Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Blue Dot Patterns ~ Dover Jacket (Wearable Muslin)

One of the garment types I really want to add to my fall/winter/early spring wardrobe is a loose fitting jacket. I want to wear them with the Pembroke turtleneck tunics I've made, as well as, my shirts and over jeans and leggings.


I saw the BlueDot Patterns - Dover Jacket and it really tickled my fancy.


However, there were a few challenges...
1. It's only graded up to a size 18 - no plus sizes at all!
2. It's a pdf ONLY pattern
3. The sleeves need to be lengthened

I hemmed and hawwed a few days before downloading the pattern because LOADS of pattern alterations PLUS taping the pattern together. But as I looked at the pattern drawings, I realized that a lot of the alterations would be very easy to make because it's a simple silhouette.


So my first challenge was to tape the pattern together. I managed to do that one evening after work while watching Bye Bye Birdie. Yes I LOVE corny old movie musicals! *LOL* It wasn't difficult to tape together because it doesn't have a lot of pages. The taped pattern easily fit on my sewing table.

Pattern Alterations ~
These are extensive. I altered almost all of the pattern pieces. So I traced the main body pieces and the alterations to them are listed below.

1. Front bodice bottom - added 1.5" to the piece from top to bottom by slicing it open and adding the extra space. This gave me an extra 3" in the front.

2. Back bottom piece - added 3" to the pattern. Sliced it from top to bottom and added the extra space.  This gives me an extra 6" to the back.

3. My finished hip measurement is 71" which will allow me to put a sweater or top under the jacket, as well as sit comfortably in the closed jacket.

4. I added a 1/2" to the front and back bodice pieces by slicing and spreading.


5. While the original finished bodice measurements fit, I wanted a little extra space for what I wore under the jacket.

6. Then I lowered the front and back pieces 2". If you look carefully at the picture of the jacket front - the seamline runs right across your bustline. This works if you're small busted but any amount of boobage and it will look a little wonky.


7. I checked where the seam would fall on my body and decided that I needed to lengthen it 2" for it to clear my bustline. That alteration was made to the front and back pieces.

8. The front facing piece had 2" added to match the jacket.

9. The sleeves were also altered. C'mon you know if I make them on regular patterns I would need to add to them here too. I added 1/2" to the front and back sleeve. 

10. For the next make I will need to add another 1/2" to both back and front sleeve piece. When sewn, these were still a little tight and pulled across the jacket front.

11. I also added length to the sleeves because the 3/4 length sleeve won't keep my arms warm. 

See extensive! I'm sure you're wondering why I didn't find a pattern in a size closer to my measurements. Honestly I don't know. I saw this, knew it was what I needed & wanted also that it would work with quite a bit of the suiting and jacket fabrics in the collection. Plus I was in the mood for the challenge of making it work.

Fabric Choice ~
I really wanted a denim jacket. I've got an entire section of denim fabric in all weights, colors and prints that I've amassed over the last couple of years. I didn't use as much denim as I thought I would last year, probably cause I went shirt crazy! Anyway, since I made so many alterations to the pattern, basically grading it up to a size 22-24, I wanted to try the pattern out first.  

If it worked well great! If it didn't, I would move on. I used a printed denim left over from making this wrap skirt last summer.  The first challenge: the fabric was shorter than I thought it was. I'd actually folded it in such a way that I couldn't see a huge piece was cut out ~ insert very loud groan here. I tried to move pattern pieces around so they would fit. The pattern tetris drove me back to working on one of the blankets I was crocheting for the grandchildren.  After a time out, I figured out how to get all the outer pieces cut out of the denim. 

Construction ~
This was easy to put together. I understand why Diane rated this a beginner to intermediate pattern. But me being me and no longer capable of just sewing a pattern as is, I made a few additions...

a. I didn't have enough of my fabric to cut facings or pockets.  So I omitted the pockets.

b. I cut facings from a blue/white gingham from my scrap pile.

d. After the sleeves were made, I realized you could see the white background of my printed denim.  So I cut blue/white gingham cuffs (15" x 3") to cover the sleeves undersides. Also to tie it to the facings on the inside.

e. I added 2 more buttons than the pattern calls for because I don't like flappy fronts.

f. To insure that everything in the inside of the jacket coordinated, I added a band of the blue & white gingham to the hemline.  I encased the hem for a bound look and I handstitched it down.


f. Last I topstitched close to the front edges and again at the edges of the facings like the pattern suggests. I used a triple stitch for the topstiching. 

(The color is off here but you can see the topstitching and basting lines)

To insure the topstitching was in the right place for the facing edges, I ran a line of basting stitches around the facing.

A few pictures of the finished jacket ~






Conclusion ~
I LOVE this pattern. I can see it in several different fabrications, even a ponte knit. I hope to make a couple more of these before the weather warms up. It's been especially cold this winter and I need ALL THE LAYERS!

I did add a lot of construction techniques to the jacket that are not included in the pattern. Some of it is because I wanted the insides of the jacket to look finished. Other techniques were done because I just like those sewing techniques better. All of these added more sewing time to a simple-to-sew jacket but it was worth the sewing journey...making it a very satisfying sew.

I would highly recommend purchasing this pattern if you're looking for a great casual jacket to add to your wardrobe. It has great bones and you can really have fun with design decisions for your garment.

...as always more later!







Saturday, January 19, 2019

Sewing Goals for 2019

As I said in my last post, I am sewing.  Just not taking pictures yet.  Though I plan to do that this weekend since I'm developing a backlog.

In the meantime, it's a holiday weekend here in the States, to celebrate the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Also on the East Coast we're supposed to have some pretty wicked weather too, accumulating snow, ice & wind.  Perfect combo for staying in to sew especially since my sewing mojo is back and popping! *LOL*

Taken from Instagram at the end of 2018
My personal goal for 2019

While figuring out what three projects I wanted to work on this weekend (I'm home for four days so think three is a doable number) I came across this list I'd made during my holiday break. After re-reading it, I've decided I want to put it here...more for me than you...so I will have a record to go back and assess my progress at various times of the year.

Here are my "Ten Sewing Goals for 2019" ~

1. Sew Purposefully
Sew what I need for my wardrobe. Don't go off on flights of fancy, follow social media trends or go down rabbit holes.  Be true to my sewing lists because they're devised from my wardrobe needs and encourage me to take wonderful sewing journeys.

2. Sew at least 10 garments from deep stash.
These garments should be from fabric that's been in the collection for at least five years. There's plenty to choose from - use some of it!

3. Donate more fabric
Check with local high schools to see if they need donations. The donation doesn't need to be as large as my last one but make a donation or two anyway.

4. Buy fabric purposefully
I'm not going to say don't buy fabric, it never works. Instead I'm saying try not to buy because it's on sale, because it's cute or to get carried away when I'm in a group. I own a lot of fabric and I need to pull the curtains back and use some of the amazing fabric I already own. 

5. Use some new patterns
I love my TNT patterns. I love being able to just sew because all of the fit issues have been resolved. BUT I own ALOT of patterns (old and new) and I need to use more of them. Before I wouldn't use some of my older patterns because I wondered which sewists had them or could relate to them. I need to get past that because so many older patterns can be purchased online at either eBay, etsy or online sites.

6. Continue to track fabric in/out and blog new fabric purchases
This one has a two fold reason. One - last year by blogging in and out numbers I was acutely aware of what was coming in and going out instead of guesstimating. The reality was brutal. I need that slap in the face to control my consumption. Pictures of fabric purchases on the blog allow me to link to fabric - where & when it was purchased, how long it's been in the collection, etc. All information I need when I'm writing blog posts.

7. Search the fabric and notions collections first
I dream up garments from inspiration pieces, from street inspiration and from tv, magazine and movie garments. I usually make up a list of supplies needed after I decide what to make. Lately since I'm working in the garment district, I think let me run by Joyce Trimmings or Pacific Trimmings and get the supplies I need. But I have a really deep notions and button stash in the Sewing Cave.  I NEED to look there first. Only if I find nothing suitable should I be purchasing new notions.

8. Move/Reorg fabric
This is twofold ~ the first is to move fabric around more often because when I do I always find something I've forgotten. Something I've had and should be using.  Two ~ I need to reorganize so I have more space. I'm not using my space well because I tend to just pile things up.

9. Don't fall for the Big4 Pattern Sales
I already own a lot of Big4 patterns...some that just need slight adjustments to look like what's current. I need to be choosier when buying new patterns and see #5.

10. Create an Art to Wear piece
I was looking through some of my older blog posts and in some of them I found a couple of artier pieces. I went through a period where I could only wear "corporate clothing" to work but I can wear anything I want now. I liked sewing those pieces. It would be a good challenge to come up with something different than I've been sewing.

That's it. Those are my ten sewing goals for this year and I will probably do quarterly updates to check my progress. Like I said in the beginning of this post, I'm sewing this weekend so finished garment discussions soon.

...as always more later!




Sunday, January 13, 2019

So I'm Sewing...

I knew when I went back to work that my sewjo would return and it did ~ like clockwork! It didn't come back right away but by the weekend, I knew what I wanted to sew. BTW, it wasn't anything on my list!

Diane at BlueDot Patterns issued a new jacket pattern and it was exactly what I was looking for in a topper for my winter wardrobe.


However, it only goes up to a size 18 so there is nothing plus size about this pattern.  Since it's a simple silhouette, I had no problem grading it up to fit me. It was the perfect pattern to use to get back into the sewing cave! My jacket is almost finished. So it will be up on the blog after the shirts from last year and a Pembroke that I somehow managed to finish while I was wandering around in the sewing desert.

Fabric Accountability ~
One of the things I said that I was going to do in 2019 to hold myself accountable is to post all of my fabric purchases to the blog. After a trip to Hobby Lobby my resolve not to purchase fabric in January got blown away...


From left to right there are three yards of every piece...
The first one is a Rifle Paper cotton, then a cotton navy with white polka dots, a cotton blend stripe with printed floral pops and finally a chambray with pearls attached to it.

Before that I'd purchased three yards of a viscose crepe from Emmaonesock...


...bought to make my own version of this Chico's shirt.




Then there was the four yards of printed denim purchased from Fabric Mart which has no plan but was too pretty to leave during a sale. It has been pretreated and placed in the collection with the rest of the denim waiting for inspiration to strike.


So a total of 19 yards have entered the Sewing Cave.  Not exactly the "no fabric buying" thread I had in my head! Hopefully these "blogs of shame" will help keep my buying in check...hopefully! *LOL*

It's been awhile since I've posted here so I wanted to update you on what's happening in my sewing cave! Next weekend is a three day weekend in the US, celebrating Martin Luther King Jrs Birthday. I should have my stuff together enough to take photos of my backlogged makes. That's what should be up on the blog next!

...as always later!



Friday, January 04, 2019

My Sewjo has Fled

I was eagerly anticipating my Holiday Break. I was going to spend quality time in the Sewing Cave, working on garments that I'd added to my 2019 Sewing List. I had the fabric on hand and was going to challenge myself to only use the notions that are stocked in the cave.

...and nothing.  Absolutely nothing. I tried to make a new top that while it looks amazing on my new dressform doesn't look as amazing on me.


Then I thought maybe I should lay off the easy projects. They never work out well for me anyway and turned to a jacket pattern that I've used successfully 3x before. I added a new element and bound the heck out of it. It's pretty inside...it is...but the sleeves don't work. ALL I need to do is make new sleeves...and it stopped me dead. I didn't have the wherewithall to make new sleeves.


There was no desire to make new sleeves or to make anything else, absolutely positively nothing else. So I bingewatched some TV/Netflix/Amazon Prime and no I didn't watch Bird Box. I read a few more chapters of Michelle Obama's book. I started crocheting the first of the blankets I promised the grandchildren and I slept...ALOT!

I made plans to go to the movies and then caught the cold my grandchildren had been sharing with everyone...so having the luxury...I slept for another two days. Got up yesterday to do some things for my job prior to going back to work on Monday.

So it's the weekend and I go back to work on Monday. I don't believe I'm going to sew anything this weekend either. I don't even feel like taking pictures of the four garments that are done and waiting to be added to the blog. I have NO desire to buy fabric so you KNOW it's bad! *LOL*  Oh and while all the other Christmas decorations have been removed and put away, I still have to denude the tree.

I'm sure I will go back to work and my sewing mojo will show up! *LOL* Because why wouldn't it when I can't use it! *sigh* Anyway, that's my update of my Holiday Break...a lot of rest, a lot of TV watching, some crocheting and reading but no sewing.

There are four things waiting to be photographed so there will be more garment posts sooner or later. 

ps - I read this great blog post on how to get your sewing mojo back and thought I would share. Mine hasn't come back yet but it was encouraging reading the post.

...as always more later!


Monday, December 31, 2018

Thank You!

I wanted my last post of 2018 to say "Thank you!"


Thank you to everyone who has followed my sewing journeys this year.  Thank you to everyone who's been following those journeys for years, especially as I enter my 13th year of blogging.  Thank you to everyone who has left a comment, linked to a post, or suggested someone else follow me.

Thank you to all of the vendors that have willingly donated gift cards, discount codes, books and patterns this year and in previous years, for my readers.  Your willingness to work with me is truly appreciated.

Thank you to everyone who has met me this year.  At the Socialist Soiree, Sew Camp, at Baltimore Destash, for lunches (especially since I always forget to take selfies to document things), meet-ups and to hang out at the fabric store.  These times enrich my life and are treasured for our times together.

Thank you to my friends. The people I email and DM, pictures, questions and just to talk. I appreciate the flavor each and every one of you bring to my life.

Thank you to all the sewing bloggers who continue to blog. I know it seems as if blogging is being overlooked by other social media avenues, but I truly thank you for the time you take to document your garments progress. The time you take for pictures and putting it all together. I learn so much from all of you and recognize the time and effort you put into each blog post - so thank you!

A special thank you to Michelle at Sewn Magazine/Thatblackchic, for allowing me to write a column in Sewn Magazine. Truly, truly that means more to me than you probably realize.

Another special thank you to Caroline & Helen at Love to Sew Podcast. It was a special treat to speak with you in October. To be featured amongst sewists that are moving the sewing community forward and sharing their love of our artform made me so happy and so grateful.

Gillian, thank you for always asking even when I'm too busy, too tired or have my own sewing agenda...you always take a chance and ask! So thank you!

Lastly - I sewed a lot in 2018. Maybe not in quantity but in quality there was a lot made. I'm not sure I'm going to sew as much in 2019 since I have a few trips planned but when I'm home, I will be sewing and blogging about it.

May whatever being you believe in bless your 2019. May sewing continue to bring much joy, love and light into your life in 2019. 




...as always more later!  

Saturday, December 29, 2018

2018 ~ The Year of the Shirt

For 2018 I really wanted more shirts that button down the front.  I wanted a standard collar that meant undercollar and collar.  I wanted a buttoned cuff but I didn't necessarily need a menswear tower placket to accomplish that look.  

After I made my first series of successful shirts, I went on a fabric buying tear and bought enough fabric to make 30 more shirts. A little overboard, I know...but I kept seeing shirts in a wide variety of fabrics. I even wrote an inspiration post to share some of my ideas.

I ended up making 16 shirts this year...and all but four are solid colored. Making solid colored shirts will be a priority in 2019. Cause I love having all of these shirts in my wardrobe. LOVE! I made shirts almost every season of the year except summer. I didn't make any then because there were dresses and other things to sew. It's also probably the only time of the year that I don't wear them.  Though one of my friends said that they thought my Katies qualified as shirts. However, I think of them as tunics and/or dresses and didn't include them in my shirt count.

The last two shirts are finished just not photographed on me yet. These shirts will show up on the blog sooner or later. It rained alot here lately and then it was Christmas, so no photos. But since my daughters graced me with a new dressform for Christmas, here are some Sewing Cave photos of the lastest shirts.


To Recap the 16 ~
The first shirt I made in January was to celebrate my partnership with Elliott Berman Textiles ~


The next eight were featured in April and highlighted in this post Links to blog posts about each shirt are included ~


These were the next shirts~


After I sewed the sleeveless shirt in June, I took a break. It was October before I started sewing more of my basic button front shirt. The "Zooks Shirt" was my first fall make. Thank goodness for solid colored cardigans because I got this idea to turn a bunch of my border print fabrics into shirts. I called it The Border Print Series.




When I started making shirts in January, I wanted to make several shirts. I was thinking like 10...so I'm thrilled that I've made 16.

Another thing is that of the 16, one will be donated. The Hurrying Spring Along shirt has really tight arms. I love the idea of the shirt and it hurts that it no longer works for me.  Hopefully someone else will love it as much as I do.

This is the garment I made the most of in 2018. I've been wearing the shirts almost every week. They work well with a cardigan and jeans.  It's also the garment that fits best with my lifestyle. I also like the challenge of sewing shirts. I like how fabric and embellishments can change the flavor of the garment and will be making more in 2019.

This is the last retrospective post of my sewing for 2018. I am sewing and can't wait to share what I'm working on.

...as always more later!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Top Five Hits, Misses and Reflections of 2018

I'm combining these topics this year. Probably because the year is coming to an end and I'm running out of time! *LOL* 


Let's start with the Top Five Hits...

1. The maxi Myosotis dresses were clear winners this year. 
I definitely wore the rayon maxi more because it was so comfortable to wear and worked in so many occasions. 


The velvet maxi just has a wow factor I haven't sewn in a long time! Still figuring out where I'm wearing this too but I love this dress.


2. Denim Jacket - McCalls 7481
This is an inspired by jacket and I explain the inspiration in the blog post. I made this in January and didn't really wear it until spring. It makes my list because I bought an inspiration to life. Though it's really the fabric that makes this jacket sing. Also my daughter photographed the heck out of this jacket!


3. The Black Ponte ~ McCalls 7481
This was the third version of McCalls 7481 and the one that received the least amount of love on both my blog and IG. But it's my fave of the three versions. It's also the one that will be the jump off for future jackets.



4. Shirt Month 
I made so many shirts at the beginning of the year that I titled April shirt month. I wore those shirts all winter and spring and then started wearing them again in the fall. Button down shirts have become my most favorite garment to sew & wear and have become "the dress pattern" of my casual wardrobe.



5. Dark Floral Katie
Y'all I taped this Sew Sew Def by MimiG pattern together! That in itself makes it legendary.  Then I went on to make four more of them and while I love them all, the first one makes my Top 5 list. This is the most comfortable tunic EVAH and caused me to love pockets. I wear it with a pair of knit cropped leggings and it's perfect on a hot summer day.


I really found my style this year. I made garments that I loved and wore alot. I experimented with garments and indie patterns and showcased ALOT of fabric! *LOL* Of course there were some makes that just weren't what I thought they would be. 

The Five Misses are next...

1. The Hurrying Spring Along Shirt
I hate that this shirt is on this list but I cut the sleeves on the cross grain...and of course they're tight and uncomfortable to wear. I keep thinking I need to figure out a way to salvage this shirt. Then I think donate it and hopefully someone without my fat bicep problem can enjoy it.

2. Cashmerette Black 'n White Striped Top
I liked the idea of this top but I wasn't comfortable wearing it. Maybe adding those ties wasn't such a great idea after all! This one will hit the donate bag also cause maybe someone else can find some love for it. The pants are staying in the collection though...cause those wore well this summer!

3/4. Beige Linen Pants & the Vogue 7448 OOP Top
These pants are made from my TNT pattern and made exactly like the black & white striped ones mentioned above.  However, they weren't as comfortable to wear.  So I'm donating them and working on another pair next summer.

While I got the top to fit, I really don't like how the shawl collar works. It still needs more work and I'm just not willing to put that work in. So this top will go in the donation pile too.

5. The waisted shirtdress fail
While this was a fail and posted on the blog as a fail, I did learn something from this process. That is a waisted shirtdress doesn't work on me, will never work on my body and that I should stop thinking I can make a pattern work. Some silhouettes don't work on my body type and I'm learning to just move on instead of wasting my precious sewing time.

Reflections on my sewing this year...
I made 46 garments this year - 4 pieces less than 2017. However, I think my garments in 2018 were much more involved sewing and included way more buttonholes than in any year previously!

My garment breakdown is ~
     - 16 shirts (more on this in another blog post)
     - 8 Tops
     - 4 Jackets
     - 4 Shirtdresses
     - 3 Dresses
     - 2 Pairs of Pants (from TNT pants pattern)
     - 2 Wrap Skirts
     - 2 dresses for the granddaughters
     - 2 Maxi dresses
     - 1 Cardigan
     - 1 Duster
     - 1 Vest

*  Another plan was to sew using more fabric from the collection. Well I'm not sure I achieved what I wanted to. If half my garments had been made from collection fabric, I would have called it successful.  There were 14 pieces from the collection (about a year old) and 8 pieces from the deep collection (4-10 years old). So close but not quite.

*  I am the Brand Ambassador for Elliott Berman Fabrics and made 5 garments using their fabric. I will be sewing garments from EB fabrics into 2019. I love EB fabrics and love working with Eugenia.

*  Eleven garments were made using Indie Patterns - Cashmerette, Deer & Doe and Sew Sew Def by Mimi G.

*  The rest were either TNT patterns (my shirt & pants pattern) or a combination of Vogue, Butterick, McCalls & Simplicity patterns.

Lastly fabric in/out totals ~
  • I bought 210.5 yards of fabric last year...dayum! 
  • I gave away 249.25 yards (Baltimore Destash, Tasha & Local High School)
  • I used 133.5 yards in garments 
  • That means that 382.75 yards left the collection 
  • My final total out is 172.25 yards

That's why I still feel like I'm drowning in fabric. My total yardage in was just too high. I hope to work on that in 2019.

My last post on my 2018 sewing will be about the garment I made the most of this year - my shirt collection. That's what's up next on the blog!


...as always more later!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

2018 - The Year in Review

This is the first in a series of posts regarding my sewing this year.  Having two major social media accounts: this blog and an IG account, they present an interesting contrast in what's "popular" on both sites.

First Instagram ~

Best 9 of 2018 from Instagram

I used a "Best of" App to determine what nine pictures had the most likes for 2018. These were the Top 9.

Interesting fact - a successful Instagram pic has 37 likes for every 1000 followers. So if you have 300 followers, a well-liked picture on IG has 111 likes. In my case a successful picture has 315 likes. In the grid, all of the pictures have over 500+ likes.

So thank you to everyone who follows my IG account and stops to like a picture and/or leave a comment.

Another thing making the rounds on IG is the "Favorite Colors used in Your IG Feed."  Mine is pictured below...


Which is a shock to me. Since in my mind I've sewn so much blue and denim and thought they would be featured more prominently. Guess not! LOL!

Onto what's been most popular on the blog...

The Blog ~
There's a difference between the two with a little overlap.  Probably because the blog is more interactive or at least it seems that way to me.  To determine what would be the most popular blog posts, I used a benchmark of over 3000 views...not comments. I also chose to feature the Top 9 blogs similar to the Top 9 IG posts.  

Anyway, the posts linked below all have more than 3000 views and they are posted with the most views first:

This is my fourth version of this Deer & Doe pattern and my second maxi. It also appears on my Best 9 on IG grid.


One of my few political posts this year. My goal this year in not posting political posts was NOT TO KNOW how many people supported the policies of this present administration.  But I just couldn't not say anything about this continuing atrocity. 

This is a Question of the Day post from February. It came about when I was on a sewing binge and felt like no matter how much I made, I just didn't sew enough.

Shirt number 6 from the April Shirt Month series.


This is the second shirtdress in the series. 


A post about my plans to sew from the collection. I'm not sure I was successful with this. I did, however, sew 8 garments that used 18 yards of fabric from deep within the shelves of the collection.

This is another Question of the Day which was posted in August. It occurred because I used only Indie Patterns that month to sew garments.

The kick-off post to April's Shirt Month.

An update on things in my world in early March.

As you can see the posts are from different parts of the year.  Some are garment posts, some are Question of the Day posts and there's even a political post in the mix. I also seemed to sew in series/collections this year which I believe was driven more by the fabric than the patterns/silhouettes.

The difference between what was popular on the two social medias is interesting. Probably because Instagram is based upon pictures and whether it grabs your attention. And my blog is based upon in-depth conversations, knowledge, pictures AND offering the reader the opportunity to comment without the comment needing to be based upon liking a garment.

As I said above, this is just the first in a series of posts about my sewing this year.  I have the Top 5 Hits and Misses coming up and a review of my most sewn item. Then there is the last day of the year post which I end every year with so that I know where I'm going in the new year.

I hope you will follow along on this retrospective. If retrospections aren't your thing, then wait for January when garment posts will resurface because I am sewing during the Holiday break. As I stated on Instagram, "I have a list that I may or may not sew from...a room full of fabric...a stash of patterns and thread in every color."

...as always more later!



 



Thursday, December 13, 2018

Do you sew fast?

I know, I know you think I mean do you finish garments quickly!  But nope not talking about that.


I'm asking, "Do you run your sewing machine on the fastest setting?" See my sewing machine has a slow, medium and fast setting on it. I've set mine to sew almost as fast as my machine can go. I've sewn with it on this setting for the last 3-4 years.

Just recently I moved it back to the medium setting. I've started sewing slower to get more control over my projects as they go under the needle. I'd never thought about it before. I just wanted to sew as fast as my machine would go to get to the end of the project. However, when I was applying the lace on my Black Ponte Jacket, I had to slow down to be more accurate.

By slowing down I noticed that I gained so much more control over my project and my sewing machine. It made me wonder why was I speeding through garments before?  Didn't I realize the power of accuracy I was giving up?

So here's the "Question of the Day?" Is your machine set at it's fastest sewing speed?  If not, what setting is it set at? And if you sew really fast, are you accurate? Do you feel like you could be more accurate if you changed your sewing machine setting?

Me, I've changed the setting on my sewing machine. I've slowed down. I've gained some more control and I'm seeing better results in my finished garments.

Talk back to me...cause I'm really interested!

...as always more later!

Monday, December 10, 2018

Black Friday Fabric Purchases

I can honestly say that this was my last big fabric buy of 2018.  I bought way more fabric than I intended. The sales were really good and I found some fabric that just wanted to come and be neighbors with the present members of the collection. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! *LOL* 

Seriously though, I'm documenting this because I want to have it as a reference for future makes. At one time, I documented almost all of my fabric purchases. It was great when I finally used the fabric to figure out when I bought it and I could point back to it in the garment post. 

Since I get to start new in 2019, I'm going to try to document all new fabric purchases. Hopefully that will make me more conscious of what I purchase especially if I'm sharing it with all of you! Famous last words I know. Anyway here is what I bought...

Sewing Studio:
I bought a black stretch corduroy and a floral chambray to make a vest and shirt combo. Honestly I haven't purchased from them since they changed owners and I wanted to try the new site out.  The sale was good - 25% off your order.  The website was easy to navigate and the shipping was FAST! If you haven't looked at their site or purchased from them lately, I highly recommend this site!

How the fabric arrives

What I purchased...


Stylemaker Fabrics:
I love Michelle's selection. I'm constantly checking it because she's set her website up so that I can check fabric by color or by type. Many times, I just click the color type I'm interested in and ramble through until I find what I need. That's how I found this latest piece. 


Its called Metropolis Cotton Lawn Navy. I bought it to go with a blue faux suede that I'd purchased from the craft store in August when I visited the Lancaster one with Gaylen. I want to make another vest/shirt combo with these. However, if you're interested in the same color/fabric combo, Michelle has a blue suede on her site too.


Fabric Mart Fabrics:
Fabric Mart always has wonderful sales so I usually skip them during Black Friday. But this year they pulled out all the stops ~ 60% off everything, 1/2 price shipping and a free gift. Then each day there was one extra discount - one day it was 30% off patterns. Thankfully, I bought fabric on Thanksgiving Day without the extra enticements! *LOL*

Entire FM haul with the free gift - about a dozen zippers

A cotton jacquard border print

Floral Cotton Sateen

Black & White Polyester Floral Crepe 

I bought the most fabric here.  A black & white polyester floral crepe, a walnut cotton oxford shirting, a cotton/jacquard floral print and a floral watercolor sateen print. These will be held for spring sewing. I know, I know but I loved all of them so much and you know nothing lasts at Fabric Mart long. I can't even link to them because they're no longer on the site.


Blackbird Fabrics:
I purchased two pieces from Blackbird Fabrics. The thing you should know about ordering from Blackbird Fabrics during a sale is that it takes a minute to get your fabric and that is clearly stated on their website. So if you're looking for a quick fix, think about it. This fabric arrived Saturday, December 8th when I ordered it on November 23rd. I'm sure crossing from one country to another is also a factor.

Lousy photo of the black denim but decent photo of the navy viscose linen noil

Black denim (out of stock)

This color is sold out but there are more viscose/linen noils on the site

I own a lot of denim but no mediumweight black denim. So I bought that and a viscose/linen noil. I purchased the viscose linen noil fabric because I was intrigued by the fabric combo. I know I don't own anything like it in the collection. It's an interesting piece that I will use once the weather warms up.

Honestly I get caught up in Blackbird's IG account. The way they showcase fabrics on social media really entices me and is why I keep going back for more! 


fabrics.com:
This purchase was a couple of days after Black Friday. Fabric.com had a bunch of Liverpool knits on sale for $6.99 a yard. Seriously $6.99 per yard. I bought three very unique prints.



Liverpool Double Knit Plaid Navy/Ivory Fabric - is no longer available



I know exactly what I want to make with these. One is destined to be used during my Winter Break, the other two have been shelved to wait their turn. I know fabric.com has taken a beating on the internet recently and I ordered from them holding my breathe. Thankfully, not only was my order correct but it came quickly. I actually was surprised at how fast it shipped. I guess that means give them a chance if you really want something!

Conclusion ~
37.5 yards of fabric have shown up in the last three weeks. Honestly, most of it is still laying on the cutting table waiting to be put away. That definitely was my last buy of the year...and hopefully I won't be purchasing anything before I head to Sew Camp too. At least that's my goal! *LOL* 

If you are interested in any of the fabrics, I've provided links to them. I can vouch that all of them are amazing.  Except, someone contacted me on Instagram regarding the floral cotton sateen from Fabric Mart. She had issues with the dyes running when she prewashed the fabric. Fabric Mart did graciously refund her money. However, I googled it and I'm going to try to set the dyes before I prewash the fabric. I will follow up here and let you know how it works out.

The last two shirts in The Border Print Series will be up shortly. I've been slowly working on them so they will be photographed on me next weekend.


...as always more later!






  

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