Monthly Archives: September 2009

I Love Knippie!

knipmode

I fell in love with this adorable skirt (view 16B) in the October, 2009 issue of Knip Mode and ordered a copy from Stoff Art on Ebay, with whom I’ve dealt countless times (she also sells Patrones and Diana – please note that she is currently on vacation).

rock

I absolutely love Knip Mode! Nearly all the patterns come in my size and they are so much easier to trace than Burda WOF. I don’t read Dutch but it’s similar enough to German that I can figure out what’s what. Note that there are only two colors to trace on this particular sheet – black (zwart) or red (rood). Some of the other sheets also use green (groen). The lines are easy to see and the paper is white and glossy.

patternsheet

The sheets are also smaller so they are more manageable. I’m able to lay one sheet out on a 4′ table so I traced off the skirt while it was slow this afternoon.

sheets

I have always wanted a subscription to Knip Mode. Right now, it costs me about $20 per individual issue (with shipping). Yes, they are available each month from Stoff Art but that’s more than I can justify paying so I’m pretty particular about which ones I buy. If my grandmother were still alive I’d ask her to send them to me every month! How wonderful would it be to get Knip Mode and Burda WOF every month? I’d be in heaven! Speaking of Burda, I caved and resubscribed. I loved the last two issues so much and was lured back in. AND, I’ve actually traced a garment from each issue already!

I finished my silk blouse last week but decided that it’s just too risky to sew at the shop. Although I was very careful working on it (I constantly washed my hands and covered the tables with examining table paper) I still managed to get an oil stain on the front. I was going to bring my Marrakesh pants in anyway but once the Knip Mode arrived I decided that was a safer project. I may bring a denim skirt with me next week. There isn’t much that could happen to denim, right?

My friend is just starting to come back to the shop for a couple of hours each day. I’m guessing I’ll still be working overtime here for a few weeks. I absolutely can’t wait to get back to my normal schedule. I’ve been too tired to sew and am becoming very b*tchy!

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Filed under Burda WOF, Hot Patterns, Knipmode

Dyeing MOP Buttons

When I wanted to try dyeing MOP buttons for my silk blouse the first person I called was my friend Sharon. Sharon is very experienced with dyes and paints and dyed a bunch of plastic buttons a couple of years ago – yes, you can dye some plastic buttons too! She recommended I use Rit dye and experiment first with one button to check the color and time.

I used one cup of water with four capfuls of liquid dye in a small Corningware dish. I prefer to use a glass dish because it’s non-reactive. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Thread the button(s) on a string (I used some topstitching thread) and put into the mixture. I looped the thread around one of the dish’s handles so it wouldn’t completely fall into the liquid. I checked my button every 5 minutes. After 20 minutes I realized that this was going to take a very long time! But, by then I could already see that the color was going to work, I just needed to simmer it for a long time to get the saturation I wanted. I strung up the rest of my buttons (make sure you dye a few spares!) and simmered them for three hours. I turned off the stove and left them overnight when I went to bed.

The next morning, I decided to try to get them a bit darker so I started with a fresh batch of undiluted dye. After a couple of hours they finally looked good to me so I rinsed and hung them to dry. I can’t imagine that they will fade but we’ll see. Due to all of the gathers on my blouse I will probably dry clean it so I’ll let you all know how they hold up to those chemicals. Hopefully, they’ll be fine because I have a ton of men’s MOP shirt buttons and plans to make a few more silk blouses.

Because MOP buttons require such a long cooking time, I really recommend you use a dish with a lid. Not only does this prevent all of your liquid from evaporating, it also prevents the dye from getting into the air. It’s not just a little stinky, it can’t be too good to breathe in either. If you are going to be standing over the pot a lot I’d recommend a mask of some sort too. Most of my dying consists of quick jobs like lingerie elastic (which dyes in mere minutes) so it’s not been a problem before. I just wanted to mention it to you so that you can be prepared.

PS: Don’t forget that anything you use for dyeing should never be used for food again. I’m you already knew that but it bears repeating.

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Filed under This and that, Tutorials

Am I still working on this silk blouse?

Ugh, yes I am! I can’t believe how much trouble I’ve had sewing this blouse! Well, thankfully, it’s not just me. Last night, Ann, Phyllis, Pam and I decided that the planets must be misaligned or something. Anyway, the sleeves are finally done and I hope not to see my seam ripper for a day or two. Since I’m working six days right now (my friend had a knee replacement so I’m minding his shop on Saturdays) I’ve decided to blow off housework today and get this thing finished because I really want to move on to other projects.

sleeve

I’m embarassed that my pressing board is so stained! I went to JoAnn’s – do you think they had any cotton drill? Uh, no.

I bought some new industrial hemmer feet this week. The one on the left is 3/8″ and the one on the right is 1/8″. I really like this style best. They are the same as the Bernina feet that I am used to.

newfeet

Here are some other feet I already had. They are really nice but I just don’t like them as well as the other style. The one on the left is a spring hemmer. It has a little spring that opens as you go over a seam. The middle one is a ball hemmer and the one on the right is a wire hemmer. For some reason, I’ve just never made friends with any of them (I think it’s because of the lack of visibility) so I was really excited to find the others. They weren’t expensive so I’ll probably order some other sizes as well.

oldfeet

I almost forgot about the buttons! I finally picked up some Rit dye yesterday. I simmered the buttons on the stove (I have a dedicated Corningware dish for this task) for about 3 hours, left them in the dyebath overnight and then simmered them some more this morning in a fresh pot of undiluted dye. They are not quite dark enough but I’d rather have an “almost” MOP button than a perfect plastic one!

buttons

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Filed under Attachments, Fabric, Vogue

Oops.

I cut a large piece of my pink silk to fuse for the collar, stand and cuff pieces on Monday night. It was all squared up on the press, so nice. I laid my interfacing down on it and then I forgot to wipe off the Teflon sheets that I use when fusing. Yep, oops. That piece of silk is a goner – it had bits of fusible glue from my last project all over the face. I was able to squeeze one stand piece out of a good area but the rest is lost. I was reduced to picking through the waste baskets for large scraps. Thank goodness I didn’t put the trash out on Monday!!! Luckily, I was able to collect enough scraps but I was so mad at myself that I didn’t even want to sew last night. I know better, really, I do.

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Filed under This and that

The Week in Review

I really didn’t accomplish much, this being a short week and all. I had some time to sew on Wednesday and spent it mending my paisley peasant blouse, grrrrr. When I was finished, I spent time planning my next projects. Thursday I met Jess for drinks, Friday I went to Bryan’s football game and then I worked yesterday so boohoo no sewing time until later today (after I vacuum and mop!).

About the mending: whenever I make something new I like to try it on with various other items in my wardrobe just to see what works with what. I was wearing a black bra and noticed a black spot on the front of my blouse. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that there was a small hole in the fabric! I always look for flaws when I’m pressing my yardage but, somehow, missed this! I was really upset but, since I had nothing to lose, I thought I’d try to fix it. Because this fabric is really drapey and the pattern is busy I decided that making a small fisheye dart over the hole would be the best solution.

I sewed out from the center, tapering to nothing at each end with very small stitches. I didn’t backtack but instead sewed right off the edge of the fabric. I then dotted a little Fraycheck directly on the hole.

mendstitching

After pressing, the mend isn’t noticeable at all! I marked the ends of the little dart with pins so you could see.

patchfinal

Granted, I still know it’s there (and I’m not at all happy about that) but I wore it yesterday and had a hard time finding the mend so I’ll continue to wear it as long as it lasts. I also decided to add some ties to the sleeves.

sleeveties

We stayed in last night because my honey didn’t feel well. While he watched football I cut out a hot pink silk blouse. I’ve had this silk for over 15 years. I purchased it when, sniff, the old Cloth World on State Road 7 closed. Oh, the many happy hours I spent there in high school fondling fabric and looking through pattern books! I knew I had some hot pink MOP buttons in my collection but I didn’t have enough – and no way to ‘make it work’. I am totally disgusted with JoAnn’s button selection. I refuse to put a plastic button on a silk blouse so I’m going to try dyeing some to match. If that doesn’t work out I’ll order some from MJ Trimmings. I have hundreds of natural MOP shirt buttons so I’ll experiment with that this week. I meant to pick up a bottle of RIT when I was at Publix but it was such a madhouse that I forgot.

pinksilk

I also pressed my beautiful cotton that I bought from Ann a couple of months ago. I found the perfect pattern for it which I’ll hopefully fit this afternoon.

eyelet

I bought some industrial velvet feet since I didn’t have a set. You can’t really see in the photos but they have a V bottom so as not to mar the fabric. I’m most interested in them for ditch stitching since I haven’t really found the perfect foot for that.

velvetshort

velvetlong

And, I ended up wearing my white dotted Swiss blouse to the football game on Friday and received soooo many compliments. I like it more every time I wear it!

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Filed under Attachments, Fabric, This and that

New Look 6891

My honey’s first home game is this coming Friday and I am determined to wear comfortable footwear! Believe it or not (haha), I am not a sensible shoes type of girl and spent last football season on the sidelines in high heels. This year, I am planning ahead and making some cute outfits to wear with comfortable shoes, namely my Frye Campus 14Ls.

campus

As much as I love chunky boots, they are a bit problematic, stylewise. I was thumbing through an old Anthropologie catalog the other night and immediately fell in love with this outfit (and how awesome is her hair!?!?!?). Yes, I detest skinny jeans (really, what woman wants to look like a lightbulb?) but they are perfect tucked into boots! Hopefully, I’ll be able to find a pair by Friday. Since it’s still quite warm here, I’ll be skipping the jacket for now. But I’d wear boots year-round if I could – Lord knows I’ve tried!

anthropologie

For the tunic, I decided on New Look 6891 in a beautiful rayon challis from the now-defunct Textile Studios fabric store. This fabric has been in my collection at least three years.

nl6891

What I liked about this pattern was that it didn’t seem too full. Normally, I would never buy a pattern that starts at a 10 since I hate having to grade down the shoulder and upper chest but I liked this enough to deal with that. As usual, I started by tissue fitting and was pleasantly surprised that the shoulders fit very well and there was enough ease (39″ in the size 10) through the bust that I was able to skip the FBA. I did make my usual forward shoulder, sway back and sleeve length alterations but that’s it.

paisleytunic

For such a simple top that’s very easy to put together, it is surprisingly flattering. The neckline binding/ties took more time than anything else. There are only a few gathers over the bustline – if you needed to make an FBA it would be so simple to move the additional fullness there.

This is definitely a keeper that I’ll be making again. And, for those of you who’ve inquired, yes, I am working on those HP pants! I have a few irons in the fire, so to speak, and trying to get the most pressing ones out first.

26 Comments

Filed under Fabric, New Look, Shoes

Another Sweetheart Top

This top’s been done except for the hems for more than a week so I wanted to finish it before moving on to the next project. I really, really dislike UFOs!

tiedye

The more I make this pattern, the more I like it. I like having a lot of tees in my wardrobe and this one has now become a favorite. It’s pretty, flattering and quick to make. This fabric came from Bestonlinefabrics (link in the sidebar) on Ebay. I just can’t seem to resist anything that looks hand-painted! This will be the perfect thing to wear with jeans to a football game.

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Filed under Fabric, Jalie