Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Another knit top!

I finally got my sewing mojo back after moving into the new apartment. It's been nine months, so I'm really happy to be seriously sewing again! (As you can maybe tell from all the stuff I've been making the last few months!)

Here's my latest shirt, McCall's 6120 in some kind of super slinky knit stuff from Hilco.

With this version I eliminated the weird under bodice band that the pattern has, and I added the stretch lace to give it a little more modesty. One of the ladies at church (Nahid, for those of you who know her) gave me a bag of stretch lace in several different colors. There was only a small piece of the off-white, so I only had enough to do around the bodice. If I had more I would have put another piece under the bodice sewn into the seam. But anyway...

Oh, can you see that tiny bit of lace sticking out of the bottom? I used one piece of the stretch lace and some blue jersey to make one of those shirt extenders to give a little extra coverage for low rise pants. 

I entered this shirt, plus all the others I've blogged this month into the Spring Top Sewalong. This year there aren't any prizes, but one of my shirts already showed up on Made by Rae's showcase of tops. Yay! 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Washi Dress and Tunic

I finally got around to making the Washi Dress, and after one I couldn't stop!

I made the first one as the full length dress, with pockets. (Love the pockets!)

I can't remember the fabric name, but I've been saving it since Corinnea made her School House Tunic.
The dress version is with no alterations.

The second version is the tunic length out of the purple from the same line. At first I put the shirring lines in the wrong place and it was WAY too tight. I picked out all but three lines and I think now it's actually the best fit.
I really like doing the top stitching around the neck so you can see it. It has an Indian feel, don't you think?

Number 3 is with Joel Dewberry Heirloom, which I've been hoarding for awhile waiting for the perfect pattern. I love this one!
The first two were a little snug in the chest area. Instead of doing a full bust adjustment I just widened the bodice about 1/2" and it gave just enough breathing room. If you do something similar remember to adjust your neck facing too!

I also switched the pleats to point away from my belly instead of towards the middle. This made the front lay a bit flatter. This is important because if it "poofs" out I look pregnant! This is a side effect of a round belly and an empire waist line.

You can see from the back though that I need to hit the gym... The shirring is not at a pretty spot on my back.

For the fourth version I was inspired by Rae's two-fabric Geranium dresses. I added piping and a contrast band at the bottom. This one is my favorite!

I also added a back dart to try to give some more shape over my tush. Steph C wrote an interesting post called "Cup Sizes for your Derriere" that you might want to read if you have any shape to your backside. It is more for bottoms than tops, but I wanted to share anyway.

I think I will make at least one more version and use a longer sleeve. I don't like showing so much of my arms. I also may try stitching down the pleats just an inch or so and see if that helps with the unwanted maternity look. 

One last thing about this pattern - I thought you might like a comparison between Washi and School House tunic. These two patterns have a lot in common. They both have pleats, empire waist, and are of course tunics. I like the pleats and the neckline in Washi. You don't have to wear a camisole under this one like you do under the school house. I also like the pockets in the Washi and the shirring on the back, even though it may need some tweaking on me.

What I like better on the school house tunic is the sleeves. I prefer a longer sleeve on my arms. 

Overall I really like the Washi Tunic and am glad I finally made it!

If you shop at Patch Arts and Crafts we carry both the Washi Tunic (and School House Tunic), and I will be teaching it as a class later this summer. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunshine and Stripes

I bought this awesome double knit stripe from Hilco months ago and finally got motivated to make a top out of it. This top came together SUPER fast! Like 30 minutes! Rob didn't even have time to complain about the noise of the sewing machine! Haha! The pattern is from the Hilco magazine Knip Mode.

And we've finally been seeing some sunshine! Winter went on so long I had almost forgotten what the sun looked like... 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Linen Leisure Pants

AKA Lounge Pants...

AKA Old Lady Pants... 

AKA PJs you can wear to work!
Battery died in the camera so I ended up with iphone pics.

We went on a church retreat a few weeks ago and I wished I could get away with wearing my PJ pants the whole weekend. But I didn't think I could get away with Betty the Yeti!

So I tweaked my tried and true PJ pants pattern and used some linen/rayon blend to make the comfy lounge pants. Flat front, elastic in the back. Side seam pockets. As usual I made them a little too big, but they worked for the weekend, and I can sort of get away with them in public.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Food Crafting

So I have three (yes three) quilt tops that I am working on right now. I take turns with them and work on whichever one is interesting to me at that moment. I should have one done next week as it's an upcoming class and I need to get the sample done!

But last week was all about sweets! For Easter we had two church services, one in Sindelfingen in the morning and one in Lauchhau in the evening. So I did baking for both and had enough for the girls at work too!

I didn't take photos of all my cookies, but I made bunnies, chicks hatching out of eggs, decorated eggs, a couple of tulips and some birds. I used the candy eyes on the bunnies and the chicks and they were super adorable! I'm still learning the elusive art form that is cookie decorating.
I had trouble finding the original source of these nest cupcakes, but (surprise, surprise) I saw them on Pinterest. They are red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. The nest part has cocoa added to make it brown. I wish I had gone darker. The eggs are Reeses Pieces eggs and are delicious!!
Have you used these foil lined baking cups? The one above was given to me by Mary before she left. These are great! You can actually see your design instead of your greasy cupcake showing through! My non-baking friend did not understand the significance of the foil lined baking cup, so please take another moment to soak it all in.

The candy coated strawberries were also huge on Pinterest! Funny thing was before I made these I saw them on Pinstrosity! I've worked with candy melts enough now that I wasn't worried. I washed and dried the strawberries really well before dipping. You can see on the plate that they dribbled a little juice, but they held up for days. I kept them in plastic ware with paper towel between the layers and they did fine!
They were actually a lot of fun to serve to my German friends. They hadn't seen the candy melts so everyone thought they were marzipan. (blech) Once they tried them they were gone in minutes!

Speaking of not knowing what something is... April Fool's Day was this week too! Whoever decided to have Easter and April Fool's right after each other was not a baker! Just sayin.

Don't these tiny hamburgers look amazing?!
Yep, that's a cupcake! I've had this one pinned for a YEAR just waiting for April Fool's Day! It's yellow cupcake cut in half. The "meat" is brownie and the condiments are frosting. The original used sesame seeds, but, ew. I used crushed candy pearls for the white flecks on the top.

The joke ended up being on me. Since Ethan was sick (bronchitis) he was SUPER UPSET that I served him a cupcake instead of a real hamburger. Poor baby. He wasn't thinking straight. Oh, it makes me chuckle remembering. Poor thing had a nervous breakdown right in the kitchen! He finally came around and ate one, but I don't think he enjoyed it. 

And lastly, last week we had this guy visit the base. 

It's called an Osprey and it's some kind of helicoptor/plane hybrid gyzmo. All the military people can now correct me and shudder at my ignorance of important transportation innovations. So it landed and they let whoever wanted to go through it. They just asked us not to take pictures on the inside -  you know for national security and everything. 

Oh yes, that's snow. Germany has a sense of humor too and played an April Fool on us by dumping another ton of snow. Boo. They cut off all the heat in the buildings at the end of March so tomorrow I'll be working with fingerless gloves and a campfire. But I think there is hope. The sun came out today and I actually wore sunglasses! 

Happy Spring!