Monday, September 17, 2012

Clover Pants ~ Part 1: Muslin

So, I am working on the Clover pants from Colette Patterns.  I know, I know, I'm all late to the game and everyone's gone home.  It's okay - better late than never! I figured I would make these  pants and add them to my fall wardrobe.  If I can get the fit right, I can make a whole bunch :)

So far I traced and cut two sizes.  I don't need to say which ones, do I? 

Anyway, someone graciously gave me a light tracer a few months ago.  I couldn't figure out how to use freezer paper or parchment paper or butcher get the idea... to trace this so I got this out from it's hiding space in the garage.  Finally!  I got the darn pattern traced using regular computer paper.  Did I do okay using this method?  I guess whatever works, right? 

What is that in the corners, you ask?  Well, those are pattern weights I made myself.  I wrapped up some washers in fabric and tied it. 

I've done two muslins so far.  The second one is a size smaller than the first and a better fit.  I need to make some adjustments and I'm slowly figuring out what they are.  I have a short torso so I have to adjust for that.  Right now, the pants fit fine everywhere else, but I'm wondering if I adjust for the short torso will the back be too tight?  I might have to make a full derriere adjustment as well.  We'll see.
For the past two days I've been reading tutorials on how to construct trousers and these pants in particular.  There are so many awesome versions of these pants!  I hope mine come out well.  I'll post the pictures when I'm done. 

If you have any advice on sewing these pants, I'd love to hear it :)

Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Weekend Goodies


I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend.   Mine was pretty cool - party at my sis's, hanging with friends, movies with family and fun stuff all around.  And I love when I check my mailbox and there's something fun in it!

I got a great package from So I Sewed This and I couldn't believe all the goodies that were in the box!  Look!

How sweet is that!  Yay!!  There are two that I really want to sew up first:
Ok, so is it just me or is this dress really cute?  I don't know why I like it so much but I do, maybe it's that neckline.  I can see it with less gathers around the waist and a shorter dress (about the knees) in winter white, colored tights, some really nice leather boots in camel or whiskey  (time to go shopping!!) and a fitted jacket.   What do you think?  Ideas? Tell me about it!
I checked the copyright date and it says 1985 (I have an odd obsession with dates, I like to know when things were done).  It's Simplicity 6789.  This will probably be the only version of this dress that I make since the other versions have poofy sleeves and I'm not into that.

The second one is:
Am I crazy or what?!  I love those wide leg trousers!  Does this not remind you of the new pattern that Colette just put out?! (I'm sure you know what I'm talking about but if not, I'll post a link to Colette Patterns).  I have to show you the back of the envelope:
And the best part?  The pattern is intact.  It's never been cut at all.  I definitely want those pants and the jacket which is unlined.  oh, almost forgot, this one is Simplicity 7930 and it was printed in 1977.  It was $1.75 if you purchased it back then!  So it's been 35 years since this was printed and those wide leg trousers are still fashion staples now.

The next one was printed in 1974 and would've cost you $1.25 at the pattern counter.  It's Simplicity 6554.  I wonder where you could've brought this?  Woolworth maybe? I kinda miss Woolworth's, it's  a shame it's gone now.  Anyhow, this is a 10 - 12 button shirtdress ~ how cool is that!  I haven't done anything with buttons yet so that'll be new for me.  One thing I'll leave out is that big pointy collar.  Haha - I'm not taking it THAT far back!

And the other two are:
Change some minor details and you've got a modern dress
I see some cute nighties coming out of this pattern.  

So that was a fun package to receive.  Thanks again So I Sewed This!  You're awesome :)

But that wasn't all the fun in my mailbox.

I got the Renfrew top from Sewaholic and I ordered the Velma belt kit and Colette Clovers from A Fashionable Stitch.  So happy with all this!  And the shipping was so quick.  I am definitely going to shop from these talented ladies again :)  Now, if only I could sew so quickly....

So whew!  That's a LOT of stuff just added to my to-do list!  And I'm still waiting for more good stuff to be delivered ;)  

There's so much more to tell but that'll have to be another post because this one is too long already.  Enjoy your Monday!  :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

How to Thread a Serger

In last night's post, I mentioned that I just purchased a serger.  Among the many reviews that I read, I learned that people have trouble threading the machine.  It's very intimidating with 4 threads going through the machine - upper looper, lower looper, up, down and around, what the?! 
The machine sat on the table for a few days before I decided to watch the DVD that came with it (or CD, whatever, I watched it on my desktop).  The first  thing I learned about threading the machine was to snip the old thread, tie a knot with the new thread, step on the foot pedal and let it run through the machine.  EASY!!!

And, this morning, I had an email notification of a new blog post (yes, I get many notifications throughout the day as you guys post your blogs because I LOVE reading what you post :)) from Fashion Incubator.  The article discusses how to easily thread a machine. 

If you haven't heard about this blog before, you're in for a treat.  The amount of time, effort and information put into this blog is just incredible.  I'm saving my dollars to buy her book too although it's more for the entrepreneur and I'm not at that level,  yet.

Here's the link:

 There's another video that talks about sergers on Mimi G's blog.  She just posted it today at

And yet another update as of 9/15/12 - I received an email on this post today:

They're actually using the serger I purchased - a Brother 1034D.  

I hope this helps anyone who is considering purchasing a serger. 

Have a good day everyone!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A new Serger and a Cardigan

Hello!  Nice to see you again ;)

First, I want to say that my thoughts and prayers are with those who lost loved ones or suffered from the events that occurred eleven years ago today.  It's hard for me to see any of those images and I've been avoiding the news and media all day today.  So before I start getting emotional, I'm going to move on and show you what I've been working with.
I have a new toy!  Last week I got a serger.  I spent some time reading over the manual and viewing the instructional CD that came with it.  So exciting! Ha I know I'm a dork.  It's a Brother 1034D. Ok, I'm not going to waste anytime showing you - here it is:

*I'm so sorry for all the bad pics ~ I really need a new camera.

So, I've never touched one of these machines before and it looked pretty intimidating to me.  I was worried about threading the thing and I was kinda scared to use it.  This one has 4 thread max (you only see the two on the right in the picture because the machine came with 4 small spools of thread and I decided to leave two in).  Threading it was so easy (let me know if you're curious about that and I'll explain).

For my first project using my serger, I decided on a new knit cardigan from Simplicity 2262 (view A).  See that yellow fabric in the serger?  That's my new cardigan :)
Do you want to know more about the serger?  It's surprisingly easy to use and I looooooove it!  It's like, fun! lol  Seriously, though - this machine is great.  I can't wait to do more on this.

Here's the cardigan:

In this photo, you can see the long threads from the serger- it's called a chain

This pattern is really easy - this photo shows the front and back of the cardigan.  I hadn't added the band yet.  I also left out the pockets (I may add them later) and I left out the tabs on the sleeves.  I didn't have buttons, oh well.

Here, I added the band and sewed the hem. 

Look at that seam!  It's almost perfect.  I realized afterwards that I had to push the fabric further into the machine so the threads wouldn't stick out like that.

The shoulder seam
The tab I didn't put in.  I do want to make the buttonhole and add a button.  I should learn how to do that.
 WARNING: the following photos were taken at night - TERRIBLE lighting...
I couldn't use the flash because of the mirror. 
A side view of the cardi - I think I'll add the tab on the sleeve

This fabric is soooo comfy.  It felt like I put on a bathrobe.

It's long enough to cover the booty which is great!  I should've pulled it down before taking the photo but I wanted to show how it wears. 

I love my new cardigan!  It fits into my work and weekend wardrobe :)
 What do you think?  Do you like cardigans?  I can't live without them.  My office building is like an ice box - FREEZING! Ugh and I hate the cold.  I do plan on making more cardigans - maybe I'll get creative and add some different design elements as I go along. 

 Now I'm going to continue planning more garments to add to my wardrobe :)

Happy Sewing!!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day Weekend

I hope everyone enjoyed their Labor Day Weekend.  I love long weekends.  I got to see my family and a few friends. We celebrated two special birthdays this weekend ~ one for my dad and another for a dear friend's baby who just turned 1.  It was a fun weekend ~ full of grilled food and cake and lots of fun by the pool.

Now that it's the (unofficial) end of summer, I kind of feel like it's time to give up white jeans, open toe sandals and jersey dresses and trade out the summer clothes for fall stuff.  But wait, I don't live in NY anymore and I still can wear my summer clothes ;)   so I'm going to continue with some projects.

Saturday morning I worked on this top:

Poolside with my new top
It's a simple top to make - no pattern needed.  You can find it here @ Mimi G's blog ~ It's the second one I've made.  This one is a knit and it was pretty easy to make.  Here's a close up:

Can you see the faux ruffle?  
It's so comfy and easy to wear.  I made the straps wide enough to hide my bra straps.  My mom wants one now :)

I also have a friend visiting from NY soon, so I'm making a maxi dress for that weekend.  The pattern is Simplicity 1881 which you can see here

So far, I've done the skirt for it:

No that belt will NOT be worn with it - I just pinned it to Sally and I'm using the belt to hold it up in place.  It's hard to tell in the picture but the top seam will be gathered.  Do you like the print?  Just screams maxi dress right?  I think it'll look nice when it's all done.  I just have to work on the bodice. I'm using view B from the pattern and it will be sleeveless.

I've been working with knits on my last few projects and I really like knits.  They drape so nicely. Soooo, I got some more patterns (Joann's was having a sale this weekend - I hope you didn't miss it!)
Vogue patterns were on sale for $3.99 and McCall's patterns were $1.99. Here are some of the ones I purchased:

Both of these patterns suggest Challis, Crepe and/or Cotton Lawn and Poplin.  I'm searching online for fabric.  Do you have any favorite online fabric shops? 

Love the knit dress on the right and I think I found the perfect fabric for the dress on the right

I love these! 
 New patterns always lead to new fabric:
This is a knit and so is the one below

oh and I just ordered a serger (Brother) from Amazon.  I'm so excited!  Since I really like sewing with knits I figured it was time to invest in a serger. I hope I chose the right one for me. 

Thanks for reading