2013 ESSENTIAL TOPS SEW-A-LONG FINISHED PROJECTS

December 30, 2010

I FOUND IT, I FOUND IT; A LONG AWAITED FABRIC TRIP; AND A GIVE-AWAY PRIZE...

I found the Anthropologie inspired duvet cover tutorial.  It's illustrated in two parts at Kojodesigns just in case some of you might start obsessing over this beauty like yours truly.  My great big THANK YOU goes out to them for sharing the how-to's.

Belated Happy Holiday greetings to all my blog friends!  I left home so quickly to visit my children for Christmas that blogging time was non-existent.  I did peep in on everybody while I was away though.

I FINALLY got to visit Mary Jo's Cloth World in North Carolina, and it was actually just that - a real CLOTH WORLD!  I have to use my favorite descriptive word - WOW!, and prices are fantastic.  With Ponte Roma knit's regularly priced at $6.95 it wasn't hard to haul a few pieces back home with me.  Woolens and wool blends were beautiful and also very reasonably priced, but the thing that held my attention most was the notions wall.  Things that I have only read or heard about can be found there (like the Fast Turn Tube Turner set, a serger pad with trim catcher bag, and permanent zipper and top stitching guides), and all at a 20% discount. (You do know that I'm a notions/sewing gadget fanatic!)  The sales staff was super nice and helpful.  I even got to meet and talk with the real Mary Jo now in her 80's who ,as the story goes, started the store in the back of her father's barber shop when she was a teenager.  I find her story so amazing, and even more so because she still works there every day!    What was intended to be a one hour trip turned into two, but was well worth driving 30 miles off my travel path for.  I do hope that I get to visit that store again, but if not I do plan on using their handy website to place some future orders.

Last but certainly not least, before Christmas I won Angie's (Quality Time) I Heart U give-away!  The package was waiting on my porch when I returned from my trip this evening.  My package included this marvelous book complete with patterns.


 A great Hot Patterns tie neck blouse pattern, and two party bags with notions (elastic, zippers, etc.)


Thank you Angie, you made my day!!!

December 27, 2010

SEARCHING FOR ANTHROPOLOGIE KNOCK-OFF TUTORIALS......

Several months ago I ran across tutorials on how to knock off  both this Anthropologie ruffled shower curtains and the cutiest duvet cover.  I thought that I bookmarked both tutorials, but now can't find them.  I had seen the duvet cover in a Country Living magazine during the summer and had fallen in love with it then.  While I am pretty sure I could pull off either of the ruffled shower curtains, I am not sure at all of how to knock-off the duvet cover.  I guess I could set up special savings accounts and purchase "these not so necessary. but I would really like to have them beauties" after several months, but I would much rather be able to say "I made them myself".

http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/catalog/category.jsp?popId=HOME&navAction=top&navCount=75&isSortBy=true&pushId=HOME-BATH&id=HOME-BATH

(The crown crane duvet cover)
http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/catalog/category.jsp?itemCount=6&pushId=HOME-BEDDING&selectedProductSize=&id=HOME-BEDDING&startValue=13&defaultSort=&navCount=125&sortView=&prevVisit=true&templateType=hybrid&navAction=top&displayNumber=6&selectedProductSize1=&sortby=&prepushId=&popId=HOME

If you have seen the tutorials on how to knock these off, or if you know how to do it yourself, COULD YOU PLEASE ENLIGHTEN ME?

December 18, 2010

IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR...

...it's the Christmas Season, and today is my Birthday!  To EVERYONE who was nice enough to send cards & emails, or make facebook posts and telephone calls - a big THANK YOU, you made me feel so wonderful!

Now, on to the sewing business at hand.  It was such a rainy, chilly day that the Lady Faye photo shoot had to be held inside...








Merry Christmas to all and Happy Sewing!........

December 14, 2010

SHHHHHHH - IT'S A SECRET.........................

Confession.  Can I keep a secret?  By all means I can.  If you ask me not to tell, I can most certainly keep your secret.  But when it comes to keeping my own secret, is it that easy - not so much.  I've had a secret since Saturday before last, December 4th, and it's been eating me up.  I haven't posted in ten days because I just knew I'd probably blab it all out - and guess what, that is just what I'm about to do...

May I present to you my Lady Faye Coat.  Here she stands in what once was my living room amidst all the clutter that use to resided in my sewing room (but yet, that's another story).
 


I had planned an all out photo shoot this past Saturday with me styling my new coat, but just wasn't feeling it so that appointment got postponed.  The photo shoot will happen very soon and I will post pics of me wearing my laborious results.  The fit is good, but since our temperatures dropped at least 25 degrees below normal, I really don't think it will be warm enough for me (I am EXTREMELY cold natured to the point that I really need to live in a tropical local).  By the way, I decided to remove the flannel interlining because it made the coat weight about a thousand pounds.

Why did I change the name of the coat?  Well, I just felt that since the thing took me so long to complete, caused me to second guess myself and over think the process more than any other garment ever had, she should be named after me.  When I was recently asked if  I loved the coat I had to  say "I really can't say that I love it, but I do like it a lot.  Maybe I'm not in love with it because it took me so long to complete, but I'm sure that with time I will fall in love with her.  I did learn a lot in the process, and tried techniques that I never dreamed I'd do.  Hopefully we will have a long and lasting relationship, and maybe,  just maybe one day I might see my way clear to make a spring version just like her. 

Now I've got my sewing life back!!! (Me jumping for joy)  For months I've had "sewing project images" flying around in my head that it's been hard to focus on just one project.  I have got to get some of these images out of my head and bring them to life before I explode!  First up is this really cute skirt, Vogue 7937.


This weekend I did up a not so quick and dirty muslin and so far so good.  I'm making view B in guess what - a home deco faux suede in chocolate brown.  This is the first time I've used such a fabric, and I am really excited about the possibilities.  I'm using a size 16 needle which is really helping.  The skirt has top stitched seams front and back, and I'm using a new technique that I learned about while making my coat.   I'd like to give proper credit for the idea but can't remember where I read about it.  Maybe you've tried it already but just in case you haven't, it's done by threading three threads through your machine through the same the same needle.  I was only able to get two threads through the needle, but it does make my top stitching (done using my longest stitch) more noticeable.  Now I'm wondering what it would look like using different color threads - mmmm might have to try that one out.  I've underlined the skirt (I do plan on keeping warm) and will also add a lining.  Can't wait to get it finished because there are many other project images screaming to get out next.


Sewing Room Update:  Well, all four walls now have paint on them.  One and a half walls still need a second coat.  Trim, doors and windows still need to be painted, and then the ceiling is still crying out for some attention too.  It's a really S-l-o-w go, but I know it will be worth it when it's finished.  The room already looks much larger and of course so much more brighter....

December 4, 2010

MY DREAMS COMING TRUE: SEWING ROOM PROGRESS & FINISHING THE LADY GREY COAT...

Well, it finally started!  And I love my paint color choice - "Powdered Snow", not to white and not to beige-y, but just right.  There is still such an awful lot of work to do in here.  Now that the first wall is painted (but still needs a second coat) it makes the ceiling look really dull - so now of course, the ceiling needs to be painted too. 








Taking work schedules into consideration, I don't know, but I really can't see getting this finished before Christmas.  Not being negative, just being realistic.  Well, it is what it is; but it is still the beginning of MY DREAM COMING TRUE - I want to live with white walls!!!

Lady Grey Coat Status:

Will I complete it this weekend???, - well I really don't know.  I thought I'd finish it two weekends ago, and I certainly though I'd finish over the four day Thanksgiving weekend, but of course that didn't happen either.  There is not very much to do to finish, I've even written up my usual "What's Left to Do" chart:
  • give it a GOOD press
  • tack lining down
  • top stitch
  • attach belt loops
  • hem sleeve lining (had to patch to extend sleeve linings because they were too short)
  • Finish buttonholes
  • sew on buttons
  • schedule photo shoot (LOL)
Doesn't seem like a whole lot of work does it.  It seems that I should be able to get this all done today. I guess I'm just tired of this project, but I'm so anal about not starting another project before finishing this one.  I'm imprisoned with this  Lady Grey project - I have no sewing life beyond it right now, but there are soooooo many other things I want to make.  I WANT MY LIFE BACK.................................

November 24, 2010

HAPPY THANKSGIVING; LADY GREY COAT; SEWING ROOM PROGRESS...

It was a wonderful pre-Thanksgiving here in Georgia today.  Work ended at noon, which was more than nice.  The weather was just perfect for the season; i.e., cloudy and overcast with just a little bit of misty rain.  You know, "the over the hills, and through the woods to Grand-Mother's house we go" type of weather.  I hope that you'll are not working to hard getting T-Day dinner underway.  I'm sure if you are, it is truly a labor of love.  I'll be free-loading at a cousins house looking forward to that lethargic feeling that is sure to follow the afternoon meal.  So let me go ahead and wish one and all a very Happy and safe Thanksgiving Day!

LADY GREY UPDATE:
Yes, I am STILL plugging along with this coat.  I did get to work on it a few nights this weeks even though I had to pull two night shifts, and work a couple of hours over at my school's dedication ceremony one evening.  The shoulder pads are in, and the lining is finished


complete with flannel interlining, but sans the sleeve hems.




I gave myself a little break from the coat this afternoon but still worked on making the belt and belt loops.  If I get up early enough tomorrow I should be able to get the lining sewn into the coat prior to leaving home for the 2p.m. dinner.  We'll have to see how that turns out.  Maybe, just maybe I'll be able to complete this project sometime during the four day weekend.

SEWING ROOM PROGRESS:
I have gotten this far - if you can call this progress.  Since last Tuesday the room has been almost completely void of furniture...
 

... that has been temporally stored in where else but the living room...



...with the temporary sewing area set up in the kitchen...



So I'm working on this very crowded table while I cultivate enduring patience.  The painting was originally scheduled to be completed, carpet cleaned and furniture replaced before Thanksgiving Day, but of course it won't be.  Things happen, but I'm still gonna finish this coat!!!  Painting is SUPPOSED to start on Friday - of this week I hope... 











November 14, 2010

GIVE-A-WAY WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT; LADY GREY UPDATE...

The winner of my 200th Follower Book Give-A-Way is...
Victoria of 10,000 Sewing Hours

Victoria, I certainly hope that you enjoy having this book in your resource library as much as I do. Please email me your address, and I will get the book in the mail to you before the end of the week..


Lady Grey Update:
As another weekend sewing saga comes to an end, we find that the sleeves have been set in, the collar has been basted on, and what was once only a shell now bears a striking resemblance to the actual Lady Grey coat. My feeble attempts to installing roll lines, pad stitching, and molding the collar for it's sleepover pinned around the dressmaker's ham - I think I'm ready to move on to constructing the lining/underlining. Maybe after pulling two nights on the late shift I'll be able to get some more sewing done during the week.


SEWING CAVE UPDATE:

There's a lot going on at my humble abode right now. Tuesday evening will be spent setting up a temporary sewing station at the kitchen table because my Sewing Cave is being completely emptied in preparation of a long awaited paint job. Yes, very soon the dark paneled walls will take on the hue of "Powdered Snow" - i.e. the name of the paint color. Hopefully the room will be finished and everything in it completely re-assembled before Thanksgiving Day. But if not, I'm making sure that everything I need in order to keep right on sewing is very easy to get to in the kitchen. Painting the Sewing Cave (and the rest of the interior) will be a dream come true for me.

So until the next update, happy sewing....

November 7, 2010

A GREAT BIG THANK YOU FOR LOOKING IN, AND A SEWING ROOM UPDATE...

Today my thoughts traveled back to the day that I added the "followers" gadget to my side bar. I was still learning new things about blogger (I still am for that matter) and wasn't really sure what this gadget was about. But shortly after, a few people did actually sign on to follow my blog. As I've watched the number of followers grow, I continue to be genuinely THANKFUL that there are people who appreciate my content and find my blog interesting to read. I also value the many COMMENTS, ANSWERS TO MY QUESTIONS, AND HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS OFFERED WHEN I FIND MYSELF IN SEWING PERPLEXMENT . I have a few new ideas for the blog that I plan to incorporate very soon, so please keep looking in.

My blog following reached 200 this weekend, and to me this is a very big thing! So, in celebration and to show my appreciation I'm having a give-a-way drawing! I recently purchased this book and like it so much I thought that one of you might enjoy having a copy too.


I have several friends who are really into re-fashioning. Me, not so much, until I saw this book by Nancy Minsky of 21st Century Dressmakers. I became very interested in some of her creative designs so I finally ordered the book for my sewing resource library. I have several "Denim Revolution" projects scheduled to follow the completion of the Lady Gray Coat (oh boy!). You should check out Nancy's blog if you haven't already done so. She's also an amazing artist as well.

So, if you'd like to enter my "Denim Revolution" drawing:

1) sign on to follow Faye's Sewing Adventure if you haven't already;
2) Leave an "I'm interested" comment on this post;
3) HELP! I cannot come up with a suitable name for my dress manikin. Would you please HELP me out by suggesting a name you think would match my personality?

That's it. The book drawing will be held next Sunday and a winner will be announced. And once again, thank you all for taking the time to look in and read here!!!

-------------------------
UPDATE FROM MY SEWING SPACE:

My sewing space is a constant WIP. I'm always on the lookout for ways to improve it, make it prettier, or more organized. This week I turned this look...















into this look.


I love this seven drawer chest. It's much more attractive than the stacked file cabinets, and fits in the exact same space - which is a plus. I've already filled all of the drawers.

Be on the lookout for more sewing space improvements in the very near future....

October 31, 2010

SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE....

It's been ten days since my last post - but I've gotten this far with my Lady Grey Coat project.


It's been a very loooong haul. And to top it off, I worked an additional 3 - 5 hour night shifts last week that left me really drained. I'll pull another 3 nights this week, and then 2 the following week and then I'll be through. This leaves very little energy or motivation for sewing throughout the week, but I did spend some time at the machine Friday, Saturday and today. I might not get a chance to touch this again until next weekend, but I am feeling a lot better about the project (at least for right now). The sew-along schedule cited October 31 as the finish date - well, we all know that I didn't make that deadline. But, I am still determined to complete what I started.

So whats left to do?: the collar, sleeves, underling/lining, hemming, and finishing the buttonholes. Should take - say - another 3 months. No, just kidding. I am so ready for another project, but I stick to my unwritten rule of finishing one project before starting another one. My rule is a rather stringent one, but it keeps me from having UFO's.

October 21, 2010

I THINK IT'S ABOUT TIME FOR A POST...

When I was growing up a phrase that I often heard was - "I feel like I've been run through the mill". Don't know if you've every heard that one, but what it means is "I've had a hard time or have been through something very trying". My Lady Gray coat has "run me through the mill"; most of it being totally mental.

My last post ended with me basting sew-in interfacing to my jacket front, trying to get to the part where I pad stitched the lapel area of the coat. Before I finished stitching one section of the coat front I decided that this was not going to work for me because try as I might, my stitching showed through the right side of the fabric. After removing those stitches I decided to go ahead and use fusible interfacing instead. Mind you, by this time I've pre-shrunk two different types of interfacing at two separate times. After carefully fusing one of the front sections I noticed that even though I had used a shoe on the iron and a pressing cloth I ended up with iron prints on the right side of the fabric. Thank goodness the pattern called for an excessive amount yardage; I had enough of it left over to cut another single front section.

After much contemplation I decided to fuse the interfacing to a batise (sheer mist) underlining and then attach that to each pattern section. This did add some body to my light weight wool flannel shell fabric, which is a good thing. Of course, decided to try my hand at bound buttonholes. Figured I might as well seeing that I'd already been "run through the mill" with this thing. So last night and tonight I practiced making Spanish Snap (Roberta Carr's Couture Sewing DVD), and window pane bound buttonholes, (Marta Alto's Jackets for Real People - Tailoring Made Easy DVD). Had to remind myself NOT TO FRET, because these were only for practice, and if it didn't work out - I could always use a regular old buttonhole.

The practice sessions went pretty good. I really liked both types but decided to go with the bound buttonhole. Here are pictures of both.

First the Spanish Snap:
and the the Window Pane Bound:



and finally the one I installed on the coat front:

The coat will have two buttonholes, but one is concealed and a regular buttonhole will do just fine there. Wow! I really never thought I would even attempt bound buttonholes. I guess I should never say never, because this really wasn't that hard at all. I'm already far behind the sew along schedule so giving up two nights for practice didn't slow the pace any more. I really thought I'd get to tape the lapel roll line and start pad stitching the lapel tonight, but that didn't happen ( I'll start pad stitching tomorrow night). I'll be using the Roberta Carr DVD to help me with the pad stitching. I'm so very glad that I had these resources in my library in addition to my books (which I've about worn the pages out of). Now that I've completed the buttonholes I can really understand why they are put in so early in the construction process.

MORAL: I'm glad I stretched and learned something new.....

October 12, 2010

I FINALLY STOPPED TRIPPING....

...about the Lady Grey coat process that is. Last night I garnered up my best fitting efforts, and cut into the shell fabric.


  • I know, I know - IT'S ABOUT TIME isn't it? To my recollection this is what I've done so far: Made three muslins, that's right three. I've never made three for one single project before. Two maybe, but not three. I decided that I still liked the very first one best, so that is what I went with;
  • Altered the length of the lapel and the coat front to eliminate gaping;
  • Did a small sway back adjustment. Never knew I had a sway back, why didn't someone tell me about it? I should have suspected as much because of my high rear protrusion (not complaining however, I'm glad that I have one instead of being flat in that area);
  • Re-sized the pockets because I could barely get my hands in. Also repositioned the pocket placement because it was much too low and would have extended into the hem area;
  • Over thought and over worked the project until it almost made me sick to my stomach;
and that's that. It is what it is!, or should I say "it will be what it's gonna to be". I had already decided that more than enough money has been invested in this project, so I opted against the hair canvas. None was to be found in my area anyway, maybe next time - because I've got to move on.

I also started working on a little tailoring of the front of the coat. I'm following along with the sew along suggestions as closely as possible. I know my coat probably will not be as firm because of the type interfacing I am using, but that's o.k., since I really want a soft structured garment. Since I've read so much on tailoring recently, and Gertie has taken her time to provided the how-to video tutorials, I think it's time that I tried my hand at the stitching. I know I'll be using this information on many future projects since I so dearly love jackets.

Here's a picture of what I've done so far. I'll pad stitch the side front sections and the lapel next. Couldn't find any silk thread in my area either, so I'm using a "fine" thread in a matching color.
Can you see my stitches?


I still have not committed to do bound buttonholes yet. I sort of think I will, sort of think I won't at the moment. (I know, I'm still being a little wishy washy.) I have until it's time to attach the front facing to make up my mind. I want to see if I can find some time to practice with them before I mentally commit...

October 10, 2010

I'VE HAD A REALLY FULL WEEKEND...

Last weekend was spent cleaning out my attic - if you can fathom that. It wasn't a job for the faint at heart as I had been putting off for YEARS! Three things prompted this big attic cleaning project:

  1. I needed to back away a little from the Lady Grey Project which has consumed me;
  2. A friend need some of my excess for a rummage sale to raise monies for her son's much needed math tutoring lessons and a school trip to Washington, D.C.. So this was a win, win situation, it helped her out, and helped me out because she carted away excess that I needed to go through and purge;
  3. Now that the attic had been purged, I had room up there to put boxes and other things from the closet in my sewing room that I'm not quite ready to part with as of yet. This created more storage room in that closet for sewing related stuff.
WOW, what a job that was. Up and down the stairs, but so worth it in the end. I am slowly revamping my sewing space to make it more convenient, less cluttered, and a prettier place to work.

My BFF from New York visited for a couple of days this weekend. We made a stop at Charming Charlie's to peruse the latest in affordable costume jewelery. I was very good and came away with only one necklace. She loves the Flea Market so we put in several hours at the one in Macon yesterday. I was trying to be so careful not to buy too much junk to cart home (because I'm supposed to be purging after all). But, I always keep my eyes peeled for things I can use in the sewing room so I did pick up a couple of things:

This little rack that I've already put up to hang my shears. It was only $2.00.
Prior to this I had hammered big old nails in the wall to hang them on. I think this looks much, much better.

This over the door hanger was also only $2.o0. I hung on the sewing room door
where I'm always hanging my sewing projects.

and this little jar for 50 cents. I put some of my button collection into it, and
I want several more to go along with it. I think it provides nice see through storage.

Afterward we made our way to the Georgia National Fair to check on my exhibit entries. I had 6 entries, but only 3 of them placed to my surprise.

This jacket which was supposed to be a two piece entry received first prize.
This wasn't even my best work! I ran short of the fabric and had to piece meal the
ruffle on the sleeve. The pants to the jacket ended up as a separate entry and didn't place at all.

My faux Chanel Suit took a second prize. Wow, a quilted jacket, an invisible zipper
and a months worth of work. I was really amazed that that it didn't earn a
first prize ribbon.


My sweater knit cardigan with the cowl neck top that I really love
did earn a third place ribbon. I wonder how they knew these two pieces went together (a bit of sarcasm there).

All in all I know I should be happy that I placed at all. This was my second year and I can't help think that you need to belong to the "good ol boy club" to earn one of those fabulous "Awards of Excellence". My only problem is, I don't know how to get into the good ol boy club. Will I enter again,... probably so. Not that I really need it, but I am determined to win one of those state of the art sewing machines.

There were TOO many people at the fair, and we must have walked 10 or 12 miles. We were exhausted, and I never am able to eat all that I plan on eating - wouldn't be able to afford it if I could...

October 5, 2010

TAMING OF THE SHREW...


Here stands the Lady Gray coat muslin that I posted about almost two weeks ago.

I am actually really ashamed to say that since that time I have come down with a sad case of "Sewing Paralysis". Oh, I've had this dreaded sickness a couple of times in the past, but thank God they were only minor cases that never lasted very long. This malady, caused by a lady (the Lady Gray Coat), I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy!

In the interim I did make another muslin but didn't like it at all - went back to my first one instead. But time ticks on and so does the sew along. I feel as though everyone else is speeding right past me. I did start a post since my last one but didn't publish it. I should have, and named it "I should be sewing, but I'm not" or something similar. What started out looking like such a simple project has turned into FITTING UNIVERSITY. I guess this coat will be my diploma or sheepskin if I may. I've read and re-read all of my fitting books. I've had numerous FITS of protest if you can imagine. For a person who sews as much as I do, I am just totally shocked at my reaction to this project. I love to learn! I was once even profiled "ever learning Faye". Maybe it was my initial quest to create "the perfect little cute purple coat" that got to me.

At any rate, those you who know the word of prayer, PLEASE PRAY FOR ME. I'm off now to enlarge my pattern just a little bit to be able to incorporate an underlining, because temperatures have drastically dropped in Middle Georgia and this light weight wool flannel ain't gonna cut it for very long without one. You will be hearing from me very soon...

P.S. meant to say inner-lining...