Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My Birthday Shirt

My birthday shirt is done. It came out quite cute :)
Once again my self portraits leave a bit to be desired and I think the camera was on a slight tilt upward. But these give you an idea. I will have my hubby take some pictures tomorrow when we go out when my hair and makeup is done and I'm not wearing sweat pants!
The creative use of the fabric print did wonders for making me look like i have some boobs! The fabric itself was a bit of a pain to sew with due to the slipperiness. I had to baste each seam first to make sure everything stayed in place. The only thing I am not 100% thrilled with is the neckline. For some reason (most likely the nylon knit fabric) it still stretched slightly out. I stay stitched, I put in fine twill tape and used a lite weight fusible interfacing and still stretched out a little. Not very bad but I can be picky with my work.
The only thing different I think I could have done was a bound neckline versus the faced neckline that I did.
The other really nice feature is that the elastic around the upper waistline was easy to make adjustable. So when I lose some weight I can easily get in there and adjust it a bit smaller.

Now onto the next project... Another shirt from this pattern but in short sleeves for my upcoming trips down to New Orleans at the end of January and February.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

My Birthday Shirt and a stop in the NYC Garment District.

Christmas has come and gone and now we are onto my birthday and New Years.

The Monday of Christmas week found me in NYC with an afternoon to spare. hmmmm... what does one do in NYC with 5 hours of uninterrupted time??? Hit the garment district and go fabric shopping! An early birthday gift to myself. :-)
The only problem is that I promised myself NOT to go fabric shopping in NYC again until I used the last of my fabric up from when I went shopping last year. UGH... well, last year was a quick stop at mood only with the purchase of 3 panels of an end of Roberto Cavalli 'Just Cavalli' fabric and it just happens that this piece of fabric was already out on my cutting table just waiting to be made into a new top for me to wear on my birthday. So, I reasoned to myself that as long as I made good on getting that top done for my birthday then the fabric was officially used... gotta love good reasoning!
Well, I spent all afternoon in the Garment district and hit 5 fabric shops, 2 trim shops and a bead shop! It was wonderful and such a nice treat :)
Now, onto my birthday shirt. I have hemmed and hawed over what to do with this fabric for several months. I have had it on a hanger where I can see it, I have had it draped on my dress form, I have imagined it made up into all sort of great garments and then I decided that I needed to make sure that I made it into something that I was going to wear and enjoy wearing. My first instinct was a dress, it would make a fabulous dress, only problem is that I just don't wear that many dresses and have a bunch already in my closet that are really nice and don't get used enough. So I decided on a tunic top, a piece that is much more versatile for my wardrobe.
Then the decision as to how to cut it up and use the fabric. I layed out the pattern pieces in several ways and I consulted with my 20something daughter and hubby (the artistic man of the house) and cut out the pieces. It was a pain to cut out, slippery sucker of a fabric and I was placing my pattern pieces all over the place. I had to refold and readjust the fabric for each pattern piece I cut out.
I have 3 days before my birthday so I should be able to have it finished in time! Otherwise I may look funny going out to dinner with no top!

View of the fabric (a single panel)

I had to stand on a step stool to get it all in!

Each panel had 3 distinct areas.
Bottom area like a mass of cool tattoos.
This is the part that I cut out for the bust of the top.

The middle area was more subdued...
solid black with scattered 3' images on it. again resembling small tattoos.
This is what I cut out for the skirt part of the top (below the bust) as well as for the sleeves.

The top of each panel had this weird striped area that I did not use at all in this project.
I am not a big fan of it but you never know...

Simplicity 2690 view E (minus the neckline jewels)

The pattern is cut out, the interfacing is fused and everything is ready for me to sew.

Monday, December 14, 2009

More Holiday Gifts

So, I have been so busy making Christmas gifts for everyone else that I have not had time to work on anything for me :) That's OK! I still have lots of fun and these little gift bags are a great way to take my mind off of everything.

These are a bit smaller than the Black and White ones that I made a couple weeks ago. Almost 1/2 the size. They are full of some goodies for my barn team mates. A couple little things for them and of course some horse treats as well!

Best of all, I actually used stash fabric this time :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Several more Christmas gifts

X-Mas tree in Philadelphia

Yesterday afternoon I had some time to work on several more Christmas gifts. These are not major gifts, just what I like to call add-ons. Special little somethings for the special people in my life.

Zippered pouches... awaiting some special goodies to be placed inside and sent to sit under a special Christmas tree! The fabric is printed from photos I took of my flowers this summer and printed on specially treated fabric.

These were sort of an experiment. I have somehow collected a massive number of zippers, had some single sided quilted material left over from an old project, add that to some specialized ink jet "print your own fabric" that i have had for 2 years now waiting for a special project... add that all together, shake it up, swirl it around, add some wishful summertime flowers from my backyard, my trusty serger and voila!!! splendid little zippered cosmetic cases or little carryalls for your purse.

Quilted inseide

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A fun project! Cute Drawstring bags

I have 4 adults on my Christmas list that are getting these super cute drawstring bags full of special goodies! Originally I was just looking for the usual paper product bag and tissue paper that you buy for some silly overpriced amount that most likely gets tossed out.

This year I decided it would be fun to be more 'responsible' and make the bag part of the gift and have it be nice, reusable and fun. And of course it meant that I had the opportunity to go to the fabric shop... yes, I could have made do with stash fabric. But this fabric is just so much fun!

The bags are fully lined and are approx 9 X 13 finished size.

Bag lying flat

the lining
(also the same fabric as the drawstring casings)


Filled and ready to send off to go under a Christmas Tree...
all I need to add are the tags.

A little parting shot of the snow this morning!
Winter weather has graced us :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I am still here :)

I don't have much to report for now... The past 2 weeks have been quite busy with Thanksgiving, decorating for Christmas, and then a work trip to Boston.

My daughter was home for the Thanksgiving holiday so instead of spending time in the sewing room... I spent time with her and my hubby and I took a road trip up into Wisconsin. We visited my favorite Christmas Shop in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin. The Kristmas Kringle Shoppe were we picked up several new Christmas ornaments.

On the way back I talked my husband into stopping at the Nancy's Notions retail shop in Beaver Dam Wisconsin where I spent some money :) of course. A little Christmas shopping for myself!

Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to spend some time in my sewing room.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pants are done, cleaning out the fabric closet and planning a new project

The pants are finished :) and I am quit happy with them. I went with 2 buttons for the closure. one on the inside and on on the tab, keeps them in place nicely. I added twill tape to the bottom before hemming and this time I used the blind hem foot for a change. I normally do all my hemming by hand but felt like this pair of pants could be done by machine.

I took some time today to clean out the fabric closet. It was beginning to look a bit like a disaster and I kept coming up with pieces of fabric that are to small for any projects and it was beginning to annoy the heck out of me. I used to save all my fabric remnants from a project if I had at least a half yard, When my daughter was little I could easily make her outfits from those leftover pieces. Now that she is a grown young woman of 21 those remnants don't work anymore. I t was time to clean them out! 2 bags of fabric pieces later and a cleaned out and reorganized closet later I was feeling good with the accomplishment. And re-organizing the fabric was a great way to get the ideas flowing in my mind.

Next project.... I want to work on a holiday outfit to wear to my husbands work party, not 100% sure what I want to make yet. I have the fabric picked out so that is half the battle. In the mean time I am going to work on some more knit tops. I have noticed that I have lots of work dress shirts and then t-shirts and am lacking a bit in the day to day wardrobe. So that's the plan.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

So close to being done!

The pants are soooo close to being done! and I have to get ready to leave for a trip to Philadelphia... the taxi will be here in 2 hours and I have not packed nor showered or anything... so sadly I must put the pants down and finish them over the weekend and I will do a better 'review' when they are finished.
I have to hem the fashion fabric, tack in the lining over the zipper and add either 2 buttons or hooks and eyes.
I attempted to take some pictures, hehe... I look quite goofy, forced and posed. I set the camera up on a tripod and hit the self timer button. I suppose that it is better than nothing. The pictures with the flash make the fabric look a little funny, but too dark to do without the flash as you can see.

Lining Fabric, so soft... these will be a great pair of winter pants.

Nice butt picture!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pants Progress 2

Can you say slow......
Well between my work schedule, busted hot water heater and being sick for an entire week these pants are taking forever to get done!
Yesterday afternoon I did have a couple hours to get in the sewing room and work on the hard parts... The pockets, yoke and putting in the fly front zipper. I quit after the zipper went in, my sinuses were hurting and I just was not feeling up to it.
Hopefully this evening I will get some more done!

Friday, November 13, 2009

A great friday afternoon

I spent a wonderful Friday afternoon with my girlfriend going to the Chicago: Sewing and Quilt Expo. It was doubly nice because 1. I have had a super shitty week (sick, sick, sick and then exploding hot water heater, ugh) and 2. I have always gone to this Expo solo. It was really nice to have a friend to go with.

She is a newbie in the quilting world and really just enjoyed looking at everything and of course making some purchases. We did not take any classes or seminars, just did the expo floor and perused the quilt and clothing displays. Always makes for some great inspiration.

I, of course, bought some fabric and a pattern and a single sewing notion (knit bias tape). Did I need a pattern or any fabric, nope. But after my said week, I felt I was deserving of it.

Knit fashion fabric from SewkeysE
I have a couple patterns from her and have bought fabric from her in the past and it has always been very nice quality.
Fabric number 1: silky rib fabric(2yds @ 60") that I could see made into a tunic style shirt.

Fabric number 2: a beautiful fabric with a gorgeous hand, 50%silk, 45% cotton and 5% spandex,
fell in love! I bought 3 yards @ 45"
I will be inspired!

And last but not least... I had to get into the Amy Butler craze! I could no longer resist :)
I bought the new Sweet Harmony bag pattern and 4 yards of Amy Butler fabric.
hmmmm.... maybe some Christmas gifts...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Halloween Party

My 50's girl Halloween costume was great! It was fun to wear and looked good too.

We all had a great time at the Halloween Benefit Bash. There was about 1700 people and it was held in the great hall of Union Station in Chicago.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pants Progress

A little update on my pants progress...

Monday: I finished pattern alterations, made a muslin and adjusted the fit, altered the pattern to match the muslin and cut out fashion fabric and interfacing.

Today: I fused the interfacing to the waist band pieces and cut out the lining

Due to the number of alterations I did on the pattern I decided to make up a muslin and I am glad I did. Maybe the measurements I took were skewed since I did not have a helper, or maybe the Cynthia pants fitting workbook was for a style of pant that was not for my taste or maybe a combination. (you are supposed to use her pants pattern with the book)

From the muslin I decided that I needed to cut most of the pattern an entire size smaller, I did have to add a bit to the depth of the back crotch, I have a tush, so unless I add like an inch and a half to 2 inches in the back then the pants are always showing my crack and I don't like that.

I did need to shorten the length from hip to knee and lengthen from knee to hem to keep the pants proportions correct and to fit me. I also needed to deepen the back crotch seam to take out the bagginess under the butt. And the last thing I did was to make them slightly narrower, they are still a little on the wide leg style but the original width cut from my hip measurement was too wide. I guess that's what happens when your hippy :)

Unfortunately I did not get a picture of me in the muslin pair...
Muslin fabric, the blue lines are the stitching lines.
I used some horseshoe and star cotton fabric from my stash.

Fashion Fabric, gray, slightly metallic cotton/Lycra blend

Lining fabric... another cotton blend found in my fabric stash and smelled like attic so must have come from either my mom's or one of my grandmothers.
I like interesting linings, like a special surprise just for me to enjoy my clothes :)

Front lining pattern, cut with the yoke included, don't need pockets in my lining!

My trusty helper, Baby Blue. Red Bone/Blue tick hound.
She thought it would be a good idea to try and make a 'nest' out of my fashion fabric... she carefully tried pulling it right off the cutting table when I wasn't looking! That stinker.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A new Project: Pants

It has been a couple of years since I have made myself some pants. I decided to go ahead and go for a new pattern since my old favorite is a bit out of date.
I am using a pants fitting workbook that I picked up at an Original Sewing and Quilt Expo 2 years ago by Cynthia Guffey. I am using this workbook to take my measurements and then she details step by step how to alter your pattern to make it fit you as well as how to fix fitting issues.
I am using Simplicity 2700 Amazing Fit pants and am going to use Sandra Betzina's fly zipper instructions.
I am still on the fence about making amockup in muslin or if I should just go for it with one of my more inexpensive fashion fabrics and use it as a working muslin... what to do, what to do!
First thing is first and off to the sewing room to finsih altering the pattern!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mom... your jeans are hemmed!

When I was home a couple of weeks ago my mom handed me a pair of jeans that she really looks good in but that were like 3 or 4 inches too long for her petite frame. She asked so nicely if I could pin them up to the correct length and then again so nicely if I could take them home with me because she worried that her sewing machine would severely balk at going through all that denim. So I did, cause I love her and I am a good daughter :)
So mom your jeans are hemmed and they look as good as new. The only difference you will see is on the inside of the hem. I don't own one of those special machines they use with twin needles and twin bobbins... I only have one bobbin thread to catch both top threads. But from the outside no one will ever know!

Before: that was how much shorter they needed to be so first I had to pick out all the twin lines of stitching then cut away the excess and then re-iron it all to the correct length.

Supplies: Denim twin needle and heavy weight thread to match existing thread on jeans.

I spooled out an extra bobbin to use for my thread on the second needle. and then hung the bobbin up behind the machine and thread both threads as if they were one,

I used a piece of soap to make a 'rubbing' of where the inside fold was. This allowed me to accurately line up the double needle to the exact place so I could be sure that it would catch the inner fold correctly.

Inside of hem

outside and all done!
Just need to wipe of the soap line with a damp rag.

Halloween Custume 2009 Part Three: the Final Outcome

I am ready for the party! Third time was the charm in making this 50's poodle skirt. The new fabric that I bought was a linen like fabric that I found on sale at JoAnn's. The waistband has no elastic and no gathering so the effect is much slimmer than heavy felt gathered at the waist!
I also made a slight change to the crinoline... shortening by about 10 inches.

Below are pictures of the final costume. I'll have to play dress up for my husband so he can take some pictures before the Halloween Party. Stay tuned!

The final product :)

This time I could cut the fabric out on my cutting table instead of the den floor!
Zipper and button tab detail.

Poodle detail, used fake curly fur.

Shortened crinoline

Ribbon for my hair and bobby socks.