Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sweet Harmony

This is the latest project on my sewing room table. AmyButler's Sweet Harmony Handbag and Tote pattern along with some Amy Butler fabrics that I bought at the sewing expo last fall. I bought fabric for 2 so I figure I may as well make 2 from the start. The only problem with making 2 is that there are a gazillion pieces! No, I am not kidding you. Between the exterior fabric, lining fabric, fusible fleece, fusible stabilizer and the peltex... I probably spent a total of 5 hours cutting in 3 different sessions.

All of the pattern pieces!
All the fabric, except for the striped one on the right, are from Amy Butlers collections.
Today (since I am home sick with a nasty spring virus) I decided to do all the fusing. I spent 2.5 hours at the ironing board. Every piece had at the minimum a layer of Pellon decor bond interfacing. All off the exterior pieces first had a layer of fusible fleece and then the Pellon decor bond over it.

large pile of Pellon decor bond and fusible interfacing and the curling stiff stuff on top is the peltex.

The bottom piece was the best. From out side in, it has: fashion fabric- Fusible fleece- Pellon decor bond- 2 layers of Peltex- Pellon deco bond. Everything layered and fused into a big ole sandwich. Sure will make for a stable bottom!
The pattern instructions are written quite thoroughly however it would be better to have more illustrations. I found myself having to read and re-read the instructions several times over to make sure I had it correct. Where as a simple addition of an illustration would have made things a bit faster.

The bottom pieces. on the far right is the initial sandwich of fashion fabric, fusible fleece and decor bond being added to that is the middle 2 layers of peltex, sewn together, and then held in place by the Pellon decor bond on the left. (the shiny part is the fusible stuff)
Below: is the entire thing all sandwiched together!

I am not sure that I want to attempt any sewing construction while I am taking the cold meds... I have that nice foggy head cold medication feeling going on! Although... how often do I just get time in the house :) Guess I will just have to wait and see how I feel.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Finshed shirt! and what I have been up to...

The weather in Chicagoland has been quite nice for a while... This is both a good thing and a bad thing. Very good for my horse habit and very, very good for the yard work but bad, very, very bad for the sewing room.

Since I was unable to do anything last year in the yard due to my ankle injury, this year I feel like I have 10x the amount to do. EVERYTHING in the yard is either overgrown and out of control or overtaken by weeds or just looking rather disastrously. Easter weekend my hubby and I picked up this rather large load of landscaping stones from the yard center. Yikes... I think the pickup was loaded to capacity.

I have been hard at work in the yard. Re-doing, cleaning up, moving plants around, trimming, taking out dead stuff, and reclaiming other areas. Also been working on getting the veggie garden ready for planting. All my spare time has been out in the yard. whew... making me tired and leaving little time for the sewing room.

Pick-up loaded with about 2000lbs of landscaping materials...

Flower bed: before... somewhere.

Flower bed: after. ahhhh.... there it is! Just one of 6 beds getting re-done.

Finally... this weekend was full of inclement weather... YAY! Sewing room time :) Never have I been so happy to hear the thunderclouds rumbling away. I was having withdrawals from the sewing room.

I finished up my 60's inspired shirt. I did have to re-cut the sleeves, the original sleeves were too tight for my chubby arms. I had already altered the pattern for the sleeve length but the circumference was a little snug. Since I had plenty of fabric and the shirt was destined as a summer shirt I really did not want snugness. I did a slash and spread of the sleeve pattern. slashed from the hem to the sleeve cap and spread it out an inch at the bottom tapering up to nothing at the sleeve cap line. I then re drew the hem and straightened the seam lines. Cut them out basted them in and fit was perfect. (glad I had the extra fabric and I guess I should have made a muslin...)

I decided to a bind finish on the sleeves to pick up the brown at the neckline.

I am very happy with the finished project! :)

Front and sleeve binding detail

Front view on me. the front darts keep it fitted but comfortable.

Blurry back picture...

but you can see the how nice the curved back hem looks about the tush.

Another front view :)

Next on the project list.... I have jumped on the Amy Butler band wagon, I need a new purse, had purchased the pattern and fabric last fall at the sewing expo and figured it would make a perfect spring project.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A fabulous Birthday shirt for the best sister ever!

Just in case anyone thinks I have not opened the sewing room door...

(well you were partially right! The flower beds have been calling my name)

BUT... I was also hard at work at a very special gift for a very special person. My Sister :) I made her a new blouse, something that is perfect for her and check out the last picture.... she does look fabulous, she makes my blouse look beautiful.

The pattern: the same pattern as my almost done 60's shirt :)

The fabric: a 60inch wide rayon print with a wide border on one side. I played with the pattern pieces for quite a while and even enlisted some advice and opinions from mom and my dear hubby on several different fabric placement options.

Up close of the front yoke detail and the binding on the sleeve hem. They were cut from the border detail of the fabric.

The Back: has a slight curve of the hem to cover the tush.

See... she makes it look great!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

update on the 60's shirt

I have had some time to work on my shirt this weekend. My electronic sewing machine has a couple fancy stitches and I have almost never used them before. I decided that this shirt had a perfect use for one of them! I first made a test set of the embroidery stitches in the various colors and thread types that I was thinking of using.
I added the embroidery stitches (and really liked it) and then I basted in the sleeves and the side seams. I was a little worried about the sleeve circumference and I cut them slightly bigger. The line drawing and the fit of the garment did not really match and the sleeves were much more fitted than I would have liked for the style of the blouse that I was going for. Luckily for me, I almost always but too much fabric! So to the drawing board I went and re- drafted the sleeve pattern and now need to cut out a new set of sleeves.
All in all, I like the fit (except for the sleeves) and I like the versatility of this pattern.

Test embroidery, varying the design elements as well as color and thread type.

Sorry this is a little blurry... decided to go with the hot pink rayon thread in the flower stitch pattern. You can also see how the sleeves look very narrow.

The re-drafted sleeve. I slashed and spread, re-drew a center line, folded in the excess at the sleeve cap and re-drew the hem line straight. (hard to see in the picture)