Catching up – part two

There were a couple of other items I completed in 2017.  The first item I mentioned in the last post – a top that I wore during the holidays.  This was the 4th version I made from this pattern.  The pattern is a download from Lekala Patterns.    I made  pattern number 4284.  Here is a picture of it.

Lekala 4284

This is a knits-only pattern and is definitely a “business in the front, party in the back” top.  You can create a bow effect with the back yoke.  I have made 2 versions like that, and 2 versions with the back closed up.

You can order ‘made to measure’ patterns from Lekala.  You enter your measurements on the site and you can also add optional measurements or body type items (high bust, narrow shoulders, etc) to get a better fit.  It takes a couple of trials so they do offer a few free patterns.  You can do a test with the free one; it helps you to know how the software calculates.  I have gotten a pretty good fit from these.  The only caveat is ease.  Their patterns don’t have a lot of ease, and their knit patterns have negative ease (meaning the pattern will be smaller than your measurements).  I have increased my tummy and hip measurement to get more ease there.

The reason I like this pattern is because of the set-in sleeve.  Most patterns for knits with a front yoke have a cut-on or dolman sleeve.  I have tried that look and I don’t like it on me.  A set-in sleeve is a much better look for me.

My latest version was made with a sequin fabric for the front and back yokes, and sleeves.  I used a lighter weight ponte for the lower front and back.


Back of top, with the yoke attached to the lower back.


Lekala sparkly top

My first version was from a denim knit and a navy cotton knit fabric.  (Sorry for the wrinkles; the top was in summer storage and I brought it out for these photos).  The front:


The back


My second was a ‘winter version’.  I used a sweater knit remnant given to me by a friend for the yokes.  I used a ponte knit for the lower front, back and sleeves.  The back is not ‘open’ since this a cooler weather version.  Not sure why the color is off – the lower front, back and sleeves are a caramel color.



My third version has the open back and I used a poly spandex knit (with glued-on sequins) I picked up at a sewing retreat for the front and back yokes, and sleeves.  I used the black ponte for the lower front and back.



(I know…black is not my color).

These tops are pretty easy and once you have made one, they can be made up quickly.

Second Catch-up Item:

When I was at the Mulberry Silks retreat with Sandra Betzina, I did a muslin for Vogue 1385.


Line Drawing:

V1385 Line Drawing

I had a couple of reasons for making this. I like the neckline and I wanted to test out the raglan sleeve.  I have had good luck with Today’s Fit patterns so was hoping the raglan would work and it did.  Adjustments were minimal.  Normal round back adjustment and that was it.  This is a comfortable shirt.  I tested it with a quilting cotton so this is definitely a wearable muslin. I did wash the fabric in advance and it is very soft and comfortable.  I plan to make at least one more of these.  Then I might try to figure out how to use the raglan feature but change the neckline.  But that won’t be for a while I’m sure.

P1010998 (2)

Lastly, we went to a New Year’s Eve neighborhood party.  I love making dessert and when I saw these on line, I had to have them.


Candy cups you can fill with stuff, that are wearing tuxedos!  How cute is that?  So here is what I made.


I made red velvet mousse and cheesecake mousse.  I used a pastry bag with tip and piped in the red velvet mousse first, then topped it with the cheesecake mousse and some graham cracker crumbs.  Everyone loved them and I had fun making them.


This is the last of the 2017 items.




A Tale of Two Blouses

I have two blouses to share.  You’ll see they are both made from the same fabric.  The back story:

The solid fabric came from Wal-Mart a few years ago.  This was the only time I ever bought fabric from WalMart.  The only reason I did was because I was going to a class at the Sewing Expo and needed a piece of test fabric for a class.  I had forgotten to take any test fabric with me.  This is a heavier cotton – very tightly woven.  I don’t recall what I used it for in the class, but I had a good-sized piece left over.  So it was good for more testing.

The striped fabric has lurex threads running vertically in the stripes.  I do like some subtle bling.  This is a lighter weight fabric that came from JoAnn’s , also a couple of years ago.  They are not the best match in weight, but would work for what I was doing.

Blouse #1:

Blue Blouse #1 (2)

I actually finished this blouse about a year ago.  I just never got around to blogging it.  For the blouse, I used  Lekala pattern 5167.  I made a couple of design changes – I sliced the pattern above the bust to create the “yoke” effect on the front.  I used the fabric on the bias for the “yoke”.  The collar is part of the new yoke pattern piece. The sleeve cuff was another design change.  The sleeve on this pattern is a bell sleeve and I don’t like bell sleeves.  I straightened out the sides of the sleeve, then added a cuff to the bottom, slightly gathering the sleeve into the cuff.  The cuff is also cut on the bias.

I also made a few fitting changes.  I moved the back waist shaping darts closer to the center.  I raised the bust point about 1/2″.  I did not realize that the front opening was so low.  I added a snap above the top button to keep it closed.  It is still a little low, but wearable.  I have adjusted the center front on the pattern by raising the area when it curves and the top button is placed.  Sorry I have no construction photos.  I will work on that!

Blouse #2:

Blue Blouse #2

For this blouse, I used my shoulder princess block. It is a jacket block, so I made adjustments for a blouse.  I raised the armhole 1″; reduced the shoulder width about 1/2″, removed the extra in the shoulders that accommodate a shoulder pad.  I used the 2 piece sleeve because it fits well.  I just changed it to a short sleeve that sits above the elbow.

The center front and center back, along with the sleeves are in the stripe.  The side front and side back, collar stand and collar, and facing are made from the solid.  For this one I was testing the neckline.  I wanted to do a jewel V-Neck opening.  The opening above the button is not what I had in mind.  It is not open enough, so I adjusted the pattern for future use.  I often have a hard time visualizing the amount of change I need for what I want to achieve.  I think my best option is to use a pattern from my vast pattern collection for the details I want to copy.

This neckline is what I had in mind:

Jewel VNeck picture

Both of these blouses are more fitted on me than they appear.  My ‘model’ dress form does not have my shape and size.  I am happy with the fit of each, I just need to work on getting the details I want on the garments.  I had nothing left of either of those fabrics after these blouses were cut out.

I have spent TOO much time over the last few years working on perfecting fit.  I can move on to incorporating the details I want now that I have some well-fitting blocks in my arsenal.

Until next time….