Monday, July 28, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Lorraine, Elizabeth, Karen (in her swim dress), me & Kashi
By the way Erica, he said that your video has caused quite a stir! He has had more calls from people saying they saw your video on the internet...
Oh and this time I didn't make it out empty handed...this followed me home!
Brown/black print cotton, black eyelet & blue/green border print
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
So here's what I got:
I love the twist on this one...and it's high enough that it's different from those Burda & Big 4 twist top dresses.
I have wanted this pattern ever since I snoop shopped it in Macy's last year...now of course I also own the summer version of this pattern but the economy needs stimulating, and I really like the u-neckline on this version...so I bought it too!
I like the insert around the waist. It will nip me in and make me look like I actually have a waist! And I already have fabric in mind for it...
C'mon you knew I was buying this pattern...it's a dress and a pretty one with distinctive details! Not another one of those sacks that they've been selling a lot of lately! I will stitch the pleats down a little further and in a rayon challis will have an amazing dress for fall!
I actually see this as a dress...lengthen the tunic, keep it a little close-fitting so that I don't get that "when is the baby due" stare and it should be a really kewl fall dress!
As a member of ClubBMV - I did get them for $6.29 per pattern and I know, I know about your J and Hancock sales but the first place I just don't patronize and the second chain is not in my area...so I have to settle for online sales. But my size is always in stock, they arrive quickly and settle down nicely into my pattern collection to wait their turn in the sunlight!
So can you tell that I didn't sew this weekend?! *LOL* I am reduced to sharing patterns with you...seriously though after about six weeks of non-stop sewing I just needed a minute to recharge my batteries...more finished garments soon! And just in case you didn't get the email...patterns are $6.99 today and tomorrow...the sale ends midnight tomorrow CST! Happy hunting!
Monday, July 21, 2008
Well last week, the original Simplicity pattern landed in my mailbox thanks to Lanetz Living!
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Several yards of a wool blend knit and 5 yards of waistband stay because you should never be an ungrateful guest and not accept the party favors...*LOL*
I have two fabrics that will always be in my fabric collection, wool crepe and linen...guess that covers the seasons! *smile* But I love linen for several reasons:
1. It can make an amazing tailored garment or it can make an amazing relaxed fun weekend outfit.
2. The fabric takes dye well so you can get linen in brilliant and bright colors or soft and shaded pastels. It is also available in prints, plaids and embroidered.
3. It is cool to wear, doesn't hold body heat and is absorbent.
4. The only downside to linen is that it wrinkles...horribly...if underlinings and/or linings are not added to it to support the fabric.
I have used linen in both tailored garments and in more relaxed wear. Pretreatment of the fabric depends on what the end garment will be. If I am making a tailored suit, I will typically wash & dry the fabric once, removing the fabric from the dryer slightly damp, so that the pressing process is not as onerous.
If I am making a more relaxed, casual outfit the linen will be washed and dried at least 3x...yes 3 times! This is to remove all sizing from the fabric and to totally relax the fibers so that the wrinkle factor will be minimal in the finished garment. All of this washing also changes the hand of the fabric so a fabric that once was stiff and unyielding now becomes pliable and drapable.
Now why don't I wash linen 3x for a tailored garment...well that's because I add more support and understructure to the garment, so the initial wash and dry is to remove extra sizing and to prevent shrinkage.
When making a garment from linen I realize that the linen is going to wrinkle...I just decide how much wrinkling I can live with...i.e. Do I want to underline a pair of pants with silk organza and then line them or can I deal with the wrinkle factor? Do I want the arms to crease in a jacket from my movements or do I want to underline and line? Is the dress or skirt for a more relaxed casual occasion? If so, then I pretreat the heck out of it, construct it without the underpinnings and wear it knowing that some wrinkling may occur but not much. These are decisions that you need to make when you are deciding what to do with the linen you have purchased.
Now I know many people can't stand linen's wrinkling properties...I personally think that's what gives it character...but if you don't like the wrinkles there are blends available. However, to minimize the wrinkling pick a piece with a synthetic blend rather than another natural fiber. A linen/cotton blend wrinkles and shrinks...a linen/rayon blend wrinkles just not as much as an 100% linen, and a linen/silk blend while it has a wonderful sheen and doesn't shrink as much will wrinkle without underpinnings.
During construction of a linen garment there are several things to consider...
Linen fibers relax from your body's natural heat...so this should be taken into consideration when making a garment. There are several areas that can be extremely affected by this...the neckline and shoulder seams in a top/dress/jacket...the seat in pants, skirt, dress...the knees in pants...and the waistline in any bottom piece.
If you are making an unlined garment you can solve some of "the growing issues" by taping the seams, adding twill tape or stay tape to shoulder seams and waistbands...necklines can get a bias binding and stay stitching....and to prevent saggy butts and knees you can add a full or half lining to the pieces. To prevent deep arm creases in long sleeves, a lining and/or silk organza underlining will need to be included during the construction process.
I always use a new sewing machine needle, a shorter stitch length and a better quality thread when sewing linen. And even though linen can take some heat, I make sure to use my silk organza pressing cloth when pressing seams open.
There are three fantastic books on sewing with linen fabric:
1. Linen and Cotton Classic Sewing Techniques for Great Results
by Susan Khalje - published by Taunton Press
This book tells you how to sew each garment type, how to get the best results and decorative tips. It is a wonderful step-by-step guide that I believe should be in every sewist's library.
2. Fabric Savvy - The Essential Guide for Every Sewer
by Sandra Betzina - published by Taunton Press
3. More Fabric Savvy - A Quick Resource Guide to Selecting and Sewing Fabric
by Sandra Betzina - published by Taunton Press
Both of these books are fabric encyclopedias telling you what needle to use, what stitch size, sewing machine foot and pretreatment method for almost every fabric/fiber under the sun. Again must haves for your sewing library!
Finally Threads has a couple of articles that I think you would find useful:
*Issue #65 (June/July 1996) has an article by Susan Khalje called "Easy & Elegant Linen"
*Issue #52 (April/May 1994) has an article by Patricia Moyes called "The Working Woman's Linen Jacket."
I love working with linen because it can be made into a variety of garments...it can fit your lifestyle no matter what it is...and because it is easy to work with...sews up like a dream...and can make your finished garment look like a million bucks.
Again, this is what I know...but if anyone has anything to share or if I've left anything out, please feel free to comment on it! And I hope that everyone will look at linen in a different light and be willing to sew with it a little more often!
Saturday, July 19, 2008
So the Wearability Factor is how a garment actually "wears" when you spend a day in it. How is it for getting in and out of the car? Or on or off the bus, subway, train, etc. Does the fabric wrinkle a lot when you sit down? Does the garment pull or twist in some funny way? You know things that you can't tell when you sew it up, try it on, accessorize it and take some pretty pictures of it on you or your dressform.
Now you would think that in handling the fabric and knowing it's properties, that you would be able to pretty much estimate how a garment will handle...but then you take it out for a test drive and you come home thinking something totally different...that's what happened yesterday with this dress.
Have you ever noticed that linen has a tendency to relax? As the body's heat warms it up, the fibers loosen up...and everything gets a little looser. Have you ever noticed that? Normally it doesn't phase me but today I realized that all of those seams that I painstakingly unpicked and then sewed again, almost could have been left alone....almost.
What I actually decided about the dress is that the next time I make it, I will leave the 5/8" seams alone in the back and just do the 3/8" seams in the front...because by the end of the day it was pretty loose-fitting...not that it looked bad but I think that's because the fabric saved it. Your eye traveled to the border print and the piping...but the next incarnation won't have that so I need to fix this up quickly!
Today I have a quandry...do I sew a quick long, flowing dress for a barbeque I'm attending tomorrow or do I continue working on my summer wardrobe. I don't have much relaxation gear...lately I've been wearing all the business casual from my last job since I rarely wear it to this job anymore...and it usually works in most situations. A nice pair of pants and a twinset works for a date to dinner and the movies...a long flare floral skirt and a t-shirt works to go to Wal-Mart with my mom...but tomorrow is suppose to be 98 degrees, hot and humid!!! Ummmm, I'm not usually outdoors in that type of weather...that's what air conditioning is for! *LOL* So I need something cool and kewl to wear...but do I want to take precious sewing time to make something that I will probably only wear once?
So since I have no idea what to do...I've been visiting fabric sites, vintage pattern sites, blogs, sewing boards...just about anything but sitting my behind down and sewing...and now I feel a nap coming on! *LOL*
Guess I will figure it out...later!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
1. If you've sent me an email and I haven't responded it means I probably didn't get it. I checked my spam folder the other day and found one from 6 weeks ago or thereabouts (Lisa did you get my message!). So no I'm not ignoring you, *smile* I just didn't receive it...so resend it, please. I am generally pretty good about answering email and if you haven't received a reply in a week, please resend! Thanks!
2. Questions in the comments section...I am gonna be honest...I read my blog at work...so I don't have a lot of time to reply to questions...I have good intentions I think that I will when I get home...but then social obligations, work functions or plain ole work has me dragging in the house so late that I forget about it. If you have a question that you really want an answer to...send me an email...and don't forget response #1! *smile*
3. I know alot of bloggers reply to each and every comment that's left on their blog...it's really kewl and I know that I like getting the emails from my fellow bloggers when I've left some amazing fount of wisdom on their blog...but and it's a big one...I don't have time to do this! It's not that I don't like receiving comments and I really do appreciate them, however, I don't have enough hours in the day to reply to everyone...*hanging head in shame* I know that I should but then when would I have time to sew!?! And believe me, my family members don't like it when I don't have time to sew...I'm not a nice person!!! ROTFLOL!
4. I am going to try to acknowledge first time commenters...I so appreciate it when you come out of lurkerdom to say something...now I can't guarantee when I'm gonna start and how long it's gonna last, *LOL* but I am gonna try!
5. This is the most important thing and it is aimed at everyone...Thank You! Thank you for coming by so often to read my ramblings...thank you for coming by and ooohhh and aaahhh over the latest garment...I'm starting to be like a junkie needing my comment fix! *LOL* So those oooohhhs and aaaahhhs are so appreciated. And even if you don't ooooohhhh and aaaahhh but come by and drop me a line via email, it is appreciated! But mostly thank you for taking some of your precious time and stopping by...you don't know how often it makes my day...
Okay that's it...I walked in the door at 9:37, ripped my clothes off, sat down and wrote out this post...it's 9:56 so I will make it in time to see Project Runway!!!! *yes*
*edited to add*
Project Runway is on at 11:00 est! Are you kidding me?!
Until the weekend when hopefully I will have more sewing to share...
Monday, July 14, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Monday, July 07, 2008
This is what I'm working on now...