2013 ESSENTIAL TOPS SEW-A-LONG FINISHED PROJECTS

December 8, 2016

INCH BY INCH ANYTHING'S A CINCH (OR SO THEY SAY)...


...i stopped procrastinating and starting working towards what I hope will be my 2016 Winter coat before 2017 gets here.  I'm still a little undecided - but it's time to get moving. 
The Schnittchen Silvia Coatigan is what I'm shooting for.  You know, a cross between a coat and a cardigan.  It has dropped shoulders that gives it a relaxed-cozy effect.  Of course I wish I could have a peachy colored woolen fabric just like this, but with limited local resources I must work with I have.

I decided to just take this project one day at a time - inch by inch anything's a cinch (or so they say).  I'm still trying to make a final decision on the fabric to use. 

Check or Taupe

So on Sunday I pre-treated both fabrics using the dryer steam method (wet steamy towels in the dryer with the fabric for 45 minutes.
On Monday I finished tracing the pattern,

and on Tuesday I cut the muslin and stitched on Wednesday and Thursday.
I like this coat, especially the pockets.  Actually I just wanted to see if I could put it together because the instructions included are really sketchy.  My muslin looks slightly like a lab jacket but the fit is really good.

Which fabric would you use???

December 5, 2016

WHILE I PROCRASTINATE...

... on starting the 2016 Winter Coat project (I really need to be ashamed of myself), I thought I might as well make something easy to keep the sewing juices flowing.  I think this gray light weight sweater knit funnel neck shirt will round out the colors I needed to add for the Fall/Winter season.  I used the Style Arc Debra Zebra pattern again since I like the design,  and hadn't gotten around to putting it in storage yet.

I purchased this light weight sweater knit during Hancock's come on and get it cause we're going out of business sale back in early summer.  I must have liked it a lot and had great ideas for this fabric because I bought 6 yards.  It fit the bill in closing the gap on my turtle/funnel neck top series.  I now have white, black, brown, tan, navy and gray and that ought to do it for keeping me casual and warm when the real winter temperatures reach Georgia.

What do you sew to keep your sewing juices flowing when you are between major projects???

December 4, 2016

GIFT FROM THE FABRIC WHISPERER...

...when ever you see any type of communication from "THE FABRIC WHISPERER", aka Carol Ware (you read about her here), it usually contains a picture of a jet plane - something like this...
This symbol of "The Fabric Whisperer" is fast becoming well known in the sewing community. It means: send your fabric to my house pronto!  Most of the time when we see it the response is: Ha, that'll be the day!  This time the jet plane was sent to my house!  Imagine my surprise when I found a package from "The Fabric Whisperer" stuffed in my mail box that contained this...
2 2/3 yards PolkaDot Silk Jacquard  (the good stuff)
and 2 yards Cream Poly Chiffon

Although I was just kidding when I said "Send Fabric" this beautiful fabric will be cherished and put to good use!  How many people can say that they've received fabric form Carol's bountiful stash????

December 3, 2016

THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR...

...happy December every one!  It is the most wonderful time of the year indeed.  So many birthdays, Christmas, two more weeks of school.  It seems that December is just one big celebration!  Ahhh birthdays!  First up my Mother's birthday (it's on Monday ya'll, December 5th).  It's pitiful but I have to come clean and admit - I am always LATE sending my Mother's birthday gift.  I know, shame on me!  I ALWAYS have the best of intentions but then life happens, time goes so fast, Thanksgiving happens, then bam - it's December 5th already, the serger thread breaks, and I have to mail 1,000 miles away.  Here I am again - LATE!  I wish you knew my Mom, gracious, understanding, peacemaker that she is. One has to be a peacemaker when you have four kids!   Her children arise and call her blessed (Proverbs 31:28).

Conversation earlier this week:
MOM:  You know what I'd like?  I'd like a new Infinity Scarf.  I wore the one you made me to Church last Sunday and received soooo many compliments.

Me:  No problem! Here you go, all sizes and colors, knits and woven (however, ever late).

I was just talking with a friend who just purchased her first serger.  She's afraid of it; I remember that feeling.  She was telling me that her thread had broken, and I tried to walk her through re-threading - over the telephone mind you.  Same night I'm working to get these finished when all of a sudden my Serger thread breaks!  Hasn't broken ALL year long!  WTW!!!

Of course anyone can make an Infinity Scarf.  I can actually make them in my sleep by now.  There are all kinds of video available, but I used instructions from the October/November 2010 Vogue Pattern Magazine.

What types of scarves are you using to embellish your hand crafted designs this season????    

December 1, 2016

#FAYE'S SEWING LIFE - A Turtle or A Zebra?...

...i've been wanting to make a few turtleneck knit tops to fill a wardrobe gap.  I made the first one (here) using oop Kwik Sew 1287 that fits perfectly.  However,  I wanted to use a different pattern for the second top - this time I wanted a funnel neck instead of a turtle neck.  I toyed with the idea of trying to redraft the Kwik Sew pattern making it into a funnel, but couldn't wrap my brain around doing that.  A little research lead me to StyleArc's Debra Zebra top.  I've never worked with StyleArc patterns before but went ahead and downloaded it anyway. 

The jury's still out about me liking PDF patterns, but with a strong cup of coffee and lots of scotch tape I was able to make it through.  I choose my size range based on my bust measurement, but afterwards wondered if I should have used my high bust measurement instead.  Hind sight!  I choose a colorful ITY knit to use as a muslin.  The results:  I'm in Love with my muslin and the neck is really comfortable.  I'm sure that this will not be my last StyleArc pattern.
I didn't realize that the paisleys were so large until after the top was finished.

My wearable muslin adds a much needed pop of color.
Have you ever made a funnel neck garment???

November 30, 2016

#BLOGLIKECRAZY 2016 DAY 30: It's A Wrap...

...so here I find myself at the end of #BlogLikeCrazy 2016.   I couldn't have pulled it off without the support of my blogging friends who took part in this.  I'd also like to thank each and every one of you who supported me by reading and commenting on my posts. Believe me when I say, it means a whole bunch to me. It stands true in everything we do - even blogging;  "no man (or woman in this case) is an island".  
Here's a picture of this year's Editorial Calendar...Hot mess, but it did keep me organized
Blogging for 30 days straight will keep you on you toes. But, I like to write! That is the reason I connected with Javacia Harris Bowser of See Jane Write.bham who sponsors this challenge.  Javacia gently coaches and guides writers of all genres to do just that - write.  So whether I wrote about sewing, gourmet meals, or my work life -  I exercised my writing muscle this month .
  
Do you like writing?  If so, how do you exercise your writing muscle???


November 29, 2016

#BLOGLIKECRAZY 2016 DAY 29: Where Are They Now...

...blogging presents a wonderful opportunity to connect with people who enjoy the same genre of diying as I do - APPAREL SEWING.  Last year I was privileged to connect with Venita Davis of SewVeStyle through The Amazing Sew-Alongs FaceBook Group when she agreed to help me out by doing a blog interview (you can read it here).  We've kept up with each other virtually all-year-long.  I just couldn't think about concluding my BlogLikeCrazy "Where Are They Now" segment this year without including her in it.  Venita you made it complete!

Venita has had a wonderful sewing year!  I can attest to that because updates via her blog SewVeStyle come straight to my email.  I also follow her on FaceBook, Bloglovin, Pinterest and Instagram.  It's a wonderful technological world we live in - where, with just the click of a button, I can instantly be transported into her Sunny California sewing world and her into mine...


Have you learned or are you using any new sewing techniques this year?  If so, what?
VENITA: 

    * I have learned to stop following trends and sew what looks best on me.
    * I sewed Chiffon for the first time.  I've been fearful of Chiffon and Silk but now I understand that it's all about preparation and respecting the fabric.
    * I've found my inner sewing voice.  I've discovered my personal style and it's all about classy sophisticated chic.  
    * I have a work and a personal style aesthetic and I embrace them both.  I'm all about business at work and fun when I'm not.  We have casual Friday's and people are amazed at what I wear and even more so that I made it.
    * I'm not afraid of so called advanced or complicated patterns.  It's all about reading and researching before running for the scissors.
    * I've also developed a new found appreciated for pattern designers.  It takes a great deal of skill to design a pattern and write instructions in a way that allows folks like me to follow and produce quality garments.


What are your MUST HAVE items to make for the Fall/Winter season?
 VENITA:  
     *  I live in California so I don't really have to sew for the seasons - I just sew whatever I want to wear.  
     *  I'm planning to make the Clare Coat this season - I'm still on the hunt for the right hot pink fabric. http://amandoblogs.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Clare-Coat-Sewing-Pattern-9.jpg
     *  Also on the list is McCall's M7100 the cute bomber jacket.  I have plans to do a mash up with this one.  I'm a bit old for a bomber jacket but I'm already visualizing a way to class it up.

What sewing pattern(s) are you most excited about right now?
 VENITA:


     * Too many to list but here are a few.
     * I'm working on a holiday dress is red using Vogue 1254.  I'm almost finished and can't wait to wear it.  It will be the first red dress that I've ever had.
     * Vogue 8945 with the bell sleeves which is on trend right now
     * Butterick 5685 view A - updated peacoat
     * Butterick 6298 view D - strictly for lounging
     * Badgley Mischka Vogue 1513 - oh that flutter accent on the top is to die for
 
CLICK Here For More Inspiration:
SewVeStyle
Instagram: @ sew-ve-style
Pinterest:  Sew Ve Style By Venita Elaine
FaceBook:  Sew Ve Style

BOOKS ACQUIRED

  • Pants Sewing Guide
  • Denim Revolution
  • Pants for Real People
  • Jackets for Real Peopls
  • Easy, Easier, Easiest Tailoring - Palmer & Pletsch - Gifted
  • The Sewing Machine Attachment Handbook
  • Ribbon Crafts
  • Professional Sewing Techniques for Designers
  • Successful Serging
  • Making Trousers for Men and Women
  • Couture Sewing Techniques
  • Singer - Perfect Plus
  • Cool Couture
  • Couture, The Fine Art of Sewing
  • Singer Sewing Reference Library - Tailoring - GIFTED
  • The Perfect Fit: The Classic Guide to Altering Patterns - Creative Publishing International
  • Fit for Real People
  • DK-The Complete Book of Sewing