December 31, 2009

MY LAST 2009 POST...

I had planned on getting some year end sewing done today to complete a couple of my sewing goals. But, as you know, things don't always go as planned. During my long drive home from my visit with my daughter I had fond visions of closet cleaning and some major de-cluttering going on up in here. What I didn't plan on was coming down with the creeping crud! In spite of all my handwashing, dressing properly and the rest I still got it.
My mind wants to do some productive things, but my body is screaming "get some rest". I did make a pot of beef stew (comfort food) rather than a pot of soup - and it did hit the spot.

On the sewing side of things, I did make 5 pairs of PJ bottoms while on vacation. My Mother says that working with all of that flannel may have aggravated my sinuses - I tend to agree with her especially since they produced so much lint when I pre-washed and dried them. But I'm so glad that I got them done. My kids really appreciate the handmade jester. I call it creating memories. I also did some repair work while I was there. Replacing buttons, mending and even replaced a front fly zipper in a pair of pants - which is not an easy task for me. I am so glad that I took all of my sewing stuff with me. Me and Bessie (sewing machine) felt right at home in my Daughter's dining room.

Still didn't make it to Mary Jo's Cloth World. They closed early on Christmas Eve (I had called before hand to get their hours) so I didn't get there on the way up. And traveling back I wanted (needed) to get past that Charlotte morning traffic as quickly as possible. I drive, but I don't do heavy traffic very well. Lord help me! Maybe I get to Mary Jo's the next time I go up for a visit.
As you can imagine, I really didn't need anything anyway - just wanted to have a look.

My Daughter did take me to both Hancocks and JoAnn's there in Greensboro. I picked up a nice piece of black ponteroma that I've been wanting and was unable to get here (used my one and only 40% coupon on that) and also a nice weight taupe knit. I got in on the zipper sale - think I got 6 or 7, picked up thread and a few buttons. I also got a clear embroidery foot, a pin tuck foot, and a joining foot, because I'm trying to build up my collection. Now all I need is that ruffler, a walking foot and a rolling foot - unless there are others that I don't know about. If you know of any more - please let me know.

I'll review my '09 sewing year as soon as I feel a little better. Until then Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year...

December 23, 2009


Just how many times did I try on these pants in the construction process! I wish I had actually kept count.

Originally I committed to three pair of pants for the Month of Pants Sewalong. This my third pair. In my last post I wrote about the trials of picking loose all of the stitched and serged seams. Talk about thread everywhere! I even laid down a big beach towel to catch thread and afterward took it outside and shook it off. I think that work paid off though as you can see here in my third pair. Much, much better than pairs one and two thanks to Gwen. I have minimal wrinkling on the right side. I guess I must have marked the waistband area a little crooked on that side - thus the wrinkles there. I cut into my buttonhole at the waistband (dang), but all and all I don't think they are bad at all. Glad I finally get to say that! I have ALMOST reached total satisfaction! On my next pair I think I'll wait until I have help caulking the waist seam and I know the next pair will be even better. Having this good of result lets me know the technique really works. Sometimes even when I know the answer to fixing a problem I still can't figure out in my head exactly how it's going to work. It's always so nice when it actually works.

Wrinkling on the legs should disappear wearing real shoes

I haven't had cuffed pants in eons so I decided to add them to this pair for variety. Since the sewalong has been extended through January, I plan on making 3 more pair that will, like this pair, have matching jackets eventually.

Only a few more days left to work on my goals. Me and Bessy (my sewing machine) will be traveling tomorrow, and we'll be making PJ's for the four grands while visiting. In addition, I think I'll pack up a couple of things to work on for myself while there to try and knock out a several of my lingering 2009 sewing goals.

Don't think I'll post again until after Christmas so in the meantime, please be safe and enjoy your families!

December 22, 2009


WOW, there really should have been more progress on my third and final pair of pants for the Sew-A-Long. I guess there would have been if I hadn't been doing some dreaded sleep sewing that I didn't discover until last night. I've been working on fitting the crouch of the pants to eliminate front wrinkles. I'm convinced, as Gwen suggested, that the problem is caused because the front crouch area is too long. After she made this suggestion I pulled out my sewing books to get a clearer idea of how to shorten the crouch area. I should have waited until she emailed me back with her suggestion on just how to do that. I used Nancy Zieman's slide method to shorten the crouch area 1 1/2" back and front for a total of 3". Well, this resulted in the crouch being just a little too short, and a few wrinkles still spoiling the front view.

I though I could live with the "little too short crouch", but was still unsatisfied with the wrinkles. While at work yesterday, I toyed with the idea of taking everything apart in order to restitch the crouch for a little more room (that would involve removing stitched seams and SERGER stitching in the inner leg and side seams). I decided that was too much work - I'd just deal with them and use Gwen's simple solution on the next pair. I was getting ready to attach the waistband AND GUESS WHAT I DISCOVERED??? I had sleep sewn and serged the wrong side of the pants back to the right side of the pants front! They were all sewn together including the center back seam. WILL SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME THAT THEY HAVE DONE THIS BEFORE?

This fabric is a nice quality light weight wool (unlike the last pair of pants I made) both from my New York shopping trip. So rather than chunk them in the dumpster out next to the street, I felt I had to try to rectify my sleep sewn mistake. I was up until 3 A.M. picking and pulling. My plan is to attempt re-cutting the crouch area, stitch and serge them back together with the seam allowance I have left, and make Gwen's adjustment (which is tying a piece of elastic at my waist over the pants, and just pulling them up until the wrinkles disappear, and them chalking a new stitching line around my waist. (long sentence, but I had to get that in there). Additionally, adding the seam allowance before stitching.

Gwen says she got this tip from Pants for Real People. I've started to buy that book before, but kept stalling. I went to two stores looking for it yesterday, and of course I couldn't find it. I'll get it from Amazon as soon as I can because I do need. THANKS GWEN! Now it's on with the show, I'll let you know how everything turns out...

December 18, 2009


Don't you just love Laverne Ross's work. I chose this print to show the colors that I feel every year on December 18th. Birthdays are still special, no matter how many you've had.

P.S. If I sew tonight it would be sleep sewing...I'd better go to bed.

December 17, 2009


I finished my second pair of pants for the sew-a-long. This fabric was purchased during my very first garment district excursion last summer. (I'm still thanking God that I had not only the opportunity to make that trip, but that I got to enjoy a full day in the city with my two little sisters - Brenda and Pat.) English Wool Design OC is printed on the fabric selvage. Is anyone familiar with this type fabric? I remember the fabric being much thicker, but it turned out to be thinner than I thought. I had enough of this fabric to make a matching jacket, but I don't think I like the weight or feel of the fabric enough to invest the time and effort it would take to make it.

I decided to take the slightly twisted waistband off completely and re-construct it so I would be happier with the finished product. Then while sewing sleep (you know what I mean), I accidentally cut the the length too short. I attached some lace hem tape and turned up a faux hem to rectify that problem. Instead of hand stitching I used black fusible hem tape. I knew I wouldn't be able to hand stitch the hem with the dreadful pick marks - which I hate by the way.

I've got a few wrinkles across the front that I can't explain.

I plan to start another pair tomorrow to meet my commitment of 3 pair this month...

December 15, 2009


I officially completed my degree today - Hallelujah and Amen!

I just read in a post that the Month of Pants has been extended another month. IS THIS TRUE?, IF SO...GOOD!, because I'm actually behind with my second pair. I must have missed the post about the extension. I worked on then a little last night - should have just gone to bed instead. My waistband is slightly twisted???, and I accidentally cut the length off a little too short. I started removing the waistband last night, and I think the length thing is salvageable if I do a false hem using hem tape. Moral of the story, don't try to sew when you are tired! I am going to work on the waistband just a little tonight to straighten it out or replace it entirely. I'll get them finished before the week is over.

Smoking Needles is on to something with her information on pants crouch adjustments to fit curvy bottoms. I've heard other bloggers say that they use a similar method, but had never seen it illustrated. She made the adjustment very clear with her drawing.

December 12, 2009


I finished my first pair of pants for the "MONTH OF PANTS SEW-A-LONG". I teetered back and forth when making these pants. In the middle of the construction process I was trying to decide whether to ditch the project or continue it through to the end. IT WAS THE FABRIC CHOICE, that made me teeter. It is a salt and pepper print on I don't know what kind of fabric. When I purchased it, I thought it would make a really nice matching jacket and pants. It was at such a reasonable price that I estimated the yardage to make the matching pair. I went ahead and made the pants because I had committed to the sew-a-long, but I don't think a jacket is going to materialize from this fabric. I think the pants are a good fit and I will be wearing them. I will be using this pattern again on my next pair.

In addition, I was nominated this Honest Scrap award by

Here are the rules:
1. Thank the person who gave the award and list their blog and link it.
2. Share "10 Honest Things" about yourself.
3. Present this award to 7 others whose blogs you find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged you.
4. Tell those 7 people they've been awarded Honest Scrap and inform them of these guidelines in receiving the award.
My time blogging time has been sort of limited lately, so I really don't have time to nominate 7 other people. So, any one who reads here can just pick it up for themselves.

Here are 10 Honest Things about me...

1. I hate it when people tell be what I'd better do.

2. I also hate it when people waste my precious time.

3. I also hate it when people belittle my hobby, especially when they don't even have one.

4. I hate it when I procrastinate - but I often find myself doing it.

5. I hate that I can't seem to get organized.

6. I really like to watch television, especially while I'm sewing.

7. I really like old movies. I don't even mind if they are in black and white. Last night I watched "The Portrait of Dorian Gray", have you ever seen that one?

8. I think I've read more this year than any other time in my life.

9. I was not happy AT ALL when I found out that I had to work towards my Technical Studies Degree. During the last 22 months I have cursed, cried, moaned, groaned as well as come down with a skin disorder associated with all the stress I've been through; in short, I have been a big baby about it. My Mother encouraged me all the way, I have to apologize to her, because she was the one who had to listen to all my venting. PLEASE FORGIVE ME MOTHER!!! But now that it's all over, I am so proud of my self and glad that I did pursue it.

10. I like people and like spending time with them too; however I value my alone time just as much....

December 7, 2009


I was torn as to whether grade this pattern down a size and make an entirely new muslin; OR do as Lynelle suggest and just take the existing muslin in 3/4" in all seams. I opted to do the latter, and increased all seams by 3/4". The pants fit/feel so much better. Not too loose, too tight.

(Yes, I'm talking on the phone. Everytime I try to fit something the phone always rings.)

I took David Coffin's pants book to read at break today. There is so much valuable construction information in his book especially on front fly zippers and pockets. And I am so glad the book came with a DVD.

Now I need to decide on the fabric to use for my first project for the Month of Pants, because I'm cutting them out tonight.

December 6, 2009


I need Blogger help! I use to be able to click on my pictures once posted in order to enlarge them. Since I switched computers I can no longer do that. Can anybody help me with a simple soultion to setting Blogger so I can click on the pictures in my post to enlarge them?

Does this make sense???


ANYTIME I venture into experimenting with a new pant pattern I have to make a muslin. I guess gone is the day when I can just look at a pattern's size and say "yes, this will work". That being said, I continue my search of the pant pattern that requires very few alterations. Since I have joined the new Month of Pants sew-a-long I've decided to give this slightly vintage Simplicity pattern a try. What constitutes Vintage anyway? I think I like this pattern because it has so few pieces (6 total), opposed to the last pants pattern I used that had almost 5 pieces just for the pockets. For me that just was not practical. I need as few pieces as possible, minimal alterations and a great fit. Is that too much to ask for???

I cut the pattern straight out of the envelope with only one change - increased the back seam allowance 1". I got that idea from using Simplicity 2700. I used a 5/8" seam when sewing it, so I guess that means that I added 1" to the back seam - right (There goes that math again!); baby's got back you know! This pattern was printed in 1978, and although it's multi-sized (included 3 sizes) there was no change or difference in the crouch curve printed on the pattern. I thought this was strange, but if it works - great.

I went ahead and put the zipper in this muslin and even pressed it after getting it together to get a better idea of how the pants would look.

I do hate trying to take pictures of myself, but hopefully they will help me determine if this pattern is a go or not by allowing me to look at different views of the fit. The pictures are awful but here goes.

All in all I think the fit is pretty good. I'm going to try it on again and sit around in it for a while to get more of a feel for them. I might take them in just a tad in the side and back seams. What do you think???????????? Yes or No? I will be pulling that David Coffin Pants book off the shelf for this.

December 4, 2009


In January I usually set goals, personal as well as those for sewing. All through the year my goals have hoovered around my subconscious, but now as year end fast approaches I need to see just how many of those remaining can be completed. I set ten sewing goals in January (SEE SIDEBAR). If I don't complete all ten - I will not be dismayed, but will simply move the uncompleted ones over into the new year.

  • Practice: Collar Stand Application
  • Practice: Hong Kong Finish
  • Practice: Invisible Zipper Application
  • Make Chanel Suit from fabric Mother gave me
  • Secret Sewing Goal

I know that I can complete my Chanel suit - the jacket is already DONE, and the skirt will not take too long to do. I could get some practice sessions done on the invisible zipper and the Hong Kong finish. Don't know if I'll get around to the Collar Stand application, and I'm absolutely sure I won't have time to tackle my Secret Sewing Goal. (Just what is my Secret Sewing Goal?...I'm not telling.) I'll will be very happy accomplishing eight of my ten goals this year.

In addition to giving some serious thought to completing my 2009 sewing goals, I have joined the newly formed MONTH OF PANTS sew-a-long started by Lynnelle at You sew, girl. With all of the tops I made last month I still need pants. I have worked with Simplicity's 2700 several times this year trying to perfect a TNT pants pattern, and I really thought this was it. After making several pairs of pants with that pattern, I'm still not completely satisfied with the fit. I'm committing to three pairs of pants for this sew-a-long, and will be trying this slightly vintage Simplicity pattern. I'll post my progress starting with a muslin and HOPEFULLY, these pants will fit perfectly the first time around....

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