Sunday, April 27, 2014

Choices Made

After considering my choices I decided on the Helmut Lang separates with a  small change. I didn't like the skirt draft and decided to use another of his skirts, the one below but longer.  I made up a muslin and  played with it a bit by cutting  into the angle of the skirt until it looked good to me.  It looks good on me, but you'll have to wait until the final since I took apart the skirt to transfer the angles to my skirt draft.

Starting with my tnt knit top pattern and an article in  January 2014 issue in Threads by Londa Rohlfing to draft the cowl back.  The first one wasn't low enough, so I went back to the original pattern and redrafted it for a lower cowl.  Both muslins are worth finishing since they make very nice tops that will be cool for  summer with the open back.
The pattern on the left is the first one I drafted.  The one on the right is what I'll use for my wedding outfit.  

I'm not sure that you can see it, but the one on the right has a lower, wider neckline to form the deeper cowl.

I chose Emmaonesock's 11 ounce rayon lycra jersey for the fabric.  After pre washing I'll be ready to cut out and sew.  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I opened my email this morning from Keep it Chic and saw this very chic woman wearing a rain bonnet. I haven't seen one of these since I was a teen maybe?  I know my mother wore these and I wouldn't be caught dead in one of these.  Except when I am caught in the rain without an umbrella or I don't really want to carry one anyway.  When you don't have a free hand a rain hat certainly would be welcome.  I've thought of making one for myself but I never have.  I don't mind being out in a mist, after all here in the suburbs I only have to go from the house to the car or car to store and my hair is curly so mist usually doesn't do all that much damage. But in a downpour who wants to look like a bedraggled rat?  Do any of you wear rain bonnets these days?  What do you wear in the rain?

Friday, April 4, 2014


I'm comfortable with my everyday style; I know what I like and what looks good on me and I don't have trouble figuring out what to sew or wear.  Dressy clothing is another matter,    My nephew is getting married in June in  Ojai, California.  It's an outdoor wedding and it will undoubtedly be hot until the sun goes down. It's also on the longest day of the year and so sundown will not be early!  It's not a formal wedding so I have some lee way, but it is a Saturday night.  

Part of my issue is that I want to wear sleeves, not being really happy with my upper arms. part of it is that  I am heavier than I want to be but I really don't want to wear spanx.  The heat and I don't really do all that well together and Spanx is one more layer. The third issue is that I don't want to look dowdy or boring. Really, does anyone? I also don't like lots of 'stuff' or most prints' on dresses. I like clean, minimalist clothing which is very easy to be boring in! I've been scouring sites like Net  a Porter, Bergdorf Goodman's and Saks Fifth Avenue and found a few things that I like but can't really find a pattern that will fit the bill though I've ordered several!  I found this Stella McCartney dress that I like, though the daisy print is a tad young for 'me. It's also too short, but that is an easy fix, if I can find a pattern that's close enough to alter.  I like the neckline and the front zipper.

This Helmut Lang out fit appealed to me though as it is it's not dressy enough. Maybe in all black?  I think that it appeals to me because it's separates and I can wear them separately and I'd actually be likely to wear it again.  Dressier shoes and a statement necklace would dress it up too.

I found this Oscar de la Renta dress which is similar to the first dress.

I have 10 yards of black silk linen that I bought at a Michael's sale that I'd like to use for this if I don't make the knit.  But, boring, no?
Now for the patterns.
Vogue 1397

Vogue 1380

Vogue 1349  I'd add sleeves to either of the sleeveless dresses.

Then there's this pattern that I bought awhile ago. I saw a  review on Pattern Review with it done up in a brocade, so it could work.  

Vogue 1254 

Maybe I can't make up my mind because nothing really excites me. I like the Helmut Lang outfit the best but I am not sure that it's really going to be dressy enough.  Decisions decisions.  Opinions and advice are welcome.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Making a Weighted Blanket

My son Josh asked me to make 3 weighted blankets for our grandson Jakob. These blankets are available ready made, but aside from being fairly ugly they are also expensive.  He was given an instruction sheet that was not all that helpful so he asked me to write this post so that anyone who wants to make a blanket can.  It wasn't hard after I figured out what I was doing wrong with the first one!  I somehow decided to sew 12 rows. Terrible idea.  I couldn't believe how easy it became when I used the proper number of rows!

There are 5 columns and 8 rows.

Materials: At least 1.25 yds of cotton poplin or flannel.  You need extra to account for shrinkage and straightening the ends.  Wash and dry at least twice on hot before cutting it.
5lbs of craft pellets for each blanket.

1.  For each blanket cut 2 pieces 21" x 31.5" from printed cotton.  Jakob picked out this glow in the dark astronaut print from  Unfortunately the cotton flannel he chose shrank quite a bit in width as well as length. I ended up using the fold of cloth as one side of the blanket instead of being able to seam it, which was fine.
 2.   Using 1/2" seams sew the sides and bottom. Either use a serger or sew a second row of stitches a quarter inch from the first stitching line towards the outside edge. Fold down 1/2" and press  across the open top edge of the blanket. Press the seams.  Turn right side out.

3.  Sew 5 columns 4" wide the length of the blanket.

4.  Measure and mark the lines for the horizontal boxes that will hold the craft pellets. I found that the chalk marks rubbed off before I got very far up the blanket.  I marked all of the lines with blue masking tape on the upper side of the line before I started sewing.

5.  You'll need a scale to divide up the pellets.  5lbs or 80 ounces divided by 40 boxes comes to 2 ounces per box.  I used paper cups to fill each row.  Pin at least 1/2" below the line so that your presser foot won't get caught in the pellets.  I found that I had to take small bites in the fabric with my pins overlapping the ends so that the pellets wouldn't migrate into the sewing line. You definitely can't sew over these little pellets!  When I got towards the top I pinned each box after I filled it. They are too easy to spill out otherwise!  Here's the finished blanket.

Jakob with the finished blanket. He likes it, but he loves that the astronauts glow in the dark. 
If you have any questions please feel free to email me.