New Tops

Before the year draws to a close, let me tell you about two tops I made this year.  Both have been worn, but each could stand improvement.

First, my Ottobre pullover.


This is from Ottobre Woman 5/14, design #9, shown on their site in white.  I made mine in a snuggly browny/plum velour.  Trouble is, that neckline leaves your upper chest bare.  (Notice they showed it with a scarf.)

So.  You either have to wear a scarf, risking gaps that chill tender flesh, or wear a top underneath–which is what I do.

Ottobre Woman 5/14 #9

Then you get hot and have to strip the thing off over your head and ruin your hair-do.  :rolleyes: There are some mods brewing, ’cause I like the top a lot.

Second is the top I wore at Christmas, Vogue 9057.

Vogue 9057

This turned out nicely, even though I used a barely-stretchy jersey instead of a recommended fabric. Trouble is, the sleeve cap is too flat.

If you check out the modeled photos on Vogue’s site, you will see drag lines cascading down the models’ arms.  The whole shoulder fit is kind of off–at least mine is.

I bought the pattern specifically for this fabric because I wanted something a little flashy for the holidays.  At first I thought I would put sleeves in my Ann’s Tank pattern for a similar look, but was worried about ruining my fabric with the untried sleeves.

Instead I used an untried pattern.  Smart…..

The Ann’s tank pattern fits (me) much better than this does and the cardigan has a higher sleeve cap.  I’m thinking that marrying the cardigan sleeves to the tank can’t be *that* bad.  Expect to see me try that in the new year!


Simplicity 1918, chapter 3

I just can’t keep my hands off this pattern!  This time, I narrowed the thigh area a bit and sewed with some stashed stretch corduroy.  I used the same front pockets as last time and left them very long to allow for shrinkage.  (I’ve tucked the hems under for today.)

I can assure you that my pants will shrink in length.

My laundry practices would make Susie Homemaker cry.

Stretch corduroy

When Craftsy had their $19.99 sale last weekend, I bought Angela Wolf’s Designer Jeans class and have been watching on my iPad while Mr H enjoys television.  The class is chock full of good ideas!  It inspired me to use two strands of thread and play around with my top stitching on my jeans-style back pockets.


And on my belt loops!

Belt loop

My winter at-home uniform has become one of my McCall’s 6610 jeans or Simplicity 1918 pants with a tee topped with a vest or cardigan.  I’ve got wool socks and some farm and ranch boots to keep my feet warm.

It’s working!

The one where she babbles on about Christmas sewing

The Christmas sewing was done on Christmas eve, in the early afternoon.  Fortunately I had been wrapping things all along, so I only had two to wrap.

It was fun.

I don’t want to do it again for a while.

Like a year.

There were a couple of false starts where I took the recycle, upcycle, used, and regift directive too seriously and attempted to make all my gifts from dog food sacks.  I made some cute bins and zipper bags, but felt they lacked universal appeal.

(I’ve been known to take things a little too far.)

Fortunately, I lost my enthusiasm for the project before it was too late.  That dog food plastic was difficult to sew.  I think I’ll save it for grocery bags from now on.

My first idea was to make everyone a ditty bag.  I would sew numerous cosmetic bags, travel kit bags, and grocery bags, call them ditty bags and give each to an appropriate recipient.

In the end I couldn’t warm up to that idea either.


So, for my BIL, who cooks on a Big Green Egg, I made a green apron with a stencil decoration.  For 4 of the men, I made zipper bags with carabiners at the top.  (Those were blatant copies of a bag I saw, except mine are a different size.)  I made t-shirt scarves for my two nieces, and an infinity scarf for my sister.  For Mom I made a table runner using some bird fabric that I bought for her back in ’05 or ’06.  (She loved it!)  I also made a table runner for myself.  I made a kitty hat for the sprout with an embroidered face.  I also made a hat for myself  (recurring theme here?) but I didn’t embroider the face on mine. Not that it wasn’t cute, but I had enjoyed all the embroidery I cared to by that time.

I think that’s everything.

The only one I’ll expound on here is the t-shirt scarf.  I had seen some patchwork scarves online that I thought would be fun to make.  A visit to the thrift store–children’s section–turned up plenty of cute t-shirts with graphics I liked.  I washed them, then cut 10-inch wide sections from all usable seamless areas of the shirt.  (I was not careful about length of the sections, just that they were 10 inches wide.)  Next, I laid out the sections in a pleasing order, enough to sew 4 strips–two fronts and backs.  Then I sewed the sections together to make strips, and two strips together to make a scarf.  Kinda like they show here on Squidoo except I hemmed the ends and mine were a lot longer.

(I think some team-themed versions of these would be fun.)

Where are the pictures, you ask?  Well, rather than put all the photos here, I made a Flickr! set with all the specifics.  (Feel free to ask any questions here or there.)

Now that things are settling down, I’m burning up to sew for myself.  Yesterday I mended everything that was in my way, and today I finished another project that had been hanging around for far too long.

I’ll tell you about that later.  For now, I’m still enamored of Silhouettes yoga pants, so I expect I’ll be making a new version of those very soon.  My pattern is freshly-fitted, thanks a to a feminine remake of some lounge pants that Mr H received and didn’t want.

Now that all this work is done, I’m the one lounging!


A couple quick and easy

I’ve done a bit of my Christmas gift sewing, but some sewing for me inevitably creeps onto my radar from time to time.  One such item is this long cardigan sewn from McCall’s 6802:

McCall's 6802 View D sorta

The fabric is from JoAnn’s this fall and I love the almost-ruffled texture of it. The pattern has you face the collar, but I was afraid that it would be too heavy for the garment.  Mine is single-layer, which gave me a few challenge–especially when hemming.  In the end, I did a double cover stitch.  I went over it on the inside, then on the outside.  I like the line of dark stitching.

Surprisingly enough, I am finding that the long loose cardigan doesn’t annoy me when I wear it around the house.  I had originally thought I might finish and wear it for Thanksgiving, but it didn’t work out.  Happily there was enough pretty fabric left over to make a gift scarf, too.  Bonus!

(The recipient doesn’t read the blog, so we don’t have to worry about that.)

The other Q&E4me project was a pair of leggings made from a lightweight sueded knit fabric that didn’t suit the yoga pants that I ordered it for.  (You can’t tell much about them, I know, but you will not be seeing a photo of me modeling leggings on the web. Count your blessings)

Ottobre Woman 2/2011, #6 leggings

These are from Ottobre Woman 2/2011, #6.  The finished ankle width, as designed, was 10″.  My ankle being 8.5″, I narrowed the pattern a bit just there.  Oddly, the rest of the pattern was spot on–even a little negative.

They fit perfectly.

I never thought of myself as a leggings girl until I realized that I wear leggings nearly every day in winter.

But I wear them with socks and call them long underwear.  :-D

(I’ll spare you my rant on going ’round with bare legs and ankles when it’s cold out.  Fashion smashion.  I’ll be the one that’s warm!)

Waist finished with stretch lace

The waistline was quick and easy to finish with stretch lace. I’m loving them!

Project #54: And another one…

Project: Long Sleeved Knit Dress
Pattern: Modified McCall’s M6355
Size: 12 altered
Fabric: Rayon/Poly/Lycra Ponte Roma

Another one

This is very exciting reading no doubt, but these two new knit dresses will be very useful for me this winter.  I didn’t even own a long-sleeved dress of any kind a week ago.  Now I have two!  Both will go with numerous jackets and cardigans in my closet, which is always a plus.

This dress is exactly the same as the green one, except that I turned the neckline under and cover-hemmed it rather than binding it.

I didn’t even try it on until it was completely finished.

Yes, I know better.  ;-)