Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Little French Jacket Sew-Along

I'm still working on my couture dress, but it has been slow as family birthdays (September's a busy one in this family) and just everyday happenings with the kids going back to school have been keeping me otherwise engaged. But, if you know me I get bored too easily and distracted frequently.  This time it's for a really great reason though!  I was surfing some sewing blogs recently and came across this fun Sew-along Challenge. I'm hoping to have time next week so I can work up a muslin for my chosen pattern:

I'm looking at and figuring on doing view B which is on the lower right of the pattern envelope.  I have only 2 yards of the fabric I want to use so I'm hoping I can make it work.  Gosh, I think I just sounded like Tim Gunn?!  Oh My?!  Anyway, I've had this fabric for quite some time and was never really sure what I wanted to do with it, but I think this would be the perfect project for it.

It's a very pretty boucle that has a black background with accents of purple, magenta, dark blue, light blue and yellow threads that make up the pattern.  I think I can almost make out a houndstooth shape with the black, but it's really hard to tell.  I figure it has tons of possibilities for pairing with any number of skirts, or trousers or even jeans!  I will have to look for a lining fabric as well which means I'll have to go to the fabric store . . .  which means, I might get distracted again . . . which means I might end up wanting to start another project??!!!  Yikes, I think I better get focused on what I've got going so far.
Why not check out the posts about the Little French Jacket Sew-Along at A Challenging Sew and here at Thewallinna and see if you might be interested in sewing along too!

Hope to be back again soon with updates on these 2 exciting projects I got going on.  SEW . . . until  then . . .


P.S.  I hunted down my copy of Threads, issue 121 from October/November 2005.  It has a great article by Susan Khalje on the "Inside Secrets of a Chanel Jacket" which I'm gonna read over again.  There's tons of great info in the article for this project if you can get your hands on a copy of this issue for yourself!


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Craftsy Class

I recently signed up for Susan Khalje's class "The Couture Dress" on Craftsy.  I watched through all the lessons once before my pattern arrived in the mail and I've been busy these past 2 weeks trying to work on my muslin.  Last night, I finished up doing some redrafting of the front side bodice and am very pleased with the results.  Looks like I am very close to actually starting to sew my first real dress!

The toughest part was figuring out how to alter the areas that needed to be adjusted.  I searched on the Internet and through all of the books and magazines that I have and found my answer with Sandra Betzina's book Fast Fit - Easy Pattern Alterations for Every Figure.  (BTW, this is a great must-have reference for anyone interested in garment sewing)  Believe me when I say I should have looked at this book first.  Since I have so many books and really haven't been sewing the last couple of years, I didn't mind doing all this research and I really needed this primer on the basics and garment sewing lingo.  From now on, this will be the first book I consult when I need to alter a pattern.

Anyway, here are some photos of my muslin.  I chose to do option C for Vogue pattern 8648.



All in all I am very happy with the results.  (Please don't pay attention all those wrinkles you see.)  I had to adjust the bust for a lower bust and I made the seamlines for this smoother so that there was no point at the bust.  I also had to let out the sleeves a bit and will need to adjust the armhole, but this seems pretty minor as I was really worried about the bust area more.
Thanks for stopping by.  I am off for now and one step closer to starting my actual dress!  Until next time . . . Happy Sewing!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Garden

My garden has just been bursting this Spring.  Here are just some of the wonders from the past few weeks . . .

This is the Lilac 'Beauty of Moscow'  It's about 3 years now that I've had it and it's just over 6' tall.  The flowers are profuse and smell heavenly!

These little darlings are Japenese Anemone and are scattered throughout the front and back yard and are just so cute!
These iris are from a clump that my MIL gave me a couple of years back.  I think I'll have to divide them again this year.  Not sure of the actual variety but they are hardy and stay upright nicely.
This is the yellow Baptista which I've had for several years now.  I divided this last year to put some in a different section of the yard and the new plants are looking great as well!
This is 'Snow in Summer' another one of my favorites with tiny white flowers and silvery foliage.  Even after the blooms are gone . . . the foliage still looks great.

'Amethyst Falls' wisteria hanging over the arbor now in its 3rd of 4th year. (Not really sure)  looks stunning and smells wonderful!
Finally, the peonies are getting ready to open!  I love cutting these and bringing them inside for fresh flowers in the kitchen!

Hope you like my little Spring display.  Be back again soon!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I tried posting this a couple of weeks back and got side-tracked.  So I'm a little late . . . Spring is finally in the air here for real now as temps are climbing more and more each day.  Easter was a wonderful day celebrated with family and good food!

Here are some of my decorations:

An Easter bunny basket found a Pier 1 . . .
and the wreath on my front door . . .

I got some wonderful gift baskets for playing hostess, including more bulbs to plant in the garden!  Here's one with some pretty little jonquils . . .
and another with white tulips . . .
Finally, I had the crocus blooming in the garden already.  Although they were the only thing blooming at the time, they were beautiful!
Hope you all enjoyed your Easter.  Hope to be back again real soon!
Until next time . . .