Thursday, June 30, 2011

Another Project with an Upcycled Tie

I was so excited to find this UFO in my stash while digging around for some trim!

 I purchased this tie at Goodwill on sale for $.50 and it was in perfect condition.  My initial thought was cut in into strips and use it for binding.  I am so glad that my lack of focus kicked in and I only managed to take it apart.

My second find of the day was this UFO top

This top was only cut out and the darts based.  It must have been kismet as the color of the knit matched precisely the orange in the tie.

The fabric is a tissue weight silk knit. I think I purchased the fabric on a trip to NYC - but cannot swear to that. As I was working on this top, I realized why it was a UFO. Tissue weight silk knit is difficult to work with coupled with my attempt at a French dart rather than a standard bust dart. Crazy I know, but what can I say. I am always trying to flex my sewing muscle. Pin holes show immediately and it WRINKLES like crazy. But, the toil is worth it given the result!

Close up of the tie

One more of the tie

As a bonus I found this hot pink sweater in my closet that I had never worn as it was a closet orphan. Now the closet orphan is no more as it has a new friend in the top. I plan to wear it with jeans or a kaki skirt. And the extra bonus is it fits my new wardrobe criteria.
Let me know what you think.  I LOVE your comments and look forward to checking post to see what you like and if you check a box!

Happy Sewing,
Michele P

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Anthropologie Pleated Yoke T

How I saved my Anthro Inspired T
Pleated Yoke Tee
I am trying to keep all of my posts in a positive vein - and with that in mind I want to show you a failure and how I saved it.  I was attempting to make this Anthro top.

In retrospect, I don't think I started with the correct sloper.  I used my regular neck T and should have used the cowl neck T sloper. 

Here is my attempt at this T

It does not look anything like the inspiration top, but I think I was able to save it.  The fiber content of this fabric is unknown, but I am pretty sure it is poly. It is a super wide border print. I took advantage of the print and used it on the sleeves and ends of the belt tie.

Close up of the front.  You can see that I pulled the top and made a faux cowl by tacking the top on the right side.

Close up of the right side

This top does fit into my new plan for faux retirement wardrobe and was fabric that had been curing in my stash for quite a while. 

Let me know how you saved a garment!

Happy Sewing,

Monday, June 27, 2011

Vogue 1245

Vogue 1245

This is the first garment made for my Faux Retirement wardrobe.  I am in the process of developing an approach as to what to make for that wardrobe. I am thinking that for an item to make the cut into my closet it must meet at least 3 of 4 items on this list!

1.  Must go with at least 2 other items in my closet - no more closet orphans

2.  Must be flattering

3. Must be my color

4.  Must lend itself to alteration for weight loss - more on this tomorrow

This is my 'muslin' for Vogue 1245.  I am so pleased that it turned out to be wearable.  The fabric is from Fabric Mart purchased several years ago.  I believe it is a burnout linen.  I really did not think it would be so wearable, what a pleasant surprise.

This picture doesn't show the sheerness of the fabric.  I will wear it with this tank or perhaps a skin color tank under it - depending on how daring I feel that day. 

Back View

Close up of the front

 I have some sheer silks that I plan to make up in this style.  I think I will narrow the sleeves and delete the peplum and waist string - something like this Milly top. 


Friday, June 24, 2011

Faux Retired and how to 'wear' it

Faux Retired - Not working anymore with no pension or retirement income.

I am Faux Retired!  Now that I do not work a 9 - 5, I am struggling to find my style.  I was very comfortable with my working wardrobe, suits, pumps, silk blouses , briefcase and gown for the occasional black tie function. 

Now when I attempt to  dress for the day, I quickly realize that I only have 'work' clothes or outfits that are suitable for painting or gardening and otherwise I would not be caught dead wearing out of  the house !

I want to be comfortable yet stylish. Here are a few ideas:

Seam-Shaped Cowlneck  

Cultivation Skirt
Helios Batik Midi

I find skirts easy to make and fit - yet not quite so easy to wear. Having worn panty hose for 20+ years, I struggle to wear a skirt without them.  I hate to see my pasty white legs in a skirt - so I wear pants. However, pants are very hard for me to fit and I don't seem to be able to find any that fit my shape at any price point.  So what to do?  I guess I will faux tan my legs and wear skirts! 

I am working on a few skirts this week and hope to post them soon.

PLEASE leave a comment if you have had a similar conundrum and how you solved it!  I really want to hear from you.

Happy Sewing,
Michele P

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mermaid Tail Towel

Finally, back to the blog.  I have been so busy preparing for my new endeavor that I just have not been able to take pictures.  I am working with a local Babylock dealer to start a sewing school in Manassas, VA.  I have been recruiting teachers, planning the curriculum, and making samples.

This is a sample that I just adore.  Even though my kiddo is grown, I know that all little girls pretend to be a mermaid and I know she would have LOVED this one. I used a beach towel and fleese so it is completely washable and durable.

As I don't have a little one to model for me, I used my mini dress form.

We will monogram the child's name on the top of the towel.  Can't you just see little girls at the pool or beach in this!

Happy Sewing,
Michele P

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Neck Tie T


In one of my recent blog searches I spied a great tutorial on how to make a Neck Tie Necklace by Tip Junkie.  I loved the idea, but chose to add it to a T rather than use it as a necklace.

Here is my version.

This is a Pamela's Pattern T.  I recently took her workshop and really loved the fit of her pattern.  I only had to make a few alterations.  I added a back seam and took up the back neck.

These pictures don't do the up cycled Tie necklace justice.  The T is dark navy blue and the tie is a preppy navy and green. She used a button on her necklace, but I wanted to use a pin so I could change it to suit my mood!  I tacked the tie around the neck in strategic places rather than sewing it down all around the neck so it would stretch over my head.

Happy Sewing,
Michele P

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Vogue 1218

I was so intrigued by this pattern that I thought I would give it a try.  I rarely wear a dress so I decided to make it as a top.


I really challenged myself to get the top to fit.  I used my sloper and tweaked the design slightly to fit my 'curvey' self.

This is my 'muslin'.  I had this grey knit in my stash and thought if it worked it would be what I call a wearable muslin.  If it did not work - so problem.  Fortunately it worked!  I really love the fit of this top and all of the design lines. 

Close up of the top.  You can see from this pic that I did change the lines slightly as I needed a bust dart.  I rotated the bust dart to the horizontal line and used the vertical lines as a waist dart.


The back was the most challenging to fit.  As you know it is so difficult to fit your own back.  Even with Chesty (my custom dress form) it was difficult.  I had planned to put an exposed zipper in the back but choose not to as the top pulls over my head and it was just a muslin after all.  I have some luscious double sided knit I purchase in NYC so I plan to make the real version out of that and will post it when completed.

I tried a technique on the hem that I learned in a recent class, but not sure that I like the outcome.  The jury is still out as I have not worn the top.

Happy Sewing,
Michele P

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Aunite Mame revisited

Auntie Mame

I recall a coworker once told me that I reminded him of Auntie Mame.  I was not sure how to take that comment, so I chose to think of it as a compliment.  With that thought in mind, I made myself a robe that I think she may have worn one of her most casual days.

The fabric is a silk that I purchased years ago - so I consider it free fabric!

The sleeves are full and amusing to wear.  I am reminded of what my Grandmother would have said "it my be pretty, but you can't fry eggs in it!"  Well, Gran, I won't be frying eggs in this one!

The pattern is Louise Cuttings East Meets West by Louise CuttingEast Meets West.

If you have not purchased and made one of her patterns - you are missing a treat.  It is worth buying the pattern just for the directions.

Happy SEWing,
Michele P

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What I did over the Holiday and my Studio update

As usual, I was over zealous as to my abilities and the amount of time it takes me to complete one project, much less a dozen like I posted last week,  coupled with a bad case of Bronchitis.  I did manage to get most of my studio organized and was so motivated by the cleanliness of it that I re-covered my desk chair! 

Chair Before:

My chair is a plain old desk chair that I took the arms off!  I hate arms and find them so confining when I am working at the sewing machine.

New and Improved Chair

Check out it matches the sewing machine cover!  I was determined to use fabric I had in my stash and not purchase more (I know, I know, what was I thinking) so I used this stripe that I had left over from the guest room update.

Front View

I had to use this pink animal print as it matched the pink but was not the exact match - you know Nate says never, never matchie matchie!

Also, I finally finished the cover for my serger, here it is:
You can't read the green tag but it says "eat cake" and the other one says "party". I tired to make it look like a present as Dr. P gave it to me last year as a Christmas present.

Hope you like my chair - please leave a comment or check a box to let me know you were here!

Happy SEWing,
Michele P

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