Category Archives: Embellishments

Fur Collar & Cuffs

I am so glad I went with this fur instead of the longer-haired one because I think it looks so much better with the denim. The collar went together very quickly and easily. I once again used the black stretch satin lining from Gorgeous Fabrics. What a pleasure it is to sew!

jacketfront

Instead of using buttons and loops to attach the collar, I attached it with small snaps (seven in total).

snaps

After losing one of the jacket’s original buttons last year, I replaced them with these Paco Despacio sterling and lapis buttons from my stash. I think they still work so I’m going to leave them.

collarcloseup

You can see how the diagonal patches at the collar point hide the original collar very nicely.

diagonalpatch

The cuffs are just straight strips of fur faced with the same lining fabric. I couldn’t use snaps here (they would show if I wanted to wear the jacket plain) so I used large diagonal basting stitches instead. The stitches are hidden inside the turned back cuffs. Notice that I made the cuffs a little wider than the jacket’s cuffs. Fur cuffs should not be wimpy. 🙂

cuffs

I’m sorry to say this might be my only sewing this week. Last weekend we demo’d Bryan’s guest bath and I promised him I’d lay the floor tile this weekend. I hate weekends without sewing!

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We have a winner – I think…

I recut the collar out of a different fur today. This fur is much shorter and smoother than the other, kind of a pelted sheared beaver. I think this works much better with the jacket as it won’t be so overwhelming once I add the cuffs. What do you think?

furcollar

Don’t ask me how I managed (despite careful marking) to screw up the alignment of the pelt lines but I did. Luckily, I have enough to recut.

collardetail

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A little sewing, a little DIY

I had some large scraps of fur left from my recent vest project so I thought it would be fun to make a removable collar and cuffs for one of my RTW jean jackets.

I started by pinning the collar to a cardboard cutting mat and tracing all around.

trace1

I used my needlepoint tracing wheel to mark the collar seam. Do not use this tool on delicate fabrics!

trace2

Next, I trued the edges and added 1/8″ ease all around (including the neckline seam which isn’t shown in this pic).

pattern1

Then I pinned the paper pattern onto the collar to check the fit. The front of the collar fit fine with enough extra ease to accomodate the bulk of the fur.

fit1

I needed more length for the fall of the collar all across the back as you can see here.

fit2

I then redrew my pattern, adding 1/4″ seam allowances all around. I drafted a diagonal patch to be sewn across the corners of the collar to conceal the original collar. Okay, I had to laugh here at the word “colla” – sometimes my brain gets ahead of my pen and my writing trails off into nothingness. I often stare at it later wondering what it was I meant to say.

pattern3

Here’s the patch piece opened up as it will be cut out of the lining fabric.

pattern2

Once I had the fur cut out I tested it on the jacket and decided I didn’t like this particular fur on this jacket so I’m going to cut another one out of a shorter-haired fur from my stash. Stay tuned!

collar

I’m also keeping busy trying to get little things done around the house. I finally put the umpteen boxes of Christmas decorations up in the attic a few days ago, what a chore. Today, I put small marble shelves up in my bathroom to give me a little extra storage. The brackets came from Lowe’s and were originally gold so I spray painted them with Valspar’s Churchill Hotel Vanilla to match the walls. The “shelves” are actually pieces of Travertine leftover from my bathroom remodel. I used the width (18″) and cut them 8″ deep with my wet saw. They are attached to the brackets with dabs of silicone. Easy-peasy!

shelves

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Filed under Embellishments, misc.

Milly Blouse – Part I

A misnomer, really. I am actually still in the hunting and gathering phase of the Milly blouse. I knew I had some champagne silk charmeuse in the stash and I found it (with matching chiffon!) but, alas, not enough for the blouse. I found a ton of bronze silk charmeuse but it’s not my best color (someone gave it to me) so I had set it aside for nightwear (I wear a sleep mask so I don’t care what color my jammies are).

charmeuse

While I was hunting, I came across this beautiful leopard silk charmeuse still wrapped in tissue in the original bag from Cynthia’s. For shame! From the graphics on the shopping bag, Cynthia dated it at six years old, at least. Immediately, I thought “test garment” and that’s what I’m doing with it.

leopard

I’ve already come pretty far, the back fronts and sleeves have been joined in French seams and the armscyes have been sewn. I was going to serge them and then I thought, why not bind them with the champagne silk chiffon? I used a 1″ binder but cut my strips 1.5″ wide because silk chiffon narrows so much on the bias.

binding

I think this gives the inside of the blouse a really nice look.

inside

I did finally settle on a charmeuse for the Milly blouse, this silver grey which was purchased at Judy’s Fabrics a very, very long time ago.

crystals
The crystals were a bit more challenging. I did find the ones I really wanted at MJ Trimmings but, sigh , $$. I found these crystal beads locally. They cost me about $30 (about half of the ones at MJ) and they are big (12mm) and flat. I think they will work just fine. Cynthia has the perfect grey chiffon for the front ruffle which I’ll pick up on Monday night when I have my beginner’s class.

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Filed under Aren't you glad you sew?, Butterick, Embellishments, Fabric, Vintage Patterns

Organza-edged lingerie elastic

So many of you have asked about the organza-edged elastic that I felt the need to talk about it some more! Here is a close-up photo of it used as a sleeve finish on another garment. I believe I bought this particular one at MJ Trims in NYC a couple of years ago but I’m not 100% positive. It’s a very pretty and super-simple way to finish a neckline. Just serge it on, turn in and topstitch.

elastic

I did a quick search on Ebay for “organza elastic” and came up with quite a few auctions for it: Ebay auctions so it’s readily available. You might also do a search for “ruffled elastic”.

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Filed under Embellishments, New York Garment District, Notions

Back to the Drawing Board

I have been absolutely DYING to get back into my sewing room for soooo many months! So, yesterday I found myself with a couple of free hours and ran to my sewing room to see what I could whip up. Ordinarily, this would be no problem as I’d pull out a TNT pattern and get going but, since I’ve lost quite a bit of weight, my old TNTs no longer fit. Then I remembered that I’d retraced Kwik-Sew 3378 a couple of months ago and set about finding it.

This pattern is so darn quick and easy to make that I had enough time to embellish the fabric (a fantabulous rayon/lycra from Gorgeous Fabrics) with the silver Blomster transfer from Shop Onion and some hot fix crystals.

I used a commercial heat press set at 300F to apply my transfers but they work just as well with a domestic iron set to just above wool (I believe a wool setting is equal to 290F). I used a Kandi Kane from Sue’s Sparklers to apply the crystals (also from Sue’s) – it’s great fun!

kw3378blomster

blomsterdetail

I added a little unexpected detail at the back:

ks3378back

Unfortunately, I was not at all happy with the fit of this size (S) and had to take in the sleeves and midriff areas quite a bit. The bust fits fine. So, the next step is to test out the XS with a full bust adjustment. Hopefully, that will do the trick! Then I need to set some larger blocks of time aside to fit some more patterns because, really, how many twist tops does a girl need?

If any of you received the last Hot Patterns newsletter you can imagine that I felt like Trudy had read my mind when she wrote it. It’s so exciting to get back into shape but such a bummer to have to trash all those perfectly fitted patterns!

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Filed under Embellishments, Kwik-Sew, Onion Patterns

Hot Patterns Sunshine Top

Finally, here is the photo of my completed HP Sunshine Top. To be honest, I generally wear fitted tops because fuller ones can sometimes look too maternity on figures like mine but I LOOOOOVE this top! The cut actually makes me look slimmer and smaller busted – it’s a real winner. The secret is the cut and depth of the neckline. Beware that this is probably not something you’ll wear to the office as it is (it is in the Weekender collection, after all) although the neckline would be very easy to raise if you so desire.

This pattern uses the new HP sizing. I used a size 10 because that’s what I normally use in HP tops and dresses. I should have tried on my Hippie Chick Dress before beginning because, due to weight loss, it was a little too large through the upper chest. As in the Big 4, an 8 is the best size for me to start with. As always, I had to make a full bust adjustment as I didn’t have enough room in the front even with the gathers. I am very pleased with the fit except for one tiny issue that my fellow Sewing Divas helped me work out. I will show those alterations as soon as I redraw the pattern. I’ll tell you, it is such a luxury to be able to bounce these things off of my very talented sewing friends. The thing I love most about sewing is the constant learning of new skills. I’ve been sewing for years and still have so much to learn! How nice that we never lose those Aha! moments.

One thing you’ll want to be aware of in this top is the length. Hot Patterns are drafted for a tall woman – I am just under 5’4″ with most of my shortness being above the waist. I cut about 3″ off to finish the top at mid hip. Otherwise, this pattern was well drafted and went together without a hitch.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the metallic transfer is the Blomster Print from Shop Onion. I use a lot of transfers in my business and can assure you that these are of the highest quality.

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Filed under Embellishments, Hot Patterns, Sewing Projects