Wednesday, June 4, 2014
I am excited to be a part of the E-beth Designs blog tour for the new Lorelei Women's Dress! I have made 3 Lorelei's so far, 2 in testing and another just because I love the pattern. Let's get up-close and personal about the Lorelei...
This is an elegant, versatile pattern with a huge range of size options. I love that it looks as good on a size 20 as it does on 00. Did you see that Fenna even made one that fits at 9 months pregnant?! Bodice pieces are customized to each size and cup size A-DD. It's refreshing to have a pattern this well-fitted just as it's written. Another special bonus is the "layer" printing option. You can select which size to print = no confusion of which line to cut, or select which 2 sizes you need for easy grading between body sizes.
I learned a few things while testing and sewing the Lorelei dress. Lesson #1 - Make a muslin. I was between 18 and 20, so the first muslin was a size 20DD. This picture shows I needed to lower the bust apex dart, move it in and narrow the bodice. Elizabeth suggested sewing down a size and this fixed all the problems! The next 18DD fit great. To make a muslin bodice, no facings, linings or zipper are needed. I even chopped off the skirt at 12" to make my Lorelei a peplum top - another great way to save fabric! Simply sew and pin where the zipper would be and make any adjustments from there. This muslin fabric was a $1 thrifted bedsheet. I ended up finishing it into a "wearable" muslin and even paired it with a Jocole pencil skirt for my Easter outfit.
Lorelei, I used mini-gingham shirting and black broadcloth from my stash. (Did I mention that I live 2 1/2 hours from a Wal-Mart or fabric store?!) I cut the upper 3" off the skirt to make a faux-belt in black fabric, then re-attached it to the main skirt gingham fabric. I also hemmed it shorter, to fall at the knee. Lesson #2 - Learning to use my blind-hem stitch. I've avoided this one out of fear, but with a little practice, it turned out nicely. I found that a longer stitch length helped smooth out the stitch on my machine. Don't fear, just practice before sewing on your dress.
The dress is fully-lined and has an attached pettiskirt, so it's got a vintage feel. I may use less tulle next time so I'm not quite such a wide-load, but I love the feminine feel of a full skirt!
Lesson #3- Learning to use a narrow-hem foot. I wanted another peplum top for the blog tour, so I made a dressy little top from some semi-sheer poly from my stash. I've found it helpful to slow down when sewing slippery fabrics and my machine has Turtle-speed which works great. Also be sure to use a fine needle when sewing light-weight fashion fabrics. Lorelei #3 came together in about 4 hours. Next time, I'll cut my peplum skirt lining 2" shorter than my main skirting - my lining is peeking out in a few photos. I wasn't following the tutorial on this one and inserted the zipper below the yoke, so I added a hook closure at the top. The narrow-hem foot was a God-send for this fabric! It curls your fabric into a narrow hem - no ironing or pinning! I wish I had tried it sooner. My newer Janome didn't come with this attachment, but a generic vintage low-shank attachment worked just fine.
Do you have any sewing tips or tricks that you wish you had tried sooner? If so, I'd love to hear them!
Thanks for joining me on the Lorelei blog tour. Please visit the other blogs & shops participating. I'd love to have you join my Mama Lusco Handmade FB page or follow the free tutorials I post over on the Mama Lusco Pinterest page.
June 2nd: Fabulous Home-Sewn & Friends Stitched Together
June 3rd: Lulu & Celeste & Mimi’s Mom
June 4th: Sew Starly & Mama Lusco
June 5th: PiePie Designs, Two Novembers, & Friends Stitched Together
June 6th: Crafty Biggers, Lady and The Gents, & Growing Family
Elizabeth is doing a discount of $3.00 off the Lorelei Women’s Dress Pattern in her Pattern Shop using coupon code: blogtour. You can enter to win a free copy of the Lorelei Women’s Dress Pattern below (if you purchase first then win, Elizabeth will refund your money). There will be 3 winners!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Friday, May 30, 2014
I'm totally excited for the June 2, 2014 release of Little One-Yard Wonders! This is my first time contributing to a book and the Easy Dolman Tunic for girls 4-12 is included. I've enjoyed the past two One-Yard books and looking forward to seeing this one.
To draft your own Easy Dolman Shirt, any size, see my tutorial here:
See all of the One Yard Wonders books on their website here:
Follow on Facebook to hear about new projects and book signings here: https://www.facebook.com/oneyardwonders
Friday, February 28, 2014
I love to read and sew SisBoom patterns, so there was no question that I would be joining the I Love to Read Sewing Challenge. It took some thought to figure out what pattern and book though....
My youngest daughter, Mallory, picks the book The West Texas Chili Monster by Judy Cox every time she finds it at the library. It was an instant favorite at age 3 and still is at age 6. The story begins with a widow named Mama, an infamous hot chili maker, working at the stove wearing a dress, apron, hat and scarf. Mama and her 6 children enter the West Texas Fair chili contest and the adventure ends with them meeting a friendly monster from space who helps them.
Since this is my first Angie, I would typically sew a muslin. This version is a wearable muslin, using navy linen and space fabric from my stash. The fit is not quite perfect, as I will change the dart placement a bit next time, but a very wearable muslin! The lining fabric represents the Space Monster from this book and I used this tutorial from Jeanine for SS to fully line my bodice. I was hesitant to fit my bodice more closely because it has no zips - you wiggle in & out of this one! I chose my size by the measurement chart and the fit is quite good without modification.
I love wearing aprons and always tie one on while in the house or gardening. Our Mama only wore a 1/2 apron, but I'm messy and prefer a full apron. I decided to use a modified Angie front bodice and skirt front to craft this apron. This time, the space fabric is the feature and the lining & pockets are blue linen. It's a little bit sassy with the fitted bodice and fun straps, but fully functional and an apron I will wear often. This apron will make a great bridal shower & birthday gift, so watch for an Angie apron tutorial soon!
Thanks for the fun challenge and check out the other entries here. SisBoom is also having a special 50% off sale through Sat 3/1 at 2pm. Details here. Also linking up at Pattern Revolution's Build a Better Wardrobe.
Saturday, February 1, 2014
I love what Pattern Revolution is doing to end "Selfish Sewing." Reading this blog post was an "Ah-Ha" moment for me. So much of what we do as wives and mothers is for others. There is no reason to call doing a little sewing myself "selfish." I plan to take the pledge to end Selfish Sewing, instead choosing Self Care Sewing, guilt-free. Take the pledge!
Sunday, January 26, 2014
I was a little late to get sewing, but I joined in the Sew Can She mini-log cabin block sew-along. I am not a quilter but this little 4.5" block looked like one I could manage. Caroline walked us through selecting fabrics, cutting our fabrics, sewing the blocks and finally making something. I appreciated the tutorials and tips!
I have been wanting some new t-shirts and thought my little block would make a nice pocket. I love pattern & tutorials that Its Always Autumn has put together for her Easy Tee. I haven't sewn Autumn's pattern yet, but used her Peter Pan collar on my trusted Jocole Mix & Match Ladies shirt pattern. I have made 4 of these Jocole shirts and have adapted the neckline and length for my body. I've added 1.25" to each side of the shoulder and shortened it by 4" in the front, tapering down in the back for a high-low hemline. It's hard to give up a good thing!
I added the pocket to the front shirt panel before starting the shirt construction. Another modification I make to the Jocole pattern is adding clear elastic to the shoulder and arm seams. This was recommended in another free t-shirt pattern, the Blank Canvas Tee from 3 Hours Past on Craftsy. I like the stability it gives the seams and I add it while serging the seam. After sewing the shoulder seams, it is time to add your collar.
Thanks, Caroline and Sew Can She for a fun sew-along. I learned how to make a mini-log cabin block and how to add a collar to a t-shirt. Check out the other entries on Facebook or the SCS blog.
Friday, December 13, 2013
This is my fourth Sew Sweetness bag and all the patterns have been easy to follow with great results! Sarah and Sew, Mama, Sew are sponsoring a bag-making contest using Sew Sweetness patterns. There have been dozens of gorgeous bags entered! Check them out here.
Here is my version of the free Sawyer Bag tutorial from Sew Sweetness. This is a simple, tote style bag that measures approx. 16"L x 14"w x 3"D. It has long accent handle strips and O-ring hardware for some detail. It would be a great beginner bag or quick gift. This bag took about 4 hrs to sew because of the quilting, but otherwise would be about a 2 hr project.
I like to have a bag closure and decided to add a recessed zippered top panel. I used a technique similar to this tutorial from Charmed Liebling. It would also be quick & easy to add a magnetic snap closure instead. No pockets are included in the original pattern, so I added a double patch pocket and zippered pocket inside, along with a key clasp. I also substituted D-rings, as I could not find O-rings locally.
I am a very novice quilter, but I was inspired after seeing some Quilt-as-you-go blocks, as shown in this tutorial (also a great bag pattern!) and this one. I had purchased a big bag of designer scraps from the Michael Levine Loft store in LA for only $2 and thought this would be a perfect chance to use them. Most of the fabrics I chose were in greens & blues from Free Spirit designers. Both the front and back panels are quilted.
The quilting was done on cotton batting. I used Pellon 70 to add stiffness and shape to the lining and a heavy interfacing for the straps. I like to use one of my older, mechanical sewing machines, a Viking 1010 or Pfaff 360, for bag-making. They are great for sewing through heavy fabrics & interfacings, something my low-end Janome can't handle.
If one can ignore the not-so-straight quilting and imperfect rectangles, this is a fantastic bag! I am really happy with it. It will be hard to give away this Christmas!
Check out more free Sew Sweetness tutorials here and Sarah's pattern shop here. I just bought her Big City Bags book and would like to sew one of everything!