Monthly Archives: June 2009

That’s it! I’m going to bed.

So, I was trying to finish up one last vacation top tonight and things just weren’t going my way. I’m not 100% happy with the alterations I made to the pattern – in spite of the down-and-dirty muslin I whipped up on Sunday. Then my coverstitch machine started acting up. I did figure out what the problem was – the needle thread wrapped around a spring at the back of the machine. I fix that, manage a few stitches and the looper thread breaks. And breaks again. And again. Sheesh! I think it’s the Maxilock thread. Of course, all of this happens while I am trying to stitch the sleeve hem in the round, on a flat-bed machine!

Here’s my sewing contribution for today: another vintage pattern I purchased on Etsy today. I am always looking for casual tops that are a little different. At first glance, this doesn’t look all that special but check out the shapes of the pattern pieces! Yes, they actually have shape. :-)

front

back

I don’t think I’ll get any more sewing done this week as there’s still so much to do before I go away. I know what I need to do to fix the pattern I was working on tonight so I may try to squeeze that in while it’s still fresh in my mind. I tell you, it is going to kill me to be away from my sewing machines!

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Filed under Patterns, vintage, This and that

New Vintage Patterns

As I mentioned in my last post, Phyllis had sent me a link to a gorgeous 1970s coat pattern on Etsy because she knows I have a weakness for that sort of thing. Well, I am trying to stop buying coat patterns because I so rarely need a coat.

So, I bought these instead:

These two will definitely need a cami!

kloss

burrows

I want to make this top (without the embroidery!) in cotton voile for my vacation.

peasant

Loooove this dress. Shortened, I thought it would be a nice dress for work.

wrapdress

What was I thinking with this? Yes, it’s very pretty but I can’t imagine where I’d wear it. It’s pretty revealing! Maybe for some sort of island vacation…

marlo

I thought this would be pretty in a drapey silk for summer. Probably will also require a cami. How creepy are the mannequin’s faces? They look like Stepford Wives!

drawstring

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Filed under Vintage Patterns

Kwik-Sew 2845 times two

This pattern has been a TNT favorite of mine for years (note that I added sleeves). I especially love it with long sleeves in the summertime for a bit of protection from the strong southern sun. Since we’ll be doing a bit of sightseeing on our vacation these will really come in handy.

Both fabrics are from Textile Studios (who, sadly, no longer carry fabric). This first one is the one I showed a couple of days ago. I couldn’t decide whether or not this was a bit too young for me but I liked the stylized flowers and the colors work well in my wardrobe.

2845a

The sheer pink/white devoré jersey has been in my stash for a few years – probably four or five. I kept looking at it, wondering what to make with it. It hit me this morning that it was perfect for this pattern and I LOOOVE it! It is so light and wispy, perfect for a sweltering summer day.

I had originally wanted to use my Merrow perling machine (model 2DNR) to make a tiny serged finish on the edges of the hems but the fabric would not cooperate. I also tried a narrow coverstitch which seemed to overwork the fabric. I finally settled on a narrow 2.5mm twin needle which was light enough and suited the fabric well. I couldn’t eliminate the slight tunnelling so we’ll just call that a design feature. I did consider a raw edge a la Ann but my fabric tended to run a tiny bit so I abandoned that idea. I’ll definitely use it when I make my mesh top!

2845b

I love that this fabric is very light and sheer but not sheer enough to show my bra. This is a really good style for this type of fabric because the details make it not as revealing as it would be in a plain tee.

Tomorrow I’ll show you the vintage patterns that Phyllis made me buy on Etsy. Well, she didn’t make me buy them but she did provide a link to a certain fabulous vintage 1970s coat pattern which led (’cause I’m on a vintage coat pattern diet, living in Florida and all) to me being forced to buy other really pretty vintage patterns… Okay, okay, I’m just weak.

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Filed under Fabric, Kwik-Sew, Vintage Patterns

Light Table

This is – or used to be – a sign that hung in my friend’s shop window advertising a brand of machine that he sells. He said this one hummed when it was on and so he was sent a replacement. He mentioned that these signs make great light tables once the cellophane is removed and asked if I wanted it. I didn’t hesitate! I have always wanted a light table but they are expensive and I wasn’t willing to spend a lot on something I need so rarely. I can’t even imagine what you’d pay for one this size – it’s 24″ square. UPDATE: A light table like this one in an 18″ x 24″ size is $399 at Dick Blick – yikes!

lightbox

Yes, it does hum after it’s been on for a few minutes but I can live with that – or I can just replace the ballast.

I’m off to get my nails done and then I’ll be chaining myself to my sewing machine for the rest of the day! My honey says I have a break in my sprinkler line under the black olive tree out back. He is going to come over and take care of that for me but promises he will not interrupt my sewing or ask for tuna melts. :-) He’s so sweet – I’ll just make the tuna ahead of time.

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Filed under This and that

New Fabrics!

Last week Carolyn wrote about Vera Wang Lavendar fabrics at Fabric.Com. Carolyn has very good taste so, naturally, I hopped on over and added three pieces to my cart! My fabrics arrived a couple of days ago and I am very pleased. I exercised some restraint and only bought three pieces: two solid jerseys and the “Scratch” silk twill.

vera

It was the green jersey that started it all. It’s really hard for me to find just the right green and this one appeared to be good. Yes, we do take a chance when ordering online but considering the wonderful pieces I’ve acquired online I gladly take that chance. I’ve been disappointed less than a handful of times and that was long ago in the infancy of internet shopping. Considering the very reasonable prices available online there isn’t much risk involved, IMO.

I also received my fantabulous piece of Instantly Heirloom Cotton from Gorgeous Fabrics – it is so soft and lovely, perfect for a beautiful summer blouse or tunic! I could even see this as the most delicious summer robe for the sweltering Florida heat. Trust me, the photos do not do it justice. Yum!

heirloom

Ahhhhhh, I really do love adding new fabrics to my collection. It pleases me. :-)

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Kwik-Sew 3120

I had such high hopes for this pattern. To be honest, I found the fit a little strange. I made this a few years ago and knew it ran small through the bust and loose through the torso. I made a 1″ FBA (for a total of 2″ extra through the bust) and then removed the extra width below the bust. It’s still too snug through the bust and too loose through the waist! It looks like I need to remove about 1/2″ more at each side seam but didn’t bother doing that on this top. There is something about it that I don’t like and I think it’s the fabric. It feels too Patio Sportswear to me. It’s probably the colors – you do get Tropical Color Overload living in South Florida! I will definitely make another version so I gave it the wearability test yesterday so that I can alter the pattern. I guess I’ll keep it and just wear it around the house with shorts.

Notice that I didn’t match the stripes at the raglan seam. There just wasn’t enough fabric and the repeat was really long so I fudged it as best I could. I think it looks okay.

3120

Here’s a closeup of the lacing detail. I originally intended to use self-fabric cord but I didn’t like the look so I cut a 1/4″ wide strip of Ultrasuede from my collection.

lacing

On the cutting table: I bought this from Textile Studios a couple of years ago. Ricki has given it her stamp of approval!

ricki

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Filed under Fabric, Kwik-Sew

Coverstitch machines

Shirley had asked about my coverstitch machines so here they are. Both are Kansai Specials. This is the W-8103F for collarette binding. The special binders slip onto the post to the right of the foot. This machine is designed for binding only, not for flat work. It has three needles and top and bottom cover.

8103

This is the WX-8803D, a flatbed coverstitch machine with three needles and top and bottom cover. There are attachment holes in the bed for binding plates, belt loop folders, downturn fellers, etc.

8803

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Filed under Sewing Machines

A Perfect Sewing Day!

It started out good – last night’s leftover Mexican food for breakfast – and only got better from there. Up until 15 minutes ago, I was still in my robe SEWING!!! For my VACATION!!! Then reality set in and I was forced to go to the pool store. :-) Now I’m back and ready to cut out a few more tops but, first, I wanted to share my last two (for now) versions of Kwik-Sew 3616. Both are sleeveless with buttons/loops at the center front.

The first is a mystery fabric from my collection. Someone gave this to me and I wasn’t that wild about it at first but it’s grown on me. It is amazingly silky-soft! I thought about matching the print across the front but I thought it would be too much of a horizontal where I don’t need it.

swirly

This is one of those fabrics I can’t seem to resist: a challenging print! This one came from Bestonline Fabrics (link on the sidebar). It was actually kind of difficult to find a pattern with pieces that would fit the panels. Still, I had to cut the upper fronts across the grain to fit them in – thank goodness for the 4-way stretch.

3616front

This is the back. Here you can see what the yardage looked like as a whole.

3616back

I found these *perfect* buttons in my collection. This is why, unless you live near the garment district, you also need a button stash! I think I bought these about 10 years ago. It’s kind of hard to see but they are clear acrylic with tiny rhinestones.

buttons

Back to the cutting room!

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Filed under Fabric, Kwik-Sew, Notions

To Stash…Or Not To Stash?

That is the question! I’m a self-admitted fabric “collector”. This addiction started back in the day when it was really difficult to find much good fabric locally. So, I started buying fabric as I saw it, gradually building up my stash. I have known people who just buy fabric for the sake of it and never use it but I am not one of those people! I now buy most of my fabric from online vendors and really enjoy adding to my collection. Over the years, I have built up my own little in-house store that is better-stocked than any local shop could ever hope to be. :-) When The Boyfriend’s mother visited last weekend, she noted that “there is fabric in every closet!”. Um, yes, there is and that’s just the way I like it.

My friend Lindsay does not stash. Yes, you read that correctly. She admits to being a fabric teetotaler. Then, there’s Carolyn who might be even more of a collector than I am and whose blog posts often cause me to add a few more yards to my stash. Most of you are somewhere in the middle.

About 5 years ago, I took a fabric inventory. At the time, I had approximately 1200 yards in my collection. It’s grown since then, to be sure. And, no, I don’t feel the least bit guilty about it.

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Filed under Fabric

Just coming up for air!

Whew, I have been super-busy this past week! The landscaping in the front is finished but I still have to rewire the courtyard lighting – photos to come. I also had to get ready for Bryan’s mother’s visit this past weekend which meant finishing the painting and sewing a duvet cover and pillow shams. I know the colors seem a bit über-neutral but I liked the way these fabrics worked with the existing dust ruffle and shams. Plus, they were sooo cheap: I made both for around $25! I am so glad I sew.

A special thank-you goes out to my friend Jim who gave me the treadle base and amazing slab of granite for the bedside table.

jessroom

The shams are supposed to have buttons on the ends but I ran out of time. These are the fastest, easiest shams you will ever make. I kid you not, I made both in about 20 minutes! They are really nothing more than a long pillowcase. I bound the edges in the same microsuede that I used for the bed ruffle.

sham

Yesterday, I got back to work on my Petals In The Breeze top which I finally finished this evening. I found these beautiful black rhinestone buttons in my stash so I decided to use button loops at the center front.

buttons

The contrast was sewn right side to the wrong side of the bodice and then flipped out and topstitched. I used a standard facing at the back. All of the hems were done on my blindstitch machine – very quick and easy.

top

I have also traced off quite a few patterns this past week so I’m going to cut a few more things cut out tonight. We are going on a little vacation soon so I’ll need some cute new tops to wear. I bought four pair of shorts this weekend because I just couldn’t get excited about sewing shorts. Besides, in the time it takes to sew a pair of shorts I can make at least two tops!

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Filed under Aren't you glad you sew?, Fabric, Kwik-Sew, Sewing for the Home, This and that