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Cutting Line Designs “A New Dimension” Part 2

29 Jun

It’s beginning to get hot in the sewing room, which means I need to turn on the air conditioning.  I’m pretty stingy with the air, since we live in a fairly moderate climate, but I can’t let that keep me from my sewing, so the air must go on.

I just finished the second version of A New Dimension.  Just to spark your memory, here is the envelope cover:

A New Demension

Here is my version:

I made the longer version this time – the one with the cute collar.  This collar is made by fusing the interfacing in three sections with space between so that you can fold and iron the collar as shown on the envelope cover.  I did it that way, but then I decided I like the collar unfolded A LOT, so I left it that way.  In the future, if I want to change the collar, I can easily do that.

I used the extra small sizing, and there is still plenty of ease in the final jacket.  I made no other alterations except to shorten the length.

I cut a bunch of inches off the length (can’t remember right now, but I’m going to say something like seven).  Because I cut off so much, I made sure I did that at the lengthen/shorten line.  I was still worried about losing the proportions, but I don’t think I did.   I generally don’t look good in a long jacket style, and my intention was to make this a “big shirt” type of jacket.  I think it turned out to have a “swing jacket” vibe.

I used a stretch cotton bottom weight that I got from Marcy Tilton.  It will be a nice layering piece for summer evenings, spring, and fall.  I didn’t put in the pockets, since I’m not much of a pocket girl.

I liked both versions of this pattern, and will probably make it again (especially the last version).  A plus is that THE DONALD (DH) likes it. : )

Cutting Line Designs “A New Dimension”

16 Jun

It has been awhile since I have sewn a Cutting Line Design pattern.   Awhile back, these patterns had so much ease, I couldn’t even sew the smallest size without doing some major alterations. That, or just look overpowered in my garment.  But now, they seem to be slimming down a bit, or did Louis just add an extra small size to the patterns?  I don’t know.

I love the instructions on these patterns.  They are very detailed and leave nothing to guess about.  Terrific illustrations go along with the well-written instructions.  And Louise Cutting, the designer, always includes sewing tips that enhance the quality of the final product.

There are two versions in “A New Dimension”.  One is a long jacket/blouse with an interesting collar treatment.  The other is a short jacket with tab closure:

A New Demension

One of the best suggestions in the instructions is how to finish the underarm part of the side seam.  These sleeves are cut-on, and I don’t usually like the way cut-on sleeves hang under the arm.  The instructions say to diagonally clip each side of the seam separately.  Then, as you serge, open up the clips slightly, so that you are actually sergeing air between the clips.  This makes the sleeves hang nicely.  Here is my version, done up in a linen jacquard:

Open:

Closed:

It’s worth it to note that the only alteration I made to this pattern was to shorten the sleeve.  I usually do a narrow shoulder adjustment, if nothing else.  But, this jacket has something Louise calls “military princess seams”, the seams running from front to back.  This gives the illusion of a shoulder line, so I think it works for my narrow shoulders.

This was a very fun project and I highly recommend this pattern.  I am definitely going to sew the longer version…oh, and make some pants to go with this version :).

Travel Wardrobe – Finished

17 Apr

The title is a bit tongue-in-cheek, because the travel wardrobe isn’t finished until the suitcase is zipped shut for the final time, but at least I can say the Spring Six-Pac is finished.  This is probably the best collection I’ve ever put together, simply because each piece goes with other pieces in my closet.  I learned a lot about combining colors, and especially about Nanette Lapore’s “column of color”.

Simply stated, the column of color is the anchor of a collection.  Besides being slimming, it offer the opportunity for throwing just about anything in your closet (especially if you are working within your personal color zone) over the top to create an entirely new look.

I extended the column of color to include a draped cardigan in the same fabric.  I figured it would offer lots of mix-and-match opportunities.  I will say that I have finally come to the conclusion that a draped cardi is not for me.  This one is the StyleArc Abby cardi, and it is good as far as draped cardis go, but I’m just not crazy about the look.  I will wear this one, though.

Here is the collection:

From left to right, the Abby Cardigan from StyleArc, the Creative Cate top (under the cardi) from StyleArc, Vogue 8435 raglan sleeve top, The Sewing Workshop Quincy top without pleats at the bust, another Vogue 8435 top, Cutting Line Design Discover Something Novel pants, and finally, Annie’s Cami from StyleArc.

The missing piece here is the Vogue 8435 skirt made from the same fabric as the Quincy top (a wonderful rayon tencel from Marcy Tilton).  I didn’t have enough fabric and had to order some more (actually, I think I accidentally threw a piece away, but that’s another story).

The scarf was a bit of serendipity – a piece of silk from my stash that I had purchased long ago to make a scarf, but never did.

By the way, I love, love, love the Quincy!  I intend to figure out how to make it without the zipper, either with one large button at the top or no buttons at all.  I like it without the pleats, and got the idea for that from TerriK on Stitcher’s Guild.  Thanks Terri!

I’m off to a spa in Utah next week for 3 days with a dear friend of mine.  I am so looking forward to it.  I’m sewing a couple of tops and some pajamas that I will post about later.

Here are two more pictures of the collection:

Update on October Travel Wardrobe

4 Aug

I’m sewing away on my travel wardrobe for Italy.  I’ve had some failures, of course.  One was a Loes Hinse Ascot jacket that I didn’t like.  Really, nothing else was wrong with it, except that I just didn’t like it.

One thing I don’t like about Loes Hinse jackets is the fact that they aren’t lined, but you have to put shoulder pads in them.  They don’t have interfacing, they are supposed to have a cardigan look, but you have to put shoulder pads in them.  All of that just doesn’t work for me.  If I’m wearing a cardigan, I don’t want shoulder pads.  If I’m wearing a jacket, I want it a little more structured.  And if  a jacket has shoulder pads, I want lining.  Suffice it to say, these jackets aren’t working for me.

The next failure was a sweater-type cardigan I made with some Emma One Sock fabric.  I’m usually pretty happy with EOS fabrics, but this one was described as a “sweater knit”, and it was.  However, it was heavier than I thought it would be and it was felted, which was a surprise.  I should have just put it away until winter, but once I get something in my head, it’s hard to turn back.  I tried to make a cardigan I had made before with a very thin sweater knit, and it just didn’t work.  Moving on :).

Here is an updated view of the plan:

I’ve added lots of knit tops to the wardrobe, and changed some other things around.  So far, I’ve made a skirt and pants in the black rayon, and the Onion cardigan and Silhouette pants in the taupe ponte knit. Also, I’ve made the white Hearts A’Flutter shell.

It’s August 4th and I have about two months to go.  Better get sewing!

Style At A Certain Age

20 Jul

On Stitcher’s Guild, we have a thread called “Sewing for the Middle Ages”.  It’s fun to read everyone’s idea of what is appropriate and great looking for women of a certain age.

What I’ve noticed, now that I’m in my sixties, is that each decade I’ve had to reassess my style.  In my forties, I could still get away with most current styles and close or loose-fitting garments.  Actually, I could still wear a bikini.  It seems like such a long time ago!

In my fifties, I gained a bunch of weight, and spent the last half of that decade trying to lose it.  What I wore was dictated by what would fit.  Even so, I felt I could wear shorts and jeans, and even go sleeveless if I wanted to.

Now, I am in better physical shape than I’ve been in years, but find that some things just don’t look right on someone my age.  As I write this, I realize that I am being very subjective here, and many women my age will not agree with me. This is just something I’m coming to terms with, for myself.

For example, I went to the Nordstrom sale today to buy some jeans.  I’ve been wearing “Not Your Daughter’s Jeans” for several years now, so I found about four different styles to try on.  There’s nothing like a three-way mirror to shock the truth into you!  What I noticed was that none of the jeans were really my best look.  With an expanding waistline and a shrinking behind, it’s just not very appealing.  After all, jeans are all about the butt.  If you don’t have one, should you really be wearing jeans?  I have a friend my age who looks great in jeans, but she has a teeny tiny waist, so her behind doesn’t look flat.

I bought the jeans, but said to myself that they would probably be the last pair of jeans I would ever buy.  Next time I want denim pants, I’ll have to make my own out of a favorite pants pattern.   Why should I wear fitted jeans when there are so many other kinds of pants that look so much better on me?

Believe it or not, this whole discussion is leading up to the October travel wardrobe.  I just finished the Loes Hinse Oxford Pant in a lightweight black rayon hopsack, which is really a great fitting pant.  When I finished all except the hem, I decided I could update the look a little by adding darts to the bottom of the pant, ala Marcy Tilton.  It seems that pants are getting slimmer, but I will never wear pants that are tight around the thighs again, so making the pants slimmer at the bottom seemed like it might do the trick.  Here is the finished pant:

I made four darts on each leg, two in the front and two in the back.  The darts are two inches wide and ten inches long (from the pre-hemmed raw edge).  I’m very happy with the way these turned out, and proud of myself for trying something different.

I also finished a skirt in the same black fabric and a Cutting Line Design shell from the My Hearts A’Flutter pattern.  This pattern was a delight to sew.  Every part of the pattern went together without a hitch, and I love the results.  These two patterns will be future TNT garments.  Here is a picture of the shell:

I am currently working on the Loes Hinse Ascot Jacket in the same black rayon. More on that later.  Three down, eight to go:).

Travel Wardrobe 2

14 Jul

I wonder if there are many sewists out there who have as much trouble as I do putting a wardrobe together from scratch. By “from scratch”, I mean starting with a pattern and some fabric. It’s one thing to go to a department store and try on garment after garment until I find that one that looks the best on me, and quite another to sort through pattern books and online fabric stores, “imagining” what will look best. There are lots of reasons for this:

1. Lack of sewing experience
2. Not completely understanding what fabric goes with what pattern
3. Not completely understanding what colors/styles look good on me when I can’t try them on first
4. Getting over the “sew one item at a time” mentality, and thinking more about making a set of coordinates

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and am trying to make a big change in the direction of my sewing by committing to making mostly coordinates, instead of individual items. I’m sure there will be times when I need a new white blouse; but right now, I have in my closet a multitude of single items that simply have no friends.

So, the fall travel wardrobe is really my first “thoughtful” attempt at planning a coordinated ensemble. Here is what I have so far:

The black fabric is a rayon hopsack – very drapey.  The taupe is a ponte knit that has the same content as the Eileen Fisher ponte – 75% viscose rayon, 22% nylon, 3% lycra.  With nylon in the content, I think I’ll need to be very careful with the iron. The white fabric is a crinkle rayon.  The black and taupe print is a poly/lycra knit.

The dress may turn into a skirt.  I just fell in love with the simplicity of this dress when the new fall Vogue patterns came out, so I included it here, but I’m not sure yet.

I need at least one more top in a knit fabric.  It will probably be this Marcy Tilton top in the turtlneck version:

Also, I have the Eileen Fisher cardigan in a very light weight black wool, and another taupe/black tweed cardigan that I am making.

There are a lot of solid colors here (which is really my style), so I will spiff it up a bit with patterned scarves.  That makes a total of eleven items, plus shoes and raincoat, to pack in my suitcase.  All of the fabrics are light-weight, except for the tweed cardigan, which I may carry on the plane.

I’m sure I’ll make changes along the way.  I always do.  But I think this is the beginning of a workable plan.  I have all of the fabric and patterns, so I’m ready to go.

I spent one day cutting out all of the black rayon.  I’ve completed the pants, except for the hem.  I just love the way the Loes Hinse oxford pant came together, but more on that later.

Off to sew.

The Evil Tights

5 Mar

What could be so difficult about putting on tights? Ha! Little did I know that putting on tights would lie me out flat for a few days. Lesson learned: Don’t put tights on while standing up (especially if you have a sore back to begin with).  I really don’t want to learn this more than one way.  I’m quite satisfied that I’ve learned it well enough!

So there goes my sewing for a few days! All I can do is lie here and think about sewing…oh,and shopping. DH has no clue how dangerous it is for me to have nothing to do but surf the web. This is what I’ve come up with so far:

Emma One Sock

Lovely, no?  I’m thinking of an Eileen Fisher-type cardigan (such as The Sewing Workshop Ikina Jacket) in the seafoam knit.  Or maybe something simple, like this Onion cardigan: I’ ll work up some sort of shell (like the new Louis Cutting shell) for the silk sheer. I need to find a pant weight fabric in a taupe color, and voila…another outfit!

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