Top Five of 2017 – The good, the bad and the ho-hums

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This year, I did alot of sewing, way more than my 2016 crystal ball predicted. I’m very happy about that, as I find a week without sewing to be a bit grim.  Although I didn’t keep a spreadsheet, I can tell by looking at my blog photos that I made roughly a garment a week, a fact that surprises me a bit:). Will I do the same in 2018? My closet won’t allow it, LOL -more about that in a future post. In the meantime, here are my top five hits and misses, a concept created by the fabulous Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow.

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If I were going to give a garment a prize for ‘most worn’, this simple cardigan would be the clear winner. The long length makes it so versatile…in the photo I wore it with a skirt but I love it with jeans, skirts and dresses too. The fabric is a lightweight knit, so great to sew and wear.

img_2249I had so much fun making this dress! I’m such a fan of sewing with lace, and this ‘make’ gave me the opportunity to use a couple of different ones from my stash which made me so happy. It’s easy to wear too, and it’s always a conversation starter at a party. I think it’s because the bodice is a stretchy ponte with a shiny finish that looks like leather – – such a lucky find.

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Even though this Maisa denim jacket took loads of time to finish, it was one of the sewing pleasures of 2017. For one thing, it involves color blocking, a option that always makes me happy. It also required alot of topstitiching, a time consuming detail that’s so satisfying. My only issue with this jacket is that even after multiple washings the denim is a bit stiff. I should have distressed the denim first – lesson learned!

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I’m not a fan of ruffles as a rule, but this top is one I reached for constantly before the cold weather made that impossible. The linen knit turned out to have the right drape for the project and it’s great to wear too.

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This make combined two things I love – – flannel and plaid! I’ve worn this so much, it’s a bit embarrassing :). I wasn’t sure flannel would work for a top with bell sleeves, but it did!

Honorable Mentions:

It was the year of the sleeve for me, and they feature prominently in my favorites that didn’t make it into the top five but are much loved!

 

Dress number one is here. Dress number two is here and the above top is here.

The gingham top is here, the ruffled top is here, and the statement sleeve top is here.

Now, on to the misses:

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I tried to love my Sapporo coat, but there’s just too much fabric for me! It has to be arranged carefully or it slips off my shoulders.

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Okay, I should love this safari style jacket, but the color is just a bit off so it hangs in my closet, a lonely orphan. It’s a warm color and I have need to be careful with colors like these. I just don’t like to wear them.

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This dress had the right stuff for a hit – a border print, my favorite color, statement sleeves and Pom Poms, but it just never felt right. Maybe it’s the way it fits in the waist or the flowery border trim. Not sure why, but it’s a definite miss.

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This skirt and this top are both clear misses. The ruffle on this denim wrap skirt made the front panel too heavy and awkward to wear. I’ve since removed it. The top, well, just look at that fabric! It’s just too busy for me.

The takeaway from these misses? For me, it’s all about the fabric; the color, the print and the drape.

That’s my take on the year as sewn – – I can’t beleive 2017 is almost over! My reflections and goals for 2018 will come in another post. Thanks to all of you for visiting my blog in 2017 and for chatting with me about, well, everything! I find our conversations so fun and enlightening too. Have a fun and safe New Year. Until next time, happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

 

 

 

 

 

One for you, one for me…A reversible fringed scarf to give or keep

Well, it’s almost too late to pull off a DIY gift for a friend, but here’s a last minute gift you can sew in an hour – – A fringed scarf that’s so versatile! It’s cozy and lovely as a scarf, but also wide enough to wear as a shawl. When I saw a version of this scarf on a mannequin at Fabric Depot, I just had to sew one for me and a few for friends. They’re popular gifts as the scarves are reversible and can be worn a variety of ways.

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Here’s how to make a quick reversible scarf of your own.

The best part of this project is selecting the coordinating fabric. To make one scarf you need 1 1/3 yards each of two coordinating flannels, 44/45″ wide.

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From each piece of coordinating flannel, cut two (2) 20″ high pieces.

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You now have the four panels that will make up the scarf. For each coordinating flannel, place the two 20″ high panels right sides together and sew a 5/8” seam down the center.IMG_6662

You now have two long pieces of two coordinating fabrics.  Place wrong sides together, aligning the center seams and the edges, smoothing out wrinkles. I use clips to hold the edges in place.

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Sew these two pieces together around the entire circumference of your scarf placing your stitching line 1 and 1/2 inches from the edge. ( I used a piece of tape on my machine placed at 1 1/2 inches as my stitching guide.) This stitching line is important as it will be your guide to cut the fringe. You can double stitch it if you want for extra security.

 

From each corner, cut a 1/1/2’ square, then begin to cut your fringe, using a small scissors at 1/4” intervals, being careful not to cut through your seams.

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You can see my edges don’t meet all that perfectly. That’s okay because the fringe will be fluttering about when you’re done, so precision is not essential. It looks so great after it’s been ruffled by your hand or the washing machine.

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That’s all there is to it! I’m not sure which scarf is my favorite….

Another fringe option that’s more time consuming is to take a darning needle and carefully pull out fibers at the scarf’s edge to fringe it. This requires alot of patience. IMG_6625

These scarves are quick to sew and cost effective as gifts go. They’ve been quite popular with friends who enjoy throwing something stylish around their shoulders on damp wintery days.

I’ve experimented with various combinations with regard to fringe. On this scarf, I only fringed one side and serged the other. It’s a tidier look if that appeals to you. I also made this scarf a bit longer, using  1 1/2 yards of fabric. The longer length makes it very easy to wrap . I chose to keep this scarf for myself, because, well, it’s blue!!

 

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Here, in Oregon, the weather is damp, and I love wearing my scarf as I enjoy dinners around the fire with friends.

It’s a great time of the year to reflect on the past and plan for the future. I’ve loved reading everyone’s top five hits posts and I’ll be posting my own list here before the year ends. Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

A Bomber Jacket Inspired by Philip Lim

 

IMG_6389I thought I was over bomber jackets until I saw this plaid version by Philip Lim.screenshot

When I found McCall’s 7636  by Beaute’ J’Adore, I knew it was the perfect match for my designer inspiration. There’s alot about this pattern that sets it apart from the bomber jacket patterns that are available.

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My favorite detail is the statement sleeves. As you can see from the line drawing, the shape is created by pleats that are gathered into a ribbed cuff. Then, to make the sleeves pop, there’s piping added before you insert the sleeve into the bodice. I think that really makes this jacket unique.

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The jacket is fully lined, a plus at this time of year! To make cozy and warm,  I used red checked flannel from Fabric Depot.

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Some tips about the fit of this jacket… It is cut very generously, so be prepared to adjust.

  • The sleeves are pretty long. I don’t usually need to shorten sleeves, but it was a must here and I’m glad I took the time to figure that out because the sleeves are quite poufy. If they were too long, they would be pretty annoying to wear.
  • Also, I took my usual narrow shoulder adjustment but increased it by 5/8″ and I think I could have even done more! My guess is that this broad shoulder look is what the designer is going for, but it’s a bit overdone if you have a small frame.
  • The jacket bodice is cut pretty long. I’m 5’4″ and I shortened it by a full inch.

Even with those adjustments though, I’m in love with this pattern. The sleeves look tricky to sew, but they really aren’t – -they are simple pleats that easily fit into the ribbed cuff. The instructions are thoughtful and there’s alot of attention to detail that makes sewing this jacket a breeze. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I might make another version this Spring from denim.

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Because this was a designer original inspired make, I’m going to tag it for Designin’ December, a fun competition created by Linda of Nice Dress, Thanks I Made It. Visit her website for more inspiration!  There’s alot to enjoy there!

December is a busy month and it’s hard to find a spare minute to sew, but I’m completing a couple of gifts and decorating projects that are using up my huge stash of remnants. I’ll be posting about those this week.

I love that this make has red as the dominant color. It makes this jacket feel, well… festive! Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by.

A Peplum Jacket For Layering

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A love the four Helmis I made this year, so much so, they might make it into my Top Five Hits for 2017!  But unfortunately, those shirts aren’t warm enought to wear alone at this time of year. So, my Helmis became the perfect excuse to sew a new jacket!

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As you all know, I love anything with a peplum, so when I found Vogue 9214, it was instant love. It’s a knit jacket, which means it’s super comfortable to wear with a cute pleated peplum and an exposed zipper down the front.

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Vogue 9214 is a Very Easy Vogue too, which means it’s fast and easy. The collarless neckline is finished with bias tape.  It’s close fitting through the bust, so it’s a nice smooth layering piece. I love the exposed front zipper and the pleated peplum.

I was surprised and pleased at how easy this jacket was, and for me, the fit was spot on. I used a ponte knit from my stash in a cranberry red (a conveniently seasonal choice), that manages to look good with two of my Helmis. The exposed zipper was reallyt easy to insert. In fact, it seemed easier than the last standard insert zipper I tackled. The neckline is a breeze, because it’s just a bias tape finish. The peplum is created with four pleats, and as long as you have them marked well, it’s not hard at all. That means this is a very doable project at a very busy time of the year. I was able to cut and sew this in an afternoon.

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It’s always great to find a quick easy pattern with a bit of style that you can whip up without a struggle! I’m inspired to make this again out of a sweater knit. All sorts of ideas are churning around in my head!

Another project I finished this week, a collection of  glittery paper ornaments. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen these, but they were so fun to make, I had to share them here too.

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I’ve been trying to figure out how to do something similiar with fabric scraps, as I saw a ornament in a store that was fabulous. The paper version has accordian folds that are fanned out to make the circle. I just can’t figure out how to do the same thing in fabric so that the folds stay put. Thoughts? Maybe spray starch?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!