Monday, February 27, 2012

Long sewing weekend

Plaid Patchwork Blouse completed!  I think I like this blouse, but I do have some reservations.
It's the combination of the style choices and the fabric. Since it is a patchwork fabric, it has a lot of seams, which has the effect of making it somewhat stiff, not very drapey.  I'm not sure the casual (not fitted) shirt style I chose does well with the more formal ruffles and stiff nature of the fabric.
(click on pictures for larger images)
I chose the casual pattern style because it has few darts, which I thought would be a good idea given the number of seams in this fabric already.  

Also, the forearm area needs to be looser...
There are a few minor sewing mistakes, but nothing worth mentioning. ;-) Given that it is a cotton/poly blend, I am surprised how much the fabric wrinkled after being washed.  And it isn't easy to iron because all those seams raise the iron above a fabric a bit.   In spite of all that, I think the longer I wear the blouse, the more I'm going to like it.  It's the same as the "magic" that happens when you hang a newly made blouse in the closet for a few weeks and it comes out better than it went in.  ;-)

What worked well: 
 - longer shirt stays tucked in better (than previous shirt)
 - ruffles  :-)
 - serged edges - hard to fold over the edges with so many seams in this fabric, so all edges are serged, including the hem and the ruffles
 - I made the ruffles 1 in wide plus SA

Changes for next time:
 - larger circumference for the forearm
 - slightly longer sleeve overall (not counting the ruffles)
 - less body ease, made it more full in the body than it needed to be

Info for users of Patternmaster software:
 - Style: Casual shirt
 - Sleeve: Tapered
 - Collar: Band
 - Ease: Chest 4 in, Waist 2.5 in, Hip 5 in

All-in-all, it is a keeper!

Thanks for stopping by, and keep on sewing!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Good news - I get to sew today!

Remember my last post where I was whining about not having time to sew?  Well the busy times continued this week.  Last weekend I was on call (Recovery room nurse) and I got called in 4 separate times.  I can't remember the last time that happened.  I can easily go an entire weekend with no calls.  However, it's a slow day at work today and I got the day off (except I'm on call for the morning, so there is still a potential to have to work today).  Not only that, but it gives me a long weekend.  Whee!!

So it's time to get some serious work done on that plaid blouse.  Here's the current status:
(click pictures for larger image)
It is a casual style with drop shoulders, which is why you don't see curved armscye. I got the band collar sewn a couple of days ago.

When I tried it on, I remembered that I may have made the neck opening larger and I'm not sure that was a good idea.  Time will tell.

Here is a close-up of the front ruffle:

I chose to do a serged edge (since I got a serger for Christmas!) instead of trying to fold and stitch the edge of the ruffle.  With all the seams in this fabric, folding over a narrow edge is not very easy.  I also used the serger to gather the ruffle before I attached it to the band.  I tried making the ruffle and attaching it in one step but found it was easier to create the ruffle first, then attach it to the band.  My next trick is to learn how to make sure things like this ruffle are the same width on each side as I attach it to the band.  It's something I'm sure most people won't notice, and I probably won't notice after I've worn it a few times.

Now that you know what my plans are, you my readers can hold me accountable to trying to get it finished today!

Thanks for stopping by, and keep on sewing!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

So, if not sewing, what?

I haven't posted in almost 2 weeks!  I feel so bad that I've been so busy working that I haven't done much sewing and I haven't had time to blog about sewing.  One of my two co-workers retired and the other one had to have surgery.  The new nurse we hired is young in nurse-years, but sharp as a tack.  She has really stepped up to the plate.  Whew!  Working too much is better than the alternative, but I'm still working 5 days a week at the hospital instead of my usual 4 and on call every other weekend instead of every third weekend.  In addition I'm work 5 hours every Saturday at the sewing store.  AND ON TOP OF THAT, this weekend is the local Home Show and guess who's working both days of the weekend.  Yep, you got it.

The main thing I did today was to manage the 10-needle embroidery demonstration machine.  I had never worked with this machine before today, but I got a crash course.  It and I were on pretty good terms by the end of the day.  We showed how we can take a picture, digitize it and embroider it onto a piece of fabric (or whatever).

People were pretty awed watching it the machine work.  The "we" who know how to digitize the pictures right now is "me", and I've only done it once so far! Time to get better at this and then make a crib-sheet so others can do it also.  Take a close look at the photo below (click photos for larger version).  The original photo is on the left, the control screen is on the right.  In the center, there is one embroidered picture already done and another in process.

Current Sewing Project

On the topic of my current (neglected) sewing project, I have started on the plaid blouse with the ruffles.  Sure wish I had another yard of fabric, especially since this one is plaid AND I have decided to do the ruffles and button band on the bias.  (Note to self:  Buy more fabric from now on.)  I have decided that I am not going to turn under and hem the edge of the ruffles, but I am going to finish them with the serger.  Since this is a casual fabric and multi-colored, the serged edge does not stand out.  The fabric also has a lot of seams and overlaps, which make it harder to do a turned edge.  I'm also learning how to use my serger to make ruffles!  That is so much easier than making them the traditional way, with the double line of stitching, etc.  When I get the ruffles made, I'll post some pictures.

Time to go sleep so I can rev up for the Home Show again tomorrow!

Thanks for stopping by and keep on sewing!