Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Heavy Sigh

I've lost my momentum. I've been trying to sew at least one garment every weekend that my kids spend with X but I don't think I'm going to make it this time. This weekend the schedule was interrupted. Not a major interruption, but not what I was anticipating.

In addition, my planned project was a gray pair of pants but I ran into a pattern glitch. Two? years ago I made this suit.
The jacket is great, the pants are horrible. Ever since then I've been looking for a suitable fabric to replace the pants and finally found one. But Friday night I got out the pattern to sew a muslin, and....the pants pattern was uncut! What? I can't remember what pants pattern I used for the ones that fit so bad. No biggy, right? I should just cut out the original pants and try the new fitting technique. Well, then I started thinking about those narrow legs. Will I really wear them with anything besides the jacket or should I pick out a different pants pattern?

So here I sit. The evening is almost gone. Do I pick a different pattern and muslin it? Do I chuck my plan and make a dress for DD? Do I input my grades so I can sew tomorrow? Do I go back down to DS's room and finish hanging the new curtain rods? Do leave my sanctuary, put my heaviest sweatshirt on, and spend the evening doing laundry in the freezing basement? (You're right, there's no chance that last one is going to happen!) Well, one thing is certain, if I don't get off the computer none of the above is going to happen!

More later!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Love this one! It's a cotton/lycra knit and the skirt will probably be floor length soon but I don't care. The skirt pattern is for wovens but I've only used it for knits. I didn't make any changes to the pattern and I included the zipper but really didn't need to.

This is the third skirt I've made from this (please don't call it vintage) OOP pattern. Aside from the fact that is fabulously comfortable, it also has a high compliment factor. It just flows when I walk. I even get compliments from (loud gasp) my students! They especially like the gray one - wow, that's a really bad picture. In motion it looks much more impressive.

For this version and the gray one I used elastic as interfacing in the waistband. I was supposed to just cut a length of fabric and fold it over but, I accidentally cut the fabric in half lengthwise. So, it ended up having a seam, and more bulk, and took a little longer (I was sooo mad about that one) but it turned out okay. When I first tried it on (after I thought it was all done) the waistband was about 3" too big. So, I opened up one of the ends, pulled the elastic and stitched it back up.

Top is Vogue 7799 (OOP but still on their site). The sleeves on the top are 3/4 because I ran out of fabric. I've only made this top once before and the collar was very flimsy so I used a different interfacing on this one and had the opposite result. That's okay, I L.O.V.E. a high collar.

For the hem on the skirt I used spray starch to press it under 1" then did a blind hem. The hem on the top I turned it under 3/4" and sewed a straight stitch and for the sleeves I pressed the hem under 5/8" then lined up the fold with the right side of the presser foot and moved the needle to the right until it was 1/4" away from the fold. When the stitching on the sleeve hem was done, I trimmed the hem close to the stitching.

My next kid-free weekend is in two weeks and I plan on making a pair of gray pants to replace this disastrous pair. Ugh. It pains me to even look at those. I want to use the same pattern but make a muslin (gasp!!) and follow the fitting advice from the Peggy Sager's live video chat. If I can manage it, I'll do the muslin fitting and cut out the fabric before my sewing day. There's just one little obstacle that might delay this plan. My daughter only has two dresses in her closet right now, and you know, that's just not right! Somewhere I have to work in something for her soon.

Special thanks to those of you that have left comments recently. I truly appreciate the fact that you're still stopping by!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Garment In-A-Day!

I made a complete pair of pants (closure and hem included) in one day!! Okay, the fabric, interfacing, and lining were already cut out but all of the sewing was done in one day. Great way to start the new year! Equally exciting is the fact that they fit!! I only wish I could share all the fitting details with you.
See, I cut them out so long ago I don't remember what I did to make sure they fit. I think I took a previously good-fitting pattern and just adjusted the pattern in the hips and crotch area to fit. Wait, it's coming back to was the pink-linen-who-over-the-age-of-10-needs-pink-pants?-borderline-vintage-pattern pants that I never wore but did in fact make this summer. They fit sooooo well! (One of my problems with spring/summer sewing is that I like to sew work clothes. But I'm a teacher and in the summertime I don't need a work wardrobe. More on this dilemma when the seasons change.)

Here there are: Vogue 1035 Alice + Olivia (OOP)
Please excuse the wrinkles. Pictures were taken after wearing them all morning and I realized too late I should have sewn the lining as underlining both to prevent wrinkles and to stabilize this lightweight wool.

I'm going to break down and show you some of the details with this disclosure: I am not a perfectionist. I strive to be one, but it will never happen because when I get tired most of the time, I just let it go. If it looks good on the outside that's fine with me.
And I try really, really hard not to just point out all the bad stuff. But I will point out the most obvious one. The welt pockets in the back are a whopping 1" out of alignment with each other.
I have no idea how this happened. I didn't even check it while I was making them because I had marked them very carefully. Since I don't run into fellow seamsters in my daily life, I chose not to let it go. (If it's really obvious one of my students will point it out!)

I've worn them twice and am happy to report that the students did not point to the welt pockets and laugh. (I did hear mumblings about the floral RTW top I wore with them though.) I think I may have changed the shape of the legs. They look kind of bell-shaped and I don't really like the way it looks. I may try to change it but I don't think they'll be in my closet for the long run. Hmmmm, we'll see. They're okay. They're comfortable. But......we'll see.

**The welt pockets were sewn with a method that I learned second-hand from Palmer/Pletsch. Awhile ago a made a tutorial for the method that you can see at the end of this post.

It felt so good to actually sew something again!! Schedules at my house are completely different this year so I'm going to try making at least one garment each weekend that I'm kid-free. If needed, I think I can get the fitting, cutting, interfacing done before my actual sewing day. The following week my goal will be to post it. Woohoo, another plan! My next project is already on the table. I'm not at all concerned that an entire week has gone by and it isn't cut out yet.

Thanks for all the compliments and comments for my previous posts and thanks for the continued sewing support!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Let the New Year Begin!

This has been the most sewing/blogging-productive weekend ever! I already have another post ready that's just waiting for pictures. Yay me!

I spent New Year's eve planning. I was going to sew but the sewing part of my brain has been so confused lately there was only one thing that I could do: PLAN. :) I did some serious purging that resulted in this:
Since one of my Christmas presents was fabric, I must make room and if I don't have time to sew it, I will purge! I loved you once, but it turned into like and then, eh. So, buh bye.

After that I tried to visualize a wardrobe. Well, additions to my current wardrobe. Since current wardrobe is black, gray, purple, and royal blue separates (mostly skirts and pants) and I've kept that in mind when buying fabric, it wasn't too hard to put together.
Here are the miscellaneous, I just need them, pieces.
The knit will be a skirt and top and will match the navy blues I plan on adding eventually. The red plaid is for a short fitted jacket to be worn with a white blouse and jeans ala Coldwater Creek (Ever notice how they put almost everything with a white blouse? Call me square, but I love that!)

Here are the main pieces
I added the picture to Powerpoint then added pattern pix and voile!

Every time I see a new way to create a wardrobe plan, I give it a try. But this year I decided this is what works for me. One of the reasons it works is because I did that whole add-your-patterns-to-the-computer thing last year. I didn't think I would like it, but it's really fun just to hop over to the computer and see my whole collection at once. Next, all I had to do was prioritize and load things into their "production" drawers.
Let the sewing year begin!