May 25, 2006

Cutting Bonanza

I decided to work with the simplicity pattern that I already had. I found some pretty white fabric, not exactly what I wanted, but it will work. I will continue to look for the perfect white fabric, but in the meantime . . . Last Friday I made a cute skirt from this Simplicity pattern. I made the mid-length skirt as it's cut on the straight of grain. I did make a muslin and found that I needed to put fish-eye darts in the back waist piece. Next time I will also shape the sides of both waist pieces for just a little less give around the middle. The waist is cut on the bias and has a drawstring. Couple of things - grommets would work way better than buttonholes. If you are going to use botton holes, position them vertically, not horizontally. On me, those horizontal buttonholes take a whole lot of stress, and I can't really get the top of the skirt to be tight enough. Also I put elastic, just short of half my waist measurement in the back of the skirt and stitched in the side seam ditches to anchor it. I have a cut border print demin for another skirt from this pattern. I also got a cute tone on tone embroidered blue linen to make the long version. Just have to decide if I should cute the skirt piece straight or on the bias. The pattern lets you do it either way. Then we went to the beach for a couple of days. It was cold and I was sick. So not alot of fun was had. But JB and I had a chance to reconnect. Important stuff when you've been together for 14 years, each have your own kids and have 4 dogs!!! It was a long trip in the car to get to the beach and I finished one sleeve on the way down and the other on the way home. So the pink wool-ease sweater I've been working on just needs blocking, seaming and the neck finished. Piece of Cake! On Tuesday, which was my last official day of vacation. I had a lazy morning, cleaned house and then hit the sewing room. I cut out an LH Swing Skirt, short skirt, long flounce and a top from the Simplicity pattern on the left. This top was super easy! Even with the 'works better with knits tricks' I've learned lately. The fabric was a blue stretch from which I ordered long ago as a treat for me when I ordered the fabric for The Princesses prom dress. Anyway - it matches great with the skirt made on Friday. Both of which are being worn to work today with plain white Keds. I also cut a print from Vogue Fabrics which I have had since the first SWAP contest back in 2003. I loved this fabric, but nothing worked with it. Well - now it will work for my ASG Challenge SWAP. I cut out a skirt with a flounce on the bottom and a short sleeved Santa Monica tee. This will make a fun outfit. I have a great ruby red boucle knit that coordinates great and will use for the Capri Jacket. I also think I have some wonderful sage green knit - enough originally for a twin set - which would work with both the skirt and jacket. I can see that I'm going to have to pile fabrics and photograph them. Okay - look for 'real' photos to be added soon. I'm sewing again, making clothing that fits and it feels great!!!

May 18, 2006

Inspiration Strikes!

Last night I headed into the mall to pay a bill for JB. He's been working a lot and simply forgot to put it in the mail. I offered. I had to walk through several departments at Macy's to get to my destination. Several cute skirts caught my eye as I walked through. I thought they were cute enough for me to stop, pick the skirt up, check out the construction, waistband, zippers, hems, and finally the price tag. The price was ultimately enough for me to put them back down :) The skirt that I really, really liked and want to make was just a simple gored skirt, with a facing rather than a waistband and zipper. This skirt had 8 gores of white lightly embroidered fabric. The gores were slightly flared at the bottom, to make the skirt really full and swishy. Between the embroidered fabric gores, were strips of lace approximately 2" wide. The lace was just sewn to each gore. Finally, the skirt was hemmed with a huge (almost 5" wide) piece of crocheted cotton lace. Fabulous! Absolutely stunning! I have to have this skirt - or something very similar. Price tag = Around $90. I also had to run by Hancock Fabrics to get some quilting cotton to line a bag I'm in the process of making, as well as several other notions - including thread. I looked for patterns. Nothing. I looked for white eyelett or embroidered cotton fabrics. Nothing. I even looked for the white lace trims. Again Nothing! I looked at home - I do have one Simplicity Skirt pattern which I believe would work for the envisioned skirt. This morning I searched the pattern website. I think this New Look Pattern would work.

The advantage of the Simplicity pattern is that I already own it. I have made it before and I know it fits. the disadvantage is that it's only got 6 gores and in my mind more gores will provide more fullness and swish when moving? Am I correct with this theory? The New Look Pattern has 8 gores already. My thought is to just fold out enough space for the lace, less seam allowances. The Macy's skirt was constructed completely with a 5-thread serger, with the exception of the zipper insertion.

Of course, this may be a moot point, as I can't find the right, fabric or trims. But I'm headed to Pacific Fabrics tonight for an ASG meeting, so I'll go early and look while I'm there. The plan is to find the materials and sew it tomorrow for wearing on the beach on Sunday :) I'll let you know how this plan actually works for me!

May 14, 2006

A Little ASG Challenge

Being inspired by Julie's sponsoring of SWAP each year, one of the members of our CAB Group has issued a challenge to the Neighborhood Groups to create a SWAP (either full or mini) and wear it to the Annual Meeting. The Neighborhood Group that I lead just happened to have our May meeting yesterday and everyone is game! We made a few executive decisions for our group. First, at the beginning of this year, we agreed upon a pattern and decided we were all going to make the same one to see how different it could look. That pattern is the Capri Jacket by Textile Studios.

My fabric for this jacket will be a mottled burgundy/orangish boucle knit from

Emma One Sock. I have had this fabric for quite some time and am looking forward to actually using it. Because our group has had more than one field trip to Marsha's Studio (Textile Studios) I know that this heavy knit will work for this jacket. My print is from Vogue Fabrics and I have had it for awhile too! So, it is nice to be planning to use up some fabrics that have been around here, hanging over my head - so to speak.

Second, we agreed that at the bare minimum everyone would make the jacket. I'm looking forward to how different they will all look. Progress Report on May To-Do List: * finish print jean jacket - cut, interfaced and ready to sew. Actually, the pieces weren't previously interfaced, but they are now. No other progress has been made as my sewing room was hijacked by a teenaged daughter. *I need new skirts, decide on 3 styles/patterns and find fabric in the stash - nothing! Other than I pulled 3 pieces of fabric for skirts, no pattern decisions have been made. 2 of the pieces are prints and they just seem busy to me for skirts, plus memorable. I like forgettable clothing for most of my daily work stuff. How do others feel about this? *Finish sleeves of Wool-Ease sweater currently on the needles, and sew up. *Beau bag - find the printer fabric is the next step. I have decided which photos, embellishment and dog print fabric to use. *Knitting bag and needle roll x 2 - got this cut out and now have a shopping list of necessary items to complete. *Dog print tote bag - see above as it's in the same stage of non-progress! *couple of dog bears from fake fur - can't find the fur. Maybe I used it all. I won't buy more if I'm out because the truth is, they just eat it. Here's some of the pictures I plan on using on the Beau Bag, which do you guys like? So, I fibbed for now. Blogger isn't cooperating with my 'puter. So I'll edit this post to add the pictures tomorrow :) Have a wonderful Mother's Day everyone.

May 1, 2006

May Goals

I'm stealing this from another blogger. Hope she doesn't mind. I thought it might give me some direction- it works with my dog walking group :) * finish print jean jacket - cut, interfaced and ready to sew. What's the hold up? *I need new skirts, decide on 3 styles/patterns and find fabric in the stash - update blog on progress *Finish sleeves of Wool-Ease sweater currently on the needles, and sew up. *Beau bag *Knitting bag and needle roll x 2 *Dog print tote bag *couple of dog bears from fake fur That should keep me busy for the month, especially when you consider I have a vacation in there, plus charity sewing for ASG which includes layette items, curtains for our meeting room and a tri-fold screen. Here's an update of the weekend sewing. From last Monday's list, I accomplished the following: *finish the topstitching on the denim skirt AND attach the waistband; Not only did I get the waistband attached, I got the skirt hemmed and wore it to work yesterday. I really like it, it fit well and was comfortable to wear all day. *I will trace at least one size of the baby layette pieces - I traced all the pieces of all the sizes I wanted to make. I also got one size small pink dress cut out. *I will cut out fabric for a mystery bag - well I didn't actually get this done as once I pulled the fabric out I found it hadn't been washed yet. But I did get both pieces of fabric washed, dried and ironed. The bag pattern has been traced, now to find sewing time :) *I will continue working on a wool long sleeved sweater that I have cast on and am enjoying working on. - I finished the front. I brought the equipment with me to work today to cast on the first sleeve. Friday, our LYS was having a sale. I managed to pick up some Debbie Bliss Alpaca silk in lime green to make a short sleeved summer sweater. I also got some periwinkle tencel to make a long sleeved scoop neck sweater. This will be a great transitional piece for spring and fall. Finally I got some strange brown fibre (I can't remember the content - only that the label said dry clean only) with funky pink threads and hunks running through it. I will use this to make a felted bag. I've already swatched, washed & dried it and it comes out wonderful - if hairy! Will definately have to line this bag. And does anyone know why the answer to a bad day is always sugar? How can anyone maintain their weight that way? I'm off to eat cottage cheese & peaches.

I Seam to be in a Slump

Not much crafting has been going on in my sewing room of late. I did manage to get the table semi-cleared (only to pile more stuff on it). A couple of Friday's ago, we went to the horse races. I took the demin skirt I was working on to unpick the triple stitched side seams in the car. Because who would think something like trying it on before topstitching the daylights out of everything is important? I will know better next time - promise :) Anyway, this weekend I did manage to press the seams and resew them with 3/8" seams instead of 5/8" seams. That and really focussing on my weight management program seams to make the difference between a skirt that fits and one that looks like a sausage casing. Not at all attractive - unless maybe I want to try a career as a street walker - NOT!! Still have no photos. My home computer is so slow it isn't funny and uploading photos is so slow it's painful. Plus I think JB may have downloaded something icky. Anyway . . . I have project looming, deadlines that have long past and no motivation to do anything. Babysteps. This week I WILL *finish the topstitching on the denim skirt AND attach the waistband; *I will trace at least one size of the baby layette pieces *I will cut out fabric for a mystery bag *I will continue working on a wool long sleeved sweater that I have cast on and am enjoying working on. How's that for babysteps?
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