Sunday, January 29, 2012

Do you have rhythm?

I haven't been working on anything fun this weekend because I've been doing things like hemming pants and sewing buttons.  I'm also making some adjustments to the clothes I made for the grandkids for Christmas.  It's not as much fun as making them in the first place.

I guess I lied a little bit.  I did spend quite a bit of time today playing with pattern ideas for my blouse I am making next, my "inspiration fabric" blouse.  Since I wasn't actually sewing, I guess didn't count that as sewing time.  :-)  There are so many little things to consider when finalizing the details for a new garment.  How wide to make the cuffs, whether to have a full button front or just a tab/placket, whether to cut the placket/band and ruffles on the bias, etc. Such problems, eh?  I'm fortunate because we're empty nesters and other than working full time, I have quite a bit of free time.

Do you find that you have a rhythm or routine to your projects, whether they are sewing or other crafting projects?  I am one who cannot deal with multiple sewing projects at a time.  I'd never be able to keep tracking of what I was doing, where everything was, what changes I intended to make, etc.  I'm much happier working on one thing at a time.  I find that I tend to start a new project late in the weekend, and work on it during the week.  It takes me a week or two to finish one garment, but I sometimes spend a lot of time researching the best way to do things, as I'm still learning a lot of sewing techniques.

I will have a line drawing of  my next project on the blog as soon as I finish the puttsy (sp?) things I'm working on.

So, what is your rhythm or routine?  Or do you just go with the flow?  How many projects do you have going at once?  Do you primarily spend your time sewing or do you spread your talents across other hobbies?

Thanks for stopping by and keep on sewing!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Princess Seams Conquered!

I have completed the vest!  As usual, this was drafted from Wild Ginger's Patternmaster Boutique (PMB5) software.  It is a princess seam vest with side panels and button front. The fabric is from Hancock Fabrics and is a brushed polyester with a slight nap to it. There is an underlying bright blue metallic thread that doesn't show up in these pictures. As I mentioned before, the shiny fabric is just the "wrong" side of the fashion fabric.  I thought the contrasting stripes would make a cool effect.  I was inspired by this dress created by The Slapdash Sewist.

The other "new" thing I did was to line this vest.  I had made one lined light-weight jacket before this, but that was with a Big-4 pattern and I just followed the directions. This one I had to figure out how to get the garment together given that I decided to line it AFTER I'd already assembled the vest.  I realized that the fashion fabric would probably stick to the shirt underneath and needed a slippery lining.  The lining is just blue polyester "lining material" from Hancock Fabrics.I am still learning about bagged linings, but more or less accomplished that with this one.  I ended up having to fold in the seam allowances on the armholes and top-stitch them, as that was my last opening between the vest and the lining. Long live WonderTape!  I had never used it before, but it was just the ticket to help keep the folded seam allowances and lining together while I top-stitched the armholes.

The vest fits quite well and all-in-all I'm quite happy with it.  I thought about making side vents but was also afraid they might stick out rather than lay flat. I had originally planned on this being a jacket but was unsure how it would work out, so made a vest instead.  I still have enough fabric to make a jacket and pants to go with it, so will start on the jacket soon.  

However, my next sewing venture is a long sleeved blouse from my 2012 inspiration fabric.  

I'm picturing a band collar with narrow ruffle, likewise ruffles on the cuffs and the front button band, something like this picture borrowed from Etsy shop HeightOfVintage:

I'm happy to have the vest done in time to wear it to my very-part-time job at a local sewing shop, the Cedar Falls Sewing Center.  I always like to wear something I made and I don't have many of those yet!

Until next time, 

Sew on, friends!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Better color

Quick update:  I made some progress on the vest - so far, so good.  And I succeeded in getting a picture that gives a better rendition of the colors.  Natural light is a good thing. As I mentioned before, the shiny fabric is simply the back of the brushed/textured fabric.

I'm leaning towards dark blue for topstitching, what do you think? (See end of previous post)


Sew on, friends!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Biting my fingernails! or Princess seam anxiety!

It's time to get my nerve up!  I was was planning on making a princess seam jacket to wear over slacks/jeans, but I've never done princess seams before. I have several yards of this fabric that I bought on sale, so I decided I could make a vest first, not worry about sleeves in case it didn't work out. As usual, I drafted the pattern using PatternMaster Boutique software.  If the first attempt works out okay, I'll have a vest that I can wear with or without the jacket. If it doesn't, I won't have put in as much work and materials as I will for the final jacket.

The fabric appears to be a woven brushed polyester.  It is dark blue and there is a subtle light blue metallic thread in the background.

Okay, time to vote.  For my topstitching, should I use dark blue thread that will blend in, or fancy light blue thread to coordinate with the metallic background thread?

Sew on, friends!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Inspiration fabric

It was supposed to be just a short vacation to visit family but in reality it was a fabric shopping trip.  I was in the Twin Cities (MN) and got to go shopping at SR Harris, Mill End Textiles and Treadle Yard Goods with my SIL, who is also a sewist.  

If you haven't been there, SR Harris is a mega warehouse (30,000 sq ft) fabric store, with all fabrics at 50% off retail always. Allow 2-3 hours if you are browsing. They have a wide variety of standard and specialty fabrics. Here is a link to a 2011 video posted by SharonSewsShe also posted about the "Pattern Review 10th anniversary" shopping trip to SR Harris and other stores.

Mill End Textiles is a upper midwest chain store with discounted fabrics. The prices are about what you would get at Hancock or Joanns during a good sale, but you don't have to have a coupon or go during a sale (though I was there in early December and everything was an additional 30% off! Polartec 200 fleece for $3.99/yd!).

And now for something completely different...Treadle Yard Goods is a small, full service store with select stock of quality fabrics. They stock many natural fabrics, patterns from independent designers, and interesting buttons, as well as offering classes.  I bought some chambray to make a shirt. I hadn't found that at either of the other two stores that I went to.

So, the point of this post is my 2012 inspiration fabric that I found at Mill End Textiles.  I didn't want to randomly shop for fabric.  I've done enough of that in my time.  I found a plaid patchwork fabric that was labeled as burgundy, navy, and forest green and decided this could be my theme for the year. I plan to make this into a long sleeved blouse of some sort.  And look at it this way, with this fabric I won't have to worry about lining up my plaid lines! 

I don't have a SWAP project planned, but at least am going to mostly make things that will go together. My "fashion" style is quite casual. I wear scrubs at work and rarely dress up.  (In fact, I'd have to think hard to remember if I even own an actual dress).  Even though my clothes are casual, I still would like to have things that can go together and layer well, as opposed to the semi-random collection that is currently in my closet.

Sew on, friends...