Category Archives: Notions

Happy New Year!

There’s just nothing like a bright, shiny New Year full of hope and promise, is there? I have set a few sewing goals for 2011:

*12 jackets (this was so much fun that I want to do it again!)
*A couple of sundresses
*Solid knit tops
*Milly blouse (now that I have all the ingredients)
*Navy duffle coat
*Navy suede or Ultrasuede jacket for Bryan
*Master my collarette binding machine (the Kansai 8103-F)
*Use my Merrow purling machine more often (or sell it!)
*Get my industrial embroidery machine up and running again
*Have my Singer 143W refurbished and put into a stand

Of course, my household goal list is really, really long but tops on the list is finishing off the side yard. I am tired of trudging through dirt every time I take out the garbage! We’ll be clearing out the rest of the plants on Sunday so that’s a start.

Remember the horn toggles I bought for my black duffle coat? Well, I was so pleased with them that I bought more. They were so inexpensive I couldn’t pass them up! I bought a few more black ones and some interesting black/cream ones.

blackhorn

whitehorn

I plan on lining my navy duffle coat with this wonderfully soft Pendleton wool plaid from Gorgeous Fabrics. Since I’ll be wearing this to football games I was looking for the same plaid used in the school uniforms (Stewart Hunting) and this was pretty close. To make the coat easy to get on and off I’ll line the sleeves with a navy satin coat lining (also from GF). Ann has some wonderful coat linings on her site right now so if you’re planning on making any outerwear this year you’d better order now because they won’t be easy to find once it warms up.

tartan

This piece of deliciousness is also from Gorgeous Fabrics. It’s a reversible heavy cotton jacquard that I’ll be using for a jacket, pattern to be determined. It’s a very good weight for an unlined jacket. It’s labelled dry clean only but I am going to wash a swatch and see how it turns out.

jacquard

I wish I had some sewing to show you but I don’t! I’ll get back on track next week, I promise.

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Filed under Fabric, Notions, Year of the Jacket

Simplicity 2508 – Part II

OMG, I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since I posted! But, I wasn’t worried about not sewing because I had this awesome sewing weekend planned starting the day after Thanksgiving. Yep, just me, my jammies and my sewing machines! Alas, the Gods had other plans. Here’s the short version:

*No electricity until 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving
*Kitchen sink and dishwasher backed up, greasy water all over floor
*Snaked pipes so many times I know their twists and turns intimately
*Wash dishes in the tub
*Replace disposal
*Call plumber to snake from roof
*Dishwasher broke, spent entire morning trying to fix to no avail
*Eat dinner on paper (gasp!) plates again

I finally threw my hands up just after lunch today (yes, this drama lasted all weekend!) and headed to my sewing room to, FINALLY, work on my velvet jacket. I don’t care that dishwasher parts are all over my kitchen floor. Watch me ignore them for the rest of the week as I am blissfully holed up in my sewing room. 🙂

I did manage to get everything cut out last night, woohoo! The pattern calls for several pieces to be cut on the bias (which is very cool if you are working with corduroy) but didn’t work out so great with my velvet. The pieces rippled unattractively so I recut them on the straight of grain. Fusible interfacing would have tamed them but this particular velvet didn’t fuse as nicely as I would have liked. Instead, I fused Armo Weft (I still have several bolts of it!) onto cotton batiste and then attached it to my fabric with little dots of glue stick. Actually, my “cotton batiste” was some old Touch of Gold interfacing that I had lying around. I’ll never use it again so I figured this was a good way to use it up.

I completed all of the little detail pieces: the collar, welts, tabs and back belt. Tomorrow I’ll work on the sleeve ruffle and interfacing the body of the jacket. I love getting all the little bits finished and then, voila!, you have a completed garment.

velvetjacket

Last week I finally ordered some of the Japanese basting thread that Claire Shaeffer recommends in her new DVD and it arrived today! I found the best price and lowest shipping charges for this at The Sewing Place.

bastingthread

The YKK Excella zips I ordered from Zipperstop also arrived. These will be going on my black lambskin jacket that I hope to make next month.

zips

That’s it for today. I’m saying a little prayer that the rest of my week is b-o-r-i-n-g so that I can finish this project before the weekend!

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Filed under Notions, Simplicity, Year of the Jacket

Zippers: Another Obsession

For years, I have been obsessed with zippers. Let’s face it, the right zipper can make the difference between “homemade” and “designer”. I am not ashamed to admit that I own hundreds of zippers. Whenever I see good ones I buy them and buy them LONG because I can always shorten them, after all.

Purse and separating zippers have been a particular thorn in my side because they are so hard to find in the colors I want. I had so many nice comments about the cool RiRi zipper I used in my orange clutch. When RiRi first started selling in the States, they had quite a few interesting finishes and styles. Now, I can’t find anything but the ones with multi-colored teeth, grrr. Anyway, I was searching online and came across these YKK Excella rainbow zips so I ordered two, a 22″ and a 7″. They looked nice and were less expensive than the RiRi. Well, they arrived today and I. LOVE. THEM. The quality is very, very good and I actually prefer a plain metal pull to one that’s painted because it will stay nice looking for much longer.

zip1

I also bought a YKK brown separating zip with a nice pull because I thought it would come in handy sometime. I have the same zip in black and red and really like it. Zippers don’t go bad, ya know?

zip2

You can get these Excella zips in closed-bottom or separating styles from ZipperStop on Etsy. The prices are reasonable and the shipping is fast. For some odd reason, they do not have these particular zips on their regular website.

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Vogue 8196 – Planning stages

A couple of weeks ago, I remembered that I had about 5 yards of black wool gauze in my “collection”. I thought it would be perfect for this Vogue pattern:

vogue8196

I decided that I’d like to use Cluny lace (vs. a more delicate lace) to keep it from being too froufrou. Since I couldn’t find anything of good quality locally I decided to take a chance and order online. I found what looked to be some really pretty vintage laces at Deb’s Lace & Trims for a very good price. Well, the laces came today and I am very pleased! These are exactly what I had in mind – they weren’t sold as coordinates but I thought they went together very well.

laces

Parting shot: The past few days, I’ve noticed that my old girl Kanga has been pushing the decorative pillow/sham off of the regular sleeping pillows for her daytime nap. She usually sleeps in the chair next to the bed but I guess she was ready for a change.

kanga

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Filed under Fabric, Kitties, Notions, Vogue

Simplicity 3786 – Final

I finished up the blouse this morning – yay! I’m pleased with how this turned out. I do want to say that this pattern is very oversized! There is so much ease through the waist and hip that I was able to remove 4″ and still have over 5″ left – yikes. All of that volume would be fine in a drapey fabric, I suppose. But on someone 5’3″ tall it’s going to be overwhelming. After taking the sides in so much it is still loose and tunic-y but shows my figure just enough. I also shortened the bodice by 4″, making it just the right length to wear out with pants or shorts or to wear tucked into a pair of jeans. And, I found the front slit needed to be opened up a little so I restitched it about 2″ lower. It’s more flattering and easier to get over my head.

front

back

side

I decided that I will mostly wear this particular one out (vs. tucked in) so I added the gathered detail at the back to give it a little more shape. I made my own bias tape instead of using the prepackaged tape which I find stiff and bulky.

gathersout

I also used 3/8″ elastic instead of the 1/4″ that the pattern called for. It just happened to be the first thing I grabbed from the cupboard.

gathersin

I like to use my specialty presser feet whenever I can so I pulled out my 1/4″ rolled hem foot to speed things along.

hemmer

hem
Here’s a closeup of the collar band. I used Sheer Elegance fusible from Fashion Sewing Supply which provided just the right amount of support. As always, I fused both the inner and outer bands.

band

I have a quick errand to run and then I’ll be back in my sewing room cutting out my dotted Swiss! The Dolphins are playing tonight so that means I’ll get to sew while my honey watches the game.

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Filed under Notions, Simplicity

Fashion Sewing Supply

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!

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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