2013 ESSENTIAL TOPS SEW-A-LONG FINISHED PROJECTS

April 28, 2008

SEWING ALONG

I made this short sleeved tee on Friday. I really needed a quick project after working on the jacket. This was only four pieces and I am satisfied enough with the fit enough that I wore it to work today. There is a correction that I will make the next time I use this pattern (a correction necessitated because of an alteration I made to the pattern - I over though the process again). I should have cut a straight 18, but because most tops are so low cut now a days, I thought I could eliminate that by cutting the pattern at a 24 at the neckline - WRONG - that made it sag right in the chest area. I will cut the next one at a straight 18. I lengthened the top at the hem 3", and also at the sleeve length about 2".

I had a G-R-E-A-T time this weekend sewing LISA.
We got together for a trip to Hancocks in my town and traced our first BWOF patterns which was one of my 2008 sewing goals. More information about that adventure still to come. Getting together with her is such a LEARNING EXPERIENCE. She also taught me how to use my tube turner - I was having a dickens of a time with that thing...

April 20, 2008

WEEKEND MUSING

I had the privledge of spending a wonderful evening with THE ARTIST LISA!, and her daughters at the art gallary on Friday evening. Here's a picture of her standing next to one of her paintings displayed at the gallary (glad I had my camera with me). It was a wonderful experience for me and an enjoyable evening. After the showing we went for coffee/sewing talk and our evening was priceless. I just love talking and sharing with her. She is such an inspiration!
I've also been working on one of my sewing related goals of beefing up my sewing room. I put up this shelfing unit yesterday (I NEED EVERYONE IN BLOGLAND praying with me that this thing stays up on the wall.) I am not a carpenter, but I finally got them up with much agony. So I was able to go FROM THIS:
TO THIS:
(Notice the cake tin on the bottom shelf; it belonged to my great-grand mother, Jessie Lee Thomas - I can't bear parting with her button tin so I gave it a place on the shelf.)

The cost of shelving units was complements of my sister Brenda. Thanks again Brenda!

Next I plan on putting up a colorful pegboard that will help me organize my space better by hanging up rulers, scissors and things that I need handy all the time.

I haven't started on my next sewing project yet cause all my time this weekend has been spent on the shelves. But I did make a fabric purchase this weekend - I bought a pink striped pin cord fabric for a pants suit. My next project will be something easy though like a knit tee shirt. Lisa and I have a "SEW-A-LONG" planned for next weekend - more about that later.

April 14, 2008

IT'S FINALLY FINISHED

The green jacket if finally finished! I think I'll put it in the cleaners because working with this light color did leave a few smudges. I'm proud of the finished product and I think that I will make this jacket again soon, but it will not involve as much as this one did. I think I'll leave the next one plain and simple. I plan on wearing this with navy pants and a white top; and with white pants also (as soon as I can get some made up. I'll make sure I take pictures when ever I wear it.

Be sure that my next project will be something very quick...

April 12, 2008

ME AND THE GREEN JACKET ARE STILL HERE...

I've been so involved with the actual construction of this jacket and the new techniques I had to learn as a result of wanting to take this pattern to another level, but I did remember to take pictures. I'm not that up on organizing my pictures yet, so finding what I want to post and then getting it posted in the right place is a challenge so bear with me here. Here is the jacket construction process. (p.s. I don't know why my post is underlining and I don't know how to turn it off).

I thought the fabric I used for this project (silky wool) was a little too light weight for what I had envisioned. Because I wanted the finished jacket to maintain a crispness with wear I decided that I wanted to try adding an underlining. From what I've read about underlinings, they are supposed to do just that and in addition keep the fashion fabric from wrinkling so badly. I did discover that this silky wool fabric that I had never heard of is a type of Iris Linen and knowing that linen will wrinkle, I used cotton batiste which was pre-washed and pressed before cutting it from the jacket pattern - I cut the front, back, back pleat and sleeve.
(sewing the underling to the fashion fabric, afterwards it is treated as one garment unit.)
(Pictures above show the underlining pieces/fashion fabric pieces sewn together as one unit for the back and front.)
I am completely happy with the drape of the garment after including the underlining.

Sleeves attached.
For a person who does not like the process of setting sleeves in, I can do it but I don't like to (way too many pins in that small circle for me). I am a real stickler for sleeves WITHOUT PUCKERS! If it is a two piece sleeve construction I will set the sleeve in (can't figure out how to do it any other way). I like the flat sleeve insertion method - it works better for me but I still get an occasional pucker. I put both these sleeves in with only ONE PUCKER and fought with myself to just leave it in - WHO WOULD NOTICE! But alas I figured that with all the extra work I was putting in here I had to go in and fix the pucker. So I present to you - THE PUCK ERLESS sleeves. I ask you, since this is the method I prefer, and since it works well for me, why do I feel like I'm cheating when I use it rather than the set in method?

After inserting the sleeves I noticed that the jacket sort of sunk in at the sleeve/shoulder area. I didn't want the shoulder pad look so I figured a sleeve header would do the trick. That involved more research to find out exactly what the purpose of a sleeve header was and how to make them. I found some really good information at DYI network.com written by Susan Khalje, and was able to follow her directions for making the headers with fashion fabric cut on bias and padded with some low loft batting that I just happened to have on hand.
(8" bias strips) (Bias Strips folded and pressed) (Batting added)

(Header sewn together, ends rounded. Placed over ham and steam pressed to shape)
After getting the headers made I couldn't understand from the Khalje instructions just how to put them in. I forget exactly, but I think I found the placement information at the SEWING DIVAS site. My before and after pictures of problem and solution did not come out very well, but the headers did solve my problem.


(BEFORE: Problem with sleeve sunken in) (AFTER: Sunkeness taken out)

The next thing I had to do was cut out the lining which the pattern did not call for but I LOVE LINED JACKETS! They go on and off so much easier. I cut the lining of the front (minus the front facing) being careful to leave enough for seam allowance to meet the facing) back, vent and sleeves and attached it to the jacket. (NOTE: had planned on putting pictures of the lining here but for some reason blogger is not allowing me to upload any more pictures today - is there a limit - cause I posted 13 pics on this update?)

After attaching the lining, I tacked it the shoulder, underarm, and the top of the back pleat.

I had originally added 3 inches to the bottom of the jacket, but decided to decrease that to 1 1/2 inch instead. ALL I HAVE TO DO NOW is :
1. Hem the bottom of the jacket
2. Hem the sleeves
3. Hem bottom and sleeve lining
4. Work button holes and sew on buttons. WILL POST FINISHED PRODUCT ASAP!

I feel like I truly stepped out of the box with this pattern which is a good thing. I pushed myself and learned learned three new techniques. I will make this jacket again probably sometime soon. However it will be by the pattern and without all the additions I made here. Learning to do Hong Kong seam finishes is one of my sewing goals this year so the next jacket will have utilize that technique.

HAPPY SEWING!

April 9, 2008

THANKS JACKIE!

Thanks to Jackie for nominating mine this award. I'll continue striving to live up to the award.
Of course I'd like to nominate three very talented bloggers:
LISA - My Sewing Buddy who is so sharing and knowledgeable. She's not afraid of anything, I think she's a daring artist!

SHEILA - Who is so talented. I love her knitting and her classic style of sewing.
and;
ANGELA - The Denim Queen - although denim is not all she sews so well; I love what this girl can do with the fabric.

Pictures of the jacket are forthcoming...I had to start a night class so that has slowed me down.

April 4, 2008

BETTER THAN THE LAST ONE!

Every seamstress/sewist, or whatever term we choose to call ourselves; want the project we are currently working on to be better than the last one. I am sure that none of us sit down at our machines with lack-a-daisy attitudes not caring about the construction process, without visions of producing a successful garment. Most of us have actually contemplated the entire assembly and construction process from start to finish in our mines before we even cut into the fashion fabric. Such is the case with the jacket I am currently making.

Several days ago I started considering the fact that the silky wool fabric that I'm working with is moderately light weight. It has the feel and drape of a linen fabric. I've never worked with it before, but fell in love with it when I saw Erica's freesia trench jacket in February.
It's like something in the back of my mind is saying "UNDERLINING" is needed for the look and drape that I'm looking for. So after reading as much as I can about the use and application of underlining, I have decided to do just that using cotton batiste which I'm pre-washing as I write. I am also going to thread trace the pattern as well thus extending the project even more with adding a full lining although the pattern doesn't call for one. Oh well; after all, I am continually looking forward to my next project to be even better than my last!

April 1, 2008

APPLE GREEN "LUCY" JACKET

I am making progress on my apple green "Lucy" Jacket. I'm very much in love with this style and glad to see that it has carried over into the spring/summer fashions in one form or another. I'm seeing long sleeved, 3/4" sleeved and cropped sleeved ones in all the stores and fashion catalogs; and plan on making several for the new season for myself.

My muslin is as finished as I can get it - I guess. I even put the collar and front facing on it because I wanted to make sure that I knew how to do it before cutting the fashion fabric. Here's a picture of the finished muslin; I plan on completing the jacket this weekend - maybe.

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