Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Simplicity Early Spring 2011 patterns

I keep hoping that my next blog post is going to be me glowing about my completed HotPatterns Camden coat, but with all of the pieces/seam, top-stitching, and life distractions, my progress has been very slow. As of this posting, I have the shell mostly complete except for setting in the sleeves and placing/stitching the pockets. The lining should go together quickly, though, and I'm really, really, REALLY hoping that I manage to finish the coat this weekend.

In other news, the new catalog recently became available for the Simplicity Early Spring 2011 collection. I don't usually sew very much from Big 4 patterns, but I'll hit a few of the pattern sales each year and often pick up a few from each company that really grab me. (Whether or not I actually get around to sewing them is a different story.)

I hit the Simplicity sale the other day and walked away with three patterns from the new Early Spring 2011 collection, plus one pattern that it seems like everyone has been sewing and loving, so I thought it would be good to add to my stash.

First up are Simplicity 2263 and Simplicity 2261. Both of these are wardrobe-type patterns with several options.

I picked up Simplicity 2263 primarily for the jacket with the princess shoulder seams and epaulet details. Jackets/toppers are currently a decent-sized hole in my wardrobe, and I plan to sew a few of them over the coming year. (I'm NOT going to try to tackle that 12-jackets-in-a-year sewalong, though!) With my large bust, shoulder princess seams are the easiest style for me to fit, so I'll usually pick up any pattern like this that there's any remote chance that I'll sew. This one is unlined, and I could see myself making it up in one of my stashed linens for spring.

Simplicity 2261 caught my attention for the neckline details on the v-neck knit top. Nothing earth-shattering here, but this is the type of project that I tend to gravitate towards after finishing a longer/more intense project.

The other two patterns that I picked up were Simplicity 2262 and Simplicity 2369.

Simplicity 2262 instantly got my attention for View A--the cute long-ish cardigan with the pockets and sleeve tabs. Not only will this fill a "topper" hole in my wardrobe, it looks like it will be very fast and easy to sew, as well. I suspect that this will be the first pattern that I sew out of this group.

Simplicity 2369 has been around for a while. I think that half the members of Pattern Review have made either the wrap top or dress from this pattern. Usually, when a pattern is really popular, it makes me less likely to want to sew it--I think my adolescent need to be a non-conformist kicks in or something. However, this has looked great on everyone who has made it, and I haven't bought any wrap top patterns in a few years. This pattern just seemed like a good one to add to my stash.

Hopefully, I'll actually have time to sew up one or two of these in the next few months!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Candidates for next project (Jan. 2011)

I'm currently buried in the 30+ pieces of the HotPatterns Denim Diva Camden coat, but I wouldn't be me if I wasn't already flitting back and forth between various ideas for my next project.

The coat hasn't been difficult so far, but with so many pieces and so many steps, I think I'm going to need a "palate cleanser" type project as my next project. I'm thinking about going with either a knit top or a knit dress. I'm leaning more towards a knit dress--specifically a long-sleeved knit dress--because I haven't sewn one of those in a while, and it's a hole in my wardrobe. I did include one knit top in the candidates because I think it's a really cute pattern that I've been wanting to make for a while, but I keep bumping it from the top of my queue.

Here are the candidates in no particular order:

Vogue 8613

Somehow,Vogue 8613 has been in the pattern catalog for over a year and doesn't have a single review on Pattern Review. This amazes me given the popularity of Vogue knit dresses on PR. It's a shirtwaist pattern designed for doubleknits or beefy knits.

I'm planning to make this out of a Ponte doubleknit with a lovely drape from Fashionista Fabrics. It's got a little bit of a Mad Men vibe to it, but without being overly costumey.

HotPatterns 1057

HotPatterns 1057 - the "Indispensable dress" is another candidate. This is another shirtdress designed for knits. This one has princess seams, though, and has a completely different look than the Vogue. I must want to make a shirtdress of some kind fairly badly, I guess.

I'm thinking about making this one out of a different color of Ponte doubleknit from the same batch at Fashionista--this one in an "Ocean Blue".

Kwik Sew 3823 - View B

The only top candidate that I'm considering is Kwik Sew 3823, View B. This is a scarf-neckline style, and I think it's really cute. There was a similar KnipMode dress recently that a few people have made up, and it turned out lovely. I'm more inclined to try the top version first to see how I like it before committing to a dress.

I'd be making this one up in a red rayon jersey from my stash.

HotPatterns 1034

Finally, I'm considering going with the boho-vibed HotPatterns 1034 - Delicious Dress. I was convinced that this one wouldn't work for my body until I saw a few made up, and then became convinced that it could work with the right fabric.

For this version of this dress, I'd use the knee-length, long-sleeved view. I've got a lovely rayon printed jersey from Mood Fabrics picked out for this one.

So what does everyone think? Do any particular fabrics/patterns jump out at you?

Monday, January 3, 2011

2010: The year in sewing projects

Whether in baseball, science, or even sewing, statistics can be a bit of an eye-opener. While I've been sick and not motivated to work on many other things over the past few days, I tallied up my sewing project output over the past year. Here's the breakdown of what I made:

Breakdown by garment type

For me:
Knit dresses - 5
Knit tops - 5
Jackets - 2
Woven blouses - 4
Sleepwear - 3
Pants - 0 (1 UFO is a pair of pants)
Skirts - 0
UFOs - 2

For my husband:
Casual shirts - 5
Boxers - 1
Lined raincoat - 1

For my niece:
Dresses - 2
Sun hats - 2

Total garments completed: 30

Number of garments completed by pattern company (includes multiples)

HotPatterns - 11
Simplicity - 6* (*Includes 5 versions of the same shirt for David)
La Mia Boutique magazine - 4
SewBaby - 2
Kwik Sew - 1
Butterick - 1
Vogue - 1
Colette Patterns - 1
KnipMode magazine - 1

The garment type numbers surprised me. It seems like I'm always sewing knit tops. Granted, they were my most frequently sewn garment type, but I would have thought that the numbers would have been a lot more skewed once I counted them.

The pattern company breakdown did not surprise me, although I would have guessed that I'd sewed more than one Vogue pattern last year. I do know that I sew from HotPatterns a lot--many of the designs are perfect for my age/lifestyle, and their pattern draft usually fits my figure well with minimal alterations.

I expect the project type numbers to change quite a bit in 2011. For one thing, I need pants and jackets. My first project, which is already in progress, for this year is a lined raincoat, so that's more complex than anything that I sewed for myself all of last year. After I finish that, I may go with a knit top or dress as a bit of a palate cleanser, and then it's going to be on to updating my pants and jeans wardrobes.

Happy 2011! / Blog reboot

Is anyone still out there?

I'm not surprised, but my last post on this blog was in November 2008. At the time, I was engaged, and my life was crazy-busy with wedding planning, honeymoon planning, and the crazy hours that I work at my startup software company. I still needed to sew, if only for stress-release, so blogging dropped far, far down on my priority list.

One of my goals for this coming year is to start blogging regularly. I'm going to try to post something new at least once a week. I'll likely continue to post about sewing a lot, but to cut myself from slack, I might post about other topics (such as beer) if that's what I'm really in the mood to write about.

Over two years later, I'm now happily married to the love of my life, but still work crazy hours for the same startup software company. I still need to sew for stress relief (and have found that I actually get grouchy if I go more than a week or two without working on one of my projects), but have also really gotten into craft beer. The craft beer scene in San Diego has completely exploded over the past 2+ years, and I've been absorbing as much about it as I can--both in learning about styles and sampling as much as I can (in a responsible manner, of course). During this time, David (my husband) has become an avid homebrewer, so his homebrewing equipment now competes for space with my sewing equipment/fabric in our tiny condo.

Thanks for reading, and happy 2011!