September 29, 2006

I surf, I lurk, I read, I make notes, I learn

but - I don't know the answer to this question. Previously, by doing all of the above I learned the importance of using a press cloth. Here's my delima, I'm hoping someone has the answer - today (insert begging face here). I really want to make this skirt tonight, so I can work on the next one tomorrow. Anyway, this morning I wound a bobbin with some really dark brown thread, and sewed a sample seam on the faux suede. I then pressed the seam open, over my pressing ham, only to find that the seam allowance show on the right side. I then consulted Sandra Betzina's Fabric Savvy, but there was no information on what I was doing wrong. So, any suggestions on how I press the seams without having them show on the right side? My heartfelt thanks go out to all the Wonderful ladies on the internet who are knowledgable and willing to share that knowledge.

September 28, 2006

Vacation Thoughts

This morning I booked our flights to North Carolina for vacation. Tonight I am hyperventilating about all the stuff I would like to have done before we go!!! First up - I would like to finish the paper pieced teacup placemats for my sister that have been hanging around in my sewing room for more than 5 years! She probably has outgrown the teacup phase - but I still want them finished and out of my house. Next - a bag for a friend. This should have been completed and mailed sometime in early February at the latest. Now I can personally deliver it - hope she doesn't read this blog - if she does, she never comments! After that - a couple new skirts. I'm a skirt girl. I love wearing skirts. I think they are perfect for walking around exploring new towns, looking fashionable without being overdressed. I have cut a longish faux sueded from the combined Simplicity/KwikSew pattern. I muslined the pattern alternations prior to cutting the real fabric. I would like to line this skirt, but it still shouldn't take too long. Next I bought 2 really cute cotton prints for the next KS skirt that I'm in love with. I basted the muslin together tonight and something's not quite right across the stomach - the Princess will be here tomorrow so I'll get her opinion and then cut into real fabric. Finally, a twin set or two. I lurve, lurve, lurve wearing sleeveless turtleneck and cardigans. The top is perfect in this entry level fall weather and the cardigan is a necessity in overly air-conditioned offices. Perfect, again - a well dressed look, without being overdressed. The reality is that I have 4 weekends until I need to pack a suitcase and board a plane. Shall we make bets on how much I can actually get done? Happy sewing everyone.

September 20, 2006

Hmm - why no new posts?

So, I had to work all week, last week. Every other week I get Friday off and it makes the alternating week really l-o-n-g! Anyway - on Saturday, I decided to tackle some of the stuff in my knitting bag. I finished the ballet top, complete with grafted shoulders and crochet edgings. Now, it just needs to be blocked. Also, I took a realistic look at the blue sweater and frogged the entire thing! I have yet to cast it back on. On Saturday evening, I got the muslin of the new and improved morphed, hip shape follows mine gored, flared skirt done. It's good to go! I'm very excited about that. I may put the white skirt on hold until sometime in March - but I have other ideas for the pattern. I also need to muslin the new KS pattern that has my heart and a bunch of fabric right now. I'm a skirt girl and I wear them all year. Monday I headed down to the LYS that is near my office. I bought 4 different colors of wool. I am planning on making felted oven mitts for the holiday gifts. I also finished another MD warshcloth and have another cast on. The oven mitt made for great no thought necessary knitting in the car yesterday on our way to the Fair. Speaking of the fair, I finally found the 4H exhibits but never the adult entries. Anyway, I was completely impressed by seeing lined, fringed jackets made by 5th graders and a complete suit - pants, lined jacket, and blouse - by an 11th grader. To date I have never made a lined jacket, I can't make a pair of pants to both fit and flatter (the main reason behind being a skirt girl). Apparently I need to step up my game! This morning when I came upstairs to get ready for work - I found a warshcloth, thankfully with needle still attached in the middle of the entry way. The yarn was everywhere - two colors = twice the mess and one missing needle! Darn that dog!!!! Happy crafting everyone.

September 17, 2006

What I DId Today

Today I made my first ever double welt pocket. I know how to make and add a pocket flap, too. We didn't do that in class, but I saw all the step by steps and I'm not afraid! My welts looked great - they are even and everything. I also made my first ever bound buttonhole. Not so great! It actually looked like carp. The side are uneven, but the second one was better and they will continue to get better with practice. Again - I'm not afraid. I bought quilting cottons to make skirts. Really they will be Spring/Summer skirts, but I want to make them now. I've been wanting a very graphic black and white print for a skirt. I found a great one that will become a skirt. Most likely this Kwik Sew Pattern. I also bought a small white floral print on a black background and a larger black floral on a white background. I have enough of either fabric to make view A, but I really want to do is make View B, I just can't decide if I want the border to be black or white - I'm leaning toward the white, but I'm completely undecided. The last piece of fabric I got was this Amy Butler print. It will also become a skirt. I'm getting motivated to sew once again. Oh, I think I'm going to attempt to make a sheath dress and swing jacket for JB's holiday party. I tend to be pretty hippy and I've never had a sheath that looks good. There were several of the girls from my local ASG Neighborhood Group at the seminar today. I asked and everyone thought it would be possible to do and look great! So, now I need to get a muslin done before the October meeting, get back to working out, and keep my weight stable while on vacation! No problem.

September 15, 2006

Finally Friday

Yea! It's finally Friday. So, what's on my plate for the weekend? Tonight I'm planning on finishing the Santa Monica T that has been cut out for a couple of months. Won't take long to finish that puppy right up. Then I want to cut the modified version of the white skirt out of muslin and do a test run. I want to see if I managed to make it work. If not, I wore a version of Kwik Sew 3109 the other day and I thought, this would make a great white skirt, it's fun and flirty. I have made both Views B & C. I would use view B for a white skirt. Making the skirt out of eyelet and then lining it. Adding lace to the bottom of the lining. Most likely I would not leave the sides of the ruffle open, but sew the two pieces together - but you never know. On Saturday our Local ASG Chapter is hosting an event called "Couture: Let's Go To The Next Level." This is a hands-on workshop with Judy Barlup for pocket and vent techniques. I'm excited, but not sure I'm up to the task. Sunday is will be spent watching a paragliding exhibit at a local state park, then I got JB tickets to see Alan Alda speak at Third Place Books. This is a local bookstore, the same place were I was lucky enough to see the Yarn Harlot! Have a great weekend everyone.

September 14, 2006

I have this bag . . .

that I pack back and forth to work. It contains a binder with patterns in sheet protectors, yarn, needles, my knitting 'kit' and stuff on needles. Currently, I'm not sure why I pack it back and forth - except maybe to keep the muscles in my arms strong! Nothing has left the bag in days! So - what's in there? I am currently making this top from MagKnits. I am using Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk in color lime. I took this to Disney with me and got quite a bit of knitting done on the plane and by the pool. Then I decided to put it on waste yarn and try it on. This was a smart move, because I was up past the waist shaping and it was too large. I frogged back to the waist, worked a few more inches without any shaping at all, and then started slowly increasing for the bust. Hopefully this will work. Won't know until I actually start knitting on it again. Need to actually get busy because I think the green will date itself. I really like the shaping and style of this sweater. Also in the bag is a sweater being knit out of Cascade Yarns Pima Tencel. This yarn is so soft and nice to work with. The pattern is called Regine and can be found on Saunshine's blog. She has some really cute patterns. Because my hips are larger than my bust, I generally start the bottom with the size I need to cover the little buggers, then continue any waist shapping until I reach the stitches called for that will fit my smallish bust. I did exactly that for this pattern, I have the front done, and am partway through the back. Unfortunately, this Pima Tencel pills like the dickens while I'm knitting it! and I have to redraft the sleeves. I do not want long sleeves and fabric rubbing on fabric making it look like carp with the first wearing. I also want to try and keep the really cute pattern on the sleeve somehow - any ideas, anyone? A picture can be found directly here. The final item being schlepped around in this bag (knitting bag would have to be used loosely at this point) is Cascade Sierra Quatro in color 90 for Lattice & Lace from Knitter's Magazine Summer 2006. I have swatched and am ready to start, as soon as I finish something else. So, now that I've told you all, I guess I should get busy knitting :) I do have a valid excuse for not finishing any knitted goods for myself lately - my friend Rosann is renting a table at The Everett Mutt Strutt and asked Dianne and I to knit dog sweaters to be sold to help fund off-leash dog parks. I think I made 15 or so, I have 7 to deliver to Dianne today :) Happy crafting everyone.

September 13, 2006

What's Been Happening in My Life?

I recently emptied the two large cupboards in the sewing room. Took everything out. Amazing the things I found. Three of the shelves were filled with books, magazines and binders I had created with helpful articles, the reference manuals on the machines, I have a binder that I put together that holds all the accessory feet and needles. Some of those things got relocated to the desk where the machines are housed. My machines live on a large oak desk. I like it, the pull out keyboard tray holds the package for the needles currently in the sewing machine as well as my 'collection' of scissors. The cubby for a computer tower - currently houses the feet binder as well as the 936 Handbook binder. Also a few patterns that are in 9x11 Manila envelopes are there until a find a better place. The pull out shelve which would hold a printer under normal circumstances, now holds the binders with knitting patterns, sewing ideas, fabric info, Newsletters, etc. There is a walkway between the sewing table and the cutting table about 4 feet wide, just big enough for me to move the chair around and a dog to stand there to further hinder anything I might want to do. On the far side of the cutting table, on the floor are 2 plastic pull out drawers which hold serger thread. On top of that is a plastic 3 drawer unit which holds utility sewing thread. And on top of that is a plastic bin which holds finished projects for future gifting, the entire stack is topped with pressing tools. Along the floor are several 3 drawer plastic storage containers. These hold embroidery thread, sorted by color. In my past life I worked for a local machine dealer and prepared lots of store samples, I also embroidered clothing, etc. Not so much anymore. You need to understand that JB built my cutting table - the top is made from a piece of oak plywood that is 10' long by 4' wide. The legs are huge 4x4 pieces of lumber and there is a shelve halfway between the table top and the floor. The table is the perfect height for me to stand and cut at for hours. It's also perfect for working with The Princess to hem skirts. Whoever needs their skirt hemmed stands on top of the table and the other as at the right height to measure, mark and pin up a hem - especially a shorter skirt hem :) The sole shelve contains some plastic containers of stuff. There are 2 that have quilt tops and various fabrics purchased for quits. I like making tops, I don't like finishing them. So, there they sit. I guess I should find somebody to pay to finish them. Otherwise someday my grandkids will inherit these and wonder 'what was she thinking?' There is another large plastic bin containing trims, laces, ribbons, etc. There are a couple smaller bins containing quilting projects (again - I swear it was a faze!), cross-stitching supplies and embroidery 'blanks' As you move around the space, there is about 3' from the end of the table to the first cupboard. This cupboard contains fabric - sorted by color and recently refolded to look nice and enable me to see exactly what I have. This cupboards holds, white, black and brown fabric. The bottom has batting, home dec fabric, and some large pieces of felt. Between the two cupboards are large pieces of fabric, bolts of muslin and pattern grid. The second cupboard holds, green, pink, purple, blue, red, orange and quilting cottons. I plan to open the doors and take photos - moving you around the room as just described. When I am actually sewing - I don't need to get into the cupboards, so the ironing board sits in front of one of them. It feels a little small, but there is plenty of room and now that it's organized I hope to be productive. In cleaning up I found the following craft projects that I should buckle down and finish before we go to North Carolina for vacation at the end of October. Several years ago I started making paper pieced tea cup placemats for my sister. I have everything together in one of those hand plastic bins. Also, I found all the dog fabric cut out for a bag for a Dog Walking Friend. I need to finish that as I'll be seeing her in October as well. Time to get busy actually working :) Photos to come real soon - along with actual sewing content. Edited to add: Blogger won't allow me to add photos, so I've added them to my Yahoo albulm and they can be found here.

September 6, 2006

Still Organizing After All This Time

I managed to get the overlaid pattern traced over the long weekend, but that's about it. I went shopping, didn't buy anything except patterns I'll probably never use. Oh, and a new iron and ironing board cover. My old iron quit producing steam! Hmpt! I have decided that what I really need to do is move all the sewing/knitting/reference books out of the cupboards in the sewing room, they need to be on shelves. JB installed three very cute shelves over my cutting table, but didn't space them far enough apart to fit a book! Of course he asked for my opinion while I was busing walking on the treadmill and couldn't really tell - they looked fine to me. Anyway, now I want him to put shelves up between the two cabinets. I could put the books there. I would need 2 shelves I think. The shelves would help stabilize the cabinets, as well. Once I get him to do that it's on to organizing fabric. What small stash I have (compared to others) is mostly cottons. I used to sew mainly with cottons. I sure I scream, loudly, made with loving hands at home whenever I wore something I made. I am now trying to get over my fear of sewing with fabrics I have never used before. At one point I had never used cotton either. Got over that one! Anyway, I want to sort them by colors and have them on the shelves in the cupboards. I'm starting to think of Fall sewing, I want to make a coat, some new skirts, turtlenecks and twin sets. There are visions dancing in my head. Sadly, that seems to be where they remain.

September 1, 2006

Another Skirt Thought

Lisa responded to my question about overlaying the patterns. She said she just does it on the fly, though. I'm still going to use tape on the gored skirt pattern to keep the seams aligned. One reason for this is that I want to make this skirt more than once. I just searched Old Navy and they aren't showing the skirt a client was wearing a few weeks ago. Surprisingly enough it wasn't what you think of with Old Navy, it actually fit her, was long and she could sit without either pretending to be a plumber or wearing a belt so tight she couldn't breath! I know all the mothers out there can relate to that. Anyway, the skirt was a version of the Simplicity Carolyn Skirt. (I'll edit later and add a pic.) This skirt was made of cotton, was long and flared. The seams were sewn on the outside and all the raw edges were finished with a hong kong binding done with a silky fabric. It was very cute. I have the perfect cotton abstract print in my collection. So, I just need to get the pattern to fit. I'm sure this is doable.
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