June 27, 2015


I had some intense moments while participating in Michelle of ThatBlackChic's Blazer Sew-a-Long this week.  It was not for the faint of heart by any means.  When I first heard mention of the sewalong I already had the Simplicity pattern in stash.  Fell in love with it hot off the press and really wanted to make it.   But... had it not been for the sewalong, maybe I would have never gotten around to it.

Mmmmm, so what do I have to say about this week long event?
  • I learned some interesting techniques, really I did.  I had never really used bias tape successfully to trim a project.  Really was bit intimidated by it.  How to sew it on securely, and how to neatly apply the ends, and how to MITER those corners.  After this project I feel like I'm a bias trim pro!
  • LOVE the way the collar is attached to the jacket.  Effortless after applying the bias trim.
  • I can't ever remember making coat/jacket with a sleeve vent.  This was the part that I really feared.  I now have that fully under my belt.
  • I've worked with several projects that involved a two piece sleeve before.  I have to admit setting the sleeves in this jacket did test my patience.
  • Michelle is an EXCELLENT instructor.  I'm looking forward to her next sew-a-long!
Of course I thought I had to add some couture/tailoring techniques to the project:  (in hindsight wish I hadn't - they just take too much time and effort.  But for some reason I just can't make my self stop doing these things). 
  • Used hongkong seam finishes everywhere including the shoulder and sleeve seams.
  • Stabilized the shoulder seams.
  • Added a back hem vent.

I am very pleased with my finished project.

Thanks to all that cheered me on and listened to me bellyache during this jacket making process.  I know you  cringe  every time I announce "I'm about to make a jacket."  You are my friends, my support team don't run and hid - continue to hang in there with me - there will be other jackets!!!!

June 26, 2015


Happy Friday everbody. 
I'm still in hot pursuit of finishing my Simplicity 1421 blazer.  I did complete the very scary (to me) sleeve vents.  They turned out not be too hard after all.
The "That Black Chic" Blazer Sewalong" officially ends today; but due to sewing machine problems yesterday I was thrown behind just a bit.  But, with all indications of today's work I'll probably finish up tonight or early tomorrow.

Hope your Fri was all YAY!!!

June 23, 2015


...If I love making jackets and coats so much, why oh why do I whine through the entire process.  And you know that my poor Mother is the main recipient of all my whimpering.

  • who ever coined the phrase "Rippin Ain't Easy" did not lie.

  • I spent quite a bit of time un-stitching top stitched seams yesterday after I discovered it just wasn't going to work.   Every seam puckered due to top stitching - and I actually thought that I could press them smooth, but nope - that didn't work.   I think it was due to the the amount of stretch in this fabric.

  • I applied hong kong finish to the majority of  seams.  After I was finished I thought "if I hadn't already done all of this work - I'd stick a lining in this puppy and call it a day"!  Alas, I am very pleased with the end results.
  • Managed to match the vertical strips with on pockets.
  • and I'm quite pleased with my interfaced back hem.

  • I jumped the gun with the collar construction.  Trimmed it for turn of cloth and pad stitched as per my usual before reading the pattern instructions or watching Day 2 of the That Black Chic video.  Serves me right!, had to cut a new under collar - cause construction for this collar is totally different from regular traditional methods.
  • I was a little intimidated by the bias trim process, but guess what??? with the help of an exceptional instructor got it right on the very first try!!!

Well tomorrow is another day.  Stay tuned for continued progress...

June 19, 2015


HaHaHa! She's here ya'll!  Let's all turn up!

 Just kidding.  About the only thing I'll be turning up on is this Simplicity 1421 pattern..

  Since the sew-a-long start's on Sunday, I thought I'd go ahead and get all the million pattern pieces separated.  There's a million because the pattern is sized to fit different cup sizes, which is a good thing, but creates more work for me. -  Oh well.
Needed to separate this thing out so as not to confuse myself.

Since it's FABULOUS FRIDAY, my plan is to make a quick (oxymoron because nothing is evah quick) and dirty muslin to check for fit issues before the actual sew-a-long begins.

In the meantime, HAPPY FABULOUS FRIDAY!!!

June 18, 2015


...I know it isn't Saturday, (usual day for cutting table status pictures) but I thought I'd better take control and stop clutter in it's tracks NOW.  IT'S A SHAME, but posting these status pictures help keep me out of the dark hole of sewing room clutter.  Hey; what ever it takes...

This afternoon (Before)

(After)  Only took ten minutes to clear. Time well spent.
McCall's 6751 used for the third time this season.  This time for my supervisor's birthday. This is turning out to be a great summer time easy breezy top.

What's going on in your Sewing Life???

June 17, 2015


...I've decided to join Michele's (ThatBlackChic) Blazer Sewalong:

  • I haven't made a structured Summer jacket in quite some time. 
  • Aside from the fact that we had temperatures of 100+ degrees (record set in the 1940's) here today - I still need a jacket at work.  Oh Dear God I do so thank you for air conditioning (although it's almost painful at times)!
  • Even if I don't wear the blazer a lot this Summer, it will work just as well for Fall.
  • Since I haven't promoted a sew-a-long myself in a while, I think it'll be fun to join in on someone elses.
  • I figure it's time that I learn something new - which I'm sure I will with this blazer. (The cuffs in the picture are scaring me a little bit already.)
  • I was so inspired following her (and all the other ladies) during the Pretty Girls Sew Rippin Ain't Easy (RIP) Challenge all those weeks. 
 So I'm in the process of gathering up all my supplies and making a fabric choice because the sew-a-long starts on Sunday, June 21st.  Here's hoping that my blazer will be F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S!!!

June 16, 2015


...has this ever happened to you?
The yardage you thought you had turns out to be only a remnant

I went stash diving recently and discovered this nice animal/floral print challis that I thought would  make a nice flowy summer top.    But then surprise,  turns out that it's only a nice sized remnant - I can't even remember when I cut it.  How many times has this happened? - far too many! 
I was talking with Rochelle (Smoking Needles) last weekend and she mentioned that she got this nifty remnant control method from Sheila (Sheila CTK ).
Roll/fold nice sized pieces of  left over fabrics (that are too large to throw away) and secure with a rubber band.  When you pick up one of these bundles later, you'll automatically know it's a remnant that's already been cut into - simple but genius.  I knew that box of rubber bands would come in handy one day.

A great idea that traveled from New York to Michigan to Georgia -What state will it travel to next???

June 14, 2015


...that most, if not all of the pretty Aztec prints that I'm so highly attracted to are actually strips that need to be matched!  I try to steer away from Aztec prints, I really do, but the colors are usually so vibrant and tend to draw me in.

I used this fabric to make a top for my daughter earlier and there was just enough left to make the same top for me.
McCall's 6751, view D

I did not want to cut the the pattern on the single layer that allows me to easily match my strips and patterns - I was lazy - so I took a chance and cut it on the fold.  Cutting double on strips, plaids or checks doesn't always work out for ME.  It did this time however,

Side seam match-up
The pattern suggested finishing the armseye and neckline with a narrow hem or purchased bias tape.  I got a wonky finish by turning under and hemming, and I hate to use purchased bias tape in these areas.  So I made my own self fabric binding using this tutorial.

Another white pant or jean top...

June 12, 2015


 I know you agree - Fridays are just so fabulous!  Matter of fact we should go ahead and rename all 52 of them Fabulous.  

Dinner's planned, I'm in the sewing room (of course) and to top it off - it just started raining.  How good can it get - really!   I'm actually thinking about starting to work on (one) of the piles of fabric sitting under the cutting table.   So many POSSIBILITIES down there. 

I know -  IT'S SUCH A SHAME!
 But if I sew some of it up, then I won't have to find a suitable place to stash it - right? 
NEXT UP:  McCall's 6751 View D in an Aztec challis.
This will be my third time making this pattern - once for me and once for my daughter.  Love it!!!

June 11, 2015


...no kidding, the office and lab that I work in during the summer is just that cold.  Sometimes I have to go outside just to warm up my fingers and toes.  So I have to take a jacket, sweater or blanket (just kidding) with me every day.  So I though Butterick's 5926 knit jacket would work out just find for me.  I wore it to work yesterday with white pants - took pictures but hated them - so you get to see my dressform version instead.
I loved this fabric when I saw it at Fines and knew at the time of purchase that I would use it with the Butterick jacket pattern.  Lovely fabric, but thought it was the weight of the pontederoma I'm use to buying - it wasn't - but rather akin to a sweater knit in the way that it handled and sewed up.  Removing misguided stitches was a picky nightmare, and so was making the buttonholes.  The fabric is so picky (hope you know what I mean) that the garment will definitely need to be hand washed.  Oh well, it gets the job done, it will get worn and I do plan on making it again in a beefier knit later on.

I am very proud of the stripe matching.  I hated the pattern instructions for the collar so I "did it my way" and it worked out fine.  Because I did the collar the "Linda Faye" way I had to draft a back neck facing to end up with a nice finish on the inside. 

All in all this is a really good pattern (sans the collar instructions) and there will be one or two more in my future...

June 2, 2015


....I only have about a million and one important things that I should be doing - but felt the need to get a little sewing in. 
I call it Tuesday Night Sneaky Sewing
Butterick 5926 jacket muslin still in progress.  The collar is giving me a FIT...

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