2013 ESSENTIAL TOPS SEW-A-LONG FINISHED PROJECTS

August 30, 2012

I DO SO LOVE MY SEWING ROOM...

...through the years I've had sewing spaces in almost every area of my apartments or house you could imagine. 
  • I've used the kitchen table and cut my fabric kneeling on the floor - of course I was younger then,
  • sewed in my daughter's bedroom when she was a very little girl,
  • once I used one side of the dining room as my studio,
  • even sewed in the living room on a coffee table while sitting on the couch,
  • my favorite sewing table for a very long time was my childhood desk.  It was made of metal and had sentimental value - finally got rid of it, but I still think about it from time to time.  Once I had it sitting in one side of a double closet in my bedroom - even had a light installed above it for a very nice setup though a little cramped.
  • used a 6 ft. table on a wall adjacent to my bed - had two machines set up on it at all times.
 Wish I'd taken pictures of all my sewing areas - but the memories are embedded in my mind, and a little bit in my heart.   Of all the places I've sewn I love my dedicated sewing room most of all.  Of course it's not big enough, and I'm forever thinking about making changes - but all in all its one of my favorite places to be in the whole wide world.





Why the sewing room sentiments???  Well, my room is about to be dismantled once again.  This time to guess what?... REMOVE THIS BOTHERSOME CARPET!!!  If you've ever sewn in a room with carpet you know the deal... thread, hidden pins, just a real mess.  The carpet should have been removed after the room was painted, but hindsight as they say is 20/20.  It's coming out now, and that's all that matters. I'm ELATED!  Refinishing the living room floor was such a success, and I'm hoping for the same for this room too.

Shouldn't take long, but that's never the case.  Regardless I'm not going to be put out of commission -  I've sewn every where.  So I'll relocate to the kitchen again - who needs to cook anyways???? 
 

August 25, 2012

Un montón de pantalones...


....Pants fit so well into my work wardrobe - they just work for me.  As many pairs as I've made in the pass, I still find myself wanting needing more.  How many pairs of pants does one need??? What's a good number?  Since I do like variety in the way I dress, it behooves me to continue my quest for the ever elusive proper fit.

Of course you've seen me write about my famed TNT pants pattern.  I've worked with it a lot, but still, each and every time I use it - they still need lots of tweaking to fit and for me to be happy.

I've avoided jeans for a long time due to my fear inhibition to dealing with the back yoke part of them.  I need new jeans, and since I've had about 5 yards of stretch denim stashed for a couple of years decided "why not just make denim trousers?".  So that's exactly what I did.  I finished them last weekend but didn't have time to post.  Took them for a test drive yesterday, and although comfortable - they were just too big in the hip area.  Egad, I made Mom jeans.

An easy fix -  just removed 3/4" of ease from side seam in the hip area.  So this morning I hopped up and made the alteration.  Now I pleased.


I am still dealing with getting over the fear of making REAL JEANS.  I think REAL JEANS might be my next project, just need to decide which pattern to use.  I know I have several McCall's and one or two Vogue jean patterns on hand.  Mmmmm we'll see.

All in all I think I do pretty well with my pant's fitting - but it does involve quite a bit of work.  

I also finished another pair of pants from the same pattern last weekend.  They are from a light weight black pin stripped suiting fabric that I got from WalMart a few years ago.

 My sewing plans for fall will include dresses and skirts and tops and a few jackets; but I'm sure there will be even more pants too.

How about you; how many pairs of pants round out your wardrobe???.....

August 15, 2012

A WELL OILED MACHINE...

...I know we all feel the same - there is nothing like a smooth running sewing machine.  I can't tell you how many Saturday mornings find me rushing to get dressed in order to take a machine in for repair.  This past Saturday my main Singer was sewing pretty well, but just didn't sound right.  Since I'd planned a full day of sewing, I needed to get this checked out right away.  Mr. Baggett, my sewing machine repairman, closes promptly at 12 noon on Saturday.

I tell you - I love this man!!!

Doyle Baggett
Mr. Baggett celebrated his 80th birthday on Saturday.  We have the nicest talks, and he teach me so much.  You'd be amazed how much I don't know about a sewing machine.  He can make them purrrrr.  I told him that he just needs to fix me up a room and me and all my machines will move in with him.  I just wanted to give him some press for all he does for me....


August 12, 2012

PEPLUM STYLES...

...I just cannot seem to get enough of them.  And to think that I use to think that  peplum styles were not for me.  I thought that it would make my hips seem massive - but to the contrary this style tends to make the waist appear smaller, giving the illusion of an hour glass figure.  JUST WHAT I NEEDED!  I worked up my second Vogue 8815 this weekend  in a black peachskin that I scored for a song at WalMart while on vacation in New York earlier this summer.  And although I've used this pattern twice, I have visions of at least one more in the very near future.  I'm hankering for an animal print peplum, and it must come in to reality.
Front

Back

Black does not photograph well at all, and this black peachskin certainly doesn't press up ideally either, but I still needed to add pictures to document my project.  I love this Vogue pattern, but I'm still attracted to the details of  New Look 6130.  I incorporated the asymmetrical detail from the New Look pattern in my last top, and this time I borrow the slit center neck opening and added back and front neck facings.  Why don't I just go ahead and make up the New Look pattern and get it over with?  I just might do that for my visionary peplum - we'll have to wait to see. 

I love the invisible zipper in this top.  I think I mentioned before that I use the Colette tutorial every time I do this type zipper.  In case you didn't know, she has now added a video of the application,  found hereIt's clear and concise - I love it because it's a big help to me.

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It's NEW PROJECT SUNDAY so I'm off now to start my prep work.  Have a great week ya'll...,


August 7, 2012

PATTERN STORAGE...

...recently I bought 9 new sheers for the picture window of my creme de la creme living room.  This post is not about the sheers however, but rather the packaging they came in.

I trace off lots of patterns.  After tracing it's almost impossible to get the new traced pattern and the original pieces back in the pattern envelope.  I keep a box of cheap gallon size zip lock bags in my sewing room just for this purpose. 

I was just about to haul these out to the trash when my hoarder instinct (which I am fighting by the way) kicked in with the idea of using the packaging for pattern storage.

 


I've traced this pattern three times to add my own twist to the design.  (You know me, can't leave well enough alone.)  All of it fits perfectly in this little zippered bag. 

Me and my hoarder instinct are very happy with this...I'm just saying............... 

August 5, 2012

NEW PROJECT SUNDAY...

...I really only have few sewing rules that I try to abide by.  The most important of those being:
  •  DO NOT START A NEW PROJECT UNTIL THE LAST   ONE IS FINISHED. 
 That rule is designed to keep UFO's from flying around in my sewing room.  To date there's only one of those things flying around in here  - got to do something about that thing.  It was started way back in February, I'm ashamed to say.  The pattern Vogue 1250 - you know the most made dress in blog world or so it seems to me.  It just wasn't for me, maybe it was the fabric I chose,  I don't know.  I've tried to hide it, but every now and then it pops back up. 
Vogue 1250

I think it's the print - I can take it in small doses but not as a whole dress.  I could just cut it off for a top and just be done with it.  Then it'll become a thwarted UFO - how about that? 

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Do you feel a sense of relief when a sewing project is finished???  I certainly do - or maybe it's a feeling of release - meaning I'm released from the Old, so on with the New.  Thereby a finished project is the signal of a new beginning.

This week I finally got a pair of light weight linen pants completed - been trying to get to them all summer.  Used my old TNT pattern again rather than a new one, but for pants it works great - it fits, and that's a really important issue.  They were made from a light weight linen blend, nothing really special, but they were made to go with the chiffon top that I finished last week.
Butterick 5496
 
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I keep trying to get back to my "NEW PROJECT SUNDAY" regimen. If I can decide on a pattern and fabric, and prep and cut  on Sunday - then my 20 to 30 minutes of week day sewing can pay off in the form of a finished project at least by Saturday.   Yield:  52 garments per year.  I love simple math!


Looking forward to lots of brand new beginnings...

August 1, 2012

SCHOOL BELLS & TUNICS....


...can you believe that today was the first day of school here in my county?  Two months of summer flew right on by so today buses rolled, and bells rang as we embarked upon a brand new school term.

Even though school has started, temperatures still exceed 100 degrees everyday, so I guess I'm still sewing for summer.  I don't feel I got nearly enough summer sewing done over the past couple of months, so I guess I won't officially begin Fall sewing until September 1st.  I just can't fathom pulling out wools, corduroy, or double knits right now anyways.

Since I hadn't gotten around to making my two traditional tunics of the summer, this weekend I worked on Butterick 5496.
It's a simple tunic pattern with several variations.  I made View B (round neck with front tie),
Open seam sleeve detail

  •  lengthened the sleeve about 3 inches, and
  •  incorporated some of the sleeve design of View D.
  •  fabric used:  chiffoney print from Hancock's although I saw the same fabric at Joann's











Sewing this fabric was no walk in the park.  It's slippery and  slidey if you get my drift.  At first I thought that simply serging  the hems, turning up and stitching would be a quick and sufficient finish; but alas this proved results that I just couldn't live with.  This fabric does not lend it's self to successful un-stitching.   I had to go back in add Steam-A-Seam over all my stitched hems, and turn up and stitch again to satisfy myself.


After finishing my top, I noticed that Erica Bunker had just posted a silk chiffon tunic on her blog where she mentioned using Sullivan's Fabric Stabalizer  when working with this type fabric.  I made a trip to Hancock's and found the product there.  Too late for this top, but I wanted to have it on hand for the next time I pull more of this type fabric from my stash.


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Next up for me:  It's back to Pant Making 101.
What's on your sewing table?????



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