January 05, 2017

2017 Goals

It's a new year and time to set some new goals. Unless you are like me and just copy the goals you like from the past. Lol, That's exactly what I'm doing. I'm copying the 1 New Outfit A Month goal that I have had on again, off again, over the last few years.

So, each month I will be trying to accomplish the sewing of an entire outfit of garments; top and pants, top and skirt, dress, perhaps a coat or jacket, along with accessories like a handbag, gloves, scarf, or hat. Since I can't make shoes (yet) I will need to purchase a new pair of those as well as any jewelry that should go along with the outfit.

Wish me luck!!!!
I hope the new year proves to be positive and productive for all of us.
Until next time,
Happy Stitching!

October 27, 2016

Pants ~ My First Pair

I've finally finished my first pair of pants. The process has taken several weeks, two patterns, and multiple muslins and fittings. I'm rather pleased with the outcome.

I started with a simple plan; take the pants part of McCall's M7366 pattern and make it up in this beautiful chestnut brown wool twill.  Well, it didn't go as simple as that. I made a muslin and didn't like the fit, so I made adjustment after adjustment. Once I was totally disgusted with it, I very nicely folded it up and filed it with the pattern. 

Chestnut Brown Wool Twill & McCall's M7366 

Then I took a visit through my stash of patterns and found another one. I started tracing, but it occurred to me that I should compare the two shapes before continuing. Sadly it was very obvious that this one wasn't going to work either. 

Chestnut Brown Wool Twill & New Look 6130

So back into my stash I went. And when I come out I had New Look 6130. Comparing it to the others gave me great encouragement.... until I got to the muslin stage. The front fit beautifully but the back was a mess.

The waistline was being pulled down and there was extra fabric in the back thigh area. After much grieving and frustration and loads of web searches, the problem became embarrassingly clear. I needed a "flat butt adjustment". Now I have a bit of trouble typing that and an inability to say it out loud in public, but my biggest issue was actually making myself do the adjustment. 

The bottom line is that I flat out refused to do the adjustment. So, my pants muslin was, yet again, folded and put nicely with the pattern. Immediately the daily butt lifting routines began. My ego and pride drove me everyday because I was determined to have pants that fit without the need for a "flat butt adjustment"!!!!! 

Having the muslin made and available to try on, as the whim took me, was very helpful. Once it fit the way I wanted I started cutting out the twill. With the details already worked out, they went together quickly. 

Everything was going wonderfully.... until I finished the hemline. For some strange reason it kept twisting at the ankle. It laid crooked, being longer at the inseam than at the outside seam. As it turns out I also needed an adjustment for being bow legged. Being finished, that adjustment didn't get made. I'll just have to be satisfied with this pair as they are. 

If you ever want to know all the problems you have, try fitting a pair of pants. 

Until next time,
Happy Stitching!!!

October 05, 2016

The Seamstress Tag

I've really enjoyed finding so many other seamstresses on youtube with this tag. I wanted to put together a short video but it was really hard. The original length was almost 20 minutes and I chopped it down as best as I could to try and get it under 10 minutes. Wow, that was hard. 

Thanks so much to Holli over at Holli Sews for creating this tag.

My Social Media:
Blog: http://sterlingthimble.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sterlingthimble/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/mrsjessicadean/

Links to things mentioned in the video:

New Look 6808 
Butterick B5917 
New Look 6130

1) Who are you?
2) When & why did you start sewing?
3) What is your favorite or proudest make?
4) What is your most disastrous make?
5) Where is your favorite place to go fabric shopping?
6) What is your most used pattern?
7) Your most dreaded sewing task is...
8) And your favorite sewing task?
9) What is your favorite 'sewing entertainment'?
10) Printed or PDF?
11) What sewing machine do you use?
12) Do you have any other hobbies?

Until later, 
Happy Stitching!!

September 23, 2016

Sept Makes & Oct Plans

I published the video for September finishes and October plans. While there was only one make for September, I am happy with it. The gown turned out lovely. You can read the full story of that dress here. As for October, I am feeling very optimistic and energetic. There are three projects that I have planned and I will post updates for those projects on my Facebook page as well as keeping my sewing journal here on the blog.

I hope you enjoy this video:

September 19, 2016

Evening Gown

I had a formal dinner to attend this month. They called it a "Black and White Ball" and so I went in search of a black, white or black and white fabric to make a dress. My original plan was to make an amazing ball gown.... but why would I spend so much time and money on a one time wear dress? I am much too practical for that. So, I opted for an elegant black dress that would be appropriate for any formal occasion.

Not having a pattern, I decided to use my favorite, go-to skirt and top patterns; Butterick B5917 and New Look 6808. As always, I traced my patterns onto tissue paper. I couldn't believe that they matched up almost perfectly. That alone encouraged me and made this project go smoothly from the very beginning.

Combining New Look 6808 and Butterick B5917

The only real modifications that I needed to make were to lengthen the skirt to the ankle and add a scalloped neckline and side slit. The zipper on the top needed to be moved to the back but that caused no major problems.

Once I had all of the details worked out on my tissue paper and a cotton muslin, I knew how much fabric to get and jumped right into it. I was looking for a nice woven material such as a jacquard, damask, or brocade. I also tried out something that I picked up from a youtube sewing vloger. That was to use a sheer fabric for the lining. For this project, that was a mistake. I would have liked the finished dress much better if the lining fabric would have been something more silky.

Fabric and Notions

The gown took me a good deal of time to make because I absolutely love to hand sew. The only work that was done on the machine was the two side seams and the center back seam. All of the darts and seam finishings were done by hand on both the lining fabric and the fashion fabric. I also top stitched around all of the scallops, at the neckline and the sides. As always, I hand stitched the zipper. 

Now for the reveal.

Finished Evening Gown

I'm very happy with the overall look and fit of the gown. It was very appropriate for the dinner we attended and we had a great time. Now I just hope that I will have more opportunities to wear it.

What have you been up to in your sewing room?

August 12, 2016

Accordion Pleated Skirt

As soon as I laid eyes on this technique I knew that I had to try it. As it turns out it isn't new or difficult.

I started out with my regular T and T (tried and true) skirt pattern, Butterick B5917. Instead of cutting the back in two pieces, I cut it as one with a rectangle added from the pleat to the extended hemline. I didn't want any seams adding bulk in that area. 

I assembled the skirt in the general way and then fiddled with that extra fabric, pleating it until I was satisfied. The pleat is sewn in place with an inverted "V".

Once I was happy with the pleat, I focused my attention on the length. In making the skirt longer it had lost its curvy shape so I tapered it a bit and settled on the length. I originally wanted a very long skirt but changed my mind and chopped it off mid-calf. I wasn't sure what the best option for the hem would be so I went with a very narrow one. I generally like a two inch hem but with the tapering.... well, I just didn't feel like doing anymore fiddling. I like how it turned out. 

I've already worn it a few times but haven't tried for any pictures yet. Sooner or later I'll get a picture and post it here to share.

Until next time, I hope that all of your stitching adventures are going grandly. 
Happy stitching!!

July 22, 2016

90s Inspired Skirt

90s Inspired Pinstriped Skirt ~ Finished

My sewing for July got to a late and slow start... but it did start and I was able to finish a garment. This skirt is made from one of the oldest pieces of fabric in my stash. I purchased it, along with my very first pattern almost 15 years ago. No wonder it reminds me of the 90s.

The fabric is a synthetic that I purchased from Jo-Ann Fabrics and the pattern that I used is my favorite T and T (tried and true) Butterick B5917. 

Grey Striped Fabric and Butterick B5917 Pattern

It seems that I have put on some weight around the middle, so in making this I had to go up a half size from my usual 12. I accomplish that by cutting a size 14 and sewing the side seams larger than called for in the pattern. The fabric also made this size increase necessary because it clings and has no structure of its own. I wanted the skirt to drape nicely and hang, without being pulled or stretched.

The thing that I enjoyed the most about this project is the amount of hand sewing I was able to do. The only sewing done on the machine was the side seams and the center back seam. The zipper, darts, and all the finishing stitches were done by hand. I wasn't able to match the thread perfectly and I'm fine with that because it makes it easier to appreciate the handwork that went into it. 

Blind Hem Stitch by Hand

Flat Felled Side Seam by Hand

Hand Sewn Zipper

I hope you are having a fabulous summer  and an amazing time with your own sewing adventures.

Until next time,
Happy stitching!!!!