28 October 2014

How to Lose Your Sewjo in 4 Easy Steps

Step 1:  Start a sewing project involving two patterns from the same company with similar pattern numbers.

Somehow I thought it was a good idea to cut out both New Look 6407 and New Look 6704 at the same time and out of the same fabric.  Let that marinate for a minute.  SMH

Step 2:  Combine stretch cotton poplin with step 1.

I love me some stretch cotton poplin - except when I hate it.  I get excited about how the fabric can help with fit and then highly annoyed at how it puckers like crazy.  I have steamed the shit out of these princess seams and the puckers keep coming back as if an iron never touched it.

 New Look 6704

Ugh x 100!  I did a lot to get the front bodice to fit (future post), but these wrinkles are just wrong.  Maybe I need to add some more length to the front panel to help ease the princess curve.

I haven't decided if I will finish it or not.  Maybe I will just to get practice on the techniques.  Will I wear it?  Um........no. New Look 6407 is coming along much better.  I used french seams throughout and the puckers aren't nearly as bad.

I think the bust curve is too high, though.  I didn't notice that on my first version perhaps due to the busy print.  I love that shirt and have worn it several times already.

Step 3:  Be inspired by what everyone else is making. 

Inspiration is a good thing.  Not finishing two shirts in progress and wanting to move onto something else - not so much.  Area 51 is already bursting at the seams (hah, so punny) and doesn't need any more visitors.  I need shirts and think both of these have great potential.  BUT...the puckers...
Step 4:  Be so tired that you fall asleep as soon as you sit down.

This has happened for the last seven weeks.  I'm not kidding.  Y'all know I usually skate Friday nights.  In the last seven weeks, I've only been skating once.  Last Friday, I had EVERY intention of going.  I sat down and closed my eyes for (what I thought was) 20 minutes.  Lights on, clothes on, everything.  I woke up two hours later.  Oops.

How do you lose your sewjo? =)


25 October 2014

Bike the Bridge 2014

 Ambassador Bridge
(photo credit:  blog.thedetroithub.com)

For the fifth year in a row, the US and Canada joined together to close the busiest international crossing in North America to let a few of us ride our bikes across.  Bike the Bridge 2014, held on Sunday, 12 Oct, was hosted by Tour de Troit  - a local non-profit organization that also  sponsors the annual 30-mile ride around the city.  I did that as well in September, but didn't blog about it or take any pictures.  

The ride was FANTASTIC!

My bike buddy, K, with whom I've biked the Slow Roll all summer, drove down to pick me up at 7a.  We headed out to Windsor, Ontario to pick up our bibs and route map; the ride started promptly at 9a.  After biking to the US and back to Canada, we took a 20-mile tour around local and historic neighborhoods.  

I've been to Windsor MANY times and I never knew some of these neighborhoods existed!  I usually visit the mall, Fabricland, eat somewhere downtown, or pass through to Toronto.  It was very nice to see some of the quaint areas of the city.

That said, I am so glad we did the bridge first.  Oh man.  That climb was brutal.  I thought for sure I wasn't going to make it.  I've biked bridges before, but this was VERY hard.  It seemed as if we would never make it to the top.  I made it eventually! 

Though I seriously contemplated taking a ride back on the SAG truck, I pushed on and made it back to Canada.  The climb didn't seem that hard going back.  Either it wasn't as steep or I had so much adrenaline pumping through me that I couldn't feel the pain.  I'm going with option 2.  =)

In all it was a great ride and nice to see the city from the Windsor side.  It is also nice to say that I biked the Ambassador Bridge!

Upon entering the US to return home, I didn't get stopped with a bunch of crazy questions by customs.  Good lookin' out because seriously, I was not in the mood!

Sorry for the poor photo quality.  It was early and the sun was somewhere else.  The Windsor Star wrote a nice piece about the event and has better pictures.

I had every intention of writing this post last week.  But when it rains, it pours.  Anyway, I am making a conscience effort to take care of myself and return to doing things that I enjoy - which includes sewing and blogging about sewing.

Thanks to everyone for stopping by to read and comment.  Please know that your greetings and support are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated.




13 October 2014

Kwik Sew 2960 (pants)

 (photo credit:  Patternreview.com)

Last summer, the lovely SarahLiz embarked on a pants fitting journey that I followed with great interest.  She used several patterns, ultimately fitting Kwik Sew 2960 perfectly.  In following her progress, I was reminded of my first attempt at fitting this pattern which ultimately ended in me throwing the muslin in the magic closet.

When it comes to jeans, I don't mind a few wrinkles because I think some are necessary to sit comfortably.  But this pattern was designed for stretch wovens and, in theory, shouldn't have many wrinkles.  Right?

I returned to this pattern again in September with a wrinkles-be-damned-I-need-pants attitude.  I made three pairs, each varying wildly in fit and satisfaction.

When sewing the first pair, I noticed that the pants legs were WAY wide - wider than in the muslin.  So I nipped the front and back pieces in near the knee by an inch on both sides.

Doing this gave a much closer fit and a nice flare at the hem.  What can I say, I love flared pants!

Version 1 (stretch poly woven):  fail

I have no pictures of this pair because I already donated them.  Somehow, front and back side seams were off by a full inch and I had to stretch the pieces to fit.  This caused unsightly puckers at the hip that could not be removed no matter how much I pressed.

Version 2 (rayon poly lycra woven):  semi-fail

After fixing the side seam issue, this pair sewed much more smoothly.  However, not all rayon-poly-lycras are the same.  This pair stretched horribly!  I could take the pants off without unbuttoning/unzipping.  I cut the waistband on the cross grain and used a stretch interfacing - which only added to the problem.  Plus after only one wear, the fabric started to pill.  These are going in the donation pile or trash; I have no desire to try to fix them.

I bought five yards of this fabric and still have three left.  Unless I find something else to do with the fabric, methinks this is getting donated as well.

Version 3 (rayon poly lycra woven):  success

Either I'm a glutton for punishment or I refuse to be outdone by a piece of fabric.  In any event, I gave the RPL another try.  This time, I used a 2-yard piece left over from this Jalie jacket.  This pair was a total success (although the jacket is in the donation pile).

The weight of the fabric is pretty much the same as version 2, however I think this has more rayon than polyester.  The stretch is perfect and after two wearings and a wash, there is no pilling.  I cut the waistband on the straight grain and used a non-stretch interfacing.  The waistband is a little snug, but I MUST unzip and unbutton to take them off!  I am definitely going to make more.

I'm still working on my fall sewing plans.  The color scheme is grey, green, purple, and white/off white.  I finally started sewing again and am almost finished with a simple tank top.  I intend to start working on another version of New Look 6407 (pictured above).


Thank you so much for offering words of support.  I'm doing better and simply trying to take one day at a time.  I did a major bike ride yesterday and that lifted my spirits - while also making me extremely sore!  More details on that tomorrow.

Until next time, peace!


05 October 2014

October Already?

I know I've been missing in action.  Not much sewing going on here, but lots of stress.  I am determined to get things together and to get back on track.  

In the meantime, I've spent a LOT of time rolling pennies.  Seriously.  I have two very large glass jars of pennies.  I turned in $16 worth of pennies and rolled another $20 yesterday.  I have about $30 or $40 more to go.  

Besides this being a sort-of mindless activity, I am working to clean out my house of stuff.  Old books, clothes I don't wear, and papers that have no use to me are out the door.  I am downsizing quite a bit.

I hope to return to sewing soon.  I signed up for the Curvy Sewing Collective Wrapped Dress Sew Along, but I haven't gotten very far.  I traced and cut out my pattern pieces and that's it.  We have a short break coming up soon; maybe I'll get some sewing done then.

Until next time, peace and blessings.



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