Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Is It Too Vintage??

In a whirlwind of sewing on Tuesday I almost completed my vintage coat Wednesday night. (I really thought I'd be done with it by now but have had a two-night buttonhole breakdown! They're still not done.) This is the pattern that I took all that time to re-size last October.
Then I tried it on. Hmmmmm

My first impression was that I looked like someone who got a great deal on a vintage coat at a second-hand store. That is not exactly the look I was going for. So, is it too vintage?

(looks really odd without a scarf - or maybe I just need to balance it out with a hat!) The buttons are just pinned on right now because of my buttonhole issues.

Oh well functionally, it's exactly what I wanted. A medium-weight coat for running around during the fall/winter.

Here are some of the details:

  • Call me vain, but I LOVE how my pockets turned out! I didn't want to topstitch the welts but when I've hand-stitched them before it hasn't been very durable.
    I ended up hand stitching them from the wrong-side of the jacket using a back-stitch. The first one was so strong I couldn't pull it apart, so that's what I stayed with.
  • I didn't realize until I cut out the sleeves that I was running out of fabric. So the sleeves will remain at this too-short-for-me length.

The coat calls for 3 gigantic buttons. I used two because a.) I had them in my stash and b.) they remind me of my grandmother ;) I'll be keeping my eye out for a set of three buttons that are the same size and match better.

  • I used Gigi's recent tutorial for that lining-facing-hem intersection on the front. I think I've almost got the process memorized - love it!

Here's my blouse that I started ummmm, I think it was in October and hoped to finish in one day. I finished it completely on the 24th...of this month.

By the time I was ready to wear it, it just needed a few extra buttons.

This is New Look 6783 (OOP). I was inspired to make it because of another blogger - thanks Nancy! I just loved her blouse and really loved it paired with the white skirt. According to the guy at the fabric store this is a linen that has been treated on one side to create the shine. Shiny but not in-your-face shiny. Love it.

Not too many sewing details (that I can remember).

  • I added a strip of fusible interfacing at the shoulder seam. After the sleeve was attached it looked like the shoulders seam was growing and starting to look like a dropped sleeve.
  • The button situation isn't pretty. But who cares? It's all covered up! I used what I had available but it turned out they were spaced way too far apart. Since I ended up finishing this on Christmas Eve day (so I could wear to church that night) at my mom's house. But, I forgot to bring my additional buttons and had to use what she had on hand. It's not too pretty under that lap.

So, I was able to put together a real live honest to goodness sewing post on the last day of this year. Well, here's to you 2010. May you roll over, fall in a deep hole, get buried, and never be spoken of again ;) Hope everyone has a wonderful New Year. I mean a full 365 days of wonderfulness!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sewing stuff (no pix :( )

Thanks to my parents I have a full day-and-a-half of guilt-free time. Of course, I'm in a sewing frame of mind but just wanted to take time to share this cool link from Peggy Sagers (no affiliation). I was so curious when I read my e-mail invitation, I actually I interrupted my productive sewing time to watch this and was so impressed! She's probably not the first person to do this, but it's the first one I've seen. I definitely will be trying pants fitting after my vintage jacket is done. (I'm so tempted to join both the vintage and jacket sew-alongs. After all I could accomplish both in one day....before the new year even!)

I hate posting without pictures especially when I have finished garments, but right now I've got to sew! Will try and get pix up later today.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

News Flash

JoAnn's Buyout!

Maybe you know this already but...I just heard it on the news. Since I live less than 30min. away from JoAnn's headquarters thought I'd share what the local press is saying.

Good news? Bad news? What do you think? Well, who's thinking about that kind of stuff now anyway? I'm just trying to figure out if I should make my buttonholes (for my Christmas Eve outfit blouse) tonight or tomorrow. Just saw the clock. It will be tomorrow.

Happy hope-you-find-time-to-sew Holidays to all!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sew Fresh

This might be it. The weekend that I get to sew....again.....finally. X will have kids for two nights and two days. I know I should feel sad that they're not going to be with me, but I haven't had that much "me" time since they were born. So I say yipee. I'll be able to sew like I did before-kids, from Friday to Sunday. I don't want to get too excited because then it might not happen. So yipee.

FYI - I teach HS Band and I put the titles of the music we'll be practicing on the board everyday. Twice this week I've written "Sew Fresh" instead of "So Fresh" and didn't realize it until a student pointed it out to me. I think that's sew funny but she didn't seam to get it!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


(I-O. If you've every lived in my neck of the woods you know what that title means but it's really not what this post is about.)

Here's why I haven't sewn much. My DH who's never been much of a D and is now an X made my summer a living H. He didn't drag out as long as possible (at times threatened up to 3 years) and he didn't force us both to spend every penny we had, but there was too much fear and anxiety to enjoy much of anything. I did lots of fun things this summer but had this H cloud hanging over every activity.

Anyway, aside from that and aside from my daughter breaking her arm, and my car requiring around $500 worth of repairs the first week of school, and the fact that they haven't given me any band classes yet, and that I didn't get paid last Friday like I was supposed to, and that I think I now have bronchitis and will have to spend a sick day at home with my X; aside from all that I believe in a better life for all of us. The bad things have happened not to ruin our lives but to save them (ok, I read that in "O" magazine this month but it seemed to fit). X will be around for 29 more days and then my new life will begin.

Oh yea, Saturday we (mom, kids, me) will make the pink walk again. Survivor - Year #6. That is, I'll make it if I'm not too sick to walk. Ugh.

P.S.- DD, who really is a D, got her cast off today! Poor thing, she didn't want it to come off because she was afraid it hadn't healed yet. Once she saw they X-ray she was okay with it. Just needed a little confirmation. She has a splint to wear at school and orders not to do any running yet, but she can swim, and she can bathe by herself - woohoo - mom is soooo glad about that!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Non-Sewing Stuff

Well, not all non-sewing....My linen dress made it to the Natural Fabrics Fashion Show at the sewing expo in Michigan! Yay! I'm going to try my best to make it there IRL, but just don't know if I can. I don't even care if I can't wear the dress I just want to meet some online buddies! We'll see what happens.

I made it through the first two days of school. Another, Yay! Lots of improvements going on in my building because we are almost doubling the numbers of faculty and students. Somewhere in all the improvements all the desks and chairs in my room disappeared! Hmmm. Luckily after 15 years in this district I'm prepared; found folding chairs and already had clipboards for the students to use. But, the BIG news about the first day is that since there are three high schools merging into one (my) building this year, it is kind of in the spotlight (this is my way of telling you what's happening without all the the nitty gritty details - and they are gritty!). So, during an assembly on the first day we had the district CEO, a local DJ and graduate from the district - Basheer Jones (he was FANTASTIC, I was so impressed, and the students absolutely listened to every word he said), and Trey Songz! Ok. I'll admit it. I'm a music teacher and I had to Google him to find out who he was. But that's not that important. What is important is the students knew him, went crazy when he walked on stage, and were absolutely attentive when he spoke. He purposely didn't not perform so the students would absorb what he said. Very few people in the school even know this, but in one of the classrooms, that just happened to be next to my room, he autographed the whiteboard. I just thought that was so cool! Of course, I immediately snapped a picture with my phone! I'm sure it will be erased soon.

Forgot to mention earlier that my DD broke another Pennsylvania. It didn't require surgery but was bad enough that 1. everyone knew it was broken, no questions, 2. one of the counselor's threw up after she saw it (no blood, just a really abnormal shaped arm!) 3. it required an ambulance ride from PA to Cleveland. She weathered this one much better than the last one (in November, just in case you forgot) but now she's really afraid to get the cast off - afraid her arm's not going to be strong enough. Well, we'll deal with that in two weeks!

Must stop now. I had no idea how long my last post was! Way too many words-lol! Hopefully sewing, or at least blogging, will be worked into my routine soon and I'll have a few sewing-related items to share!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sewing Is Going On!

I once owned a long, straight, white skirt with pockets and I wore it to death. I’ve been meaning to replace it for years. I’m hoping this skirt is the answer.

Patterns (I think both are OOP) Vogue 8424 (for pockets only) and Vogue 8427 – I’ve made the long version of this about three times and with that slit, it’s one of the sexiest skirts ever! Just watch it when you sit down ;)
Fabric - Can’t remember where the fabric is from but it’s a mid-weight cotton with a little stretch and it’s lined with a poly from JA’s.
Design – I decided to keep the waistband because I knew I would want to wear it with a belt. Just kind of winged it with the belt loops and I think you can see, they didn’t fit the belt, at least not this belt…or three others I tried. I knew I had to be careful with the slit so I lowered the opening 1-1/2”.
I just love how the pockets are almost invisible on this when they’re not being used. The openings just happen to fall right in line with the hip line or something. And, they’re nice and deep.
Construction – This was my chance to follow along the article in the current Threads issue 150 to follow the method for lining a skirt with a vent. Even though my vent wasn’t the same, that’s not really what intrigued me. When I read the instructions and saw they attached the lining to the hem before sewing the side seams, I knew I had to try it. There were two things that got me mildly frustrated; 1. I had to read all the directions, sometimes twice! I’m a visual-learner and there weren’t enough pictures for me. 2. I didn’t think it was very clear about when to insert the zipper. After much gnashing of teeth, I finally put it in before working on the lining and that worked. At this point, the method didn’t save any time but once I get used to it, it might, meaning I will be trying this method again.

I entered a contest! About halfway through the construction of this dress on Friday, I realized that it qualifies for PR’s Natural Fabric Contest. I haven’t done any contests for such a long time, I don’t really think it has much chance of winning, and have no idea if it were selected to be modeled, if I could make it (even though, I’m not that far from Michigan) to the show. So, I decided what-the-heck! That gave me some extra motivation to finish it too.

At first I thought, oh I’ve made it before I’m just going to put it together without instructions. Well, Murphy was listening. Here’s my first seam. That’s right I enclosed the wrong side of the pieces, and trimmed my corners too! Sew, rip, and read. Fabric – 100% Linen (Liz Claiborne) from EOS last year.
Pattern – Simplicity 3773 (This is labeled as an “Easy To Sew” probably because there are no closures to worry about but IMHO, the collar construction on this is not a beginner technique. And, I’m not just saying that because I messed up on mine!)
Construction – I didn’t include the pockets because of the lack of fabric. I did create facings for the sleeves because, I guess I’m in the minority, I love facings. They just work better for me most of the time. Here’s what they look like attached.
I added the facings to the collar facing pattern piece before cutting.
I took Carolyn’s suggestion from the comments when I posted (scroll down) about cutting out this pattern and fused strips of interfacing along all of the seamlines. I then cut an underlining out of a poly lining I had in the stash. I serged the underlining to the sides and centers of the front and back pieces, then sewed it together. (Just read my posting on this dress from last year and noticed that I added to the width of the shoulder seam. Also, the first time that dress was put in the wash it came out with blue blotches everywhere and hasn't been worn since. :( )

This came home with me after a trip to Goodwill. I thinks it’s kind of like the Lutterloh system.

This was gifted to me today from a neighbor that’s moving. Just look at all that binding!! That’s something I’ve wanted to start using a more often but, man, that stuff just never goes on sale anymore. Woohoo!

I’ve got more, so you might actually need to visit again before the month is up! In the meantime here’s some fun I had before taking the "serious" pix.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Mind Is Not Willing

Finally I can breathe. Kids are gone during the day. Other personal baggage is lightening up. I have time to sew, but I don't know what to make. Oooooo, I hate that! I'm desperate to sew something just to make room so I can buy some more fabric. The last 3-1/2 things I've made are on their way out of the house. Hated them. (This includes the two sleeveless blouses I just made - yuk, hated them.) It's so bad I can't even think of what to plan. I put all my patterns and most of my fabrics in Picasa files, I've put together a little plan for summer but it's just not motivating me. Poop. I know you've all been there and might be there right now. Just wanted to vent.

I think I'm just going to have to write-off this as one of the worst, most unproductive summers ever and move on. I've only got three weeks left before the school year begins. (More uncertainty there too as I'm once again in a position where there's about a 50% chance I won't have the same school/position I had last year. It seems that although my district is supporting the arts all of the open positions so far have been for Art or Vocal Music. Guess Instrumental Music is too much work!) I mean, it's not like I won't have anything to wear...

Totally unrelated to sewing - My daughter is at an overnight camp this week (she went last year too) and I discovered the Bunk1 website. It's so cool! I can go on the site daily and see photo's of what the kids are doing at camp (like 200 photos!). And for a fee I can type up a message, they print it and deliver it to her the next morning. I'm terrible at writing letters and even worse at making sure they get mailed.


P.S. DD doesn't know it but I'm totally purging her wardrobe while she's gone. Seriously, the child is 9 and still has garments that are size 6! And she wears them! I don't realize it until I look at her think she may be putting on weight. Duh, no, it's a t-shirt from when she was 6!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Blogger's Block

I wanna write more but just can't think of what to say. I do have a couple of pictures though. Remember those cool cotton prints from Gorgeous Fabrics? It only took me, ummm, just two years to put this one together. It did turn out to be exactly what I originally wanted the fabric to be though.

Try to ignore the waist, the green shapes on the print are not even and for those of us in the know, well, it's noticeable here. I have belts I could add but really liked the way it looked without...on this particular day anyway. The pattern is New Look 6723. A pretty basic pattern that I lined with white cotton/poly broadcloth. From the pictures, it looks like I'd better add a swayback adjustment to my list.

Kids are both out of the house for most of the day next week...maybe I'll actually get some real sewing done then!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fabric Store Tragedy Hits Home

Maybe that's a little dramatic but, one of my favorite local fabric resources, Cutting Room Fabrics - is CLOSING!! Shock, sadness, sympathy...and then guilt. Guilt because I didn't shop there enough (it's a 30 min. drive to get there). Guilt because I usually only bought interfacing, shoulder pads, and fabrics marked way down. Serious guilt when I read this: "Going Out Of Business - 75% off everything! Emergency fabric trip. Cancel all appointments, watch the kids, I'm outa' here and I don't know when I'll be back!

The normally empty parking lot was almost full. I saw, I grabbed, I stood in line.......and stood in line......and stood in line....for almost 1-1/2 hours but I didn't care. A couple of people said it but I'm sure everyone was thinking it - why couldn't it be this crowded all the time? Well, maybe not that crowded, just crowded enough to keep them in business longer. Enough, here's the good stuff.

Here are the details: The cutting slip reads 1.25, 4, 4, 3, 3 yards with only one piece marked below 17.95/yd (originally) figure in the 75% off and we have a grand total of $65. Still feeling guilty but felt the need to share.

* If you're in the area or familiar with the store I suggest you get over there quick. The sale goes through the end of the month, but if today is any indication there will little if anything left at that point.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Some Actual Sewing!

The three blouses I hoped to finish in one weekend (two weekends ago) have gone from this! To this. Ta Da!

What's that you say? One is missing? Well, the one that didn't get finished is actually about four years old. I think the hold up is the armhole finish. Well, that and the fact that I have no idea what pattern I used, so I'm not completely sure what it's supposed to look like. Does it have darts? Um, I don't know. The strips that I cut to finish the armholes (I think) are not on the bias. Sewing obstacle. What's that you say? Just go and get some bias tape to finish them off? Well, have you noticed how the tapes and briads at some fabric stores never seem to go on sale any more, have you? Zippers either, but that's not important here. Anyway, I finished two.

If you look closely you will find many mistakes. This I know. This I don't care. These are not forever-after blouses. They will be replaced soon. Maybe I'll tell people I bought them at an inexpensive chain store. I do like this OOP pattern though. I made it with the ruffles last year and have yet one more version cut out.

I should probably go on about all the sewing details of the blouses but I don't feel like it! Tonight I have other sewing issues on my mind. Last year I bought the end of this fabulous Liz Claiborne linen from EOS. At first it was going to be a long bias skrit. Then it was going to be the same dress that Isaac designed for Liz (bias dress, long skirt sleeveless top with collar). I didn't have enough fabric. Now it's going to be this sleeveless summer dress and I didn't actually have enough fabric for this one either. Oh heck, most people don't notice that anyway, right? The all-important CF is perfectly matched, so I'm just going to make sure no one sees my CB!

Took some pictures of how I matched the CF for this one.

Pinned front and back.

Can you guess what my next dilemma is? I'll give you a little hint...BIAS. This thing is going to stretch out of control! Any and all ideas for a suitable infrastructure are welcome!

Oh yea, I did something bad this week. Can you guess? It cost $35 and you can't wear it but it has to do with sewing. Hmmmmmmmm, what could it be?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Barbie Love

Is this not cool? I rarely visit ToysRUs but today I happened to be there with my daughter (trying to spend a $5 gift card, right?) About eight years ago I sent a message to friends and family that my Barbie collection was complete and no matter how beautiful the new Barbie's were, you must not give one to me. It's only fitting that I'm the one who broke down.

I just thought this new edition was so unbelievably gorgeous. Black and white with a little bit of silver (in the accessories which I didn't buy...yet) thrown in. Take that you pink and purple shiny, fluffy stuff! I'm actually too lazy to find all the info about this doll so I'll just say there are about 20 different versions and the advertising implies that you will add new accessories for her every season.

My Barbie History

I'm a light-hearted collector. When I started making real-live grown-up money I started buying/receiving "collectors edition" dolls. Probably about the same time most of the baby-boomer population was doing the same (meaning they probably aren't worth that much because everybody has them). My collection has a "Little Debbie" edition, a Speigel edition, a Pocahontas edition (this was given to me by a dear friend that met the woman who was the voice for the Disney production of Pocahontas and so had her autograph the doll, but she signed it Pocahontas. Couldn't anybody have signed it that way?) And then there was this one. The last one. The doll that was so beautiful I couldn't possibly continue collecting after her...........until today.

I hate the fact that now you can hardly go in and buy an outfit because they are marketed to make you buy the whole doll instead of a single outfit. As a kid I loved shopping for outfits that were rarely purchased because they were too expensive. Besides, my mom sewed and knit several wardrobes for my, and my sister's dolls so buying clothes was hardly necessary. (I love those clothes now, but you know the store bought stuff always seemed nicer then.)

I have a love/hate relationship with these dolls. I love how beautiful and special they are. I hate the fact that I'm not supposed to take them out of the box and play with them. (In 7th grade I was the victim of an "I still play with Barbies too" scam which resulted in two new kindred-spirit-type friendships but was also rather humiliating. So believe me, if I could take them out and play, even at my age, I would.) With the exception of one fabulous "special" outfit and one Christmas doll (out of about 15), I have not taken them out their boxes. Promise. But it's killin' me. Seriously. They are stored in a closet where I can't see them just so I don't open then up. And now my daughter knows about them. How can I explain this foolish notion of collecting when I don't entirely believe in it?

Anyway. I new Barbie!!! I wonder what she would look like with her hair in small braids in an updo, or different shoes, or a custom designed dress? I wonder if she wants to live in my daughter's doll house and go for a ride in her pink convertible? I probably will never know.

Should probably mention that I have no affiliation with any big or little toy mfgs.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

More Randomness

Check out this link from Cleveland Plain Dealer - Would love to be a bridesmaid in this dress - just for the petticoat!

Who doesn't need a pair of cotton-candy pink, high-waisted, linen/cotton pants for the summer? Well, I thought I needed them. Then I made them. If the fit wasn't so fantastic they might be on their way to Goodwill as we speak. Here's a peek at the construction, the fit pix will have to come later.

This weekend I SEWED!!!! Saturday was a long dress for my daughter that I've been wanting to make for ages. The picture shows two version of the same pattern (see sidebar for review - thanks for all the lovely comments from some of my favorite bloggers). Today the white thread was loaded, the interfacing was applied and off I went working on three blouses (leftovers from last year) at once. They won't get finished today, but I am hopeful for this week.

I keep forgetting to post about this suit I made for a wardrobe contest (the year of monochromatic looks that included matching gloves) that I didn't finish on time. The jacket hung on my dress form for almost a year before I completed the hand work and the pants were a terrible fit; not worth trying to fix. After playing around with several different combinations I came up with one ab-fab outfit that I will wear whenever I need a confidence-booster. It makes me feel good and makes me hold my head just a little bit higher.
Life's still a bee, but at least I'm closer to my favorite pastime and might even find enough to time to pass there (get it?).

Friday, May 28, 2010

It's So Sad.

Have you ever seen anything so sad?

Remember this?
Here's what happened. This is some of that special, untouchable, waiting-for-the-perfect-garment fabric that I bought when I had visions of becoming a real, live, shy but famous fashion designer. It's been patiently waiting for more than 10 years. Three years ago I made my first just-break-down-and-sew-it garment from one of my really old patterns that I'd made before and loved. Well, the pattern didn't age very well and the jacket just looked goofy. This is the first time it's been seen in public.

Then I found the Butterick pattern. Made it, wore it, loved it. One day I tried it on with a cotton blouse and it felt a little snug. The next time I went to pull it out to wear AAAAHHHHHH!!! The fabric must have simply given out when I tried it on with the blouse. Maybe I'll try to convert it into a long vest (which I'm kind of diggin' lately). But for now, I'm still getting over the shock. I invested so much hope, so much love, so many beautiful possibilities on this fabric that it will definitely take time to recover. Lesson: Don't wait for the ultimate special garment to use your good fabric!! It's just fabric. Make your garment then go out and buy some more! (Yea, like I need to tell you to buy more fabric :))

Okay, this is the last of the sad news.

Just in case you can't tell, those are spider webs on the thread guide for my industrial. Enough said.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Life's A Bee

(Trying to be kid-friendly.) At least it has been for the past month. Just when I see a light at the end of the tunnel, the tunnel caves it did about an hour ago. I'm going to get to that light soon though, definitely by the time summer vacation starts!

Since I don't have any really informative sewing to share I thought I'd show you some of the pictures I've been collecting. These were all meant to be their own separate blog posts at one time but...

A few years ago my mom, the person that taught me to sew, started sewing banners and liturgical stoles seriously. She'd done the banners before but when she got "serious" they became amazing! I don't have any of the banners but here are a couple of her stoles. She makes her own designs, scouts the fabric at JoAnn's and sews them up!

UFO's (unfinished objects) Over the years I've developed a sewing system. I plan, I cut hopefully several garments at once, I sew as the spirit moves me. Once a garment has been cut it is considered "in process", i.e. not the same as a UFO. I found this storage unit at a garage sale for...$2.00. (Gotta love a bargain.)

So when the garments are cut all the pieces, notions, and pattern are stored in the drawers until the spirit moves me.

In my little sewing world this is what a UFO looks like. See that black blob shoved in the corner or that brown blob shoved under the table?

They are the pieces that need to be fixed, altered, or just finished. Since taking this picture I have freed the black blob from it's humiliating home (actually a pair of black double knit pants that suffered from the big-honkin'-pants syndrome). The brown blob (a boring brown pair of pants) is still there. It may not make it back into the closet.

Well, it feels good to blog again. I haven't even had the chance to comment lately. So glad that you keep blogging anyway and give me that little escape from the tunnel. Thanks, you guys!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Failed Plan

Well, two posts in one week…what a treat! How am I able to post at 11:00 a.m. on a weekday, you ask? It’s because I’m home with a sick child, of course…for the second day this week!

Anyway, this post is about change. Since my rediscovery of PR and discovery of SWAP my sewing became all about the plan. I changed my method and quantity of sewing based on these discoveries. Last year I spent some time planning out a wardrobe that would follow all the pieces of the pattern, just in a different color scheme. Loved the pattern, loved the fabric. Only two pieces were cut out before spring arrived and the plan was put on hold. Then more things changed. My sewing schedule changed as my school job improved. My interest in SWAP changed; too much structure. (One reason I was able to move away from SWAP was because the garments I constructed with a plan have provided me with a very large coordinating wardrobe. Ironic, yes?) Everytime I looked at the cut garments for the new wardrobe I just groaned and looked away. Plus, they were black. I’m so sick of black. Even when I looked at the pattern cover I couldn’t get excited. I started making plans to use different patterns for the uncut fabrics.

A long introduction to explain why I hate the jacket I just finished. (Watch the PR sidebar for a review to come soon.) Before I list all the things that bother me, let me say that I don’t plan on donating it just yet. The season's almost over, I let it marinate for awhile.
The style – I am not a big fan of ¾ sleeves. Don’t like the wide style of these anymore. It looks and feels very boxy to me.
The length – I didn’t think the jacket would be as short as it turned out. Mine cannot be worn with a belt without looking way too short.
The color – Sick. Of. Black. (The reality is I will be making more black clothes, the color was just another strike against this project.)
The construction – it went along well until the collar application (operator error). It’s not the worst I’ve ever done and with a different outlook I could have done better, but it got to the point where I just wanted it done and I didn’t care how it looked.
The fit - It's much more fitted than I expected. Of course I didn't make a muslin.

Construction Tidbits
I used Judy Barlup’s article “Get The Edge” from Threads #147 for the front edges.
I cut my own shaped sleeve heads. I had been cutting just a straight strip until I read this. The shaped ones have noticeably improved my sleeve caps.
I used the sleeve lining method where the lining is attached at the hem before attaching the sleeves. Then I used bias binding (should’ve used a wider one) to enclose the seams. (Results are yuk.)
I finally have learned how to sew a button with no visible knots!
I had to use my regular machine to sew the buttonholes. That darn vintage buttonholer ARGH! I have to use the cover plate since I can’t drop the feed dogs but then there’s hardly any room for the fabric. Suggestions anyone?

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Life and Some Sewing

In the past four weeks:

I did something to my back – 3 days of excruciating pain, 2 days of mild pain, recovery.
DD got sick (out two days)
I got sick (out one day)
DH got sick
DS got sick (out one day) – didn’t think it was strep but thought I should have him tested anyway since strep likes our family so much. After 2hrs 45 minutes at the “minute clinic” found out he couldn’t get the quick test because he’s had strep in the past 30 days. Have to have the 24hr test. By nighttime I’m convinced he’s okay and send him to school the next day only to get the results and find out he’s got strep. But I digress…
DS recovers
My back goes out again. I’ve been alternating between excruciating, bad, and maybe it’s going away over the past three days. Not happy. Hurts to type, hurts to sew, hurts to sleep, really hurts to drive, also hurts to stand. Yes, it’s been a great weekend.

In between all of this I’ve made two tops (Vogue 8616, the other is the same pattern in ivory) and a jacket that’s thiiiiiiiiiiiis close to completion.

Just the facing/hem intersection and buttonhole/buttons to go. At this point I just want to finish the jacket, which I hate by the way, so I can move on. (Look for at least one long post about the failure of the jacket!) I’m going to try one more time on that intersection; my instructions aren’t working tonight for some reason. Then I’ll be ready for another buttonholer rant. (There’s hardly any space to insert the fabric on my vintage machine without tearing into the fabric!!)

Gosh, that all sounds so negative - I'm really not unhappy :) It's almost spring for pete's sake! Hopefully the next post will be more about sewing. I got three vintage patterns in the mail this week. At least three of the four of us will (hopefully) be representing a different era for Easter!

Friday, February 26, 2010


Finally, A SNOW DAY for pretty much all of NE Ohio! It's just been killin' me to read about all the snow days (wanted or not) that are happening to the east, to the south, and to the north of us. We haven't even come close to needing one. We've gotten a decent amount of snow but it's come down so slowly that travel hasn't been a problem.

So today we all get to play!

I'm joining the Compliments Guaranteed Party with my coat-of-many colors.

Fun facts:
This coat is close to 20 yrs. old (yikes! I can't even believe that one, try to ignore the pilling ;) )

The plaid on the right side of this fabric doesn't match the plaid on the wrong side. The pattern is the same just not the colors which means that it's pretty much a miracle I got the plaids to match! And believe me, they match...everywhere horizontally, vertically, bound buttonholes and welt pockets!

I made the entire coat in one weekend. Bought and cut the fabric Friday night, sewed all day Saturday, added the buttons on Sunday. (I think it took 18hrs total. This was a time in my life when I was timing my projects.)

90% of the time when I wear this, someone pays me a compliment.

The pictures aren't so great as I took them when I first started blogging.

Speaking of pictures, I read some helpful tips about camera settings at What I Wore Today. She gives some easy adjustments to make when taking pictures of clothing indoors and I decided to try them out. I have a very basic camera (Traveler - Aldi's special) and was able to find all the functions she mentions on my camera without even looking at the manual. It would have been nice do all this from one of the photo spots in my house on a live person, but from where I'm sitting at the computer this morning I can easily just turn around and take a picture without have to even stand up! (Some of the pictures are blurry because obviously, I was too lazy to go get the tripod.) Anyway, here's a comparison of my experiment. Photo #2 is probably closest to the actual color of the fabric.

Thanks to everyone's for the kind words regarding my grandmother's house. I know that deep down what I really miss is my grandmother and all the memories of the time we spent with her. And...I've still got those!