Tuesday, August 29, 2017

August Was A Very "Sewcial" Month!

Sorry blog again its been a long time and so this will be a long post.  There should have been 3 posts. And it should have been done a few months back.

I love nothing more than getting together with a group a people who share my interest in a hobby and August was a terrific month for that.

First on the calendar was MPB day.  Peter Lappin's of Male Pattern Boldness annual get together.  I'm pretty sure that this was my 4th attendance.

I meet the group at the FIT museum a little too late to be in the group photo:

Photo courtesy of Male Pattern Boldness

 4 pieces of fabric we bought:





For 3 projects as the white cotton is for underlining the winter white wool crepe.


The chiffon print, from Fabrics for Less,  was sewn into a kimono jacket and sent off to my niece.
























A very quick and fun project to make.  Cut, french seam the seam that goes from sleeve bottom to the hem.  Serged the edges and then roll hemmed them.

The other purchases have now been sewn as well.

Look who stopped by for lunch:












































Kenneth D King

I'm wearing a McCalls 7542 made in a gingham from Metro Textiles.  I should blog it.  I had to address sleeve cap issues.

A nice moment of the day was seeing a new fabric store opening.  We've seen so many close...



We also visited the new French Couture Fabrics.  I plan to go back there for some leather for a skirt.

And what does one do the weekend after a great day of fabric shopping?  One goes fabric shopping again:


Photo courtesy of Diary of a Sewing Fantatic


Thanks to Jinx and Gunner to we had a terrific day on the Jackson Heights Fabric Crawl.  We visited 5 great fabric stores all located very close to each other in this Queens neighborhood.

So my commitment to myself this year was to limit fabric purchases to that which would be used right away.  As they say about best made plans.....:



The two to the left are both Rayon Challis'.  Having been lamenting the lack of pretty Rayon Challis in the Manhattan Garment District, we found the mother load in Jackson Heights.  These both came from M&J fabrics, where everyone of us purchased fabric mostly rayon challis.  I hope that they will still be stocking this substrate next year.   We've already made plans to have a spring crawl, but I can easily make a stop here on the return from my infrequent visits to my office.

They grey floral is for a dress I've been thinking of for quite a while.  I have a pair of grey shoes that don't go with much.  TNT shift bodice with a half circle skirt.  A version I've not done before.

The solid blue is planned for a Style Arc Marilyn Dress.  Carolyn did a nice job with this one.

The flannel is for Carolyn Pajamas as December Holidays' project.

And then on the last Tuesday of the month there was #NYSewcial hour:




If you're in the New York area and haven't joined us yet,  Grace and I have been hosting a monthly happy hour gathering on the last Tuesday of every month.

Almost always (except for special occasions) at:

The Houndstooth Pub
520 Eighth Avenue at 37th Street
6pm


We'd love to have you join us.

Now to catch up with posting the sewing that I've been doing.





Thursday, July 13, 2017

When Life Gives You Lemons



....you make a skirt.




I've been eying lemon prints for awhile, but neither black or white grounds were doing it for me.
Just before my birthday I spotted this Navy ground print at EmmaOneSock and, Birthday Fabric I hit the buy button.  I am working towards a no-orphan wordrobe and I had the twin set and numerous pair of navy patent leather shoes.

The skirt is the pattern same one from Pattern Review that I used on this dress.



Hard to tell with the print, but it has lovely pleats that cross over the stomach, but lay flat.




I think I will enjoy this one a lot.


Monday, May 1, 2017

Sew Nice I Made It Twice



Well not quite.

The Taylor Skirt from Style Arc Patterns:



This was my first go at a Style arc pattern.  I bought it through Etsy so while I got three sizes, but they can only be printed out one at a time and aren't nested.  My measurements put me at a mix of the 8 and the 10.  I don't like clothes that are too tight so I went with the 10.

And it came out way to big.  It was the begin of winter and I put it away.  Now that Spring is here (though we've had a couple of days Summer) I figured it was time to fix it.

I took it all apart and took 1/2" off each of the side seams, then reattached the waist elastic and redid the hem.

Now it looks quite perfect. Even the back view:



The fabric is one of the stripe pontes that Mood always has available whether in-store or on-line.
I used one to make a Coco Dress pre blog as did Lauren.  Sarah used one very recently.


I love what the seaming does to the stripes:




Ultimately I've ended up with a successful make, but I'm still hesitant about using a Style Arc pattern again.  There are a few bloggers for whom their styles really work, but I think I'm really not their body type.  If there's a style that I just can't find elsewhere, perhaps.

One more view:



Sunday, February 26, 2017

Bra Making Begins



Sorry blog, it's been awhile.  Between my cheapy camera not handling the winter light in my apartment, lots of winter knitting, a series of muslins that haven't yet lead to something I'm ready to cut out, and yet another pair of Ginger Jeans which might be too boring and a bit loose so that photos look very wrinkly, I haven't had anything to blog about, but.....

I've made a bra!





As someone with a not easy to find size, who has probably never worn a bra that fits properly in her life, I'm really taken with the idea of custom making my own bras.

I've bought all three of Beverly Johnson's Craftsy bra classes and started with a Pin Up Girls Classic bra.  Unfortunately I took some sizing advise that didn't work out.  I was so excited when the Cloth Habit Harriet Bra was released and saw that it was available in my 28G size.  According to the size chart my measurements put me in an F, but I went with the G.  This one isn't going to work either.  Band is very good.  The gore tacks really well, the the cups are still too small.  Its close enough to try one size up.

What I really want to make note of is that I used a Bra Maker's Supply Kit and if you are going to use one to make a Harriet, there are a few things to know.

I thought my size called for a 3 hook closure but the back height is for a 2 hook closure.  I think the 2 size packs is what through me off.  Luckily I had one (not the right color so  I just basted it on to test. Easy enough to redraft the back band for a 3 hooks and I will do so on the next one I make, mostly because I already have the closure.

To get the wider bottom band elastic to work I had to trim some of the elastic out of the way of the wire casing.  This worked out fine.

Because I was using wider elastic than the bra was designed to use, for the second pass of stitching on the bottom band elastic, I stopped it when I got to the casing seam, started it up again for the center, stopped again for the second cup and then started again to finish the other size.  Not a problem with this either.

Another workaround that I did was to figure out a way to attach the strap elastic to the back band before stitching the side under the slider.  On all my bras the straps are tightened as much as they can be and I thought I'd want to shorten them.  It was a bit tricky but if you loop the the end loosely like this:


you can thread the slider after the back is attached.  I need to take at least a couple of inches off the length so the slider stays in the front.

The other big note if you are using a Bra Maker's Kit for a Harriet is that you will not have enough strap elastic. The Pin Up Girls patterns call for a large part of the strap to be sewn of the cup material.  Either add some extra strap elastic on to your order,  or add a sewn strap.

I may not have gotten there yet, but I believe I will.  I should have enough supplies for 2 more bras before I need to place another supply order.  Colors next time.





Friday, November 11, 2016

About once every 30 years


Like most people who sew I'll take a new project over an alteration or repair anyday, but sometimes it really is worth it.

I have a well loved (and worn) leather jacket, who's lining was very shot.  Having relined a beloved wool coat worn during college a few years post, I knew it was a job I could tackle.

Having a coat relined professionally is cost prohibitive.

Doing it myself it was done in 3 days and the cost was just $10 for a perfect piece of lining.

I carefully removed the old lining:



As you can see it really needed being replaced.  I certainly couldn't take it off in front of a customer anymore.

Used it as a pattern to cut the new lining.  It's not always the recommended way to go, but it worked out fine.
I picked up the lining at Fabrics Garden on 39th .  I usually go there for inexpensive fabrics to use for lining.  A lovely silver twill for $5.00 a yard.

The label and the hang chain were carefully replaced.


 

My very useful jacket, for the current weather, is now being worn again.



Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Last Make of Summer



This fabulous dress was made back in August and I'm finally posting now.  The time lag is not representative of my feelings of how it came out.  I think it is one of my most successful executions of idea that I had.



The fabric is a menswear shirting from Mood.  Carefully selected to make sure it was one that doesn't wrinkle very much and is quite easy to iron.

Finished with bias trim made from the same fabric.

A lovely venice lace add a very feminine touch to the menswear fabric.  It also meant that all hems could be machine stitched as they would be covered with the lace.  I did add to the sleeve hem so that the turn up matched the body hem.  It was the perfect depth to place the lace stitching line exactly over the sleeve and hem stitching lines.




The only other alteration made was to petite the shoulder depth.




This will be repeated for next summer as I've already bought a nice poly crepe and instead of the lace trim, I'm planning ruffles.

Monday, September 19, 2016

No Jeans Were Harmed In The Making Of These Shorts



I had a decent sized piece of denim left from my first pair of Ginger Jeans;  the idea that at some point I'd like to make a distressed pair of Morgan Jeans, and a need for something really casual for throwing over a bathing suit when traveling to the beach.  When your trip to the beach requires riding the subway you need real clothes and not just a coverup.

Distressed Ginger Jeans:













There was lots of fun in the making of these.

Lots of slicing.   The recently acquired rotary cutter made that fun:






I did the first distressing with my kitchen microplane:




But found that this did a much better job:



It took 3 baths in bleach to get the final color.





As expected, the bleach did a good job of killing the lycra. I was perfectly fine with no stretch on these.  The mystery though was without the stretch would they be tighter or looser?  Verdict is they loosened.  A long spin in the dryer helped, but the looseness is good for the boyfriend look and for comfort.

One last look: