Showing posts with label Clothing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Clothing. Show all posts

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sewing ADD For Me

Last night's girl's night was awesome. Eight of us cozied up in my living room and shared our creativity. I just worked on some needlepoint but this morning I'm back at my machine. Actually, I've been having a little bit of sewing ADD lately. I have a few quilts brewing around in my head. I pulled a stack of fabric for one of them. I'm not sure if I'm going to add hand stitching or not but I pulled a roll of Pearle Cotton just in case. One thing is certain though, my broken triangles are making a comeback.

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I also finally bit the bullet and bought three yards of the AMH "Field Study" voile that I've been drooling over lately. Since I'm not working I put myself on a fabric diet, but I finally caved at the last LAMQG meeting and bought it. Our meetings are held at my favorite fabric shop, Sew Modern, and it's always difficult to walk out of there empty handed. But my birthday is coming up and I have a wedding to attend in May so I thought that was the perfect excuse to wipe up the drool and buy it.

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So I am working on some things for me. And I realize that lately I haven't been as good about posting about my process here. Frankly, I do a lot more process posting on Instagram. You can follow me over there as well, if you'd like. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Scarves for Men

So, this weekend I made a scarf. And I was really digging it. And I guess I still am, it's got me second guessing my aesthetic a little bit. I was at a fabric store this weekend and found this great, relatively inexpensive poly / rayon blend. It's think, feels like wool but much softer and I thought it would be great for warm winter scarves. So I bought it in charcoal and a sage-y green. 


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I measured out one of my husband's scarves and cut accordingly, then I pieced in some shot cotton, a couple masculine prints (can you see the new Architextures line in there. Yummy!) and some linen. I backed it with a light AMH voile, thinking the might feel nice on the neck. Super quick and simple. 

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Then, I gave it to my husband as a gift, since we're heading to Alaska for a week on Sunday. He's unsure if it's his style. He wants to think about it. And don't worry, I'm not offended in the least. I actually appreciate when people give me their honest opinion. I think people are so scared of offending others that they're rarely honest. I know I fall into that category. But for me, I know everyone has their own sense of style and taste. Doesn't make it bad, just not the right thing for him. Oh well, it may be going up for sale on Etsy. What do you think?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Drooling Over City Center

My husband is in Panama this week and I am so jealous. While I'm stuck here working, he's having cervesas on the beach with the boys. Sigh. But since he's not home I am going to try and schedule a serious date with Hepburn, my faithful sewing machine. Since it's also holiday time, my free time at home is actually pretty limited, unfortunately. Last night I got a surprise visit with my aunt, who lives in New York. She randomly texted me that she happened to be in town for a meeting so I met her for dinner. She's one of my best friends so we closed down the restaurant, but I managed to get a little hand stitching done in bed when I got home.

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Tonight, I plan on getting in a few hours with Hepburn (named for my favorites Kate & Audrey), if I get out of the office at a decent hour. I need to power through some bee blocks so I can free up my sewing time on Saturday for some fun projects, because I have a big old pile of fabric *screaming* my name...

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Can I just tell you how absolutely in love I am with Jay McCarroll's new line, City Center? Seriously, there are two lines that were recently released that sent me over the moon and this is one of them. I love Jay, and I have always been a fan of his fabric because I think he has a very graphic and unique point of view but this is, hands down, my favorite line of his. And my husband loves it too! In fact, he picked out the yellow fabric and asked me to make a dog bed for our living room with it. He wanted something fun and funky and something we wouldn't mind seeing every day. Then I picked up some significant yardage of my two favorite prints from the line with the intention of making some dresses for myself. My husband wouldn't let me buy any more when we were at Sew Modern, but he's out of town and they just got Architextures line in so I think I'm going to pick up more City Center while I'm there too!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Triple 'T' Tuesdays: Grommets

Welcome to Triple "T" Tuesdays! Whoever said that putting in grommets was difficult is lying. They're way darn easy. I just added just added a new tool to my sewing kit, that I might not use often, but I promise I will find reasons to use.

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Honestly, when Caroline and Mayah approached me about the vests I knew I needed this tool. The other alternative would be to make buttonholes where the grommets should be but that's no fun or "authentic" now is it? And secretly, I've always wanted some grommet pliers. I will admit that I am a sucker for tools. Tools are just so darn fun! My obsession with tools actually goes well beyond sewing. I love all kinds of gadgets. I got really excited once over a sander. Yep, I'm a dork. But you should see our fence!

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Grommet Pliers really need little explanation. To use them, basically you make a small hole through the fabric in the desired spot. Then you work the front piece of the grommet through the hole. Once through you place the back piece on and then pinch with the pliers. It couldn't be any easier.

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I do have a couple pointers. First, I would recommend using an awl to help make the initial hole in the fabric. When putting grommets into fabrics that are delicate or have a tendency to snag I recommend using a sharp pair of small scissors to snip your hole, rather than using an awl. This will help maintain the integrity of the fabric. Additionally, take care when using the pliers to pinch the grommet together to fasten. Sometimes you can get a dud, or your pressure can be slightly off and the grommet won't come together correctly so always double check.

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I know that grommet pliers won't be a tool I use daily. And probably won't be used very often at all but I'm glad I finally had an excuse to add it to my kit because tools are fun! Hope this helps! Do you have a great Tip, Tool or Technique that you'd like to share? Email me and I'll set you up to do a guest post on an upcoming edition of Triple "T" Tuesdays.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ren Faire Wear

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I've actually been doing a lot of garment construction lately. In fact, my dear friend Caroline and her adorable daughter Mayah have been wanting me to teach them how to sew (and crochet) for years. And during my recent time off the stars finally aligned and we managed to squeeze in a couple sewing lessons. Mayah really wanted to go to the Renaissance Faire and was determined to dress "authentically" so our first sewing lesson was actually an outing to Jo-Ann Fabrics to learn about picking patterns and coordinating fabrics, etc.

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Mayah and Caroline were determined to make the skirts themselves. I was going to help them with the waistbands, but with limited time Caroline ended up taking the skirts on without me. And I'm extremely proud of her!

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Since these costumes were just for fun, we decided to cut a lot of corners to keep the cost and difficulty level down and the comfort level up. That meant no lining or boning on the vests and using solids and sale fabrics all around.

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The second lesson was all about cutting. We started with Mayah's vest and she learned how to differentiate pattern pieces, what all the marks mean and (my favorite) how to use a rotary cutter. I think I blew her mind with that one! Do you remember the first time you used a rotary cutter and how your life was forever changed? It's fun to see it happen for someone else. We were able to get all of the pieces for Mayah's vest cut and marked before the end of the second lesson. Unfortunately that's where the lessons ended (temporarily) as our schedules started to conflict and the Ren Faire was close to closing for the season.

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In the end, I whipped up both vests for them. Avoiding the lining and the boning, these came together so quickly. But since we weren't lining them, I did overlock the seams to prevent the brocade from fraying. So, we'll have to resume lessons on another project, but at least they looked "authentic" at the Faire. (And don't their skirts look great?) Again, I am so proud of these ladies!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Kyoto Dresses

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My To Do List keeps getting smaller and smaller. And let me tell you, it's a relief. It's still pretty hefty, but it's getting to the point where the items on the list read more like a "Wish List" than an "Obligation List". I just took on too many commitments for a while there, even though I promised myself I was going to stream line things. That's how projects like these dresses for my nieces got pushed back from holiday gifts to birthday gifts, now to "Surprise! Here's a random gift for just being you!" gifts. 


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Around Thanksgiving (in November) I bought the super-cute Kyoko pattern (and several others) in a massive online clearance sale. I bought the coordinating fabrics for the dresses in a massive Thanksgiving fabric sale and I actually made some progress on their construction in the weeks between Thanksgiving and the holidays. And then things got in the way, namely work. Unfortunately they didn't get finished in time and then they got put on the back burner.


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I finally dusted them off and got back to business on them last week. I don't know why it took me so long to finish them. This pattern is a dream. It's very easy, and super quick - especially if you choose not to line them. Yeah, I skipped that step too. Just making two at the same time was enough. Lining them would have been tantamount to making four and I just didn't have that in me when I started them. I did use my overlock foot to finish the seams, and let me tell you, I will never go back to zig zagging finishes. If you haven't discovered the wonders of your overlock stitch, dust off your foot and take it for a spin.


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Oh! Aren't they adorable?! I can't wait to see my nieces in them! I only wish I had been able to finish them before I went up to see them the other week. Seriously, if you're looking for a cute and easy dress for a little girl I would definitely recommend the Kyoko. The most time consuming part of the construction is making and attaching the bias binding, but it adds such a fabulous finished look to the dresses. Now, it's time to knock a few more items off the list so I can get to work on some stuff just for me. And I've got more than a few items on that list, in fact, my husband has been asking for a new quilt for our living room. One large enough for us to cuddle under when we're sitting on the couch. I may have won him over to the dark side!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Little Stitches Week 13 - Pattern E - Comfy Jumper Dress

Finally, this week I can share a finish I've been promising to show you for way too long. This is another one for Arden. Her mom, Caroline, and her sister, Mayah, helped me pick out these cheery fabrics before Arden was born, which was in July, so it makes this finish embarrassing. Even more disconcerting is the fact that I made this in the 6 month size, so who knows if it will even fit her now. Ugh.

Pattern E - Comfy Jumper Dress - Difficulty Level: 3


Seriously, I couldn't find my sewing mojo on this one, right from the start. And it's not like it's a super complex pattern. I started this one early in my "Little Stitches" journey and didn't finish it up until today. Like, right now. Seriously five minutes ago.


My first mistake I didn't even notice until a couple days ago and seriously, reading back over the pattern, I don't know how in the world I even made a mistake like this. See the "V" slit I made in the back? Yeah, that's not called for in this pattern. And I just figured out how I screwed that up. I was making this at the same time I was making the Easy Empire-Waist Top and I swear I had to have accidentally turned to those directions when I was making the bodice. That's the only thing that make any sense to me. I am literally shouting "Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!" In my head. I didn't realize I had made the mistake until I started attaching the top to the skirt and realized it was the back and thought it was an odd design. Yep. No. Just me being an idiot. Thankfully it doesn't ruin the whole thing.


Before I realized that colossal mistake, my struggles started with the pleats. The instructions for the pleats made me scream out loud, several times. They are also the main reason I walked away from this dress on numerous occasions at the beginning and probably what turned me off from finishing it even after I figured them out.


I've been sewing for years and I know how to make a frickin' pleat. But the way the instructions for these pleats are written they might has well been in Chinese! Seriously, I started to second guess my years of sewing. Finally, after stepping away and coming back to the dress, I resigned to throw away the instructions and just rely on the basic sewing knowledge I possess and make my own damn pleats. They ended up just as they were supposed to, I just don't know why the instructions were so complicated.



Finally, I returned to the project and the other day I started to attempt to attach the bodice to the skirt. Much to my frustration, the bodice seemed to be too big for the skirt. I swear this was a doomed project. But I was determined to finish it, even if it wasn't exactly like Amy's and I resolved to gather the bodice if I had to in order to make it work.


But when I came back to it today I realized that I was trying to pin the back side of the bodice to the front side of the skirt. After a 90 degree turn of the bodice everything fit into place without gathering. I think I just let this one get the best of me and once the mental block was up, it was difficult to get around it.


All said an done, my only real complaint (other than the confusing pleat instructions) with this project is the raw edges. It's one thing to have raw edges exposed on the inside of the garment if it's not lined but if I'm going to go to the trouble of lining something, I expect the raw edges to be hidden in the lining.


That said, I would make... sorry... WILL make this dress again. After I've had some time to do a post-mortem and process my mistakes and come to terms with my faults. But next time I will make a small modification when attaching the skirt to the bodice to hide the raw edges. My plan is to fold the top of the skirt and the lining down 1/2" and sandwich the bodice in between the two and then top stitch the bodice to the top. That should solve it.


Sorry it wasn't all roses around here today. Should have been. I just spent the most lovely morning with my friends Liberty and Ramona, hand stitching in the park. It was glorious, but even writing about this dress stressed me out. Ugh. Hope your finishes are more fortunate than mine.


So, what are you working on? Link up your latest projects here and show everyone what you're making. You can share your projects in any state from start to finish. I'll keep the linky party open all week. Remember, you can also share your "Little Stitches" projects anytime in the Undercover Crafter Sew-Along Group on Flickr. See you next week - if the next project doesn't kill me. Just kidding!


Friday, November 11, 2011

Catching Up on Bee Blocks

You can tell that it's been another crazy week for me around here because I haven't been able to post anything. Despite that I have been stealing moments here and there to sew. Recently, I sent out bee blocks for October. In the Hope Circle of the do. Good Stitches Bee Kat asked us to make Bento Box Blocks using greens, blues, browns and blacks. My first attempt at my Blue Block proves that you shouldn't sew to try to cure insomnia.



At least I caught my mistake early and was able to rectify it quickly.






Then, in the Sewn Together Bee, Amber sent us all some fabulous black, white, blue and green fabrics for us to create so string blocks for her. I'm sensing a trend with this color palate right now.

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And finally, I sent my dear friend Danielle some PJs for her daughter Hadley. Danielle is among my group of friends who didn't know of my "undercover" sewing obsession until I went public with it recently. She saw the PJs I made for Arden when I posted them on Facebook and immediately asked for some for her youngest in purple. I was more than happy to oblige.

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So, despite my silence I have been doing some stitching. And I'm hoping things will return to normal again around her next week.