Sunday, May 31, 2009

BWOF 04-2009 (101) - Done

I knew I wouldn't get 4 items sewn in one month for the mini-wardrobe contest, but I got close. One more item is done ! If anyone is counting that's 3 things this month that I finished !!! I can hardly believe it :-)

Here we go - might as well copy the PR review rather than type it all again.

Pattern Description: The perfect length, the perfect cut. You can't go wrong with this slightly flared skirt in novelty-weave fabric !

Pattern Sizing: 36-44

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, although I actually made 101B which is the one without pockets or topstitching.

Were the instructions easy to follow? (Why do they ask this ? If you select a BWOF pattern, this section should just assume 'NO' and let it go at that - LOL! ) For the skirt, yes...for the yoke, well, I'd read the PR reviews first and didn't stress too much when they were confusing.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? No dislikes, this is a great basic skirt.

Fabric Used: Black stretch cotton twill from a FabricMart Mystery Bundle - it's a FREEBIE !

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:

1) cut a 44 waist and 42 the time I was done taking in the seams to fit, I should have just cut a 42. Next time.

2) I scooped 1/2" from center back for a swayback adjustment but it wasn't enough. There was still lots of bunching in the back ! back - 1st fitting
I took out another 1/4' and it seemed much better. adjusted back

3) I added 4.5" to the length since I'd seen a few comments about it being quite short. I'm tall so I generally have to add length anyway. It turns out it wasn't 'that' short on me. I cut off all but 1.5' and hemmed it with a 1/2" hem just above my knees.

4) My sewing order was pretty wonky, I think. I don't think I did anything in the order it said to and the yoke instructions were horribly confusing so I followed Allie in Hong Kong's review for the yoke. Her inside front photo was great.
I did the yokes first, including buttonholes and buttons, placed them RS together with the center front panel and serged them on. Then I put that full panel aside til the rest of the skirt was done.
The facings were attached when I did the center zipper using the tutorial from Fashion-Incubater the same as my previous skirt.
The last thing I did was serge the full front panel seams to their side panels, including facings. No hand stitching, no fuss, no muss. It's a pretty clean inside finish and since I made such good use of Allie's pic, here's mine in case it's of any help to anyone. inside yoke

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, & yes. My twill seems pretty lightweight and has stretch. I think I'd like to try this one again in a denim or heavier twill with no stretch. I would recommend though that you don't bother with the BWOF fussy instructions for the yoke, they seem to make it more difficult than it is.

Conclusion: It's gonna get lots of wear !

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Airing the Laundry, or.............I wear what I Sew

I LOVE doing laundry in the summer ! 1st, the machine does all the work anyway, all I have to do is hang it up and wait. Yesterday, my usual laundry day, was not good for the line so I crossed my fingers and waited til today. It's a perfect day for the clothesline, a full load dry every 1.5 hours or so.

And what does this have to do with sewing you might ask?

Well, look below and you will see that, without a doubt, I wear what I sew. This is what my line looks like right now. 5 pieces hanging all together that I've made so far and worn in the last week or so. You will recognize some of them. You won't recognize the polka dot skirt. That's my 3rd M3341 that I mentioned but never posted. Hmm, I never realized how different all my skirts are in length.

It's a large picture...I was going to crop it, but if you look waaaay down to the bottom left corner, you'll see my puffball, Skippy. He follows me just about everywhere, especially outside - one never knows when the human might throw the ball - LOL !

I'm working on BWOF 04-2009-101 today, it's tough though. My thermometer reads 26°C in the back - I wonder if I could plug my SM into the external outlet on the deck ? :-)

Probably (for sure) won't get it done today, but there will be 'some' progress.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Told ya it was blue LOL

I HAVE to learn to wait for DH for pics. He took these for me this morning before work.

I wore both the tee and the skirt to work today.
The wearability factor is awesome !
Very comfortable, I LOVE the wide yoke, and while I thought (am positive) the skirt is 100% cotton, I expected it to wrinkle but it didn't at all and I spent all day sitting at the computer today. I think this one's going to be a summer favorite.

It received quite a few comments/compliments today. There are a few ladies in the office who know I sew, so anything new gets ' did you make it ?'. One of them just found out today that I'd made the newsprint tee and was shocked. Where she thought I would've found anything RTW in that fabric is beyond me, but, it's flattering and kinda cool :-)

One question...tee tucked in or out (since I added a bit of length to it, it might be a tad too long to wear untucked).

Tomorrow, I'm done at 11:30 am and this weekend's plans include some progress on the next skirt - the black twill BWOF 04-2009-101. I thought I had it all traced out, but I guess I missed a couple pieces. Will trace the last 2 pieces tomorrow, cut them out and see how far I get before supper.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Weekend update

Wow - I made progress this weekend !

This was a long weekend and I really wanted to make the most of it. I had stalled on the BWOF tee and wanted it finished. The hope was that I would finish the tee, cut the pieces of the two BWOF skirts and start the blue twill one (BWOF 10-2008-103)

AND ?.................

The tee is done and the skirt is done as well - I have NEVER started and finished something in one weekend ! Yaaay me :-)

A quick update to the Storyboard - I deleted the 2nd t-shirt option

By the time I finished the last hem of the day, the light was gone for a good picture. I took a few myself so I could post this and will get DH to take some better ones with me wearing both pieces this week.

BWOF 08-2008-109 - Raglan Tee

Size - 34-42, I made a 42
Fabric - Lycra knit from

Changes -
lowered the neck at center front by 1"
lengthened the body by 1-1/4".
1/2" forward shoulder adjustment
I didn't use the back zip - it IS a tee after all.
I checked out the reviews on Pattern Review and it seemed that there was trouble with the underarm binding and most 'did it their way'. Well, I don't have a 'my way' yet, so I muddled through the BWOF instructions. They seem to be fine although I'm not sure if I did them 'right'.

For the neckline binding, I used the Sarah Veblen tutorial that Ann sent me after my last tee had a wobbly neckline. Thanks Ann !

BWOF 10-2008-103B - Pleated Skirt (trust me, it's blue ! although I'd love to find the shade of green that is showing up on my monitor)

Size - 36-44, I 'cut' a 44 (see changes below)
Fabric - Cotton Twill remnant from my local Fabricville. I must remember when I buy remnants to make sure I've got thread and zippers for them. This was all cut out and ready to go Saturday night. When I started Sunday morning, I realized none of my thread or zippers matched. Had to wait til noon for the stores to open.

Changes -
I traced View A, the longer version and forgot to add the hem allowance before I cut it out. So, I made View B, hemmed, it's a bit above my knees.
My understanding of the instructions was to sew the back and front waistbands together, sew one of the side seams of the skirt then attach the full waistband to the skirt. In order to be able to take in or let out the seams, I sewed each waistband to its skirt piece then sewed a full side seam. And a good thing it was the time I took it in enough to fit, I ended up a size smaller - 42 ! :-)
Dawn made this skirt twice now and her original post referenced Fashion-incubator's Centered Zipper Tutorial. I didn't have the suggested invisible zipper so I bought a regular zip and used this for the installation instead. The facings are not even (they were before I turned it all right side out, don't know what went wrong) but this is the CLEANEST zipper I've ever put in - I'll use this method again and again, I'm sure.

A close up of the front and back pleats. Ignore all the little dots you can see along side the pleats. I used crayola washable markers for my markings so the skirt needs to be washed now, before I can wear it.

That was my weekend. Hope you all had a good one :-)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mini wardrobe progress

I wanted to show a completed item today, but it was not to be.

Last week was crazy at work - idiotic crazy, and that's never a good thing. I don't manage other people's stupid very well. So much so that I booked off Friday on a whim. It was my first quiet day since January and I needed the break. Paid off too, I was alot better going back this morning.

The plan to spend most of the weekend in the sewing room didn't work out though. I want to say the weekend was busy, but it really wasn't, it just got away from me.

Here's where I am now:

The blue twill for the BWOF 10-2008-103 skirt is prewashed and ready to cut.

The patterns for both BWOF skirts (10-2008-103 & 04-2009-101) are traced out. I've been bringing my BWOFs to work and tracing a piece or two at lunch. I keep a roll of swedish tracing paper at my desk...doesn't everyone ?? LOL !

The grey tee is still at the basted stage. Yesterday, I undid the shoulder seams to press the raglan sleeves ready for the arm facing ? binding ?

Honestly...I've been procrastinating. I have to serge the tee in a light color. The serger is set up with black thread. I've been seriously considering putting the tee aside and working on the black pieces in order to avoid threading and rethreading the serger. Pitiful ? You bet !

We have already established that I'm stubborn. I WANT to finish the tee. Last night I sat down, pulled the black thread from the monster and rethreaded with a nice light color thread.....wait for it.....


The book wasn't even in reaching distance. I did a happy dance LOL !

DH just called to say he's going to be home a bit late. I'm heading down to the sewing room to tackle the tee.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Look at my toes !

Magic Loop, Toe-Up, 2 at a time

After a few failed attempts at different cast on methods, I finally managed to get it. I think I used the Russian cast-on - the one where you put a slip stich on one needle, wrap your stitches around 'both' needles, then pick up from each side.

Technically, there's an error already. The instruction paper I was following said to cast on 8 stitches on each side. Once I managed that, I went back to the pattern which said to cast on 16 on each needle (unless you want a pointier toes in which case you put on less stitches). Yeah, so, I decided I really wanted a pointier toe more than I wanted to retry another cast-on.

This is where they were when I got of the bus after work. I worked on 'em last night and now I've only got one more row of increases for the toe before I'm on the straightaway of the foot.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I'm on a roll...

Thanks for the opinions everyone...I was leaning towards 08-2008-109 myself, but Shannon made a good point about the other one being able to be worn under the blouse. I almost changed my mind, except, I very rarely double up my tops like that and I didn't think I'd want a layer of lycra knit under a 100% poly blouse. That would probably be a bit warm even for me :-)

I didn't get back to my sewing room til this afternoon and I started tracing out my proposed patterns. I kind of thought I would trace them all at once well, first anyway as it would probably take me all week to trace five patterns.

First one traced ??? 109 :-) and then it got the better of me and I wanted to sew it right up ! LOL...And I did.

As I stop tonight, the side seams are sewn, and all the other seams are basted. I wanted to be sure it fit before it went through the serger. It does, and on the first try too. All I did was a 1/2" forward shoulder adjustment - the rest is a straight 42.

Those underarm facing pieces are going to be tricky, but I'm going to give them a try. Don't expect this to be finished tomorrow, but soon.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Mini Wardrobe ?

Today I spent some time with my collections (fabric and patterns).

I tried to pick out fabrics that 'go together' and then patterns that go with them AND each other - NOT an easy task ! Also, my mind's eye just doesn't seem to see a finished product very well. I can't picture something done, until it's done. Sewing a cohesive wardrobe is going to be hit or miss.

These are the fabrics I picked...from left to right:
  • Blue cotton twill (remnant from Fabricville, it's almost a full 2 meters and is pretty lightweight)
  • Grey interlock knit (from, just over 1 meter) - my monitor makes it look kind of mauve but it's definitely grey
  • Black/Blue Flower Print, 100% poly (Fabricville, 3.3 meters)
  • Black stretch twill (FabricMart mystery bundle, 3.5 meters, a somewhat heavier weight than the blue twill)
I think they go together ok - If I'm WAY off base, please say so !!!

And here's a storyboard -

There's only enough grey knit to make one of the t-shirts. None of the other knits I have 'go' with this grouping, so it's got to be the grey, and I've have to pick one tee.

Colorwise, I think both tops would go with the 3 skirts.
But do the patterns ?

Any opinions are very welcome.

I found a hole ...

in my wardrobe...

My last post was 2 weeks ago, not much productivity around here lately. The weather is turning nice and I've been spending my time upstairs where it's brighter. The garden is starting to green-up, there's some cleanup to be done and FINALLY it's nice enough to use the clothesline ! I wait all winter to be able to put my laundry out on the line again. There's nothing like it.

Last Monday, it was about 10 degrees when I left for work. By early afternoon it had shot up to 29 ! How on earth do you dress for that ? The morning needed a jacket and all I had to wear with my nice summery skirt & top was either a fleecy or a windbreaker that I usually wear with jeans. It was a fashion disaster, let me tell you ! LOL !

So, I need a spring-weight jacket/sweater/shirt to wear with summery clothes. Have to think on it.

In the meantime, while I've not been sewing, I HAVE been thinking about sewing :-) and doing some cleanup in the sewing room. With a couple of BWOFs traced out and lying around (and plans to make more), I figured I'd better decide pretty quickly how I'm going to store them. The pieces are now all sorted - all pertinent info, including adjustments are marked on each piece and each one is safely in a labelled ziplock bag, awaiting my next big decision (binders or boxes).

'Planned' (optimistic, aren't I LOL) sewing projects include:

  • BWOF 2009-02 (118) Tee with puffed sleeves - I'll be sure to make use of all the hints on patternreview re: the sleeves.
  • Quite some time ago, DH brought home a company tote bag from one of his customers. It was the perfect size to carry to work with my lunch, a book, small knitting project,etc.and so I claimed it. It's lived a good life and is now falling apart, I need a new one.
  • Patternreview has a Mini Wardrobe Contest for May - you have to make 4 items to go with 1 item you already own to get 6 outfits. I've never joined a contest...don't know if I can finish 4 things in a month...but I'd like to do this. I think I'll go pull some fabric from the collection and see what I can find. Maybe I'll attempt some sort of storyboard.
My new socks were put through their paces yesterday, I wanted to wear them at least once before putting them away til the fall. They were SO comfy !

Now I want socks in summerweight yarn. Been checking out different patterns and techniques on Ravelry (I'm Skippydoo) and decided with one pair under my belt, I'm ready to try something new. Next pair ... toe-up, 2 at once, magic loop (alright, alright, lots of something new LOL)

I went looking locally for a long circular needle and what did I find ?

A wonderful yarn store practically just around the corner from work !!! Can't ever leave my job - BWOF , 1 block one way and a LYS 10 minutes the other, WoW. They were extremely helpful and the young lady who works there introduced me to another lady who happens to be a blogger AND is also on Ravelry (lacemaven). This is the first time I've met someone from onlin, in person. OMG, she took me all around the store and explained so much stuff to me, we spoke for I'm sure 1/2 hour. Thank you, Colette!

The yarn was tempting, but this time I only went in for needles and this is what I got:

a new set of bamboo dpns, 2.5mm
an AddiTurbo, 40"(100cm), 2.75mm

Now all that remains is to figure out how to cast on for two socks on the one needle. So far I have attempted (and failed miserably at had a few minor technical difficulties with) Judy's Magic Cast-on, Figure 8 & Turkish cast on. The needles are so slippery, everything just keeps falling off. Any ideas anyone?

Time to stop, I'm sure I've bored you all silly by now. I'm absolutely amazed that I can ramble on this much.

Have a great weekend !