Saturday, 29 March 2014

Vogue 8813

Vogue 8813 view B

Looks cute - right?!! Wrong!!

See- it looks light and airy and shapely. Can you say big baggy sack?
My fabric choice was nice - I thought. A fine black polyester jersey with a soft hand a wonderful drape. Yes. Nice.
4 way stretch
I read nothing but rave reviews on this pattern- or did I? Maybe I only wanted to see the good and the positive, not the bad and the ugggly, because I payed full pop for this pattern. This is , Holly Hobby meets Broom Hilda!

I will do my best to try and selvage what I can otherwise it will end up in the Halloween bin for my annual Witches Only party.

At a cool 85 years, my mother would never think about dressing as frumpy as this!
Well I had a few hours at my art class to mull this over, I'm not giving up hope yet. Think I can make some alterations before it hits the tickle trunk.
1- I will take the sleeves in.
2- I will employ a similar smocking technique to the center back to add shape
3- I will batten down the hatches on those milk maid come marsupial pockets.
See, I kid you not!!!!
This is when I loose my MoJo. When my project turns out so yucky, I don't even want to go into the sewing room . I don't want to start something new because I feel guilty about my failure!!! I'm not going to give this one too much more energy . If I have to let it go, so be it. Has anyone else had these issues or is it just me?
Back to the drawing board for now.





Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Burda Style Waistcoat 11/2012#137

This little gem got me through our damp and chilly winter. I know it doesn't look like much on my dress form and the colour I chose looks a bit blah but in real time it's a beauty. With the addition of some "self drafted" pockets (winged it),it quickly became my go to cardi.
Grey, or as my husband Ron likes to call it, light black. I prefer to call it neutral.
I made it up in a medium weight, micro fiber knit with a waffle type weave, which I bought at Fabricland last year. I did make the belt too but it makes me look like a sack of potatoes tied in the middle and it interferes with my pockets. It was completely sewn on the serger. For the finished edges I used a wide 2 thread wrap stitch. I used black for contrast and with the wrap stitch it almost gives it a binding look.
I might caution you this is a long waistcoat and falls well below your bottom, almost to the back of your knees. This looks great styled with turtle necks or t-shirts, jeans and boots. My kind of look.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Alabama Chanin

Alabama Chanin infatuation.
I gotta tell ya I'm totally smitten with everything this woman- Natalie Chanin, has ever done! I love the recycle element. I like how feminine yet earthy they are. Her patterns are simple and she is so generous to share them in her books. The only draw backs - time consuming and it's been hard for me to resource the fabric and thread.
Pictured here is only one of her books, but I bought all 3 from Amazon. So far have only made the tank top. I am working on a 4 panel skirt with my own adaptation of surface design. Lots of beading and samplings of her embroidery styles. Stay tuned - I will proudly post pictures when I finish it.
I used 2 large men's t- shirts from the thrift store. I didn't have enough to do the reverse appliqué the way she does it so I modified by cutting them out seperately and stitching them on individually . I think it works. My dress form is a bit big for me so it looks really tight, however in reality the top is a bit big on me. Natalie recommends to make the garments one size smaller then you usually wear because the cotton does not have a memory so it stretches out as you wear it. I shoulda listened!!
I traced out the motif onto timtex, a type of very heavy interfacing for hat brims and such. Then I painstakingly cut it out with small sharp scissors. For fabric paint I mixed up textile medium, inexpensive acrylic paint and water, then sponged it using a light touch. Next time I will use a proper fabric paint in order to preserve the hand of the fabric. This alone was a lot of work-never mind the stitching . But I will do it again, I like the hand work.
My husband better watch out - every time I do the laundry I covet his t- shirts!

Friday, 21 March 2014

Vogue 8691


Vogue 8691 view D

OMG! Love this top!

I wore it work yesterday and I had soooo many compliments. The fabric I chose is a velvet burn out that has been in my stash for a very long time, I bought it at my local sewing machine dealer, Sundrop Textiles. I didn't add the flounce because I didn't have enough fabric nor did I have a contrast fabric that I thought would work with it. As it happens, I like the way it turned out without it. The fabric is kinda fancy and it would have looked a little too "fluffy" for an every day look, for me anyways .The princess cut is very flattering , just skimming your curves in all the right ways. I used the twin needle for top stitching with a longer stitch length - about a 4- to keep it from puckering . The hem is left unfinished , I had a hard time with that idea but it lends itself to a more modern finish( or rather, modern unfinish).

I have plans for making this many more times. View A with a zipper looks like fun.

For now , just making more laundry!







Wednesday, 19 March 2014

McCalls 6793

McCalls 6793

View c

The newest addition to my laundry pile ! This was my second attempt at this pattern.
My first try was too long and narrow in the torso, with lots of gaping at the arm holes. These were easy alterations on the pattern paper and it turned out pretty cute I think.

I styled it with a cropped sweater skinny jeans and boots. I will make this again for the summer. One of the views has cap sleeves that will look darling made up in a lawn.

Here is my wearable muslin made up in a nude georgette, intended to be worn as a camisole. Other wise it's very boring.

Here it is peeking out from under its new home.
This little tunic in a cream linen, is from the Sweet dress book . 23 dresses by Yoshiko Tsukiori.

I made pattern 1 . I thought the size (medium)was huge so I modified it with a scalloped hem. It's adorable and will look great with rolled up jeans and loafers - hey - just like the picture! I also did some machine embroidery using a Husqvarna design in 30 weight, pastel cotton thread . That took a long time because I did them one at a time .( dumb, dumb)

I loved this picture so much I couldn't wait to tear into this book. I love linen - especially after it gets the worn in wrinkles in it . But you have to iron it first! I have sewn with Burda magazine my whole sewing life - before you could get them in English , so I thought how hard can these Japanese pattern books be? The instructions were great , it is in English , it just takes a bit of time to catch on to her style of writing and how she organizes her process. Then I bought 2 more of her books! That should keep me busy for a while. I will have to revisit the size chart again however. It's a good thing I like to wear loose clothes.

Here I made it up in a brown , taupe linen and added a frayed flower and little purl buttons. Honestly it looks better on, I just haven't gotten around to having a photo shoot yet;)
That's it for today. I'm now going to cut out a Marcy Tilton dress.

Husqvarna embroidery


Monday, 17 March 2014

Vogue 8817 finished!

   Yea! I finished Vogue 8817. I just learned this is called a wearable muslin. I think I will like this version better then the one I plan to make with my fashion fabric. I like the edginess it has. The fit is good even considering I used 4 way stretch instead of 2 way. I'm sure I will make  this at least 3 or 4 times. I  am happy.
I can't say much for my iPhone photography skills- my husband Ron , will be appalled! 
He is a professional photographer. I'm not even going to ask him for help, he just gets grumpy. So this will have to do until I learn how to do it better! 
I managed my neck band by putting it on so the overlock was on the outside, pressed it and tacked it down in a few inconspicuous places, I think it worked.
   I hemmed the sleeves with a double needle but for the hem I pressed up the allowance and did my version of rolled hem stitch I mentioned before, then cut off the excess from the backside. I found this added a little more weight. I axed the pocket idea, and the bling, there is just enough going on.
   The only thing I haven't mentioned is when I did the stamping on fabric I used Ranger Archival Ink and it must be heat set or it will wash out, and that would be a shame.
  I think I'll make some tights and an infinity scarf to wear with it . Maybe I'll get a better shot of it outside in the daylight.   Now I have one more piece of laundry:)

Friday, 14 March 2014

Cutting a muslin?

  Vogue 8817    I almost never cut a muslin. My body size is fairly proportional so I don't have too many fitting issues. Lucky for me I guess. I am short at 5'3" so I most often remove some length from the pattern and I prefer my sleeves 3/4s or shorter for tops and blouses, otherwise I get them wet and stained with hair colour . This pattern is great - already has 3/4 sleeves. The length might be too long but I'm going to leave it the way it is for now.  I was in the local thrift store yesterday and picked up a big roll of bamboo jersey knit for a whopping $ 9.99! Score! I've washed it and I'm ready to go.I'm going to make it in one colour only - kind of a grayish with greenish- my fave! I happen to really like the earth tones and muddy colours. So if it turns out okay then that's a bonus. What I thought I might do a bit different is make all my seam on the outside and maybe use a different thread colour. I'll have to root through my threads and see what I got. I happen to have a very well stocked sewing studio ( can you say hoarder?) and I have to admit sometimes having so many choices makes it harder to decide. This is my pretend muslin so I'll just throw caution to the wind!
   Befor I went to bed last night I had a brain wave - they always come at about 2:30 am:( I went with the black thread because I'm a wimp and could not make a decision and the truth be told some times mixing colous scares me a bit. But I needed some sort of embellishment so first I tried thread , I knew it wasn't going to work- had to do it though, just to be sure I was wrong! I was too lazy to set up
embroidery and it wasn't going to work either- I do learn. So out come the paints and stencils and markers and stamps!

So here we go. I put my piece on wash away  stabilizer   And did some wavy stitch lines - I liked the look and it would be great on a stable fabric , but not a knit. 

I should of listened to my Lola who was helping me.

See , looks cool right? Wrong . No stretch.

Much better,stamps. Kinda the industrial look. Mo likes.

Just some playing with different mediums. I like all of them but I went for the stamps . I have yards of this fabric so who knows I just might try them all.
Me being wrong. ☝️
For my serger settings I dicked around with pressure and differential settings so as not to make wavy lettuce edges, pressed with care and that wood thing (clapper?) so far so good . 
I'm still not sure how to attach it . It's not a seamed piece rather an appliqué type thing. I may have to piece it . That would work .... Hmmm ... I have lots of fabric.
3 thread overlock
Engaged stitch finger for a rolled hem
Length 1.6
Diff 1.6 
Lightest pressure foot setting

            Fast forward next day

   I did piece in the overlay and it worked well. 
The back bodice I added an exposed seam for detail.
For the shoulders and sleeve insets I will just make inside seams, but I will do the side seams on the outside. This is going to be way, way to long for me and it's going to need some patch pockets. It's like I don't know when to stop ,right?
I like how the sleeves are coming along. I did some stamping and an overlay in fine black mesh .
I'm thinking it needs some bling somewhere ..... Foil? Studs?  Maybe when the pockets are on that will be enough for me.
With any luck I should have this finished by the weekend.

Monday, 10 March 2014

A new adventure!

   Tonight I embark on a new adventure. Starting a blog. I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm hoping I will learn along the way. This may just turn out awful - it's making feel very vulnerable to put my stuff out into the world for all to see, but I will have to put my big girl panties on and leap! So here I go!!!
   My name is Maureen, and I sew. I love all things fiber. I've been a hair stylist for ( yikes) 33 years and I'm still going strong. ( hair is a fiber too!)  But honestly fashion has always been my passion , hair dressing paid the bills. And I love my clients!!! Mostly I make garments. My life is very simple so my wardrobe is simple as well. I make clothes that I can wear to work in and that are comfortable. I also call myself a pretend quilter because I don't really follow the rules and make things up as I go along. I also like to pretend I'm  a fiber artist lately LOL ! Maybe when I retire from hair I can throw myself into these areas more deeply, but for now I'm Just Making More Laundry! 
   My original goal was 52 tops - one a week for a year- and thought that is a sure way to set your self up for failure !! Then I counted 9 tops that I have already made and thought - Huh? I'm almost there already. Well I'll try ..... to make lots - how's that? 
   I'm an awful typist so this is painful. My posts will probably be photos and one liners and I'm ok with that.
Piles of fabric!!!
I have 3 bins ( big ones) devoted to black.
Lots of scraps from previous projects, new stuff and ready made I like to cut up and reuse.
So I've been waiting for a pattern I could make where I could mix and match a bunch and make some thing wonderful. I think this is it.

  Ha! Not so easy! I've been rummaging around in the 'black box' and now I'm just really confused. Who knew blacks didn't match! Weights, drapes, textures , fiber content, not enough of some,stretch , no stretch....
My head hurts! I thought I would have had it cut out by now. I think I will have to sleep on it. The Tilton sisters make such nice patterns I would like to do it some justice. Well tomorrow  is another day!
Hum.... Might use some colour ( Canadian for color)
Sleep now.😴