Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sew Stylish Spring 2011

I picked up the new spring 2011 edition of "Sew Stylish" at my local Sam's Club.  It's published by Threads (Taunton Press) -- and they're dependably good when it comes to sewing magazines.  I've also checked out "Quick Stuff to Sew" but never been nearly as impressed as I have been with "Sew Stylish."

So here's what I loved --

1.  The new runway fashions they note in "Fabric Lab" on pg. 12.  I could watch runway shows all day long, but I can never remember what it was that I really liked.  This helps immensely.  No wonder I really like Anna Sui -- the denim jumper from her show is adorable!

2.  The article on Cath Kidston was great, particularly because I picked up a book by her recently called ""In Print."  She has a wonderful website!  Check it out here:  Cath Kidston

3.  Hide a Zipper Inside a Pocket.  Good to know, nice reference for later.

4.  Quilt-Fabric Fashion.  There were a few things in this that helped me, and I have to say that I love working with this kind of fabric -- because it's predictable!  The section on underlining was great.

5.  The twisted cowl tank is so pretty -- and I already have a Hot Patterns version of this.  What interested me here was the way the construction was done.  There is also a pattern in the back, in case I want to use that.

6.  "Snap to It" -- what a great idea!  I loved this!  So many ways to change up a dress, skirt, shirt, sleeves -- I am forever pulling things in to give them shape.  This was just wonderful, giving a new way to do just that with snaps.

7.  Remakes -- I love the flouncy tank.  So pretty, although I think I would do a different neckline.  And since I've made some scarf-necked cardigans lately, the one they showed was cute and easy.

8.  Although I probably will never get time to do it, the Leather and Chain bracelet is a very cute idea.  It looks easy enough for me - a non-jewelry crafty person -  to accomplish.

Lastly, I have to say that I have an infinite appreciation for the way these folks always give a little photo of the inspiration for the project.  This is usually straight off the runway, very now, very on trend.  I pay attention to what's in shops now, but this is so much more helpful when it comes to keeping up.

No matter what your level of sewing expertise, you'd do well to pick this one up.  Let me know if you do one of their projects!  I'd love to hear about it!


Monday, February 21, 2011

Spring Colors

One of the nicest things about where I live is that spring always comes early.  And the sky is generally clear and sunny!  I grew up in southwest Ohio, in contrary, undependable weather that generally involves gray skies.  Spring comes in late March and isn't warm -- it's that damp cold that chills you to the bone.  I have to laugh at the years when I was young and taken with all things British.  I used to say that I'd love England and Ireland.  Now I think I was just crazy -- the weather there is usually grey and damp!  Proof once again that being cool isn't usually practical.

And in turn, the reason I've been in my sewing room more and more lately has been simply this: I have no spring colors in my wardrobe!  I have summer clothing, which is bright and happy.  But nothing really from the fall/winter/still cold outside stuff that is light.  When it's sunny, I like to wear light colors.  Not bright so much, but light -- I love pastel pinks and blues and yellows.  I look good in those colors as well, so it's no wonder that I like to wear them.

This makes for a win-win situation -- I am forced to get into my sewing room and create things I love.  That's what brings me back to sewing time and time again -- I love to create things that are beautiful.  And pretty clothing just makes you feel pretty and good and happy.  I'm all for anything that will make me feel happy -- it makes life so much easier!  And easier for those around you!

So today I'll be down there creating yet something else -- maybe a pink jacket, maybe a cardigan, maybe I'll cut out that gorgeous pink shantung I got for a dress for Mia.  Whatever it is, you can be sure that it will be in a light, bright color that screams spring. 

What are you making right now?


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

More Free Downloadable Patterns

Turns out Simplicity has free patterns too!  Available for download --

Also, here's a FABULOUS site for patterns for everything.  Definitely worth checking out:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Weekend Sewing

Photos from the weekend's projects --

Simplicity 4032, view A
I put buttons all the way down the front instead of just one at the top.

Simplicity 0493 or 2603
I almost got rid of this fabric!  So glad I didn't - it worked great for this cardigan.  It's a crocheted knit.

This T-shirt had some stains, so I embellished it and covered them up!  I copied a design I found in a Garnet Hill catalog.  I may dye it later-- maybe not, haven't decided yet.

And here are a few better shots of everything on my dress form, Dottie.

This last one is a tank that I'm not finished with yet.  I'm copying a Marc Jacobs design I found online; it still needs to be dyed and have buttons added.  It's an old tank -- also stained and now covered up -- and pieces of an old t-shirt for the ruffle.   Dottie has a t-shirt on underneath -- so the neckline is a bit hard to see.  But you get the idea. 

You can purchase the green tank here:  StyleFind

I like the jacket so much that I think I'll make another one this week.  In the meantime, I'm working on this:

Unbelievably cute, and unbelievably complicated to figure out!  It's one of those that needs every single mark noted.  Probably not as hard as I'm making it sound -- the sewing is easy.  It's the "where does this go?" part that's proving a little challenging.

I've chosen the pattern for my 2011 sew along.  It's McCalls 6247, and I'll be making the skirt and then the cardigan.  Hope you'll join me!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Quality Time

I finally got some serious sewing time in this past weekend.  I finished up a t-shirt remake, copying a design out of Garnet Hill's catalog.  I revamped an old tank, copying a Marc Jacobs design.  I resized a couple of t-shirts, cut down a babydoll dress and make it a skirt (for my Babydoll), finished up a little fleece jacket, and whipped up a darling cardigan from fabric I almost gave away!

The camera isn't working, so I don't have photos at present.  But -- I should be able to get some photos done soon, so I'll post those as soon as I can.

I think the best thing that I did this weekend was work through my UFO pile.  We all have them -- piles of things we want to do, we have to do, we have no time to do.  Many times we try and fix things and end up in worse shape than before!  I had a couple of failures this weekend in that pile -- a denim shirt I tried to resize (didn't work), a couple of sweaters that didn't work resized, etc.  That's ok.  Too many of those can make you never want to set foot in your sewing room again.  But then there was the purse organizer I made for a friend that only took half an hour and turned out perfectly!  And all the compliments I got today on the cardigan -- easiest thing I think I've ever made.  I can't wait to show you.

Right now I have a very cute top cut out and partially assembled, sitting on my work table.  This was one that definitely needed every marking done.  The thing is just crazy!  It twists in the front, and it's one of those patterns that looks like "how in the world is this thing going to go together?"  Confusing, but I think it will be worth it.  I'm using knit I got for cheap, so it's sort of a muslin . . . sort of.  At least if it doesn't work or fit, I won't have done it in vain.  I hope it does, though.  It's really cute.

That's it for now!  I'm back to the books and endless design projects for school.  I hope I can get a few hours in tomorrow and finish up that top -- we'll see!

Here's what I did --

This was the easiest, fastest, best looking cardigan I've ever made.  Definitely worth a try!

Simple, quick, and SO cute!  It just slid together beautifully in some grey fleece.  Another winner!


The No Fly Zone

Here's a new tutorial I did on hand sewing -- enjoy!