2013 ESSENTIAL TOPS SEW-A-LONG FINISHED PROJECTS

December 18, 2007

IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!

(Click on the picture of the girl).....
IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!

IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!

Late post - and it's almost over. This is the first chance I got to post today, but boy did I have a GREAT day.

Had to work, of course, but I still had a good time. My boss took me out to dinner at Outback early this evening. I got a cake and lot and lots of gifts. My dear daughter sent me roses at work! It's been a long time since I received flowers - it was a great surprise. But most of all I am so thankful to be alive, healthy and of a sound mind. I hit the floor on my knees this morning, thanking God for yet another year and all the bountiful blessings he continuously pours on me and my family. Life is such a great blessing!

December 15, 2007

PRICELESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FINALLY, having a TNT pants pattern - a pattern that really fits is PRICELESS! I really don't think I will ever be able to thank my sewing buddy Lisa enough for helping me with this. When the student is ready...the teacher will appear. Don't know who coined this phrase or when I first heard it, but it is really, really true. Lisa taught me how to alter a pants pattern. Here's a picture of my first pair, fly front zipper and all - THE FIT IS GORGEOUS! No more sagging crouch for me. Now I just need to spring for a new digital camera. Lisa if you are looking in - Thank You Again!

Sewing at my leisure on a Rainy Saturdy Afternoon - ALSO PRICELESS!

December 9, 2007

RECOGNIZING THE BLESSING

I wonder how many blessings have come my way that I failed to recognize? This questions probably sounds a little silly to many, but it is something that I have been thinking about since yesterday. I imagine that there have been some of God's blessings that I have failed to recognize. My observation of things that I can count as blessings also extend over into my Sewing Adventures. Yesterday I met with Artist Lisa from http://www.sewonandsewon.blogspot.com/. We got together at my house for a sew along and fellowship. BOY DID I HAVE A G-R-E-A-T TIME! Lisa worked on a fabulous gored skirt and finished it all but the facing and the hem. It looked great on her and fit like a glove. Lisa says she will be sporting her new skirt with some kewl black boots. Hope she'll show us a picture of it on her blog soon. I cut out and started this knit top during our sew along and finished today.


I still don't understand why my pictures are so dark, but my top turned out really nice. I had made one just like it earlier this year, but it turned out too small so I sent it to my sister. I made this one of the same fabric, but of course cut the pattern wider. This top has a flounce at the end of the sleeve. I stepped out of the box just a little bit and doubled the flounce this time. I'm trying to get to the point where I can visualize beyond the picture on the pattern envelope. I'm taking baby steps.

I also finished the mock wrap dress that I had started and here's a picture of it - however dark.

I took Lisa's suggested and took the side under arm zipper out completely, after installing the zipper twice and still not being satisfied with it. The dress fits quite well and I was able to get into it without the zipper. Thanks Lisa, leaving the zipper out was a great idea!

Lisa also helped me come up with just the right fit on a pants pattern. Turns out that my correct crouch length was almost 2 inches shorter than the patterns I had been trying to use - thus the baggy crouch syndrone. I had also been using my measurements to figure out the pattern size for my waist and hip areas; the size I was using always turned out way to large. Lisa patiently helped me cut out a muslin for my pants and after stitching them up the fit just fine. So now I have my ULTIMATE "TNT" pants pattern - THANK GOD!!! I cut out a pair today in brown with a white stripe. Wanted to sew them up tonight, but guess I'd better get to bed. Lisa suggests that I reinforce my TNT pants pattern with fusible interfacing so it will last a long time. I can't tell you just how happy I am about solving this pants pattern fitting issue. And Yes, Carolyn I can see myself making 5 pairs of well fitting black pants - now that Lisa has helped me with my problem!

As I said I had the greatest day with Lisa, and to reinforce the title of this post I recognize our Sew Along as a true blessing from God. Hope we are able to have many, many more.



November 29, 2007

A REAL LIFE LOVE/HATE RELATIONSHIP

Yes, I'm having a "REAL LIFE LOVE/HATE RELATIONSHIP" - with who?...no with what! My serger! When I sewed before I had several excuses for not owning a serger. 1)I felt I couldn't afford it. 2)It looked too complicated to use. 3)I was afraid of it because of the knife. Well this time around I decided that I had had enough with finishing seams by zigzaging; although effective, it just took too much time. So I took the plunge this past summer and made the purchase.

I really love my serger but I just hate threading it. I did learn to the tie on method of changing the thread color so I don't actually have to thread it that often, but Lord if that lower looper happens to become unthreaded or the thread break for some reason I' in for it. That's where the hate part of the relationship comes from because there have been times where it took me an hour just to get that looper threaded. Something happened when I placed it in my travel bag for the return trip home from Thanksgiving with my DD and the lower looper thread broke. Egads!! @#)))((*&^@!*#^^^ Can you read that language? There have been times when I was tempted to serge something black with the white thread that was already on the machine so I wouldn't have to thread that looper. Had to forego that because I know it just wouldn't be right. But it was a thought.

Here's a picture of my current project - The Butterick Mock Wrap Dress that I cut out on Tuesday and started sewing it on Wednesday and did get the bodice started. I had to work late tonight so I didn't get to sew any. Wish I knew how to make my pictures lighter.I'm going to make a slight alteration where it wraps in the front. If I do the alteration now I won't have a big problem with the cleavage area gapping after the dress is finished. The dress has a biased facing on the front and neck edges. I hand basted the bodice side seams in order to check my fit and think I need to use a 1" seam allowance when actually stitched for a closer fit. Pattern instructions call for set in sleeves but I'd much rather put them in flat but just remembered that the dress will have a side zipper. I think I'll still be able to do the flat sleeve application even with the zipper. We will see.

November 27, 2007

THE NICEST GIFT!

Look what surprised me in the mail box this afternoon. A Vogue "Michael Kors"" pattern from my Sewing Buddy Lisa from http://www.sewonandsewon.blogspot.com/, along with the nicest card. A big "THANKS" to Lisa! This is possibly the nicest gift I've received all year long. I love this pattern and really, really enjoyed our day out. I'm looking forward to having another Sewing Related outing with Lisa again one day soon!





Next up on the sewing plate is this Butterick mock wrap dress, that I'll make from this pretty knit that I bought the day Lisa and I shopped at Hancock's several weeks ago. I pre-washed the fabric before my Thanksgiving trip...it was so hard leaving it at home although I was only gone a few days. I rushed home this afternoon and cut it out and I've got it all marked and ready to go. Just got to get my machines unpacked and set back up as they went on the trip with me.


I was checking out a site several weeks ago (can't remember whos) and noticed that this person does a lot of hand basting before sewing. I'm thinking about hand basting especially the self bias binding that goes along the neckline and front of the dress. I'll tell you, my desire to sew well and get a proper fit is overwhelming. I'm going to keep trying and keep trying until I am satisfied with the things that I sew.
Thinking about sewing while at work helps get me through my day that is crammed with TEENAGERS!!!







November 18, 2007

2 Weeks-2 Tops


I know everyone has already made this top from McCalls, now here's my version.

I've prewashed all of my knit fabrics (about 10 pieces) and now they are ready to go. I'm taking my SM on Thanksgiving Vacation to my dd's house in North Carolina. I'll be making boxer shorts for the boys while I'm there.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!

November 11, 2007

MMMMMMM THEY ARE SO GOOD!

Everybody in the whole world has probably made these, BUT just in case I wanted to share them here cause they are soooooo good.

BUFFET POTATOES
1 large bag Hash Browns (cubed or shredded)
2 C. grated Cheddar Cheese
8 Oz. Sour Cream
1 stick Margarine or Butter (melted)
1 can Cream of Mushroom or Cream of Chicken Soup
1 medium Onion, chopped
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl stirring well. Place in a greased 9" x 13" oven proofed casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour or until brown on top.
Excellent served with roast beef and gravy.
Enjoy!

November 10, 2007

SUCH A LOVELY DAY!

Today was such a LOVELY day! I was able to have a sewing related lunch with Lisa from http://www.sewonandsewon.blogspot.com/ - my new sewing buddy. We had never met so we got together for lunch and talked and talked and talked sewing. I feel I've know her for many years! We talked and compared patterns and shared ideas over a wonderful lunch and then went over to Hancocks to do some real business. Hancocks was having their Veteran's Day sale of patterns, fabric and everything else. It was great having someone to bounce ideas around with, as well as ask for sewing and fabric advice. I have so been missing being able to do something like this, and really look forward to doing it again!
This is what I bought today using my 50% off coupon.






And I bought this from the $2.95 row and will use it as my sweat suit alternative.








And I finally did actually sew something! I used this pattern with a gray knit in my stash that I had picked up from Walmart's $1.00 table. Used it to make the KwikSew Cowl neck top. The open weave fabric that I had originally planned to use just didn't work out so I used the gray knit instead. All I need to do is hem the sleeves and the bottom and it will be done.












Of course I had to pick up a few other things while there...








yesterday I bought this at 50% off with a coupon. Doesn't show up well in the photo, but its a black knit with white circles.

I have officially run out of pattern storage space. I'll need to take the fabric out of the bottom drawer of the 4 drawer chest of drawers in order to use it as pattern space. Now where will I put the fabric that's now stored in that draw??? Your guess is as good as mine! Now what to sew next??? I've got to get some sewing order organization going on here. I still need a plan.



November 8, 2007

I PASSED, I PASSED, I PASSED!

I FINALLY got my test results this afternoon - I PASSED! This thing created so much pressure and stress for me before and after the test. I took the test on October 29th and felt pretty good about it afterwards, but as the days went on, I started second guessing myself with what if's. What if this, what if that. Thought I would be able to get my results 7 days later (this past Monday), but forgot that I had checked the box that said "send the results to me in the mail". Then I thought they would come on Wednesday but it didn't. But they did come today. It was a two part test; I got 92 on the written exam and 98 on my lecture/demonstration. HALLELUJAH!!! I'll bet my neighbors heard me when I opened the letter at the mailbox. I couldn't contain myself. I am now a licensed State of Georgia instructor!!!! I never have to go before the state board examiners again! Again HALLELUJAH!!!

My mother, daughter and friends were my cheerleaders - they always cheer me on with anything I do, and pray for me too. God has given me yet another desire of my heart and I praise him for it. Well, this is a great accomplishment for me and something I have wanted for a very long time. God opened up the door for me for this as he has for so many other things. Now on to other things!

November 6, 2007

KWIK.SEW COWL NECKLINE

I remember making a two piece outfit years ago that I just loved and loved. It was a really simple to make and wear knit skirt and long sleeved top - maroon in color. I've loved cowl necklines every since and had been searching or just the right pattern since I've started back sewing. I saw this Kwik.Sew pattern made up by Hungryzombie.blogspot.com and just fell in love all back over again. I rushed out to buy it to discover that Hancock never ever has a Kwik.Sew sale so I had to lay down the full price for this one. I figure if I make it two or three times the pattern will have paid for itself so I won't cry over it that much. I'm now use to paying $.99 to $1.99 for patterns, with an occassional Vouge at $3.99. I bought this fabric in 2005 when I thought I was going to start sewing again but didn't. I was going to make a short cape out of it but never did. Now I think it will look great as View A of this pattern. Mind you, I have never sewn this type of open weave fabric - HOPE IT SEWS UP EASY. The pattern called for 3/8" clear elastic which I had never heard of, but was able to find at Hancock's today. Glad I was able to find it - would have been forced to use regular black elastic instead.












I cut it out last night - only 5 pieces. I have a black camisole that I think I will wear under it because the weave is open. Will post results when finished!

Having problems with my camera (see the date?) - it's not the camera, it's me. I'm one of those who hates to read directions on things like this.

October 29, 2007

PRAISE GOD IT'S OVER...Well Almost Over

I took my BIG test today - the one I've been studying for the past 4 months. Studying instead Sewing! I kept telling myself, "just put the sewing down until after the test". And sewing wasn't the only thing I put down - seems like everything else got put down too. During the last 4 months whenever I did do something that was somewhat fun I FELT GUILTY! Guilty feelings cause STRESS, studying caused STRESS, stress, stress. I took my 2 part test today that involved being at the test site 8 1/2 hours (including hurry up and wait time - which there was plenty of). I'm say it's almost over because I don't get my results until next Monday. I pray to God I did well, cause I certainly don't want to take that thing again.

Hopefully I'll be sewing more, blogging more (instead of just lurking), and going back to the gym. All promises I've made to myself now that I have my life back.

October 18, 2007

STILL LEARNING FROM OTHERS

Last night I had a chance to listen to a podcast interview with Cidell done by Trinilove at http://www.trinilove.typepad.com/. I was reading Cidell's most recent post at http://www.missceliespants.blogspot.com/ that had mentioned the interview so since I check out her blog several times a week I thought it would be nice to be able to listen to her voice. It was quite an interesting interview - but then I knew it would be even before I listened in. I had read another post on her blog recently where she told how she began sewing in junior high school and this interview went right along with that post. The things that motivated sewing experience really brought back memories of my own, and although different, very similar in so many ways.

She had grandparents who sewed, and although her mother didn't partake in this particular craft, she encouraged her daughter's passion for sewing by purchasing her a sewing machine at an early age. Similarly in my case, I had an aunt who I am told designed and sewed but I never had a chance to meet her since she passed on when I was very young. But I did have a great-grand mother who loved to sew, quilt and embroider and from her I caught the sewing bug when I was very young. I watched my Granny sew hours on end (especially on rainy days when she couldn't do yard work). I sat by her side and threaded the needle on her Singer treadle sewing machine which she forbade me to touch. Who was she kidding? No sooner than her back was turned I was on that thing. I remember breaking the belt on the machine because I couldn't get the hang of making it go forward in a smooth method; I also broke a pair of her glasses and was spanked (at the time I called it being BEAT) for both offences. I was punished, but not deterred.

I also had an aunt made the most beautiful garments for herself and her daughter. I even asked her for sewing assistance once I started taking Home Ec, but her patience was not long enough to do anything but frustrate me. I remember saying to myself, "you just wait and see, I will be a better seamstress than you one day". When I finally did get pretty good with my sewing it was her calling me for assistance (sweet revenge - lol).

I think I remember Cidell mentioning during her interview that there was a period of time that she didn't sew, but later picked it up again. Another similarity, because I stopped sewing for about 13 years and have picked it back up again. So there is hope for me. I really helps when you find out that others have had struggles like you that they overcame.

I also listened to a podcast interview at http://www.adrienneslittleworld.typepad.com/ on Erica from http://www.ericiabunker.com/. I think I first found out about Erica from Carolyn's blog at http://www.diaryofasewingfanatic.blogspot.com/. (Found out about Carolyn at http://www.artisanssquare.com/.) I had been lurking around Ericia's blog as well as Carolyn's since January of this year. I'd even emailed Erica with questions and she promptly answered me back, so it was really nice to be able to hear her voice too since I felt like I already knew her anyway. Found out about Adrienne on Erica's blog and now I am getting to hear her voice too since she is doing a weekly video spot on her blog now. Adrienne I haven't missed a show yet, he he he and I'm loving them. Adrienne has recently shared her sewing library list with me - Thanks Adrienne! As you can see this is quite a sewing circle; you find one good site and it leads you to another then another. I have learned so very much from the ladies I have mentioned here and it brought to mind a saying that I have often heard - WHEN THE STUDENT IS READY - THE TEACHER WILL APPEAR. And they really have. When I was ready to start sewing again a year ago, I jumped on the Internet and searched out information and the Teachers appeared! These young ladies are sooooo talented! Not stuck up but sharing. So just so you know ladies I am watching, and I am learning from you and being inspired by you. (Although I still have not been brave enough to order that Burda Magazine. For right now I've decided to work on these patterns from the big 4 for a while longer - still getting my feet wet so maybe I will order it later. Another blog that I've been looking in on cause this girl can really sew too is http://www.themahoganystilist.blogspot.com/.

I've been slowing building my fabric and pattern stash, and will be able to really get back into sewing, fitting, designing again around the first of November. Until then I'M STILL LOOKING AT AND LEARNING FROM OTHERS!


October 9, 2007

Doesn't Take Much to Get Me Excited

I finally got around to asking a friend to help me take my measurements accurately. I had been planning on doing this for a while, but just kept putting it off. I called her before I left work today and although she was baking a wedding cake and grooms cake for this coming Saturday, she said that she had time for me to stop by...and so I did. She even let me use two of her sewing books (like I needed another one), but I do like one of them - Singer 101 Sewing Secrets.

I have been studying Nancy Zieman's Fitting Finesse which is easy to understand and makes a lot of sense to me.



I am particularily interested in learning to fit pants properly. The problem I currently have is that if I get the pants to fit in the waist, the hips are way to large and the crouch sags, and neither is very comfortable or attractive. According to this book the solution is to pick my pattern size according to my hip size (size 16) then alter the pattern to fit my waist (size 18) adding the suggested ease. I had taken all of the measurements that I could comfortably take by myself, but of course needed help with others. So I took the book with me when I stopped by my friend's house this afternoon and she took all of the measurements for me as suggested by Nancy's book.

I am hoping that I am smart enough to follow the information in the book and finally come up with a TNT pants pattern or patterns that will help me MAKE PANTS THAT REALLY FIT!!! Now I can already see where my sagging crouch problem comes from. My crouch measurement is close to 4 inches shorter than the pattern so to fix that would really help. Of course I will be making a muslin before I cut my fashion fabric and will post results when it is done.

October 6, 2007

One of My New Loves - Yummo

My baby sister suggested that I include one of my recipies on my blog every now and then. Thought I might share this one for a new love of mine - Iced Coffee Latte. Before this past summer I had heard of Iced Coffee but could not imagine liking it at all. I finally tried one from Burger King called an iced Mocha Joe and it was LOVE AT FIRST SIP!!! Stopping by to pick one up every morning turned out to be quite costly so I decided to try and make my own. After several failed attempts to make up my own recipe I found this one on another blog. I'd like to give that lady credit for the recipe, but cannot remember which blog I saw it on. Anyway it is really good.

Ice Coffee Latte
1/3 cup instant coffee
1/2 cup boiling water
1 can sweetened condensed milk (low fat)
2 cups cold water
4 cups chocolate milk (I use Latose free)

Mix instant coffee with boiling water until dissolved. Mix in the remaining ingredients and serve over ice. It makes a whole pitcher full so just store it in the fridge.

ENJOY

October 1, 2007

I JUST HAD TO SEW SOMETHING!!!

In my post yesterday I mentioned that I made a nightshirt a couple of weeks ago. I hadn't sewn anything since I think June because of giving myself time to get adjusted to my new job. But the time had come and I felt that I JUST HAD TO SEW SOMETHING!!! Mine you, since starting to sew again last September my stash has not grown very big but I was able to find a piece of fabric that I think is pique that I purchased this past summer. It really didn't matter what the fabric was at the time, I just wanted to SEW SOMETHING! So I made this nightshirt and I wanted to post a picture of it here.

My next project is already cut out, waiting for the time to come when I JUST HAVE TO SEW SOMETHING!




September 30, 2007

THINKING ABOUT IT IS NOT SEWING - RIGHT?

Even though I've not been actively sewing...I am thinking about it! I did make a night shirt a couple of weekends ago (I just had to make something).

And I did purchase fabric for and cut out this blouse, View B, but I haven't started it yet. I brought a white broadcloth fabric, think I paid $3.98 a yard for it. I plan on getting started on this soon. I'd really like to make View A in a white stretch poplin maybe for the next project.












I am not actively sewing, but that doesn't mean that I have stopped buying patterns. I confess, I AM A PATTERNHOLIC!!! A stress releiver for me is stopping at Hancocks on a Thursday or Friday afternoon and leafing through the pattern catalogs. I've hit several Hancocks pattern sales for Simplicity, Butterick and McCalls recently. I guess I have to admit that McCalls is my all time favorite.
I had been looking for a straight skirt pattern with interesting back vent detailing. I use to have several patterns when I sewed before (about 15 years ago) but have long since gotten rid of all my old patterns. Still kicking myself about that one-guess I thought I would never sew again, BUT I WAS WRONG! I found this McCalls pattern and I'm looking forwarding to playing around with and experimenting the different back views for several skirts.

There are several blogs that I read almost daily for sewing inspiration. One of them is Carolyn's at Diary of a Sewing Fanatic. Carolyn has been reviewing books from her sewing library and I've been tuning in to find out what she has. I am a real book fiend so it's really hard for me to resist adding a new resource to my library. I keep planning on thinning out my books by selling them on Ebay (BUT NOT MY SEWING AND FIBERARTS LIBRARY THOUGH). Here are several of my latest purchases.


Carolyn reviewed this book on her blog a few weeks ago (Decorative Dressmaking) and after reading her review I just had to have it. I found it for a reasonable price at Abebooks.com for $37.50 which included shipping from Texas. Carolyn was right! This is an excellent inspirational book that gets you thinking about all sorts of possibilities. I think this one will become the favorite book in my Sewing and Fiberarts Library.

Added 12 old Threads Magazines to my collection. This is now my oldest issue - #8 Dec. 1986/Jan. 1987. I now have a total of 34 issues. I just discovered threads last November (remember I had been on a 15 year hiatus operating a business and had just put my sewing way back on the back burner), so I knew nothing about Threads Magazines. I have since subscribed to the magazine as well as it's little sister Sew Stylish which is already being discontinued. (Last issue yet to come, I think). I spent some time this weekend going through 10 of the issues and flagging interesting articles with post its. I think that I will stop tracking down older issues and stick to the current subscriptions ones for now. I think I have an adequate collection at least for now.

The Claire Shaeffer book "High Fashion Sewing Secrets" is really a good book with lots of details. I picked this book up at Hancocks when they had a book sale several weeks ago. Claire Shaeffer is becoming one of my favorite sewing authors - he books are great and when I found out she was born and raised in Georgia it make me like her even more. There oare several others of her books that I have on my to get list.

Make it Your Own is als a good design book that is leading me into daydreaming about changing all of my purchased patterns up if only just a little bit.

I'm hoping Nancy's Fitting Finesse book will help me with my pants pattern fitting issues.

Maybe I will do some book reviews myself one day! I am currently surfing the web fabric stores for some nice black wool blend fabric to make a straight skirt for my sister Brenda. I made one for her when my dd Alondra was still in high school some 17 years ago. Brenda says she wore this skirt every winter since I made it for her. Then last winter it just desintergrated. Well I guess it's about time! So I want to make another nice lined one for her but haven't been able to find the fabric yet. It's the last day of September which has little or nothing to do with this post, but the thought just came to me.

September 8, 2007

I'M STILL OUT HERE!!!

I haven't posted in such a long time - haven't had time!!! I applied for and got a new job, too a quick trip to New York to visit my family before starting the new job - cause you know how it is building up annual leave. I had a wonderful vacation and then started my full-time instructor job on July 2nd. Lot's more paperwork involved, new scheduling to get use to as well as new students. Until now I had only taught adults, now it's teenagers - and man what a difference!!!!


I have been lurking my favorite blogs although not posting here; and I'm still learning from you others out there. Hopefully I will get this new job down pat very soon and I then I can get back to somewhat regular posting. I'm really missing my sewing, but decided to put it on hold while learning job related things, but..... I WILL BE BACK!


June 11, 2007

CRYING REAL TEARS HERE...NOT!!!





OK,What about my dress...
that I worked diligently on for two weekends in a row, IS TOO BIG!!!!!!!!!! I took measurements, thought I altered the pattern accordingly, even made a muslin, and the dress is still too big in the shoulder area as well as in the hips. The dress has side front panels and side back panels in both the lining and the dress, and I think that taking this all apart to make adjustments (as well as taking the zipper out to make the upper back fit bitter) WOULD BE A BIT TO MUCH FOR ME! Now mind you, this has been a bit disheartening. At times I have told myself, "self, maybe you just really do not know how to sew". But I have quickly shaken those thoughts off and started over again. I really don't think it so much not knowing how to sew, but knowing how to fit. Gone are the days that I could take a size 12 or 14 pattern out of the envelope and just sew it up. Now I've finally got some hips, IS THIS THE PRICE I HAVE TO PAY for finally having hips?......RATS!. I am still not giving up....I am going to keep right on trudging through this thing until I can finally come up with at least a couple of TNT patterns!!!! My stubborness has got to be s a strong point here!

June 5, 2007

FINISHED!!!!!!!!

Finished my dress on Sunday!!!
I read several sewing blogs regularly: www.diaryofasewingfanatic@blogspot.com, www.ericabunker.com and www.sewonandsewon@blogspot.com. There are may others that I check out when I have extra time, but these are three sewists who's work I admire. Each has a different sewing style and style taste, but what I admire most about them is THEY DON'T MIND SHARING INFORMATION AND KNOWLEDGE. I started sewing again 9 months ago after a 13 year hiatus, and sometimes when I look at the work of others I feel inferior about mine. I have had some trying times with my sewing process during these 9 months; however, I have had some really happy times too. I want to be pleased with the work I do and I also want to be confident. I realize that the important thing is to take my time, do my best and ask questions when I don't know - even if the questions sounds silly. If you don't know, you just don't know. I find that somebody out there in cyberland does know and someone will share information with you. Another place where I learn a lot and get help with sewing questions is at THREADS MAGAZINE DISSCUSSIONS. There are a lot of really helpful people there too.

I finished my dress, I did my best and most importantly of all I ENJOYED THE PROCESS! This dress turned out to be a little more detailed than I had wanted. I wanted a stylish summer dress that didn't call for a lot of work and could be finished quickly. THIS WAS NOT IT! Although I would make this dress again, it is not the quick project that I was looking for. If it had called for facings instead of a lining I think it would have gone a lot faster. I have to get brave enough to use my self drafted facings. Getting better with sewing is a process, as is everything else. So on with the process....

June 2, 2007

SATURDAY NIGHT RANTINGS

I got up early today and started the sewing project that I had scheduled for this weekend. I started this dress last weekend and had hoped to finish it today but didn't.
I finished it all except tacking down the lining around the neckline, armholes and along the zipper. I had wanted a really simple summer dress pattern, however every pattern I looked at called for a lining. I wanted a sleeveless dress with facings for the neck and armholes, but couldn't fine one. The dress is made of pique (which I just love) and I debated using a matching single fold bias tape but opted not to. Then I drafted facings for the areas that I needed to cover but chickened out on using them. Rather than one of these options I went ahead and lined it as called for with a light weight batiste. Here's my dress so far...

Maybe I'll be able to finish it sometime tomorrow - (fingers crossed). Next I'm thinking about making a white jacket to go with this dress because the office I work in is a freezer.

I also wanted to post the two skirts that I finished last weekend. I wore this beige one to work on Thursday with a RTW top, and felt quite comfortable in it. After being away from sewing for so long, I'm feeling a bit self conscious about wearing things that I make. But little by little I'm building up my confidence about this.And here's the denim one made from the same pattern...

I also added another book to my sewing library this weekend (yes, I'm a book fiend). This one is "More Fabric Savvy". It list lots of different types of fabric and gives their fiber content, care, tells you what size needle, presser foot and method of marking the fabric. I had been looking at it for months now and when I was at Hancocks on Friday and couldn't make a fabric selection, I went ahead and bought it. The book is by Sandra Betzina. I already had two of her books (Power Sewing and Fast Fit) and since I thought both of them were EXCELLENT!!!, I felt the third one would come in handy as well as enhance my knowledge of fabrics. It also has some really good sewing tips.
I bought this Singer book several weeks ago when they had a sale on books at Hancocks. It's a handy guide with really good pictures of lots of different techniques. I am sure I will use all of these books over and over again.
Well, I guess that's enough for tonight....




June 1, 2007

CAN'T WAIT!!!


I finally broke down and ordered this dress form on Memorial Day, and was sort of hoping that I could pick it up at Hancock's today but alas, it did not arrive. They said that the next truck won't arrive until next Friday. I guess I can wait until then, and hope this will help me with some fitting issues...

May 19, 2007

TRASH OR TREASURE


I finally finished my cobalt blue crop pants. Seems like I've been sewing on them for several weeks now. Boy, this fitting thing with pants has really worn me out. But I presevered and now I have a new outfit to wear to work next week. (Was supposed to finish them last weekend), but oh well... Here are two views of my finished product.












Now to talk about the mistakes I made. The top is a cute and summery which is what I am wanting now. The colors are a nice change for me (THE EVERY THING BLACK AND BROWN PERSON). I am really trying hard to break out of dark colors. The colors of this outfit are still dark, but I am taking it a step at a time, easing into brighter colors...WHY IS THIS SO HARD. I was trying to talk on the phone and sew at the same time and mess around and sewed a wrong side to a right side on the bottom piece of the top. I had already serged and trimed the seam in two places before I realized what I had done and it was really too late to do anything about it, so the front bottom section of the garment is lighter than the top section. I still plan on wearing the garment, and if anyone says anything about it, I will just tell them that it's my fashion statement. MOTTO: Put the sewing down when the telephone rings. I have really been trying hard to get my old skills back, and really trying hard to create perfect or nearly perfect projects - but alast, Rome was not built in a day, and neither am I getting my skill up to the level that I want it to be. I will juest have to keep plugging alone, and it will come back little by little - I HOPE! The pants fit pretty good, so I am calling this project a TREASURE even with my mistakes!

STILL DETERMINED, I started on my next project this morning. Fell in love with this pattern after I saw one that Erica Bunker (www.boundbymyhook.blogspot.com) made several weeks ago -McCalls 5330, View A. I already had the pattern but had not done anything with it, but after seeing her skirt made up from the same pattern, I craved it...so I made it. This girl is so inspiring, positive and such a great sewist! I love her site and visit it often. I have learned so much from reading her blog. Even emailed her a couple of questions and she emailed me right back. She is so helpful. Anyways, I'm making View A in a kakhi sports weight poplin. As a matter of fact it's all done (took me all day long) but sewing on the buttons. I am going to make a denim one by view A also which will be my next project. Might start it tomorrow after Church.



I'm going to be making this top (View B-bottom left) to go with it.

Until next time....FAYE.

May 11, 2007

MY PANT FITTING DILEMIA

I am still fighting with this pant fitting thing...I am really trying; preshrunk my material (something that I never use to do), made the muslin and even tried to make the adjustments to the pattern afterwards. My pants are still to large in the waist and the hips, eeeeeek! All I want to do is get my pants to fit properly - but who doesn't want that. When I use to sew before, I found a pattern that fit pretty good and made and remade the same pattern until I could almost make it in my sleep (pattern was almost shredded up), but it still worked and I continued to use it.

I love a side zipper so I made these crop pants

and they are still to large. Like I said before, I made the muslin, then tried to make the proper adjustments on the pattern, then cut my fashion fabric. Of course it's hard or next to impossible to make adjustments once the zipper is in. So that I am about to embark upon tonight is taking the facing out, removing the zipper and redoing these to try and make them fit...a real bit job but someone has to do it. But them again would it be worth all that time???? Will they be Trash or Treasure - I'll have to decide.

Anyways, I think this will be the next pattern I will try. I still want the crop pants (atleast that is what I call them) but this pattern is different in that they have a front fly zipper and a traditional waistband rather than the side zipper and waist facing. Well I'm off to sew now, will let you know how it turns out.