2013 ESSENTIAL TOPS SEW-A-LONG FINISHED PROJECTS

March 29, 2009

FAREWELL TO MY WEEKEND...

Well, the weekend is gone again(ughhhhh). I worked diligently practicing on my welt pockets. I did a total of four practices ones (two turned out really good, the last two were not so good). Last night I finally just bit the bullet and put them on my jacket fronts. Here's a picture of them, I don't think they are that bad. I know that I will be putting this type of pocket on lots of garments since I don't have to shy away from them any more and that is a good feeling.



Today I spent the day with my sewing buddies. We went to the annual Cherry Blossom Craft Festival in Macon. We were supposed to go yesterday and then have a sew-a-long afterward, but we got rained out. That rainy weather was really nice for sewing though. At the festival Ebony and I kept looking for sewing related things (like patterns, buttons or fabric). You can tell where our hearts and minds are - ON SEWING all the time. But alas this was not a sewing related festival, however we did get to see lots of quilts, embroidered baby clothing and aprons and we had a great time. Here's a picture of Ebony, Lisa and Lisa's daughter.



I'll keep working on my jacket this week. Hopefully I will be able to finish it by next weekend. After a week and a day with nights off, I'll be starting a new class on Tuesday and Thursdays again...another long 10 1/2 weeks....

March 26, 2009

SECOND POCKET ATTEMPT...

Today I made my second welt practice pocket. Hope that you aren't tired of hearing about them yet. I think the second one turned out just a little better than the first one. I'm starting to feel just a little bit more confident about them now and think I'm ready to start the jacket construction. I just might do one more practice session before I put them on the actual jacket though. After this I'll have to practice on that stand collar thingy. THANKS FOR CHEERING ME ON!

March 25, 2009

ODE TO TRYING SOMETHING NEW...

One of my 2008 sewing goals was to learn to make welt pockets. Well since I ran out of year and didn't get it done, I moved that goal over to 2009. I have plans to make time to sit down for practice, but time just flies by and I don't get to the practice sessions. Perhaps I just never make the time because the technique intimidates me. But per my last post I made pants but now want to make a matching jacket. In doing my jacket muslin for fitting, I decided to go ahead and practice the patch pockets and flap to see if I liked them - as it turned out I didn't really like them and thought that welt pockets would be a much better alternative. This prompted a good old practice session that turned out to last two evenings.

Sooooo armed with encouraging posts from fellow bloggers I set out to learn how to make the pocket. I looked at all of the welt pocket tutorials (including a recent one from Paco's blog); checked my reference books and set out to make it happen. Below are several views of my first attempt; far from perfect, but I am just so happy that I did get one made up. This is my Ode to Trying Something New... I do plan on making at least two more before I put them on my jacket fabric. It's not the greatest fabric, but I do think it will make up a great fitting and looking suit with the addition of these pockets on the front of the jacket.

(Why is it that I keep wanting to call these Welf pockets?)

March 22, 2009

A NEW NOTION, A FO, AND THE NEXT PROJECT

Much like every other working woman, I can't wait to get home on Friday afternoons. It seems that my car just will not go fast enough. This past Friday was no different, and when I got home I came straight to my sewing room. I had started another pair of pants from Simplicity 2700 last Sunday. It seems that 2700 is implanted in my brain because this was actually the third pair that I've made from this pattern. The first pair was a big success, but the second pair was a complete disaster, so much so that it through me into what I'll call a sewing loop. I was just totally flabbergasted over the second pair. Needless to say, I didn't post any pictures of them and I won't go into my mistakes because I really want the whole thing behind me now.

So, on with the show! Because I just had to try another pair I started all over again last Sunday and just worked on them slowly throughout the week. All I had to finish on Friday was the hem. Here they are on a hanger (lol) not at all glamorous I know, but I do have further plans. They are made from what I call a raspberry colored gabardine that has some stretch. I bought six yards (60" wide) over a year ago intending to make a s
uit. Well with Spring in the air I thought now would be a good time to use it for some color. Turns out there is more than enough fabric for pants, a jacket and a skirt. I can't remember how much I paid for it, but I'm sure it was a great purchase for me to get so much.

I picked up these clips at Hancock's when they had the last 50% notion sale because I thought they were interesting. They came from the quilting section and I'm sure are used to hold layers of fabric together. I used them to pin up the hem of my pants before I tried them on to check the length. I am forever scarring myself up with pins when trying things on....they worked great. I think you get about 20 or 25 in a package.

(finished pants on a hanger)

I wanted to make a "SIMPLE" jacket to match the pants so I chose this Butterick pattern because of the limited number of pattern pieces (10 pieces). "BUT" I am already thinking about taking the jacket to another level.

This is the jacket muslin that I worked up on Saturday.


I actually took the muslin further than I needed to for fitting by doing the patch pocket with flap for the front. I wanted to make sure I liked the pocket before I put it on my actual garment. I'm really not feeling the pockets and I'm thinking about doing a double welt treatment instead. Having never done one I'M SCARED. I want to just jump right in and do it, but I think I'd better at least do a trial run on some scraps first. I'll let you know how that turns out...........

March 15, 2009

WELCOME TO SEWING BLOGLAND

I'd like to give a big welcome to my Friend Brenda (@ brendassewingnook.blogspot.com from Alabama, who just started her blog yesterday! We met at last year's Sewing Expo and something just drew me to her. We talked a little then and have been emailing occasionally for the past year. I praise God for her and many others that I've been drawn to but have yet to meet in person. Brenda I certainly hope that you are able to gleam just as much or even more than I have from blogging. I'm sure that just like me, many other bloggers will be checking in on your blog regularly to see your fantastic creations.

To make you feel really welcomed, I am nominating you for this award because I truly believe you deserve it:
Feel free to post this award on your blog.

March 14, 2009

FINALLY....

I finally got something finished. It's been a while, but maybe this one shirt will help me get back into the sewing thing. I purchased this pattern at the Sewing Expo last weekend. It's a Louise Cutting design that we saw made up and fell in love with. It only has four pattern pieces and is a asymmetrical design - the hem of the shirt is slanted and one shoulder is cut wider or longer than the other. It has two front pieces (a left and a front) to make up the slanted effect. I used a cotton animal print that was gifted to me by Mrs. Madison. I prewashed so it should be safe from srinkage. The shirt is really roomy and made to wear a tee shirt under if you like.
I coverstitched the the hems and used my new edge foot for topstitching the front and collar edges. I purchased the edge foot at the expo for my Janome machine, but it fits my Singer machine too. The edge foot worked really well for topstitching, maybe this is finally the answer to my topstitching issues.

I'm making a big deal about this simple cotton shirt, but I'm really glad to have something done.

March 11, 2009

I WON SOMETHING REALLY GREAT!

Talk about playing it back, Gwen (After the Dress) had a drawing for something really great. I entered because I am on this contest role lately. Really, I can just see myself winning lots of things, especially a great big - state of the art sewing/embroidery machine. "Where there is no vision, the people perish". But guess what - I did win! I had to check three times to make sure it was my name. What would be the next best thing to winning a that sewing machine? You guessed it, helping someone else get a sewing machine!
Gwen drawing was for a $50.00 gift certificate to KIVA. In case you haven't heard Kiva is an organization that manages business loans for people in underprivileged countries. All of the loans are geared to help the person you choose with startup capital for inventory, equipment, supplies, etc. for new businesses. These businesses help people become self sufficient and allow them support their families. The way this worked is so cool. Gwen set up an account in the amount of the $50.00 gift certificate with Kiva in my name. All I had to do was, choose the person I wanted to make the loan to and redeem Gwen's certificate with Kiva for that person. The loan will be repaid in 12 months and I will get updates on the progress of the business. ISN'T THAT GREAT!

TALK ABOUT PLAYING IT BACK, Gwen set this drawing up with a two fold benefit. First I make the loan to a startup company; and secondly after the loan is repaid to me - I GET TO USE THE MONEY TO BUY SOMETHING NIFTY FOR MY VERY OWN SEWING ROOM! Just how cool is that? Right now I'm thinking that when the loan is repaid, I'll just take that same amount and cycle it into another business startup. Did I mention that I am excited about this?

Of course I wanted to find a business that was sewing related so I found a dressmaker. The name of her business is
Couture MISERICORDIEUX (hope it's ok that I put that here). It's French so you know I don't know what it means - can any body help me with it? She is a single mother of one and lives in Agoe, Togo (an African country right next to Ghana). She needed a total of $600; I checked back on the site just before publishing this post and she had reached that goal. There was someone else out there looking for a seamstress to help too. So thank you Gwen, this ladies dress making business is off the ground!


March 9, 2009

A WHIRLWIND WEEKEND

I had such a wonderful weekend; one that I had anticipated for a long time. I attended the annual Sewing and Quilting Expo with my two sewing buddies - Lisa and Ebony of course. We took off on Friday afternoon and made quite a night of it. We had even planned on getting some sewing in, but it didn't happen for me because after an extremely hectic work week and the good meal we had that night I was done for, and was only able to enjoy the great company I was in.

We were up bright and early on Saturday Morning and off to the Expo. We were shuttled from the lot to the convention hall and here's pictures of Ebony and Lisa
all settled in for the short ride.















As soon as we entered the building to register, we heard someone calling our names. It turned out to be fellow blogger Carla F. from Atlanta who was embarking on yet her third day at the expo. She was still excited, and started filling us in on the classes she had taken thus far. We grabbed a few pictures - and Carla even though we never got to see you again, we knew you were having a great time.










NOTE TO CARLA F.: I still can't post on your blog, but found out it's because I can't get logged into Wordpress. Don't know what the problem is there, but I'll keep trying.

The first thing we did was watch a fashion show sponsored by the independent pattern companies that were there at the expo. They featured over 70 designs and we had ringside seats to get a good look at everything. It was a nice preview of the patterns that were available. After the fashion show we had time for a quick preview of the vendors before we were off to take our first class.

My first class was with Cynthia Guffey on Pants: pockets and zippers. I really liked this lady's teaching style. I learned a few more helpful hints for inserting a front fly zipper and for inserting slant pockets successfully in a pair of pants. She also gave us visual information on welt pockets. The hour just flew by, but now I can't wait to take another one of her classes.

My second class was 7 Habits for Highly Successful Sewing. This class was primarily on the rules of fitting.


After attending the two classes the rest of the afternoon was spent looking and touching. I did get:
  • three independent patterns (although I had said I wasn't going to buy any) he he!
  • a June Tailor Board
  • a custom made sleeve board complete with the pad and cover
  • three cuts of fabric from Vouge Fabrics
  • double tracing wheel
  • a ham holder
  • and an edge foot for my Janome machine.
Here's a picture of my little haul - I'm kicking the sewing room up another knotch. The other three cuts of fabric came from our trip to Joann's while there, cause we don't have one in our area.










Need I say, I really had a great time. I really wish we could do something like this at least every three months.

P.S. I didn't win a sewing machine again this year. Not that I really need one, I just want the experience of winning one (lol)!

NOTE TO BRENDA FROM ALABAMA: I kept looking for you there!



March 1, 2009

I LOVE PRETTY FOOD

To me a dish just isn't complete with something green on the plate. I live alone and most of the time I make just plain food that I don't even need a recipe for; but there is a side of me that really likes my food dressed and a little on the gourmet side. Just because I mostly cook for myself doesn't mean that I can't have pretty food. I love pretty food and I love green food.

Have you guys visited Will's Kitchen? I happened upon his site several weeks ago and was highly impressed with his blog. He had a recipe for Garlic-Chicken and Broccoli Pasta that I really thought I'd like and wanted to try so here's my rendition:

Isn't it pretty with the green broccoli and that Parmesan cheese? It was really quick to fix up and just as I thought, very tasty too. I think I over did it with the garlic so I'll stick to just the two cloves that the recipe calls for next time I make it. Just thought you'd like to see, and if you try it...hope you enjoy!

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