Saturday, December 08, 2007

Saturday Morning Ramblings...

These are just some of my Saturday morning ramblings as I clean my room and put away things from the week...

I don't know about you but Monday through Friday is all about my job...I leave home early and return late so that if I want to see a TV show, spend any time on the internet or even read a book, I don't have many hours left at the end of my day to do it. So what ends up suffering is putting away my clothing that I've worn that day. Usually by the end of the week every coat I've worn is tossed across the loveseat which is right by the steps to the front door...makes it real easy to find in the morning as I am speed racing out the door! And every outfit is placed across a chair in my bedroom...which means Saturday morning is usually spent re-hanging and putting everything away. It's usually during this time that I get ideas for things that need to be replaced or additional basics I want to add to my wardrobe.

This morning I realized that my winter break is fast approaching and I need to make a plan for what I want to sew. I am sure that some of you are wondering why I'm not taking "proper leave the house" vacations but as a single mom with two college age daughters and tuition to pay, I am "sacrificing" those type of vacations for my daughters' educations. I guess it is a sacrifice but since I'm gaining so much sewing time I just have nothing to complain about! *LOL*

With another 10 days of sewing coming up, I think I am going to concentrate on some pantsuits and finishing up the Coldwater Creek Wardrobe. I have two jacket ideas in of course is kinda involved...I want to try some of the quilting that Summerset is presently using in her Midnight Gardens outfit. I saw this great jacket on QVC by Bradley Bayou...his version was in a quilted leather but I think I want to try it with the chocolate wool crepe and a brown silk charmeuse and some type of layer sandwiched between them. This is just a working idea and may get scrapped because its not feasible but if I can work it out, it should make a fabulous jacket that will work well with the other pieces of the CC Wardrobe.

Coldwater Creek Inspiration Wardrobe ~
Shannon asked for a picture of the completed items in the wardrobe so far, so here it is:
Front left to right:
The jacket that started the wardrobe from Vogue OOP 2285 and the matching 4 gore TNT lined skirt, the brown sueded silk SW Mission Tank Top, the lined tank top with the lace trim from Simplicity 3631, the longer twinset from Burda OOP 8869, the Simplicity 3631 dress in a tan tropical wool, another SW Mission Tank in a brown/beige rayon knit with brown ruffled trim and the chocolate wool crepe lined pants from my TNT pattern.

I have three more pieces to sew to complete the wardrobe ~ the lined straight skirt from the tan tropical wool, the chocolate wool crepe jacket (mentioned above) and the brown sueded shirt jacket from Burda OOP 3265. Since I have no deadline for these pieces I am constructing them as the mood strikes me. They all work together and can be worn now and as each piece is completed it just extends the other pieces wearability.

Christmas Sewing ~
Yes, I do a very little amount of Christmas sewing. This year it will only be flannel pj bottoms...but since I am known for them in my family...I will be mass producing pj bottoms next weekend. I am even adding a few toddler size pairs for a co-worker! For flannel fabric purchases via the internet, I think has the best selections. Just type "flannel" into the search box and pages and pages of amazing colors, textures and patterns show up! After going through my flannel collection (yes, I have one of those too!) I've found that I need to add a few more pieces to it to round out my Christmas present an order will go into today.

The Test from Tuesday's post ~
Thanks Ann for locating the author of the test, "Also under the documents properties the author is Judy Hatch from East High School."
Now for my results...on some levels this test was very basic and I think a great one for beginners to take. On another level it was a great refresher 'cause I know that a lot of these things I don't "think" about when I sew or use them, I just do them!

Nancy from Encue Creations pointed out that there is no answer key and she is correct...however, I thought that if anyone had a question about one of them that maybe we as a sewing community could answer it. And to that end, there were three that made me go "huh?!"

Question #35
Stitching on the cut edge of fabric, used to prevent fraying is:
a. Topstitching
b. Grading/layering
c. Edgestitching
d. Understitching

I didn't think any of these answers were correct. What did you think?

Question #47
All of the following statements regarding seams are true EXCEPT:
a. Stitching with the grain prevents the fabric from stretching.
b. The standard seam allowance is 5/8" but on some patterns it's only 1/4"
c. Watch the needle plate markings, not the needle when sewing.
d. Backstitching is usually done only at the top of the seams.

I thought it was D, but thoughts anyone?

Question #49
When replacing the sewing machine needle, it is important that the:
a. Groove side of the needle faces the thread.
b. Groove side of the needle faces away from the thread.
c. Needle is inserted to the top of the socket
d. A and C

Again, I thought this information varied by the type of sewing machine you used but if there is a standard answer, I sure would like to know!

Those were the brain twisters for me. Did anyone else have one they didn't know the answer to or wanted to discuss?

Shout out of the week ~
Goes to my girl, Cidell of Miss Celie's Pants, for making the most kick-*ss evening dress! For someone who has never made one before, she did an amazing job. Go over and check out, "The Queen of the Night!"

Today I am working on my black wool crepe version of the Simplicity 3631 dress for my job's Christmas Event. Hopefully pics tomorrow since I've already made this one! And if I get real adventurous - read that to mean get off the computer relatively soon - hopefully another dress for a Christmas party I have Friday evening.

Enjoy your sewing journeys!


  1. Carolyn - I am loving the finished pieces in the CWC wardrobe. I love the cream/tan/brown colourway - do soothing and natural. Very nice indeed!!

  2. Oops! That's me above - I clicked on "anonymous" by mistake!!

  3. Carolyn, I'm a regular/daily visitor :) of your blog.I love reading the subjects you post. Very interesting and inspirational :)

  4. #35 - I would say a. Topstitching. It is not b or d and c would not stop fraying as it is too close to the edge.

    #47 - I would say d too.

    #49 - ok I gotta go and look at my needle......If you look closely at the needle there is a groove on the front side, ie the side away from the flat top of the shank that goes to the back. So d, - a & c.

    Good luck with the Christmas sewing!

  5. Okay I'll try this.

    35. I think this has to be c. Top stitching is usually decorative stitching on the outer surface next to a seam (e.g., deco stitching on jeans). I haven't heard of understitching (unless that's the top stitching done on the outer surface of facing that will be turned inward?). I am convinced that I've seen instructions about calling the staystitching for a cut edge "edgestitching."

    47. I agree on d as the answer here but I feel I'm entitled to do backstitching wherever I please (and one place I do it is at corners, as I'm approaching a spot that might be weak, and I reduce stitch length).

    49. I agree on a and c so the one to pick is d.

    I had a question about 28, on top stitching. It's not b, not c, not d, but it isn't a either. It can be done any distance you want from the edge, and Louise Cutting does the best topstitching in the business, at about a millimeter from the edge, in certain situations.

    I also was unsure about 57. I had to pick a, but I think you can make the casing tighter than 1/4 inch if you want.

  6. The CWC wardrobe is looking fantastic-I'm rethinking brown/beige as a colourway-you have established that it has lots of potentioal. I'm a little curious about the name you have given the wardrobe-have I missed an earlier post about its inspiration?

  7. I'm so right there with you on how the week goes. Just getting through M - F is a challenge. Especially, lately. But I'm still thinking and dreaming of sewing projects. I, like you, am looking forward to time off during the holidays.

    CWC collection looks just fab. I love the color choice and the patterns. Look forward to see the rest.

    Like you, can't figure out which answer is correct. hmm. #35 a; #47 d; and #49 d.

  8. WOW your'e mon-friday and the pile on saturday sound like my week LOL.

  9. I'm really liking the quilted idea for the wool crepe. Why not order up some of that cotton flannel in solid colors that they have so many of on your site - (did you SEE, yesterday they added Firetrucks!!)..I digress. I'm thinking that a single layer of cotton flannel would be perfect as the quilt batting for a jacket.
    test questions: some of them are def written to a teaching std she's using. ie - topstitching is 1/4"..well, yes, it can be, but it can also be other widths, as noted.
    #35- edgestitching - usually done as a zig-zag, and now I hear all the ah-hah's. Yup, edgestitch which technically is overstitching, using a zigzag and you have a seam finish to prevent ravelling, no?
    #47 - answer is D and that is a trick question designed to trip up the student. Backstitching at the top isn't wrong - it's just that it's only 1/2 right, ya gotta backstitch at the bottom too.
    #49 - D, in every consumer machine you have a flat side that either goes against the back or the inside(right) side, and that is where you line up the needle. But, if you use industrial machines, then you start to pay attention to where that groove is, because most ind needles don't have the flat side to make sure you get the needle in correctly. Again, since this test was written for HS students I'd think that question a little obscure. They should be paying attention to the flat side.
    BTW - interesting note, I was having difficulty with my Singer Featherweight. Had to get out the directions - i had the needle in right, but it Threads right to left. Weird!

  10. you are a wicked enabler. I just placed an order for flannel at ;)


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