November 25, 2011

Sew along coat plans

Here is my next project plan.  As soon as I get my new washer (Sunday!) I will pre-wash the fabric and start.  (Side note: Ours that came with the house stopped spinning.  Luckily the ones that we were looking at are now 35% off instead of the 20% that they were when we first almost bought them!  I can't wait for a new washer and dryer, I guess that means I'm growing up) 

Since we live in very cold winter Michigan it is necessary to have a good winter coat.    I have several, but with my growing belly I am down to only one right now.  And that is also only most days.  When I have a good dinner zipping the coat up is not that comfortable.  So, I bought this pattern in thought of converting the front to have a little more room around the waist and belly.  I think the pattern should be easy to modify for this.  The one thing I want to be sure of is to watch how much flare is at the bottom.  I don't want anything too wide, but nothing too fitted either. 

I bought the bottom weight fabric at Joann's when I bought the fabric for the purple dress.  I also bought black buttons at the same time to coordinate with the style I have in my mind.  I inherited some batting that I am going to use in between the body layers for warmth.  The only thing I still need to get is the lining.  I have some that I already bought for other projects that I can use, but I am just not sure if it is what I want.  More than likely it will come down to what I have when I get to that part, or if I am patient enough to go out and get new material.  I am looking forward to this one!

November 22, 2011

Simplicity sueded jacket


Before I show you my new dress I want to show you what I made earlier this spring.  It is Simplicity 3628 jacket pattern.  I used a synthetic suede material that I bought at Joann's fabric, and lined it with a synthetic silky material that was on the clearance at Joann's at the same time.  

I think I cut a straight size 8, but can't quite remember.  Since I made this I have been sure to write what size I cut and all the alterations to remember.  I really like the pattern and the style, however next time I would make a few alterations.  I think most of the fit issues would be resolved with cutting the next size up except on the front.  I would also take in the princess seams over the bust if my measurements stay the same.  Don't get me wrong, the jacket is very wearable now, it just isn't as comfortable as it could be.  The arm movement being restricted is my biggest complaint.  For some reason I have beefier arms than most clothes are cut for, even though I think I have normal arms.  This especially becomes an issue on jackets when I would like to wear a layer or two underneath.  I also can not button the waist after a big meal (of course being pregnant there is no way I can now) but that isn't something I am as concerned with since I wear most of my jackets open at work so I don't look too formal.  I was quite happy however with the length of the sleeves and overall jacket length. 

I have intentions of making another version for when I start work after the baby.  Perhaps something a little lighter weight than the suede so I can wear it all year around here in Michigan.

November 19, 2011

Meet Oliver

Oliver is Darla's brother, and he is the stereotypical cat personality.  He goes where he wants to, when he wants to, and allows affection on his own terms and time frame.  He will not let you hold him for more than ten seconds, even though he is purring, and will not sit on your lap without you having particular quilts covering you.  He also will not sit by you for pettings, but he will sit across your chest when you are trying to go to sleep and enjoy being petted for a short time, generally just enough time for his weight to start effecting your breathing. 

He does love the sun as you can see in the picture.  He also becomes like a kitten with a particular stuffed fish on a string when he jumps and chases after it.  The only other time he moves fast is when he is chasing or wrestling with Darla. 

When the kids are around he generally is around.  He loves to watch what is going on, and will allow the kids to play with him.  When it is just me and Brandon he will come and go, find hiding spots that we can not find him in to disturb his sleep. 

Oliver is a funny cat in his own way.  How he will change behaviors so drastically with toys, how he is very independent and alone at times but then will stand in the middle of commotion without moving.  It is just really nice to have two very different cat personalities in the house, and both of them we enjoy having around so much.

November 17, 2011

Alligator embroidery for baby

I have finished another embroidery for the baby.  I like the monkeys best, but I still think this is cute in its simplicity. 

I am enjoying working on these as the kids play inside, very much like crochet.  I can watch a movie or keep an eye on them without having idle hands.  There is something also about the "plunk" sound of the needle going into the fabric followed by the sound of the thread pulling through that relaxes me.  I guess it is something that reminds me of my childhood and takes me back to when things were less stressful.  Anything to relax I'm thinking is a very good thing!

November 13, 2011

How can work take most of your play time?

Sorry for the delay in posts.  That was not intentional!  With my full time job picking up and causing me to work extra hours along with being pregnant leaves very little energy to just get dinner going when I get home.  So, unfortunatly, the craft room has not seen as much of the cuddly cats recently.  It has also meant that the eight week sew along challege has passed with me only completing one dress.  I will just continue and make them to my own pregnant time frame!

While I have not been able to complete anything, I have been working on a New Look 6802 dress that I have modified slightly to fit me during maternity. I am doing the pattern as what the model is wearing, but with long sleeves.

I cut the dress a size 14 for the top out of a mottled brown/grey/and black sweater knit from Haberman Fabrics.  I am usually a size 4 on top and 6 on bottom in ready-to-wear, but the 14 was closest to my measurements when rounding up.  Since I know my chest and belly will be growing I errored on the side of large knowing I will shortly fill it in.  On the skirt front panel I also cut the largest size available and added about an inch narrowing to the hip line.  This added extra gathers to the front section for growing room.

I am finished with the body portion.  I have yet to set in the sleeves and and hem the skirt.  For modifications to the pattern directions I added a double bias tape on the neckline instead of a facing.  I am also going to modify the end of the sleeves to have little ties that will use the bias tape. 

The fit so far is PERFECT!  With the knit I am comfortable and not constrained in my belly.  The cut of the pattern is flattering for maternity.  I am hoping that after the baby is born I can remove the skirt and revise it to be a non-maternity dress that is just as flattering.

I will of course post a finished picture when I am done!