Monday, March 30, 2015

March MAGAM project: Butterick 6101

For my March MAGAM (Make A Garment A Month) project I decided to step into Spring with a new to me pattern. I wanted a transitional top that could be warm enough to wear under a light jacket and to be comfortable during damp and chilly spring days.

This garment fits the bill! It is also something out of my normal box and got my creative spring juices flowing. I have worn this twice since making it and it is very comfy and has fun pockets and great draping.

Butterick 6101 by Katherine Tilton

I was honestly very worried about this looking a bit like a potato sack... Due to the very nature of the garment and the nature of my bigger hips and butt I knew that the chest and arm portions would need to be more fitted. I did ALOT of flat pattern measurements and actually went down 2 sizes from the pattern recommendations for my measurements. This pattern has tons of design ease that would have just overwhelmed me and looked like a potato sack! 

The pattern recommends either a soft woven or a stable knit. I was going more for a big sweatshirty type of feel without the bulk so I used a maroon ponte knit from Fabric Mart and the print knit was leftover pieces from a light sweater knit from JoAnn's that I used for a dress a couple years ago. YAY!!! Finally used up some of those darn scraps I seem to hold onto forever!
I did not have enough of the patterned knit left to cut an entire sleeve so I had to be creative and piece a sleeve together. Hence the 2 inch strip down the center of that sleeve. 
I also changed up the collar a little bit. In my knit the wider collar band just looked funny so a made a narrower band for the neckline.

I really like this top! It's a bit quirky and different. I have some nice flowy rayon lengths in my fabric stash and may make the sleeveless version for the summer.

There are a couple fit issues that I may or may not try to figure out and do a second version of this knit top. It looks like there needs to be a bust dart or something. If you look right above the boob there is a triangle of extra fabric that folds out. It either needs a dart OR It may just be bunching because I need a little extra room over my bust to let the fabric fall better. 
The back armhole area also has some bunching... I will have to look in my fitting books to see if I can figure out why.
I also think that the sleeves could be taken in a smidge to have a closer fit, as you can see I made them into 3/4 length because at this time of the year I find myself pushing them up all the time anyway. 

This top goes well with skinny jeans or black leggings would be never better. 

All in all I think this March project was a hit! 

Happy Sewing :)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

2015 International Quilt Festival-Chicago

Yesterday I spent several hours at the International Quilt Festival in Chicago. I'm not sure how long this show has been coming to Chicago.... It has been on my list of shows to check out for quite a few years! 

I am primarily a garment sewer however I do dabble in quilting now and then and I am of course a tried and true textile junkie!! There is also the shopping area to entice a textile junkie to part with their money :) So with a Saturday with no plans I paid my $11 online and printed out my ticket! 

I really had no plan once I got to the show, never having been before I did not really know what to expect. Well, I was NOT disappointed! Check out this amazing display as you walk into the expo area.
Simply stunning!!! I have been collecting red and white quilting cottons for a couple of years now. I really want to make a red and white quilt for my daughter and her husband one of these days. The artistry and the talent displayed here was just amazing. A feast for the eyes!

I worked my way up one side of the exhibit hall, through hundreds of displayed quilts and then into the shopping, and then back down the other side. More shopping stalls and more displayed quilts. 

In total, I spent almost 4 hours there. Any longer and I would have gotten to the overload stage and given myself a headache! As it was I am fighting of a sinus cold so as my meds where wearing off it was time to go. 

I did make a couple of purchases. A new giant cutting mat!!!!!! YAY!! It completely covers my work table and is just beautiful. My old one is 15 years old and just beat to hell. I got the last mat at the Olga booth and got a great deal on it. I also got some 
I also visited the Kai scissors dealer and purchased my 11inch dressmakers shears, these have been on my wish list for several years! Always exciting to me when I get to purchase high quality crafted tools. 
I also purchased 3 new feet for my Evolution serger, the curve foot, the open toe foot and the Teflon foot, these will be shipped to me. At 25% off and free shipping I was happy to oblige. Yay for no more tape on the bottom of my feet when sewing on 'sticky' fabrics!

Now back to the actual quilt show... There were 15 different special quilt exhibits. My favorites were the Ruby Jubilee (the red and white quilts), the Tactile Architecure and Midwest Marvels. Here is a selection of photos of my favorites! Unfortunately.... I didn't even think of taking photos of the artist names to place with the quilts :( my bad. Photos were allowed of all the quilts except for one section that were from a selection from the book '500 Traditional Quilts' the work in these quilts was exceptional!

On to my favorites!

From Ruby Jubilee:
Also all the ones hanging in the first picture up top!

From Tactile Architecure:

Various others:

Color I the close up is closer to the true color!

This beautiful log cabin quilt done all in silk!

Now I'm off to my studio to finish up some of my own works of art ;)

Happy sewing!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Mixing business travel and sewing

As some of you may know I travel on a regular basis for week. Normally, I am on a plane every week and can be gone anywhere from 1 to 3 nights and several times a year can be gone longer for industry trade shows and sales meetings. 

This can make it challenging to get a lot of time in the sewing room! I have to make sure and have a nice balance of family time and sewing time...

In order for this to work for me I try to take 'sewing' on the road with me. 

I bring sewing books: 

I bring my sketch book and pencils. Although, I'm really not so good at the drawing/sketching at what I see in my mind.... Things somehow never ever even come close to looking like they do in my mind! It is usually enough to jog my memory and get my point across to myself.
I also bring my Crafsty classes with me. I use the app in my iPad and love the download feature that lets me watch my downloaded classes on the airplane. Also quite nice to have when nothing to watch on the TV in hotel rooms!

If I'm going to be on the road for a couple of days and don't have any evening dinners to attend then I will also bring patterns to cut out and do flat pattern adjustments to and sometimes I will even pack my fabric and good scissors to cut out my fashion fabric or muslin.

All of these things let me take sewing with me and lallows for studio sewing time for when I am at home! 

If I'm in a major city for a couple of days I always check out what fabric shops are around and even if the local museums are having any fashion exhibits! I've gotten to shop and some great palaces this way and having a time constraint means I don't spend hours wandering through the shops with my brain in the clouds dreaming of all the grand things I could make and probably helps keep me on budget!!

How do you take sewing with you when traveling? 

Had a wonderful weekend, even got to finish up the turtles for my granddaughter;)

She was having fun playing with the naked turtle before I put the shell on!

Waiting for me in my studio...

Infinity scarves to be finished

And I need to finish the neckline on this top, the sleeves are in but finished to a 3/4 length, the hems are completed and just need to finish the neckline!