Friday, June 28, 2013

Breezy Summer Top

I fell in love with this Swiss Dot Cotton at Joann and had to make a light and breezy Summer top with it. I used Simplicity 1693 view E. This sucker was hard to photograph!

I love how the top came out.  I wear a camisole under it because the fabric is sheer. 
 New Summer Top New Summer Top New Summer Top New Summer Top New Summer Top
Alterations: I took about 6" off the width at the hips. I also slightly shortened the back, but still keeping the high-low hemline, which I dig. I cut a size 8 based on finished garment measurements. The pattern recommended a size 12 for me, but I don't like that much ease.  I think the fit turned out just right.

I think the peter pan collar is sweet but keeping the top simple made it not too childish.  This is a go to Summer top for me now.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Favorite Breakfast

My favorite breakfast lately has been some combination of Egg, Greens and Veggies. It started as a breakfast sandwich with Kale or Spinach from the garden, but the Spinach is done now. I have been leaving off the bread lately to save calories. Mostly making fried eggs, but sometimes scrambled. I always add avocado if I have it and lately I have been adding goat cheese.
Breakfast sandwich with kale, spinach and tomato from the garden

Isn't that tomato gorgeous?! Unfortunately that plant up and died on me, I'm not sure what happened. First tomato and kale Breakfast sandwich

Mmm, so yummy and healthy. I love it when those two things coincide.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Silly Pets

Roberta the watermelon loving cat was in heaven last night. Watermelon loving cat

Lucy the bandanna wearing princess dog likes to have her photo taken. Bandana dog
That's all. I just had to share.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Peplum Top Love

I love this little top. It is made of a woven cotton that my mom got me when she was visiting, thanks Mom! This is Simplicity 1666, a Lisette pattern. I really love the fit and construction of this pattern and will definitely use it again.

 Peplum top Peplum top Peplum top Peplum Top Peplum top

I cut a size 10 at the shoulders and graded out to a 12 at the hips. I didn't believe that an 18" zipper was necessary, so I went with a shorter one, which was a mistake. I can only barely get this thing on, but once it is on it fits great. There is a bit of extra fabric at the back waist, but I don't know if it bothers me enough to alter the pattern. The construction is very clever and I love the flat front and back with the little kick of a semi circle on the sides. I think this is a very flattering design.

I left off the neck facings in favor of bias tape, which I prefer.  I did mess up the placement of the zipper however, putting it a little too low.  I will remedy that next time.  I used my invisible zipper foot for the first time on this blouse and it worked like a charm.  I have struggled terribly with invisible zippers, but the foot made the job so easy. 

This was the first pattern that I made with my new to me serger (thank mom!).  It makes such a difference in the quality of a handmade garment.  I'm so happy to now have my very own serger.

I'm not getting very clear pictures with my camera.  I used it successfully to take pictures of my jewelry, but my modeled shots are coming out pixelated and a bit blurry even in natural sunlight.  Not sure what I'm doing wrong.  It could partly be from using the timer and moving around while the camera is taking pictures.  I think there is more to it though.  Perhaps I just need to upgrade my camera, it has been a few years.

The jeans I'm wearing here are from Target.  I have the worst luck with pants from there.  I love the look and color of them, but they have no stretch.  I really need stretch in skinny pants to hug my curves.  There is just no give and that makes them really uncomfortable.  Too bad, as I truly need non-denim pants.

*ETA: a photographer friend at work helped me trouble shoot my photo problem.  I think I had the iso set too high.  I was backwards in my thinking about it and he mentioned that higher iso created more digital noise.  Hoping that fixes my problem.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Frank's Pillow

This is Frank's pillow, it sits on his side of the couch and I made it for him.

Frank's Pillow Frank's Pillow Frank's Pillow Frank's Pillow

This pillow was in the planning stages foreeeever, it seemed. I do not own a stash of quilting cottons, so collecting up the pieces of fabric took a while. The sewing of the pillow was quick and went smoothly compared to the months of finding just the right prints. I scored about 12 yards of really lovely linen at my favorite thrift store early this year. It is a mustardy yellow, and I was really pleased with the gray that I got from dyeing this piece. A few of these cottons were from other projects, Karlie's Easter Dress, a skirt for me that was never finished, Karlie's Mermaid and her Bed Canopy and Scarves that I made for Christmas gifts a few years ago.  The rest were newly acquired by my picky self.  I chose by color and print, and can see now that I like prints with a textural quality to them. I can also see that I have a great love for Anna Maria Horner's designs.

The pillow is a simple envelope.  Laying out the grid of circles took the most time.  I used wonder under to iron the circles to the linen and then zig zagged my way around each circle.  

I'm super pleased with the pillow and Frank is too. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Late Spring Uniform

This is what I have been wearing lately. My newly finished self-drafted t-shirt. Mom bought me this knit at Joann when she was here last month, and I love the print. It is super light weight, semi-sheer and perfect for Summer.
 Spring Uniform
Do you like how I let the Larkspur take over my patio? Why not, it's so pretty after all.

Spring Uniform
This is the second version of this pattern that I have made. It is a simple dolman sleeve top that I drew off of a ready made T that I had. The first has bands around the sleeves that make them almost elbow length, and it was my most worn Winter T. This one was supposed to have the bands, only more narrow to make a shorter sleeve for summer. However, I accidentally used one of them for serging practice so I ended up with much smaller bands around the armholes. I still like this top, but it is a much different look from the first. This was my first time sewing knits on my (borrowed from mom) serger.  It was also the first time I used a double needle for finishing, it pulled a lot at the hem even after I loosened the tension.  I'm guessing that is because the fabric is so light weight.  I did a binding on the neckline and am pretty happy with how that came out.

Can you tell I don't like posing for pictures. I forget to smile because I'm concentrating too hard! Spring Uniform

It is hot out there, and though it isn't Summer technically, it sure feels like it. I just tried to jog and it was too hot. On Friday I ran with a friend from work (a first) and we did a route that I have been wanting to run since last September when I started running. I had done bits and pieces of it, but never the whole route. It was 4.57 miles and is a really beautiful run, shaded in spots, hilly and partly on our Trinity River Trail system. The trail part is a bit remote and I don't carry a phone when I run, so that is why I needed a running partner for this particular route. Anyways, it was unusually cool that morning and we had a wonderful run. Now I fear my running outside will be put on hold till September. Time to join the gym!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Late Spring Walk

It has been hot, muggy and humid here the past few weeks. We had a front blow through and it turned out to be a gorgeous day yesterday. We went to the trail for a walk, as I know it will be too hot to get out there much before long. We usually time our trail walks to end around sunset, but I was a little off on the timing. That was okay though because we were able to get this cool shot of our shadows as we headed back to the car. Shadow Portrait Late Spring Walk

 Last week I was sewing obsessively, and I finished a knit top, a woven top and a linen dress. All in one week! Really, mostly over my three day weekend. I hope to keep up the sewing but I know how my attention easily gets focused on other things. I plan to take pictures and share my creations soon.