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Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Oh how I love the Chambray!

My love of chambray has grown and why not?  It is amazing against your skin (that is if you use a high-quality fabric), it sews up well, and is well, awesome!  So of course I love it!  This time, I found an amazing RED chambray, after all, who says chambray is only blue?

So this time I decided on a tunic as I love wearing tunics with leggings.  They are SO comfortable and cozy and honestly, sometimes feel like pajamas and who doesn't want to think they have jammies on a work?

So, I rummaged through my stash and since I've been lazy and haven't done a very good job of putting away all my toys (let's face it, for a seamstress, our stashes of patterns, fabric, and supplies are toys!), I quickly found McCall's 6124 as I recently used it for a dark chambray top.  I really liked putting it together so I figured why not!

So an update with my dark chambray shirt....remember those annoying lines at the center back that were there despite my swayback adjustment?

I consulted with a local sewing expert and she took a look at the pics and asked a few questions....

She first noticed that the front is pulling a bit at the hip line as you can see above and asked if I felt like I was tugging the top down as I wore it and the answer was yes!  So, her suggestion was to let the seams out at the waist and hips to give some more room to slide down over my hips.  Well, duh, that made sense so I was all over it and made the adjustments which are sort of hard to see in the photos below.  Wow, what a difference that little bit of ease made!  I had already serged the seams with a four-thread seam so I went to a three thread and with the five seams, that little bit made a big difference!  

So....that leaves us with Chambray tunic in red....what to do?  Well, in my dark chambray I didn't leave enough for ease in the waist and hips, so this time I made sure I had enough, I didn't go with any more than the pattern allowed for, but I didn't take it in at all either.

Oh yes, I and of course I used interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply.  Love that stuff and I can't say enough good things about it!  The buttons are silver metal ones from Hancock.

So, this time with the this top I took my own advice and put the tunic on before determining where the buttons would be.  I like to start with the one at the largest part of the bust so you don't get gaping. All the other buttons I spaced 4 inches apart.

To attach the collar and stand, I used the same method I used for the dark chambray that I detailed here  This is a great method that gives really excellent results and although I love it, I haven't perfected it yet so no high fives for me yet, that will come with more practice.

I had to add a pocket.  And, the pocket I added is from the Grainline Archer.  Is it really weird to love a pocket pattern?  I've used it on several tops as it is just the right size....

So, of course I had some fitting issues but this time in the upper back.  Argh. It is so hard to try and fix this when you don't have a sewing buddy that can help pin.  So, I took some really bad pics with my phone, checked them out, pinned the shirt, tried it on, took another pic, and with a little more fine tuning, sewed.  This is much better, but still not perfect.  I'd love to find a perfect pattern for my TNT blouse/tunic but I'm not sure this is going to be it.  I'll keep searching....

So, thanks for reading!  So, what are you sewing up for fall?  For now, off to play because a very special little man is here to visit!

Sue :)

Friday, August 29, 2014

Yahoo! I was selected!

From the Fabric Mart website...

"Our 8 contestants have been selected! Wow we had a great response from some talented sewers, I just wish I could have chosen them all! We will begin the Fabricista Fashion Challenge on Friday, September 5th. On that day, all contestants will have the first challenge in their inboxes and it will also be posted on the blog! 

I know some of you out there love a challenge, but maybe you thought the Fashion Challenge wouldn't fit into your busy life or maybe you felt you weren't "good enough". I'm giving all of our viewers a chance to participate with the contestants! Although you will not be in the main competition, you can post photos of your projects on our Flickr page.

So let's find out who has been chosen for the Fabricista Fashion Challenge 2!"  

And guess who the first photo is of!  That's right, it is ME!!!  I am so stoked I can hardly stand it!

The challenge starts on Sept 5th!  Watch for my postings and vote for your favorite!  I have no idea if I can compete with such a great group, but I'll give it my best!


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My first, but not last Scout Woven Tee!

Introducing my first, and definitely not last, Scout Woven Tee!  Once again, what too me SO LONG???
For some of these Indy patterns, I truly feel like I am the very last person in the sewing world to try it.  There are so many pretty versions of this tee and I finally, finally gave in and purchased that damn pattern so I could make it!

Yes, so this is exactly what the pattern says, it is a tee made from a woven....not a stretch woven but a true woven and my fabric, that was from my stash, had zero stretch in any direction, even the bias!  It is a loose-fitting top because it slips over your head and down over your body with no zippers, nothing!

I decided to use a stash fabric because as much as I try, I can't seem to do a very good job of using up fabric before purchasing anything else so if every once in a while I use something I already have I consider it a huge bonus!

So about the pattern...super easy with a front, back, sleeve and neckband facing.  That is it which makes total sense when you look at the photo, amirite?  This is an ideal pattern for a beginner or someone leery of knits but wanting to learn how to construct a basic tee. All in the total time commitment from taping together the pdf to stitching the hems was about 1.5 hours.  That's it!  Yippee!

So, alterations since this is large were sort of significant.  I took out my usual 1/2" swayback adjustment and after trying it on when it was basted together, I ended up taking a total of ---wait for it--six inches from the hemline and tapering to nothing at the armhole.  What????  Yes, you read that right!  This was HUGE in the waist and hips.  And, it doesn't look that huge in the pattern photo above, right?  Here is what I am wondering....maybe I need to start using my high bust measurement for the bust and make a FBA....any thought on this for similarly built gals?  Also, the drag lines from the bust are significant too.  I may also have to add a dart....I think I will make a note to myself to try that for next time.

I made a size 12 based on my FBA but as I noted about took the hips and waist dramatically.  I don't think I want it any looser but tighter might be difficult as well.  Any thoughts on this problem?

Thanks for reading!  I do so look forward to reading your comments!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

McCall's 6886 Or ANOTHER floral dress!

 Ok, so I had no idea until today, August 24, 2014 that all the dresses I make that are floral print remind my husband of his great aunt who practically raised him when he was a youngster.  How did I find out?  Well, I went to ask what he thought of my new dress and he gave me the story of his aunt and how he'd have to go to lunch with her and her 'old lady friends' at places that serve food buffet style and how the dress I made reminded me of her.  What's wrong with this?  I am pretty sure his great aunt was in her 80's and I was thinking the dress was pretty cute until that remark.  I mean the fit is great and I was super proud of how well my neckline turned out.  On another note, I noticed how many floral dresses I've made lately and I am thinking I do nothing but make my husband think of his great aunt Della.

M6886Line Art

So, back to the pattern and dress....
This is a very well drafted pattern.  It fits great with just enough ease to make it comfortable and not tight or restrictive at all.  I love the shaping at the waistline...not too much nor too little.  The length is awesome, a few inches above my knee which is perfect as well.  I also love the neckline options.  High neck, lower neck and a v-neck.  I made the lower neck, obviously.  I also love the sleeve variations and length variations that make this pattern versatile and a classic.

What is really awesome is that my fabric was left over and in my stash so this makes the dress basically free, right?

What I am proud of is how I finished the neckline.  What I did was to do the following:
1. Sew just one side of the shoulder seam
2. Staystitch the neckline
3. Attach stay tape to the RIGHT side of the neckline to further stabilize it
4. Attach the bias cut neckline's right side to the neckband's wrong side
5. Trim any staytape that is showing on the neckline's right side
6. Trim the seamline for the neckband seam to about 1/8"
7. Press the seam towards the neckband
8. Pin the neckband over the seamline and stitch with a stretch stitch a few millimeters from the edge
Check out your amazing work!

Also notice how clean the neckline is on the inside as well as the outside!!!!

Ok, so I like the dress better with the black belt rather than the sliver chain belt.  DH suggested the silver chain but I think the black gives it a nice contrast.  Believe it or not, I did my usual 1/2" swayback adjustment and I still have some wrinkles on the backside!  Argh!  Next time I will have to make a deeper swayback if I use this stretchy of fabric for this dress again.

This is a great pattern.  Just make sure that your significant other doesn't think about his great aunts when you choose your fabric.  If you think I look younger than 80 while wearing this dress, I'd love to hear it!

As always, thanks for reading!
Sue :)     

Stash buster playhouse complete!

So Simon's playhouse, I am proud to say was finished yesterday, just in time for today's birthday bash.  While it wasn't super excited about it at this point, as he gets older, he'll love it and spend a lot of time there.

I had a blast making this.  I personalized it a lot as you can see from the embroidery I completed on it.  I finally had to say enough!  Some of these motifs took an hour each!

The pattern directions were very straight forward and simple to read and follow.  I am not sure if I ordered the pattern pieces or not or just the directions.  I had to guess quite a bit on what the shapes were for the embellishments on the house.  They look at least close to being sort of right.  If I had a few pieces of advice I would recommend the following:
1.  Purchase your card table first, prior to constructing anything!
2.  This takes quite a bit of fabric, about six yards or so total for the walls and roof.  Either use coupons or wait for a good sale.  I bought all my materials 50% off and this still cost about 45 to 50 bucks.
3.  Fit the roof before you do anything with attaching the walls.  My roof line had some curves at the edges which greatly effected the fit of the walls.
4.  After I pin fit the walls, I attached them with my serger.  The patterns recommend french seams, but I opted for a serger.

Have fun personalizing this and making it fun for the child and you!  My daughter and son-in-law love animals so I added the kitten and dog embroidery.  I also plan to 'mail' Simon some letters that he can add to his mailbox.   

Now to the important part: a picture of the birthday boy! 

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Saturday Stash Buster in Progress

Simon will be one next week (I can't believe it) and he is getting a playhouse from Grandma.  I can be a procrastinator, I mean I've know his birthday is late August for an entire year and I start on his playhouse a week prior to the big day.  What's wrong with this?  Well, I start back full-time this week and have to work five full days in a row (UGH!).  It will take some getting used to, I love having a few weeks in the summer free but back to work is an adjustment, mostly since it cuts into my sewing time.

I purchased this pattern from Empty Bobbin as soon as I found out DD2 was expecting.  Isn't it cute?  I mean, it has so many possibilities and with all the versions on pinterest, I would say people are letting their creativity roll!  

I wonder if it is possible I only ordered the instructions as I can't find the pattern pieces anywhere.  Hmmm...with the clock ticking and my sewing room at an all time disaster level mess wise, I just went for it.  As you can see, I have two walls complete and the third has been started.  Of course I made some modifications, why not?  

For some reason, I can't get the pictures turned 90 degrees so turning your head to the side will be a must!

I embroidered a dog, kitten, and ball on one side and the third wall I am currently constructing is expected to have a monarch butterfly, bees buzzing above the flowers and maybe ...... it all depends on how much time it takes to get this wall done.  The front door shouldn't take too long, but I do want to have some fun with the 'mail'.  I have photo cloth that I will use to write him some letters on my computer, complete with some stamp clip art.  I am just giddy with excitement at creating a toy that he will hopefully enjoy for hours and hours!  I know my own four children were almost always making a fort with lots of blankets, pillows, and such.  Luckily I was pretty patient when it came to that sort of play.  

More to come, but let's hope I finish in time for the big party!

Thanks for reading!