Saturday, August 30, 2014

Another tank for the gym: black and turquoise Simplicity 9776-ish

Black and Turquoise gym tank Simplicity 9776-ish
So this is the other gym tank I made last week on my vacation.

It's Simplicity 9776 again, modified to use FOE as I learned in the PR class "More Knits" last summer.
Black and Turquoise gym tank Simplicity 9776-ish
Both the stretch lace and the turquoise knit I used for underlining came from Michael Levine Loft in LA during my November trip with Rachel and Janette.  This lace only stretches crosswise.  The overall effect is the lace looks more refined somehow, but the top is less stretchy overall.  The FOE is from Pacific Trimming from MPB Day this year.
Black and Turquoise gym tank Simplicity 9776-ish
My serger really hacked up the inside of my black and white tank.  I was wondering, do I need to replace the blade?  Break down and buy a serger that threads itself and adjusts its own tension?  I wound up serging really slowly this time and I also, cough cough, read the manual.  It turns out my serger manual has a chart with the suggested settings for each tension disk as well as recommendations for the differential feed.  Ahem--a better place to start than what I had been doing--trial and error and getting massively frustrated.  For this tank, the right settings were: 5  5  4  3.5 with DF = N
no hacking here

Black and Turquoise gym tank Simplicity 9776-ish
I used this stretch lace trim to finish the bottom edge with a zig zag stitch.  That was because I couldn't use the selvedge because the stretchiness really was crosswise. On my black and white tank, the direction with the most stretchiness was lengthwise, so I could cut it using the selvege as the bottom edge.
Black and Turquoise gym tank Simplicity 9776-ish
I wore it at the gym to boogietone on Monday night, but I got to class just as it was starting, and my sewing cheerleader Sara wasn't there, so no comments were made.  Overall I think the lining inside the top should be a little smaller than the lace itself.
Black and Turquoise gym tank Simplicity 9776-ish
Black and Turquoise gym tank Simplicity 9776-ish
I made 2 and a half more things during my still more to show you!  I am especially excited about the dress that is half finished.  I really want to finish it this weekend.
Smokey the cat
Here is a gratuitous cat picture of the stray my dad is feeding.  Due to the cat's coloring, I suspect this cat is a tortie female, but I don't know...the cat definitely has tortitude!  The cat is a bit skittish and only wants to be on the back porch for a short while.

Be well!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Black shirt + cat shirt = cat gym shirt refashion

Cat shirt refashion

Thanks for all your comments about my black and white stretch lace tank for the gym.  I like that I've inspired some readers to try making some gym tanks of their own.  Why not look good while working out--and in your own-sewn tanks?     (I won't make gym pants, it's too easy to buy the Everlast ones at Sears and they fit me well.  I have been having trouble finding gym skirts, though, so I might need to make one....or just see if Marshall's has any.)

Oh, and about my red Vogue dress--I wore it today for the third time and I definitely need to do something about the armholes/bust.  I left room so I could make the bust area wider, though this will require a bit of finesse with my bound armholes.  It feels a bit risky but I think I can redo what I undo if necessary.  Fixing it will make me feel more confident while wearing it.

Soooo...I bought myself this cat shirt (above)  for the gym, for Christmas in 2012, from an etsy seller.  It was one of those "unisex" shirts; i.e. boxy and shapeless, but I loved the graphic. (If the seller had women's fit, I would have bought it.)

I thought I'd "take it in a bit" to make it less boxy and more shapely.  I took it in too much by, ahem, cutting it first, and because I had cut it, there was no going back.  I reported it like this on my blog.  Here's the visual:
t-shirt refashion
I was super frustrated.  It was supposed to be an easy refashion and I messed it up.
But I still loved the cat graphic.  Into the magic closet it went.

Soooo...18 months later I decided "I can do this".

I bought a t-shirt from JCP.
I cut out the cat face.
Cat shirt refashion

I pressed the cat face and the shirt with my Elna press.
I'm still loving my Elna press, btw.
And I still don't know who I am, doing all this pressing.  I press everything, even patterns, like you're supposed to, I know, but I was not much of a rules follower when it came to sewing.

Ok, back to the point.
I taped the cat face to the shirt.  I know I could have done this in a multitude of other ways but I was feeling confident.
Cat shirt refashion

I then sewed the face to the shirt with black thread.

I pressed again.  I know.  I also know the edges will curl with the first washing, but that's ok.  I wasn't going for applique here.  It will look fine with curled edges.  (I got that idea from a RTW gym shirt that has a frog on it, and frog's mouth is a piece of fabric stitched on, raw edges ablaze with wild unfinished abandon).

Now it looks like this:
Cat shirt refashion
And it looks like this on Izzy:
Cat shirt refashion

And it looks like this on me:

Cat shirt refashion

I went to the gym 4x last week during vacay (and made 2 tanks + this refashion) so I could have worn it before this post but I had not taken the pictures yet.  This means I have no classmate reactions, but I don't know if anyone will say anything about this. And I really wanted to take the pictures before wearing it--you know what I mean?  So I think this will be worn to balletone on Wednesday (on Monday I will wear a new lacey tank to boogietone--I plan to blog about it on Monday night).  Fingers crossed.

Cat shirt refashion
Cat shirt refashion
Crazy shot of the day

pink WF hibiscus
The pink Whole Foods hibiscus is in bloom today.  Aloha!!!

Be well!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

B&W gym tank, Simplicity 9776-ish

Simplicity 9776-ish

Thanks for your comments about the red dress, I really enjoyed reading them.  (Rose, I enjoyed how you called it "Kyle Red".  I think red and turquoise (separately, not together) are my best colors and I need to sew with them more.)  I wore the dress again today and I really enjoyed wearing it.  Definitely want to make it again, but need to cut the armholes deeper for sure.  It's a little too tight under the arms.

Soooo....I'm on vacay this week.  Is there anything more glorious than a summer vacation???   On Saturday I made this tank as I wanted some new gym wear.  I made my first tank for the gym last summer after taking "More Knits", a PR online class, where a tiny little tank was sewn to teach us how to sew FOE.   I was hooked, but I had no other pieces of stretch lace at the time.  Since then I've bought a few pieces of stretch lace, ahem.  And I've worn that tank almost once a week for the past year!  The lace is looking a bit worn but I'll keep wearing it til it disintegrates.

Simplicity 9776-ish
For my new tank, both fabrics (stretch lace and white knit underlining) are from Stitched Fabrics, purchased during PR weekend Austin earlier this year.  The FOE is from Pacific Trimming, purchased during MPB Day this year.  Yes, items that have been in stash less than 4 months, yahoo!!!
close up of black stretch lace with white knit underlining
Closeup shot of the black stretch lace with white knit underlining

I cut the tank on the cross grain, which was the stretchiest direction, and also allowed me to take advantage of the selvedge to use it as the bottom edge.
Simplicity 9776-ish

I wore it to 5pm boogietone today (basically 45 minutes of club, latin and other styles of dancing, you can choose the intensity but I usually go for it) and it held up well.  I feel like I could sew it a bit tighter for a closer fit, like it's slightly too loose, but I'll wear it a few more times before making that final determination.  My gym friend Sara, who continues to be a huge sewing cheerleader of mine, really loved it.

Simplicity 9776-ish
I also feel like it could be a bit lower on my chest, or maybe the tank should be shorter?  Something about the proportion doesn't seem quite right.  However, another one of my classmates asked me if I've lost weight (I haven't), so something must be right about this top.

Simplicity 9776-ish
I think I'm continually amazed at how slow I am at sewing.  I'm thinking "this will take me one hour" and I think it was almost 4 (includes everything from tracing the pattern onto swedish tracing paper so I could cut it single layer to serger rethreading to final press--yes, I pressed the seams of a stretch lace tank top and yes it made a difference!)

Simplicity 9776-ish

I basted it first  with a narrow zig zag on my sewing machine then serged the interior seams, then used the zig zag stitch on the FOE as I learned in the PR "More Knits" class.   There are no loving pictures of the inside of this tank as my serger really hacked it up; I have since figured out the correct settings (more on that in my next post about the next tank I made).

Simplicity 9776-ish
This picture is a riot.
hibsicus 8/21/14

I didn't get to plant any flowers this year, but I did manage to use a gift card from my friend Meg to buy two hibiscus plants from that famous nursery, Whole Foods.  Here is one of them, which bloomed with flowers that were sometimes orange and sometimes red.   The other one will bloom either tmw or Saturday and I'll get a picture of it as it's pink.

God-cat owner Christine wanted to know what's up with the soap in the pot.  It's Irish Spring and is initially quite fragrant--it deters the deer from eating the hibiscus which are delicious.  Deer don't like strong scents, or so says the internet, and it seems to work.

Be well!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Vogue 8571 Red Dress Done!

Vogue 8571 DONE
So...let's recap.

I picked up the pattern at MPB Day 2013 last year
and thought it would be fun to wear it to MPB Day this year.
I finished it 5 days after MPB Day 2014 occurred, oops!
Vogue 8571 DONE
I purchased this fabric in San Diego at a swap meet last November with Elizabeth.  It has crosswise and lengthwise stretch.  It is a stretchy and synthetic, the kind of fabric I love because it means little-to-no wrinkles!!

Yes, the color is the same as the pattern envelope, in a case of "let's make exactly the same dress as shown on the pattern cover"

Vogue 8571 DONE
I really love the gathers in the back and the front.

Vogue 8571 DONE
The mug shot

My usual work photog and my backup work photog were both out of the office on Friday, so I had to ask another coworker.  She picked this conifer as "it's a scary looking tree."

My boss said, "it looks more complicated than what you usually make."

If there was something I could angst over, I did. I started out with a 14 bodice but after my initial runthrough I recut it as an 8 in the shoulders and neckline to effectively bring it up an inch.  Previous posts showed how the bodice was overall too long.  but I think I should have scooped the armholes a bit. I cut the side seams as 12 initially, but honestly who knows what size they are now.  I really struggled with the fit and resewed the side seams many times.  The skirt had too much volume in the front but looked ok from the back.  I took a triangle shaped wedge out of the front side seams which reduced the skirt volume but now the back shows from the front.

I also took a 1.5" swayback adjustment out of the skirt, which was probably too much, I futzed with the gathering too much,  I undid and redid the side seams multiple times, even taking out serger stitches.   I had trouble with serger tension when I sewed the side seams.  The first time they looked great, but the second time I forgot the DF and it was a wavy mess, blah blah blah.

I did bind the armholes using Amanda's method  of using bias tape to finish and that worked out pretty well.  It's just that I should have scooped the armholes more after reducing the shoulder-to-pit length by an inch.

Vogue 8571 DONE
Vogue 8571
On Izzy the day after I wore it
Vogue 8571
Inside out
Vogue 8571
My "signature"
Vogue 8571
Close-up of the gathers
Vogue 8571
Serged raw edge, then blind can see the texture of the fabric really well here.
Buddy and Izzy and Vogue 8571
My god-cat and Izzy.

Overall I love the dress and wonder why this one didn't catch on in the sewing blogger world when it was released in 2009.

I am on staycation now and have sewn 2 lace tanks for the gym and refashioned 2 shirts into one for the gym. I want to make this dress again in aqua blue and I'm hoping it will go faster next time....but I won't do it this week.  There are a few "easy" items I want to make....let's see how it goes!  I will be blogging them one-by-one for maximum reading pleasure.

Be well!

Monday, August 11, 2014

MPB Day 2014 Recap: A celebration of all things Peter Lappin

I. love. this. photo!  I stole it from Suzanne's Instagram--thank you Beau Baby!

This was my third MPB Day.   It was the largest and the most man-filled MPB Day ever, as Peter pointed out in his recap.

I had a rough night the night before and felt terrible when I woke up.  I thought about skipping the event entirely, but then I read a comment on my Friday night post from Mae who said she's in Australia and wished she could go.  So I dragged myself out of bed and went partly for her, a woman I've never met from a place I've never been, because I could go if I just got over myself.  And I'm so glad I did!

I wore Vogue 1351 that I made last summer (since I didn't finish my MPB Day dress on time) and carried this bag I made last November.

I did a little pre-MPB Day shopping at the City Quilter, then joined the group at the FIT Museum where we saw "Exposed", an exhibit about the history of lingerie.  There I ran into Tomasa, aka TJSews on PR.  I hadn't seen her since PR Weekend NYC 2012, and it was great to spend the day with her!

We all ate lunch at Panera, where Kathy of spottedroo joined us with her newborn and her sister.  I'm sorry we didn't get to talk more or get a picture, as I've read her blog a very long time and enjoyed it so much!  And I met Enrique of Enrique Sews.  What a talented guy--sewing his own dress shirts and skinny ties at night after he spends his days working on cars.  I also met Paula of Getting Things Sewn--she was the woman with the index cards with her fabric swatches in Peter's recap!!  We dumped, I mean swapped, our unwanted patterns right there on the second floor of Panera.  I brought my friend's unwanted patterns and took!  (well, maybe "win for me" as I'm guessing poor Michael had to drag the remainder home.)

Me with the King of Sewing Blogs, Mr. MPB himself
Crowding around Mr MPB post-Panera, to give directions for the afternoon
Tomasa and me with the garment worker. Tomasa just posted her first blog post, on why she sews. Great topic--I might have to cover that in a blog post of my own as it's a topic I struggle with every time I have trouble fitting.
My chunky metal zipper, cut to 60cm for the Maria Denmark Lotta Bag, descends from the second floor at Pacific Trim
Reach for the zipper! Reach!  Pacific Trimming is my favorite store on the planet, but the lack of a/c makes for a brief visit in the summer.
The scene at Paron, everything was 40% off and I wanted it all but showed shocking restraint. If you are a long time reader of my blog, you know that buying only 2 pieces of fabric *is* shocking restraint.
Tomasa only bought one piece of fabric, this green Irish Linen at Paron's she saw on a prior trip.
Loved this description!!
I know, I know, more blue non-wrinkly non-natural fiber fabric was purchased! But it wasn't a ponte knit and it has amazing drape.

Anyway, Tomasa and I hit up Paron (twice, I had to go back for a second piece of fabric), Pacific Trimming, Daytona Trim, SIL Thread, and, um, was that it?  We also tried to find my favorite chocolate shop near Bryant Park but it was gone!  I didn't go to Mood this trip but heard that Tim Gunn had been there that day.    Rats!  We finished off the day at Bryant Park, where more peeps than ever from the original morning group met up to show off purchases and recount the day.  Peter is correct; stamina is increasing with every MPB Day.

My purchases.  The green tag had my shopping list and swatches of stretch lace, for color matching FOE.

I'm going to make a denim jacket and these compass shank buttons from Pacific Trimming are perfect.  I didn't want the boring star ones...

Black tailoring wax (which looks gigantic without scale) and square snaps that I have been coveting since PR Weekend 2012 from Daytona Trim.

I wonder what musical this is from...I guess I could google it...Peter gave us a list of stores on the back of sheet music.  The lyrics on mine start out innocent but become a bit risque....

Thank you Peter for getting the sewing community together in this way every year!  and thank you for all your sewing inspiration all year long!

Be well!