Thursday, October 16, 2014

Two Fall Monetas

I was gung-ho to start the Jean-ius course on Craftsy but hit a roadblock when I discovered I needed silk organza.  I'll have to order some so in the meantime I made two Monetas for fall.  A couple of years ago I saw a picture in a magazine of a woman wearing a knit dress, a cardigan and a scarf.  So cute and chic. I've tried to come up with a couple of "uniforms" for fall to keep myself focused and this is one of them.

I absolutely love this gray fabric I found at my local fabric store.  It is such a nice quality.  It was $16/yard which feels pricey when you're looking at the bolt but it's so much better to buy something high quality that wears well.  

My original intention was to make it with sleeves but at the last minute I left them off.  I'm going to see if I can get more wear out of a sleeveless top in a heavier fabric.  Maybe if I wear it with a heavy sweater, tights and boots I can wear it in the winter but also in the spring and fall with a lighter sweater.

This is my second Moneta with the Peter Pan collar (first one here). I thought maybe the previous material was to blame for the collar sticking up but I had the same issue with this material.  I've had a Bernina machine for a couple of year and would you believe that this is the first time I've used a decorative stitch? I used it to anchor the the collar to the dress. After I completed it I was sad I didn't think ahead and do some embroidery all over the collar.  Next time, I guess.

I only managed to get one decent picture of the second Moneta because my photographer/son was chomping at the bit to go out with his friends.  I had a few issues with this dress.  1) I know that I just said that I feel better when I buy higher quality fabrics.  I didn't follow my own advice on this one.  I ordered this online.  I was so in love with the idea of polka dots but the quality is just not great. It's thin and flimsy. 2)  I made the version that doesn't have a lined bodice.  Since I was going to use a twin needle around the neckline I decided to reinforce it with knit interfacing.  Disaster! The fabric stretched and curled so bad that I won't be wearing this one without a scarf.  3) I use the XS bodice graded out to a small at the waist.  I figured the XS sleeves would fit snugly around my biceps but they were very baggy.  I went back and used a much bigger seam allowance but I'll have to fix the pattern piece.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Blog Hop!

You may have noticed bloggers answering these questions recently as part of a blog hop.  I don't know who started it so I can't give proper credit!  I was nominated by the lovely Helen of Cut It Out, Stitch It Up. I have admired her work greatly ever since my first exposure to her, which was this amazing shirt.   Do you ever think about other people's makes long after you first see them?  Or is that just me?

On to the questions....

Why do I write?

I wanted to have a blog long before I got serious about sewing.  The only problem was that I had absolutely nothing interesting to say at that time.  Several years later I decided that it was time I learned to make garments, and some time later I started to blog.  I started it as a way to document my progress so I could look back and see how far I've come.  What I soon learned is that blogging is a great way to connect with other people who sew.  I don't know about anybody else but I know very few people in real life who sew.  If I included in daily conversation what I write about on the blog I just don't think most people would get it!

What am I working on? 

I am a Craftsy class hoarder but it takes me awhile to actually get around to listening to them.  I started One Pattern, Many Looks: Blouses and it's fantastic but unfortunately I am completely lacking inspiration so I've not made a blouse yet.  Over the weekend I decided I was going to bite the bullet and start the Jean-ius course.  I was gung-ho until I read the course materials list and realized I need silk organza.  I don't have any so I'll have to wait until it's delivered so I can start on those.  In the meantime, I'm making a cold weather Moneta.  Go figure.

How does my blog differ from others in its genre?

I don't think it does.  I'm happy to just continue sewing and sharing what I've made in my own simple way.  Don't look for me to write a book!

How does my writing process work?

As I'm sewing I try to be mindful of what I want to include in my posts, especially if I've strayed from the instructions or put a different twist on the garment.  I never write anything until I've completed the project.  I love it when people include lots of detail on variations so I try to return the favor.  I was in a pretty great flow this summer when my photographer (my teenage son) was out of school.  I could count on having my picture taken within 24 hours of completing my garment and then blogging soon thereafter.  Now I can't have pictures taken until the weekend.  It's hard to not wear what I've made right away!


A recent find for me is Charlotte over at The Creative Domestic.  I like her writing style and her choice in projects. She has a cute new skirt on the blog now so that's a bonus. And I'm always a sucker for a great blog name!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Two Sewaholic Renfrews: Stripes and Chevrons

The Sewaholic Renfrew pattern is officially my go-to tshirt pattern. It's so easy to make and comes with all the sleeve variations and neckline variations that I want.  This is my first time sewing with stripes and chevrons.  I'll do stripes again but definitely not chevrons. 

It was easy to line up the stripes on the sides but the sleeves didn't work out so well.  I was stretching the sleeves and shirt to fit each other and that messed up the stripes.  I'm too lazy to tear out serger stitching and I'm thankfully not a perfectionist so I can handle it.  I'll get better as I go along.

I have an early version of this pattern and didn't realize that the instructions are wrong on the cowl neckline variation.  It says to sew the cowl with wrong sides together.  I did that and then looked at the online tutorial to make sure I was doing the rest of it right.  That's when she clarified that it's actually supposed to be sewn right sides together. 

It's not perfect but I anticipate wearing this top a lot this winter.  The material is a nice hefty weight and it looks cute with a jacket.
And then we have the chevron top. Grrrrrr.
I picked out this material last winter before I'd ever made a knit top.  I actually made this one before the stripes because I wanted to practice.  This was one of those projects where I knew it wasn't working but I also had no idea how to even begin to make it work.  After awhile I gave up matching the chevrons and just sewed it together matching the edges.  It's a disaster but guess what? I've worn it three times.  And twice people have said, "Cute top."  The material doesn't have much recovery.  In hindsight it wasn't a good choice for this pattern but with each knit project I learn more about what works and what doesn't.