Posted in sewing

The Infinity Scarf is INgenius!

About two years ago a younger, hipper, cooler friend of mine was wearing a piece of fabric on her neck from American Apparel. It was just a circle of knit fabric. I thought it was the dumbest thing I’d ever seen. Then, being the trend hog that I am, I got on board and am now the conductor on the circle /  infinity scarf train.

There are so many ways you can wear it (as modeled by my friend Chezia below). And best of all, it takes 30 minutes to make. I used Joann’s knit from the stash that I bought on clearance this summer for like $3 a yard. Checked measurements on line of various scarves and sewed the whole thing up on my serger. There are more ways than what I did with the scarf below.

One big loop. Should be about a foot shorter than this for most people — falling between knee and hip.

Doubled

Tripled

As a hooded scarf

Doubled for a wrap

Wrapped as a top / beach coverup

Neck cozy and wrap

If so inclined, even a headwrap

This one is my Secret Santa gift for work. I made a cream one for myself.  To be honest, the cream was going to the woman at work, but she’s short, pale with blond and occasionally red hair. It occurred to me that the cream I loved on me might blend in on her.

If you need a quick and easy gift, make an infinity scarf! I haven’t had time to write and photograph a full tutorial. But, generally, you want to make the fabric wide. You’ll want it to be at least 12 inches wide when folded (so cut at least 24 inches width). Even wider if you’re interested in things like the dress or skirt options. When sewn together, you want the loop to reach between the knee and the hip. Again, this will depend on the person’s height.

If there are still questions out there, I can try and detail with some photos over the weekend.

Posted in sewing

Sweatshirt Dress Done!

The 8-2008-21 sweatshirt dress is my first La Mia Boutique pattern. I have about five of the magazines in the library and just haven’t gotten around to many of them.

When this first appeared in the August 2008 edition I was immediately drawn to it for it’s simplicity. I figured it would be hard to mess up. And, it is.

I thought this would be a totally casual weekend dress. But, with tights, boots, and huge earrings — it was perfect for the Greek ‘name day’ party I was invited to last night.

The only problem I had with the pattern was user error. I totally forgot to add seam allowances when cutting the bodice. Oops. Luckily, the dress is a sack so it doesn’t matter too much. Unlike Burda, La Mia Boutique has you trace pieces for the bands (wrist and skirt bottom).

I also ended up making the largest size — a 46 after I measured the hip area. I’m not familiar with their sizing but I’ll tell you now that it runs small. If I were to make it again, I would shorten it a smidge and taper at the bottom more. I omitted the pockets and the neck drawstring. I think pockets or a patch / kangaroo pocket would be adorable.

I bought the sweatshirt fleece from Joann’s a couple months ago at about $10 a yard and the ribbing is from the Carol Collection. The whole thing was constructed on my serger. Super fast. Super easy. Fun. And about $20.

There’s not much to say about this, but if you are so inclined, here’s the review on PatternReview.com. I noticed today there are about four garments I haven’t reviewed on PR. I’ll get to that this week 😉

Posted in sewing

Ready to Wear is a %$# Rip Off

Exhibit A:

Last year I bought a new coat. A VERY expensive coat for me– well over $200. A definite splurge. I was diligent. Outershell must be natural fibers only. I must be able to breathe. Must be flattering. Must make me feel like I couldn’t make it. Must not pay retail. I got said coat and was happy with it. Until all the buttons popped off and it started coming apart at the seams.

First, the seams at the waist ripped. Both sides. And, all three buttons popped off at different times.

Then, this BS. The lining on *both*  sleeves are all ripped and shredded.

I AM SO MAD. Yes, I know I can make a new lining and will. But, I coulda made this for a fraction of the cost and it wouldn’t be ripping now. But, I didn’t think I was ready and able to make a coat!

You know, my parents bought me a coat in Budapest, Hungary in middle school that I wore ALL THE WAY THROUGH COLLEGE. If the Soviets could make a good coat, why can’t Anne Klein!?

Whew. Glad I got that off my chest! On a positive note, I’m done with my sweatshirt dress from LMB! I’m wearing it out tonight to a Christmas party and will post pictures tomorrow.

And, I want to thank you for all the kind comments on my pants! I’m overwhelmed. I’m really glad these helped me rally and I’m excited that we’re all excited about sewing.

Posted in sewing

Can I Name My First Born ‘Cheviot’?

I am 100 percent in love with these pants!!!  They are Burda 9-2007-115  and I first made them two years ago.  Between the amazing fabric and finally getting the construction down, I honestly and truly love them.

These pants are not fast nor are they easy. Iactually had them cut in this gorgeous cheviot wool from Egypt for over a year. But, I was so disappointed with the jacket and just generally struggle with sewing pants that I put it away.

And, I was actually going to throw it out in the “great sewing room move” but never got around to it.  It’s really starting to get cold here and I am (as always) in DESPERATE need of pants / separates.

I love the pockets. They are a thorn in my side to make, but I do just love them. This time, I interfaced all the upper edges so that the pockets stayed crisp.  I also used pocketing  in addition to the fashion fabric.

And, lookit!! My fly front! Yes, I use the Sandra Betzina video. But, it’s always been hit or miss for me. This time, it worked (well, it worked after I ripped it out the first time).

Now, I did leave the pants unlined. But, I am SO BAD at making pants that I figured I was better off focusing on the actual construction of these and getting comfortable with pants before I tackled the lining. Yes, I have fears of the knees bagging out. But, for now, I don’t care! The fabric is super firm and just deliciously soft. I would fly myself back to Egypt for more of this fabric. Truly.

I will say, I have a desire to move away from wide leg pants. Burda says these are suited for ‘tall women’. I’m not short at 5’6. But, I ain’t tall. To qoute my mother, I don’t know that they are doing me any favors.  The muslin Marji and I are working on is a slimmer cut but still needs some tweaking. In the meantime, I have ordered some fabric from Fabric.com to make at least two more of these this winter.

Oh, this is pretty much what I want to wear all winter. Pants / skirt, sweater, shirt. I’m kind of into the three -piece wardrobe right now. When I worked at Lord and Taylor post college the rule was a dress, a suit or pants / skirt with a jacket. I think it’s a good rule of thumb for work attire.

I am so stinking happy right now folks. I have clearly been in a slump. I think, well, I think that 2009 was just a lot harder for me than I was admitting to myself.   I put on the ‘no one is going to ever love me so I might as well get fat’ 15 pounds — which does not make you want to sew (especially when family members think it’s ok to point it out to you. Like I don’t *know* that I’ve put on weight).  Work has been just incredibly busy and painfully stressful. This left me not wanting to sew and not wanting to blog and honestly with little *time* to do either.  But, making these pants — something I have just never done well and have little confidence in reminded me that I LOVE my craft. I LOVE to create and I LOVE to sew. I was SO happy after these pants that I’ve already got my sweatshirt dress from La Mia Boutique cut and pinned. I’ve pulled skirt lengths for my next four projects. I’m happy and not stressed in my sewing room since Marji helped me straighten it out. I guess what I’m saying is I’m back baby, I’m back!

Posted in sewing

I Just Need to Hem

I finished my pants on Sunday and was SO excited about them I pulled out more wool for another pair. Except, I pre-treated it badly and it is now felted. It feels just like a blanket.

Boo! Oh, well. I think I’m going to use it to make this Burda jacket. Yes, I know it calls for a knit, but it’s got so little structure I think I’ll be fine.

Currently on the cutting table is this sweatshirt dress from the August 2008 La Mia Boutique.

Doesn’t it look perfect for weekends?