Monday, September 26, 2011

Next Up - Vogue 8756

I ran into a local fabric store the other day, ostensibly to pick up some bright cloth for some pillow cases I was making for my great nephew  for his birthday.  I wanted to make up just a small token with some machine embroidery and some fabrics with his favorite characters.

It wasn't a  shop I frequent for garment fabric and I wasn't looking for anything for myself, but as I hurried past the final sale table, I came across the fabric below and couldn't leave it there.  I can't even begin to tell you what it is.  It's quite thin, and shiny, and a deep eggplant color.  It's one of those fabrics that is a bit funky and deserves an equally funky pattern.

I've settled on this Vogue pattern.  I love the way it drapes, and I love the diagonal seams in the front panels.  I hope I'm not wrong, but I do think this will work out well.  Can't wait to start, but it won't be before next week at the earliest.

In the meantime, my little nephew is getting his embroidered pillow cases!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Men's Ties

 Well, I've made my first tie!  My husband asked if I'd make him a tie -- I'm not sure why since he is a tie snob.  For a long time, he was on a Missoni kick, and when he got tired of Missoni, he moved on to Pancaldi and would treat himself to 2 Pancaldi ties on special occasions.  I finally woke up and realized that they could be had much more cheaply on E Bay.  Who cares if someone else wore it once???

But, I promised a tie, and here it is.  I should have just gone out and bought a Vogue pattern, but I figured this was a tutorial easily found on the internet.  The first few patterns and instructions I downloaded called for full fusible interfacing and full lining.  It just didn't sound right to me!

Finally, I found a Burda free download that looked to me as if it was constructed the way a fine tie should be.  You can see in the drawing that  there is one wide tie piece and one narrower one.  The wider one is cut from fashion fabric (in this case I used a silk I had purchased last week at The Silk Road) and the narrow piece is padding and I cut this from a nice firm and not too flat wool)

If you look closely at the drawing, you will also see a diagonal line.  This is a where the tie is underlined to and for this I used silk organza.  (By the way silk organza makes a wonderful pressing cloth since you can see through it and it can withstand high heat). 

Rather than line the whole tie, you cut lining for both the front and back tips.  This particular pattern called for mitering the tips which nicely pulls the fashion fabric to the inside so your lining won't ever show.  Nice touch!

The construction is quite simple.  You pin your underlining (I hand basted).  You place your lining tip, miter, and sew.  You then place your padding inside, fold over one side with a raw edge.  Turn under a seam allowance on the other side, fold over so they overlap and hand stitch (which takes forever!)
A couple of notes.  This particular pattern looked like it was cut in one piece. Most tie patterns are not.  Since they are cut on the bias, that would take an enormous length of fabric.  I cut the pattern into threes and pieced.  Also, I found this particular pattern a bit short since my husband and son are both tall, so I also added a couple of inches to the pattern.

I may still see what Vogue shows for construction since I imagine there are any number of configurations, but this one is fairly traditional.  You can make them really elaborate -- monogram the inside.....put an unusual keeper for the tail to slip into, fancy label, etc. etc. 

If you look closely, it's not as pretty as his Pancaldis, but it's made with love!


Monday, September 19, 2011

The Silk Road

All sewers love fabric stores, and I am no exception.  Sadly, there are fewer and fewer shops dedicated to garment sewing.  There are quilt stores galore, and home decorating stores galore, but to find a fabric store for stitching wonderful clothing is a real treat.  I have found one in Apple Annie's in Swansea, Massachusetts.  But, since this is a two hour drive each way, I have to save it for a special trip.

I can't believe that I had never been to The Silk Road in Auburndale, Massachusetts before this past Friday.  I set off to Auburndale, which is about an hour ride for me, with my mother and sister.  Since we arrived a bit early, we checked out the town.  Auburndale is a suburb of Newton and has a tiny, but lovely center where we visited a great boutique called The Dressing Room.  The owner is delightful and has lovely clothes with  prices that are not too hurtful -- very special.  We then had lunch at Bocca Bella, which was yummy -- white bean and spinach soup and half sandwich.

But, now to the real reason for our visit.  The Silk Road is a beautiful shop.  You can almost tell from their website.  They have natural fabrics in two well set up rooms.  Fabrics are standing up by the bolt, and there are silks of every variety - charmeuse, chiffon, dupioni, raw silk.  There are velvets and fine cottons.  There are beautiful ribbons and trims.  And, there is a very large selection of fine books on the trade.  I can't say enough about how happy I was to find them.  They are a definite edition to my haunts.  I didn't have something particular in mind so, with the exception of the black sheer stripe which I bought two yards of, I limited myself to remnants, as shown.  It was difficult, but one must leave oneself a reason to go back again, and again.

I want to go back again to meet the owner of such a fine shop -- Gay wasn't in the day we were there.  Oh, and I forgot!  They give classes as well!  This is definitely someplace for you to check out when you're in the area.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Big Weekend Is Here

Our first child gets married tomorrow.  We're off today for the weekend after we spend the next couple of hours ironing and packing!  When you sew you inherit odd jobs -- such as touching up bridesmaid dresses crushed by packing and starching shirts that need a bit of sharpening up, etc.

The Chuppah was a very simple sewing job, but my most nerve wracking.  Despite countless proofings, I was convinced that something would be spelled wrong or otherwise get messed up.

We're very happy we have a better Sunday than last Sunday's hurricane!

Back to sewing next week after a rather long hiatus!