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Conversational Threads

Aug2007 Challenge (4 occasional sewer)

Lynnelle | Posted in General Discussion on

G’day folks. 

July is almost over and it is time to start our next challenge.  Many of us have worked diligently and tirelessly to complete projects we committed to starting in July.  I certainly started out with good intentions, but life got the best of me yet again.  So, off I go to embark on yet another challenge…or rather…continue my challenge into the next month. =)

Please join me in making some headway!  Here’s my plan for August:

Fit.  Fit.  Fit.  This is my fit month.  I am going to work on adequately fitting bodice patterns to my expression for love of chocolate…er body.  I am 4’11” (5′ on a good day) and a 38DD.  Yep…a challenge indeed.  I have been putting off making tops because of the difficulty I have with fitting.  It is time to tame the beast that is the fit monster.  I have a few patterns in mind: 

  • McCalls 2818 – Palmer-Pletsch assists with princess seam adjustments
  • McCalls 2718 – basic fitting shell
  • Simplicty 4698 (or equivalent)
  • New Look something (basic blouse with rolled collar and vertical darts)
  • bodice sloper – (learn to use it; it was made by Connie Crawford a couple of years ago and sits idle since I have no idea what to do with it)

As mentioned before, I joined a wardrobe challenge on Pattern Review.  I am not going to compete as I haven’t made nearly the required number of garments.  However, I am going to continue with my wardrobe plan – this time working on tops.



Edited 7/30/2007 10:38 am ET by Lynnelle


  1. WandaJ | | #1

    Hi, I too did not finish my salmon linen suit project for July. I did get the skirt made and I added a 1/2 lining so it would not wrinkle when sitting. I am going to try to get the jacket made this month as I can wear it into the fall season. Adding to the jacket and skirt, I'd like to make a blouse out of a beautiful pink silk paisley that is a really long scarf. I think I can get a sleeveless jewel neckline blouse from it. Wish me well on my second try.

  2. User avater
    Becky-book | | #2

    Count me in...

    finish fitting an old blouse pattern I have in the stash and...

    make a blouse that FITS arms (bicep) and hips! hopefully without looking too wide in the middle!


    PS finish a baby dress with counterchange work for my newest niece!

  3. cynthia2 | | #3

    Hi Lynelle.  I'd love to join the August challenge.  It will encourage me to stay focused on my current project.  I've just started Vogue 2614 (view A without the belt).  I need to find one of those great Riri zippers with the multicolored teeth - I think it will look great with this casual style.  Looking forward to seeing everyone's projects at the end of the month.  Cynthia

  4. User avater
    VKStitcher | | #4

    August--AACK!  Where did July get to? 

    We were on vacation in the Adirondacks for 10 days, so that took up some of my sewing time.  Also, I monogrammed a set of towels for a bridal shower gift, which turned out nicely, but was not on the list of July projects.  I met all of my July goals except one--the shelf for my sewing room is still in the box.  So if it doesn't hang itself tonight, I guess it will be one of the projects for August.

    So...for August:
     - Hang that shelf.
     - I did re-design the wall hanging for our living room, so now all I need to do is get the Quick-Bias and start on the construction.  It's adapted from a Frank Lloyd Wright stained glass window, and fits with the Arts-and-Crafts style of our furniture.  I've never done anything like this before--I've always had a pattern to go by.  I hope it turns out OK.
     - I just got "Pamela's Perfect T's" pattern, and I plan to make a t-shirt.  I've had the fabric since last summer, so it's about time to stitch it up.

    I'm sure other things will pop up during the month, but making a list really helps keep me moving and working toward getting things finished.  Thanks for the challenge, Lynnelle!

    1. User avater
      VKStitcher | | #29

      Hi all--here's my mid-month progress report:

       - Hang that shelf.  DONE! - I did re-design the wall hanging for our living room, so now all I need to do is get the Quick-Bias and start on the construction.  It's adapted from a Frank Lloyd Wright stained glass window, and fits with the Arts-and-Crafts style of our furniture.  I've never done anything like this before--I've always had a pattern to go by.  I hope it turns out OK.  The design is done, the Quick-Bias ordered, and I'm ready to start construction on Friday! - I just got "Pamela's Perfect T's" pattern, and I plan to make a t-shirt.  I've had the fabric since last summer, so it's about time to stitch it up.  This one's still waiting....

      Also completed, but not on the list, is a project for my ASG group.  Each neighborhood group was challenged to create an apron for the annual meeting.  Our group is making a full-length Victorian style apron, with 3 tiers on the skirt, a bib, ruffles and tucks.  My part was one of the tiers on the skirt, and I sewed 12 rows of decorative stitches across the width of the panel.  We're meeting tonight, and will give all our parts to the woman who is sewing everything together.  There will be a fashion show at the annual meeting in October, and we'll get to see all the aprons--it will be interesting!

      1. User avater
        VKStitcher | | #61

        Morning all!  I had lots of time to sew last weekend (thanks, Dear!)  The wall hanging is almost done--I need to find the fabric for the binding so I can finish it this coming weekend.I also made the t-shirt, and wore it to work yesterday.  It's very soft cotton knit, and is very comfortable.  Here's a picture...

        1. dressed2atee | | #62

          very nice!  how'd you do the collar is it piped?

          1. User avater
            VKStitcher | | #63

            Thank you.  I followed the pattern directions for the neck binding: cut a 2" strip (length of 20" I think) and sew the 2" ends together into a ring, sew it to the neckline RST, fold it to the inside enclosing the seam (I folded it only 3/8" wide), stitch in the ditch, and trim the excess fabric close to the stitching.  It probably looks like piping bacause I didn't press it flat.  Or maybe the seam allowance inside makes it poof out some.  It was easy and fast to make, even without a serger.

          2. dressed2atee | | #64

            ok, thanks so much for the details.

        2. cynthia2 | | #65

          Very nice - and a gorgeous color!

          1. User avater
            VKStitcher | | #66

            Thanks, Cynthia.  It's a periwinkle cotton knit that I ordered from Nancy's Notions last summer.

        3. WandaJ | | #67

          The color is very relaxing and nice. Your work too is great. The Top looks so comfortable.

          1. User avater
            VKStitcher | | #68

            Thank you for your compliments, WandaJ.  Yes, the t-shirt is very comfortable.  I will definitely make this one again, perhaps with a ballet neckline, or v-neck.

          2. solosmocker | | #69

            Beautifully made and I love the color. solo

          3. User avater
            VKStitcher | | #70

            Thank you, Solo.  However, this simple t-shirt can't compare to your beautiful creations!

  5. User avater
    matzahari | | #5

    I am in too ! 

    1. I have a FolkWear Russian Settler's dress that begs to be made.  I have bright yellow linen and have finally cobbled together the embroidery designs for the bands and straps- it's a stylized slavic flower motif.

    2. I have a pair of indian pants cut out that need to be assembled- silk noil.

    3. a dozen white cotton napkins need monogramming

    4 I am going to make a muslin trouser sloper  so I dont have to struggle with the adjustments  all the time.

    I think that will do it. gulp

    1. proegge | | #6

      I will join the challenge too....  I am starting a Master's program the end of the month, but I am determined to still have time to sew!

      1.  Finish a green jersey knit dress for my daughter-it's about 1/ 2 done.  Simplicity 3678 view A

      2.  Practice pair of pants for the make it with wool contest.  They are cut out-hope to get these done and at least get the 'official' pair and matching jacket cut out by the end of the month.  Vogue 8156 view A-pants, Vogue 8299 view A-jacket

      3.  Black embroidered cotton top for my daughter.  Similar to New Look 6669 view D, only sleeveless and with some trim actually inserted below the bodice, not just added on top.  She saw a top she liked and wants it copied.  Also already cut out.

      4.  Black knit skirt for me.  Vogue 2989 view D.  Plan to make it a little longer-not sure I will pull it up like it is on the pattern.  Just want a basic, very comfortable black skirt.

      Oh yes, plus I have to move my daughter to college for the first time this month!

      Wish me luck!Paula



      1. WandaJ | | #11

        Yes, I do wish you the best as you begin your graduate program, and attempt to engage yourself in sewing projects, as well as, help your daughter start a new life. Not to discourage you but, I completed a graduate program about a year ago, while caring for my elderly mother. For sewing, I asked , "what is that?!"  And, unfortunately, I am still around that theme! I would like to think you are better organized than I and have less personal responsibilities in order to reach your goals; however, on the bright side I do know and believe, "Where there's a will there is a way! :->

  6. Tatsy | | #7

    I'm in too.  School starts Aug. 15, and I'm trying to get five new outfits finished that will get me through the hot weather.

    1. Sleeveless blouses (3)

    2. Crop pants (3)

    3. Lightweight, unlined jackets (3-6)

    4. Miscellaneous skirts (2-4)

    I'm averaging one or two garments a day, so I might make it.


    1. solosmocker | | #8

      Wow, Tatsy! You are really cooking! My goal for August:* Finish my own dress for the wedding. Zip and skirt remain to be done. * Make a linen sundress to take on vackayBoth need to be done by Aug. 15th. Yikes!solo

      1. Tatsy | | #9

        Finished a shell last night and cut out some pants which I hope to get sewn up this morning.  They are elastic waistband so should only take about 45 minutes--I know this pattern well. 

        Am overwhelmed with gratitude this am.  One of my sisters lives a few blocks from the bridge that collapsed yesterday. She and all her family are safe. TG.


        1. solosmocker | | #12

          Tatsy, I am so glad your sister and family are ok. What a horrendous tragedy. If the powers that be would stop spending money on a foolish war and put it into updating the infrastructure things like this wouldn't happen. Imagine all the employment that it would bring. OK, I am off my soapbox and back to sewing.....I cut out my sundress today and think it will be really cute. It will be in a khaki linen with a beige embroidered polka dot. Here's the pattern: http://www.simplicity.com/dv1_v4.cfm?design=3738 It will probably look a lot like the photo, but no jacket. Looks like a great beach dress, right? I also worked on the dress for the wedding, changing the directions to make more sense for my figure. Did I say this before? Don't let me buy anything poly and georgette ever again! OK, so I got a lot done today. Skirt is done, french seams and all due to sheer factor, and I now need to get the lining skirt done. Those seams will be serged.I have it hanging out to help the hem eveness as there is a little bias involved. Here is the pattern I am using for that, View A but short. http://www.simplicitynewlook.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1694
          View A is the white dress in the middle.It was a pleasure to sew today as it is very hot out, in the nineties and I have AC in the sewing room. Tomorrow I need to face some bookeeping issues for hubby, but if they get done it will be down to my little studio. I may update my goals to include another outfit for our vackay on the beach. solo

          1. Tatsy | | #13

            I use a cheat on georgette that makes it easy to work with.  I serge the seams first, then do the french seam.  Sometimes it doesn't work because it shows, but it generally hides in dark fabric and busy prints.  The top I did yesterday was a pale buttercup yellow, so I used a decorative stitch in a pale ivory to cover the serging at the neckline and hems.  It looks great, and I don't think anyone will notice the sideseams--or with the way RTW is going these days, they'll think it's supposed to be that way. 

          2. Lynnelle | | #14

            Fitting updates:

            Well, I've started working on Kwik Sew 2694A.  It is a mock wrap top for knits.  This is my first time ever working with knits and so far things are going well. 

            I made my first muslin out of a cheap knit I found at Joanns ($1/yd.).  This allowed me to see the necessary pattern alterations.  Once I made those changes, I made a another muslin out of some mystery knit that I purchased from the Fabric Warehouse in Michigan.  Boy, was this knit fussy!  I have no idea what it was, but I will not be making anything out of that type of material again.  It was very fluid like and somewhat shiny - not matte.  It did not want to feed into the machine so the fabric kept getting stuck in the throat plate.

            Now, I am making a third test garment out of a cotton interlock that I got on sale.  I made a few more changes to the pattern and cut out the pieces.  When I held them up to my body, it looks as if some of the pieces are a bit small.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

            Here are some of the alterations I made:

            cut the shoulder, armscye, and neckline on size medium

            cut side seam and hem on size large

            shortened armscye and sleeve cap 5/8"

            shortened front and back 1" (sway back and petite alteration)

            I compared the armscye curve on the cut fabric to a RTW knit top that I own.  The curves are very close with the cut curve being about 3/8" longer.  The shoulder lengths are identical on both garments.

            I will sew this up today after I go on a nice bike ride.


          3. cynthia2 | | #18

            Hi Lynelle.  Thanks for the update on your project.  Mine is on temporary hold while I wait for a 22" separating zipper from Riri that had to be ordered.  Hopefully, it will arrive this week.  About the fabric being caught in the machine -- have you tried using a single-stitch throat plate?  It really seems to make a difference for me.  I just have to remember to change throat plates before I use a zigzag stitch or double needle.  Best,  Cynthia

        2. fabricholic | | #15

          Hi Tatsy,I am glad to hear that your sister and family are o.k. That was such an awful disaster and really hard to comprehend the magnitude of it.Marcy

          1. Tatsy | | #16

            Thanks.  I'm glad there were relatively few people hurt.   

          2. Lynnelle | | #19


            I too am glad to hear that your family is ok.  It certianly must have been frightening for both you and her. 

            Thank you for the words of encouragement.  I got most of the shirt sewed up on Saturday.  I have to finish the other side seam and try it on.  Preliminary tests show that it might be a bit too tight and short.  I needed to take out some length for my sway back, but doing so shortened it too much.  On the fourth try, I will add some length to the hem so that it falls in a more flattering spot.  Also, I think I am retaining water or something because I seem to have blown up over the weekend. =/  I tried on the top and it doesn't quite look...well...good.

            I am beginning to question whether wrap tops are suited for my body style.  I have a very high waist, full chest, and a tummy.  Every review of this pattern (that I've seen) says that it is ideal for figures like mine.  We'll see...


            No, I haven't tried to use a single-stitch plate but that is certainly a good idea.  I have to see if one is made for my machine.  Keep us posted on your progress as well!

            Edited 8/6/2007 3:59 pm ET by Lynnelle

          3. solosmocker | | #20

            Lynnelle, let me add that with that single stitch throat plate you may also want to try a single stitch foot. The basic 1/4 inch quilting foot is what I use. It definitely helps. solo

          4. Tatsy | | #21


            Guess I skimmed right over your problem with the knit feeding into the machine.  One good way is just to avoid that slinky stuff, but if you find some fabric you just can't resist, you can try using newsprint or freezer paper as a stabilizer under the fabric. You just tear it off when you're finished. It also helps to increase the stitch--less opportunity to shove it down into the machine.

            I didn't sew too much since Thursday.  Just finished one pair of crop pants.  Maybe tomorrow I'll get some ambition again.


          5. solosmocker | | #23

            Today I had a sewing blitz. I finished my wedding dress, minus a little handwork and have my sundress half done. I hope to finish it tomorrow. Both of these dresses were fraught with stupid mistakes all of which I ripped out and started over on. I guess that's what happens when I rush. The bodice to skirt seam I must have ripped out at least 3 times but I finally got it right. It fits better than I thought given that I used the markings from the pattern and not my sloper. You may remember that I added a ruffle to the neckline and now that its finished I really like that. The ruffle is bias and about 1 1/4 inches double fold wide. It hides just what I want it to hide. So that mistake was a bit of serendipity. I hope to get some pics done tomorrow and will post as soon as I do. This wedding will be the first time in 3 yrs that I have worn nylons, if I indeed do wear them. If they get tan enough at the beach I may pass. I may help the situation along with a little bit of tan in a bottle, if you know what I mean. All must be done and packed by Monday evening so it looks like I might make the deadline. Keep those fingers crossed for me. Thanks, solo

          6. solosmocker | | #24

            Well, my August goals are behind me but I continue on. I did get my vackay dates mixed up so it is next Monday I am leaving. I have a week to sew on unplanned items. That doesn't happen too often! My pics are in the Gallery if you are interested. I have been perusing the pattern books and between that and a couple of inspiring websites, I am going to attempt to make a good sized bag. I have been working on it the past couple of hours and it is a new fun challenge. I am using a Sewing with Nancy bag pattern. I am in our office now but I think it is Simplicity. It has a triangular applique of triangles on the sides. While the pattern gave all the pattern pieces for the triangles, I have been wanting to try foundation piecing for a long time. So I got out the graph paper, graphed my pattern, and have been piecing for the last couple of hours. It is really going quickly and all looks pretty accurate so far. This has been a neat change from my usual sewing endeavors but I am really enjoying the new challenge. After this wedding and vackay are behind me I plan to get back to my smocking big time. But for now my remainder of August will be devoted to the bag. It feels so good to have the wedding deadline met. solo

    2. Lynnelle | | #10

      Wow, seriously!  You really are cooking!  I average one to two garments per day...in my thoughts only. =)

      Good luck and post pictures when you're done.

  7. Tatsy | | #17


    Congratulations!  Sounds like you got all the bugs out. Be sure to make yourself a bodice sloper so that you can alter future patterns without having to go through  so much prep work again.

    I think you'll love sewing knits now that you've started.  For the most part, they're easy to work with and very forgiving of minor cutting and stitching errors. Most knits take little or no seam finishing, so they whip up in now time. Did  anyone tell you about using universal or ballpoint needles? They make it much less likely that the fabric will run.


  8. meg | | #22

    Deep breath - I'm going to make myself a denim-style jacket (pattern tested already twice, once for myself out of salvageable parts of worn-out jeans and once for a friend out of white denim which came out Very Cool) of a Fantastic Print I purchased from EmmaOneSock.com. I cannot control myself when I look at this fabric. It's awesome (to me). With a business trip today and our son getting off to college and school starting on the 27th, this one garment may be more than I can manage to complete whilst working full time...... But I'll try!

  9. Teaf5 | | #25

    Congratulations to all who've met their July or August challenge!  I am in awe of all of you who can plan in advance, follow through, and actually approach sewing in an organized way. 

    In July, I made a blouse, seven sofa pillows and covers, two tablecloths, and a dozen sheer, packable shopping bags--none were planned in advance and most were gifts, but I used up a bit of stash and was happy to complete something.

    August--how can it be mid-August already?--is back to school, so I cleaned up my sewing room until the next break or the next whim.  Meanwhile, I'll get my sewing fix on this forum, so thanks for sharing!


    1. Tatsy | | #26

      School starts tomorrow and I got hung up on a snazzy jacket pattern that fits everywhere but in the sleeves.  I did finish two pairs of crop pants, two blouses, and am working on a skirt.  They are all just bread and butter sewing.  They jacket would have been special.

      1. Lynnelle | | #27

        Yikes, it is indeed the middle of August already!  Unfortunately, I have not met my August goals.  In fact, I have not made one step at all.  I decided to teach a summer class and it really consumed a lot of time.  By the time I came home, I was too tired to think - let alone to practice adjusting a pattern for fit.

        Now that classes are over, I may be able to start something.  I'll be out for foot surgery soon.  I do not know how this procedure is going to affect my mood.  Oh well, God willing, there's always September. =)


        1. User avater
          Becky-book | | #28

          Progress report...

          blouse fitting prototype... well, it does go all the way around the hips and the sleeves don't bind at the bicep.... but it still hikes up on the fanny (which protrudes beyond the shoulder blades) So I have re-visited a lesson I should have learned in Physics class; gravity will make the cloth hang straight down from the supporting point (upper back) and so it hits the "bum".  End result... this shirt will always be tucked in!  Sept goal - go back to sloper and draft a shoulder princess shirt, with back seams!

          Counterchange dress... thought I was done - need to re-do buttonholes and then buttons (maybe this afternoon?)

          Not on the original list:   UFO from my Mom's stuff - lilac shirt dress sz 7jp, will give it to pre-teen daughter of dear friend, supper with them tonight and mark hem for her.

          March's promise to friend for shirt from her cloth - done!!!


          1. Tatsy | | #31

            After several experiments with various methods to deal with the fanny problem, I found that adding a backseam allowed me to cut  the back large enough to fall gracefully and fit the shoulders properly.  The only gremlin was getting the curve in exactly the right spot since it's not the same as the side hip curve. 

            Another thing you can try is adding a horizontal seam at the back waist that dips gently toward the fanny from each side. This puts the seam slightly on the bias so that it stretches instead of folding up and allows you to take out any extra fabric that you really don't need.  

          2. User avater
            Becky-book | | #32

            Thanks for the ideas, I'll try that on the next experiment!


          3. User avater
            dayenu | | #33

            with the sloper done I am now 90% done with the black silk pants with the gold embroidered ankle bands. The russian dress is cut out and I finally chose embroidery colors. I will start experimenting tomorrow.

            as for the linens: I got a new apron made instead....... i just have to make a template for positioning the monogram so they are consistent. then i can  start imagining september challenges. You are really getting me going, Thanks.

          4. solosmocker | | #34

            This is sounding so incredible. I hope we get to see some pics when done. I am looking forward to seeing this . solo

          5. solosmocker | | #35

            Just finished my bag and its off to vackay tomorrow! So will not be posting for a bit. Lynelle, thanks for the nice comments on the Pattern Review site. The feedback is gratefully appreciated. So heres the bag details. I've got sooooo much to do before we leave that I will be back to put more on the bag into the post later. Thanks for understanding the quickie here. solo

          6. Tatsy | | #36

            That bag is gorgeous!  Is the detail of the couple an embroidery or is it made of metal or plastic?

          7. solosmocker | | #37

            Thanks, Tatsy. About 35 yrs ago I inherited an amazing stash from an 84 yr old spinster great aunt who passed away. It included tons of lace, liturgical textiles, and odds and ends. This is a pendant carved out of either bone or ivory and I have never quite known what to do with it as it is a little large to wear on my small frame. I tied it to the bag and thought, "I really like that!" So after many, many years it has found a home. This great aunt was a packrat spinster. It was often suspected but proven and learned upon her demise that she had a lifelong affair with the local priest. The family has proof. That being said, she took care of all the altar linens and priestly garments in her church for her entire lifetime and anything not perfect or discarded she kept. I inherited some amazing laces from her as well as other really interesting bricabrac. It also included some gorgeous silk lingeries, a la 30s, that have since succumbed to my former ignorance of the its care and dry rot. Its quite a family story, but one that was hidden for many years. soloEdited 8/19/2007 12:36 pm ET by solosmocker

            Edited 8/19/2007 12:37 pm ET by solosmocker

          8. Tatsy | | #41

            You never know what you'll find in your family closets.  The way my great-aunt and grandmother talked about one of their deceased sisters I always thought she had committed suicide. When my grandmother died I ended up with a lot of her pictures.  One was a studio portrait of a very pretty young woman.  When I asked my mother about it she said it was a professional portrait the deceased sister used in ads for her act.  She had died naturally after a long career in vaudeville. That was the deep, dark secret!

          9. cynthia2 | | #38

            Your bag is incredible! Thanks so much for sharing the photos. I love the luxurious fabrics you've used. What a treat to have inherited so many special pieces. Cynthia

          10. solosmocker | | #40

            THE SWEATSHOP IS CLOSED! I just finished the ringbearer pillow and now can pack up my clothes and leave. Have a great week and I will check back in when I return from Maine. Cynthia, that is a beautiful blouse. Congrats on meeting your goal. The zippers are beyond your control. solo

            Edited 8/19/2007 6:14 pm ET by solosmocker

          11. Ralphetta | | #42

            Very pretty...ya done good

          12. solosmocker | | #46

            Thanks for all the nice comments. I just snuck in some comp time at Sis's. Now off to make dinner for her and family.

          13. User avater
            VKStitcher | | #43

            What a neat bag--and an interesting family story, too!  The ringbearer pillow is beautiful--you do such amazing work.  Now it's time to enjoy your vacation--have a great time in Maine!

          14. WandaJ | | #53

            Hi, I loved your bag, but the picture of the ring bearer's pillow made me smile!

          15. rodezzy | | #76

            That is an awesome bag, are you selling it, or are you like me, finally making things for myself too!


          16. solosmocker | | #78

            The bag is for me and I had so much fun making it that I am pretty sure I will make bags for family and friends for Christmas. I have actually started on another one, but very opposite. It is felted embroidered wool. I will save it as part of my September challenge. I honed in today on my September challenge projects which will primarily be clothes for my upcoming grandtwins. I have ordered the smocking plates and will get started as soon as they arrive. DD#2 also just put in a request for a special holiday dress for DGD. So lots coming up. Lynelle, if you are out there, I hope you feel better soon. Are you sewing away with your left foot? I hope you are getting more comfortable as time goes on. I can sympathize with the pain issue. I have just overcome 2 1/2 days of a terrible migraine. I unknowingly out of my medication and too doggone sick to drive to get some more. DH was away on the road so I just crawled in a hole and popped Motrin. Didn't really help. Good news is it is finally over and I feel back to myself tonite. I hope you are back to your self real soon. solo

    2. solosmocker | | #30

      That sounds like an awesome apron. Hope we get a picture when its done. Well, I worked on my bag today, at least 4 hours! All of the piecing is done for the appliques.I used paper piecing techniques which I have never tried and it was great fun and I learned something in the process. There is a lot of machine quilting on this bag so I am in the throws of that right now. Most of that is done. Hope to get this done by the weekend and pics! Lata'solo

      Edited 8/15/2007 6:30 pm ET by solosmocker

  10. cynthia2 | | #39

    Hi Lynelle.  Well, I'm still waiting for the RiRi zippers that I ordered from my local sewing store to arrive, so I switched to another pattern for this month's challenge.  Just finished the Sewing Workshop's Tribeca Shirt pattern.  It's a simple pattern and goes together very easily.  I made it in a lightweight silk and will wear it as a blouse.  I think it would make a fabulous jacket in a double-faced cashmere or other light wool.  Looking forward to seeing more of everyone's August projects.  Best, Cynthia

    1. User avater
      VKStitcher | | #44

      Cynthia,  this is a beautiful blouse.  I've never used Sewing Workshop patterns, because I think they are generally too loose and boxy for my taste and shape.  But I like this one because the darts give it such nice shaping.  I may just have to try this one--maybe a jacket?  Thanks for sharing the photo, and getting me to think new thoughts...

      1. cynthia2 | | #45

        Hi Vickie. Thanks for your kind words. The blouse was fun. I agree that most Sewing Workshop patterns are a bit boxy. There are two other patterns from them that I really love -- the Tea Garden T and the Chopin Blouse. Both are fitted, beautifully detailed, and (in the case of the Tea Garden T) very easy to make. The Chopin Blouse is more complex, but the instructions are good. I think I posted photos of the Chopin Blouse earlier this summer, but can't remember the thread. Best, Cynthia

        1. MaryinColorado | | #72

          I appreciated your comments on the Chopin blouse.  Thank You, maybe I will make it after all.  I bought the pattern, then read reviews on patternreview.com and decided it sounded like a terrible pattern to work with.  It is so pretty, if you have any suggestions, please let me know.  Did you have any problems with it?

          1. cynthia2 | | #79

            Hi Mary. Definitely give it a try. The pattern isn't "fast and easy" but the results are worth it. The blouse is completely finished on the inside, with all seams hidden, which is important to me. I like my things to look nice on the inside as well. The only change I'd make is to the front. The front panels actually have pockets right at the bustline. The open from the center front so you can stick your hands in like Napoleon should the mood strike (and if it does, we should probably lie down until it passes!). Not sure why we'd need pockets at the bustline. You might save a bit of time by omitting those, but the topstitching on those sections does look nice. It might take more time to modify the pattern to omit the pockets than it does to simply go ahead and make them and not use them. Let us know how it turns out!

    2. dressed2atee | | #47

      Very very nice!!!

      1. Lynnelle | | #48


        Well, surgery is over and...um...ouch!  The painkillers are actually causing me more discomfort than my foot.  The stomach cramping caused by T#3 is unbearable, so at present I am opting to cope with the foot pain. 

        Additional bummer:  it's my right foot so I can't even sew!  I don't quite trust my left foot on the pedal - besides I need to keep the right one elevated.

        The day before my surgery, I made much progress on my bodice fitting challenge.  Initially, I was going to start with the McCall's fitting shell (2718) and go from there.  But, I just couldn't shake Simplicity 4698 from me thoughts.  So, I decided to just go right at it and attempt to fit this jacket.  It's a pattern that I've had for a long time and have attempted twice already.  I cut all pieces on the 16 (one size bigger than my high bust measurement) and the front side using the D-cup piece.  When I tried on the tissue, it was very small.  So, here are some of the adjustments I made:

        shortened armscye on front and back 1/2" for petite adjustment

        slashed and spread back 1/2" for broad back

        shortened front and back length for sway back

        lowered bust curve

        made 1 1/2" FBA

        added 1/2" (tapering to nothing near bust) to side seam  of back and side back for waist

        made total seam allowance on front and side front 1"

        shortened sleeve cap 1/2" to match armscye adjustment

        Whew!  When I tested the adjustments in muslin, the princess seam fell nicely over the bust - a little too nicely.  The jacket is a bit big in the waist, so I will sew on the natural 5/8" seam.  I will leave the 1/2" to 0" addition on the back and side back pieces.  I will also lengthen the hem a bit as I want the jacket to be a little longer.

        I have yet to sew the sleeve.  After all that I've done, I am hoping that no adjustments need to be made (except something simple like shortening the length).

        I don't know when I will return to the machine.  I'm trying to stay off my feet for some time.

        I've read the most recent posts and am glad to see that others are progressing as well.

        Any thoughts for September?  I have a few garments in mind that I'd like to make for my fall work wardrobe.  What are your ideas?


        1. cynthia2 | | #49

          Hi Lynelle,

          I'm glad to hear that your surgery is over.  It's too bad about the painkillers, though.  I'm sure you could really use them!

          Well, I'm still waiting for the RiRi zipper for my red jacket, so I dug into my stash and made up a lightweight (rayon) swing-style jacket for fall.  I think it will be cute with a brown turtleneck and slacks.

          I'm eager to get back to the red jacket, though.  Maybe the zipper will arrive soon.  Fingers crossed.   Cynthia

          1. user-217847 | | #50

            Cynthia hi there,

            the jacket is wonderful, the fabric is scrumptious. what pattern did you use and what is the fabric? Hope you don't think I'm being too nosey.

            warm regards,wombat 

          2. cynthia2 | | #52

            Thanks Wombat. The pattern is an old Vogue (#1636) that I've had for a few years. The fabric is a rayon that I bought in Seattle (at Sewing Expo) earlier this year. Can't remember the vendor. It was dead easy to work with. Best, Cynthia

          3. Lynnelle | | #51


            Thank you for the good wishes!  Yah, who'd have thought painkillers would cause pain? =)

            The jacket is fab-u-lous (finger snaps included, of course).  Job well done!  I am now even more anxious to see your jacket once the zipper arrives.

            In the meantime, I'll keep dreaming of my jackets and pants to make...


          4. WandaJ | | #55

            This jacket is 'sew' pretty!

          5. MaryinColorado | | #74

            Wow!  That fabric is so nice for fall.  I love the jacket, what pattern did you use?  Mary

          6. cynthia2 | | #80

            Hi Mary. Thanks for your kind words. I used Vogue 1636 for that project. It's an old pattern that is now out of print. It's a simple shawl collar, swing jacket, though, so I'm sure there's something similar out there. I wore the jacket this weekend and received several compliments. That's always so encouraging! Best, Cynthia

        2. WandaJ | | #54

          About the foot...I know I've been there for reasons other than yours, so here it goes:

          Yes, you can sew/operate the sewing machine pedal with the left foot. Try it on a scrap and go slow at first. You will be amazed at how well you can operate your machine.

          Now, you may find the positioning awkward, but give yourself a slight turn to the right - in your seat at the machine - and prop up the foot where surgery was performed.

          Oh...what a delight to sit at my sewing machine and hear it hum.......bad foot or not!

        3. Tatsy | | #56


          Sorry to hear you're laid up.  Hope you get better soon.

          You sure learned a lot about adapting patterns to fit your body.  Doesn't that feel great?  No more (or very few) garments wadded up and thrown at the door.

          I gave up on my August challenge.  My GP sent me to the cardiologist, who scared me to death.  No real problems, just the finger writing on the wall: Lose weight! So I'm being even more careful about my diet.  Have lost ten pounds since late June.  No reason to sew any more for me until I lose another ten.  Guess I'll sew for my niece and her kids.


          1. solosmocker | | #57

            Congratulations on following doctors orders and achieving the weight loss. Just think of all the wonderful garments you will make for yourself soon!

          2. Tatsy | | #60

            Thank you.  Actually, losing weight was a compromise so the doctor could feel ethical about having me as a patient when I refuse to take the medicines he wanted to prescribe.  Specialists are so impressed when your GP says your diabetes is under control with diet and exercise.

          3. MaryinColorado | | #75

            Good for you for standing your ground and using diet and exercise successfully to control your diabetes!  No easy task.  Here's a pat on the back for all the effort to be healthy "naturally". 

          4. Tatsy | | #77

            It isn't really that hard.  I came across a book that essentially says the typical "balanced" diet insures you will eat many things you shouldn't.  It's all based on blood type.  I lost another two pounds this week because I've been sticking to the things my blood type is supposed to eat.

            Edited 8/31/2007 9:06 pm ET by Tatsy

          5. solosmocker | | #58

            Lynelle, I never could take T#3 either. Made me feel like bugs were crawling all over me, yuk! I hope you are back at the machine really soon. I have a feeling that you will figure out how to sew with your current handicap. Got back from Maine today. The wedding was lovely and the little ones precious. Grandma beamed all afternoon!I have so many directions I want to go for September. I think I will need to spend a morning this week going thru patterns and stash and setting up some goals. For now I am going to just get caught up on some much needed cleaning and gardening! More soon!solo

            Edited 8/26/2007 10:41 pm ET by solosmocker

          6. User avater
            dayenu | | #59

            I dont even recall what I promised myself to finish in august but i do know that many other projects have intervened ( like making swirly earrings) and today I SWEAR I am going to mark off the band for embroidery on the russian settler's dress. I am procrastinating because I have to line up the sections perfectly. if i don't do it soon it will be too  cool to even wear.  waaaaaaaaaa, thanks for letting me whine.

        4. MaryinColorado | | #73

          I hope you will call the doc and request a different pain medication!  There is no reason to have to suffer through this when there are so many alternatives out there!  I am a retired RN, have a sensitive tummy too, so I empathise with you.  Best wishes on your recovery!  Mary

    3. MaryinColorado | | #71

      I love your blouse, it looks very well made, the fabric is understated elegance.  I agree, that pattern would make a lovely jacket too.  Mary

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