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Monthly Archives: February 2017

  • Colette Phoebe in Linen

    I made a Colette Phoebe in Linen last summer, and finally had Bess take pictures of me in it! As you can see, summer is long-gone in Montana!

    What I Loved about the Colette Phoebe in linen:

    When Colette Patterns published the Phoebe Pattern, I knew I had to have one. I love the waist seam and the slightly a-line skirt. I also love the princess seam plus a dart for sizes 18 and up. Some of us need both a princess seam and a dart!

    Colette patterns seem to be drafted for my shape, so I made very few alterations to this pattern. I found it a full in the upper chest, but that was easily remedied by increasing the width of the seam allowances above the bust.

    Figure-Flattery (or not)

    Let’s talk a little about figure-flattery. Even though I know high necklines make my large bust look larger, I still made this dress. Just like the old days, when I bought ready-made clothes and I wanted things to look good on me because they looked good on the models in the catalogues, I had hopes that a well-fitted high-neck dress would look good on me. I don’t think it does. Jane and Bonnie say it looks good, but I feel self-conscious about my bust. I need a scoop or V-neckline to minimize my bust. Someday I will learn. Meanwhile, I will wear this dress from time to time because I love the color, and I love everything but the neckline.

    Colette Phoebe in Linen Kate pretending it's not below 0 degrees Fahrenheit in her Colette Phoebe in Linen!

    What about you?

    Are you ever hopeful that a pattern will work for your shape, even though you know deep down it won’t?

     

  • Ruffle Hem Top in Organic Soy Knit

    Ruffle Hem Knit Top in Organic Soy Knit

    Pattern: Katherine Tilton for Vogue 8691 Ruffle Hem Top

    Description: Semi-fitted tops A, B, C, D have scoop neckline, neckband, princess seams, shaped, ruffled hemline flounce and long sleeves, topstitching and raw edge hem finish.

    Sizing: 8-14 (BB) or 16-22 (FF). Bonnie made this version in a size 12.

    Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, it did look like the cover picture once it was all said and done!

    Were the instructions easy to follow? In general the instructions were good, but they weren't very clear in regards to the different flounce options.

    What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Bonnie liked all the variations and possibilities of combining different knit fabrics and ruffle hems. It's also a very comfortable shirt to wear and looks great on. She didn't like the full cut of the pattern in the hip area, and felt that the sizing was inaccurate - she had to go down a size despite checking her measurements against the finished measurements on the pattern.

    Fabric used: Two different Organic Soy Knits: this one in Spruce and this one in Navy. They have a great weight and drape to them, and don't pill easily.

    Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Armhole alterations ( ), took in the sleeves. According to her measurements, Bonnie is a size 14, but she ended up cutting down to a size 12.

    Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Bonnie would sew it again, but would probably make the view without the zipper, and decrease the fullness at hip and hem area.

    Conclusion: This is a cute and comfortable top that has a lot of room for creativity. Bonnie would add the disclaimer though that with the modifications she had to made (and the sometimes vague instructions), this is not an "easy" pattern as designated by Vogue!

     

  • Whole-Cloth Quilt in Robert Kaufman Mammoth Flannel

    Whole-Cloth Quilt in Robert Kaufman Mammoth Flannel Whole-Cloth Quilt in Robert Kaufman Mammoth Flannel

    Mammoth Flannel Quilt with Milwaukee Station in the Background Mammoth Flannel Quilt with Milwaukee Station in the Background

    Close-Up of Mammoth Flannel Whole-Cloth Quilt Close-Up of Mammoth Flannel Whole-Cloth Quilt

    Whole-Cloth Quilt in Robert Kaufman Mammoth Flannel Decision-Making Process

    I love quilts filled with bamboo batting. They are just right: not too hot and not too cold. We had an old bamboo-filled quilt on our bed, but I did not made it big enough, so it just sat on top of the bed , not matching the blanket underneath. I wanted a new quilt, but I did not have time to make 250 flying-geese blocks. What to do? Make a whole-cloth quilt in Robert Kaufman Mammoth Flannel, of course! I let Fred select the fabrics. He picked our Mammoth Flannel in Crimson and Gold, Mammoth Flannel in Cobalt with Black and White, and Shetland Flannel in Redwood, so the quilt turned out a little masculine, but I still love it. I used 6 yards for both the top and the bottom: I sewed two 3-yard cuts together in the middle, matching the plaids.

    Experience Making

    I have not quilted a quilt for a loooong time, but I felt emboldened after taking the "Learn to Quilt" class here at the shop. Our teacher, Chris, advised us to pin our quilt layers together and use a walking foot. She also gave us a great hint: quilt at a 30-degree angle, and no one will be able to see if your blocks aren't completely square. The smart novice would have pinned her quilt sandwich and followed her teacher's advice. I am not a smart novice. I decided to use our basting spray, even though I have never used it before. Ugh. I found myself smoothing and resmoothing the layers on my hands and knees. And I ended up pin-basting a lot of the sandwich on top of the spray-basting. We have these great curved pins for sandwich-basting.

    Conclusions

    The quilt is far from perfect, but I love it. It matches the blue of our headboard, and the yellowish wood trim in our bedroom. The red binding adds a nice pop of color. Making a quilt entails A LOT more sewing than making a garment, but it goes quickly and the repetition is calming. I'm already planning my next whole-cloth quilt!!!

  • Merchant & Mills Strand Coat in Lana Bollito Wool

    Charlotte is keeping warm and looking stylish in the Merchant & Mills Strand Coat! Charlotte is keeping warm and looking stylish in the Merchant & Mills Strand Coat!

    The Lana Bollito Wool has a little stretch to it, helping it to fit and flatter! The Lana Bollito Wool has a little stretch to it, helping it to fit and flatter!

    Merchant & Mills Strand Coat in Lana Bollito Wool Blend

    Pattern: The Strand Coat by Merchant & Mills

    Pattern Description: The Strand is a simple unlined coat for cutting a dash in the city. Lightweight and relaxed, it is designed for linen, cotton drill, wool, seersucker or 8-12oz denim.

    Pattern Sizing: 8-18 (UK sizing). Bonnie made this version in a size 12.

    Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? It looked better!

    Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes.

    What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The pockets (both front and on-seam) are a little bulky.

    Fabric used: Lana Bollito wool/rayon blend in chocolate brown. The fabric was prewashed in cold water and laid flat to dry, which shrunk it quite a bit and gave it more texture. However, it has some stretch so the finished coat was more like a size 14-16. This is a great fabric to sew with – Bonnie serged the seam allowances, but the fabric really doesn’t require it.

    Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Bonnie made the sleeves 2” longer. She also used a decorative seam tape to cover up the waistband seams.

    Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes definitely! This is actually the second one she has sewn, and both times the coat turned out gorgeous and fit well.

    Conclusion: Bonnie enjoyed sewing it. Because the fabric is someone bulky, she graded the seams more than was directed in the pattern. She recommends sizing down if using this fabric or any other fabric that has some stretch to it.

    Clasp detail. Clasp detail.

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