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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Two-Tone Singlet

Last week I received a very nice email from Harrison on behalf of his mother, Heather, together  they are working on a great new sewing site,
Teach Me Fashion
and they asked me to blog about their new site and try out the
Two-Tone Singlet.  I was happy to help, it is such a cute pattern.

On the site it states Heather has over 40 years in the fashion industry and has lectured Fashion Design.

At Teach Me Fashion you will find a free pattern download, the Two-Tone Singlet.  The Singlet includes very nice instructions but the best part is a video.  The video gives in-depth instructions on constructing the Singlet and shows exactly how to sew the right angles, tucks, hems, etc.  It is a marvelous resource for not only sewing the
 Two-Tone Singlet but great general sewing information.

The sugested  fabrics  are  wovens but I didn't have anything in my stash that would look appropriate for this cute pattern.  I did have some black ponte and a knit houndstooth which I felt were perfect for this singlet.  The top really showcases a fun print but solids are perfect, too.

I did a couple of changes, lowering the neckline and I just turned the edges under instead of using bias binding.

Here is the back, I love how Heather carries the same detail from the front to the back.

I hope you head over to download the free pattern and what goodies Heather has for us in the future at
Teach Me Fashion

Monday, July 21, 2014

Plantain T-shirt - Great for Summertime

Or really anytime.  If you haven't downloaded the free
Deer and Doe Plantain t-shirt , stop reading and head over and get this great basic top.  After you download this top, then come back and finish reading!

I purchased two  knits from Girl Charlee and knew they were going to be Plantain t-shirts

The first one is a peacock feather jersey blend and the second one from this coral triangle jersey blend

Now before you see the pictures, I forgot to tuck in my nude color cami for the pics and oops it is showing just a bit in some of the pictures.  So much for getting it picture perfect - ha ha!!

Meredith and I have been doing this Jillian Michaels Yoga DVD  (or watch level one at You Tube)since May  It is  30 minutes of hard work.  At the beginning, I did not think I would be able to do the entire 30 minutes.  Now we are doing level 2 in the entirety and I can tell the difference in my arms and shoulders (legs and abs, too) .

Why am I telling you all this?  Well, my shoulders and arms are more toned and stronger which means on my next Plantains I will be doing a broad back adjustment.  All those push-ups and other strength moves are paying off.  Jillian calls it a "hybrid style" of yoga.  It is about body weight training, repetitions and raising the heart rate to get you lean!  I am quoting her there, I have watched the DVD so many times.  It is a good one, so if you are looking for something different give it a try.

The feather Plantain fits tighter than the triangle Plantain but I love this feather fabric.  I think that is my error, probably in the cutting or construction.  It just sewed up a bit smaller.
see that pesky little cami?

Now to the coral plantain, it fits perfectly and thanks to the  Quirky Peach, I had to copy her and get the same fabric and make the same shirt.   Isn't she just so cute in her shirt?

I have really been working on my posture of late, must be the push-up, so I think at times I exaggerate the shoulders back. You can see that in this picture, with the front hemline coming up too much.  I do feel so much time at the sewing  machine and computer has not helped my posture!

This one fits perfectly and I love my two new shirts.  I do want to find a cami that is more of a polyester.  My cami is all cotton and the cotton of my shirts, results in the two shirts sticking to each other.

Here are the two previous Plantains I have made.  I am ordering at the McCall's pattern sale tonight, so there will be some new patterns coming to the blog.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Renfrew Top - Aqua/Gray Stripe Knit

First off, anyone else hard on their summer clothes?  I am terrible, spill things on them, get home from work and start pulling weeds in the garden.  Oh, guess what something on my shirt and it won't come out.   Plus I just wear certain things so much, they just get "tired" looking.  Which I can relate, some days I just get tired looking!

I like to freshen up my summer tops in July, give myself some new looks for the rest of the season and retire some of the older garments.  They can become permanent garden/work at home tops.

I have several knit fabrics to sew up and the first one I went with Sewaholic's Renfrew Top.  I really like this pattern and have it just about  to the perfect fit.  I do see a wrinkle just above the bust, which I think means I need to do a bit of a full bust adjustment.  Fitting gurus out there is that what it means?

This is a quick sew and on the neckband, I used the bias for the stripe.  Just adds a bit of visual interest to the top.
Girls in the Garden - Sewaholic Renfrew Top using Girl Charlee knit fabric

The fabric is a deep aqua blue heather gray jersey/rayon knit from Girl Charlee
Girls in the Garden - Sewaholic Renfrew Top using Girl Charlee knit fabric

I went back and looked at the other Renfrew tops I have made and thought I would give an overview with links.

A red 3/4 sleeve Renfrew - I love this top and wear it quite a bit.  It feels perfect and the fabric is wonderful.  Plus as you all have been telling me in the comments - red is my color!  Ha ha!

Navy-white stripe short sleeve Renfrew - My all time favorite Renfrew, it fits perfectly and I think the feel and style of the fabric makes it my favorite.

Navy-red Stripe short sleeve Renfrew - the first Renfrew in this blogpost.  I like this one okay, but the fabric has a metallic stripe and I don't really like that.  I really don't wear this one very often.

Pink stripe short sleeve Renfrew -  The second one in this blog post.  I wear this quite a bit, don't love the fabric, it is a bit heavy but I do like the color and fit.

White short sleeve Renfrew - I like this one but I see the wrinkle in this one, should of dealt with the fitting issue earlier.  As I mentioned earlier about being hard on clothes, I stained the white shirt and it would not come out.  My solution, I used some RIT dye and made this one a dark plum color.  It works nicely for fall with the color and I saved a garment.

Abstract 3/4 sleeve Renfrew -  This one is a winner, I wear it so much in the fall/winter and it is always is perfect.  Love the fabric so much.

Floral 3/4 sleeve Renfrew - I didn't keep this one around long.  It was donated.  I liked nothing about this one, the fit, the wide neckline  the colorful overpowering fabric.  It just wasn't me at all.  I kept trying to wear it but I never seemed to leave the house.  I believe on the neckline, I just cut the neckband too long and it didn't draw the neckline into the body.

So there is the recap of Renfrews hits and misses.  As I compiled the list, it really was all about the fabric if I liked the garment or not.  What about you on pattern you tend to make several times....

  • Do you like everyone of the garments?
  • Is it the fabric that is the culprit?
  • Or is some bit construction erro?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Stripe Maxi Skirt - McCall's 6966

A quick and easy pattern is always a great thing for the summer, which is what I selected for a maxi skirt.  McCall's 6966 was my pattern of choice and isn't this version cute one  and the stripes just make it cuter?  Or should I say more stylish?

I went with Girl Charlee's chrome gray ash stripe bamboo lycra , which states it is a true medium weight with a 4-way stretch.

Girls in the Garden - McCall's 6966 stripe maxi with Girl Charlee fabric

Take note, this pattern takes quite a bit of fabric, almost 3 yards.  But guess who only ordered 2 yards?   Yep, me but I was determined to make it work.  My middle front section, stripes are not the correct direction but I think it works just fine. 

I made a small and straightened the flare at the bottom a bit.  Yes, this was due to the fabric shortage. 

Girls in the Garden - McCall's 6966 stripe maxi with Girl Charlee fabric

With just enough fabric to cut out a front and back waistband I felt relieved.  Yes, I did it, the skirt is ready to sew.  One problem, the facings for the waistband.  An Old Navy gray t-shirt from my closet came to the rescue.  I had not worn it all year and now it could be used in a great way.

On this side view, you can see the back, not at all like the instructions tell you to cut it.

Girls in the Garden - McCall's 6966 stripe maxi with Girl Charlee fabric

Here is the drawing, View D, is stripe version.  I had to use the back piece from View C and create my own unique pattern.

This is so easy to make, if you have a couple of hours and three yards of knit fabric , create a new maxi skirt.  Something to jazz up your summer wardrobe for the last half of summer. I know I get tired of my summer clothes after the 4th of July and need to add some new garments to the choices.

Girls in the Garden - McCall's 6966 stripe maxi with Girl Charlee fabric

The wind is getting the best of me here, but the skirt looks pretty blown back into my legs!  Ha! 

Girls in the Garden - McCall's 6966 stripe maxi with Girl Charlee fabric

I like the gray color, this skirt will work well into the first part of fall.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Winner of Giveaway #5 for Upcoming Anniversary - 8 years of Blogging

53 entries for the Girl Charlee Gift Certificate and I really enjoyed reading all your sewing plans, travel plans and 4th of July plans.  A very busy group.  I hope everyone had a fabulous 4th and are really giving your sewing machines a workout.

Now to the winner and 
Random.org selected 

Drumroll please...
I don't work in the summer so I plan to sew every day.

Congratulations, Sherri, I hope you are getting to sew everyday.

Sherri email me and I will get that gift certificate to you.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Red Voile Top - McCall's 6702

I ordered this beautiful red floral cotton voile a couple months ago and unfortunately it is sold out.  Never fear, Mood Fabric's cotton voile selection is filled with amazing prints and colors.  I really love sewing with cotton voile, it presses beautifully and is so easy to sew.  Not to mention, it is lightweight, breathable and cool for summer.

 I went with McCall's 6702 for a sleeveless blouse selecting View A.  One of the reasons I purchased this pattern was for the collar and the placket of this pattern.  While sewing my top, the pattern had great construction and no buttons for a sleek, simple look.   The flared style isn't one I usually wear but for summer I thought it would be a nice style and the voile worked so nicely.  This top does run large and I went down a size, cutting a size 10.  I think the fit is great through the shoulders and back.

    Another reason I went with this pattern, just take a look at the back.  The back was the best feature, a bit of fun for summer built into a top.  One more plus on this back opening, it isn't too low.

I went with McCall's 6702 for a sleeveless blouse and went with View A
 I like the high-low hem for the blouse, which is very gradual on this top.  The pattern calls for bias tape to finish the lower edge of the back and the armholes.  I used the cotton voile to make bias and it worked perfectly. The upper back is a nice finish on this blouse, two pieces for the yoke.  One for the yoke and one for the facing, finishes the top edge of the opening perfectly. I plan on making this sleeveless version again and might taper a bit for a waistline, just not too much or I would loose the ease to get the pullover top on.  One more detail on the placket, it is deep but doesn't gape open at all.  I believe this is the nice contour designed for the placket piece.  The pattern comes straight up from the bottom of the placket, then has a nice gentle curve to shape for front neck edge


I hope your summer is a beautiful one and if it is a bit too hot, sew some voile for a cool summer garment.  

I love everything about this fabric, the hand, color, weight.  Then the pattern, I love wearing this top but not sure I like how it looks on me. One thing I know for sure, it feels great while wearing it.  What about you, do you have clothes you love to wear but don't love how they look on you?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Rail Fence Quilt x 2

Hubby and I are back from a 5 day trip to Door County, Wisconsin.  It was a beautiful area and  a fun vacation  but a bit different, the first time in 27 years that a summer vacation was just the two of us.  Tell you the truth, it took me a day to adjust but we had a great time.  I do think one or two girls will go with us next year on vacation, their summer school/work schedules just did not allow it this year.

On the road trip, I finally got around to hand sewing the binding on this rail fence quilt.

 It is a simple rail fence using two jelly rolls from Tula Pink's Fox Field and some Moda Snow solid yardage.  I saw something similar on Pinterest and liked the way the colors were grouped together

I am teaching this class at my friend's quilt shop, in a couple of weeks.  It is just a 3 hour morning class in a workshop form.  I like her method for classes, you leave with the knowledge of the technique.  Then you can finish the quilt top at home.

This quilt took 2 jelly rolls, which in Free Spirit have fewer pieces than compared to a Moda jelly roll.  For instance, most of Moda's have 40 strips of fabric, this Fox Field had 30 strips.

 My quilt top was quilted by my local long-arm quilter.  Some of you have asked, she charges per square inch.  

I had just a few blocks leftover from this lap size quilt, so I made another baby quilt.

  Another girl baby quilt for my baby quilt stash.  I really need to get busy on some baby boy quilts!

 I did get back to my machine last night and made a maxi skirt plus embroidered two gift items.  Pictures soon of the skirt and on Monday,I will have a post up at Mood Sewing Network.  That will be something in red, which was my last red garment after several new red garments.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Fireworks and More

Meredith saw this pin

How to Photograph Your Name in Sparklers

here is another article that had some good tips also.

 My two tips -

1.  I set my camera to a single self-timer shot with a 2 second delay start.  This allowed me to depress the button and get my hand off the camera in time for the picture to be taken.  We sure didn't want any shake with the slow shutter speed

2.  It is dark and the camera cannot find anything to focus.  Have the person hold the lit sparkler in right  front of their body.  This allows the camera to focus.

She bought 4 long sparklers and we went to work. I set up my camera and had the setting correct, or at least I thought.  You see I had my camera correct for dusk, with still decent light.  That all changed in the dark of night!

Here is "HI"

The tricky part is not only getting the shutter speed slow enough but you have to write your word  BACKWARDS.  

Here is the incorrect shutter speed and very quick photo.  Meredith had only written a bit of a letter.

Some squiggles

Another one but the spelling a bit off!

The final sparkler and the final picture, I finally had the camera set just right.   Meredith had about 30 seconds with the sparkler but she doubted my camera set-up skills. She was just squiggling with the sparkler and see that burst of color in the right corner.  Meredith just twirled the sparkler in a circle for quite a bit of the time.  

So if you have leftover sparklers, this is very fun to do.  We will be buying more sparkles to try this again and I have my camera settings written down to recreate.

I had shutter at 1/5, f -stop at 4.0 and ISO at 200, but might turn it to 100 and see if the background darkens a bit.

I am taking a few days off from blogging.  I have this week off from work and we are planning many activities.  So see you later.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Happy 4th of July

Happy Birthday America!!

Have a wonderful day and enjoy all the food, fun, family and fireworks.

picture from The Barn Artist

Thanks to all who have served our country and kept us safe.  Let Freedom Ring.

I will be spending part of the morning in my garden and a few other activities.  This will be the lowest-key 4th of July for us in history but will be celebrating with family in a couple of weeks.