Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Hit and A MIss

To finish my posts about January completed projects, I will include 2 items in today’s post.

First, the HIT!
Late last year, I decided to take my wardrobe options to a new level – I was going to learn to knit.  Okay, so it’s not a huge stretch for me since I already know how to crochet.  I started snooping around Raverly and discovered a set of patterns for beginners from Tin Can Knits.  There are 8 patterns in The Simple Collection and the best part - they are free!   happened to have a skein of 100% wool hanging around, so I started with the first project, the Wheat Scarf, in December.
The other 7 patterns in The Simple Collection include a baby blanket, a hat, a cowl, socks, mitts, a pullover sweater, and a cardigan.  Child through adult sizes are included for all the patterns.  Not only was the pattern great, but the tutorials are also extremely helpful!  There was not a step that was not covered in detail!  And the final result?

It's not perfect, but I really can't complain for being my first knitting project. 

I was so inspired by my first finished knitting project that I have ventured onto bigger and better projects in the world of knitting.  Stay tuned for a another finished project sometime in March!
And now THE MISS!
I saw this wrap dress on BurdaStyle and thought it looks super cute.  It would make a perfect swimsuit coverup!  Bonus #1 - The pattern is free!  OK, so there really isn't a pattern, just instructions telling you cut 2 rectangles and sew them together.  Still, it is FREE!  Bonus #2 - There are several ways to tie the finished fabric into different styles of dresses.  Basically, you could have 3 dresses by just sewing one!

The instructions for inserting the elastic for the neckline were a little confusing.  Here a look at how I pinned the elastic before I sewed it down, then turned it, and sewed it the second time.

  And the result - an utter disappointment.  I am small.  I made the smallest size.  I tied it using the View B Variation.  The fabric is not long enough to tie in the back!  Here are some pictures on my mannequin to give you an idea.
So, I tried View A, Variation 1.  I was still not able to tie it together.  Closer, but no go! 
I was able to make it work with 2 possible dress ideas - See below.  However, the first one has a waterfall of fabric sticking out from the bust - really not attractive.  Lighter fabric could make this better.  For the second dress, I just tied the ends together and put it around the neck.  It looks okay, but it is not what I was going for.


Maybe making a larger size would create the look I am desiring, but it will have to wait. 
Instead you will probably be seeing this fabric again in a different project in the future.  Luckily because you only cut one slit for the neckline, I have plenty to work with. 
Did anyone have success with this pattern?  Anyone else have issues?
Happy Sewing!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Matching Robe and Nightgown

Burda 7627 View D

Burda 3379 View B (OOP)

I started this set in December, hoping to finish by Christmas so that I would have something other than knit active wear to wear as pajamas over the holidays.  I set out to make a long nightgown and a full length robe – feminine, fashionable, but still providing coverage.
The holidays came and went.  The project was finally completed mid-January.  (I'm trying to get caught up posting my completed projects - hopefully by the beginning of next week I will be current!)

I purchased the fabric from Hancock Fabrics, a matte polyester “silky” fabric in royal blue.  The nightgown was first as I had completed this pattern (Burda 3379 View B, now out of print) several years ago to be used a black slip under a couple dresses.  The made a few changes to the pattern including adding about 12 inches in length and cutting on the bias rather than straight grain.  Due to the bias cut, I removed about 1/2" in width from each seam from my armhole to the bust dart.  All the seams were sewn using French seam technique.  The top detail of the bodice encases the top edge and eliminates any facings.

On the robe (Burda 7627 View D), I also added to the length.  The length added was about 18 inches since I wanted a full length robe.  I ignored the lace detail along the front, but instead created a detail similar to that on the nightgown so that they would truly match.  The detail on the robe is 2 inches wide when finished. 

Similar to the nightgown, this detail encased the raw edges along the front and neck, eliminating a different finishing technique.  Also like the nightgown, the seams were completed using french seam techniques.

Purchases for this project (all purchased in 2013):

Fabric                    $15.26                  4 yards @ $3.81, Hancock Fabrics (Robe)
Fabric                      $8.48                  2 yards @ $4.24, Hancock Fabrics (Nightgown)
Thread                    $1.29                  
Pattern                   $2.67                   Burda 7627

Already in stash:
Pattern, Burda 3379

Total cost for this project:  $27.70

Check back for more finished January projects later this week!


Monday, February 3, 2014

BurdaStyle 01/2012 #106

Wow!  I actually got so much sewing done in January.  I just wasn’t able to get photos of my garments until this weekend.   The polar vortex has put the kibosh on outdoor pictures, especially in Minnesota.  Plus, we are still dealing with limited hours of daylight, so by the time I get home, the lighting is just horrible.

So on with it – This is actually my only non-UFO item that I completed in January.  I had been eying this pattern for a while, looking for the perfect fabric online.  I wasn’t finding much in the color palette or the price range I wanted.

Over my lunch hour one day, I was wondering around JoAnn Fabrics and noticed that their Simple Luxury Collection was 60% off.  AND I had a coupon for another 25% off my entire purchase!  I spied this off-white wool blend boucle knit (regular price $39.99 / yard) and knew that it would be a great fit.

The fabric was wonderful to work with Since it was a knit, it was not going to fray, but I wanted the inside to look "finished."  So, I finished all the seam allowances with a hong kong finish.  I didn't have quite the right color for the binding, but I found a cream on cream calico in my stash that the reverse matched quite well.

The only change I made to the pattern was to eliminate the seconf row of "frills" from the collar.  I had them on originally, but found that the fabric was a little to thick to accommodate 2 frills.  You can see the jacket with 2 frills attached in the picture below.  Too much, right?

And here I am modeling the final product.  I have worn it twice already.  I love that I can wear it casually with jeans or dress it up with a skirt.

One great thing about this pattern was that there were actually 3 different options:
                      BurdaStyle 01/2012 #107 - Ruffle Neck Coat

Lastly, since I am tracking how much I spend on my sewing projects during 2014, here are the details of this project:
Fabric                    $29.99                  2.5 yards @ $11.99, JoAnn Fabrics
Pattern                      5.99                  BurdaStyle.com 01/2012 #106

Already in stash:
Cotton calico for binding   

Total cost for this project:  $35.98
Happy Sewing!