February 09, 2017

Gold Clutch Purse ~ Accessory for January

My original plan was to have a red velvet "bow" bag for my Valentine's Day outfit. But when I was getting my fabric I realized that the dress fabric reads as orange. I should have guessed because  it is woven of red and gold threads. Since I wasn't interested in changing the fabric for the dress, I had to come up with a different idea for the bag.

I decided to go with gold for my accessories. My fabric shop didn't have anything in gold that inspired me so I had to look around. Amazingly enough I found some remnants gold leather at Tandy Leather and decided to give it a go. I've never sewn leather on my machine so I wasn't sure if it would work out. 

Getting started: gold leather from Tandy, brass jeans zipper,
and Schmetz leather needles for the sewing machine

I went with the simplest design I could think of, a basic zipper pouch, and hoped for the best. I absolutely did not expect for anything useful to come out of this first try so I used the least amount of leather possible. 

A great start on the body and strap of the gold leather clutch

I've watched videos on proper leather working and I'm really not up to all of that yet. I do have the glue, needles, and thread but skiving scares me. Skiving is when you shave away the edges to make the leather thinner. I definitely see the benefits of it now and will probably try it out this year.

Also, I don't have burnishing tools or leather edge paint. I'm not a fan of raw edges so I used the same technique that I use with fabric, sewing right sides together. I tried pressing the leather so it would lay flat with little improvement. I finally gave in and top stitched. 

To make the strap I took a strip of leather and stitch the sides down in the back. I've shown it in the picture above. 

Zipper close-up on the gold leather clutch

I had to give up the idea of a basic pouch because I couldn't get my corners to turn properly. That led to the addition of side panels and obliterated my ideas for adding the strap at the side seam. "D" rings and clasps seemed to be the best direction to go from here. With no luck finding the right size hardware online, I found what I thought would work at a local thrift store and scavenged the pieces I wanted. 

Even with all of the road blocks, twists and turns, I was very optimistic that my project would work out great. Each new change seemed to be for the better and I was actually thrilled with how it was going. 

That's when everything went south. Sewing in the sides and turning the leather destroyed the shiny finish and creased it terribly. Then I had to take out the leather tabs at the ends of the zipper and hand stitch it back to the pouch body. The machine stitches pulled and marked the leather and you can see the tied ends of thread. Not to mention that the zipper tape has frayed ends that show.

I'm rating this bag as a fail because it looks worn out and I just finished it. I'll probably use it for pictures but it won't be going out to dinner. Perhaps it can find happiness as a makeup pouch.

On the bright side, this project was a great learning experience and counts as an accomplishment in sewing leather on the sewing machine. It stitched so easily that I won't hesitate in trying it again. I already have plans for two future leather sewing projects. 

Finished bag on my red silk dress

I hope all of your sewing adventures are exciting.
Until next time,
Happy Stitching!!!

February 01, 2017

February Sewing Goals

A quick update on accomplishing my January "Outfit Of The Month":
~ I just finished up putting the last stitch in my Valentine's Day dress. I don't have pictures but I'll post them as soon as I do.
~ I'm waiting for supplies to finish the gold leather purse. Namely a pair of brass D rings and a pair of brass swivel clips. 
~ And I purchased a cute pair of gold ball earrings. 
~ As for heels, I have no idea what I'm going to do about those.
Sheesh, it's a good thing I don't need this outfit until Valentine's Day. 

I'm so excited about my next set of projects that I'm starting as soon as possible...and to tell the truth, this was supposed to be my March project but I am too impatient to wait. Everything revolves around Easter.

Here's the rundown: I have to make this fast because my list is incredibly long and I really need to be sewing now. 

Easter Basket Push Toys (from a few years age)

~ The first thing on my list is to make Easter gifts for family and friends. I like to make plush eggs and bunnies to put in the Easter baskets that we give away. However, since my Easter outfit is going to take up most of my sewing time, these gifts won't be started until my outfit is finished. 

1. ⭐️ Easter Gifts - Scrap fabric eggs, bunnies 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Hopefully I will be using this beautiful silk tweed
for my Easter skirt and jacket

~ My second project is my outfit of the month. I fell in love with a silk tweed back in November and if it's still available I want a suit made from it. My plan is to use my TNT skirt pattern (Butterick B5917) and give it a ruffled detail at the back hem (from Simplicity 1919).
~ For the suit jacket I'm looking at Simplicity 2229, the collarless option. I'll need to make a muslin because I want a cropped version, leave out the belt, and redo the sleeves. I've made this before and didn't care for how wide the sleeves were or how much ease was in the cap. If that doesn't work out I can alter another jacket/blazer that's in my stash (see it on Pinterest).
~ I'm really excited about the top I plan to make. I'm not sure on the color, that will depend on what silk is available. As for the pattern, the top of Simplicity 1755 will do perfectly (sleeveless version). I'd need to alter it so the top hangs straight instead of conforming to the body. I also like the idea of having pearl buttons. 
~ With the outfit itself taking so much time to make, I'm not sure there will be opportunity to make the coat. If there is time, and money in the budget, I'd love a coordinating, wool coat. Something fitted at the bodice, a fabric belt, and a nice peplum at the bottom. 
~ Hopefully the sewing elves will visit me and work on my accessories while I'm sleeping because I have total confidence that I will not get to them. Lol

2. ⭐️ "Outfit Of The Month" Easter pencil skirt and blazer, sleeveless silk top, purse, gloves, silk covered fascinator on headband adorned with Grandma's broaches, and Pastel wool Coat, heels to match 

I hope you're able to accomplish your goals better than I have so far.
Until next time,
Happy Stitching!!!

January 09, 2017

New Fabric For January

I have been lusting after the gold and red silk fabric that I saw months ago. In fact that fabric hasn't gone out of my mind at all and haunted me all through the holidays. I was so relieved that there was some still available when we went back to the fabric store, over the weekend. I grabbed 2 yards, matching thread and an invisible zipper and was on to check on my guys.

I was able to talk my husband and the boys into going with me. I want to make some curtains for the boys' room and I wanted them to pick out the fabric. I'm not sure if they had any fun but they came away with very different ideas of what they wanted. 

My older son found this very interesting world map print fabric. He is very much into maps and this is right up his alley. He liked this particular map print because the continents are legibly labeled.

My younger son found this fish print. He was just as adomite as his brother that his choice was the best. He was also just as excited as his brother that the fish were legibly labeled. 

I didn't end up getting any fabric for the curtains because, ironically enough, I hadn't taken measurements and didn't have a clue how much to get. We did however, settle on a complimentary fabric (that matches both the fish and map choices) for the curtains. It's a simple blue. 

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: