elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
I like making everyday stuff in batches, so I made these four skirts at the same time from the same pattern. It's a pretty efficient way for me to sew.

I started them way back in August, got them all put together, then had zipper foot issues and ignored them for awhile. In November I sewed the zippers, then the only thing left was hand stitching the waistband facings down and hooks & eyes, so I ignored them again.

Recently the skirts from my last batch have been starting to literally fall apart, so this weekend I finally decided to get these ones off my loose ends pile and finish them.

The pattern is New Look 6079, a slightly A-line straight skirt with shaped panels in lieu of darts. I made view B/C without any of the ribbon trim or weird flappies.

skirts 031

I made these in various linens and cottons. I consider these 3-Season skirts, for autumn, winter, and spring. They are a bit heavy for summer. The linen might be a bit thin for winter, but as you can see I like to layer them with leggings and socks. It is crucial to have skirts that won't creep up with leggings. I like long, full skirts but they just get bunchy with leggings. So a shorter, slimmer skirt works better for layering.

Here are some not super flattering pictures.

polka dot skirt (3)

more )

Simple modern sewing is not much I know but I feel good to have been busy with some sewing anyway, and of course it is always nice to finish a long-overdue UFO!
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)


Ok, I don't crochet, but I do knit lace. I could totally do one like this! I am assuming you just use a crapload of starch to make it stand up.
elizabeth_mn: (winter)
Before I did the last-minute hat, I spent a few days on this petticoat.

treadle 004

Technically it's a class display for work, but I also just wanted a nice new petticoat. Still trying to replace some of my older, crappier costume components. And also, you always need more petticoats, period.

It's the early bustle view of TV 170, made in plain quilting cotton. I clean-finished all the seams, mostly French but I felled the CB to each side so I could carry the same finish up to the split opening. I planned to cover the horizontal seams (where the flounce and ruffle join) with binding, but ran out of time. I will add it later when I can take it home.

I like this pattern a lot; it goes together so easily and the tucks are just adorable, but it feels slightly skimpy to me for early bustle. It's displayed here over this natural form petticoat (It's all I could spare at the moment) and a bustle pad. I think next time I might make up a new side panel that's wider and gathered, to give more side fulness to the silhouette.

The waistband also seems a bit excessive to me. It's so wide! And the drawstring is really only needed in back. A tiny detail, but I like tiny details.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
I started this dress before christmas happened and only got around to finishing it yesterday. It's a project I was assigned at Treadle. Okay, "assigned" is not quite accurate, more like suggested. We got several free copies of the new Decades Of Style pattern, the Decades Everyday E.S.P. Dress, and I was asked to make a display along with another of my coworkers. She chose a bold Mondrian-esque cotton print and I of course gravitated to this hot pink silk dupioni.

pink dupioni dress 006

Now that I have gotten over slubby silks for costume purposes (at first I used them because I didn't know better, then I knew better but used them anyway because they were cheap, now I just avoid, generally) I am all about dupioni for modern stuff. It's cute and fun and keeps it a little more casual. I am aware that a shiny bright silk might not have been the ideal choice for an "everyday" style pattern, but whatever, I went with it. I wanted a bright pink dress, dammit!

Here's a photo of me wearing it - I took this before I left for work so it was a little rushed.

pink dupioni dress 003

The pattern was interesting. I like the idea that Decades of Style is making a more casual line but keeping that vintage feel. The raglan sleeves are easy and comfy. The gathered skirt is a nice width. The square neck is not what I would typically choose for myself; it's a little high and not the most flattering shape for me.

I found the neck facings a bit fiddly, but not really any more so than your average sewing pattern. Facings are so ubiquitous in modern sewing patterns, but they are a feature that's almost never seen on readymade clothing. I always find them tedious and untidy. The suggestion of under-stitching to keep them from rolling out never actually works. I always, always either tack them at the shoulder seams, topstitch, or use invisible hemming stitches (hand or machine) to nail the thing down.

Still, altogether a solid pattern, with a nice fit and cute shape.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Something for work!


Ok, that's not entirely accurate. It IS for Treadle, but I get to keep my displays when they are no longer needed, usually a couple months.

When I saw the printed corduroy with the foxes I just knew that F had to have pants made of it. I decided to do them as a display and the pattern I chose (New Look 6257) had a jacket too, so I thought why not? The jacket is made of lightweight wool flannel and lined in a cotton print. The collar in the pattern is stupid so I drafted a Peter Pan collar, using the tutorial here as a guide. I made covered buttons from the apple print.

The pants took an hour. The jacket I spent a few days on. It was pretty simple but I made a few silly mistakes and had to do a couple do-overs. Plus when I say "a few days," I really mean "an hour a day for three days," because I just can't seem to scrape together a nice long sewing session lately. It's all bits and pieces for me.

It is suddenly chilly here. 60s in the day and 40s-50s at night. So probably more autumn sewing like this will be on my agenda. I kind of want to make the same coat over again in a cotton twill or maybe a wide-wale corduory. And she definitely needs more pants!
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
I finished this dress last week, but couldn't take photos because I lost the piece of my tripod that the camera attaches to. I finally talked my HB into taking some photos, but then I somehow dumped an entire cup of laundry soap all over myself before he could.

So, one week and one new tripod attachment later (and it only took 5 hours of internet research to find it) I have photos. Yay!

blue floral dress 017

I had a little time on my hands, so I attempted some artsy "wandering around in my garden" shots. Please forgive the wet hair; it's Monday.

More photos! )

The sewing details )
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
This morning I read [livejournal.com profile] m_of_disguise's post about sewing men's costumes, and it made me realize I've been doing a lot of sewing for my guy recently. There are a ton of helpful resources I've used over the years, so I thought it would be fun to share a list!


I love books. I love sewing books even more. I am constantly running to my bookshelf mid-project to look up a technique, compare a pattern shape, or get accessory ideas. These are my absolute faves for menswear.

Classic Tailoring Techniques by Roberto Cabrera. This is my #1 reference. This is where they tell you how to do everything the "good" way. How often do I do all of it? Eh, not very often. But it's still my go-to book for a jumping-off point. It's currently out of print, but I got it for about $30 on Amazon; if you keep an eye on it for a few months sometimes the price drops.



More Books! )

Patterns )

That's all I've got for now! I'm sure there are many things I've missed, so please share your favorite menswear resources with me!


Jan. 19th, 2013 11:33 am
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
I finally splurged (or rather, my husband splurged for me) on some J.P. Ryan patterns.  Breeches and frock coat for the man, and the Anglaise for me. I guess not having a project = shopping.

It's a little frustrating that they come single-size; who on earth actually matches up to the size chart?  I guess I am spoiled by the flexibility of multi-size patterns and the ability to blend between sizes.  Still, the reviews are good, and my two attempts at 18th c coats for him have been crap less than ideal, so hopefully a pattern will take some of the guesswork out.  Ditto for the Anglaise; I know I could enlarge one from PoF, but It's more complex than anything I've enlarged.

I have some navy blue wool for the HB's suit, a yard sale find.  I also need buttons (or button forms), shirt and vest fabric, maybe some trim, and some new stockings.  Oh, and an inexpensive tricorn might be nice, too.  The timeline for this is our 18th c picnic in May/June.  
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
Making this rayon challis dress for a work display.  Still needs: neck facings, hem, sleeve hems.

(Please excuse the wet, draggled hair.  I had just washed it.)

Back, with sort-of matched print )

I love this print, and rayon is always so nice to work with and to wear.  The pattern is New Look 6093.  The hip panels are bias-cut, and altogether the piecing perfectly breaks up the linear effect this print had.  I used sleeve view D, but I took out the pleat because it just looked stupid.

When it's done, it'll hang at Treadle for a while, then hopefully I can wear it for a fun date!
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
I posted this at my work blog, but it's too exciting not to share here, too. 

Treadle, as a member of the Fine Fabric Stores group, is finally able to sell McCall's, Vogue, Butterick, and Kwik Sew Patterns for a fraction of the labeled price.  Jo-Ann's and other big box stores have been able to do this for years, but independent stores haven't had this benefit.  Well, now it's our turn!

ALL Vogue patterns will retail for $12, Kwik Sew for $10, and Butterick and McCall's for just $7.50, everyday, effective immediately.  A great price, plus the knowledge that your purchase supports local, independent business.

If you're local to the Twin Cities, come check out Treadle; if not, you can look for an independent fabric store close to you on the Fine Fabric Stores website.


May. 5th, 2012 01:19 pm
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
Sewing for my HB is always slow because I have to wait to do fittings until we are both at home and available.  I'm still waiting to fit the doublet on him, and in the interim, I've decided to start on that pile of eleventy-million printed cottons I have for summer dresses.

First up is McCall's 6504, which is basically a princess-seam dress on steroids.  There are 13 pieces to make up the body of the dress.

I'm doing the red/white contrast version in two Amy Butler fabrics with a positive/negative effect.  Yesterday I traced the pattern and cut it; today I cut muslin and started sewing a mock-up.  The notches are somewhat unhelpful in matching the pieces, though, and I got confused at one point and sewed a piece in wrong about 3 times.  The third time I ripped it, it tore in two, so I'll need to cut another muslin piece before moving on.  Plus The Girl got needy after not very long and I put it down for the day.

But I am so determined to have new dresses.  I have a ton of cool fabrics just waiting.  I plan to use my basic shirtdress pattern for several more, but I want to tweak it with a side-seam bust dart.  I think I've made some cool dresses in the past with narrower skirts, but when I am standing in front of the closet, I always gravitate towards those fuller ones.

elizabeth_mn: (Default)
Currently I’m working on the printed corduroy jumper dress. I’ve only gotten to almost-fitted mockup stage.

Pictures of mockup and fabric can be seen under the cut )

It’s not really going to be that short! I am just super stingy with mockups because I make so many of them and I get annoyed at throwing so much fabric away. The actual length will be around the knee.

I cut two sizes smaller than my recommended size because 3.5” of ease across the bust (and even more in the waist) is a bit much for this style. I lowered the bust point, an alteration I almost always have to make with every pattern ever, and I also scooped out the princess seam above the bust point, because there was just too much fabric in the upper chest. Maybe I just have a really hollow upper chest, or maybe the pattern is a bit optimistic.

This pattern is sized by cup size as well as measurements, but the company seems to know only vaguely what cup sizes mean. It took me a while to figure this out.

This might not make any sense )

I think I made it work, but I just wish patterns would work on their own sometimes! I’m eager to cut the dress, but there’s a whole new challenge involving pattern matching coming up. Taking a deep breath and hoping for the best!
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
The Colette shirt is almost done; I just need to topstitch the cuffs and add buttons and holes.  Yay!

My pattern review so far:  Altogether it's a pretty nice, well-fitting pattern, although it has very little ease.  The instructions, on the other hand, suck.  There are a few nifty techniques, and they are mostly pretty detailed, but there are several sloppy mistakes and omissions.  Theoretically, the omissions could be intentional, but why would you go to the trouble to flat-fell every seam and have a totally clean interior finish and then do a sloppy hem on the facing bottom?

There are a few other weirdnesses as well, like the cuff.  If you sew it as written, the seams don't match up.  And I think I've already complained about the seam allowance information being scattered randomly throughout the directions.

Usually I totally ignore pattern directions, but I wanted to give these a shot so I could do a fair review.  Disappointing. 
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
St. Patrick's Day ate up a lot of my time the past week, as I had extra practice and two performances with the dance group. Both went okay, though I wouldn't say they were stunning achievements for us. 

I currently have too many projects to make much progress on any one of them.  I did finish the rib section of my Whisper cardigan and have started on the 'skirt' part.

I'm halfway through my NF petticoat, but I got distracted by the idea of a new wool zip-front vest for my HB's b-day and now I am almost finished with that.

I'm also plotting my next knitting project, which is to be Scarlow from Knitty, a zip-cardigan for the man. Much yarn shopping has been done, and I think I've decided which ones to go with.

I have also been obsessing over finding a very specific (and apparently, obscure) knitting pattern I saw in an ad in an old issue of Knitscene.  I eventually wrote the manufacturer and they gave me a source to buy it over the phone. Phone shopping!  How charmingly old-timey!
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
If I’m going to plan a costume event for next spring or summer, I will need to figure out a costume for The Girl.

I have always liked Truly Victorian’s dress for girls, but maybe it is a little old for her. She’ll be 1 ½ or almost 2, depending on when we do the event.  It might be cute to do something a little more rustic, like prairie girl with an apron, but I want to avoid going too generically ye-olde-timey.  And it would be nice to not have to draft my own pattern from scratch.

I’m being vague. Clearly more research is indicated!


Jun. 24th, 2010 08:16 am
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

Yesterday I got a box from Knit Picks! I bought 2 skeins of Gloss lace (in peapod) and 11 skeins of Swish worsted (lemongrass).

What will they become?  The Whisper cardigan and Retrograde pullover, repectively.  I'll probably start the Retrograde first. The Swish is not quite bulky enough for the gauge, but lots of people on Ravelry used it, so I will make it work somehow.  I want to finish it for an Annual Gift Day present for my man.

As for the Whisper, I really wanted to do it in blue, but there wasn't a blue I liked in the Gloss, and I couldn't resist this yarn, it's so pretty, got good reviews, and it makes my project cost less than $10.  So green it is. 

elizabeth_mn: (Default)

I needed an errand to get me out of the house the other day, so I went out to Jo-Ann to look at dress patterns.

I bought two patterns from Simplicity's new-ish Amazing Fit series.  One of them was reviewed in the latest Threads magazine, which is what convinced me to look for it.  I am feeling the need for more basic pattterns that I can really refine the fit of.  I thought I had gotten there with some of mine, but sadly it appears that is not the case.

I ended up with Simplicty 2404 and 2648.  Basic, classic shapes.  The thing that sold me was the separate pattern pieces for different cup sizes and optional shaping for curvier figures.

I'm visualizing the natural-waistline one in a small 30's-repro type print with contrast piping on all the seams and neckline, just like a dress I saw on a model in a Classic Elite yarn ad.  (So much cuter than the sweater in the ad!)

I probably won't get around to either of these for a while, but it's nice to know they are waiting for me when I eventually do.

elizabeth_mn: (Default)
I cut out a new dress yesterday and today I started sewing it (on my half-broken but still kind of working machine) but I ran into a disappointing glitch: the bodice didn't close in front at the waist. When I ripped out one of the front darts on each side, it closed, but now it fits weird.

This is frustrating.  I didn't make a mock-up, because:

I tried on the last dress I made with this pattern, and it fit perfectly.

I measured my body.

I measured the pattern's seamlines.

Therefore, it should fit!  So why doesn't it?  I plan to do a little more tweaking until I have something wearable, but I don't think it will fit as well as the other one (from the EXACT same pattern!).  Also, since the last one was a print and this is a solid, this one will show more wrinkles and lumps caused by fit issues.

I wish I had had LJ when I made that other dress.  I am getting the feeling that I made some mods that I did not take note of.

I haven't yet made any changes to the pattern, but when I do, I need to remember to record them!  I am also thinking I need to spend a little time just refining this basic bodice pattern.

On the upside, I am loving the way the fabrics are looking together!
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

I've been thinking about my next sweater. (I apologize for the links below; some are to Ravelry and therefore are not accessible to everyone.)

I've got 2 skeins (956 yards) of orange Cascade Eco+.

It was once destined to become a hoodless Heather Hoodie Vest, but that plan has been scrapped because I don't think the Heather vest would really flatter my figure, even if I add waist shaping.

But I still want to use this yarn next, because it is the only thing I currently own a sweater's worth of, and I am still trying to be frugal (vacation shopping aside) to save up for a new sewing machine.

Some options I've been considering include:

Star Cross'd Love is cute and cable-y.  I was a little put off by the shawl collar, but the cables won me over in the end.  Then I saw it is in only one size, a 32.5" bust.  Um, no.  I could try to size it up, but I don't really want to deal with modifying something so complex.

This Peplum Cardigan is pretty and has some interesting stitch patterns to keep me amused.  It's a free Lion brand pattern, though, which makes me a little uneasy.

Chunky Fudge might be my favorite so far.  Simple, fitted, with just a little stitch pattern.  The neckline is a bit wide for me, but that's better than fitting too closely.

There's also Cherie Amour, which has been in my queue longer than anything.  Although, I'm not sure if I was drawn to it simply because of the lovely variegated yarn, but I am also not sure about wearing a high-contrast variegated sweater.  And the Cascade Eco+ is fluffy and lofty; I am not sure if a lace pattern like this requires more drape.  Also, the pattern is very 1970s/late 60s, and my yarn is definitely 70s burnt-orange color, so I am not sure if that would be just a little too retro.  (Do people still say 'retro'?  I feel old.) 

Yesterday I swatched for Cherie Amour and got gauge on the lace pattern on sz 11 and on the rib section on sz 10 (pattern gives a 13 and a 9 for this, respectively, which seems a bit odd to me).  I am still not sure if I will cast on for this.  More mulling is required.


Mar. 6th, 2010 03:40 pm
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

I went to the new Jo-Ann today which opened yesterday; it's replaced two of my local Jo-Anns, including the one that was just a mile or so from my house (which is crappy, because this one is about 6 miles away).  It was by far the cleanest Jo-Ann store I have ever been in.  But disappointingly, they did not have the pattern I was looking for.  Odd; since they opened yesterday one would imagine a complete pattern inventory.  But I went to the even-farther-away one instead and found what I wanted.

Usually when I buy patterns, I like to look at them on the internet first and write down the numbers so I can go straight to the drawers.  Often I end up sitting down at the book table anyway, but I still think it's a good theory.

They were having a 99 cent sale on Butterick (which I find fits my body type better than the other major brands) and I ended up with:

Butterick 5056, the one I originally intended to buy, a set of baby sun hats. So cute.

Butterick 5054, two backpacks. I don't really carry backpacks much, but I liked these, and for a dollar, I thought I might as well. I just tried to ignore the description of "young adult."

Butterick 4985, a blouse that I thought had a kind of vintagey feel to it (the ruffles on the main view's sleeves are silly; I prefer the flutter sleeve).

Butterick 4610, a plain, fitted jacket.  I really need a mid-weight spring/fall jacket. 

It always amazes me that the 'regular' price is supposed to be $15.95.  Jo-Ann has them 40% off every day and 99 cents every other month or so.  I guess I would be paying full price if I was at my local, independant shop like a good person.  Oh well.

Yesterday I copied a pattern from a well-fitting store-boughten long sleeved T-shirt and today I refined the pattern and cut a new shirt out.  I also want to cut a baby hat out of some remnants.  I'm not sure when I'll get around to sewing, though.  Cutting is a good baby-naptime activity.  Serging?  Not so much.

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