July 30, 2009 · 11:47 am
The fabrics for my next project have been chosen! I know it will be another peasant blouse of some sort (are you getting the feeling that it’s unbearably hot and humid here???) and I thought these two Anna Sui coordinates would be perfect. I purchased the white/pink “puffball” chiffon some time ago and found the coordinating print later on. I’ll probably use bands of the coordinate to finish the sleeves and hope I have enough (I only bought a yard) for bias tubes and maybe some piping or bias trim. It says Dry Clean Only but you know I’m going to at least try to wash it. 🙂 DCO just isn’t practical in Florida in the summertime.
And yes, I know I’m using yellow again! Carolyn’s got me hooked…
July 30, 2009 · 4:13 am
My friend just refurbished and built this machine for a customer over the past week. It was to the testing point yesterday so guess who got to do the testing? ME!!!! And I am completely in love with this machine. It is a Consew 339RBL-1, double-needle walking foot machine. Do I need this? Of course not but that doesn’t make me stop wanting it. Imagine only needing to make one pass when flat-felling a jeans seam! Sigh…
I’ve been trying to plan my next sewing project but I’ve been so tired every night. The past two weeks have been hellish.
July 28, 2009 · 8:30 pm
Here it is, done but for the main hem and a few finishing touches. I meet my girlfriends for dinner on Thursday and really wanted to wear this so I completely blew off my housework and laundry on Sunday!
Not only is this blouse really pretty on, it also goes together so quickly! The most time-consuming part is making the neckline casing (it’s turned in twice so there are no raw edges visible). The rest goes fast, even if you make French seams.
I made very thin bias tubing for the neckline. Originally, I had made a wider cord (about 1/4″) but it wanted to twist and turn inside the casing so I removed it. To make the very thin tubing I used the edge of my straight-stitch foot as a guide and then left enough of a seam allowance to fill out the tube for a nice rounded effect. I’m glad I took the time to redo it because it looks much nicer.
Tomorrow I’ll finish the hem and then start planning my next project. Maybe something vintage! Definitely something cool – it’s getting hotter and stickier by the minute!
Filed under Fabric, New Look
July 26, 2009 · 10:48 am
It has been hotter than Hades the past few weeks and I’ve been craving some loose, whispy tops instead of my usual body-conscious styles. I do love a peasant blouse and have quite a lot of patterns to choose from, both vintage and contemporary.
This one from New Look immediately caught my eye because it isn’t too voluminous. I made View B.
I started with a size 8 and tissue-fitted the pattern. I was really surprised that I didn’t appear to need a full-bust adjustment. The only alteration I needed was a sway-back tuck. Still, I wanted to make a trial garment before cutting into my beautiful silk georgette. I’ve had this black folk-art floral in my collection for quite a number of years. I bought it in Hialeah with my friend Elaine and my late friend Barbara – that’s how I know it must be at least 6 years old. It was sold as rayon but I had my doubts about that. A burn test revealed that it is indeed polyester but it did pass the breathability test, probably due to the open weave of the fabric. If you want to see if a synthetic will breathe simply blow through the fabric lightly.
The only change I made to the pattern was to eliminate the neckline elastic and button/loop closure. Instead, I used a self-fabric bias tube.
Here is the back. Next time, I will probably eliminate the ties.
This top goes together very quickly and will work well with both pants and shorts. I’m really happy with the fit: loose but not baggy.
I think I’ll give it the wearability test later today and then cut into this beautiful silk georgette that I purchased from Textile Studios a few summers ago.
I don’t know how much sewing time I’ll have this week as work has been so busy! Which is why I don’t feel too bad about neglecting my household chores and spending time in my sewing room this weekend. 🙂
And, as an aside, if you were thinking about going to see the new Harry Potter movie, don’t bother. I was extremely disappointed!
Filed under Fabric, New Look
July 21, 2009 · 12:22 pm
Many of you know of my aversion to florals. Mmm, aversion might be too strong a word because I do actually like florals. I just think they are very tricky for mature women because they can either look too 17-ish or too matronly. When I do choose a floral it’s usually something very stylized. I don’t know what happened here, all I can say is that I loved this print the moment I saw it!
Because this would be a “whole lotta look” on a petite person, I thought it best to stick with a small garment. I also thought it would be a good idea to chop up the print a little so the Jalie Sweetheart Top was a good choice. I still need to stitch the hems which I’ll hopefully get to tonight after dinner.
You know I tried very hard not to have a big flower near the bust but I finally gave up! 🙂
I moved my FBA to the yoke seam and I am very pleased with the fit this provides. I may also try moving it to the neckline. This is a really great basic pattern that I anticipate making many, many times.
Because I liked the fabric so much on the first version, I took it apart and recut a new front after I’d made the changes to my pattern. I am much happier with it.
I had hoped to get much more sewing done this weekend but my pool pump had other ideas. I was not happy about that *at all* but I do now know how to change the impeller in a pump!
July 14, 2009 · 4:17 pm
I decided to see if I could find a beach coat pattern similar to the one in my previous post. Right now I can’t justify spending $50+ dollars on a pattern for a swimsuit coverup that I’ll wear a few times a year. I got lucky – look at what I found on Ebay:
I adore the square armholes (I honestly like them better than the cut-on sleeves in the other pattern) and I can easily modify the sleeves and collar. Of course, I’ll add the D-shaped pockets with a ginormous vintage-style monogram! With shipping, this set me back only $8.88.
July 1, 2009 · 9:00 pm
My friend Pam over at Fashion Sewing Supply is having a 4th of July sale through the 8th! If you haven’t tried her interfacings, you absolutely must. The quality is top-notch, better than anything you’ve tried before: no shrinkage, no bubbling, no boardy feeling. The sheer is a great all-purpose interfacing and the weft is wonderful for all of your tailoring projects. The low-temp interfacings are great for fabrics that are too sensitive for traditional fusibles.
Fashion Sewing Supply
Check out Pam’s notions while you are there – I’m crazy about the seam gauges I bought from her. Pam is an incredible sewer as well, do have a look at some of her inspiring projects. She just completed a vintage shirt for her husband that now has been combing Ebay and Etsy for men’s shirt patterns!
That’s it for me for the next week or so. I hope to be well-rested and raring to sew when I return. 🙂 TTFN!
July 1, 2009 · 11:33 am
Here’s what I was working on last night: the Jalie Sweetheart Top. This is the first time I’ve made it so I have some more tweaking to do. I made a size R and did a 1″ FBA which I eased in at the side seams. That should have been more than enough but it still felt too snug through the bust. When I really analyzed it closely, I came to the conclusion that the yoke is the problem. I should have seen that coming but you know how it is! What I need to do now is simply move the dart to directly in front of the yoke so that the fullness will actually be where I need it. Other than that, it’s a really nice top that I know will become a favorite basic for me.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I was a bit aggravated last night! My coverstitch machine always purrs along beautifully but here’s what I got instead:
Ack, skipping! Right needle breaking! What is going on???? So, I rethreaded the needles and checked everything several times. It still skips so I change both needles. Still. Skipping. So I decide it’s time to rethread from scratch and notice this:
The right needle thread has somehow become wrapped around the spring on the back of the machine. I take care of that and have another go. Will. Not. Stitch! I investigate and find this:
The looper thread has broken. No big deal, I rethread it, clear my needle threads and begin again. And again. And again. I finally decided that it must be a bad cone of Maxilock. I rethread and Yay! I finally finish my hems.
Yes, I do own downturn fellers but I never use them. It’s just not all that important to me to have the raw edges completely encased by the looper thread. If I don’t get close enough to the raw edge I simply trim the excess with my pelican scissors.
Needless to say, by the time I finished the hems I was very ready for a cocktail!