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Los Olivos, California, United States
You can reach me at fool4fabric (at) gmail (dot) com

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Droopy or Drapey

When I made this last week, Sewing Workshop Stella, I bemoaned the droopiness of the fabric, a rayon knit from Emma One Sock. I was trying to find the difference between droopiness, which I don't like, and drapiness, which I do like. I made another Stella top this week, out of a rayon knit from Marcy Tilton.
This one is drapey, IMHO, but not droopy. What is the difference?

The first fabric is 96% rayon, and 4% lycra. It has a silky feel, and very little body.

The second fabric is 92% rayon, and 8% spandex. It has a more cottony feeling, and enough body that the neckline doesn't lay flat.  That seems  a small difference, but it is definitely enough to notice. I wore it under my new McCalls 6408, a knit jacket out of red JoAnn's ponte knit.

You can see the difference here.

I am off for the weekend, going to a workshop on "Conscious Eldering: Aging with Intention and Passion", with a college friend from UCLA.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sewing Workshop Stella Top

I made the new Sewing Workshop Stella Top yesterday, a reissue of the older "Cowl Neck Top". I am very pleased with it.

In my opinion, there are enough changes to warrant buying the new pattern. I was so taken with Terri K's version on the Stitchers' Guild Sewing Forum, I knew instantly that I had to give it a try.  I used a rayon knit from Emma One Sock which I LOVE the print of...
It's hard to see it here, but it's Guinea Hen feathers! We used to have Guinea Hens at the winery and I have fond memories of them and their funny behavior.
I'm not as wild about the hand, however; it's another wimpy rayon knit...I should stop buying them! I can't wait to make it up in another fabric, something with a little more body (as if I don't have enough body:) ) The only changes I made were cutting the cowl double on the straight grain, as Terri K suggested, and narrowing the sleeve considerably at the wrist. I knew the moment I saw the drawing of the pattern that I'd have to make that change.
Here it is under a Shirin Guild Sweater...it's a really nice top to wear with a jacket.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Decisions, Decisions...

Now that I've solved the Cargo Pant issue, I'm free to move on to other projects.
The question is, which one? Unless I'm specifically dedicated to finishing a certain garment, I have too many ideas.  I can easily overwhelm myself with choices, both in patterns and in fabrics. I have painfully limited myself to 10 or so patterns, and the same number of fabrics, trying to decide what to work on next.

The patterns:

  1. I have Vogue 1197, the pants, which I have made once, and want to tweak and try again
  2. Sewing Workshop Stella and Luna, I want to make the Stella top
  3. Katherine Tilton's new vest, which I'm dying to try
  4. Marcy Tilton's new jacket, ditto
  5. KT's new fleece jacket...really cute
  6. MT's zipper jacket, which I want to make again in an embroidered, mirrored dupioni
  7. A soft knit jacket from McCalls in a dark red ponte, and
  8. An unlined coat from Elements, which I really like the looks of.
  9. Vogue 2364, OOP, several vests I like, and
  10. Vogue 2914, OOP, a Sandra Betzina vest I have made once before.
The fabrics:
  1. 3 Ponte knits from JoAnns, in black, dark gray, and red.

  2.  Black embroidered and mirrored dupioni for a holiday top to go with some 
      flame red silk velvet pants I made years ago.

  3. A luscious cranberry quilted silk velvet which I want for a lightweight but
     warm vest which will peek out of my usual grays and blacks. The one on the

     My friend Laura has had one like this for years.

     4. A cozy reversible fleece with two different sides from Marcy Tilton.

        I haven't decided which one I want to make yet...

     5. Two double knit leopard print knits, one from Marcy and one from Emma One Sock.

     6. Some more Supplex in a nice medium gray from eBay...

     7.  A wonderfully odd, probably rayon mix, reversible dots, the black parts       
         are shiny

         which I happened to see on Koos Van den Akker's FaceBook page!

     8. and finally, the piece de resistance, this incredible boiled wool fleece from
        EOS with big black DOTS and a fabulous selvedge.

       I'm afraid to cut into it!!!

     ADDENDUM: One pattern I forgot, V8778, Katherine Tilton, and one VERY IMPORTANT fabric combo...

This is a beautiful silver gray faux fur from Emma One Sock, along with a quilted cotton/poly blend; this will probably be a reversible vest.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

2 Marcy Tilton for Vogue Jackets

Here I am with TWO shirt/jackets by Marcy Tilton for Vogue...these two patterns appealed to me because they are definitely not run-of-the-mill.

First is V8620, done in a lovely black/gray cotton/lycra blend from Emma One Sock. The zipper is a little heavy for the fabric, but I LOVE distinctive zippers, and this pattern is a great one for showing off great zips. I don't know when I've run across a pattern with a more flattering neckline. I actually did this first in a combination of fabrics, like this one (scroll down), but my fabric choices weren't great and it became a wadder. I wouldn't give up, and I'm so glad I hung in there.

The second one is Vogue 8709
done in a cotton lycra stripe from Marcy Tilton Fabrics. It's a shirt jacket with a lot of flair (flare) and is very flattering. The fabric choice is a little somber for me, although the fabric itself is wonderful. I like the cut of this, and the details which extend to the back
I look forward to doing this again in a little livelier fabric.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Travel Pants, Revisited

After putting snap tape on the pockets of my Kerry Cargo Pants, I wore them for a few days, putting stuff in the pockets this morning when I went on my daily walk. NEWS BULLETIN!  I don't like walking in cargo pants when they have things in the pockets! I am a vest person, wearing this in warm weather, this in fall and spring, and this under a jacket in winter. I like vests because I can often go without a purse, putting Kleenex, lipstick, glasses and car keys in the pockets. SO...I think I'll make my TNT pants in the Supplex and use the vests I have for carrying things. If only all my problems were so easy to solve...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Style Arc Kerry Cargo Pants

In my continuing search for Travel Pants, I have been sewing the Style Arc Kerry Cargo Pants.
This is my first try at Style Arc, so with a few exceptions, I made the pants as directed. The fit was great; I used a black Supplex Cirrus from Sell Fabric which I love. The rise wasn't long enough for me, so I added a waistband from Cutting
Line Designs, which I add to almost all my elastic waist pants:
This almost solved the rise problem except for a little pull in the back. Next time I will lengthen the crotch on the pattern.
I quite like the style of these...they are not so utilitarian-looking that I couldn't conceivably wear them to dinner.
The biggest problem is with the side-seam pockets; they slip and slide all over and often balloon up, giving me "extra" where I don't need it.
I will have to figure out how to solve this problem; maybe snap tape or velcro fasteners. I love the 4 flap pockets, and also the tab and button to make them into 3/4 pants. If I can solve the pocket problem, this will be my first choice!