Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I have finally succumbed to Pinterest.... Yes, I am a pinner and I made my First project!

I can't believe I waited this long! Ohhhh, the fun of Pinterest!! The hours of time it can suck from your life, the oodles of great ideas it sends spinning around your brain!!! The overwhelming sense of there is not enough hours in June day to get everything done that I really want to do!

The real story is that during my last surgery I joined Pinterest because it gave me something to do while I was sitting not he couch feeling zombiefied from the pain medication. It is fun and it is a great place to keep ideas all together. And truth be told I'm probably only on there once a week or so.

As my hubby and I were re-decorating our front room and living rooms to bring us into modern times, it was fun to pick out ideas that appealed to me. One of these was the use of vintage doilies. It fit in perfect with the other vintage items we have! And yes that is HGTV property brothers on TV! 

I have a MILLION vintage doilies or maybe even more! I could drap every single surface of my entire house in vintage crocheted goodness if I really wanted to!!! I do ,I do!! But, alas I'm not alone in this house and the hubby has a tight rein over my madness. Bwahahaha... At least that's what he thinks!! 

I did convince him of this fantastic use of vintage doilies as a table runner! I LOVE it, he LOVEs it! Win, win. I was perusing Pinterest for some ideas for a new table runner for our new dining room table and found this idea. I ended up using it for the top of our media center and it looks fantastic especially with the vintage books on them.

This was actually a fairly easy project, the longest part was picking out which doilies to use from the 2 bins of doilies that I have. I picked out probably twice as many, plaid with the placement. Once I had ones that I liked I ironed and starched the heck out of them to help make them slightly more manegable. The last part was attaching them together. Using a small needle and a neutral thread I carefully sewed them all together with small tacking stitches at each spot where they touched. Not hard at all, just time consuming and carefull work. I wanted to make sure that everything stayed nice and flat. The spray starch really helped in this project! Some of those doilies are so delicate and lace like that they just drap like melting butter in your hands!

So my very first Pinterest inspired project! Go me!

Happy Sewing! 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The last of the maternity sewing!

This past weekend I finished up the last of the maternity sewing for my daughter! We have just 9 1/2 weeks to go until the due date. HOLY MOLY!!!!! I'm gonna be a GRANDMA!!! 
Whew, such excitement I am feeling :)

Anywho... Onto the details.

These 2 dresses were both an adaption from the Megan Nielsen Perfect Nursing/Maternity top. The shirt I made for her from this pattern came out quite nice and she said was very comfy without being too from fitting. (The other option was more of a body concious tight all over dress and she wanted nothing to do with that at this stage!) 

Changes from the pattern: I added even more room over the belly for more comfort. The original pattern had 3 pleats over the belly on each side and I added a fourth for a total of 3 more inches of belly room. I also just lengthened the front and back pieces to about 29 inches for a nice pleasing a-line skirt.

The brown and pink dress was made with the waist piece and the darts. The skirt is a beautiful cotton jersey that I got at Linda Z's in Arlinton heights. It was a dream to work with and Mel says very comfortable. The pink sweater knit on top is a remnant from my stash that I have been holding onto for a while and was very happy to use up! I did a regular 1 1/4 inch stitched hem and a narrow hem on the sleeves.
In the pictures it certainly looks like she could have used more of a sway back adjustment but I think that is mostly from the protruding belly!!! And since she wants to use these post pregnancy for a little while I just left it be.

The grey and pink dress was made just a bit differently. The floral abstract print is a very thin sheer cotton gauze. So soft and pretty! So this dress was complelty lined, except for the arms. The lining is a soft, thin grey blend rib knit. In reality the to is underlined, the fashion fabric and the lining were basted together and treated as one, I used the serger to finish all the inside seams for a neat look. The skirt is actually just a separate lining. Keeps the dress from being see through and also keeps the fashion fabric from clinging to itself. I used the same pattern pieces, however instead of pleats I did nice soft gathers across the front.  And yes... There is no waist piece, I actually could not find it during construction. Of course it showed up as soon as I attached the waist and the bodice!!  It would have been less bulky with the waist piece but since the fabrics are so soft it worked out just fine. 
For the hems on this dress I just did rolled narrow 3 thread hem. Just a smidge wider than a regular rolled hem. And the lining on the skirt portionwas cut an 1 1/2 shorter and also just a rolled hem. I went back and forth on what type of hem to use! I even made 3 sample hems!! In the end the rolled hem won out because it was the lightest and daintiest and seemed to fit the fabric/use best.

And that concludes the maternity wear sewing projects! 
She got 4 tops, 3 skirts and 2 dresses. The only maternity item she actually purchased was a pair of dress pants. Between my sewing and clothes she got from a friend she has been well dressed for her pregnancy! 

Here is a sneak peek at the baby quilt... Shhhh, don't tell anyone I showed you!

Now, on to baby sewing and of course some sewing for myself :) 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Jeans # 3 and why NEVER to use cheap/inexpensive denim

My third pair of jeans ended up being a major bust :( this is what happens when you use fabric that is not if good quality. A very, very frustrating experience. 

The idea behind this third pair was to make a couple of small changes in the fit and use a denim with a small amount of spandex in it for recovery. The spandex in a high quality fabric provides excellent recovery and is supposed to keep things like knees and hips from bagging out. However, be warned.... If you purchase cheap denim fabric with a small amount of spandex you will NOT get good recovery, you just get more and More and MORE stretch. Which results in EXTRA baggy knees and hips and thighs. 

Case in point. Take a look at the pictures below. The photos on the left were taken right after laundering. This was how they were in fitting during construction. A fairly fitted pair of jeans with some slight additional changes needing to be made. (A slight scoop,in back crotch and and a wedge removal at top of back leg.) not a bad fit for jeans and lovely topstitching details! 
The pic on the right was taken exactly 24 hours later after an 8 hour wearing. On the side view you can clearly see the knees bagging and all the extra stretch in the hip /thigh area.

These are the EXACT same pair of jeans. I certainly cannot have my my jeans growing all day as I wear them. And I'm not talking about the normal ease of jeans as they relax onto your body I'm talking about the fabric just growing and growing!!! Booooo. 

Lesson learned, quality fabric makes a quality garment! 

At th every least I can use these as another pair of wearable muslins. They will be good for gardening and around the house work. Now I need to find some quality denim and try again. On the meantime I have a very nice pice of finewale black courdoroy that I can make up. 

On another not about pants. I met up with Sarah Veblen at the Sewing and Quilt Expo last week. And she gave a good looksee over my non-stretch pair of jeans and she thought the fit was almost perfect! She said to try scooping the back crotch a bit. I did a pants fitting with her and Rae Cumbie for the perfect pants pattern. I need to make some non-jeans style pants and I thought it would be nice to work less on the fitting and more on design and sewing! 

This weekend I've been working on a quilt for my granddaughter and have 2 maternity dresses cut out for my daughter. These are the last of the maternity sewing that I have planned. Hopefully these will hold her out for her last 11 weeks!

On a not so fun note.... I am once again battling a nasty cold this time it is all in my chest. Really dragging me down... I think I will have to skip my physical therapy tomorrow and instead go visit my regular doctor and see what is going on.

Happy Sewing