Saturday, April 14, 2012

Style Arc Adele #2 and Pacific Grove Wrapup

Despite my recent posts, I haven't actually sewn in several weeks. At least not any garments. I haven't had energy or enthusiasm for sewing and I've not worried about it much — I certainly have enough clothes. ;)

I don't love the lack of mojo, but I know how these things ebb and flow and I've gotten other things done... like taxes... and playing brain-cell-promoting games on my iPhone (Whirly Word is great, btw)... and editing essays for my college-bound kid... and appliance shopping... and meditating...

Besides, my beloved Bernina died right after the sewing retreat. I took it in for service and picked it up a week ago. (I highly highly recommend Ray's Sewing Center for service and repair. The one-hour drive from SF to San Jose is totally worth it.)

I finally tried my machine last night and, AY CARUMBA! It sews like a dream! Seriously, they will have to pry my Bernina 930 (purchased by my mom in 1986, a couple years before she passed) out of my cold, dead hands. I also really like my backup machine, a small and lightweight, but fully featured Janome Gem 760 that I bought gently used, but my heart sings for my Bernina 930. I am very lucky to have two fabulous machines — it's ironic that I have never bought a brand new sewing machine in my life.

Then, last night, I felt the need to celebrate Friday by whipping up a quick top. I first made the Style Arc Adele last November. I like that one but wanted to try making a shorter version because I really do prefer shorter tops. I folded 4" of length out of the front and back near the waistline: I wanted to preserve the shaping at the hem.

The fabric is a rayon lycra from Fabrix. To be honest, I was not that attracted to the print, but the fabric is high quality, amazingly soft, with killer drape, and only $4 a yard, so I couldn't resist buying a couple yards. I often hem knits by hand, but this time I used Steam a Seam Lite 2 and topstitching — my other favorite method.

For the neckline, I decided to make a very narrow binding. I cut a 1" strip, folded in half, measured the length using the Veblen method, and sewed it with a 1/4" seam. The finished binding, which I top-stitched, is 1/4" wide. This has a very RTW look.

This picture looks a little weird because it was taken at night, without flash, using incandescent lighting.

I do like this top. I certainly like the shorter length and I know I will get more wear out of this than the longer one. The top is designed to be loose and floaty around the hem and the jury is still out for me. The fabric does have a wonderful swirly drape, but I usually prefer the hem of my tops to skim my hips, my narrowest measurement. Feel free to weigh in on this in the comments section.

I am not sure what I will work on next, and don't want to jinx it by telling, but I hope to get more sewing done this weekend. I am also taking DD2 shopping today, which I am really looking forward to.

I hope you all have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by!

Oh, but first, I have a few pics from my recent trip to Pacific Grove to share. I took a couple walks while there, one by myself and another with Dorothy (from Pattern Review). Several of us also hit up a few shops in Pacific Grove. It's a great town — a more subdued, smaller version of its flashy neighbor, Carmel.

Dorothy models some very fashionable eyewear at one of Pacific Grove's most whimsical stores, Tessuti Zoo, as Rita looks on.


Besides the purchased goods they offer, Tessuti Zoo also makes fabric items for sale. Here is an upholstered chair, in their back room. You can catch a glimpse of their fabric stash (not for sale) where they produce the sewn items, which range from dolls, to wall hangings, to kids clothing, to upholstered pieces. It's a really fun store and worth seeking out.

More whimsical items made by the folks at Tessuti Zoo.

A scarf purchased from the Pacific Grove store, Marita's. Marita's mother, an eldery woman living in Germany, knits up a squillion scarves for her daughter's store. I like how she covers plastic rings with the yarn and uses them to end the scarf.

The ocean at Pacific Grove.

Dorothy and I, enjoying the windswept beauty. That woman is a fast walker! I love her black felted scarf with ruffly lime green edges.


  1. I really prefer the shorter Adele on you, it works so much better for your body type. That chair from Tessuti Zoo is wonderful. I would love something like that, but The Husband likely would not. he doesn't get a lot of say about what comes into the house, so occasionally I listen to him. 8-)

    It certainly looks like you had a fun day. I am slightly envious, I live in a small city and the shopping isn't fantastic unless you like chain stores. Oh well.

  2. Shams, I like this new top and newer length. I find it fun to wear different lengths/styles in tops as well as pants, just for variety. That does not mean that I would wear a variety that absolutely didn;t suit my body. But, as always, I enjoyed your garment, the trip pics, and all the goodies you photographed.


  3. Shams, you look great in this top, and I like the floaty hem. Because the fabric has such a marvelous drape, it still shows off your narrow hips despite the width of the lower edge. It's a really pretty print with an interesting colorway. You did a fine job on that narrow Veblen-style neck binding.

  4. I like the length and fabric of your new top. Looks like a fun trip. Good luck to DD with her college apps. We aren't too far behind in that arena. Does she know where she wants to go and what she would like to study?

  5. ps - Sarah's video is a great tutorial. Her voice is very soothing. :-)

  6. Shams I really prefer the shorter length on you. I think it looks a lot better than the lonter version. Beautiful neckline finish.

  7. Hear, hear on the Bernina 930! I have one as well, and she's been with me since the mid-80s. When she went kaput a couple of years back, I thought I would die. But shemerely needed a tuneup and cleaning. I have a Bernina 215 a back up, which is nice but not nearly the machine the 930 is. I bought it after Big B was taken ill, and Baby B's role is as understudy. I recently made jeans used both machines: Big B for seams, and Baby B for top-stitching. The Bernina serger completed the trio.

    BTW, I'll trade you your hip measurement. Mine is comparable to your bust measurement.

  8. I love that fabric! The hem finish reminds me of of one suggested by Marcy Tilton in her T shirt book. I will be using that finish on my challis hem of a shirt I'm making. The neckline looks wonderful! Thanks for the hints.

  9. Love that top! The print is way cool, you did a fab job on the neckband, and I like the shorter length. I think the width at the bottom looks just fine.
    I hope your sewing mojo returns soon. But if it doesn't, that's ok too. Seasons and cycles...

  10. Shams, wonderful top. I love these colors on you. I use the Veblen method for bindings, and it always works.

  11. Love that top & the length (do I have this pattern? must check....) & the fabric & pics of your trip & that delightful shop (note: must visit Tessuti Zoo, preferably when I have some $$ to spend) and I love love LOVE that chair!!!!!!

  12. The length of your new Adele is just right - I think the floaty hem suits you. Thanks for the tips and tutorials too as always.

  13. Cute tops. I think I like the longer length. But both very nice.

  14. Agree that the shorter length looks best, and like the width at the hem. Actually think the width at the hem accentuates your slim hips and is very proportionate. You look great and some really fun pictures.

  15. I like the volume at the hem. I think it offers great balance and certainly does not make you look any heavier. As soon as I opened this post I thought, "wow, that top looks really good on you".

  16. Love the pics. They bring back wonderful memories.
    I like the top. The length is perfect.

  17. Oh my goodness - you're making me homesick. My move from my lovely Pacific Grove to San Jose - the "Zoo" is my favorite from PG, they are the sweetest, most generous loveliest ladies that own the store - so much fun! And Marita's, what can I say, I always want EVERYTHING in there and she's such a sweetheart as well. Ah, time to go back for a visit!
    What a wonderful top, the fabric you used look wonderful in it and on you - tres chic!

    1. Kathleen, at least it's not too far for a day visit! Tessuti Zoo is so cute and fun. And Marita is *such* a nice lady.

  18. Been to the store in pacific grove! Love it very fun and uplifting store!