Monday, July 6, 2015

Mixed Fabric Button Down Shirt



Sometime last March, I bought a fabric panel from Marcy Tilton. It is long sold out, but the panel was featured on one of her patterns, Vogue 9108:

I mixed that panel with a rayon batik I picked up at the Corvallis Fiber guild meeting I attended last May, and with two quilting fabrics that I purchased at Puyallup Sew Expo (a cotton batik and a Japanese cotton print).

I sewed this fabric Bouillabaisse into Butterick 5526, view C. I started with a size 18, as per my upper bust, and made a few changes:

  • Added a back yoke
  • Added a 1-1/2" bust dart
  • Removed flare from the hip
  • Narrowed shoulder seam by 1"
  • Shortened sleeves by 1"
  • Split the single cuff pattern to use two fabrics
  • Added extra interfacing, in a crescent shape, to the back collar, as per this article. (Thanks to Margy for bringing this technique to my attention!)
Reinforcing the under collar

Finished collar

I used 2 types of interfacings, both from Fashion Sewing Supply: a medium weight fusible tricot (front bands, cuffs, upper collar, and inner stand), and ProWOVEN Sew-in Lightly Crisp Interfacing (under collar and outer stand). The textured black buttons were from stash.
Cuffs in process

mem commented that my stand-up collar had vampire overtones. <ahem>

Thanks to mem for taking these photos! After this week, mem is leaving Google and tackling new challenges. I'll still see her, but she won't be so readily available. Thanks again, mem, and all the best in your new adventures!

Butterick 5526

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Catching Up


It's been a nice long (4-day) weekend, and I did some sewing!

I had the flu last month, and didn't sew for about 3 weeks, so it was nice when the mojo returned.

I had 2 yards of a hole-y denim fabric, which you can see on Marcy Tilton's site. This denim is wonderfully soft and the holes give it an even nicer drape.

I decided to squeeze a tablecloth skirt out of it. As you can see in the previous photo, one edge of the selvedge includes several inches of plain denim, which I used for the waistband. It would also be perfect for the front band of a shirt or a pocket edge.

Shoes: Fly London
Top: Uniqlo supima tee w/ 3/4 length sleeves, shortened about 7"
Scarf: purchased at a local boutique
Wooden bracelets: made by Tad Nishimura (Heather's husband)

We had some lovely weather early this spring, but a cold June, so I did some knitting!

Top: Tessuti Silva Shirt Jacket

This is the Challah Infinity Scarf, which you can see on Ravelry. I used Malabrigo Merino Worsted in rich autumn colors. You can wear it doubled...

or single...

I actually finished a couple other garments this weekend, but don't have photos yet. I abandoned a third garment and, at some point, need to go back and revisit to see if I can save it.

All in all, a good weekend!

Also, for those of you who are familiar with Thai Silks in Los Altos, the brick and mortar closed at the end of June. Their online stores, Thai Silks (retail) and Exotic Silks (wholesale), are still available, but it is sad to see another local brick-and-mortar bite the dust.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Shams Sewing Tips Video #2 - Making Fabric Beads


Choker-length necklace worn doubled as a bracelet.

You asked for it!

Several weeks ago I posted a video on how to turn tubes of fabric with a bobby pin.

I was using the tubes to make fabric beads and using those beads to make jewelry.

Closeup of beads

Finished necklaces

You asked for a video on how to make the beads, so here you go!

Just in case it wasn't clear in the video, here are the tools and supplies that I used:

  1. Ruler
  2. Lighter
  3. Wire cutters
  4. Pliers - round nose and curved
    (though I mostly use the curved)
  5. Super glue
  6. Scissors (not shown)

Fabric tubes made from 1" wide strips approximately 18" long.

Wearing my necklace as a bracelet

Thanks, Sarah!
(Sarah is wearing Butterick 5891, view B, sans collar. I should have taken a wide-angle pic as you can't see the cute polka dot panels at the bottom.)

Monday, June 8, 2015

A Style Arc Top, Some Tees, Some Pants, and More!


This is a major catch-up post, so here's a TOC to guide you through it!


A Style Arc Top - the Lani

I finished this top a couple weeks ago. It would have been sooner, but I managed to misplace one of the sleeves—I didn't have enough fabric to re-cut the missing piece, but it finally turned up.

The Lani top from Style Arc features internal seaming, an asymmetric hem with mitered corners, a princess seam over one breast and a dart on the other, and 3/4 length sleeves. It is designed for a woven fabric and pulls over the head (it has no closures), so you immediately know that it is loosely fitted.

I decided to use a drapey rayon batik in a lovely swampy green color that I purchased this year at Puyallup. A friend gifted me with a green-and-black striped fabric that she purchased in New York in the same colors, and I used it to pipe the seams.

The piping is almost too subtle. Can you see it?

I had to make a few alterations to the pattern:

  • Increased the bust dart.
  • Removed width from the hips.
  • Added shaping to the waist.
  • Narrowed the shoulder by 3/8".

Sewing-Themed Tees

I think I've mentioned before how I love Uniqlo tee shirts. I went into Uniqlo recently to look for a white tee to wear with my Britex linen pants and I stumbled on a cache of sewing-themed tops. How had I missed these before?! They are on clearance—I scooped up three tees and two sweatshirts.

Check out my spoils!

I don't know how long they will last, but you can check out the "Merchant & Mills" garments on their site.

Auditioning Pants

I recently made three pairs of pants. Yes, three pairs! I was testing out patterns for the linen pants I recently blogged. When I say "testing", I mean that I pared down each pattern to a front, a back, and a waistband. Easy peasy.

Here's a quick round up.

Style Arc Jamie made from a stretch twill received in a free fabric bundle

Vogue 8929, made from a lightweight stretch cotton from Marcy Tilton.
Wow, I need to wear it with a top that "goes" better!

Vogue 8909, made from a non-stretch bottom weight fabric from my stash.
(Originally purchased at Fabrix.)

While all three patterns worked, I ended up using Vogue 8909 for the Britex pants.


Refashioning Tees into an Infinity Scarf

with Kathy (left) and Jana (center) atop Twin Peaks

I wanted to make a thank you gift for Jana, a developer from Prague who helped out at a recent work event. Jana is a fan of Dart and enjoys wearing Dart swag, so I took a Dart t-shirt (Hanes Beefy Tee Men's, size large) and another Google t-shirt in Dart's royal blue color (Women's Sport-T in XL), and I cut them up to fashion a Koos scarf.

The resulting pieced rectangle

Jana is rather tall, so I wanted to make the Koos scarf on the longer side. I pieced it as follows:

The resulting scarf... well, it's Dart-y!

(We also gave Jana some locally made gourmet chocolate. ;) )


Alabama Chanin Tour de Force

I recently saw Dorothy K, and she was wearing a fabulous project that she had just completed. As she hasn't been posting reviews on Pattern Review, I asked her if I could post some pics, and she graciously agreed.

This is Dorothy's very first Alabama Chanin piece. (She loves to dive into the deep end, Dorothy does.) She stenciled the fabric with Anna's Garden Stencil.

She used one of her TNT dress patterns, an OOP Stretch and Sew—1500, I believe. The bolero pattern came from the Alabama Chanin book.

She embellished the bolero with beading

I asked Dorothy how long this project took and she estimated that it was about 6 months of sewing 2-3 hours a day, most every day. And she loved it. She already planning her next Alabama Chanin outfit.

In the spirit of providing even more inspiration, here is a fabulous quilt that Dorothy made about a year ago. The second photo shows the colorful backing.

Dorothy shared another fabulous garment, but I couldn't get a pic to do it justice. If that ever happens, and it's ok with her, I'll post that, too!