March 4, 2013

Belated Birthday Shirt

 Though it may be a few months late, I have finally finished making a mens button-up shirt as a birthday gift for my husband. It has been a long project because I worked at first on making a muslin to try the fit, I adjusted the pattern and I worked slowly just to make sure I didn't make any mistakes.
This pattern is McCall's 6044 and it is a very straight forward pattern. There are several great versions already made out in blogger world: four square walls; true bias; Dixie DIY. I chose to do view A with the addition of the back yolk from view E becuase it matched an already owned 'favourite' shirt in his closet.
I chose to top stitch in a blue-grey thread, and scrounged up a set of matching buttons from my stash that even went with the shirt! The yolk and front button plackets were done on the bias; I liked the look of the diagonal plaid.
Unfortunatley, even with my attempts to fit the shirt using a muslin, and to customize it ahead of time, it came out too small and does not fit comfortably. The actual buttons for this version won't be serving any other purpose other than decorative.  :(  Lesson for next time, maybe the pattern sizing isn't so rediculously huge.
 (Pull lines when arm is raised and too tight to use the buttons properly)
Anyways, I was thrilled to see the shirt actually being worn this morning, even though it needs to be worn over a t-shirt. I'm really happywith the finished product (minus the fitting issues); I took my time and it paid off: no use of the seam ripper was part of this project ... ok, ok, except for making the button holes.  :)

February 11, 2013

Monday's shirt

Started Sunday afternoon, and here I am wearing my new t-shirt on Monday.
I've used a wonderful light knit for this shirt and used the Kirsten Kimono Tee pattern from Maria Denmark. This time I decided to add thick waist and sleeve bands and a small neck band. Both the arm and waist bands are about four inches wide (eight total before folding them in half), and the neck band is 3/4 inches (one and 1/2 before folding). The last version of this shirt that I completed, I just hemmed all of the edges and top stitched with a double needle, and though it looks fine, I am still not entirely happy with the finish on that one.
(My new iron and a lot of cold snow and icicles!)

The sleeves bands are a tad too big; if I do this again I think they need to be shaped, rather than one large rectangle sewn on.

 I marked the back of the shirt with a small piece of ribbon. The front and back of this shirt can look exactly the same early in the morning.  :)

What got me through this: DIY Dixie's Never fear Knits, Tasia's Sewaholic Renfrew pattern and Maria Denmark's pattern!
 At the very least, this project has helped get me out of a sewing funk.

January 25, 2013

Blogger blues...

It's not that I haven't been sewing and creating for the past two's just that so many of those things were gifts, and one cannot blog about a gift before it is given. Well, silly me, because then I forgot to photograph all the lovely gifts I did finally finish.

What was I secretly working on? Knitting and weaving projects of course.
I knit up 3 pairs of 'socks' (or slipper like socks because they are so thick), to keep toes warm. I found a straight forward pattern in which I could easily alter the ankle height, and I made a point of trying to use up all of the small leftover balls of yarn by creating un-matched striped socks. Each pair is made of the same colours but different stripes and thicknesses of stripes; a great way to clear out the last little bit of leftover yarn.

The weaving project was one I had been working on for over a year, and even then, my husband and I only got three dish towels completed to give away on Christmas Eve. Again, I forgot to take photos.  Here's the warp still on the loom.
I have been working on re-fitting and re-fashioning some old work clothes to fit me better. Specifically pants. I found the legs of some of my ready-to-wear pants much too wide (almost elephant pant leg) and definitely not professional feeling. So with the new fancy seam ripper (I can't rave about this tool enough!) I was given for Christmas I attacked the side seams of two pair of pants. I really happy with the fit of the legs now, and the waist of the pants fit much better now two.
I've realized that I have yet to understand the science of pant construction and I think that sewing pants might be a ways off yet in my sewing carrier.
As for the blogger blues, I love the blog, but sometimes it feels like an overwhelming responsibility. There are a lot of works-in-progress that need to be visited. So, there is no end to what I can blog about, it's just a matter of getting them up here.  :)