Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bright Quilts

Meredith's quilt have returned from the quilter and I put the binding on last night. The quilter did a great job and they quilts look fantastic.
You can click on the pictures to see a larger size.

Meredith started this quilt 2-3 years ago and now it is finished. It is about baby quilt size and she is going to give it to her Sunday School teachers. They are expecting their first child.

I made a purse tonight, it was an order. A cute cowboy themed purse and it will be donated to a Cattleman's Association scholarship auction. I will take pictures tomorrow during the daylight.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Before and After and Thanks

First off, I want to share a site I found while looking at home decorating blogs. Thrifty Decor Chick is a wonderful site for inspiration and decorating ideas. Many of these can be accomplished very inexpensively. Sarah offers a decorating consulation for $10 and I thought I would try it for my great room. I paid via paypal, emailed her some pictures and in a few days, Sarah emailed me some ideas for my room. It was incredible the difference a few easy changes made. Rearranging furniture, changing out some pictures and pillows, just a different perspective on the room. Here is a before of the dining table in the great room.

And here is after (a bit different angle) but you get the idea. Hubby liked the idea of the rug for this area, we went to Home Depot to purchase one.

So if you are tired of your rooms after this long winter, check out Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick for some new ideas.

Now let me thank all of you for the kind comments on my skirt, jacket and the condolences on holes in my Jalie top.

Lyndsay T, I will get a picture of me in the blazer. I can't wait to wear it.

Elaray, you are so right about what is left out of pattern instructions. Thank goodness for these books.

Many comments on the holes. I think it was the needles, I have another top out of a sturdier knit and it has a few holes. The Jalie top's fabric is a very lightweight rayon knit and I think on this fabric the thicker serger needles cut the fabric threads and didn't pierce through.

The skirt: as with the consensus, I like it with the brown sweater the best and high heel boots. Now for the denim jacket, it does give an entirely different look, I have flat boots that seem to be just right for this look.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

McCall's 5815

First I want to thank these two books for all the information I used to make this jacket.

Next the pattern
Pattern Description: Misses' lined jackets, semi-fitted, lined jackets. Shawl collar variations, princess seams, drapey patch pockets and shaped hemline. Sleeve variations, too Pattern
Pattern Sizing:4 to 20
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?Very much like view B.
Were the instructions easy to follow?The instructions were very good. I wanted to really use some couture type techniques on this jacket. I used Claire Schaeffer's High-Fashion Sewing Secrets and Couture Sewing Secrets. After seeing so many wonderful jackets on Pattern Review and blogs, that used these books, I was inspired to give it a try.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?I like the shape of the jacket, such a wonderful silhouette. Also, the collar drew me to this pattern right away.
Fabric Used:A wool from stash, I purchased to 2 years ago from Fabric Mart
Now the changes, most were due to the reading in the two books and my desire to use these teachniques.
I interfaced the jacket according to the instructions in High-Fashion Sewing Secrets. I used a knit fusible interfacing as suggested in the book. Here is the front piece with the dart cut out of the interfacing as instructed in the book. The interfacing is from Sew Exciting

The back is interfaced 2-1/2" down from the bottom of the armscye with sew-in interfacing. She suggests hair canvas, muslin, wigan, or Armo Press Soft. I only had muslin, so that is what I selected. Also, cut fusible knit interfacing 6" down from the neckline. This is fused onto the muslin, then the two are basted on the back. I also added a strip 2-1/2" wide at the hems. This is from fusible, but High-Fashion Sewing Secrets suggests bias sew-in interfacing. I tested the fusible and did not get a line in the front of the fabric. Pinking the edge would help with the line, too. Here is a picture of center back piece After finishing this jacket, I was reading more in some back issues of Threads. A picture showed the muslin cut out the after you stitch the center back seam. I will do this next time.

The pocket was unlined, so I cut out a lining and attached to the seam.

I left an opening in the seam for turning it right side out. The pocket is on the bias and I cut the lining on straight of grain. This was a mistake, I should of cut the lining on the bias, too, my pocket isn't as drapey as the pattern envelope.

I assembled the jacket as the pattern instructed for most of the remainder of the instructions. The next change was on sleeve heads. I find Sigrid's tutorial site an invaluable resource for finding tutorials on the web. I used Belinda's tutorial for the sleeve head and wow, does this make such a difference in the jacket. Thank you, Belinda and Sigrid. Also, Tany at Couture et Tricot for all her wonderful blog posts, full of instruction, photographs and tutorials. I have learned so much through her garments.

Finally,in High-Fashion Sewing Secrets, it states how to make lining adjustments. This is so the lining will not flatten the armscye seam

Next, my first ever bound buttonhole. I need to work on these more, but I am pretty pleased for my first time. I used the instructions from High-Fashion Sewing Secrets along with the tutorials for bound buttonholes on Sigrid's site to help. The photographs were wonderful and easier for this visual learner.

The instructions have you sew in the lining before attaching the sleeve lining. Then the sleeve lining is handstitched in place. I sewed the entire lining as I did the jacket and then handstitched the hems.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?I am not sure I will sew this exact jacket again. The sleeves have a seam down the center so you can sew the slit easier. Also, they are full sleeves. I do love the fit and shape of this jacket, I am going to check out the McCall's pattern book for another jacket with similar lines and more traditional sleeves. I think others would really like the style and the fit.

Conclusion: Well, you win an award for reading this long post. Speaking of reading, I should have been reading all these books I have been buying. By spending a bit of time reading and learning, my jacket was greatly improved. Great pattern, great jacket which I adore. I am so happy with the end results. I would appreciate any comments on what I have done, let me know if I should have done things differently during the construction of this jacket. I am trying to improve my skills and learn to take my time while making a garment.

The princess seam and dart. (Still trying to master my new point and shoot camera features)

The collar, it has a tuck at the center back. Also, the collar is cut on the bias and the pattern has a seperate piece for upper and lower collars.

The finished jacket. The arms look very long, don't they? When I wear the jacket, they are the perfect length. I will get pictures wearing the garment. You don't get to see pictures of the back of the garment, my dressforms shoulders do not fill out the jacket and it looks terrible in the picture!

Run....Change those serger needles

or this is what you will get. I now have holes(many) in my new Jalie top and I really liked it.

My needles will be changed before my next project on the serger.
Pictures coming on a new jacket I made, I so like the style.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

McCall's 5523

Pattern description: Straight skirt, mid-knee length, side zipper and faced waistline. Several lower back variations, shaped flounces, pleats, gathers. skirt A has shaped lower back flounce; skirt B has pleated lower back; skirt C has gathered lower back with self-fabric ruffle; skirt D has two lower back flounces.

Sizing: 4 to 18, I made a 12. After sewing up the skirt and trying it on, I had to taper the waist in. I based the 12 on the finished measurements printed on the pattern.

Instructions: They are very good, helpful with all the lower back variations. The information on hemming the skirt was excellent, too.

Likes/Dislikes: I like the look of a straight skirt on me without a wasitband, this pattern was perfect for the look. Also, it puts some fun into the back with the lower back options. No dislikes at all.

Changes: I added a lining to this skirt. Thanks to all who posted on my blog post inquiring on how to line this. I haven't had much experience (none at all, actually) lining a skirt with facing. The majority responded cutting the lining like the skirt and attaching it to the top of the skirt. Then add the facings over these two layers, treat them as one. I used the center front pattern piece to cut the center back lining. I placed these two pattern pieces together and they were the same widths.

Okay, so now what I did for the lining. Wool makes me itch, makes my skin crawl a bit. I love the look of wool, sewing with it but I can't have it next to my skin. Ever since 6th grade, I have had this thing with wool. I remember wearing a turtleneck sweater with a bit of wool. This had to be the longest day of school ever. My skin crawled, I would break out in a cold sweat, just a long day of great uncomfort. Now, back on the subject of lining...... I added the lining right up to the top, understitched and then topstitched it into place. Looks great and no wool next to my skin.

Fabric: A wool plaid herringbone from Fashionista Fabric

Conclusion: Great skirt, with great design features. This doesn't take long to sew, another plus. I am working on sewing with wool before I even consider cutting into that fabulous fabric from Birgitte.

Here it is with a denim jacket:

close-up of the flounce:

Side view:

Back view:

With sweater and cami:

Do you like it better with the jacket or sweater? Other suggestions? No, to a wool sweater!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Jalie 2806

This is such a wonderful pattern, why did I wait so long to make it. Full review here
Thanks for all the suggestions on lining the skirt. I am working on that project tonight, hopefully it will be finished tonight, too.

Monday, February 16, 2009

How to Line this?

I am working on this skirt and it is time for the lining. Now, I haven't done any lined skirts, so I am asking for help. I have looked on the internet, at Sigrid's tutorial blog, in my sewing skirts book but I can't find anything for a skirt with a facing at the waist. So, do I cut the lining minus the facings and attach it to the facing? Do I eliminate the facing and attach the lining to the waistline?

Thanks for the help.

View D by the way, is the one I am making. I think for the center back piece, I will use the center front piece as a guide to cut out the lining, correct?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Not from hubby.......

The twins gave me one dozen roses. Aren't they beautiful? I tell you these two girls take care of their momma.
Podcast is uploaded.
New software ...cost $69
new microphone..cost $39
3 recordings and5 hours of time cost $ lost sewing time
finishing the podcast and it sounds great.... priceless!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Type A or B in the Sewing Room

I have been thinking about this for a podcast and have just finished recording an episode on Type A or B personality related to us in our sewing room.

So here is a list of Type A personality traits (found on a website) and how I think they relate to sewing (the trait is in the italicized print - my interpretation is after each one)

Impatience - anxious to start and finish a project. Maybe you don't want to try a new technique because you want to finish this garment and get to the next. Also, use another notion (button, zipper,etc) because you don't have the correct one in your stash.

Has trouble relaxing - maybe you have trouble relaxing until the sewing room. The sewing room is your escape. Or you can't relax because of a sewing deadline or other projects.

Aggressive - and Has a “short fuse” - this was listed seperate but I am combining them. I think of this as short fuse or aggravated over the machines not working correctly, a difficult fabric, difficult fabric.

May get upset over small things - sewing the sleeve in for the 4th time, running out of thread and not having another spool. This may seem like small things to some but to use sewers this is big, especially at midnight!

Competitive, achievement-oriented - In a contest at PR? Want comments on your blog? Doing a sew-along? Many ways to be competitive in sewing.

Time urgency (interrupts others, becomes frustrated while waiting in line)- Limited amount of time to sew, that is time urgency. Trying to maximize output in limited time. Urgency to finish a few more winter garments before spring gets here. Not wanting to cook supper, that interrupts your sewing time.

Type B

Patient- enjoy the entire process, not in any hurry to finish the project. Patient in hand sewing, cutting, etc.

Relaxes easily- the moment you walk into your sewing room you relax totally.

Easy-going, mellow - work when you can, pleased whenever you can get into your sewing room.

May avoid confrontation - Do you avoid a certain fabric, certain garment type, zippers, hand-stitching? This would be the confrontation in the sewing room.

Not quick to anger - setting a sleeve in for the 5th time doesn't faze you.

What do you think from the list? Are you a combination of A and B? What other examples can you think of for personality types in the sewing room?

I am having trouble with my new software for the podcast. I had plans of doing the podcast in one hour and then sewing for 2-3 hours. Wrong.... I have been working on the podcast for 2.5 hours and I am still not satisfied with the audio. Oh, well, I will keep trying.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Two More Purses and One To Go

This one is my favorite, I just love the colors.

This one is cute and fun.

One to go, it is for a silent auction for my community. Several churches are working on building a Habitat for Humanity home in our town. This is so exciting and something I have wanted to do for a very long time. Hubby and I are the co-chairs for our church. This Sunday is a dinner with the proceeds going to the home in our town and there will be a silent auction. I will be donating a purse for this, it is about halfway finished.

So sewing for this weekend: the purse, a McCall's skirt and possibly a Simplicity wool skirt. I finished pj pants for the twins tonight, they are wrapped up for Valentine's Day. Also, a podcast, which is overdue by a week. I upgraded software, so hopefully tomorrow I can try it out and record a new one.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What *Must* You Sew.

This is Cidell's post today. Here is one of the garments I am going to sew for spring or summer. BWOF 2/2009 #105. I have the perfect black and white in my stash.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Yes, I do Remember How to Sew Clothing and a Box of Sewing Goodness

First, a pair of pants, Ottobre Woman 5/2007 #6, Marlene pants, I have made these 3 times now. Carolyn would call these a TNT pattern and she is so right. I wanted a new pair of pants for dinner out with friends. I cut these out Saturday morning, stitched them up, oldest daughter was home and pinned them up to hem them. Funny story, she is 5' 3-3/4" tall, I am 5'9". Well, I had added enough length to cuff them and I asked her, she replied, "no, cuffs make your legs look shorter." I replied, "yes, I have that problem all the time!". Ignore the top in the picture, it was a cheap knit and it stretched out of shape beyond saving. Fabric for the pants came from Gorgeous Fabric. My pants looked and felt wonderful and it was fun to have something new to wear.

Next the cute shirt and dress from BWOF 1/2009 #106 - either a dress or a top. I made both.

Just wrote a review at Pattern Review

Then the sewing goodness, you ask? Well, over at Birgitte's blog, Bubblegum 4 Breakfast, I was the first to guess what jacket pattern she was using for her jacket. Isn't it incredible?
Well, my box arrived today and it was packed full of some incredible, wonderful, marvelous fabrics. My camera didn't record the colors the best but here they are. Beautiful, I tell you.
From left to right:
A silk scarf, hand rolled by Brigitte, under it is a teal silk lining for a skirt, which is the next fabric, a shimmery quilted fabric, then the teal wool/lycra from a jacket, with a vintage striped silk for the jacket.
Here is a close-up of the scarf, spectacular.
The fabric was all labeled, so I know content and idea for use.
More, yes, I said more. Interfacing, a cream sateen cotton for a blouse, buttons, thread, and zipper.
I am so overwhelmed with this box and feel so very special to have received such a gift. The colors are perfect and my favorite shade, I can only hope I am able to do all this justice with great sewing and the perfect pattern.
Thank you again, Birgitte.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

New BWOF and Bags and Valentine Project

Now, I haven't been doing any garment sewing, just bag sewing. Here is a couple, I get so fixated on using all the pieces/scraps of the fabric, I just keep making and making the same colorway.

Then this one, fun spring colors. I need that on this 25 degree day.

Finally, I made this one time, Valentine pockets and thought it was cute. I am going to make a few more, cute for Valentine's candy.