Category Archives: Sewing
Oops, did I really say that? Well, yeah, I did. So now that I’ve gotten that off my chest here’s the facts, Ma’m.
Finding good denim is tough! I have been looking for the last 5 years, through all the fabrics stores I’ve hit during business travels across the country, and by ordering swatches from Mood (thanks for the suggestion, Becki!) as well as other sites. I have bought denim for commercial and other uses so I’ve been around, loosely, er, loosely speaking, tasting all the denim I could.
The problem is that almost all vendors don’t know how the denim will perform over the years. They may not know the source of it in the first place. I tend to hang with my good friend Ann at GorgeousFabrics.com. She’ll know her source if she can and she sews the fabrics she buys. So I’ve made 3 to 5 yard denim purchases over the years from everywhere, and even bought out the last bolt of very dark wash, heavy shirt weight, denim from Textile Fabrics in Nashville. It was the closest thing they had to what I needed.
Textile Fabrics is an excellent store, BTW, should you ever get to Nashville. And if you don’t ever get to Nashville, you’ve blown your chance to visit one of the best fabric stores in US. Just my opinion and I’ve spent a lot of time and money gaining that opinion. LOL
A binding, seemingly insurmountable problem has been that Mr Stitch turns out to be very picky in his choice of colors. He couldn’t use the light blue that has recently come back into fashion nor was he remotely interested in black. Oh, no. He has a total thing for blues. The color, not the music (darn it all) and he’d probably like the blue used in this paragraph. Strong like Bull, stubborn like Ox.
So my 13 yards of very dark wash, slightly brushed for softness, yet close weave chambray (AKA Cambric) denim from Textile Fabrics has languished on the shelf, awaiting inspiration.
Desperation inspiration struck yesterday and 5 ripped sections of 60″ wide, 50″ in length yardage have been washed, dried and ironed. The left over 6 yards is washed and folded.
Then I found my packet of patterns and notations and OLD SCRAPES from the years of shirt making for Mr Stitch.
Moving a work room is something that curses you for years afterward. No matter how hard you try. Remember this.
So late last night, I learned that my favorite pattern (I’d even forgotten I had numerous patterns, commercial and custom drafted) (I blame it on the chemo, so much got wiped out) calls for 1/2 yard more than the 5 segments I’d ripped.
Yeah, well, I might be bummed. I’ll have to do the layout with his alterations incorporated to see what I shall see. That’s on the menu for today.
The good news is that I have in my greedy little paws a whole ** load of ProWOVEN Super-Crisp Fusible Interfacing that I am really anxious to use in the collars ’cause that ironing last night and coming up during construction is probably the last iron these shirts will see.
And SCRAPES. Gosh darn it where have these been hiding? I could have sent one off to Ressy, as Elaine Good suggested yesterday, many years ago and saved myself a ton of fabulous denim research. Or not.
Que será, será
I made this dress for a one day meet-up last year. Due to bad weather the flight home that evening was cancelled and I had to stay an extra day. I had not planned on spending the night so I had to wear this for 2 whole days. Oh boy. I can go for some glamor once in a while but 2 days? That’s really pushing me to my limits.
But I liked wearing this dress and 2 days worth was not a problem. The fabric is a finely pleated black and white polka dot polyester from GorgeousFabrics.com, and it proved to be absolutely wrinkle-proof. The fit was comfortable and I had the yellow coat I made and blogged about for the whole month of April 2009 with me. That was a great comfy coat to wear, too. And I had brought flats, Yay Me! Disaster averted.
The pattern is to be laid out on the bias but I cut cross grain to take advantage of the inherent stretch of the pleats. I cut a size 12 through the bodice and flared to a 14 below the waist.
I lined on the bias with black cling free poly lining which I trimmed with black lace at the hem. I cut the lining with extra width so that it could relax into place on my body. The bow at the shoulder is black and white silk chiffon as is the simple rectangle wrap I made.
What an easy and quick but comfy and stylish design. I really enjoyed sewing it up and wearing it. I can recommend this simple but interesting shift for many different body shapes.
We finally got some rain and the humidity and wind is poofing up my hair big time. It’s getting wider and shorter with every passing minute. I was feeling like I might go airborne a la The Flying Nun before I could finish doing this photo shoot :).
Gwen was the first person to push me to love my hair as much as she did. She always would comment upon it and I would tell her how shy and embarrassed I felt. She never did acknowledge my negativity. So here is my salute to her in the only way I know to say it.
Gwen, thank you for helping me start to accept and love and show myself.
You’ve escaped this messy jungle and left the rest of us here, so touched and made better by your heart and mind.
I grew to love you as did many others. You put me in touch with myself, a part I am still exploring and still unsure of sharing. I’ll always miss you and now I don’t have to worry about you any more. I should be glad about that. But I can’t say Good Bye, your comments will here remain as long as this blog continues.
Shown is a new, larger version of Vogue Woman V8504.
This pattern has skirt, pant,top with side slits sleeves and with sleeves, and jacket in a casual style for wovens. I made the sleeveless top in linen.
The pants are again Vogue 8915, shown here over and over for the past 7 weeks.
I lengthened the top by 2″, and increased the depth of the neckline facings to allow for 1 3/8″ deep topstitching instead of the 1″ called for in the pattern.
I cut a 12 through the neckline, 14 for the armscye and 16 through the bust angling out to 18+ for the waist and hipline. I made no other changes.
If I make this again, I need to lower the bust darts and perhaps cut more room through the bust. My weight changes all the time and I am sewing for linen that comes from the dryer without benefit of an iron. This means it will relax and stretch with body warmth and movement. I’ll write these alteration notations on the front of the envelope so I should see it if I make this top again and haven’t dropped in weight.
I like this pattern esp since I lowered the hemline. The armscye is snug but not too tight. Good pattern for me.
Let’s finish this pattern up and move on, OK? I’m pretty sure I have some friends who are moaning: “not another scrub! Give us something more fashionable!” As well they should. What I’m making these days are my uniforms for daily kicking at the house and running to the store.
So this is the last of the Cheap, Fun, and Easy series, which is not to say I won’t still be sewing cheap fun and easy, I just won’t show you scrubs tops all the time.
Front view and the reason why I bought this questionable fabric with Westies wearing red bows, and apples and doo-dahs: my little photo bombing Westie dog and constant companion of almost 15 years, Gaely GoLightly.
I was surprised by how this version turned out. It looks almost like a tunic.
I tried not to stray too far from the pattern. I again cut an extra large. I lowered the neckline by 3/4″, shortened the shoulder by 1/2″ and shortened the neckband by .5″. Then I shortened the band by another 1″. It didn’t help much.
Maybe it was my fabric. It has an old feel and I think it’s a 1980′s fabric. It has a stiff hand from the dye. It’s a very stretchy cotton with lycra or elastine. And has a goofy print. Husband really didn’t want me to buy it. LOL Turns out he’s got quite a good eye for classy fabrics. Not this, in other words.
Anyone who makes this pattern will have to make sure they’ve cut any of the version’s necklines long enough to fit over your head and will have to be ready to shorten the neckbands by how ever much necessary to give a smooth finished edge.
Some say they make the band 2/3 the length of the neckline opening. I am the touchy-feely type so I test with my hands. And therefore I knew in advance this wouldn’t work too well. But it’s OK for my purposes and better than what you can get at a yard sale.
So that is B5215, View C. And the end of scrubs.
I’m working on pulling together pieces from the past few years and sewing up short cuts of fabric I’ve not had the time to sew for the past (mumble mumble) number of years due to commercial sewing, business or garden work and taking time to get over cancer, as well.
This year the garden did not fare well with all the rain and cool temps so I’m sewing up what I have intended to sew for the past 10+ years. The heck with food, we’re just going to have to plan on going to the store this winter.
I’ve made view A in a stretchy rayon lycra, on the shelf for so long I don’t remember any details
and view B in a cotton sateen with lycra from Michaels Fabrics many years ago.
I cut each of these at the XL size and then had to take really small seam allowances. I don’t buy clothes so I have no idea what size I’d buy and Connie’s sizing is different from the regular Butterick sizing. Did I take my own measurements and measure the flat pattern? Why, no, I didn’t. I have no clue why I didn’t. I went from the measurement sizing on the pattern and expected more ease. But she’s a technically correct one, that Connie Crawford is and that’s exactly why I wanted to use her patterns.
Surprise! My fabric choices are not regular tee shirt fabrics. Oh well, I made it work.
On each tee I lowered the neckline by 3/4″ and took a 3/8″ seam in the neck binding. I made View B without any other modifications to the pattern. On View A I shortened the shoulder length by 1/2″.
So, now for version C, with all the ease of a “regular tee shirt”, I have no idea how it will fit. I have some cute but “questionable” fabric to use and I’ll cut the same XL and lower the neckline and shorten the shoulder length by the same 3/4″ and 1/2″ respectively and we’ll just have to see what comes of that.
I like how these two pieces have paired up with other items so far.
Aqua Fern Top with McCalls 6247 made 2 years ago
Sateen Top with linen pants, both just made this week. The pants pattern as it has evolved from Vogue 8915 first cut in July
The Olive Top made from Vogue 8915 looks great with the new light green linen pants
The Vogue 1364 Warm Weather Jacket made in August works with them both
Back to the cutting table for version C and I have another linen pant to stitch up from the evolved slouchy pants pattern.
I have plans for a safari style short sleeved jacket in linen and an Issy Miyaki tunic in dupioni planned beyond that.
I love it when a such a long term plan comes together!
This is important: Pam Erny, Custom Shirt Maker, has started a new blog. An extraordinary, tutorial and tip blog on shirt making. This is something many who know her have prayed would happen over the past online sewing years.
Bookmark, follow, subscribe, like, read, enjoy, try out the techniques and thank Pam.
I cut the medium size out last week and only sewed it up yesterday. I raised the front neckline by 3/4″, widened the sleeves by the same and used a pivot and slide method to add 1.5″ to the hip width. This is a colorful but thin cotton jersey ripened many years on the shelf. I only had a yard so this is it.
Real life: broken refrigerators, stripping floors, kitchen reorganization and a surprising flea invasion have tried to take over but have been conquered (almost). Frontline Plus is not working. It’s down to flea combs, traps, baths, and daily vacuuming of everything. They’ve invaded the neighborhood. I have one word: rabbits. But I blame almost everything on rabbits so don’t trust me on this. It could well be slacking humans.
This is the only pattern left in Vogue’s catalog of designs specifically for women of a certain age.
I made it 3 years ago but never reviewed it. It is an orphan no longer since the shockingly yellow pants have joined the wardrobe. It never really worked well with jeans.
The vogue Woman category, if I remember correctly, was drafted to accommodate a forward neck/high rounded back posture. Vogue has discontinued all the other patterns in that category now but this one. It’s still available.
I have only made this one top, but I like the style and I think I’ll find tee and pant fabrics to test the rest of the pattern. I was lighter when I made this top.
I cut a 12 through the shoulders, arms and neckline flaring out to fit my measurements at the waist and hip. This pattern could be cut at a larger size for a more flowing topper.
I used a metallic embroidered sari fabric from Kashi. I’ve washed it on delicate and dried it in the dryer. Not too bad a result, I’d say. The sleeves are cut on and thus two pieces. The neckline is bound with silk organza, and constructed the same as the green silk animal print tunic of a few days ago
The binding is cut in the shape of the neckline, sewn on the outside and turned and top stitched. Easy!
It’s amazing what a few new pieces can do to the wardrobe.