Saturday, November 16, 2019

Changing It Up

I made this denim shirtdress in June 2018 during my shirtdress making season.

I wore it a couple of times.  Every time though I felt like a jailhouse matron. When I pulled it out in the spring it just sat with all of the bad feelings attached to it. I thought it would make a great vest. Not something I would wear during the spring/summer months, so I left it to make the alterations in the fall. Then my sewjo went on vacation and the dress sat. 

I'm missing my sewjo. It's my friend and keeps me company...engages me creatively...takes amazing adventures with I want it back.  In an effort to coax it to return, I thought I would do some simple creative tasks. Clean off my cutting table, trace a pattern out that I want to sew and alter this dress.

Alterations to the dress ~

Of course I removed the sleeves first.

Next I cut 7.5" off the bottom of the dress because I wanted a cardigan length vest not a maxi one. As pictured below, I chose to cut it off right before the last buttonhole. It would allow me to have enough space to hem the vest without having to remove a buttonhole.

The hem was topstitched with a 6.0mm twin universal needle using a 4.5" stitch length. This was done to match the existing twinstitching on the garment.

When I was reworking this, I realized that the accents for this dress/vest were made from some of the same blue gingham fabric I used for this shirt (which is one of my faves). So naturally I paired them together for a photograph.  This is how I will wear the vest and shirt over a pair of jeans or leggings.

I won't be taking "modelled" pictures of this alteration.  Just wanted to share how I updated the dress and made it wearable. I'm happy I shortened it into a vest. It will definitely get more wear this way.  Don't know if this actually made my sewjo come home but Imma keep plugging away at smaller sewing tasks so it knows its missed. Though this little bit of sewing felt good and I'm hoping my sewjo will come home soon! always more later!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

A Sewing Room Redo

As the Christmas holidays approach and I think about how I'm going to spend them, I know that I want to redo my sewing cave. It's overflowing and not functioning well...and I guess I'm tired of this arrangement too.

A few pictures of it in its total disarray ~

Coming down the steps into the Sewing Cave

Looking from the back of the room to the front
Computer Desk and Sewing Machine desk

From the front door viewing the cutting table full on

Storage underneath the sewing desks

Sewing machine & serger on the table

Computer area

It's junky. I have way too much stuff put in there haphazardly.  I need to remove all of this stuff, sort through it and then put back what I want to keep.  The last sewing cave refresh was over 5 years ago so there's five more years of sewing things stuffed into the room. I need to change the storage arrangement and make it more functional and remove the accumulated junk.

Where It's Going ~
A couple of months ago I took a trip to IKEA as a sight-seeing mission and I found a few things I'd like to use to refresh the sewing cave. I've made a list, measured my space and I'm waiting for a bunch of time to take the sewing cave apart and rebuild it.

Alex Desk
(I wanted the drawers so I could remove some of the stuff from the top of my sewing table)

I'm no good at doing things in pieces, like a weekend at a time. I will be off work almost two weeks during the Christmas Holiday so this will allow me to take my time and refresh the room. I might even get some sewing in.

Next ~
Right now my sewjo is gone. I guess I should be concerned but I feel like I've sewn so much in the last couple of years that my wardrobe is everything I want it to be. I've been sewing so many years from NEED that I'm adjusting and recalibrating to WANT. 

Need sewing is right now, hurry up and get it as inventive as possible. Want sewing is figuring it out, developing projects, slow sewing and taking my time. Although, I'm good where I am right now. I'm reading, watching all the shows on NETFLIX I've been putting off watching and coming up with another crochet project.

So there may be little content around here over the course of the next couple of weeks. I mean you have to sew to have something to say, right?! But who knows, my sewjo may come raging back any minute...LOL! always more later!

Saturday, November 02, 2019

A Visit to Urban Sewciety ~ A Local Fabric Store

As sewists we all know local fabric stores that aren't chain stores are few and far between.  I mean everyone can find a Joann's or Hobby Lobby near them. However, most of us can't name a good local fabric store that carries a nice range of fabrics, patterns, notions and has classes.

That's why when I heard about Urban Sewciety on Lauren's IG account, I had to find out about them.  Visited their IG account, Website and Facebook page then scheduled a trip with a local sewing friend because who else to take on a sewing adventure than a sewing friend, right?

For my friends in the NJ, NY and PA area this shop is easily accessible by car and by NJTransit trains. It's a five minute walk from the Westfield Train Station and easily accessible from the NJTurnpike & Garden State Parkway. Also, there is plenty of parking which can be challenging in downtown Westfield.

The shop is light and airy, relaxing and comfortable.  It has a wonderful selection of indie patterns, quilting cottons, interfacing, a smaller selection of apparel fabrics and NOTIONS! I love that they realize you may want to purchase everything at one shot to get a project completed.

When we came in there were classes going on in the back which was so cool! There is an extensive list of classes on the website for garment sewing for adults and kids, as well as crafting classes. Most especially though, they do sewing classes for the Girl Scouts. Since I was a Girl Scout, that organization is near and dear to my heart, so was thrilled to see they were assisting the girls with skills and badges!

So how about a few pictures of the shop ~

A view of the classrooms ~

...and this is the Ladies Room...
(don't you just love this!)

Now you know my philosophy, I can't visit a new fabric store without purchasing something.  This time it was two indie patterns I've been wanting.  The Adrienne Blouse by The Friday Pattern Company and The Hinterland Dress by Sew Liberated.  Both are paper patterns (of course) in extended sizes. The Adrienne Blouse is up to a size 4x and The Hinterland Dress to a size 24. Of course a piece of fabric...I chose this one because I don't have much green fabric in the collection (which is relative I know compared to normal people's fabric collections). Someday, hopefully soon, it will be a shirt.

As we were leaving, we saw that there were clipboards by the stairwell advertising upcoming events.  There were two that caught our eye...

Now you know I'm down for a sewing retreat...and as soon as I got home I signed up for the retreat as did my friend Melanie. It's a two day retreat. Saturday from 9am to 7pm and Sunday from 9am to 5pm with all meals supplied. If you're in the area and you're free on those dates, you should sign up and attend with us.  It would be fun to sew with you!  You can sign up here!

Even if you can't attend the sewing retreat, I hope you will visit Urban SewCiety. I'm sure you will be as charmed with it as I was and will visit them again and again. We need to support our local sewing stores if we want them to thrive! always more later!


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