Archive for April 2014

Pink April Afternoon Blouse

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sun Shine and Shine On

The lovely Annette from Mrs. Toad Sews nominated me for the Sunshine/Shine on Blogger Award.   It is similar to other blogger awards in which you share some information about yourself and promote your blog and others.

Here is my list of 10 pieces of info about myself:

  1. I hate using pins when sewing.  If I can find  a way to avoid them, I do (Janet Pray's Craftsy class was helpful).
  2. I love tea.  I drink oodles of tea.  My favorite is a strong cup of Assam or Yorkshire Gold. When I lecture, I usually have a cuppa.
  3. I miss the Northern United States.
  4. My favorite movies are the old musicals like Sound of Music, The King and I, South Pacific
  5. In undergrad, I was on the competitive ballroom dance team.
  6. I love to eat and love to try new things.  If I didn't blog about sewing, I would blog about food.  Fresh shucked oysters sound pretty good right now....
  7. I wish I was a domestic goddess (I'll settle for domestic demi-goddess).  I have the cooking, sewing, party hostess part down but I am a rather horrible gardener.  I like the houseplants that can survive on little water.  It seems that I lack time to be a proper gardener.
  8. I have been to Greenland.
  9. If I did not get a degree in science, I probably would have gotten a degree in art history.  Being a museum curator sounds pretty cool.
  10.  I love classical music and wish I played the piano better.
 There you have it folks!  Ten facts.  I am suppose to nominate 10 other bloggers but I have warned previously that I am not very good at these kinds of things.  Therefore, I am sharing my factoids and thanking Annette for thinking of me! On to sewing....



I made a second Afternoon Blouse.  It is made of a polyester, full of drape.  I thought the material would be slippery to work with but it turned out that I had to worry more about the fraying ends.   It was not planned but the pink fits in with the Sewcialist's Pink April!

I found a black button with a jeweled middle. I love the button detail.  When I was searching for a suitable button, I ran across a teapot and teacup button seat.  They didn't work for this shirt but I bought a pair to save for a future project.
I am lusting after the Belcarra blouse from Sewaholic (Shockingly, I do not own any of her patterns).  I am liking this pattern because it is simple again and results in a blouse that can be dressy or casual.  If I had participated in the Wardrobe Architect, I would already told the world that I lack blouses/tops that I like and fit me well.  I think that is why I love the Afternoon Blouse.  Belcarra is probably next....




Happy Sewing!
Annie

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The Afternoon Blouse for Easter Morning

Sunday, April 20, 2014

I cannot resist.  Beautiful blossoms are everywhere!

I have been secretly following Me-Made-May for the past couple of years.  This year I am gonna make the leap and participate.  I have been knee-deep in marking papers, creating exams, and other professorial duties that I am sewing at the speed of a snail.  Well, the end of the semester is nigh and I want to sew.  Then, model my makes (IRL) for MMM '14 -- Pinterest board and all!

I, Annie at The Enantiomer Project, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavour to wear at least 3 of my garments each week for the duration of May 2014

Experiment:  The Afternoon Blouse
                        Size: 8

Materials: 1-1.5 yards of polka dot cotton
Tan thread
Fusible interfacing
Large red button


Procedure:
I love Jennifer Lauren's Afternoon Blouse.  Assembling the pdf pattern, cutting the fabric, and sewing it up was such fun.


I know I have said it before but for my sanity, I need to reiterate: I have been soooooooooo busy.  I have been struggling to find 30-minutes to sew a day.  I needed a quick pick me up and decided yesterday that the Afternoon Blouse was perfect.  Where was this project when I began sewing: no darts, no setting sleeves!?!  The trickiest part is attaching the facing but if you go slow, its easy-peasy.  Jennifer's directions are great and would be most helpful to a new seamstress.  

It did come together in less than an afternoon.  A little bit of hand stitching and, voila!, I had an Easter blouse.
Forgive the wrinkles, I have been wearing it all morning.  It really is a versatile staple.  You can dress this blouse up or wear it with a  pair of skinny jeans.  My Easter ensemble consisted of a pair of striped RTW pants from ages ago with the my new polka dot blouse.  The red button really brings it together. And I get to wear red shoes!
I liked this blouse so much that I raided my stash and yesterday evening cut out another version.  This is really unheard of for me.  Usually, I like to digest a pattern and think about what I can do to improve or wait to sew another version when creativity slaps me in the face.  Do I hear TMS double challenge calling?
Besides being an easy sew, another feature I love is the button! For my next blouse, I want to find a unique button.  Something science-y or maybe a teacup or teapot button.  If anybody knows where to get unique buttons, please let me know!  After an early morning Easter egg hunt, church, and breakfast, my little family and I walked around our neighborhood to take pictures. 
I highly recommend the Afternoon Blouse.  Its my latest pattern crush. Who doesn't like a  quick beautiful vintage-inspired sew?  Hope the Easter Bunny was good to you.  I will leave you with a priceless picture of my son's first encounter with the Easter Bunny (He has since refused to meet Santa, the Easter Bunny, or any mascot!).  I shared this make here.

Happy Holidays!
Annie


 

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It's Gettin' Hot in Here

Monday, April 14, 2014

Summer.  Fun.  What else could describe Dixie DIY's Summer Concert Tee?  

Experiment: Summer Concert Tee
                       Size: XS

Materials:  2 Yards of remnant blue-marbled knit
                  Coats and Clark light blue thread


Procedure:

Shopping for knit fabric at my local shop can be frustrating.  It is hit or miss as to whether or not they will have what you want.  Anywho, when you do find a knit you like, it is magnetic and there is ooo-ing and plotting.  I always look at the remnant table -- those forgotten fabrics folded up always cheer up when I stop by.  This blue marbled knit was being a tad shy, hiding underneath some home decor fabrics.  But when I found him, I knew.  Not enough for my Lady Skater dress but the perfect amount for the Summer Concert Tee. 


The tee is a rather easy sew.  Easier with my walking foot and twin needle since I do not own a serger.  I did add 2 inches to the front of the shirt - being a thirty-ish mom, I do not feel comfortable in a crop top.  I also folded the sleeve-band to shorten it since the drafted version would go past my elbows.  The trickiest part of this project was the neckband.  It was not tricky because of lack of skill but rather, a lack of stretch in the fabric.  I started with the drafted neckband and ended up picking it apart.  I then added 2.5 inches to the neckband and that seemed to do the trick. 

 If I sew this again, I will lengthen the front piece by a couple of more inches and I will also reduce the back by at least two inches.  You can see in the collage above that the back piece hands well below my flat bum.  Despite the length issues, it is comfortable.  I have been traveling this week and I finally had time to finish this on Sunday morning.  I wore it all day -- it stood the test of errands while making me look much cooler than I am.  

Speaking of errands, I scored a whopping 10 yards of various fabrics today at a much reduced price and my son bought a orange fish and named him Finn.
Yea, it's already hot here!  This is the perfect tee to pair with jeans or skinny pants, a cute pair of shoes, and off you go! Thank you Pattern Parcel #1.  If you have little girls, PP#2 is perfect for you but only for a few more days!

To fabulous sewing this coming week!
Annie

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My, Oh, My Dolly Clackett Maybe Muslin

Saturday, April 5, 2014


Tipi.  Horses.  Yep, this vintage fabric I scored from an estate sale a while back had it all.  This fabric kept murmuring, "Make me a dress! A dress!"  I imagined this vintage cotton had a faint southern accent and the kind of sugary sweet hospitality that causes you to spontaneously say 'yes' to whatever is being asked.  I could not deny that request and thus, my Dolly Clackett dress was born.
Roisin over at Dolly Clackett is so creative when it comes to sewing dresses and naming her blog posts but it is her shoes that steal my heart.  

Experiment:  Simplicity Lisette Dress, pattern 1419
Size: 8
View A with the sleeves


Materials:
3 yards Vintage Cotton (feels like some kind of blend)
Gutterman cotton thread in an off-white color
Fusible interfacing
Yellow seersucker scraps for pockets 

I picked up this pattern on a whim during a $1 pattern sale.  The dress has pockets and a vintage vibe with a full skirt.  Paired with my snakeskin (faux snakeskin) shoes, it does make a dynamite outfit.

I did make a muslin of the bodice.  This seems to be the hardest fit for me to get right.  (I think the sewing universe is nudging me to learn to make a bodice sloper...).   Well, the muslin fit ok. Not perfect, mind you, but acceptable.  My son was on spring break last week visiting his grandparents so I wanted to get as much sewing as I could squeeze in.  Hence my excitement after the bodice muslin.  I listened to Veronica Roth's Divergent on my Ipod and sewed to my heart's content.  Cut the vintage fabric, sewed, got into Tris and Four's adventure, finished dress, smiled at the accomplishment, tried on dress and -- bhwahhh - hah-hah -- instant let-down.
I  added a couple of side darts (illegal sewing or common fixes for those that screw up!) after I had sewn the zipper and hemmed the darn thing. I did not bother to try on the garment while sewing -- curses at being focused.  The darts sort of helped -- they took in excess material (Shocking, I know).  I also added a polyester horsehair braid at the hem to give it a little structure. 
I am going to call it a wearable muslin  (See the look above -- that is my 'hmmmm, gotta get over it' look).  A muslin needs work and this pattern clearly does (Again, I hear the Sewing God's telling me to make a sloper but I keep putting them off because of all the other sewing projects that I want to start.).  I do like the dress.  The shape. The pockets.  It will be a pain in the rear because the fabric wrinkles at the slightest movement (Ughhhh, ironing) -- but I can't wait to wear it.
My son loves, loves, the new Nikon D80 and has offered to take pictures. I have a seven year old photog.  I think he did a good job (and so did my hubby!).  Spring is finally here.  I finished my Dolly Clackett dress and Divergent.  I've gotten sucked into the YA saga and, hopefully, I will found out what happens (Insurgent) to Tris and Four during the next sewing project, my Summer Concert Tee.



I shared this on Make it and Love it!  Hope you enjoy.
 
Happy Sewing!
Annie

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April Prelab

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I cannot believe that April is here.  Wow!  March was draining.  I lost two weekends because of travel.  Nonetheless, I completed a couple of projects (Coco and Tania). I wanted to sew more but am content with what I created.  As a bonus in March, my brother had a Nikon D80 that he was not using so he let me borrow it!  Fancy camera means better pictures.  I am so thrilled.

Hmmm, April plans...I got 'em.   I bought the Perfect Pattern Parcel #1.  It included some amazing patterns and some of the money went to help schools and education. The second Pattern Parcel is arriving soon.  The Lady Skater has been on my 'to-sew' list and as a bonus, I got pretty Ava.  I was pleasantly surprised by the other patterns included which means more scheming!

April Plans:
 
  • Little Lady Skater
Image of Taupe and Pink Ditsy Cheetah Cotton Jersey Knit 


My darling little niece turns eight this month and I promised her an awesome dress which none of her friends would have but all would want!  She picked out a cheetah print knit with hints of pink from Wanderlust Fabrics -- very stylish. 

  • Summer Concert Tee by Dixie DIY

This super cute cropped tee has that easy-breeziness about it.  It was included in the Parcel Pattern #1.  I spied a wonderful soft knit (pink - gah, I am so girly sometimes) in a remnant bin which fits the bill. 

  • The Monthly Stitch: Double Challenge
I am stumped.  Usually, I have too many ideas.  I have a creative block when thinking about this challenge.  As soon as I get more tracing paper, I want to trace out my Emery dress and maybe I'll make two!  All around the blogosphere are amazing versions of this dress.  It is my style -- girly with pockets and acceptable for work.  I also think the Lady Skater would work nicely as doubles.  But alas, I have not made either so this may be a daunting task.  Compounding that problem is that I need separetes -- i.e. blouses (I am really excited for Jennifer Lauren's Afternoon Blouse), so maybe another couple of Cocos.  *Sigh* Decisions, decisions.  I think this may be a last minute kind of challenge.
  
  • House of Pinheiro Name Tag
I don't quilt or embroidery but when Rachel from House of Pinheiro facilitated a name tag swap, I was down.  How fun!   I was paired with an amazing gal in Northern Ireland who sews and practices yoga.  Can't wait to make her a stylin' name tag!

I better get moving, er, I mean sewing!

Happy Stitches,
Annie
 

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