Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Christmas visit to Idaho and Simplicity 0571

In my last post I showed progress on my new coat! Well , I am quite happy to report that I was able to get that coat finished just in time for our Christmas trip to Idaho!!! We had a flight on Friday December 16th in the evening and that morning I was sewing on the buttons and doing the final hand stitcng of the sleeve linings! 

The entire reason for the coat was that we were having family photos outside and the colors were grey, blue and yellow. Here is a preview of the Idaho family photos! I think we are quite a nice looking bunch :) 

We had a Christmas Day storm which gave us about 8 inches of snow and made for a beautiful picture. The rest of the photos will be ready in a couple of weeks, can't wait to see them.

Here are some more photos of me in the coat and having some fun in the snow!

The collar is nice and versatile. It can be worn open or can be worn buttoned up against the weather and wind and in this case... Snow!

I love the silhouette and the back fit of this coat, it really defines my waist.

As you can see in these last 2 photos.... The coat sure does move well and I was having some fun in the snow!!!! 

Such a silly time!
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday :) 

I gave several me made Christmas gifts this year and had wanted to take pictures of the recipients with their gifts but was just so enjoying the spirit of the season and just enjoying the family time that I just forgot!! And I am OK with that :) All the gifts I gave were very well appreciated and I can't ask for more than that.

I also got a very nice sewing gift this year in the form of quilting fabric. I enjoyed that immensely. :)

Next up.... My birthday and then New Years. I'm still hoping to get a couple things finished before New Years!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A new coat in progress! Simplicity 0571

My sewing studio is in a total disarray! 

I have Christmas gifts piled up on my embroidery machine table. Some are wrapped, some are in boxes to be sent off and some are waiting to be brought out to Idaho for Christmas. 
Our little family is waiting until after Christmas to celebrate and open our gifts to each other. We are traveling out to Idaho to see my husbands family. They have not yet met the baby! 

I also have various garments in stages of construction!
1- pants muslin cut out and waiting to be basted to test for fit.
1- jacket which has just been waiting for a large snap to be sewn on! This has been lingering for weeks!!!
1- knit cowl top that goes under the jacket that is just waiting for hems to be done!
2- skirts are cut out and waiting to be constructed! 
4- infinity scarfs are cutout and waiting to be zipped up.

The good thing is I completed all the handmade gifts that were on my list!! YAY :)

And on top of that all I am in the middle of making a new coat!

You may wonder why oh why would you start a new coat in the middle of all of THAT?!?!?

Well, I have a really good reason. When we go out to Idaho we at having family photos done. The color theme is yellow, grey and blue. So all 16 of us need to be wearing yellows, greys and blues AND the photos are going to be done outside! So...... To my sewing room I went! 

The pattern Simplicity 0571 has been in my stash for a couple years. The cotton Flannel for the interlining was in my stash. The yellow and grey checked wool was a remnant end of the line cut from Fabricmart. The fabric is a little light for a coat, more of a jacket/skirt weight. But the contents were labeled 'wool'. So, I threw the entire length in the washer on hot with high agitation and the dryer 3 times hoping that it would felt up a bit. Well.... The fabric became so soft and lovely and only felted a very minimal amount. Hmmmm.... Puzzling. I cut off a bit and did a burn test. Not 100% wool! I should know better to do the burn test first!!

Not to be deterred, I pulled out my stash of cotton flannel and underlined the entire coat. This gave it a nicer weight and added warmth. I also used the flannel to sew together as a muslin. I only had to make some slight changes. I made most of my. Changes on the flat pattern before I even cut out the flannel.

As I was contemplating what to use for the lining, searching through my fabric stash, and possibly thinking I would have to make a trip to JoAnn's (boo) the doorbell rang and YAY!!! The postman arrived with my latest box from Fabricmart full of my Black Friday deals :) Low and behold there was a perfect lining fabric within. One that makes me smile and happy!

This is one giant project! I spent 2 hours last Thursday evening cutting out the GAZZILION pieces. Each main piece had to be cut out 3 times! Fashion fabric, flannel interlining and lining and some pieces even had a fusible interfacing as well!  Another hour to sew up the muslin to double check fit. Only hadd to adjust seam allowance in a couple of spots. :) then carefully unsew the muslin and press it flat.
The blue stitches are the hand basting in the the seam allowance and if you look carefully you can see the off white thread catch stitches.

I then spent another 2 1/2 hours hand basting all the flannel to the fashion fabric. Included both 2 piece sleeves, the back, side backs, side fronts, fronts and collar. That's a lot of hand basting! Thank goodness for NETFLIX!

Then this past Sunday I spent 8 or 9  hours constructing! This included catch stitching the seam allowances of every vertical seam to the flannel. Time consuming but very worth it!

Monday morning I wake up early and spent another 2 hours constructing the lining (actually most of the lining.... Still need to t in the sleeves) for the seam allowances on the lining I first pressed flat as sewn, pinked the seams, and then pressed open. The fabric is a poly- Charmeuse and the edges just like to fray like crazy. Which drives me nuts! Pinking is nice quick way to clean up those seam allowances and they won't be seen anyway. 

What's next??? I need to stop at Joann's to get a 1/2 inch raglan shoulder pad and 12 buttons. I scoured my vintage button collection and just could not come up with 12 buttons in a good color to match. So, hopefully on my way home from the airport tonight I can stop at the store to pick up shoulder pads and buttons. 

I MUST get this coat done no later than tomorrow night! I have a day trip to Philiadelphia on Thursday and we leave for Christmas vacation on Friday!! Talk about cutting it close! Although if worst comes to worst I can slip stich the lining in while in Idaho :)

Now what to do about that list up above???
I have an ambitious plan to get a couple of those things done before the end of the year. At least the hems on the top and snap on the jacket :) 

The rest will have to wait for 2015!

Our Christmas tree is up and beautiful! and Princess Victoria is starting to get on the move! So darn cute :)
Here she is doing the back scoot off her play mat and headed towards the tree!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

November 2014 wrap-up and Susan Khalje seminar

Well, somehow November just flew by!!!

In my last post I mentioned that I had a linen jacket that was just awaiting final touches.... Well it is still on my dress form awaiting those final touches. I'm not sure why I haven't gotten it done! I literally only have to cover a big snap and sew it on and then I can move it out of my sewing room and to my clothes closet. I think maybe I am possibly waiting to get the accompanying garments constructed. I have a knit slight cowl top cut out and 2 skirts that will mix and match also cut out and all waiting to be sewn. None of these will take much time, it just needs to be done!

It certainly did not help that in the middle of November I came down with a nasty case of srep throat. :( i believe this is only the 3rd time in my life I have had strep throat and will be quite happy if I never get it again! And to make matters worse I had whatever virus of the month that was going around. The hazards of being on a plane several times a week. 

I took the week of Thanksgiving off from work and enjoyed a little staycation :) I spent lots of time with my Grandaughter ( she just makes my heart sing!) and I spent time in my sewing room making Christmas gifts. I really try to incorporate sewn gifts into my gift giving at the holidays. I feel it really shows how much I love my family and friends. So my week of Thanksgiving staycation was spent sewing gifts, playing with little V, and getting Christmas decorations organized. Thanks to my hubby the tree is up and lit :) now I need to decorate.

Sneak peak of gifts sewn. I also have several that I am just not even giving a sneak peak of! Some sewing related gifts and fun infinity scarves. Of which I keep having to make double since I fall in love with them and don't want to gift them!!! LOL!

The jeans that I finished earlier this month are my FAVORITE pair yet! The skinnier leg is quite nice. They only change I will make next time is to use a slightly larger seam allowance, these would be perfect if they were just a smooch smaller. 

The other very exciting sewing related happenings this month was that I got to spend the day downtown Chicago with Susan Khalje and Rhonda Buss. It was an amazing day. We worked on couture hand sewing practice of inserting zippers by hand using pick/prick/baby back stitch, reviewed bar tacks and jump tacks, covering hooks and sewing covered snaps. The middle of the day was spent with muslin fittings. I brought a muslin of a pair of dress pants that I was just needing a little bit of help in tweaking the crotch fit. I WISH that I had not been so sick the weekend before with strep be issue I really wanted to have some jacket and a dress muslin constructed as well. But, it was not to be. I did take in as much info as my brain could fit in watching Susan and Rhonda making fit changes in the muslins. Certainly very fascinating! Especially the amount of changes that needed to be done at the sleeve head. I will definitely not be afraid to try playing around with these changes.

Susan also brought with her a suitcase full of sample garments! Wonderful to be able to get some hands on couture garments and give them a good inspection. In several of them Susan had done a partial release of the linings so that we could really get a good look at the infrastructure. So cool!! And so informative! She also had some lace guipere garments that we reviewed extensively, I've seen these in some of her threads articles so it was even better to get an upclose first hand look and to touch!

In the later afternoon we switched gears for a bit from couture to non-couture but equally fascinating garments created by Rhonda. She has been playing with rectangles and thinking out of the box to create very interesting, unique and very wearable designs. I am intrigues by several of her designs and plan on trying them out. She posts great tutorials and ideas on her blog.

One of the great things about this day was that Susan brought a variety of supplies and couture trims from Channel and YSL with her from her recent trip to Paris. Of course I had to purchase some! Next on my wish list is to take one of Susan's week long couture sewing classes. Oh the things I could learn!

Enjoy this latest pic of 5 month old Victria! She is just a super happy baby :)