Saturday, July 30, 2011

New Skirt & a Trip to the City

Good morning!  

I've taken some time off this week, and one of my favorite things to do (other than sewing) when I have a little free time on my hands is to walk around San Francisco.  So, yesterday morning, we hopped on the ferry for the thirty minute trip across the bay.  

We had lots of fun snoop-shopping (at St. John, Nordstrom, & Neiman Marcus), dining (at the Daily Grill), and shopping for fabric (Britex).  

Here's one of the dresses that caught my eye, and I think it would be pretty easy to duplicate.  It is a pullover jersey dress by Donna Morgan with a CB seam, an off-center front seam on the skirt front, and high-waist seam on one half of the dress.  (I'm probably not explaining that very clearly; the seaming allows for the twist in the dress.)  

Britex was Britex--floor to ceiling fabulous fabrics!  I always enjoy going there, and while there were oodles of lovely fabrics that I wanted to take home, I was really looking for some solid jerseys; the only ones I found were way too expensive.  

As it turned out, only one purchase was made yesterday: a pair of Stuart Weitzman black suede kitten heels on sale at Nordstrom--check 'em out in "Shoe Love."  

We arrived home in plenty of time for a little sewing.  Inspired by Jane of Lucky Sew and Sew,  I had ordered the Pamela's Patterns "Magic Pencil Skirt" pattern and was eager to give it a whirl.  Can you say fun, fast, and fabulous?  What an easy and satisfying pattern!  Even with adding six inches to the length, I used less than a yard of a black/white stretch woven from Gorgeous Fabrics--such a delight to sew!  Two darts in the front, two darts in the back, side seams sewn and serged, elastic, and hem--and that's it!  I've only made this one so far, but you can check out Jane's many versions here.  

Shoe love:  the aforementioned Stuart Weitzman kitten heels.  Nordstrom didn't have 10.5s in stock (don't they know tall people like to buy shoes too?), but the salesperson was able to find a pair in the system so they're on their way!  I LOVE black suede shoes!  Black suede pumps are classic; they go with so many things, and I love kitten heels because they give an illusion of height but are very wearable.  If any further rationalization is needed, the shoes were on sale!  (P.S.  I can rationalize anything, particularly if it has to do with chocolate.)

Happy sewing! ~ Peggy

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tunic (Dress?) & Leggings

Hi everyone!

Yesterday, when I was dithering around about what to make, I decided I wanted to tackle this rayon/lycra "Trendy" knit from Fabric Mart.  The colors are delicious and the fabric is super soft; however, as I learned, it grows and grows and grows some more.  

Bound Neckline
I chose to make Vogue 8731 in the longest version but with 3/4 length sleeves.  It was a quick and easy sew--except for the part where the fabric decided to get swallowed into the bobbin case as I sewed the horizontal tucks. (But that was hardly the pattern's fault!)  I stabilized the shoulders with strips of interfacing, and I bound the neck with self fabric rather than the recommended bias tape.  I used Steam-a-Seam and coverstitched the sleeve hems, but I did a rolled hem for the tunic since I realized the tunic was so long, it could be worn as a dress if I didn't take up too much in the hem.

To go with the tunic, I made leggings (McCalls 6173) in white double knit from Joann's.  These might be the fastest thing I've ever made.  No side seams, just one big piece for each side and a casing for the elastic.  I coverstitched the hems--and I was done!  I should've checked the time, but I'll bet it was an hour from cutting to hemming.  I made them in a size larger than I normally would because I was afraid they'd be too tight and show every freckle.  To my surprise, they're loose, so next time, I'll go down a size.  

This is a very comfy outfit--perfect for a mild day!
Happy sewing  ~ Peggy

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What I Wore

For the better part of the summer, my darling daughter, Ms. L., has been back east either visiting the bf in the south (Wrong!  Apparently it is called the "Mid-Atlantic") or attending her MFA summer semester in New England--and as a California cream puff, she's definitely learned all about that sticky phenomenon known as humidity!

Well, now she's back (yay!) in the land of fog and gentle breezes, and I asked her if she like to spend an evening with her mama in the city.  Yep!  So, I promptly made reservations for us to attend the book party of one of my favorite style bloggers, Jessica Quirk of What I Wore, which was held tonight at the Azalea Boutique in San Francisco.

It was a perfect evening.  I met her after work for an early dinner at Pluto's in the Marina District.  After we stuffed ourselves on their yummy salads and made a brief stop to pick up some books at the main library--where hoards of interestingly dressed people were lined up to see Soundgarden at the nearby Bill Graham Civic Auditorium--we headed a few blocks over to the Azalea Boutique.

I don't know if you are familiar with Jessica Quirk.  Her blog, What I Wore, chronicles her daily outfits--and has done so for a number of years.  She thrifts, refashions, sews, etc., and by following her passion, she now has a book out, named after her blog, subtitled Four Seasons, One Closet, Endless Recipes for Personal Style.  Quite an inspiration!  She was very gracious (and gorgeous); she made it a point to engage in conversation with each guest.  We bought a copy of her book and she very kindly autographed it, after which we perused the clothing choices that the boutique had to offer.

All in all, it was a fun evening.  Of course, I always have fun with Ms. L!

Happy Sewing  ~ Peggy

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Whew.  It's been a bit of a roller coaster around here, what with a packed work schedule and too many home reno projects.  Still, it's all good!  I seem to get more accomplished when I have too much on my plate (well, except for blogging!).  I've been keeping up on what's going on in blogland, and I thought it was about time I let you know what I've been up to.

Well, I've made a host of jersey shells using Kwik Sew 3740.  These are great layering pieces, and I've made up versions in white, turquoise, hot pink, navy, and several different ITY prints.  My favorite is a white jersey/stretch lace combo.  I've also made navy linen, brown linen, black stretch sateen, Wedgwood blue linen, and olive twill pants.  I've worn all of these a lot--except for the olive twill.  The fabric is just too stiff for my taste.  I don't have any pix of these at the moment, but I might once my partner in crime returns from an extended visit to the east coast!

But I do have some photos.  Here's the "Backyard BBQ Dress" (Vogue 8383--oop)  (which, ahem, I still haven't finished).  All I need to do is add buttons and buttonholes.  I'm vacillating between lime green buttons, orange ones, or fabric covered buttons.  Except for a few days of broiling weather, it's been too cool around here for a bbq, so I guess I haven't felt pressed to finish the dress.  (In fact, today while sewing, I had to close the windows and put on some socks--crazy for the middle of July!)  Here's what it looks like thus far.

I've also sewn Butterick 5566, view C, in red mystery fabric--just something from my stash.  I suspect it is rayon/cotton.  Unfortunately, in the photos, the yoke detail is impossible to see.  The triptych shows the skirt at the almost-finished stage; I have since hemmed it.   

Please pardon the iPhone photo
And this is what I've been working on today:  the oft-reviewed McCall's 5974!  The fabric is from a recent Fabric Mart purchase.  It is a very soft poly/lycra ITY print in tomato and rose in a "...pattern of interweaving acanthus leaves with japanese parasol like motif."  I made a 14 and added two inches to the skirt length.  With all the fitting guidelines this pattern has, it is kind of odd that there are no lengthening/shortening lines!  Next time, I'll probably lengthen the midriff section by at least an inch.  I used binding on the neckline instead of turning it under and stabilized the shoulders with scraps of interfacing.  Hopefully, this will be hemmed tonight if my coverstitch machine decides to cooperate!

No "Shoe Love" tonight as I've managed to let the battery in my camera die.  And I have to remember where I put the charger before I can remedy the situation.  Once I find that pesky thing, I'll be taking photos like a madwoman!

Until later, happy sewing!

~ Peggy