Monthly Archives: February 2010

Sewing Art

I rescued these two shears from the garbage at my friend’s shop. Apparently, a customer’s employee tried to sharpen them on a grinder on the inside of each blade, thereby ruining them. So, I purchased a shadow box and mounted the shears, making perfect wall art for a sewer’s house.

art

I used an awl to punch holes all the way through the backer board and then attached the shears with fishing line. I secured the knots on the back with hot glue.

knots

Things are moving along well with the repairs. Woohoo, I have a closet door!

door

A friend is coming over this afternoon to help me remove these eyeball lights and install the boxes for new lights to be mounted over the two mirrors. I do some minor electrical work but don’t feel confident enough to tackle this on my own. The plasterer is coming Monday so I need to get this done so he can patch the holes. Yes, I have a ceiling fan in my bathroom – it is definitely coming out!

eyeballs

I’m trying to decide which lights to use. I like the fixture on the left best but prefer the glass shades on the right. I’ll probably use the fixture on the left and try to find some different shades for it.

lights

I’d better turn my computer off now as I’m trying to get all of my housework done today. I really NEED to sew tomorrow. I’m going crazy!

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Snap Redo – McCalls 5984

As I mentioned yesterday, I sewed the snaps too far away from the edge so I took them off and resewed them. Ideally, a button’s location from the edge should be equal to half it’s width. I guess my mind must have been on something else – no big deal.

jacket2

Here’s my first attempt – just a wee bit too far in.

jacket1

Daily progress:

My closet has a wall! No door (so no squeeling) but there’s a wall. :-)

closet

And, as is my perogative, I have changed my mind on the tile. I decided to go all the way and install Travertine. My friend Jim is going to do the job for me – he’s really, really good.

selections

Here’s the tile along with my vanity and granite selections. I still have so many things to pick but none of them as pressing as these. I’m a very visual person and don’t do well making my selections all at once because I can’t imagine how it will all fit together. I kind of have to see how things are coming along before I can move on to the next thing. I do the same thing when sewing.

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BMV it is!

Thank you all for weighing in on this subject. After reading all of your comments, I have decided to go ahead and join. The JoAnn’s near my house is very slow to get the new patterns out and then they are often out of my size so I have to drive to the store across town and hope they have what I want. Saving time and aggravation is certainly worth $1 more per pattern!

Daily bathroom progress:

I have walls!!!! I love my double niches. I made a small (Jim approved) one on the other wall for my soap. The electrician came yesterday so the power in that part of the house is back on. I have had long extension cords going to the living room.

shower

There is a problem with the alarm wiring on the bathroom window. I’ll have to open up the wall and see – probably a broken wire. No worries, though, this is impact glass. Even a sledgehammer wouldn’t break it.

window

The plumber is here now doing his thing and the closet walls are going up today. I’ve picked out my new closet door – if it’s in when I get home tonight I will squeel with delight. They should be done with most of the dusty work by the weekend so I can give my house a thorough cleaning.

No sewing last night but I did resew the snaps on my red jacket. After looking at the photos I realized I’d sewed them too far away from the edge. They looked funny to me so I took them off and redid them.

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Do you BMV?

During the last pattern sale at JoAnn’s I ran myself crazy, back and forth and back and forth, waiting for the new patterns to be put out. I finally had to drive to a store 30 minutes away to get my patterns. It occurred to me that it might save me a whole lot of aggravation – and only cost a little more – to join Club BMV. At least I think so. I might pick up a few things at JoAnn’s when I go in to buy patterns but otherwise I’d have no reason to shop there.

How many of you are members of Club BMV and how do you like it?

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McCall’s 5984 – Closures!

I didn’t get any sewing done today, much to my dismay. I found out yesterday that the plumber would be here tomorrow to rough in the shower fixture. Eh, no big deal (I thought), I’ll go to The Depot in the morning and pick something up. Well, three Home Depots and a Lowe’s later I hadn’t found any fixture that I could live with, let alone really liked. I finally called the plumbing supply shop in Ft. Lauderdale around 2:30 and found out they were open until 4:00. I arrived at 3:00 and left a half-hour later with the necessary diverters and valves. Everything else I’ll pick up on Friday. I spent the same amount of money and received much better service and a superior product. The only thing that could have made my shopping experience any better is if they’d handed me a cold beer after I signed the bill. Yes, that’s how stressed I was by this time!

I did sew the closures onto my red boucle jacket – just so the weekend wouldn’t be a total bust. After going through my entire button collection, I still liked the snaps the best. I think they are funky and add interest to the large collar. It was pretty warm today but I hope to wear it next weekend when the temps dip again.

redjacket

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Saturday Update

The Simplicity jacket is all cut out and interfaced – ready to sew. I hope to get started on it this weekend. I probably won’t get much done because I do have to give my bedroom a good cleaning. It’s amazing how much dust manages to get through even with the doorway sealed off. I think that may be why I’ve been coughing so much all week.

We are down to the studs in most of the bathroom.

shower

The WC still looks really bad. I guess the walls were yellow when I moved in 22 years ago. I had blocked that out forgotten.

My friend Tom is coming over this afternoon to help me with the niches in the shower. Right now I have this arched one and want to replace it with two rectangles for more storage. I’m sure the tile installer will appreciate not having to make all of those cuts. My friend Jim – who does high-end bathrooms in multi-million dollar homes – says my soap dish is very lame. I think he should come shopping with me.

niche

The exterior plastering is done!

plaster

On the agenda for the weekend: buying new faucets, building niches and deciding on a tile layout. Oh, and a soap dish of some sort.

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Simplicity 2443

I’m moving on to this adorable little jacket from Cynthia Rowley. It’s unlined and just the thing to wear over a tank this summer. Plus it has lots of little pieces that’ll be perfect to work on in small blocks of time.

Notice the Year of the Jacket ticker in the sidebar. 12 jackets? I hope I can do it!

simplicity2443

I am going to work with this beautiful Ellen Tracy linen that I bought at Cynthia’s Fine Fabrics a few years ago.

linen

DAILY (oh, how I love that!) HOUSE PROGRESS:

The plasterer is applying the skim coat as we speak.

plasterer

The tile chipper has been going all day in my bathroom. Getting this terra cotta tile out has proven to be pretty difficult (how great that I don’t have to do it!) but the demo should be finished tomorrow so the tile man can start on Monday. I want to add another cubby to the shower over the weekend and get a plumber out to do the preliminary work for new faucets.

shower

The window company was also out this morning to measure for the new French doors. You know, I was very apprehensive about letting someone else manage this project for me but now I am so glad I did because things are moving along like clockwork!

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Another McCall’s 5984 – Final

It’s been a pretty stressful week and I was glad to have something to work on to take my mind off of everything else. Although at times it was not easy to concentrate with all the noise!

front

The only thing I still have to take care of are the closures. I didn’t get around to calling Pacific Trimming about snaps and then Els suggested I try buttons. I’ll play around with that tomorrow.

As I mentioned before, I eliminated the inverted pleat at the back. This not only cut down on sewing time but also gives this jacket a different look from the first one. If you do this, don’t forget to add an ease pleat to your lining.

back

Ordinarily, I would catchstitch the upper and under collar seams together from the inside but this boucle hides stitches so well that I was able to ditch-stitch from the right side.

collarstitching

Again, I added a hanging chain. I wasted so much time yesterday looking for the leftover chain from the first jacket. I remember putting it away but don’t remember where. Last night I finally went back to Michael’s and bought more.

hangchain

The hole in my house has finally been repaired – yay! Concrete block was laid in the center of the hole and is flanked by rebar-reinforced poured concrete columns. I just love the little funnels attached to the top of the plywood forms.

wall

It looks really good from the inside.

inside

I decided not to redo the cedar closet. It was something that my ex wanted and it will feel nice to have one less bit of him in the house. I need to start looking at closets to get some idea of what to do in here.

closet

I had no trouble picking out new tile. I wanted Travertine but also wanted something really durable and low maintenance. I was thrilled to find this porcelain tile that looks like natural stone so I can have the look without worrying about staining and periodic resealing. I propped it against my tumbled Travertine backsplash and I think it looks amazingly realistic.

tile

My cat Ricki has been completely stressed out since work began on Monday and has been hiding under one bed or another. Kanga, the lady of the house, has been totally pissed off. She just lays on the sofa and tries to put voodoo curses on the workers.

kanga

Winnie Whiskers, OTOH, was completely undisturbed by the noise and commotion. She’s so ladylike, isn’t she?

whiskers

Tomorrow I have to shop for faucets and moldings. I’m thinking of upgrading all of my door casings in the bathroom so I’ll need to get that done before tiling begins.

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Another McCall’s 5984 – Part II

I managed to get quite a lot done on the jacket yesterday considering that cutting out too as much time as it did. This bouclé was very shifty so I had to cut single layer to make sure everything was perfectly on grain.

By dinner time last night I had completed the body of the jacket.

front

I used a stay in the back. Ordinarily, I’d just use a piece of muslin but I couldn’t find any (really must reorganize!) so I used a thin, tightly woven drapery lining I had on hand. Even a printed cotton would work but I’m using Ambiance lining and I was afraid it would show through.

backstay

Closeup of one of the pockets. These pockets are so simple to make and look so nice. Isn’t this fabric beautiful?

pocket

I constructed and set the sleeves in this morning. Now I’m ready to insert the shoulder pads and construct the lining/facing/collar unit.

sleeve

It’s taken four men four hours to chisel that tiny slit on the right with a jack hammer. My house, she is strong like the ox. Right now, this crew is thinking it would be easier to break into a bank.

wall

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Padstitching by machine

I mentioned previously that I have used my blindstitch machine to padstitch jacket collars and lapels. I have roughly explained how it is done but, unfortunately, had no photographs to share with you. This is the machine I use. It’s a portable Japanese Tac-Sew T500. I’d love a full-size US Blindstitch but can’t justify giving up that much space for something I don’t use that often.

t500

This morning I was catching up on my blog reading and found this wonderful post at Made By Hand – The Great Sartorial Debate:

Henry Poole – again

Scroll down a bit and you will see exactly how the blindstitching is used to attach the hair canvas. I’d use the “no skip” setting in areas where I want more body and the “skip” setting for the rest. It’s neat, it’s fast and it’s easy. And, if it’s good enough for Savile Row, it’s certainly good enough for me.

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