Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bag, Top and Dress

I haven’t done much sewing this past week. I’ve bought some new patterns (I can’t seem to help myself) and some on-sale fabric for my not so little one to start practicing on. She made a very nice handbag, something I never even thought of doing, much less trying. It was made from some vinyl I bought from Wal-Mart some time ago to re-cover my dining room chairs, a small piece of black and white silky rayon, and the red and white stripe is upholstery fabric from my stash. We figured it was heavy enough to help “firm up” the rayon part. It came out very nice for her first time out. Next she wants to make a shirt. We’ll see how that goes…

Not bad for her first time out

The lining matched up perfectly, but I think we would
have to work on hiding the seams

The zippered pocket installation was impressive, I don't 
think I would be able to do that in one try

The handles were purchased at Joann's Fabric. 
Nice, right?

As for me, I tried something I saw in Pinterest and it came out very nice. I got all kinds of compliments when I wore it. I think I will do a couple more, maybe some with long sleeve tees so I can wear them in cooler weather.

The up-cycled tee and tie.

The tie and the gold and pearl button were thrifted (thank
you Goodwill). The next time I will stabilize the 
neckling before adding the tie so it sits better.

The maxi dress was very easy to put together, the second and third time I did it. As with anything, the more you do it, the easier to gets. This was McCall’s 6559...

The stripes started out matching pretty good...

then this. I don't know what happened, the further down I
sewed, the more out of whack they got.

And my famously easy neckline (and sleeve facing) for 
knit fabric. Love it.

This was just a quick post… busy, busy wk-end. My baby is turning 18. It’s so hard to believe sometimes, it seems like just yesterday she was a toddler standing by my bed, holding my eyelashes to pull my eye open asking “mommy, you wake up? You wake up mommy”….

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Monday, September 10, 2012

September is Nation Sewing Month y'all...

I almost forgot, HAPPY NATIONAL SEWING MONTH folks. I just recently found out such a thing existed, and I’m glad. There’s something about sewing. The pride and feeling of accomplishment of finishing a piece, and having it fit nicely. I even like the hum of the sewing machine, maybe a little too much, since it doesn’t bother me to have to undo something and re-sew it.

Speaking of sewing machines, when I was 17 turning 18, my dad bought me my very own, very nice Necchi sewing machine and console. It was the best gift I had ever gotten. It was one of those that folded down into the table and had a leaf that folded out for an extra big sewing surface. The front little section flipped down and there were pegs for my threads and the one drawer was enough for the notions I had at the time. I remember making palazzo pants, with polka dots of course since they were very big at that time (yes, I’m dating myself). I made some tops and skirts, and even a couple pairs of M.C. Hammer pants- all of us over a certain age know exactly what I’m talking about...  :-)

Anyway, fast forward to the present. I won that nice Janome from Mimi G. and have been having a little bit of trouble with it. The closest dealer is a ways away, and I’m not sure they do repairs. Anyway, I am so in love with the brand in general that I am saving up for a brand spanking new one. In the meantime, my daughter has acquired the love of sewing- even if she prefers to do bags and other accessories. She is just now gravitating to clothing. And just as this happened, there was a surplus auction in town. Timing could not have been better. I went, and there was a sea of sewing machines with tables from a middle school they had just closed. PERFECT.

So for a VERY good price, I got my daughter a very sturdy Husqvarna sewing machine. The model wasn’t too old either. And when I got it home and tried it out, now I’m not an expert at these things, but it sounded very nice. I think it actually purred. The stitches are basic, but for someone just starting out, it’s perfect. So now she has a machine all of her own. And as I set it up and stood back and gazed upon it, something occurred to me. In exactly one week my little Ary will be 18 years old. Maybe this will become a sort of family tradition….it could happen…

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bad Blogger

So I’ve been slacking in my blogging, bad blogger. It’s been a crazy, wild, fun summer. Trips, visits, concerts…very busy to say the least. Last post I said would put up pics of my projects, those are still coming, but in the mean time I wanted to show the last piece I finished. This would be New Look 6936. It is a lovely kimono sleeve, empire waist, cross front dress. I would consider this a Spring, Summer or Fall dress, as the sleeves would make it difficult to fit a jacket or sweater.

Fabric Used? I used a T-Shirt type knit fabric I got off Joann’s clearance racks. I guess it’s bad I don’t remember this stuff, if I pay attention to it at all. I mostly go by touch and if the pattern envelope says I need one with stretch or not. It’s a lovely purple snake skin print, and the instant I saw it I knew I wanted to make a dress of it.
Were the instructions easy? Very easy. The directions were clear and concise and the pictures were not confusing to follow, which is mostly what I do. The pattern envelope promised a 2 hour dress, and that’s about what it took. The pattern was cut out one night, and the dress sewed the next while I watched parts of White Collar and Covert Affairs.
Pattern alterations? The only alteration I made to the pattern was to add 2 inches to the upper front pieces, to accommodate my ample boobage, and 1 inch to the back to make the transition easier. Also, instead of folding and stitching the neckline I did a binding technique I learned from Rachel over at designrefinebemine. It is so simple and easy, and now I do it on every single knit piece I make. It is so much easier than stay stitching or worrying about the fold over puckering. And with this technique you get a nice finish that will lay against your chest and neck.

Her technique, and my new technique
Sorry about the blurry-ness, if you can't make it out
you fold the binding in half
Attach it to the right side of the garment
At this point you want to stretch the binding just a 
little to ensure it lays flat
At the end, and only if your thread is a perfect match,
zig-zag the two pieces together where they meet. Otherwise
use a needle and closely matching thread to tac ends together

Likes/Dislikes and would I make it again? There weren’t any dislikes. The pattern was very straight forward and came together very quickly and easily. I don’t believe it took me more than 2 ½ hours total to cut it out and sew it, interrupted by me watching TV of course. I would definitely make this dress again, and will. I kinda want to make it out of every knit in my stash, but I think people at work would think me weirder if I started showing up in the same dress in different colours every day. 

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