Saturday, May 28, 2016

V-Neck Button Blouse, Take Two

Hey hey, another finished object! I must be on a roll.

This is version #2 of Burdastyle June, 2011 blouse #104, last seen in June, 2015.

This time I used a cotton (probably intended for quilting) that I bought at Back Porch Fabrics in Pacific Grove. 

The Man and I had taken a day trip to Carmel to exchange a raincoat I'd bought for Zoe, our Great Pyrenees. I'd gotten her a Double XL, thinking that would surely be large enough. Turned out she needs a Triple XL. What can I say? She's a big girl.

Side view
While in Carmel, we stopped for lunch at the Doris Day hotel (a.k.a. the Cypress Inn), which must be the most dog-friendly hotel on the planet. Zoe got to sit with us in the cafe while we shared a chicken Caesar salad. 

On the way home, The Man offered to take me by a fabric store, just for a look-see. Couldn't help myself. I got two pieces of cotton; the one above was on the sale table. There was just over a yard left. I decided I liked the colors, and surely I could think of something to do with 42 inches of cotton.

Back view
Turned out it was just enough to cut out this top, though I had to shorten the sleeves to make it work. 

This is one of those patterns that I kind of like for a fabric with a large print. There aren't any darts, so I didn't have to worry about what kind of havoc they might wreak on my enormous polka dots. Instead, there's a forward shoulder seam with a tuck and a bit of gathering. 

The neckline is nice and clean, with no collar to present pattern-matching challenges. I shortened the sleeves mainly by leaving off the bottom bands, so I didn't even have to worry about polka-dot placement there. 

The cotton isn't the drapiest, but I can report that the top is cool and easy to wear. Even if it does make me look a bit like Mrs. Bozo. I love polka dots in theory, but once I'm wearing them I can't stop the clown images.

Bonus photo of Zoe in her new raincoat (size Triple XL)
My original pattern review is on here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Life in the Old Girl Yet!

Well, what do you know? A finished object here in Surf City!

And not just any finished object either, but an object I've been planning to pump out for months and months! I credit a crafting day with my friend, Jessica, for hauling me out of my sewing slump.

This is the Josephine Bra from OhhhLuluSews, the racerback version.

This is one of the few garments that actually looks better on me than it does on MiniMe. We're more or less the same size, but she's a lot firmer than I am. 

I've been wanting a simple, pull-on bra pattern for a while now. I'm a gal who does not like hooks and buckles; partly because I'm too cheap to want to source findings and partly because I think they're darned uncomfortable, especially when I'm leaning back, lounging. In fact, when donning my purchased bras with hook closures I just pull the darn things on without unhooking them. I guess I'm either very lazy or very efficient.

Should have changed to red thread for my topstitching on the bottom, but  whatever.
Here's a close-up of the cup seaming. There are actually four pieces to each cup. This presents all kinds of fun opportunities for fabric combinations, which I was too lazy to play around with for this first version. It also means that you can cut this baby out of the tiniest bits of leftover fabric. 

This was a very straightforward sew. The bra is unlined and there are no tricky joins or opposing curves to negotiate. Not even any power mesh to wrangle. This also means it isn't terribly supportive, which is OK by me, on account of I don't have much that needs supporting. If you are better endowed than I (which would cover most women over the age of 13), this may not be the ideal bra for you. 

If you are on the smaller side, though, I think it's cute and comfortable. Maybe you are someone with a daughter or niece who is just aging into the world of foundation garments? I think the Josephine would also be a great first bra for a young person.

My pattern review is on here.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Me Made May Week 3

Coming down the straight-away, here are the pix from my third week of Me Made May. Looks like we're in a new weather pattern that's more normal for the Central Coast in May. Mornings are foggy and afternoons are sunny. It's kind of hilarious watching the paper try to come up with new ways to say the same thing: Morning fog clearing to sun; partly cloudy with afternoon sun; clouds then sun, and so on. Temps are staying on the chill side though, so my skirts and dresses have still not had much of a workout.

Monday, May 16
On Monday I went for a morning run and then popped on my beetle dress, because the sun had come out.  This is the Zip Front Dress from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual. There's something I really like about this dress; the zip front makes it feel like overalls in dress form. I keep meaning to make another one, but I haven't managed to schedule it in yet.

Tuesday, May 17
On Tuesday I went for a bike ride along the ocean with some friends from out of town. They bring their black lab, Maddie, along in a trailer attached to the back of one of their bikes. We were the toast of West Cliff Avenue; she's cuter than a button. I wore my bike-worthy stretch denim BS 10-2013-#127, the narrow leg trousers, along with a Christine Johnson V-neck Tee

Wednesday, May 18
Wednesday I rode my bike to do a couple of errands around town. I wore my Barb pants and my La Fred square-neck Europa blouse.

Thursday, May 19
Thursday I had a sewing day with my friend Jessica. She kindly took this photo for me with my cell phone and loaned me an adorable prop dog. I wore one of my stable of Kirsten Kimono Tees and an Alabama Chanin skirt. I like these skirts; they're fitted at the waist and hip and then flare out towards the knees. They're very comfortable to wear and also simple as can be to sew up; one of these days I'm going to actually embellish one.

My sewing day resulted in an almost Finished Object. A few more pieces of elastic to apply and I'll have something new to show! Whoot whoot!

Friday, May 20
Friday I rode my bike over to do some reading tutoring at the elementary school. It was windy as all get-out. I'm sure part of the time I was moving in reverse, despite pedaling as hard as I could. It sure was pretty though; scudding clouds and splashes of sun and clear as a bell. I wore my biking favorites, the stretch denim BS 10-2013-#127s and one of my Maria Denmark Edith blouses. This is another woven top that's pretty fitted but still easy to move around in.

Last Saturday's picture, but I wore exactly the same thing this Saturday
Saturday, no picture, but here's the photo from last week because I wore exactly the same thing. Zoe and I had Furry Friends again in the morning, so I wore my working shirt. I was going to change when I got home and pretend I dressed a lot smarter than I really did, but I met my friend Martha for lunch and by the time I got back to the house the moment for re-outfitting had passed. The pants are Me Made though; my old friends BS 10-2013-#127. The dog hair colored ones.

Sunday, May 22
Today (Sunday) I rode over to DeLaveaga Park to meet my friend, Therese, for a hike to the Top of the World. I wore an old pair of (yes, you guessed it) BS 10-2013-#127 and my plaid flannel Archer. There's actually a Kirsten Kimono Tee on under there too. It was cloudy and chilly when we started out, but things were breaking up nicely by the time we got to our destination. My landscape pictures are never as nice as the real thing, but here's a cell phone snap of the view from the Top of the World.

The view from the Top of the World
So, we're about two thirds of the way through May. I can sure tell which patterns are my work horses: Renfrews, Kirsten Kimono Tees and good old BS 10-2013-127. I promise I'll try to get more creative as we cruise through to June!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Me Made May Week 2

Here come my second week's worth of Me Made May photos. It was still cold and gray most of this week; I think there was only one day that was sunny from the get go. Sorry, but you'll be seeing a repeat of most of my pants. Sadly, the forecast looks like more of the same for the rest of the month. Curse you, El Nino! If you're going to hang around, at least bring some rain along with the gloom!

I'm a bit late posting because Blogger and I had some issues around uploading photos. Today we're friends again though.

Monday, May 9
Monday was my Jalie drop pocket cardi, along with a Kirsten Kimono Tee and a pair of Burdastyle 05-2012-#122, the Pajama Style Pants. I wear these items often. They're all neutral enough to go with a bunch of other garments. Have you tried the Kirsten Kimono Tee? It's a free pattern from Maria Denmark. It's a great, basic kimono sleeve tee. I have thousands, and I still make more.

Tuesday, May 10
On Tuesday I met my friend Molly to get my first drawing lesson. I read recently that, as one ages, it's good for the brain to learn to do something new and difficult. Considering I only ever drew one picture in my life, and that was 47 years ago, sketching sounds like it meets those criteria. I'm one sketch down and, so far, so good. Later that afternoon I rode my bike up to campus to meet my friend, Anne, for a walk in the redwoods. I wore my stretch denim BS 10-2103-#127, the narrow leg trousers. The stretch denim and narrow ankle make them a good bet for biking. I also wore one of my Christine Johnson V-neck Tees. I have a few of these and really like them for a chilly day. The neck comes up high in the back to give you that cozy, turtleneck feeling but the front can go as low a you want to sew it. It's an ingenious neckline construction. Too bad my knit is so lightweight it wrinkles when I move.

Wednesday, May 11
Wednesday I dropped my bike off for a tune-up and got a pedicure. I wore one of my Sewaholic Alma blouses and a pair of Style Arc Barb pants (another great free pattern). The Barb's are in ponte, which makes them both warm and bike-friendly. I like the Alma pattern too. It's just fitted enough to flatter but still easy to move around in.

Thursday, May 12 (looks like I'm levitating, not sure why)
Thursday I had lunch at a friend's house with a group of women I used to work with. We realized recently that we've known each other for at least 20 years. What a smart, kind, fun group they are! I'm lucky to know them. And especially lucky to have them make lunch for me - my friend, Kim, is an excellent cook. I wore my oldest pair of BS 10-2013-#127 pants and a cozy cowl-neck Renfrew. This is another great, basic tee. It comes with some nice neck and sleeve variations and the bands that finish the sleeves and bottom make it a good first knit pattern to try.

Friday, May 13
Friday I biked over to a local elementary school where I've been doing some reading tutoring. I work with 3 kids, two second-graders and a fifth grader. They are all totally adorable; a treat to spend time with. And, bonus, my fifth grader reached his reading goal on Friday! It was high fives all around. I wore my crazy pants (BS 05-2013) and another Kirsten Kimono Tee. Looks like I never reviewed these pants. I kind of like them! They have pockets and they're loose and breezy to wear. I ended up deep-sixing the drawstring and replacing it with elastic. It was a good reminder of why I don't like drawstring waistlines, even though they always sound like such a good idea. Too much fluff around the middle.

Saturday, May 14
Saturday I went with Zoe (my Great Pyrenees) to visit a local nursing home with our pet-assisted therapy group, Furry Friends (our motto is "We're Licking Loneliness"). I have a working shirt and Zoe has a working leash; we're supposed to wear them while making our visits. I ended up wearing my working shirt for the rest of the day while planting some succulent cuttings that my neighbor, Mary, very kindly gave me.  I did wear Me Made trousers, though! Another pair of BS 10-2013-#127. This color doesn't show the dog hair quite as much as some of my other pairs.

Sunday, May 15
Sunday was the day that got sunny first thing - woo hoo! I cracked out one of my Gertie Pencil Skirts and, yes, another Kirsten Kimono Tee. This skirt is another great first knit sewing project. One pattern piece. I'm not kidding. It has an elastic waist, which I think works up very nicely. Gertie has you sew the elastic around the skirt top on the outside, then flip to the inside and tack it down at the side seams. It comes out very smoothly, doesn't look like an elastic waist at all!

I'm getting together with my friend, Jessica, to do some sewing on Thursday. If all goes well, I'll have a new item to show soon!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Me Made May Week 1

One week down, three-and-a-half to go. I planned on giving my dresses and skirts an outing this month, but it's been chilly and gray these last few days. I guess it's the lingering effects of El Nino. Cold needn't preclude skirts, only I am not a tights or stockings lover. They make me feel as I imagine men feel when wearing a necktie; like I'm slowly strangling to death.

Sunday, May 1
Here's Sunday, May the first. The top and trousers are both from Burdastyle. The tee is BS 02-2013-#126 and the pants are BS 06-2012-#109, the 70's pants. Sunday was a lazy day, and pretty to boot. I did a little bit of preparatory yard work and went on a run.

Monday, May 2
Monday I did some real yard work, including turning the compost pile. And guess what? I had compost! My past attempts to produce compost have all been failures, but this time I got an actual bushel basket of compost! I was so excited, I divvied it up into little bits and top dressed every plant I could reach. I wore an ancient Renfrew and an old pair of Burdastyle Straight Pants (10-2013-#127).

Tuesday, May 3
This is another Renfrew and another pair of BS 10-2013-#127. This pair is made from the pattern I altered at our sewing weekend in Sonora. I love them. Must make another pair soon! The top is made from a mystery knit that I got as part of a bundle from the Tilton booth at Puyallup last year. The fabric is pretty light weight and wrinkles more than it seems a knit should. I should probably pass it along to the Goodwill. But I think I like the color, even though the green is so acid it kind of puts my teeth on edge.

Wednesday, May 4 (a.k.a. Star Wars Day)
I tried to get a little more creative here. The top is the Zigzag pullover from Wendy Bernard's Custom Knits 2, only without the zig-zags. I used some Madeline Tosh, and I think it was sock yarn. The pants are Simplicity 3688, a 1940s repro pattern. I like the way these pants fit and the high waist is great for tucking in tops. Wish they had pockets though. I might try to add some in my next version.

Thursday, May 5 (Cinco de Mayo)
Thursday it actually rained, something we always celebrate on the Central Coast. It was also chilly and gray most of the day, so I wore a cowl-neck Renfrew and my Bagua pants. I keep wanting to make another pair of these pants in a slightly heavier knit. They're nice and cozy, and I tell myself they look a bit sleeker than your standard sweatpants.

Friday, May 6
Another chilly, rainy day. I wore my original pair of BS 06-2012-#109 and an Ingenue sweater from Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard. This is a great, simple, top-down raglan pattern that knits up quick.

Saturday, May 7
Still overcast all day, so I went for my flannel Archer and a pair of Eleonore jeans. Nothing like a flannel shirt to keep you warm on a chilly day. The Man likes this shirt enough that he's mentioned he  could use a flannel of his own. I just need to find the right fabric. It's surprisingly hard to find flannel that doesn't have yellow duckies or rainbows all over it.

Sunday, May 8 (Mother's Day)
Back around to Sunday! It was damp and cloudy again this morning, so I went for my denim Burdastyle Straight Pants (10-2013-#127) and another Wendy Bernard sweater. This is the Backward Cabled Pullover from Custom Knits, only with the cable in the front.

It's been a very nice Mother's Day. I had a call and a package from The Boy. He sent me a cheese making kit and a basil garden in a can, so we'll be having pizza one of these days. I'll be seeing my nephews this afternoon, and The Man is taking me out to dinner, even though I am not his mother. 

Here's hoping for a little warm weather next week!