2013 ESSENTIAL TOPS SEW-A-LONG FINISHED PROJECTS

May 29, 2010

A GRACIOUSLY ACCEPTED NEW AWARDS...



My new sewing inspiration, Carolyn, from way across the big pond recently gave me this award. Thank you so very much Carolyn, I will try to live up to it.

Someone else gave me the Sunshine Award a while ago (so sorry I can't remember who did, but I never got around to posting it. I just treat them as one award to get it taken care of. I think that I have to tell ten things about myself, and then select 5 other blogs upon which to bestow the awards. Here goes:

1. I was born in Georgia, but have lived in New York, California, back to New York, and now in Georgia again - this time for 31 years.

2. I became an instructor at the age that most people are starting to think about retirement. (Instructor for 8 years now) I am a FIRM believer that you are never too old to learn, and what ever you set your mind to can be achieved. I will be graduating for the empteenth time with a Technical Studies Degree on June 18th.

3. I'm a television watcher! However, I follow very few shows. Favorites are: Desperate Housewives, Gray's Anatomy, use to be ER & Boston Legal, and Project Runway. I am a HUGE Law and Order fan and frequently watch L&O marathons while sewing.

4. I recently started an exercise program (for the empteenth time); determined to get my skinny back and be a fashionista in my golden years. It's a work in progress for sure!

5. I respect "me" a lot, because many times "she" is the only person I can depend on.

6. I really enjoy spending time alone, and can ALWAYS find something to do to entertain myself (mostly sewing and internet). But, when it's time for people interaction I know how to enjoy that too.

7. I usually become overly obsessed with what I'm interested in at the time. My interests have of course changed from time to time. Once it was gardening, but for the past 3 years it has been with sewing - hope this obsession lasts and lasts and lasts because I am really enjoying the ride.

8. I love flowers and can identify quite a few varieties.

9. I am a green vegetable lover and so is my daughter and grand-children.

10. I am an exhalter by nature and God's gift. I love to make people feel good about themselves, and find it quite easy to do. I'm also a talker - at times, and I can make almost anybody laugh.

Carla Faye @ http://causeiwanna.wordpress.com
Sheila @http://sheilazcrochetz.blogspot.com
My homey Elaray @http://anothercreation.blogspot.com
Adelaide @http://craftprettysweet.blogspot.com; &
Myra @http://1simpleinspiration.blogspot.com

SEWING RELATED: I'm currently working on a jacket muslin that I actually need to finish today in preparation of tomorrow's sew-in.

ON THE HOME FRONT: I've started trying out new quick and easy healthier menus. I've been craving this Hibachi Shrimp dish from a local Japanese restaurant for about a week now. I finally had a chance to go there earlier this afternoon, and of course the don't open until 5p.m. WOW, and after I drove way out of the way to get there. I was starving (not a good thing) so I concocted my own recipe praying over it while I cooked; and GUESS WHAT! It tasted just like the dish from Genji's. I think I'm on to something here. Quick cooking keeps me out of starvation mode, is better for my health, and gets me back into the sewing room quicker.

Great food and lots of sewing time....PRICELESS!

May 28, 2010

CECIL...

Thanks for answering my post! I couldn't find your email address anywhere, but mine is fayedollatcoxdotnet...

May 27, 2010

CECIL - I'M CONFUSED....

....about the following comment from:

Cecil said...

Your dresses are really pretty and i have enjoyed reading your blog for some time. I've recently moved to Warner Robins from upstate NY and have been very disappointed that there is not much of a selection of fabric stores here. I still like to touch my fabrics before purchasing and really miss doing that. I was shocked that you mentioned Warner Robins...is that here in Georgia? I'm interested in finding some sewing buddies that enjoy making clothes...not crafts.

5/26/2010

Cecil you mentioned that you recently moved to Warner Robins from upstate NY, and later asked if Warner Robins is in Georgia....
To answer your question, yes Warner Robins is in Georgia. To my knowledge there is only one Warner Robins in Georgia. I also think there is only one WR in the US, but I may well be mistaken about that. Warner Robins, formerly Wellston was re-named after Colonel Augustus Warner Robins some 50 years ago. I may have mis-read your comment, but are you currently living in Warner Robins, Georgia? What part of upstate NY do you hail from? Are you military?
Yes, it is SO SAD that our fabric sources are so limited here, but I hear that Hancocks is expanding, and there will soon be a Joanne's in Macon which will be a big help! I am mostly into apparel sewing, however my two sewing buddies sometimes get heavily into crafts - but it all works out well because we each have our own areas of expertise (if you will), and help each other out. Are you male or female (asked because of the spelling of your name). Do you have email?

p.s. thanks for reading my blog!

May 23, 2010

AN EASY BREEZY WEEKEND...

I actually did not have a clear cut sewing plan for this weekend - all I knew is I really wanted to sew! I knew I wanted to finish my first ever dec project (a little home dec is in my 2010 goal list). I haven't talked about it here, pictures are forth coming as soon as it's finished. I didn't finish the project because I ran out of trim for the project. It's for a friend so I'll have to wait until she can come up with the extra.

I also knew that I wanted to make a quick dress (discussed in my last post). Quick dress, you know the kind that is so simple, but turns out looking like a million. I was so enthused with the outcome of the dress I completed yesterday....(I'm calling it my "PURPLE RAIN " dress),



and after being encouraged by my sewing buddies, I made another one. They encouraged me on to the second one because they think I have a large knit stash. Mind you, I don't think I have enough. But, being hyped by sewing success, I dug in and pulled another piece from the knit drawer.See, don't you think I need much, much more - like maybe two more drawers full - then I think I'd be happy!!!!

The two knit pieces I used this weekend came from my NYC shopping trip last summer - both from Metro Textiles. After I got the fabric home, I started having buyers remorse. Most of the fabric I bought there were much larger prints than I'm use too. When I looked at it after getting it home my first thought was "What in the world was I thinking??? What am I going to make from these big prints???" I was just so overwhelmed when I finally found that store, and he had such a large selection that I just bought - because I knew I wasn't leaving there empty handed. Well, I ran out of summer and had to start fall sewing so the huge print knits were packed back. Now that summer's here again I AM SO GLAD THAT I HAVE THEM, big prints and all, because there is nothing to be had in Warner Robins in the way of knits right now.

My second bold print success of a dress is called "POSIES IN THE JUNGLE".

Simple, yes! Fits well and comfortable. An easy to take care of, jump in and go dress that no one else in town has, that makes the wearer proud!!!

May 22, 2010

SO EASY - YOU COULD MAKE 12 IN A DAY....


...I'm speaking of McCall's 6074. I needed another quick, easy, breezy summer knit dress. ( I only have two or three obsessions-knit fabric being one of them.) So me and one of my sewing buddies (Ebony) were on the phone last night tossing up options to fit the bill. We simultaneously reviewed 4 or 5 patterns via the internet, blogs and pattern review, and with Ebony's youthful eye for detail, settled on M6074. Ebony is the fashion guru that helps me whenever there is a question as to whether a style is too matronly or whether it will age me. Mind you, I DO NOT MIND BEING A GRAND-MOTHER, as a matter of fact I am quite happy with my status. However, being a grandmother does not mean that I have to look like one. Now back to the dress - I really wanted something easy and quick, but cute. We couldn't find a review of this pattern anywhere, so I opted not to use my best knit to try it out. Instead I chose a knit that I like, but was not madly in love with (just sort of). So I guess I can call this a wearable muslin.
The pattern states: "1 Hour Dress". That description should mean quick and easy, and in this case it was true to it's word. The dress could actually be completed in just one hour. There are only THREE pattern pieces. Not three main pattern pieces, but just three. The 1 hour dress would have taken me only one hour, but (and you know there is always a but) I was sleep sewing last night, and serged the front side seam to one side of the center back. If I hadn't had to de-construct that seam I could have completed the dress last night well within an hour.

I didn't add any of my usual over thinking, "I know better than the instruction sheet" techniques to this project. I simply made it up following the exact directions. I really thought about adding self bias binding to the armholes and neckline - but you will be surprised to know, I held myself back. I am quite pleased with the way it turned out! Does it look like the pattern envelope? Exactly! I really thought it was going to turn out to be a mumu, but it's actually fitted throughout the waist area with full swing below the hip - rather jazzy for a three piece pattern with just four seams. I hemmed by machine, - a time saver. And now I have a new Sunday dress.Will I make another one? Not quite sure, although I do like the look and fit of the dress. I might make it again if I need a super quick project other than a top.

Saturday afternoon; the house is clean, the wash is done - think I might take a really short nap and then go to the gym for a couple of treadmill miles. Happy weekend all!.......

May 17, 2010

CAN ANYONE RECOMMEND SUITABLE FABRIC FOR MAKING SUMMER WHITE PANTS????????

After a month of tops, and six dresses, I am finally back to pants fitting again - in particular summer white pants. I think I made a pair of white pants last summer, or maybe it was the summer before, but alas, I was not actually happy with them after the first wearing. I think they were made from some type of white sportswear, but it turned out the fabric was really stiff even after washing several times. I'm not into rearing cardboard pants! During my 2009 Sewing Expo trip I bought some stretch cotton sateen for white pants because I had read some where that it was suitable for pants. I finally got around to using the sateen last week for my summer white pants. The results...wrinkled fabric that I really don't think I'll be able to iron to perfection. Egad!!! CAN SOMEONE PLEASEEEEEEEE RECOMMEND SUITABLE FABRIC FOR MY SUMMER WHITE PANTS??? I know what I'm looking for:
  • a fabric that is completely washable
  • something with a little stretch
  • something that I can at least press the wrinkles out of.
Does this type of fabric really exist??? Like I said before I tried sportswear, and I've also tried the gabardine that is available at Hancock's - and it has to much drape/or is a little too light weight. In searching the internet I found two stores that sell a stretch chino twill, but I don't know exactly what that feels like. I once owned a pair of RTW pants that were said to be chino and I LOVED THEM, but I'm not sure the stretch chino twill is the same thing.

Well, anyway, here's a picture of my wrinkly new summer pants. Will I wear them? Not sure yet.I worked with my slightly vintage TNT Simplicity pattern - which I still find myself tweaking. The last time I used this pattern I adjusted the crouch. This time I decided to go down a size because previous pairs were just too big on me. I had to finally realize that I am not size 20 in the hip area. In using this pattern before, I cut the larger size and just increased the seam allowances to fit. I decided that trying scale down the larger size was just creating too much work. Fitting fear has me bound. I always figure you can always decrease, but it's not always possible to increase the size. I'm just afraid of making the pants too small and wasting my fabric.

(shirt in to show the fit)
(did you notice that I installed my zipper to the wrong side. It was too perfect to remove, so I just left it in)

(Shirt out...shirt will be worn out)

I just need to do the buttonholes/buttons and hem and they will be finished. Then to see if I'll wear them.

May 9, 2010

WEEKEND SEWING GOALS MET...

I only had two sewing goals for the weekend:

1) Hush up the Jalie top pattern by getting it made, and;

2) Make up Butterick 5456 for Autumn, the student who does all of my photographs.

I'm so happy to report that both goals were accomplished! I just need to find pants to wear with the top that I've named "Pretty Sweet", because it's definitely being worn to work tomorrow. The fabric used is a really soft and nice feeling Wal Mart find. It's left over from a dress that I made for my Mom for Mother's day.

JALIE REVIEW: As I said before, I've seen this pattern all around sewing blogland. Although I've never sewn a Jalie before, the popularity made me lust after the pattern (I'M SURE YOU'VE RECOGNIZED THAT I AM A PATTERN HOG!). A quick review of the pattern instructions left me feeling a little intimidated at first, but I also felt compelled to take the challenge. While making the top I was reminded of a Bisquick Impossible Pie - the ones in which the crust miraculously rises to the top. During the construction I remember thinking "it will be a miracle if this works"...and so it was, because it did indeed work out.

After attaching the back and fronts at the shoulder seam, the right side of the collar is attached to the wrong side of the top. The top is then rolled into the collar - jelly roll fashion, and then the collar is sewn together to form a tube (that actually contains the entire top - minus the sleeves). You leave a 1" opening in the tube and then proceed to pull the back and fronts of the top through. When that is accomplished the result is a concealed seam that connects the collar to the top. GENUS!!! All that's left to do is sew the center seam, attach the sleeves, hem top and sleeves - and it's finished.

I also need to mention that the sleeves went in with a glitch. No need to gather or ease stitch, it just fit wonderfully! So no need to remove any sleeve ease - which I've started doing with all of my sleeves because I can't stand a sleeve pucker.

The pattern has three views, and I do intend on making the sleeveless version very soon. I think that this is a wonderful pattern. So, if you've been thinking about making it, know that it is a breeze to put together. I've officially coined this a TNT pattern.

Here's a picture of Autumn's Butterick dress. She got her fabric from Hobby Lobby according to the yardage requirements that I gave her. Mind you, the yardage I quoted her did not include the amount needed to line the bodice - DUH! So I had to rummage through my scrap box and lucky found a piece of poly-knit to make up the difference to line her dress. I wanted to kick myself for that mistake. I was not into making a Hancock run this weekend. Believe I am seriously trying to stay out of that store - trying to visit only every other week. My budget needs a break!

Here's the key holed back of the dress:


This time I just topstitched the neckline, arm hole area, and the keyhole area. The last time I made this dress I understitched the entire thing per pattern instructions and it was quite a miserable experience. Although I enjoy the benefits of understitching, when the pattern instructions tell you to understitch as far as you can go, right then and there you know it's going to be a difficult procedure.

All I need to do now is bag up the dress and put it in the car today so I won't forget to take it to school.

So that wraps up the sewing week for me. I'll be working Monday and Tuesday nights and then I can get back to sewing at night again. Now I'm off to start preparing for Monday, hope everyone is having a wonderful Mother's Day!

May 7, 2010

E D I M D....

HUSH! HUSH! SOMETHING IS CALLING MY NAME...

...it's this Jalie pattern. I've never made a Jalie, but was blessed with one by my sewiest friend, Adelaide, from clear across the country. THANKS AGAIN PRETTY SWEET! This pattern has shown up on sooooo many sewing blogs, and has no less than 27 Pattern Reviews - I know that you've seen it by now too.....

I guess the pattern knew that I have the next two days and three nights off, so it has been softly calling my name all day long. I guess taking the instructions to peruse at lunch today did nothing more than heighten the anticipation of getting home to the SEWING CAVE. You must know by now that I have a serious affinity for tops - and better yet, a knit top.

So, a Jalie muslin it is for this weekend and also another one of these (the short version):Butterick 5456 - I wore the first one I made yesterday and I love this dress, it's so comfortable.
The one I'll start this weekend is not for me this time, but rather for one of my student photographers. I guess I had to pay the piper one day... so it will be a dress for her. She purchased the fabric, and I'll take care of the labor of course.

I'll pull a work double on Monday and Tuesday of next week, and then I'll be back to my regular schedule. So lets see how far I get with my weekend sewing goals. Happy Sewing to each of you all, and Happy Mother's Day too (ESPECIALLY TO MY OWN MOM, YOUR PACKAGE IS FINALLY IN THE MAIL - and let us not forget - in the words of my own dear Mom: EDIMD (EVERY DAY IS MOTHER'S DAY)!

May 2, 2010

THE END OF THE SPRING MONTH OF TOPS SEW-A-LONG...

...increased work load, fatigue, and not feeling all that great kept me from meeting my sewing goals for this week. Oh well, that's the way things go sometimes. I had planned on finishing one last top by Friday to complete the sew-a-long (well, that didn't happen). I had also planned on cutting and completing another dress, but sometimes the best laid plans don't come to fruition. I did get the top finished on Saturday however, so I am still going to count it as my 6th for the challenge. Initially, I committed myself to only 4 tops, but pushed just a bit further because:
  • #1 I love having new tops - they give a little added boost to my wardrobe without a lot of effort. Most tops are easy to sew up (especially those made from knits).
  • #2 I felt that since I started the challenge, I should at least make 6.
I loved the tops that Sheila made for the sew-a-long from New Look 6915 so I borrowed her idea.It's been a great Sew-A-Long! It is so nice to interact with other sewists from all over the place. We've shared pattern/fabric choices, techniques, ideas and style. Here's a few sew-a-long stats:
  • 27 sewists signed up for the challenge (16 actually participated)
  • The blog amassed 22 followers
  • There were a total of 49 posts
  • A total of 44 tops were added to our wardrobes
I'd like to THANK everyone who participated! I had fun and hope that you did too....

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