31 October 2013

Damn Wagon

Either the wagon has to be stronger or I have to find another mode of transportation.  Fabric Mart is evil.  EVIL I tell you!  Let's just get to it.

polyester ITY

navy cotton pique and floral stretch cotton pique

stretch silk/cotton twill

 poly-rayon-lycra double knit

navy/cream cotton shirting

Do I have plans for all of these lovelies?  Of course...just as I have plans for all of the other lovelies.  Putting those plans into motion is another thing. 

Moto jacket update:  Still no zippers!!  Arrrrgh.  I ordered them on Sunday.  They're supposed to be here tomorrow. 


27 October 2013

Moto Jacket & Mystery Project

Thanks everyone for commenting on my zipper question.  Some preferred brass with lighter tape, others said black with brass will give make the jacket pop, while others said the silver will blend nicely.  These are all excellent points - which leave me no closer to a decision! 

These three comments pretty much tied the whole thing together:

Christiana writes:  "I like the dark tape as well. I'd take it a step further and go with a gold topstitching to pull it all together." 

SarahLiz writes:  "I think Judith is right - are you going for a dark and dramatic look, or a more blended, subtle, look. Also, what do you have to wear it with? That might help decide the choice too."

AnnaChristina writes:  "I like the light zipper with brass teeth, but I think silver would also be sharp. I think the fabric could be dressed up or down with the more subtle look."

I hadn't even thought about topstitching or how this jacket was to be worn and coordinated with the other garments I have.  Duh!  I was so fixated on the zipper color that I completely neglected the basic function of the garment.

So with everyone's comment in mind, I gave the jacket a second look.  I selected a few colors for topstitching and placed the garment next to another top that's currently in progress. The more I looked at everything, the less I liked the brass teeth.  The grey fabric has a washed effect and I couldn't be settled with the pop of gold.  Of the three colors I used for topstitching ( dark grey, light grey, and black), he one that stood out the most was the one that could be seen the least:  dark grey.  So I have decided to go with....drumroll...silver teeth!  I like the idea of being able to dress the jacket up or down and think starting with a more subtle look is better.

I haven't started sewing the jacket because the first thing to do is to put in the separating zipper - something I do not have, yet.  I can cut and fuse the interfacing, but until I get the zippers, there's not much else I can do.  In the meantime, I started another project using this fabric:

This print is wild and SO not me!  I was nervous about buying it because it's not something I would normally wear.  I'm going to keep the details under wraps until I finish it. Unfortunately, this project is stalled as well because I don't have a notion that I need to proceed.  I'll order it when I order the zippers.  Until then, you're free to make a guess!  Hey Kyle!  Shhhh...don't tell anyone. =)



23 October 2013

Gold Teeth: Yea or Nay?

No.  I am not getting a grill. 

I'm talking about the zipper teeth on my planned denim motorcycle jacket.  The denim is grey, but the zipper teeth are brass.  Wawak has aluminum zippers long enough for the front, however none short enough for the sleeve vents and pockets.  Zipperstop has aluminum zippers in the sizes I'd like, but I've never ordered from them before.  

I googled some images of grey denim jackets.  Most have black zippers with black teeth.  I spotted this lovely and think the silver looks pretty good.  I might try to knock this off in a future version of this pattern.  It doesn't look too hard to do - except for maybe the quilted sleeve caps.

As a reference, I pinned in a couple of zippers I had on hand.  If I do go with brass, I think the lighter-colored tape looks better than black. 

Hmm...now I like the brass.  Ugh!  I've already cut out the fabric so this jacket is happening.  I just have to decide.  Do gold and grey go together?  Would silver be too obvious a choice?

Waaaah.  What do you think? =)


21 October 2013

Taking Better Photos

My last post confirmed something I've known for a while now.  The hallway selfies are not working.  The lighting is terrible and my shots are almost always blurry.

Look at the difference!  The photo on the left was taken in my sewing room.  The one on the right was taken in my normal photo-shoot area, the hallway.  Obviously the photo on the left is clearer and more true in color.

I have a tripod, but I can't always get good photos using it either.  For some reason, I can't get the distance, height, or angle positioned in a way that makes a good photo.

I gave the whole tripod thing another try today.  What do you think?

This still looks blurry to me and I didn't alter the photo at all.  Though it's brighter, you can't see my feet.  Hmm...

How do you all take pictures?


16 October 2013

Wasted Away in Margawadderville (Jalie 2805)

Can I just say that I hate that song?  Not because of the song itself, but because the radio at the pottery studio is set to a station that plays it EVERY DAY.  I am not joking or exaggerating.  It must mean something special to the DJ. 


I was on a roll this weekend.  After finishing my polka-dot top, I started working on a knit top and finished a UFO from 2000 something.  Maybe 2011.

The skirt is New Look 6274 and it's made out of a stretch cotton bottom-weight.  I bought the fabric at Sawyerbrook during a visit to Boston in 2011.  There's nothing new or different with the construction.  I lined it, used an invisible zipper, and faced the waist with petersham.  

The top is Jalie 2805 and I used a Sophia double knit purchased recently from Vogue Fabrics at the American Sewing Expo. In theory, the outfit looks pretty good, right?  Even the v-neck is nearly perfect.

Unfortunately, this outfit only looks good on the dress from or on a hanger.  The top has MANY problems on my body - mainly stemming from being too damn tight.  

Ugh.  Where do I even begin?

I didn't make a muslin because I've made this pattern before.  I didn't use a Sophia knit the first time, though, and I think that's where the problem starts.  

Sausage anyone?  The sleeves aren't uncomfortable, but you can see that they are tight and all kinds of wrong.

I don't know how I missed the swayback adjustment because I need it in the worst way.  Look at how the back is pulling near the underarm seam.  The front is too short because I obviously need an FBA.  

There is so much FAIL in this one, I think I deserve a prize.  Hmm.  Margaritas sound good right now.

I'll definitely try it again, but after I make some necessary changes.  For now, I want to finish a different knit top and start working on my...wait for it...denim motorcycle jacket. So.  Many.  Zippers. 


15 October 2013

Sewing Confessions

Rules?  What rules?  I don't need no stinkin' rules.  Here are my confessions.  Don't tell anyone, k?

1.  I almost never measure my hems.  

The horror!  I read about how people use chalked string to mark their hems or use other techniques.  Yeah, I don't do that.  Since I make a muslin for everything, I figure out the hem I want at that point and then go from there.  When I'm at .e iron pressing up the hem, I just eyeball it and check the depth only a few times.

2.  I am inconsistent with snipping threads. 

I try to snip them at the end of each seam, but that doesn't always happen.  If it can't be seen from the outside, I don't worry about it.

3.  I don't always remove ease/basting stitches.

See #2. =)  The only exception is when I insert an invisible zipper.  Most times I use contrasting thread so that I can visibly see the guideline.  I usually remove this after the zipper is in - if it can't be seen from the outside.

4.  I regularly practice the LSO (Lop Shit Off) method.

If something is too long or not working out in one spot, I just lop it off and fuhgeddaboutit. 

5.  I totally eyeball the stitching line when I coverstitch a hem.

Oddly enough, this works for me.  I tried using Post-It notes as a guideline, but for some reason the hem always came out uneven.  I've had far more success "feeling for the hem" on top and slowly guiding this area under the foot.  

Come on, fess up!  I can't be the only sinful sewer.


13 October 2013

Catching Up

Wow, is it October already?  Despite having a busy and stressful September, I did manage to get some sewing done.

Simplicity 2365 - version 2

This one is for you, Terry!  While visiting Toronto, I stopped by Fabricland and picked up several pieces of fantastic fabrics, including this black on white polka dot quilting cotton.  I normally don't gravitate toward polka dots, but after seeing Terry's dotted creations, I thought I'd give 'em a try.  I couldn't be happier. 

In making S2365, I did the same thing as I did the first time I made this top.  The only thing I forgot to mention in my original review was the width of the bias tape.  The tape is 2 inches wide so that I could sew a 1/2-inch seam allowance and have enough to turn under and topstitch.

McCall's 6654

I finally got some photos of me wearing the not-so-easy skirt.  I  really like this look, thought I have to refine the fit of the jacket.  

Sorry for the crappy cell phone selfie (cellphie?).  I was on my way to work and wanted to take a quick snap.

BeaJay's Scary September Challenge

Although I didn't make anything for the challenge, I did cut out a muslin for a button-front blouse.  I fell behind in putting it together and then got  distracted/discouraged and decided to move onto something else.  My plan to sew and fit a button-front blouse is still in the works, but I don't know if I'll return to it anytime soon.  Despite failing in the challenge, BeaJay was kind enough to mention completing my Indygo Junction coat as part of the process.  Aww.  Thanks BeaJay!

Sarah Liz's One Garment a Month Challenge

To round out the year, I decided to join Sarah Liz's One Garment a Month Sew Along.  While I hope to sew more than one piece a month, I think I can get one done - especially now that things have slowed down around here.

My first garment to enter for this challenge is the Simplicity top (above).  I cut and sewed it in the month of October, so my quota is met. =)  I have plans for two more tops - both knits and from TNT patterns.  I'd also like to make another Kwik Sew jacket.  These three garments will complete the first of my planned fall 6PACs.

That's all I have for now.  More later!  Until then, be well.


03 October 2013

McCall's 6654 (skirt): Complete

McCall's 6654 with Simplicity 1945
This was supposed to be a quick project.  The pattern has two pieces, both cut on the fold, and a simple waist casing for elastic.  Easy right?  Noooooo.  Of course not.  I had to rip out the serger stitches for the casing twice.  I also had a hard time stitching the ends of the elastic together.  There was a thread nest big enough for a bird.  The truth is, it's still there holding everything together.  And you know what?  I am not picking out these stitches for a third time.  No one will know - except the folks reading this.  But no one else.

I blame Scandal and all you Scandal lovers for bringing me over to the dark side. 

Fabric & Notions
  • one yard of grey/black knit houndstooth
  • 3/4" no-roll elastic
  • serger, coverstitch machine, and thread

Sizing & Alterations
I started with a size 16 (I know, too big) and made my normal full seat adjustment by slashing and spreading the back 1.25".  I started with the larger size because I really didn't feel like making a muslin.  So I figured if it was too big, I could make it smaller and I did.  I ended up taking 1" out of the sides so that I could get the fit I wanted.  Next time, I'll cut between a 12 and 14.

I serged the sides and "attached" the casing.  I didn't understand the instructions for this part and just did what I thought made sense.  I don't know if the casing is supposed to be on the inside or not, but mine looks like a narrow waistband.  It works and I'm not changing it!  As for the elastic, I cut it to my waist measurement and then adjusted the length after it was inserted into the casing. 

Here the skirt is paired with Simplicity 2422 (left) and Jalie 2559 (right).

This skirt is part of my fall 6PAC plan - which has sort of morphed into a full 12PAC with pretzels.  I don't think I want to sew these colors for long, so I'll do some editing and add in some other colors.  In fact, I think I might try to do an Endless Combinations type of plan.

Do you remember the Endless Combinations contest on PR?  This was one of my favorite contests since it opened the door to building a wardrobe of coordinating outfits.  The idea is to make a garment (or use a previously made garment) and make a second to wear with it.  Then make a third garment to match with either the first and/or second.  And so forth.  Before you know it, you've got a whole wardrobe collection or a capsule of coordinated pairs.  

I don't know why this contest hasn't run in a while.  I think the idea is kinda neat.  Would anyone be interested in doing an EC sew along?  We can space out the time to cover a few months and, perhaps, continue the spirit of the wonderfully inspiring Style the Stash sew along started by Sarah Liz.  We can step into the depths of scary sewing (I'm talking to you collar stand and welt pockets) and join BeaJay in some fearlessness.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.  Anyone interested?



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