Vogue 8952 Tunic with Contrast Cowl and Hem Band!

This tunic was part of my last-minute outfit for Christmas Day.  The fact that I was finishing it up on Christmas Eve and still had plenty of family time made me realize that this Christmas was definitely less stressful than some others.  Still, I don’t recommend this type of sewing procrastination, and next year I plan to do better!

LABELLED FINAL GREEN TUNIC FRONT

If you look at the pattern drawings for Vogue 8952 view B you will see there is no hem band. Collar, yes; hem band, no.  But, trust me, I really needed this hem band!  This top as drafted did NOT function as a tunic on my body, at least not how I define “tunic.”  After sewing it up as it was intended, I modeled it for my husband along with the black leggings.  His raised eyebrow told me everything I needed to know.  And I no longer believe my husband is fashion illiterate because the next words out of his mouth were, “Why don’t you add a black band at the bottom to match the collar?”  Huh?  Has he been peeking over my shoulder when I’m on my tablet browsing fashion pics?  Well, anyway, I am rather pleased with the final outcome of this lengthened tunic, though I would add even more length next time.

Back view green tunic for blog final

The print fabric is an ITY knit from Denver Fabrics, and the black solid is a thin rayon-cotton knit from Fabric.com.  The sleeves were hemmed using Steam-A-Seam Lite. The black solid draped so nicely for the cowl and I could tell there was no need to hem it, even though the pattern calls for hemming.  You wouldn’t even be able to see my work, so being a practical sort I skipped that.  I also did not hem the band since it hung so nicely and knits don’t unravel anyway.  These shortcuts were handy given my deadline, but if I had used a different fabric, it may have required hemming.  I do hem almost all my knits using a twin needle, though, because usually you can tell and it does make a difference, just not with this particular garment!

There are so many patterns out there nowadays with cowls, and one thing to note with Vogue 8952 is that the cowl is not folded over and sewn as a double-layered cowl.  It is just one big rectangle sewn on and then folded to the inside of the neckline and tacked down. I would guess with this style loosely tacked down, that if your fabric were not the same on both sides that it’s possible the wrong side could peek out.  Just something to keep in mind.  I would like to try a double-layer cowl next time I sew one.

View B was nice overall, but the sleeve head on the sleeve pattern was awfully high.  I just know this does not work for me, so I substituted my TNT Plantain tee pattern sleeve.  First I measured the Vogue armscythe to make sure it matched ok.  Everything worked out well!

View A is a raglan style, and I’ve seen some cute versions of that around the web, as well as View C which has cut-on sleeves and a more pronounced high-low hemline.  I will probably try the raglan and sew it with the intended length (which would be a top for me, not a tunic apparently.)

FINAL Scaled Good one for blog

Tunics are perfect for all seasons!  What are your favorite tunic patterns?

 

 

 

Robert Kaufman and Riley Blake Flannels – Yes!

OK, I confess my boys are wearing LAST YEAR’S Christmas jammies, but it is THIS year’s picture.

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As a brand-new sewist then, of course I made pajama pants (using Simplicity 5271.)  And let me tell you, they are so comfortable.  Robert and Riley really know how to rock flannel!  There is no way you can find RTW pants made with this quality of flannel in stores.  At least not where I shop.  Of the two, I guess I would say the Robert Kaufman Remix flannel (the two chevron patterns in the picture) is the heaviest and retains its color the best.  All four of these pants have been washed many times over the past year and only the darker blue Riley Blake has faded somewhat noticeably.  This also happened with a dark blue Riley Blake knit print I used this past summer for a top, and only after a few washes.  But, overall, I just love both these flannels and would buy them again in a heartbeat.

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My intentions to sew five more pairs this Christmas (kids plus hubbie) did not pan out.  Truth is, since I’ve only been at this sewing thing for just over a year, I’m smack in the middle of a big learning curve, thus trying to add a new skill with each garment I sew.  Sewing these p.j.s one after another can get a tad repetitive.  So, the only official holiday sewing I managed to squeeze in this year was a quilted potholder and a tunic to wear Christmas Day.  But maybe next year I’ll be shopping once again for that wonderful, cozy flannel.

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Since I had no blog last year, please allow me to now share something else I made a year ago.  These Christmas stockings were so much fun to make!  Four boys and a cat…DSC_1100

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I even learned to embroider a bit using the stem stitch for their names.  Originally, I did try to find a store to embroider the names for me, but they were completely booked up already with holiday orders.  In the end, I am glad I persevered and am proud of my efforts.  The cursive font I chose was probably a more difficult choice for a beginner than a ball-and-stick type, but it worked out quite well.

To make these, I followed the free stocking tutorial from Sew Like My Mom.  I looked at lots of them, and hers was just what I was looking for, complete with printable templates and fool-proof instructions. I also liked the way she did the lining and cuff, where you can pull up the cuff to make the stocking taller if you need to.

The photos above are from last year.  Here is this year’s.  Finally decided to buy proper stocking holders, except I forgot one for the cat!

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Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  And a very happy New Year to all of my fellow sewists.  What holiday sewing did you do?  I am so impressed with those of you who can crank out project after project in record time. Alas, that it not me at this point, but that’s ok.  I am thoroughly enjoying this journey even if it is a bit pokey.  I like to meander awhile, ponder, plan, dream… that is just me.

I will try to do a post soon on the Vogue tunic I made to wear Christmas Day!

My New Sewing Adventure!

About a year and a half ago, I started an unexpected sewing adventure.  I could never in a million years have predicted this would happen, or that I would suddenly become a crazed lunatic fabric hoarder who contemplates picking up a new Rubbermaid box each trip to Walmart to store more fabric!  How can this happen to a forty-something, otherwise-sane-for-the-most-part woman? Ask my boys.  It’s clearly their fault.

My start in sewing happened because my three youngest boys wanted a sewing machine on which to sew Mario Brothers plush dolls.  Yeah, weird.  They got tired of using their allowance to buy these little overpriced plushes, so learn to make them they did, by watching tutorials.  But a sewing machine would be so much faster than doing it by hand, Mom!  A few days later, we were the proud owners of a seventy-five dollar Brother mechanical machine.  Of course, fast-forward a bit and now the boys never touch the machine (make that two machines now,) but I have been transformed into a hopeless addict who has no choice but to find time for sewing amongst everything else I have to do.  It’s the most enjoyable addiction I’ve ever had.

Final Final Edward Hopper Girl at Sewing Machine quote by Kelly

OK, the quiet room part is just a dream for me, with four boys in the house!

I want this blog to be a record of my progress in sewing and a place to share ideas and inspiration with others.  But, it’s also going to be the place I record my deeper thoughts of what sewing has brought to my life, philosophical ramblings, if you will.  Because for me, sewing is about so much more than just making a garment.  It’s a fresh, invigorating breeze that has entered my life at just the right time.  I am a calmer, more confident and peaceful person because of sewing.  I no longer cook, clean, or do laundry, but really, how am I supposed to do all that too?!

I am really looking forward to meeting some of you wonderful sewing personalities out there!  And next post I’ll actually share a garment I sewed…