Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Sunny Top

I received this pattern from Australian Company StyleArc as part of a package of four tops.  I was intrigued by the pattern lines of the top and had never sewn anything with this shape.  Style Arc patterns are developed at an incredible pace to keep up with current trends.  An example is the Dotty Blouse that I posted about a few weeks ago.

Much has been written on this top on Stitcher's Guild - some good, some bad.  They key is having the right fabric.  It must be a very drapey, light fabric.  Otherwise, you will look like a great big, blob that just gained 30 pounds.  I used a very light rayon knit that has a sweatery texture from Gorgeous Fabrics.  Because the shoulder seam is dropped very  low, and the lower portion has a light arc, the side of the top drapes beautifully into a slouchy look.

It's important to select the right clothing to wear with this.  I wore this top yesterday with some white skinny pants from my new go - to pattern for casual summer pants, the Elle pattern also from Style Arc.

I plan to use this pattern to make some "faux" jeans with a fake fly front, front and back pockets with topstitching.  I recently purchased some Lee capri pants that were slip on, elastic waist that are so comfortable, but don't look like "pull on" pants.  (I'm a little depressed that I am at the age that I prefer "pull on pants".  Yikes!!!)

Anyway.....  I finished off the hems with a coverstitch with my new Bernina serger that I love.  I doubt I will make another Sunny top.  It's one of those pieces that you really only need one.

Hopefully, I'll add a couple of more posts this weekend, as I enjoy a low key, long weekend.  I am suddenly on a roll and determined to blog about more of my sewing projects.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Lydia's Easter Dress

In selecting an Easter dress for my granddaughter this year, I went out of my comfort zone and decided to make one of the beautiful creations from Kari Mecca at Sewing With Whimsey.  Kari has patterns for children's clothing with embellishments made from rick rack and ribbons.  The primary focus is on girls, but there are also ideas for boys.  I had purchased two of her books from a Christmas gift certificate, and asked my daughter (Lydia's Mom) to choose a dress for me to recreate.

The dress selected was available as a kit on the website.  It could be a challenge finding all the supplies I need in small town Alabama, so I ordered the kit.  It arrived in a beautiful organza bag.

The fabric was a high quality cotton pique, 100% cotton rick rack, ribbon, beads including a few shaped like lady bugs.  Everything was present to make the dress except for basic supplies.  I chose not to use the lady bugs because they were so dark.  When placed on the dress, they appeared to be specks of dirt instead of lady bugs.

Over 40 flowers were required, hand made from the rick rack.  This was easily done while watching TV with my husband, and were actually quite fun to make.

The lattice of rick rack was partly glued, partly sewn to some tear away interfacing.  The flowers with the centered beads were tacked on.
After attaching the lattice to the fabric, (praying it would all stay together) the dress was easy to construct.  The instructions provided were very clear to follow and it all came together well.  I did not add the flowers to the ribbon on the ties because I thought they would be too fussy for a two year old and not last long!

And the best results?  A happy Lydia on Easter!

Monday, March 24, 2014

I'm Back! Style Arc and Fabulous Fit

It's hard to believe it has been over a year since I have posted to my blog.  No, I have not dropped off the face of the earth, and yes, I continue to sew.  So much has happened over the past year that I have let my blog get a little rusty.

The biggest change since my last post was changing jobs.  I moved from Public Health  over to Medicaid and have no regrets.  The new position has been challenging, rewarding, but very time consuming.  My granddaughter continues to grow and gets cuter by the minute.  Currently I am making her Easter dress from a kit from Kari Mecca at Sewing with Whimsy.  I promise to post pictures in a few days.

I have acquired some great sewing tools lately -  the biggest being my new Bernina 1300MDC Serger with coverstitch hem.  There is a learning curve, but I'm getting there and really like the new machine.  I'm working on changing from overlock to cover stitch with greater speed (not the 15-20 minutes it takes now!)

The other great tool I received last weekend was the Fabulous Fit Padding System.

You can take an existing dress form and pad it to your exact measurements.  I have a "duct tape" dress form I love that was made 8 years ago.  However, I have gained weight so it wasn't much use.  I considered purchasing a new form, but realized I liked the perfect sloping shoulders, height of my body, and the slight curve in my upper back that was captured in my dress form.  The Padding System seemed to be the perfect solution, and it was!  I was able to get my exact shape and measurements after a couple of hours, and the nice cover makes it appear brand new.  If I lose weight (someday!!!), I can just remove some of the padding.  It works great and now I feel I have a new form.

Now on to Style Arc.  I had sewed some of the patterns for my daughter, but kept telling myself I would order after losing weight.  Finally, I decided life is too short and took the plunge.  In January, I took advantage of the "tops/blouses" special and ordered four patterns for the price of two.  The one pattern I was unsure of was the Dotty Blouse..

I wasn't sure how flattering it would be, until I saw it in Ann Taylor, and the same style on a very chic coworker.  I dug through my growing fabric stash and found the perfect  fabric -  sheer drapey chiffon type fabric.  (In other words, I'm not exactly sure what it is!)  I heard purchased it from Fabric Mart a year ago.  It worked out great!  Due to the sheer factor,  I wear with a cami underneath.  The back was tricky - limited (actually no) instructions.  Since it was a sheer fabric, I just turned it under at the back neck and stitched.  I used Lousie Cutting's instructions for making a nice curved shirt hem (rolled hem) for the back.  Here is the result on my "new" dress form:

  Back View:

And side view.

I found this blouse to be surprisingly flattering and slimmjing.  I wore it with some ponte pants (also Style Arc) but think it would look equally good with a pencil skirt.

That's it for now.  Next up will be Lydia's Easter dress.  Stay tunned!