Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Evening Sewing

When Vogue debuted the new Fall/Winter 2009 patterns last week, this one caught my eye. Not because it will make a great top or tunic but because I saw a great summer work dress. You know one of those dresses that are light and airy, not to tight to ward off the summer heat but still professional enough for work...

Then I was surfing on one of the online fabric sites...great stress buster at work! And I found an amazing silk twill that I thought would be awesome for the dress. However, it was $24 a yard and even though I would probably only need 2.5 yards, I knew there was something in the fabric closet that would work. So this is the combination I came up with...

Now the dress isn't don't go scrolling to the bottom of the post looking for pictures! *LOL* I've just made the pattern alterations and gotten the dress and lining cut out. I didn't much feel like sewing today...probably because after spending the day with Lindsay, I came home took a nap and then went back out with a friend. So today started a little later than most...and I just wanted to take it easy!

But when I went digging through the notions/trim/button armoire, I realized that many times I just buy or accept things from friends with no particular idea in mind. Then in the course of gathering supplies for a garment, that something I bought or took is suddenly right for that particular project. Such is the case of the yellow bow in the upper corner of the picture.

A friend that I use to work with had two aunts that died. They had worked with fabric...don't really remember the entire story that a sign I'm aging? *smile* Anyway, my friend brought me several shopping bags of fabric that the family was getting rid of. Most of it I donated to the local high school's drama department, but I did keep a few things. That bow material and the fabric from this skirt, as well as, a few other pieces that are still residing in the fabric closet and haven't chosen to make an appearance yet.

So it got me to others do this too? Do you accept fabric/trim/buttons etc. from friends and family members because they don't know what to do with them yet they know that you sew? And if you do, how much do you keep and how much do you give away?

I will probably finish this dress up during the weekend...and after that start on one of the Pumpkin Seed outfits. Don't forget to send in questions for "New Sewists Thursdays!" because we want to continue to encourage new sewists so that they too can share our passion! And as always...more later!


  1. Yes, I love it when someone passes 'stuff' on to me because they don't know anyone else who sews! If I love it then I keep it all - unless there is metres and metres and I know I could never use it in my lifetime, then of course I share :-) If it is something I don't think I will use then I pass it on or recycle it.

    Love the dress fabric and bow, can't wait to see it finished - I was just about to scroll to the bottom to see the finished dress, haha - you know us all too well :-))

  2. Love the flowered fabric, it's beautiful. Love the muted colors. Can't wait to see your creation. I bought that pattern too. So cute. I've gotten a few hand me downs. My favorite was some old buttons.

  3. I love it when people pass stuff on to me but there is also sometimes something awful (to me at least) and I just pass that on. I think it is cool.

  4. I accept all that is offered, and sadly I hoard it all too.... Practically nothing leaves my place!

  5. I can't wait to see the dress. It's going to be very pretty.

    I homeschool my children. We have a homeschool group of around 300. We communicate through an email loop. Sometimes I post things about sewing. This lady emailed me from the loop and asked if I wanted fabric. How could I turn that down? So she brought over a few boxes' worth of fabric. I couldn't believe it. It was a lot of fabric. It was so much fun to go through. I kept everything I loved and then gave the rest away to a few others, one being a lady that teaches sewing classes and one being a new sewer who doesn't have money to buy fabric; and my children chose some fabrics for themselves since they are learning how to sew. My 8 year old daughter has her own sewing blog at if you would like to see check on her progress from time to time. She has a few more hand-sewn projects to do, and then she will start learning on the machine.

    Lucky you to run into Lyndsey. I am so jealous.

  6. I really love the pattern you chose. Those type of tops / dresses are my style - the ruffeled colar, sleaves etc. Love it.
    About acepting fabric: I do it all the time if someone offers something I like, I keep it. I also often keep clothes that I do not wear but the fabric is nice, thinking I would use it for something, or alter the piece. I also got some clothes from my grandma that I want to alter, because the fabric is nice but the skirt is a little to wide and long for example. Anything I don't like I will not accept though because I cannot clutter my sewing room more :)

  7. I tell everyone I accept donations of any kind. I've had many students walk in with bags full of things. You can imagine the fabric I go through just teaching people how to use the sewing machine. And you never know when you need a little of somethin' while making your little somethin'. I am the recycle queen of sewing. :) We're such a throw-a-way society. I love to give and receive free things.

  8. I'll take it, but I don't have any problem with passing along the items that don't suit. Sometimes it's really amazing to see what people like to collect.

  9. Yes, I take donations too. A friends hubby worked at a second hand type store where each Summer they have a huge sale on their fabric to basically thin down the amounts plus it was a help for people who sewed school clothes. We got to have his discount too... so between us we probably got around 60 yards of fabric and paid less than a dollar a yard! I too, take some clothes that need to be recycled and/or altered! I seem to thrive on that... the challange I guess! I don't like to see things to got waste either.
    Your fabric is lovely.

  10. First, I looovvvvee that gorgeous flowered fabric that you've selected for your dress . . . I was lusting after it myself, but didn't buy it. Second, I generally accept all donations; don't seem to get a whole lot of them, but when I do, I keep the fabrics that I think I can use. The rest, I pass on to others who want them or I just toss them (after trying to find a use for them, like storage bags or something utilitarian). It's painful to toss fabric, but some fabric just isn't worth passing along.

  11. If someone offered fabric to me I would accept! Currently, most of my fabric collection is for crafts and gifts. At last count I had three pieces of fabric for "garments."

    I am not a new sewist, but I do have a question. I was hemming a knit top and used a twin needle for the top and wooly nylon in the bobbin to give the appearance of a cover stitch. After I finished the hem, it looks like I have inserted piping into the hem. I loosened the tension on top and bottom and it still has this appearance. Any ideas?

  12. I love this pattern and your fabric chose is awesome.. You have such an eye for putting fabrics with patterns to make an amazing outfit......

  13. The pattern and fabrics are beautiful. I can't wait to see them made up. I absolutely accept things from people. I have fabrics from my friend whose mom died. I have fabrics from the local high school band director, who is also the choir director at my church, who had left over stuff from shows the band did. I have pieces that people who don't really sew bought thinking they would someday. I ahve button, etc... from people's aunts, mothers, grandmothers, etc... who have passed on. I made a "music machine costume" for my puppet group from some of the band director's fabrics. I made a n apron fro my friend whose mother had a stash that she gave me. I have made bags from another stash athat a lady at church gave me. I made one for her. I find that sometimes it makes me feel good to give back something to the person who gifted me when I can. I also gift people who quilt with my small scraps. I have a couple of bags full now to give my cousin.

  14. In the over thirty years that I've been sewing fashions, I think that I've only ever been offered fabric twice. Typically, I'm the one giving it away. I just cleaned my studio last week and gave a lot to the thrift store.

    This could be because I'm quite picky about the fabrics that I keep on hand and about how much fabric I have in total. Otherwise, I'd become over-run by my collection. I limit the amount of supplies in my studio by linear feet and right now I have about 12 feet or 350 yards of fashion fabric and that's really quite enough for spontaneous sewing.

    It could also be that I hardly know anyone who sews fashions. I live in a smaller city and of all the women I know in town, one sews and one's teenage daughter is learning to sew. I give her fabric. Otherwise, my cousin is learning and she lives 2100 miles east of me and my friend lives about the same distance north. I'd love to have "play-mates" closer.

    - Myrna

  15. I like that pattern and your fabric is perfect for it. Last night after hand washing my 4th New Look 6892 blouse, I started thinking about how I could work that pattern into a dress...ummm.

  16. That top is going to be beautiful in that print, I can't wait to see it! I don't get fabric so much as people give me old sewing machines. Once they know I sew the next thing I hear is "Oh, I have my grandmother's old machine in the you want it?" Sometimes yes, sometimes no ;).

  17. I love your fabric choices and i can't wait to see how you convert that top into a dress.

    To answer your question, yes i am the dumping ground for all things sewing/craft related. (machines, patterns, fabrics etc).

    Since I hate seeing these things trashed, i don't mind. I keep what i want and donate everything else to charity or another sewist/craftster.

    Angie R.

  18. Of course I do! Like you, I LOOOVE having my very own in-home store and happily accept all (well, most) donations. :-)

    I can't wait to see the dress - I've liked that pattern since it came out.

  19. Janina the MomBeastJuly 27, 2009 7:58 PM

    Getting a box or bag dropped off from a friend is a wonderful feeling! I am the only knitter/sewist/tatter that most of my friends know, so once in a while a treasure appears.

    Of course, there is a lot of stuff that is not a treasure to me, and most of that I pass on to the thrift store.

    I have found a good use for ugly, mediocre-quality fabrics, though. Now that I am seriously altering patterns to fit me better, I need to make a muslin for each new pattern I attempt. I now keep an ugly stash for just that purpose!

  20. I take everything that is offered. I was once given three very large boxes of patterns from the 70's and 80's. At the time I never thought I would use them, but there are three that have become TNT's and several that are in the queue for sewing now. Like you, I have had many happy coincidences where the perfect thing for the job at hand is right there in my collection, be it fabric, buttons, zips, patterns and more recently, shoulder pads. I have also found unexpected inspiration from something that someone has given me that I would not have bought myself. I think if you keep an open mind, all sorts of things will happen.

  21. I love the pattern and fabric for your dress - looking forward to seeing the finished garment. Yes, I accept and enjoy donations from others. Most of them I keep (just to add to my fabric collection and,eventually, use) and some I pass on to others.


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