Pajama party with frogs!

I joined the Pajama Party and today’s the big reveal.  Unfortunately I’m flying all day so I’ve got to preschedule my reveal.  That is so damn sad!  What’s not sad are these pjs!  Yup, I used smiling frog cotton flannel with my tried and true self drafted pj pattern.  Aren’t the adorable grinning up at me like that?  I guess this means I’ve kissed my share of frogs…

Karen also asked what we’re reading and my current analog read is The Redeemer by Jo Nesbo.  Love Jo Nesbo!

Not frosting

There is a train of discussion one sees on sewing blogs regarding sewing the cake or the frosting – the practical stuff you actually wear or the fun, fluffy party wear.  I think this white blouse is firmly in the cake camp.  I tend to sew cake since my life is sadly lacking in gala premieres and cotillions.

What can one say about a sleeveless white blouse?  The pattern is Burda Style 128 from the 09/2011 issue.  It’s got a weird collar fold thing that would probably look better in a softer fabric, but I picked up this sample piece of really lovely striped cotton for under $7 at Fabrix the other day and it’s nice, meaty and crisp.

The sewing up of this is pretty easy, but the Burda directions are brief at best.  If you just follow the collar section blindly it will work.  I had to cut the bias armhole facings wider than stated because I did the math and I’d be left with 1/4″ of band to finish up with.  So not enough.  I also chopped 3″ off the bottom because this is one boxy blouse and more fabric at the ass is not my idea of fun.  The extra length was way too mumu.

After the Milkmaid dress kerfuffle I decided to try the blouse a couple different ways and I must say the cardiganized version is my fave.  (Cardigan is Yella Cardie per my made up pattern and the haircolor is “light natural auburn 110″.)

That’s it, pretty simple to do while you’re waiting for the furnace guy.  Started sewing in the a.m. and finished when the furnace guy did this afternoon.  Furnace if fine (it’s brand new!), just a checkup and the blouse is fine.

More detailed sewing review here.

Horrible or Milkmaid?

Yes, Horrible or Milkmaid is a new game I’ve invented just for this dress.  WTF am I talking about?

I’ve liked this Vintage Vogue pattern for ages, it’s Vogue 8728 and all the versions I’d seen in blogland have been rather nice.  It’s a popular pattern and I thought I’d fire that up.  I used a nice quality knit from the stash to try this one out.  Sadly the fabric was stashed so long ago I don’t know what it’s made of, but my guess is rayon/poly/spandex and I had so much of it I clearly had a plan I’d now forgotten.  Maybe a wrap dress?

The pattern reviews all mentioned that this pattern runs large and to size it down.  I went down two sizes in the bodice and one size in the skirt since I’m using a very stretchy knit.  I wouldn’t size down that aggressively with a woven, but that size plan worked well.  I sewed it up using my own techniques because vintage sewing techniques are just not me.  I don’t hand sew unless it’s absolutely necessary.  If you’d like to know more about my sewing process click for my review on PatternReview.

Sadly I don’t like this dress much on me.  I look like a milkmaid or something.  I did wear it out and about and was not ridiculed by strangers but  I wore a cardigan over the top so the milkmaid-yness was lessened.  It’s really very comfortable because it’s a knit and the fit is good, but I shall have to wait and see if I wear this.  Otherwise it’s on the donation pile which is rather sad.

Time to focus on another project to get the taste of this one out of my sewing mouth.

Tunics are black

Because my tendonitis still hurts and knitting is curtailed, I sew.  This black blob (at least that’s what it looks like in the pictures) is a cotton knee-grazing tunic/dress recently completed by moi.  Butterick 5555 is it’s official name.

The fabric is a cotton seersucker, but it’s a novelty seersucker.  What the heck does that mean?  The suckers are about 2″ wide and makes the dress look wobbly.  I think it’s nice, but if you’re a pressed and shoeshined kind of of person, you’d hate this dress.

What can I say, it’s an easy pattern.  Not to say I didn’t screw it up.  I did.  It’s supposed to have a little mandarin collar.  Don’t see that do you?  I forgot all about it and finished the neck.  Just the front neck, mind.  Then I had to figure out a way to finish the back neck without making it look all janky.  I used a bias strip and it’s worked out ok, black and cotton are very forgiving.  I shortened the dress about 1″ and that’s about the only mod I made.

I’m wearing a belt in one picture, but honestly I’ll never wear this belted.  It drove me mad just taking pictures in a belt.  A whole day?  Insanity!

Pattern Review here.

Pinnie

While perusing the internets the other day, I came across some cute pictures of pincushions made from fancy teacups.  That looks easy and useful I thought as I knocked the box of pins from the sewing table once again!  Fast forward to me having to update tons of software on a seldom used ancient but fully operational laptop, and with all the sitting about waiting I thought I’d give pincushion making a go.

The teacup is from Goodwill and was 98 cents.  The fabric is a scrap, the stuffing was a leftover and the instructions I used are here.  I used a 10″ dinner plate as a circle template, added basting stitch by machine and just stuffed up the pouf.  When it was as  stuffed as I could get it, I knotted off the threads.  I don’t have a glue gun but I do have reusable mounting tape (I used it to stick a bracket bit back onto my car stereo – shut up it worked).  I used a couple pieces of the mounting stuff and shoved the pouf in with great enthusiasm.  Works just fine so perhaps I should retire the taped together white box of pins that I bought at the FIT bookstore when I was a student?

Rayon is not my friend

Well that was sucky week at work.  Spring breaks all over the country take place at different times.  Did you know that?  I do.  Moving on.

Before the aforementioned horror, I did make a couple of things.  At left is the latest incarnation of Sewaholic Renfrew tee.  I’d not made a round neck version before and quite like this one too, but I think I’ll make the round neck a bit less wide since you are seeing entirely too much of my sports top in the picture.  The fabric is a tissue rayon knit from Stonemountain & Daughter.  It’s that very thin fabric that curls up on itself especially awfully if you pre-wash it.  Per an internet tip, I didn’t prewash and the top shrunk.  The picture is the shrunken top.  It still fits, but it’s rather shorter than when it went into the washer.  I shall have to not heed that “no prewashing” tip again.  The internet does lie sometimes.

The right are two pairs of my tried and true flannel PJ bottoms.  Of course I had to bust out the bunny print in time for Easter and the rosebuds are so sweet.  When I make these pjs now I assemblyline the construction so making two (or three) take not much more time than making one pair.

If you’d like to make some PJs too and want some hand holding, there is a sewalong PJ party hosted over on Did You Make That if you’re game.  I think you are!