Sunday, September 26, 2010

Halter top S3126

Daisy soooooooo wanted to be in the photo shoot...

Twist Tie Top: Simplicity 4076

Pattern Description: Three tops including the twist tie front that I made.

Did it look like the photo/drawing? Yes. One reviewer noted that the pattern photo looked much looser than the one they sew'd up. I wanted mine loosish (is that a word) so I made the size that matches my measurement and then did some adjustments...

Were the instructions easy to follow? Easy Peasy. Although having recently returned to sewing after a long hiatus, I feel behind the times on techniques for knits, so I did exactly what the pattern said to do (like on how to turn facings), but would like to learn some of the newer techniques for knits I hear you all discussing.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the style, the v-neck... nothing to dislike.

Fabric Used: Thin Jersey

Pattern alterations: I cut the size matching my measurements, then took the side seams in above the hips. I narrowed the sleeves so I can push them up.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes. Yes.

Conclusion: The top is cute. I love it. The back upper edge could use stabalization... next time I'll try clear elastic or read other reviews to get ideas on how to tighten it. (a bit drapy back there, but from my point of view, I only look at the front, so who cares ... oops... oh yeah ... anyone who see me from the side or from behind ... oh well ... it's not really horrible ... that'll be for next time).

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Vogue 2980: Faux bolero top

I had admired the results of 33 gals who'd reviewed this pattern on It's out of print, but I was able to find it on ebay. It arrived in the mail Friday. I think it's such a cute pattern. I love the cleverness of the faux shawl/bolero.
I cut it out that very afternoon from fabric I've had in my stash for years: a cotton/lycra black on black print. The bodice sits higher on me across the front than on the model, perhaps because my fabric has less stretch than the fabric in the model picture. Or I should have altered the pattern at bit to lower the front. If I make it again, I will.

My sturdy Husqvarna Viking sewing machine, circa before I was born -- my mother bought it when she was young -- hadn't been used for over a year so it took a bit of time to get it set up right. It was skipping stitches on this knit with a regular needle. So I switched to a ball point needle. STILL skipped stitches. Grrrr. I didn't want to take the time to figure out why. So I used a small stitch length and double sewed each seam.

The sizing on the pattern was very snug, runs extremely "close-fitting" (acc. to the pattern envelope, and as many reviewers commented). So I cut out one size larger than listed for my measurements, which wasn't enough. It was STILL too tight. (Probably my less-stretchy than recommended knit contributed to the problem). I narrowed the side seams to as narrow as possible, which ended up about right. I wore it last night to usher at CAST theatre for the play "The Year of Magical Thinking". (ushers must wear black).

The photo below shows the brocade-like texture of the fabric better. (And it's noticable how much more hourglass shaped my dress form is than yours truly.) Bill asks "Shouldn't the dressform be your exact size? Isn't that the point? "Yes, of course it is." I say. "I just haven't finished adjusting her yet". (It's an antique dress form I got at a yardsale in Florida for $25, then hauled her up to WA with us last spring. I need to oil her metal parts to make the adjusting process easier. (I did the sneaky trick from fashion merchandising... pinning the back at the waist to give her a more sales floor appeal...)

Here's the back view showing the "faux" shawl effect. All in all, a cute pattern I'd highly recommend and plan to make again.

more photos...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Peter Vey: Red Door

I love the thick palette knife technique and Key West cottage subject material of Florida artist, Peter Vey. This one is "Red Door". Be sure to click on the picture to see it in full size with every palette stroke.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hemming and Hawing: Patterns

Design mode today ... no actual construction, but I hemmed and hawed about patterns.

I updated my pattern stash catalog here:

Plus I just bought 2 new Vogue patterns which I haven't catalogued yet.

I'm trying to find the right pattern to match with the right fabric. I'm stymied what with having too small of fabric pieces as I try to cut apart old garments and reuse the fabric ... (I may have to bite the bullet and actually go to the fabric store) ... But wait, my idea is that with small pieces, I might be able to fit styles like this dress but cut short to be a top instead ... that's the idea anyway, but when I try to make it work, I don't seem to have enough fabric.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Friends ask, "When are you leaving for Florida?"

"Not as late as last year", I answer.

Last year, we departed around November 1st, and see what we encountered in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon. (That doesn't look like "endless summer" to me). We crawled along at 15 mph behind a snowplow for many miles up and over the summit. So, we contemplate an earlier departure this year, not so much to avoid snow (that's actually rare), but because our internet contract expires on Oct 9, and OH MY GOD!!!! How on earth would I get by, I ask?

Green Springs Restaurant, Safety Harbor, Florida

A lunch visit to Green Springs in Safety Harbor, FL. (a retrospective from April 2010)... I love the mermaid mailbox with purple shells for her bikini top...
...and how 'bout these 6 beautiful, colorful sister-mermaids...
A sweet yellow cottage with a darling white porch, now turned into a restaurant... check out the rainbow painted bicycle leaning against the cottage...
...bright colored artwork through-out...
...with brightly painted tables...

It's obvious that no one would ever call me a "food" writer. I don't remember food. Here I am writing about lunch a lovely restaurant, with nary a nod to a mention of food. What did we eat? Heaven only knows. Do any of my sisters, my fellow-diners remember what anyone ate? I haven't a clue or a memory for such things. It was the fine company and the pretty setting that stays in my memory.


Last week, I had the joy of visiting with my one year old great-nephew, Alex, and his parents. What an angel of a boy!
I'll push the definition of "my" creativity, taking care to disclose that it was actually B. who took the photo (below). All I did was use a bit of photoshop, blacking out the hands in the background and adding layers of artistic filters. And I most certainly had nothing to contribute to the creation of the beauty of the model. But as someone said (I'll search for the correct attribution) on the topic of originality "If you insist on being original, in order to create an apple pie, you'd first have to create the earth."

I have more photos of our visit ... here.

Day 1: The plan

Hello my friends.

Thanks for visiting. The goal of this blog is to encourage my creative productivity, to go beyond wishing and hoping and dreaming. I am awe-inspired by the beautiful things created by others, but too often, it stops there, and all I do is look and dream, the "inspiration" lost to the wind. Beginning today, I want to see the rubber to hit the road, in the form of some sort of creative output every day.

Today it begins.

And any encouragement from you, my faithful friends will be greatly appreciated.
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