Archive for June, 2009



SWAP Sewing: Twist Front Top

I used Jalie 2788 to make this top.  The pattern is a keeper, for sure!  I’ll definitely be making more of these in other colors, and in the short and three-quarter sleeve versions.  I used stretch bamboo jersey from fabric.com for this top.  I adore the color “glacier blue”.  I’ve found, however, that the fabric is prone to pilling as it’s washed.  In the front detail, you can see that I bound the neckline and armholes.  The pattern called for narrow hems, but after trying and failing three times to sew them down neatly without too much stretching, I gave up and went for binding. 

SWAP Sewing: Denim Miniskirt

In all seriousness, it’s not really mini.  I am over thirty, after all.  For this skirt, I was experimenting with the sailor-front style of closure.  It’s one way of having a fitted skirt without dealing with sewing in a zipper.  The buttons at the front open into the pockets, allowing ease to put the skirt on and off.

I used the striped shirting for the pocket facings here, and also as facings for the hem.  Five rows of white topstitching accent the pockets, waistband and hem.  Incidentally, the silver buttons I dug out of the button box say “baby Gap” on the other side of them, they came off of a pair of overalls my eight-year-old wore as a baby.  They were the right size, style and color, so I simply sewed them on upside-down so as not to advertise. 

SWAP Sewing: Khaki Poplin Capri Pants

The pattern for these pants came mostly from the latest Ottobre Woman magazine.  When I made my SWAP sketch, I noted that I would use pattern #13, it was only when I went to trace my pattern that I realized this particular pattern was in a larger size range than I needed.  So, I switched gears and traced most of pattern #12 and changed the details to be more like #13.

I used green gingham as the waistband facings, and green thread for all the topstitching.  These are made of a stretch bamboo poplin fabric from JoAnn’s, part of their short-lived eco-friendly fabric line.  I’m not too happy with how much this fabric wrinkled as I sewed with it, and it’s a tad lightweight.  I almost thought my gingham pocket facings were going to show through the fronts of the pants.

SWAP Sewing: Bias Trimmed Linen Skirt.

I had the linen in my pile all along, but wasn’t sure what to do with it.  I didn’t want a plain-old skirt, as I already have on I made out of khaki poplin a couple years ago.  As I was thinking about how to jazz up my linen, my eye fell on the little bits of bias trim left over from the other sewing I’d done for SWAP, and I knew I had the answer.  I took a simple a-line skirt silhouette, and added pockets trimmed with bias.  The waistband casing contains elastic and a gingham ribbon as a drawstring.  The patchwork style bias trim along the hem adds a bit of color and ties in with many of the tops I made for SWAP without overdoing the matchy-matchy bit.

SWAP Sewing: Tree Applique Tee

This is another piece of my SWAP that wasn’t part of the original plan, but it evolved so beautifully I had to include it.  I picked up this lovely blue organic cotton jersey during one of my shopping trips at the local JoAnn’s.  It was on clearance, and the sale was half off the clearance price.  To top it off, there were 34 inches left on the bolt, so it was priced as a remnant.  No sewing mama in her right mind could turn that down!  I bought it and brought it home where it went through the wash, and was folded with the other knit fabrics waiting to be sewn for swap.  Seeing my color pallatte together inspired me to make this applique.

This jersey is thin and soft, and has a nice drape like a vintage tee.  I detailed the hems and neckband with reverse coverstitching.

The tree has stitched texture along the trunk, and the leaves are each sewn on with a single line of stitching in the middle, leaving the edges free to curl a bit.  All the applique bits are knits, and the edges are left raw.

SWAP Sewing: Striped Sleeveless Blouse

Of all the pieces in my swap, I am super proud of this one.  I had a lot of shirting left from making the skirt, and was on a roll with the sewing, so I decided to use the rest of it to make a blouse.  Sleeveless blouses use surprisingly little fabric.  I incorporated the green gingham from my tunic in the facings.  The front patch pockets are cut on the bias.  As I neared completion, I dug into the button box and came out with nine (count ‘em) matching blue buttons.  Luck was on my side.  Considering my aversion to matchiness (seriously, I don’t think that’s a real word, but I’m using it anyway) I chose to sew the buttons on with lime green thread.  I think it really adds to the couture style of the blouse.

SWAP Sewing: Yoga Waist Skirt

Do you recognize this fabric?  Yes, it’s from E’s Easter dress last year.  I was looking through my fabrics to see what else I had that matched my SWAP color scheme, and this one jumped out at me.  I adore this print, and used practically every inch of it to make this skirt.  The cotton/lycrayoga style waistband is super comfortable, too!  I wore it to church last week, and as expected, E. put on her dress to match mommy.  We were saved from total family matchiness due to the fact that A. had gotten dressed before she saw me wearing this skirt.



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