Monday, June 28, 2021

A Borderprint Tunic

I've worn my first Vogue 9299 so much at least once a week! I love that tunic.  It's appropriate to wear to the office and it works for at home zoom meetings too. So as with all good patterns, I've decided I need to make it a few more times.

The Fabric's Backstory ~

The fabric for this make is 9 years old. It was purchased in February 2012 and documented here. I use to buy a lot from Sawyer Brook but not so much anymore.  This is deep stash fabric and there is another story associated with it.

Do you remember when my sewing cave flooded in June 2013? Well this fabric was laying in the bottom of a box on the floor. It and the other two pieces in the box were totally soaked. I quickly took them upstairs and put them in the washer & dryer. The piece made it back into the collection where it resided until I climbed the stairs to my Resource Center and plucked it from it's resting place to use for this garment.

Sewing Supplies ~

Pattern:  Vogue 9299

3 yards of 60" wide border print linen from Sawyer Brook Fabrics - deep stash

9 - 7/8" tan buttons from deep in the button collection

9" of 3/4" elastic for each sleeve hem

Interfacing from Steinlauf and Stoller for collar and button fronts

Construction Techniques ~

What makes this version different from the first one is that I used a border print to highlight the fabric's uniqueness. So it was all about how I cut the pattern pieces out to showcase the border print.  Now y'all know that's the thrill of using a border print, "how can I use it to set off the garment's properties?"

Cutting the front pattern pieces so that it ran down the front of the garment...

Then cutting the collar and undercollar out of pieces of the border

As well as making the sleeve hems highlight the border...going with my rule of three for a border print to really feature this pretty print.

I also changed the back pleat to gathers between the back yoke and bottom pieces. I wanted a slightly different look for this one.

Last thing I added one of my really old labels to the inside yoke because it matched the fabric so well.

A Few Pictures ~


Conclusion ~

I love this pattern and will probably make more!  We took these pictures in 95F degree weather and this top was perfect. I didn't feel as if I was overheating or needed to change clothes. I'm sure it will be in my permanent rotation this summer.

This was the last piece in my cut pile so over the Independence Day weekend I will be cutting out summer dresses to sew. I'm using "new" to me patterns. Patterns I've purchased over the years and not sewn, will be getting their turn in the sun to shine.

Parting Shot ~

I added some things to the Sewing Room and finally feel like it's done!  

Now to make the last few changes to the Resource Center and live in these rooms instead of continuing to update/change them. always more later!

Sunday, June 20, 2021

What a Hot Mess...

I got this wild flight of fancy in the dark days of winter - you know when the days were short and darkness reigned. The time of year I hate the most and want to fill with the most color and light as possible.

Supplies ~ 

I was surfing fabric sites because I needed some comfort and found this amazing panel on fabric dot com with a coordinating print.

Doesn't this fabric just scream warm summer evenings!  So yes, it's a quilting cotton but I've had success with other quilting cotton panels and after some hesitation because of price, I bought three panels. First off, I should have bought four...but we will get to that later! Oh and because I'm so timely (joke, joke) with this post, the fabric is long gone!

During February I took a week off to sew. I needed some days to sleep and create and this was the first project I worked on.  

A few more photos of the process...

This back was a whole hot ass mess, so I put the shirt pieces away and worked on some other garments during my sewcation. While I working on the other pieces, I was pondering how to save this. Obviously the back was the main problem. It wasn't working and wouldn't work with the 24" panel width.

Construction Techniques ~

After I made that hot mess of a back, I had to come up with another look. I will admit the shirts I've been most comfortable wearing during the pandemic have the gathered lower back eased into the back yoke. Plenty of room for those extra pounds I gained. But I only had one panel for the back and I just couldn't see how to make it work. That's when that disastrous back was created and immediately ditched.

After thinking on it I decided a solid back would be the answer.  I went and touched quilting cottons at the store. Then decided upon this printed blue fabric that I used to construct the back of the shirt.  

Making the collar...

Inserted the sleeves, okay auditioning sleeves...

...and the back quilting cotton is making the shoulders and sleeves buckle because they aren't similar weights. *sigh* I should have known better.

I let this shirt sit for 2 weeks before admitting I was done.  I don't want to save it.  I don't want to add my good buttons to the front and finish it. I basically threw a hissy fit because I'm tired of it.  So now it sits on the clothing rack.  After a couple of weeks, I decided the fabric is too heavy to think about finishing it sits.  My first UFO for 2021.

Thus the title of the blog post - cause it's a hot mess!  BTW, I've completed two pieces just have to photograph them. But it's summertime, my grandkids are getting older and my photographer (my daughter) has things planned for their family for the summer.  I've scheduled a day so hopefully the completed items will be coming to the blog soon.

To all who celebrate, Happy Father's Day! always more later!

Saturday, June 12, 2021

My Summer Sewing Plan

While Summer doesn't officially start until Sunday, June 20th, it feels likes summer's here now.  We've had several days over 90+F degrees. They've been mixed in with some cooler days but the humidity is creeping up. You can tell the hot and soupy days are coming.

I haven't been sewing much. I own a lot of clothes since I've been sewing non-stop for over 10 years. Staying home during the pandemic didn't encourage me to change my wardrobe much especially when tops worked just fine for work Zoom meetings. And my shirt game is pretty strong since I sewed a lot of them over the last couple of years. 

Now that it's warm, I realize I own quite a few summer maxi dresses since they were my go to garment in the past.  Meaning for awhile, I haven't been inspired much to create.

However, here in the US, vaccines are available (I'm fully vaccinated) so the country is opening back up. I head into NYC two days a week to work in our office and the desire to create some new pieces is growing stronger. 

I realize that I use to sew just one new garment a week and that's the goal I'm setting for myself this summer.  One new piece each weekend.  Hopefully photographed and blogged during the week.

Of course you want to know what I'm working on now ~

I started this border print Vogue 9299 in late May.  I'm determined to finish it up because it needs sleeves, buttons & buttonholes.

Then I want to start on this McCalls maxi dress. It's a popular pattern and almost everyone has made it with the voluminous sleeves. I'm making View D with the flutter sleeves.

My fabric is a ltwt. polyester from Fabric Mart purchased a few months ago. It's a silhouette not currently in my closet. If I like it, I may make the other version with the big sleeves but we'll see. I have about six other patterns on my list to sew. That list will take me through the Summer and give me enough variety in my work wardrobe.

Fabric Buying~

I haven't been purchasing a lot of fabric lately. However, Fabric Mart recently had an amazing sale on blouse weight fabrics with a ton of border prints in them. Of course, I purchased a few cause border prints.

Lastly ~

I don't know if you know but The Sewcialists blog/group is calling it quits.  They've been doing a series of round up posts.  This week's post, "Saying Farewell: Specialists Interviews" was written by BeckyJo.  I'm honored to be included in the group of sewists she featured. If you get a chance, head over and give it a read.  The Sewcialists have promoted ALL sewists and ALL types of sewing over the last eight years. It will be sad to see them go.

I need to head back to my sewing machine... always more later!


Saturday, June 05, 2021

Remaking my Sewing Spaces

It's June and I promised myself that once spring arrived I would work on making my Winter Sewing Room (which I'm now just calling the Sewing Room) and Resource Center function better for me. While I've stored away 90% of my fabric, and all of my buttons and bindings, the extra patterns have remained in boxes and garbage bags for the last 8 months. Well all except my TNT patterns and newly purchased ones.

So to make my sewing spaces perform better, I needed to purchase more stuff.  I've dragged my feet because it's not only buying, it's assembling since nothing comes prebuilt anymore. I have many skills, assembling furniture isn't one of them. While I looked at things to buy, I also looked for someone to assemble them.

That's what's taken so long...getting furniture purchased, delivered, assembled and placed. Oh and my stubbornness because I refused to purchase items from IKEA if they don't deliver to my address...and so much wasn't available to be delivered to MY home address.

A few reasons why I've decided to keep the sewing space downstairs:

  • I've been sewing in it for the last couple of months and I like it. 
  • There's light and an actual window with a view that I can look out and observe the world around me. Better than the Sewing Cave or the Sewing Loft. Didn't realize how much I missed that.
  • It's easily accessible to the rest of the apartment and it gives me the same calming feeling that the Loft does. 
  • Making the Loft my Resource Center is a good use of the space and allows me to have an organized space to hold all of my sewing accoutrements of which I own ALOT.
  • I'm going to update this space by removing everything from the floor and putting it on wall shelving. It will make the Sewing Room less cluttered.

These pictures are after I've moved the sewing tables and all of the sewing machines downstairs. This brings me such joy that all I do is cut, sew and compute in this room.

I've purchased the shelving and the totes to make everything orderly and functional. I also have curtains to hang. I've just been dragging my feet about hiring someone to finish these last installs.  

As previously mentioned, the Loft will now function as a "Resource Center". 

The first set of filing cabinets have been built, carried to the Loft and stuffed with the patterns that had no home and were just hanging out in boxes and bags. I still have one more filing cabinet and small bookcase to be built to add to the other wall.  That should give me more than enough room for future pattern growth.

This is the other side of the loft right now...

There are seven bins of fabric here that have to be dealt with and I'm undecided about them.  It's mostly coating fabric in these bins and I'm trying to decide whether to put them in storage or what?  Once they're handled and a few more pieces moved around, I should be fine.

I also want to set up an area to take photos when my daughter is unavailable. But that's a whole 'nother set of purchases I'm not ready to make yet. I know I'm investing in my sewing situation but this last year has been all about purchasing things so it will wait a minute, especially since June is here and I can shoot outside for awhile.

A few photos from Sewing Rooms past and not in the so distant pass...

The Sewing Cave as it looked right before I packed it up!

The Sewing Loft when I thought I could sew in it...

BTW, I just received my notice of lease renewal.  It's been almost a year since I moved in. I laughed out loud when the Leasing Center asked if I wanted to move out. Hell, all of my stuff isn't unpacked noooooooo! always more later! 


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