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Showing posts from 2009

Making your own Coat:: Part 1

I finally picked out my next project.  It is going to be a short coat from Simplicity 2508 out of an aqua/forest green boucle wool from Vera Wang.  Making a coat isn't nearly as difficult as you might think, but it does require a lot of prep work. I'm sure that everyone approaches making a coat differently, but I'll share my process with you.


After you cut out pattern pieces, you need to apply interfacing.  I use the iron-on type, and for coats, I like to use a specific type called "weft" interfacing.  You'll need a lot for a long coat, so wait for a sale and stock up!
Depending on your fabric, you might just interface the front, front facing, and collar.  If you have a very light fabric, you might want to interface the entire coat.  My fabric is very loosely woven, so it needs extra interfacing, but because I didn't want to loose it's drapy quality, I decided to just interface the top few inches of the other pieces, as well as the full length of the f…

Beneficiaries of my Indecision

I’ve been back and forth and back and forth for days about what my next project will be. My sewing room floor is covered with mounds of wool coatings, each one saying “Choose me! Choose me!”. It’s a tough decision, but my two cats Maddie and Freddie are in heaven. There is nothing better than sleeping on brand new fabric for a cat.

We are running a big sale at SewBaby, and none too soon, as we just got in several hundred yards of brand spanking new adorable children's knits!  We'll start posting them in January, so help us make room, please!

What did you get for Christmas?  I got too much good stuff- dark chocolate candy, specialty jellies, raw honey, a lavender pashima, wine, an Ipod and accessories for listening to my audiobooks at the gym, a 2010 planner,  a Sample Cut Club membership at Fabricmartfabrics, and lots and lots of soap.  I think my family is trying to tell me something with that last gift.

Paisley Corduroy Dress

I've had this stretch paisley corduroy in my stash for a few years.  It's one of those fabrics that you love so much that you are afraid to sew something out of it in case you make something that you don't love so much.  I call it Fabric Paralysis.  I don't know exactly what got me to get over my paralysis, except maybe just that I saw on the recommended fabrics on Simplicity 2927 that Baby Cord was the first suggested fabric.  I liked this design- especially the pockets that are worked into the curved seam, the curved sleeve hems, and the curved neckband.  I thought that the curvy paisley print just fit perfectly for this pattern.  It was very easy to sew.  Here is a close-up of the front neckband:


There actually is enough room at the neckband to slip this over your head, so I didn't make the button functional.  It is just sewn in place.  With the turtleneck, tights and boots, I think it will be a welcome addition to my winter wardrobe, and I'm glad to have one…

Banded Batwing Top

I'm always on the lookout for easy, easy patterns, and when I saw this one by Kwik Sew, I knew I had to try it.  It is Kwik Sew 3720 and comes in both a long sleeve and elbow length sleeve version.  I believe that I wore things like this in the 80's, but the materials back then weren't as nice.  This is made from a new microfiber brushed knit that I ordered from Fabric.com in a color called "raisin".   It is all polyester, but doesn't feel cold and slippery like a lot of polyester knits do.  In fact, I wore it this weekend when it was chilly, and was really pleased at how warm it felt. 
What I like about it:
-no sleeves to set in
-fits snug around the hips, but loose around the waist
-long fitted cuffs to bring in the batwing sleeves

The pattern has a scoop neckline, but I think this would be nice with a hood or cowl neckline too.  It looks a little plain without the necklace.  It takes around 2-1/4 yards of fabric, which is a lot for a top. I've had dres…

Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Michelou who is the winner of our December 2nd Giveaway prize!  Thanks to everyone who made comments to enter.  It was fun to see so many different favorites of our patterns!

Giveaway Day

The popular blog SewMamaSew is sponsoring a Giveaway Day!  We are participating and would like to offer a prize of 3 SewBaby patterns!  To enter, just comment about which SewBaby pattern you would like to win the most.  We will ship internationally, and the prize winner will be selected randomly on December 6th.  Make sure to leave a way for us to contact you if you are the winner!  You will get to choose which three patterns are your prize!

My Wardrobe Contest Entry

Patternreview.com was having a wardrobe contest from Sept 1-Nov 30.  The goal was to make a 10 piece mix and match wardrobe.  I wasn't originally going to enter, but by last Saturday, I had 7 items that I could enter, so I thought, what's 3 more?  The last three, of course, took me until 10:45 pm last night to finish, and since the Patternreview clock seems to be set on the Eastern Time Zone, I finished just in time.  Whew!

I'm calling it my Green Goddess Wardrobe, based on, of course, the famous Green Goddess salad dressing.  No, not really.  This wardrobe is full of rich fabrics in silk and wool, ranging from aqua to forest green, accented with neutrals of black and cream. The patterns chosen are fluid and drapey. Here is the result!  And here is my official review with specifics about what pattern was used for each piece.


The winner will be chosen by Patternreview.com members, of which there are over 200,000 now!  It really is an inspiring place to visit on the web.

Zigzag Chiffon and Reindeer Tunics

Hope that you all have had a great Thanksgiving and have found some great Black Friday deals!  I've done a little shopping, but I really couldn't wait to get back to sewing the rest of the tunics in my sewing queue.

I used Butterick 5355 and a silk chiffon from Anna Sui for this zigzaggy tunic.  This pattern is so easy.  The neckband is finished with single fold bias tape.

I love this fabric.  It has bands of black, white and light green on each side of the aqua/forest green.   With careful cutting, I was able to get the sleeve zigzag print to line up with the front and back.  So comfy!  I'm sure I will make this pattern again.


And for tunic top #4, I decided to get in the holiday spirit with this reindeer silk/wool gauze from Anna Sui.  At least I think it is a reindeer.  I can't be sure, as there also seem to be giraffes on the same print.  This was a really unusual fabric.   It had two panels to it, but each were too short to be a skirt or top by themselves.  I decid…

Thanksgiving Give-Away!

Question?  What can I sew that
A.  Uses up my fabric scraps
B.  Makes great gifts for teachers, friends and family.
C.  Doesn't take forever and a day to make
D.  Let's me be creative.

Answer:  Fabric Bowls!!!

Leave a comment on my blog about what you are making for the holidays (doesn't have to be sewing- it can be food, scrapbooks, mix CDs, etc) , and you'll be registered to win a copy of this book.  The randomly picked winner will be announced on Monday, November 30th!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tunic Top #3- Khaliah Ali pattern

For tunic top #3 (my husband is calling them tuna tops, BTW), I chose a Khaliah Ali pattern, Simplicity 2634.  If you aren't familiar with Khaliah Ali, she is the daughter of Muhammad Ali, and fashion designer of plus size clothes and patterns.  She's collaborated with Simplicity patterns to produce a really great line of plus size patterns.   I graded it down to fit me, as I thought the design was just great, and it wasn't available yet in the misses size range.  The top has a belt and pleats under the bust.

For the fabric, I chose a silk chiffon print from Anna Sui   It wasn't difficult to work with at all.  I have several silk chiffons that I'd been avoiding, thinking they would be hard to deal with like the polyester chiffons that I"ve worked with in the past.  Not so.. this pressed easily and sewed like a dream.  It took about 3 yards of fabric, at $6/yard so with pattern and bias tape included, this is about a $21 top.

I did make several changes to the pa…

Tunic Top #2- Art Deco Print

This is the second of my tunic craze.  This one is made from Butterick pattern 5388.  I made view B, but with View D sleeves.  I used a polyester burn-out from Anna Sui.  I usually avoid polyester, but I really love Art Deco Prints and loved the colors on this one.  One end of the fabric was this swirl of aqua and blue satin, and that is what I made the cowl from.  The other end was the border that you see at the sleeves and hem.
 I did do a 1 inch full bust adjustment, and I didn't have enough fabric to cut the cowl on the bias as recommended, so I cut it on the straight grain and it was fine. 

Here is a closer picture so you can see the pleats at the neck.
I've tried it both belted and unbelted and can't make up my mind which way to wear it.  Any opinions?

I really do like this pattern, and would definitely recommend it.  I think it is fantastic for sheer fabrics.

Tunic Top #1

I've started making tunic tops for several reasons
A.  They are easy- no buttons, no zippers, just pull over the head.
B.  They are almost like dresses, but since I hardly ever have an occasion to wear a dress, I can use a beautiful fabric as a tunic and actually wear it!
C.  They are easy to fit.  In fact, it's hard to go wrong, as they are usually designed to be loose fitting, so as long as you get the size right in the shoulders, the rest is pretty much in the bag.
D.  You can wear them with a turtleneck underneath for cold days, or a cami underneath for warm days, so you get your money's worth!

This top is Simplicity 2690 view D.  This is a very nice basic tunic/dress pattern with a empire waist seam that uses elastic.  I used a silk velvet burnout fabric designed by Anna Sui.  It starts out as a light green at one selvedge and graduates to a black at the other selvedge.  Really a stunning fabric, and I wanted to make sure that I had a pattern that would show the full …

Pumpkin Latte

I found this nice surprise on my kitchen counter when I came home one day this week.  It is a Pumpkin Latte made by my daughter Serena, who works as a barista at a coffee shop in town.

I was struck by how sweet the "mama" written on the side was.  It got me a little choked up because she turns 19 on Friday. 

When I was pregnant with Serena, I craved anything pumpkin, and she has been crazy about anything pumpkin since she was born.  So, her family nickname is Pumpkin.   She is truly a delight and makes my day in so many ways.

Happy 19th Birthday, Pumpkin!  (And thanks for the latte!)

Green Goddess Coat

I've got a thing for green- particularly teal green. But, I don't have that much in my wardrobe to reflect that.  I've been collecting fabrics with this color for a while, and now have enough to sew a coordinated wardrobe with teal, black and silver.  There is a contest going on at Patternreview this month where you can win a $175 gift certificate for the best mix-and-match 10 piece wardrobe.  Although I can't finish by the end date (11/30), I am going to participate unofficially.   This jacket is my "topper".  It is McCalls 5987




This is a quickie to make because it is unlined.  There really isn't much too it- sew the shoulder and side seams, sew the sleeves together and attach the scarf.  Narrow hem by machine, and voila, you have a coat! Here is the back view.

I chose this jade green boucle wool and it is extremely warm.  It ravels like crazy, and I wish I would have taken a photo of the floor after I was done sewing it.  It looked like I had sheared…

Striped Fall Jacket

My sister-in-law's birthday is October 26th, and I promised her I'd make her a jacket for her birthday- 2 years ago!  Better late than never right?  That's my motto.  Debbie likes to dress casual- lots of jeans and t's, so I wanted to make her something that would fit in her wardrobe. This is me wearing it.  Last time I measured her, she was about my size.  She lives about an hour away, so we'll find out at Thanksgiving if it fits her.

I had this heavy weight striped wool from Fabric Mart Fabrics that was a steal at 3 yards for $5 last year.  I wanted to find a pattern that would show off the stripes, and I found this McCall's 5937 that uses the bias.  You can really see it on the back.  The only alteration I made was to lengthen it a couple of inches. 

The pattern doesn't have a closure, but includes a pattern for a tie-belt.  However, my fabric choice was so thick, that the belt just looked bulky, so I opted to add a single button and buttonhole.

I like h…

Winter Coat Sewing

Welcome to my first Blog!  I'm sew excited to be able to share my personal sewing adventures.

My latest project is a winter coat.  My daughter is cold all of the time.  Even in the summer sweltering heat, you’ll find her bundled up in a sweater.  She started bugging me about making her winter coat in July.

We picked out a beautiful double faced wool melton in Royal Blue.  That in itself should be warm enough, but for the super cold-blooded, I decided to line it with quilted Thinsulate.  In the past to get extra warmth, I’ve done an interlining of flannel and then a flannel backed satin lining, but that is twice the work cutting and sewing, so the quilted Thinsulate sounded like a time saver.


She chose Simplicity 2812 for the pattern, which is one of the Project Runway patterns.  It has a pretty gathered collar that she can either wear up or down.  Here is a picture of the collar down.  The only problem with the pattern is that the pockets are really small.  I do understand why- th…