Sunday, July 24, 2011

Lazy Day

I know I should be busily thinking about my fall wardrobe, but with a wedding six weeks away and with temperatures near 100 for many days now, I just can't get to that mindset.  But, neither can I not sew.  So, I'm doing some easy sewing.  I ordered some black and white toile on e bay recently and decided it would look good made up in the gardening/knitting bag in McCalls 5506.  Alas, when I cut it out, I realized that I wasn't going to have enough material, so I decided to do the outside pockets in a black corded fabric.   As luck would have it, I had some very pretty vintage black and cream narrow french silk ribbon and a cream and black button to use to pull it all together.

I don't know if anyone else does this, but when doing a project like a bag, rather than use a store bought interfacing, I'll often use a fabric that I have no more use for, if it gives the project the right hand.  In this case, this was something purchased on line that was not at all what I expected, so now it has a good home, no more money was spent, nothing was wasted and I think it's a better hand for this bag. 

I'll post the finished bag, but will leave you with two small additions.  One, my new large antique bobbins make great holders for trims and laces and look cool while doing the job.

And, I couldn't resist a little kitsch -- the right fabric for the right project!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Loes Hinse - Two Ways

It has been so hot this summer and I have so few sleeveless tops, that I needed to do something about it. I've had Loes Hinse Sweater Set pattern for a long time now and I had this beautiful rose jersey material. I've not worked with jersey before -- just keep putting it off -- partly because I'm not yet comfortable with my serger. But I bit the bullet. I like the pattern a lot. There is a front seam which makes the V neck a breeze to do. It also falls nicely, cut in a bit at the top which is more flattering to the shoulders but falling at a bit of an a line through the hip. I found it easy to work on and was pretty happy with my first result.

I liked the fit well enough that I wondered what it would be like with a woven. So, I redrafted the pattern so it opened in the back (The back was cut on the fold, so I simply redrew the back pattern piece onto pattern paper, and added adding 2 inches (1/2 inch to turn and clean finish, and another 1 1/2 so there would be a nice wide fold to do the buttons and buttonholes in).

I've had this crinkly fabric for a while now, but only very narrow remnants that were given to me by a friend who worked for a designer. So, by cutting each side individually I was able to eke out the top. I decided the fabric called for a funkier, more casual look, so instead of folding over and hemming the V, sleeves, and hem, I did a rolled hem on my serger and was fairly happy with the result. I perhaps wasn't as careful as I should have been -- when I do something new, I tend to hurry so I can see the result and then do my second piece more carefully. Very bad habit, I know.

I really liked the look. The back dips down more than the front, which I also liked. The buttons were part of my vintage stash and went well. So, since I had both the buttons and fabric already, the top was essentially free, which is a great way to experiment!!


Monday, July 11, 2011

Countdown to Wedding....

Saturday was a wonderful shower for a wonderful daughter-in-law to be! Many thanks to daughter Sarah for the lovely invitations, the beautiful blue bird and bumble bee cupcakes and for just being you.....

and to Maid of Honor Lisa for party favors (bumble bees from Burdicks!), wonderful baked bread and yummy lemon punches

and to Sheryl and Brendan for giving us a reason to have this lovely day!

and a special thank you to Steve for keeping me sane and doing everything I asked that week{>!


Monday, July 4, 2011

Finished on the Fourth

I have to tell you, I definitely have mixed feelings about this pattern. As I mentioned in my last post, the seams are 3/8" so really the only thing you can do, outside of Hong Kong finish is serging them, which I did. I didn't want to do the Hong Kong for such a casual shirt.

Also, a small shoulder facing was built into the placket, but there was no back facing to attach it to. The entire collar (inner and outer) was simply sewn to the top of the blouse and the instructions called for the serged collar bottom to be sewn down between the shoulder seams of the blouse. I honestly couldn't live with such an amateur finish, so I laid a piece of binding over it and stitched it at the top and bottom. Since there was nothing then for the ends of the shoulder facing to attach to, they needed to be tacked down.

I like the shirt, mostly because I like the fabric, and I like the mix of horizontal and vertical stripe. I also used vintage enamel buttons which the shirt didn't deserve and which will come off when the shirt is no longer being used. I thought the 3 piece sleeve was a little uncomfortable, and the sleeves are quite tight, which is a cool look, but I think many people would struggle with fit, even in the lower arm, and mine are pretty thin. Finally, it pulls a bit, and yet it isn't too small -- in fact I think there is a bit of excess fabric just beside the shoulder blades.

My feeling is, if I'm going to sew, I'm going to have beautiful seams and corners, a la Sewing Workshop or Cutting Lines. I don't want to spend time and money to have something that is finished in a way I could have found at a discount store. It seemed a lot of work for something that I feel 'meh' about.

So, all in all, I'm not excited about working with these patterns again. If I do, I'll know to take their drafting into consideration and redo some things when I'm cutting the pattern. But, there are so many other great patterns out there, that it seems on shouldn't have to do that. But then, nothing is lost -- everything is a learning experience. On to something new.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Stephanie's Blouse Progress

Started working on the blouse which needs to be finished before I go to work on Tuesday. Interesting construction. The front and back are drafted with the upper sleeve included and then there are 2 under sleeves -- which attach first to the front side and back side and then to the front and back. Time will tell whether I like the look for fit.

I've decided to make the sides with the stripe going in a vertical direction with the front and back having a vertical stripe. I've cut the placket on the horizontal as well. Right now the stripe on the upper and lower sleeve seems to be matching up pretty well, so I may baste that before I saw to keep that stroke of luck going!

I hope everyone has a safe and fun 4th!