October 18, 2015

Work In Progress

Last week I decided to challenge myself to sew for at least 30 minutes a day. I know from past experience that you can really get a lot done that way. My work takes a bit longer because I like to do a lot of homework.

I now have two work in progress items on my sewing table. The first is the project that was the subject of my attention all last week. It's a simple boys vest.

I'm at a stopping point because I want to do snap closures and have no snaps. I'm very happy with the work so far.

Here is a close up of some hand top stitches. The lining directions on this say to stitch seams and turn. Not my favorite lining option because it never lays nicely. Top stitching around the seams helps everything lay better. The pattern did call for fusible interfacing but I omitted that. I'm not a fan of fusibles.

The second project, and the one that will consume my attention for the next several weeks, is a muslin for pants. If this project works out, I will be the proud owner of fitted, straight leg, empire waist slacks of wool suiting. 

I've made a facebook page for everyday updates. Feel free to stop by, say hello and share pictures of your current projects.

October 12, 2015

Sewing Book Shelf Additions

I love books!!! I especially love old books. While I do have very, very old books on sewing, I think more modern books are appropriate for this blog.

There is a used bookstore that I visit regularly and always come away with at least one bag of books. Sewing books are generally included. Here are a few from a recent purchase:

I'm especially loving the couture techniques in this one. The book was published in the 90s but the instructions are timeless. 

This book was purchased with the notion of making gifts. After all, who doesn't love stuffed animals?

I've already made a few purses but I grabbed this one hoping that it would lend inspiration and perhaps some purse making secrets. 

This one I picked up for my daughter. It lives on my bookshelf but she is the one interested in making clothes for bears and dolls. 

I hope that all your sewing adventures go smoothly this week. 
Happy Stitching!!

September 25, 2015

Time For Another Sewing Challenge

Ok, since we got back from vacation I have been sketching and planning and sketching and planning and doing absolutely no sewing at all. This has got to stop!!! I know that just sewing a few minutes a day can get loads of sewing goals accomplished.... so that is exactly what I'm going to do. I am challenging myself to sew for 30 minutes a day.

I already started.. well sort of. If you count watching a sewing tutorial, or if you count diving into your stash to take inventory and get inspiration. So far my sewing to-do list goes like this:

~ Blue Corduroy Jacket as a muslin for a ....
~ Jacket of Grey Wool
~ Another Pencil Skirt with self fabric button suspenders (going with a masculine theme)
~ Feminine twist on a French Cuff shirt (short sleeves)
~ White Sheet Set for the guest bedroom (I know, boring but greatly needed)
~ Altered Curtains (another lame but very important household item)
~ A Modern Corset (don't give me grief about altering my shape, the 4 children I birthed have moved my organs so much I'm not sure that even they know where they are supposed to be. Lol)

I'll probably knock out the curtain modification first simply because I know it will be a quick project. The second easiest would be the pencil skirt since it's like the forth or fifth time of making it. Lol. I'm really excited to start on the jackets but I don't have a lot of confidence in that area so I'm not sure where they stand in the line up.

I hope that all of your sewing adventures are moving along smoothly for you.
Happy Stitching!!!

September 02, 2015

Ugh!! What Size Am I???

How embarrassing! I'm trying to start a new sewing project and I have no idea what size to use for a Simplicity pattern. Well, that should be really easy to find out right? Just look at my project posts and see what sizes I used before. Simple.... but nope. Silly me didn't include sizes in my posts.

OK, rethinking. I must have mentioned sizes in my reviews on PatternReview.com, right? Nope!

How could I forget to post the sizes I used???

So, I have resolved to keep track of my sizes on this post. Sort of boring for you, I know, but invaluable to me.... and since this blog is my way of keeping track of my sewing... it should work. Right??

Now I have to ponder why I don't document my size. Could it be that I don't actually want to say (type) to the world what size I am? Possibly. I think that it doesn't really help that the pattern sizes that I use are in the teens and when I go shopping for clothes I wear single digits. Which reminds me of an article (here) that I read recently about how women's sizing charts have changed over the years.

Size Table:

Simplicity Tops
Simplicity Skirts

New Look Tops - 12
New Look Skirts - 12

McCall's Tops
McCall's Skirts - 12

Butterick Top - Back 12 (remove darts), Front 18
Butterick Skirts - 14

August 28, 2015

30 Minutes A Day Challenge - Week 4

This post is a bit over due since I finished up my plaid skorts and promptly went on vacation. Now that we are back, I figured I should post a picture.

Peach Top, Plaid Skorts

The skorts weren't that hard. I had never made any type of pants or shorts before so I was a bit apprehensive. I used the New Look 6130 pants pattern and just shortened them to the length that I wanted. Then, using tissue paper, I sketched the flaps for the skort front. These are modeled after the Zara Origami Skort, but much longer and without pockets. Having never made shorts and a time crunch on top of it, I opted to go easy on myself. ;)

I hope that all of your sewing adventures are going well.
Happy Stitching!!

August 03, 2015

Mid Week Post - Picture Update

I was so focused on getting sewing done in Week 1 of my 30 Minute A Day Personal Sewing Challenge that the pictures I took and posted of my new top were less than stellar. However, after my Week 3 photo shoot I figured I could take pictures of the top, since it was what I was going to wear that day anyway. So here you go:

It was also cookie baking day... and I'd rather eat cookies than get my picture taken. 

In related news, my daughter (the one I made the top for in the first place) decided that she now likes the top and has taken it back. Sheesh, what am I going to do with this girl?  

Happy Sewing!!!

July 30, 2015

30 Minutes A Day Challenge - Week 3

Last week I made a dress from Butterick B5917 and B5603, and used a fabric with no give. So I dove into my stash and came out with something I thought would work better for this mash-up. I bought it years ago at an on-line $2.00 fabric sale. It's a poly/cotton stretch bottomweight in sapphire. I honestly have no idea why I purchased it because I really have never had any plans for it.

For the skirt I used B5917 in size 12. I've used the skirt part of this pattern three times now and love it (here, here, and here).  For the bodice I used B5603, option A, and it was a bit tricky. It seems that I have a narrow back so I use the bodice back piece in size 14. I wanted the front to be blousey so I used a size 18. I didn't have enough fabric for the entire dress so I used a coordinating fabric from my scrap bag for the front bodice piece.

One struggle that I has was with the back darts. In the dress that I made last week I used a size 12 and took the darts out for it to fit into the skirt properly. The back fits beautifully in that dress. Thinking that I had the wrong size, I took a trip to the store and picked up the larger pattern size package. For this dress I used the size 14 and stitched the darts. They made the back gape open and I ended up pleating out the fabric to make it lay flat on my back. If I had had more fabric, I would have cut a new back piece in the smaller size and omitted the darts all together.

Also, I didn't face it, instead I pieced a bias strip and bound the neck and arm scythe. I think it worked much better using the print fabric since it has a softer hand. As an added bonus it matches my clutch purse from last year:

Violet Clutch Purse
Oh, how the time is flying by. I have one more week of 30 minutes a day sewing to complete my personal goal for this month and I still don't have a bathing suit. I should probably work on that but there are so many other great outfits that I could finish as well.... or maybe a new bag.... or sunhat?? I'll just have to dive into my stash and see what I come out with.

Happy Stitching!!