Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Many things inspire me to create...but nothing more so than the changing of the leaves.  I love it when they haven't all turned because the mosaic of color makes me want to run home and lock myself in the sewing cave to make beautiful garments from these luscious fall colors.

These pictures of trees were taken from my neighborhood....

...along with this claret wool crepe fabric will be the ode to my fall inspiration... always more later!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Vogue 1250 as a top

I love Vogue 1250 as a dress.  It's comfortable and easy to wear.  It sews up quickly and can be made out of several different types of knits...I know because I've made it in everything from a ponte knit to a silk jersey.  So for awhile now I've been thinking of altering this pattern and using it as a top.

You would think that I would be concerned about the drapey neckline in a fall top but I've decided to add a camisole beneath it ~ layers are always great in the fall. I've also found that lately it has to be extremely cold for me to wear something close-fitting at my neckline...especially now that my internal thermometer is doing it's own thing!

So when I found this rayon knit and realized that the print would work with both the brown (already completed) and the gray (yet to be sewn) pieces for the CIW wardrobe, I leapt at the chance to make V1250 as a top.

I made new pattern pieces for the top.  I added a hemline 9" from the waistline curve on the front piece, then traced the top of the dress piece out.  I placed the back top and skirt piece together, then traced the back as one piece straightening out the curved hemline.

Otherwise the top was constructed the same way that I made the dress.  There is a center back seam.  I used the same stitch witchery tip for the back neckline as I did with the last two dresses I made from this pattern.

Front view with lace camisole

Close up of the neckline

Back view

Twin needled hemline

I topstitched the armhole seams and used a twin needle on the hemline.  It was a quick sew but it will be a great top beneath the planned jackets and my solid color RTW cardigans.  

So one more garment is completed in the CIW collection...which makes that six garments done.  Next up is a cardigan from B5760.  It will be a second cardigan in the collection but since I like a cardigan so much more than a jacket, I figured two wouldn't hurt! always more later!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Breaking News...

Due to Hurricane Sandy the Sewing Cave has been dismantled...let's go to the photographic proof...

Sewing machines have been taken upstairs.  Two feet of space has been cleared, just in case and... I sit...waiting...hoping and praying that it won't be as bad as the weather people are predicting...oh and I've scheduled a few posts for the week...just in case! back to your regularly scheduled programming... always more later!

Butterick 6002 ~ A Knit Cardigan

The next piece in The City in Winter Collection, is a knit cardigan made using Butterick 6002 to coordinate with the brown wool crepe pieces previously sewn.

Pattern ~
Butterick 6002 - This is an out of print pattern that was issued in 1999.
It is a semi-fitted, unlined, above waist jacket that has shoulder pads, mock bands, long sleeves and stitched hem.

Fabric ~
Tweedy ponte knit purchased from Mood. Here's a link to additional pontes at

Notions ~
Five 7/8" buttons
1/4" shoulder pads
black fusible interfacing

Construction ~
This is my third version of this jacket. My first one ended up going in the recycle basket and my second one became a treasured piece that I wore a lot this summer. 

For this version I made one fit change.  I added tucks to the neckline of the pattern pieces so that I wouldn't have to make darts to take in the extra width.  Here's what I did in my second version...

And here is a close up of the neckline on this version...highlighting how the excess fabric has been removed at the neckline...

The cardigan was primarily sewn on my serger, since it is a ponte and a stable knit. The most challenging aspect of this jacket occurred when I decided not to make regular buttonholes but to make corded buttonholes on the jacket front. You can read all about that technique in this post from my blog.

So a few more pics...

Jacket, RTW turtleneck
TNT pants

Jacket worn with
dress recently made

This cardigan/jacket will work well with the pieces currently in the collection and with future pieces too. Next up is tops. I have two tops planned for the more than the original plan...but I found an amazing knit from EOS that will work with both the chocolate and the gray bottoms because I need some simple sewing before I head into jacket territory. always more later!

Friday, October 26, 2012

My Week in Pictures...

It started on Tuesday when I attended Susan Khaljie's class on "Sewing with Lace" at Mood.  I learned that I still have a lot to learn about constructing a garment using lace and realized that as good as my Trendy Lace dress looks, it could have been a whole lot better!  I saw some friends, Rosie, Clio, Marina and Oona and met a new one...hey Rhonda!  Thanks for reading!

My new Vogue Pattern Magazine came on Wednesday...and then on Thursday (after the sale ended!) the new patterns showed up on the site.  I  only like three of them...

Sorry Shams but I liked all the dresses! ;)

I also pulled fabric from the collection Thursday night...cause I'm sewing tops for the CIW collection this weekend...

From left to right: A cardigan from Butterick 5760, 
a top from V1250 and a bow tie blouse from V8772

Then the new Talbots catalog was in the mail and I got a new dress idea (the bow dress on page 78) I will be in the shelves looking for some more fabric...I need something in burgundy and since I will have made three new tops, I can sew another dress that's not part of the collection, right?! 

There were a few questions...

Jenn asked...
"I love those shoes, please, please tell me what label they are and if you bought them recently."
Jenn sorry I bought the shoes last season from The Avenue, can you believe it?!

Gaylen asked...
What I want to know how you get your running spaces such a consistent space and length?
I actually don't have a trick for this one. I just try to make the stitches consistent in length on one side and then I mirror the stitches on the other side.  The beginning of the stitches are actually a little crooked because I didn't start our using the tape...they got better after I applied the tape and began to stitch around it.

Tia Dia asked...
I wish there was an option on your blog to zoom in on the photos to get a good detailed look at your work...
Actually if you click the pictures they do get larger...but I'm including a close up picture of one of the better ones.  

Please note that by no means do I think these are fabulous buttonholes, they are passable.  There was no way that I could rip out another set of buttonholes without ruining the fabric, so I went with good enough.  I have the concept down ~ now I need to practice, practice, practice so that my technique will improve. 
And finally since Hurricane Sandy is coming to town Sunday...there may be no posts for a minute.  I'm praying that it's not as bad as the forecasts are making it sound but I feel like it's Irene all over I will be protecting my sewing cave Sunday afternoon so that I don't lose anything precious... always, more later!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My TNT Dress in Jason Wu Fabric

I was inspired by a Jones NY dress to make my own...

This dress is all about the Jason Wu fabric that I chose for it.  I did add some pink piping to bring out the pink flecks in the fabric but I knew when I found it at Mood, that I was going to use my TNT dress pattern to make it.

Some stats:
Fabric ~
2 yards Jason Wu tweed fabric

Notions ~
20" metallic zipper
pink piping
pink rayon bemberg lining
black rayon seam tape
pink rayon seam tape
bias binding
1/4 yard black lightweight interfacing

Construction Techniques:
All of the construction techniques are contained in this post and most of them were just to add extra touches like the exposed metal zipper and the piping.

The part I like the most is something no one can see but me, the pink lining...and look I'm wearing a belt. Seriously, peoples it's a belt around my non-existent about photographic illusions! *LOL* 

I love the versatility of this dress...

Back view with exposed zipper

Worn with pink cardigan and belt

Dress worn like a jumper with a black turtleneck

Finally, a little shoe p*rn...

It was wonderful to work with this fabric.  I ended up with a very versatile dress that can be worn alone, with a cardigan or with turtlenecks in a variety of different colors.

This was another sew that wasn't part of the CIW collection, but I loved the fabric from the start and I was too excited about it to put it on the shelf. always more later!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Stone & Brown Butterick 5147

I like this dress' silhouette.  I like how it's a great staple, how it can be made up in various fabrics and that simple embellishments can give it a new twist. Somewhere in my travels through the internet, I saw a dress like this and I knew that I could make my own using Butterick 5147. This is my fourth version and I have version five already planned...I'm sure that there will be even more in the future. 

Some stats:
Fabric ~
St. John ponte knit purchased earlier this year

Notions ~
22" stone invisible zipper
brown embroidery floss

Construction Techniques
Instead of cutting the front pattern piece on the fold, I added a 5/8" seam allowance and sewed the two front pieces together.  I wanted a front seam for embellishment purposes. 

I hand stitched around the back & front neckline and down the front of the dress using brown embroidery floss. To make sure that the stitching was relatively straight, I added scotch tape down the center front seam to use as stitching lines. I also added an inch strip of lightweight fusible interfacing down the back of the center front seam to insure that the seam line and fabric was stable.

Since I didn't line the dress, I simply pressed down a 5/8" seam allowance at the neckline and the armholes. I pressed stitch witchery into the seam allowance to stabilize them and used a twin needle to stitch the armholes flat. I also used twin needle stitching for the dress' hemline.

I got a lot of bang for the buck from this very easy sew. It took about 4 hours from cut to finish ~ even with the hand stitching! I definitely see more of these in my future.

A few more pics...

Dress front

Dress with Butterick 6002 jacket

Dress with Burda 8869 cardigan

Dress & Cardigan back

Piece number five for The City in Winter Collection is done.  This was an unexpected piece that I added but since it works with both toppers, I'm glad that I did include it. always more later!


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