Sunday, July 14, 2019

Border Prints - Why I Love Them

I've written about my love of border prints and how to sew them before.  You can read those posts here and here. This post is about how they've made an impactful appearance in my wardrobe lately.

My latest garments made using border prints

As you can see, I've been on a border print roll lately. Why do I love border prints so much?  Because of the challenge they present when using them...because of the possibility of making something different and unusual...and because they dare me to look at a piece of fabric in a new and interesting way.

I know the most common use of border prints is at the bottom of garments just like the border lays on the fabric. But I love it when you move that border around and place it in areas where you don't normally see a border. I love using garments with several pattern pieces to get the best use out of the border print. And I especially love the puzzle of fussy cutting a border print and how it causes you to think outside of the box!

Border prints aren't easy to find. You have to search for them. Recently they've become more popular but aren't still readily available. You can find them in quite a few different fabrications. I've purchased them in everything from ITY knit, silk and even wool. I've made skirts, dresses, shirts, maxidresses and jackets all using border prints.

Simple skirts ~

In maxidresses ~

At the top and bottom of the dress

Running a border print down the side of a maxidress ~

I even did a series of shirts using border prints.

My collection of border prints run deep in my fabric shelves... 

When I see one I like, I ALWAYS purchase it even if I have no idea what it will become. To me border prints are like 4 leaf clovers ~ magical, mystical and worth searching for. That's why right now I'm working on two more garments using border prints. They will be coming to the blog before the month's over.

So how about you? Do you like to sew with a border print? Do you look for them when fabric shopping? Or are they elusive like a fabric unicorn? Let me know. I'm interested to see if I'm the only sewist in love with the magic of a border print. always more later!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Vogue 9371 in a Border Print

This fabric purchased in October 2018 plus a newly issued Vogue Pattern made this dress ~

The Vogue 9371 pattern is in the Summer 2019 release from Vogue Patterns. I loved the idea of the shirtdress unbelted and floating free. Just the kind of look I'm desiring this summer.

My fabric is a border print that I purchased from Fabric Mart. Originally bought to make a shirt. However, it didn't work with my pattern pieces so I put it back on the shelf.

I pulled it out again when I saw this pattern. I knew it would make a wonderful maxi. I cut this out in a size 22 and made no alterations to the pattern though honestly I should have added a few inches to the bottom of the pattern pieces. I was a little disappointed when I sewed it together and realized that it wasn't grazing the floor.

Normally I have a few in-progress photos but since I made this at Sew Camp, there are none. It was an easy sew. Nothing complicated about the instructions or assembling the dress. The fabric was the only challenging part ~ cutting it to most effectively highlight the fabric. Thankfully that was done at home before heading to Sew Camp.

I wanted some larger white buttons and had none that fit the bill in the button stash. Unbelievably, I found some at WalMarts in PA where we stopped to purchase some things. The buttons are a plastic white floral that coordinate with the fabric and at 88 cents for a card of 4, a real bargain!

Some Pictures ~

Finally I will sew this again.  However, I'm going to make some alterations to the pattern to give the dress a little more swing. I'm using some of the pattern's design ease to fit my body. Also I think a softer/less crisp fabric will give me the drapy look I want. I will lengthen the pattern pieces to make it a true maxi too. Hopefully the maxidress from this pattern, will make an appearance before the summer is over. Another one will be perfect for those hot, hazy August days. always more later!

Sunday, July 07, 2019

A Thirty Year Old Holyoke

After seeing some of the other versions of this skirt, I really wanted one of those soft swingy ones. So I pulled out a challis and cut out another Holyoke skirt...however, this post isn't about that skirt because it's only halfway done.

While I was looking for a nice soft rayon challis to make version two, my hand touched the fabric I used for what's technically my third Holyoke. This fabric has a back story...

I purchased this fabric in 1989 from Cloth World, the precursor to JoAnns. I remember the exact day...not because something spectacular happened but more because I was a really pregnant woman roaming around Cloth World buying fabric with my lunch money because I was miserable. I was pregnant with my third daughter, huge and ready to be done, but with several more months to go. 

At that time, I did buy fabric for future projects but not projects that would be years in the making. I didn't have that kind of money...not with two little girls and one on the way. But I loved this fabric and two other pieces like it. They made me feel good in a way that not much did at the time. So I bought them. 

I don't even think they manufacture this type of fabric anymore. It's a linen-like fabric that's probably more poly than linen and it was made to look like linen but not wrinkle like it. I made quite a few garments from this type of fabric back in the day. This is truly deep stash sewing!

I made one change to this Holyoke.  Instead of inseam pockets I decided to try and make some pockets that were placed on the outside of the skirt ~ sewn between the seams of the skirt.

This pocket was inspired by a skirt I saw on JJill's site. I liked it and realized it was an easy change to make to my pattern.  

Here's my pattern piece ~

The finished pocket is kind of deep and wide. After I made it I wasn't sure it actually worked. It wasn't until the skirt was photographed and my daughter raved about the pockets that I thought okay, I can live with them.
  1. As you can see I made the pattern piece by putting the side front and center front skirt pieces together.  
  2. Then I traced a piece that filled the space from side to side. 
  3. My pattern piece is 8" long with a 1/2" turn at the top and at the bottom - so 7" finished. 
  4. Wide enough to jam my hands or stuff into.
  5. I also placed the pockets further down than the inseam pocket because I wanted to slide my hands down into them.
It was simple to do and added no extra time to the construction of the skirt. Otherwise the skirt construction was exactly the same as the first one.

My buttons are from deep stash too. Buttons I've had since that same daughter was 9. So except for the new pattern, all of the pieces of the skirt have been marinating in my collection waiting for their time to be used.

A Few Pictures ~

I love that I'm fulfilling one of my 2019 goals - to sew several garments using deep stash fabrics/notions from the collection. This skirt is made from fabric that is as deep stash as it gets!

My third and final Holyoke will be finished and probably make it to the blog before the month is over. That will most likely be my last one for the season. I have so many things on my to-sew list that I really want to get made! always more later!

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

A Dover Maxidress

I've been stating since my fourth make of the Dover Jacket that I really wanted a maxi dress from this pattern. 

I bought this embroidered gingham border print from Chic Fabrics last November.

One day at work I was doodling during a meeting, combining this fabric and the Dover Jacket and dreamed up what I thought would be an amazing maxi dress. I have to admit that the final dress is somewhat different than what I imagined. 

The dress I'd imagined had scallops at the hemlines of the dress and sleeves. Since I did not take my 8900 to Sew Camp and was working on my 6600P I just couldn't get the scallops long and thick enough to work. After fiddling with it for a few hours, I called it quits. I couldn't make my design idea come to life on the equipment I was using. Maybe if I'd been home I would have come up with another idea but I really wanted to bring home finished garments so I added a triple stitch to the hemlines of the dress and sleeves.

Supplies ~
3 yards of fabric from Chic Fabrics
Red Piping from Joyce Trimmings
10 - 7/8" flat red buttons also from Joyce Trimmings
1 black covered snap from Pacific Trimmings

Pattern Alterations/Construction/Sewing ~
When I cut this out I flipped the border print which was only on one side of the fabric and used it for the top of the dress. All pieces were cut side by side to insure that the border print went all the way around the top of the dress.

I made two alterations to the pattern to get this maxidress.

1. I shortened the sleeves to elbow length
2. I lengthened the skirt body to make it maxi length

Except for the scallop samples I made and having to handstitch the piping down (none of my sewing machine feet worked and I had to borrow another camper's sewing machine to get the piping and facing on my dress), the construction was pretty simple. Nothing any different from the construction on a normal Dover jacket.

I made buttonholes all the way down the front except at the top because it would have been in the middle of the embroidery. I really didn't want to disturb the embroidery, so I added a snap to the inside and sewed a button on the front. I'm glad I was able to leave the embroidery alone and not cut into it. 

BTW, I have no construction pictures because it was made during Sew Camp.

A Few Pictures of the Maxidress ~

This pattern is just as comfortable as a maxidress as it is a jacket! I took it for a test run to the grocery store and it was an easy wearing, comfortable dress. Just what I'm looking for this summer. If I can, I will make another one before the summer ends and the only change I would make is to add some inseam pockets. always more later!

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Just like that six months have passed...

It's the last day of June and so the first six months of 2019 is officially in the books. I didn't do a recap of May's sewing because it primarily consisted of The Event Sewing. Since I was neck deep in it, I passed knowing the info could be put into this post.

So this is a recap post of the last six months...

First: Items Made ~
4 Dover Jackets
5 Cashmerette Pembroke Tunics
4 Shirts from my TNT pattern
2 Vests (one TNT & one Sew Your View)
1 Cardigan
1 Cashmerette Holyoke Skirt
1 pair of wide legged pants from TNT pattern
2 McCalls 7858 fancy dresses for the granddaughters
1 Myosotis Dress for the Event
1 Midi Dress from Vogue 9371 (to be blogged)
1 Dover Maxidress (to be blogged)
Total:  23

The Roscoe Top
The Blk/White Rayon Skirt

Gray Ponte Simplicity Vest

23 makes and 2 refashions just not counting that wadder. LOL!  Not bad for the first six months!

Fabric Totals ~
Fabric accumulation is always a challenge for me since I LOVE it sooooooo much! I knew I was going to blow my totals up in June because - Sew Camp!!! I thought that the fabric I purchased in May would have been used for the Event dresses. However, I bought some that I ended up not using so that increased my unused totals...anyway here are the totals by month.

May Totals:
In - 30.5 yards 
Out - 17 yards

June Totals:
In - 74.75 yards 
(This was a combination of birthday fabric buys and Sew Camp purchases)
Out - 19 yards

YTD In:   246 yards
YTD Out: 180.5 yards

At the mid-point of the year I have 65.5 more yards in than out.  So much for that balancing act in April! However, I still have to do my yearly donation to the high school and I know I won't be purchasing fabric in July & August. I'd like to make it all the way through to the end of September but I will see.

I'm pretty fabric satisfied right now and just want to sew all the things. My wardrobe is changing again due to weight, health, and age situations. I will be doing a clothing donation at the end of the summer when I know what I wore and didn't wear this year. 

My sewing list for the rest of the summer is calling my name. We will see what fabrics actually make it from flat fold and into my closet!  

Next up on the blog is the Dover Maxidress. Spoiler Alert: I love it and will hopefully make another before the summer is over! always more later!  

Friday, June 28, 2019

A Spring Brocade Dover Jacket

I honestly thought I wouldn't be making another Dover Jacket until summer when I would be trying a Dover Dress.  However, this fabric I purchased from Metro Textiles had different ideas! I also thought that by June I wouldn't be able to wear it out and about but we shot these photos in mid-June on a 70 degree day. It was just fine.

Supplies ~
3 panels of border print brocade from Metro Textiles
Tie fabric for bias binding
Interfacing from Steinlauf & Stoeller
5 - 7/8" Covered buttons from stash for jacket buttons

Construction ~
The only difference between this jacket and all my others is that I decided to bind the jacket edges using a Hong Kong finish. I need to insert a why here?  Because I did not seriously consider how many seams there are in this jacket and how much time it would take if I was going to bind them all.

Of course once I started I HAD to bind all the seams. That decision added HOURS to the construction of the jacket...seriously HOURS! So between the pattern matching and the bias binding, I "coutured" a very easy jacket. 

Neck deep in I also decided to use covered buttons for the jacket. Which meant I didn't have to dig through the stash to find a button that coordinated or end up hitting the Garment District to find one that worked. Using the flip side of the brocade fabric meant I ended up with a covered button that matched my fabric. It was a good decision because I love how the buttons look when the jacket is closed.

(laying the covered buttons on the jacket front
color is off - picture below is so much better!)

A few photos of the jacket ~

Okay this isn't the most attractive shot but I loved
 how the wind caught the jacket and showed the fabric's pattern

This is a "fancy" jacket to wear over jeans but with our touch and go weather, I should get a few wears in before the hot weather comes. I will use this pattern again as a jacket come fall because I wear a lot of layers in the winter. always more later!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Sew Camp Summer 2019

I know y'all must be tired of reading about my Sew Camp adventures BUT y'all these are some of the best sewing weekends.  Not only do I get to go to Fabric Mart's brick n mortar store, I get to spend time with sewists who love this artform as much as I do.

With that introduction, I'm giving an overview of my five days at the Carriage Corner Sew Camp but this post IS picture heavy.  Suffice it to say that I had a good time and that I bought a lot of fabric (not as much as last time but enough).  Suffice it to say that the conversation was poppin' and not all about politics.  Suffice it to say that there were sewing techniques shared and some pattern fitting done...mostly though it was a sewfantastic time!

Camp was five days and we arrive on Thursday afternoon, set up & sew. 

Cennetta showing what she brought to sew

Arleen & Barbara arrived Wednesday afternoon so they were full on 
sewing when I arrived on Thursday afternoon! 

The sewing set up!

On Friday we travelled to Fabric Mart by van since there were 9 campers and it allowed us to all go together. I will say that we blew in, took control and shopped until we dropped!

Barbara in the van on the way to Fabric Mart

At the check out table at Fabric Mart

Shar from Sharbozz joined us at Fabric Mart

Andrea with all of her bags

Gaylen sharing what she bought

400 yards were purchased by the crew and I only purchased 34 yards

After lunch we headed back to the B&B and had a fabric show and tell. Cause y'all there were some interesting bundles purchased! Since I shipped my fabric home, it was not part of the show and tell. It was, however, waiting for me when I got home.

Here is what I purchased... 

5 yds each of black & blue ltwt denim, 5 yds black midweight 3ply silk
4 yds of lt. blue & dk blue sandwashed silk, 3 yds linen/cotton blend floral print
4 yds blue/black/white stripe cotton shirting & 5 yds black floral linen/cotton blend print   

After the show, we sewed the evening away. I went to bed around 1am and there was still a crew sewing. 

Saturday after another delicious B&B breakfast we headed to the quilt store ~ Zooks in particular ~ by way of A&E Candies and the Cupcake Shop. 

Checking the rows and rows of amazing cotton prints

Cennetta deliberating

LaQuana trying to convince us to purchase a batik

We met a fellow Sewist (Samswife2) who follows our blogs

Here's my haul from Zooks...

3 of the prints are 4 yds purchased for shirts or shirtdresses
& the last gingham is a 2 yd gauze that Bonnie and I shared.

It was a great walk there and back after which we headed back to our sewing machines. We had dinner out and then more sewing. I went to my room after dinner to call my family, change my clothes and I fell asleep...waking up at 12:45am.  I could hear the crew still downstairs so I headed down.  Ended up sewing to 5am, turning the lights off about 90 mins before the morning crew started in.

Cennetta sharing a technique

More technique sharing

Gaylen getting the best shot!

Sunday was more of the same. Breakfast then sewing until we couldn't sew anymore. Though I did call it a night around 1am.

Monday after breakfast we decided to take pictures of everyone's garments, who hadn't left already, because the lawn at the B&B is so well landscaped. Those who left early had theirs taken on Sunday afternoon.  Below is a composite of SOME of the garments that were photographed. There was some serious sewing going on at this Sew Camp! 34 garments completed in total!!!

A group shot after pictures on Monday afternoon

I took four garments to make but started with my two most challenging pieces and ended up with 2 finished garments...ALL done...nothing to complete when I got home! I was happy with that since I really wanted the experience. 

So this is what I made...

Detailed blog posts about their construction will be coming soon.

I highly recommend getting on Gaylen's email list for Sew Camp. Besides all of the shopping and interaction, the ability to sew uninterrupted for hours without having to clean or cook makes this a fun, relaxing and very productive time.

There is a 3 day Sew Camp in September and while Gaylen already has some sign ups, I know there is some availability if you're interested. Mostly though get on the mailing list because she usually opens registration about three months before Camp starts. always more later!


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