another suit, this time in black double crepe using a Vogue Claire Shaffer jacket pattern. I'm not sure about the skirt yet, but it could be another Iris skirt. I plan to line the jacket in a silk animal print I bought at Metro textiles last year and use buttons I bought at Tender Buttons that same weekend. First I need to fit the jacket, so that is I how I will probably be spending my time this week.

Tomorrow, I plan to meet with a couple sewing buddies to fit pants using Palmer/Pletsch patterns. I have been reading the book, watching the video and preparing my pattern all week. Hopefully, by the afternoon tomorrow I'll have a pants pattern ready to be cut out in fabric.

Last weekend we attended an ASG convention in Hartford where Pati Pletsch was the speaker. She was an inspiration and such a nice person. She truly wants to help people sew well fitting clothes. Recognize the jacket?