Monthly Archives: May 2009

TGIF!

Oh my God, I am so happy that it’s finally Friday! I have just been dragging all week for some reason.

It’s been really slow at work this week (which makes the day drag on forever!) so yesterday I decided to take some patterns with me to trace. I managed to trace off three patterns and use up the last bits of my Swedish Tracing Paper (which I am not fond of at all). I may bring some fabric with me today and see if I can get a head start on my weekend sewing. I’m not sure how much I’ll actually be able to sew this weekend but I am going to try! I need to do some planting in the front yard and finish painting that darned bedroom. I just need a 3-day weekend every week, haha.

patterns

I also found a box of fabric waiting for me last night: three pieces of bamboo/lycra from Fabric Mart. These knits are so soft and wonderful; I wish I had ordered more! Unfortunately, these colors are sold out. I don’t know why the rose (in the center) looks so orange in the photo – it’s really beautiful in person.

bamboo

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Filed under Fabric, Misc. Patterns

Fabric!

After being away for a couple of days I was so excited to find some new fabric waiting for me when I got home yesterday afternoon! Yeah, I know I don’t *need* more fabric but my philosophy is to buy it when I see it so that I’ll have it when I need it! Plus, I’m doing my small part to boost the economy. :-) Like most people, I’ve cut back on my spending but I think it’s really important that we continue to buy when we can to keep our favorite vendors in business!

fabric

The fabulous black and cream rayon knit on the left is from Gorgeous Fabrics, the two pink rayon knits and the white cherry blossom cotton are from Lucy’s Fabrics. The beautiful heathered green rayon is also from Gorgeous Fabrics. The green knit is the perfect weight for layering so I’ll probably get it in a couple of other colors. You can never have too many good knits in your collection!

I have work to catch up on today after taking some time off last week (and this is a short week already!) so I’m not sure I’ll get any sewing done. I did get up early and patch what seemed like hundreds of holes in the walls of my son’s old room! Bryan has been put on dinner duty this week so that I can start painting the walls tomorrow after work.

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Filed under Fabric

The Little Prince’s Room: Redecorating

It’s been nearly a year since my son moved to his own place. His decorating choices in his room here were interesting and caused me to wince every time I walked by.

The Boyfriend’s mother is coming into town next month for her 48th high school reunion and I told her she could stay with me. We still haven’t finished the wood floors in his guest room and concrete is pretty unwelcoming! As a bonus, I thought this would force me to finally get Jess’ room cleaned up.

Last week I had a rare afternoon off from work and decided to tackle the wall unit. It had previously been painted a deep burgundy – something which my son had talked me into because I talked him out of burgundy walls (which is just crazy in a dark, north-facing room!). Let me tell you, I wish I had just painted the walls! The woodwork took four coats of Benjamin Moore self-priming Wood & Metal paint and there is still some touching up to do here and there. I thought I’d never see the last of that burgundy!

I very happily started putting my DVDs and sewing books away last night. Next I’ll be spraying the closet doors white to match (I used this as an excuse to buy a pneumatic spray gun). After I paint the walls, I still have to make a new duvet cover and a couple of pillow shams. All in all, not an unmanageable amount of work.

jessroom

On the sewing front, I’ve cut down the dress from Kwik-Sew 3616. I had been looking for some interesting coordinate to use for the neckline binding when I discovered that the border from my paisley top matched perfectly (without the orange stripe, of course) – and I have just enough left!

border

And, BTW, if you’ve tried to call me and I haven’t called you back, the screen on my phone is all wonky again! The insurance company has threatened me with cancellation because I have dropped and ruined so many of these stupid Razrs – I think this is number 5. Which is why I buy an inexpensive phone to begin with!

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Filed under Fabric, Kwik-Sew, This and that

Status Report

On Saturday, I decided to play around with making a dress out of Kwik-Sew 3616. It was turning out really cute until I realized that I’d forgotten to add seam allowances to the skirt (Doh!). Let’s just say it fits but it’s unflatteringly snug. Well, we all make mistakes and this one isn’t tragic (although this Gorgeous Fabrics fabric is so perfect for work!). I’ll just cut it back into a top and try again.

3616dress

I’m also working on my quilt. I cut the borders and am now playing around with extending the circles into it. After looking at the photos, I think it needs a narrow black inner border in addition to the black binding that I have planned. It needs a frame to separate the circles from the border so that it doesn’t feel like nothing more than a sea of batik. What do you think?

quilt border

And, lastly, isn’t every day better when you buy yourself a little sewing present? I know mine is! I learned of the Spadea Sewing Book from Barbara at Cat Fur Studio and wondered why I didn’t have it! Now, through the power of the internet, one landed on my doorstep today as if by magic.

spadea

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Filed under Books, Kwik-Sew, Quilting

When to say When

I wore my new tops made from Kwik-Sew 3616 this past week and decided that I am totally in love with this pattern! And, BTW, the mismatch at the center front of my paisley top was not noticeable in the least once it was on – yay!

When you are short, as I am, volume is a little tough to wear as there is always the risk that it will overwhelm. The nice thing about this top is that it’s fitted through the torso to balance out the volume of the sleeves. The sleeves are also a dream to wear when it’s hot and humid as they allow for air circulation.

I would love many more of these tops but how many is too many? How different can I make them look? Will everyone notice that it’s the same pattern? Or is it just something that we notice because we sew?

As I was putting laundry away this morning, I realized that I tend to be a multi-buyer in RTW as well. When I find something I like, I buy it in every color. I am thinking this might be one of my weird OCD traits – or am I just being practical?

How many times do you make a favorite pattern? Does anyone ever notice?

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Filed under misc., Patterns

Kwik-Sew 3616: Finished

So, the bad match at the center front of this top was really, really bugging me. Argh. I had these vintage glass buttons in my stash that I thought might detract from my mistake – what do you think?

centerfront

The mismatch is really noticeable in this picture. I don’t know how this happened, I thought I was really careful and precise. Yuck!

buttons

Otherwise, I’m really happy with the way this turned out.

front

I LOOOOOVE the back!

back

Here is a closeup of the sleeve band:

sleeve1

And a peek inside.

sleeve2

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Filed under Fabric, Kwik-Sew

Kwik-Sew 3616, part II

I made good progress on the top today – it’s just wonderful to have a rare weekday afternoon to myself! It’s all sewn together, all I have left are the bodice hem and the contrast sleeve bands. Sorry, the photo is a bit wonky, I was in a rush. I had to laugh because the bust area looks deflated – Ethel is a bit smaller through the bust and rib-cage. I need to put one of my bras back on her.

3616boho

Instead of the facing, I decided to take advantage of the panel borders and bind the neckline instead. I sewed that center front area at least 4 times trying to match everything up. I finally decided it was good enough.

3616bohobinding

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Filed under Fabric, Kwik-Sew

Kwik-Sew 3616

As promised, here’s a quick review of the alterations I made to this pattern. After cutting out a test upper bodice, I determined that I’d need about 3/4″ in additional length over the bust in order for the seam to ride under my bra. Heaven forbid, as Heidi Klum says, that the boobs aren’t in the right place! Since the upper bodice is very loose fitting (and has gathers under the bust and at the shoulder) I didn’t require any additional width. I simply marked the additional length on the pattern and used my French curve to draw a smooth line.

fba

Neckline gaposis is often a problem on fuller-busted figures and is really easy to fix. I discussed this alteration HERE a few years ago (hit your browser back button to return here). The objective is to shorten the facing and ease the extra fabric of the neckline to it. I did a down-and-dirty job of it here. Unlike my previous tutorial, the outer edge of this facing is not sewn to anything else so I just tapered to nothing at the cut edge.

facing1

This does change the shape of the facing from a straight on-grain piece to a curved piece as you can see upon comparing the altered piece with the original.

facing2

What about the grainline, you ask? I changed the grainline to the center front. Cutting a straight facing on-grain serves to stabilize the neck edge. Once the facing becomes curved that is no longer possible. The facings are interfaced and the neck edges eased to it so stretching really isn’t an issue, in my opinion. If you wanted to use straight tape I guess you could but I don’t think it’s necessary and would just add bulk.

facing3

Some of you may remember this fabric that Ann sent me last summer. It’s the Boho Chic Jersey in a different colorway.

boho

If you’re new here, this was the must-have fabric of 2008! I used it for this dress (the Hot Patterns Cosmopolitan Dress):

bohochicdress

I thought it would be perfect for Kwik-Sew 3616 and you know how much I love to play around with patterns! I think the most important thing to do when working with a panel print is to plan carefully and never, ever overcut – you don’t want to cut into an adjacent panel or border that you might need later. This means your yardage will resemble Swiss cheese when you are done. :-) As I cut out the sections I lay them on the floor so that I can get a better idea how it’s all going to fit together. I actually cut the lower bodice so that the border would wind up in the hem – I wanted as little white directly on my stomach as possible.

3616front

I decided to seam the center back since it was too wide to fit into one panel. I would have liked a smoother transition over the shoulder but there just wasn’t any way to work that out due to the size of the pattern pieces.

3616back

Once I’m finished sewing this version I think I’ll transfer the paper pattern to manila so that I have a nice, sturdy permanent pattern. This one’s a keeper.

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Filed under Alterations, Fabric, Hot Patterns, Kwik-Sew

I just needed a break…

This past Saturday morning I burst out of bed, made coffee and dashed to my sewing room, excited to begin my day. I’ve been “almost done” with my silk tunic for quite a few weeks now. Saturday was the day I was going to quickly stitch on the neckline binding and do my finish work before moving on to another project.

So, I cut my bias binding and ran it through the folder. Hmm, not so good – really uneven. Easy to fix, right? I’ll just spray it heavily with some starch and try again. Willing to fix? No!!!!

Okay, I’ll cut the binding extra wide, starch it, stretch it and then recut it evenly. Makes sense, right? Tell that to the uncooperative crinkled silk! No problem, I thought, I’ll heavily starch the fabric and recut the strips. Does this work to my satisfaction? No!

By this time, I am having words with the silk, calling it some very, very bad names. So, I decided that, despite my desire to toss the whole project into the wastebasket, I would instead put it aside and work on something that is guaranteed to be fun, easy and fast.

And here it is, Kwik-Sew 3616! I’ve had this pattern in my stash since it first came out sometime last year (I think). I love kimono sleeves and the slim fit through the torso. It is definitely a winner!

ks3616

3616envelope

I made the XS with a couple of adjustments: A full-bust adjustment and a neckline gaposis correction. They were super-easy and I’ll show you how to do that tomorrow. Can’t you just see this lengthened into a dress??? It would be so cute!

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Filed under Kwik-Sew

Happy Mother’s Day!

My baby has to work today. Such is the life of a restauranteur, sigh. So I will try to enjoy another day of sewing. Wishing all of you a wonderful Mother’s Day with your families!

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Filed under misc.