Saturday, October 31, 2015

Simplicity 2690 Wearable Muslin

This project has been on my wish list for a very long time.  A handful of years, I think.  I don't remember what came first, the fabric or the pattern, but they are a match made in heaven.
I immediately fell in love with view A.  The printed fabric is sheer and drapey, so my plan is to underline the tunic in brown rayon and leave the sleeves sheer.  And I will use the white ribbon as accents just like their version.  Cute, huh?
 So a couple weekends ago, I dug out this pattern and decided to make a muslin.  After I cut out all the pattern pieces and pressed them, I was humming and hawing because I wasn't sure if it was going to fit.  So I googled the pattern and perused a handful of blog posts, and everyone seemed to have good luck with it.   I decided to try it in a knit first, and chose view C.  Today I dug in and sewed the whole thing from start to finish. 
I used a soft cotton knit that my mother-in-law gave me a couple years ago.  I'm not a big fan of the print; it's a bit pale and too flowery for my tastes, but it's decent enough that if it turns out, I will be happy to wear it to church.
 I cut out a size 18 and sewed it together with no alterations.  I read in someone's blog that the front bodice was a bit short, but I wanted to see what the original fit like before I made any changes.
Overall, it's really good, and I'm loving this pattern.  The front bodice does need to be at least an inch longer under the bust, especially when I make this in a woven.  And the modesty panel needs to be an inch higher, and I will bring in the neckline at the shoulders about an inch.  
The underarms are a bit low, but they don't really bother me.  I like loose armholes, so I will likely wear a beige bra and leave it at that.
Knowing that the front bodice was short, I didn't make my elastic very snug.  I had a top similar to this a few years ago, and the elastic was way too tight and it just looked like "BOOBS!".  So I left it fairly loose, and I'm happy with how it sits on this version.  It's snug at the back and sits comfortably at the front.  

I serged the waist seam at the full 5/8" and encased the elastic as I sewed.  I don't like feeding elastic through casing, so this was easier.  I just had to scrunch it up periodically so I had enough length to sew flat.
 Here are my Front, Side, and Back shots.  My camera doesn't focus very well anymore, so I had to use the text setting to get some clear shots.  The lighting on the rest of the pictures is better, but some of them are blurry.  Even these ones aren't that clear.  Oh well.  I guess it's time for a new camera!
 I really like the fit and style of this top, but this fabric definitely doesn't suit me.  I'm a winter, not a summer.  Speaking of winter, do you like my penguin PJ pants?  LOL
 In addition to my long-sleeved tunic that I've been dreaming of, I already dug out some knit leftovers from my stash in a print that is definitely more my style.  Funky and modern.  :)
And let's give some props to my hair today!  I'm a couple weeks overdue for a haircut because I have to streak it myself and I'm lazy.  So it's long and shaggy (for me).  When I woke up this morning, it was 3 times crazier than this.  It's actually kinda cute!  I don't mind leaving it a bit longer.
 I am so happy that I finally sewed a garment for myself!  I believe March 2012 was the last time I made an actual garment for myself.  It feels so good!

Update: July 2016

I've worn this top only a handful of times, but this past weekend, I fell in love with it.  Previously, I felt comfortable, but I wasn't feeling particularly flattered.  That is, until I saw this impromptu photo taken by a random second cousin at my family's summer BBQ.  I didn't realize how flattering it is, not only the style, but the colours!  I am even more excited now to make another one in a funky modern knit.  :)

Friday, October 16, 2015

Quilt Retreat at Camp He Ho Ha - February 2015

In February, I went to a quilt retreat at Camp He Ho Ha with Jody.  
This retreat is a joint venture between the Barrhead and Westlock Quilt Guilds.  There were about 40 of us there.  It was amazing to say the least.  I have never been to a quilt retreat before, but Mom used to go to this very retreat years ago, and a lot of her old quilting buddies were there.  It was really nice to see them.  Some of them I knew through Mom, and some of them I met when I went to a meeting at the Westlock Crazy Quilters.  And of course, I met lots of new people!  What an amazing and creative bunch.
 This was Jody's labour of love.  Her and Bev and I think a handful of others were trying to figure this out!  I would call it a hyperbole in fabric form.  I'm not sure what that means, but mathematical and confusing comes to mind!  Sure looks good when it's done though!  :)
I spent the weekend working on my girl quilt squares.  I had just over half of them already cut out from a mini craft retreat in January.  
 This weekend I finished cutting them out and sewed them almost entirely together.  I love seeing all the different fabrics come together.  
 Camp He Ho Ha is special to me because this is where Tyler used to come for Diabetes Camp.
He told me they used to have a pirate ship that you could climb all over.  I didn't find a pirate ship, but I found a rock climbing wall and a maze of bridges!
 It is such a beautiful place.  The camp is situated on a small peninsula in the middle of a lake.
 And, of course, we were lucky to have a beautiful sunny weekend, even though it was cold!
 It was fun being set up as one of four tables.  I got to know the other ladies at my table, and I made sure to make the rounds often and chat people up.
 I was told about the legendary snack table.  It did not disappoint!  There was always a ton of snacks, and we ate!  And that's to say nothing against the kitchen!  We ate 3 square meals a day, and they were absolutely amazing.  I can't believe we ate so much.
 But we also worked very hard.  Next time, I will learn to pace myself a bit more.  I'm not used to quilting all day!  I hardly sew anymore, so I'm not used to doing it for hours on end in my spare time.  Some of these ladies are unstoppable!  
 I took these photos right after one of our meals.  I ate fast and snuck back in here all by myself.
 It was quiet for a few minutes, so I took the opportunity to wander through all the tables and take pictures of everybody's projects.
 I remember Mom made a few of these.  :)
 I love the colours in this one.  Orange is my favourite colour.  The Barrhead Quilters had an assignment that included black and white prints with one solid colour.  This was one of my favourites.  It's a little hard to see, because it's inside out, but it looks amazing!
 This is Alice's quilt and sewing station.  I've known Alice the longest.  She was one of the founding executives of the Westlock Crazy Quilters with Mom.  It was really great to visit with her.
Sitting in small groups by the fireplace was a really great experience.  Some of these ladies are in their 70's, even 80's, and they are so sharp and interesting!  I learned a lot just sitting soaking up the conversations.
I love bright coloured batiks!
 One of the ladies at the table behind us was working on this.  The light blue stripe is actually bright aqua, and the colour combination is amazing!
 Remember how many squares I made?  160!  I had trouble fitting them all on my table, as I laid them out to join the sections together.  I loved seeing all the colours!
 There was a piano, and it was right behind us, as we were the very last table.  This is Bev.  She works at Dad's upholstery shop.  She's a superstar seamstress.  It was really fun getting to know her better.  And apparently she's a very good pianist!  Next time, I will bring my hymnal.  I can only plunk out one note at a time with my right hand, but it's still fun!
 Near the end of the weekend, we started to see big quilts put up on the board.  I love this one.  It's all batiks, and I love big modern shapes like this.  And funky quilts with no borders.  :)
 Here is the unicorn quilt.  There is a small section in one of the pictures above.  She made excellent progress with this one!  Cute.
 Here is more of that orange and black and white one I liked so much.
 Here is my table again.  Heaps of squares!
 This is a gorgeous autumn quilt made with batiks.  I love the vibrant colours she chose!
 Slicin' and choppin'!  
One of my favourite parts of the retreat was the pool.  It was open from 7-8:30 each night, and I enjoyed it for a good hour both nights.  It felt so good.  And the few of us that swam got to have a nice visit.
 Here is the lady with the aqua and brown quilt.  Stunning.
 Bev, from our table, made this.  Funky!
 Can you tell I was fascinated with this one?  :)
 And finally, my piles of squares!  All I had left was to join the last set together, which I did in a couple short sessions in the past couple of months.
 Holy toledo.  Never again.  Remind me to never mass produce 4 or 5 quilts ever again!  It would have been easy if it was only 114 squares like I needed.  LOL.  This little pile took me all weekend.
 Here she is!  I just love it.  :D
 This was one of my favourites to snoop.  The Beatles!  And funky!
 The Fab Four.
 She designed this all herself.  Amazing.
 This is a cute chicken wall hanging made by Sallly.  I met her at the Westlock Quilt meeting a couple years ago.  She's a firecracker, that one!
 And Bev with one of her completed quilts.  This one is reversible.
I can't wait to do it again!  I learned a lot, both about what to bring next time, and how to pace myself.  That was the most sewing I've done all year!  Ha ha!