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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Glamorous baby quilt


         This is the 2nd quilt/ blanket I have made, and I am calling it a "glamour baby quilt".  Yes, I figured when you add a pink "silk" chiffon with lots of gathers......then glamour is the word that comes to mind. 

        Unlike the first quilt I sewed up,  this quilt I designed.   Yes, I just let the fabric tell me how it wanted to be laid out and went with it. Although, I did have an overall vision of how I wanted it to look and stayed on track.  

         Guidelines: I wanted the blanket/ quilt to feel like it was vintage or heirloom and to be light and airy.

         I think the flower print in pink and the print for the bias tape and backing was right on track. The mother to be picked bees as her theme, and yellow and gray are her colors with a chevron pattern. (Also, she is having a little girl)  With a limited time frame, I was forced to go to the local fabric store. Of course when I went to the fabric store my choices were slim.  Moreover, I totally fell in love with the pink print.  In addition, I could not find  yellow chiffon (maybe it is out of style this year?) however the pink went perfect with the print.  Although, my Mom did raise her eyebrows when I mentioned chiffon in the quilt........she couldn't image what I was doing.  Then the rest was easy peasy.  How lucky was I to find the honeycomb print which I used to make the  abstract bee appliqued.  And the white chevron print was perfect for the background and quilt.

         In addition, I really wanted to have mitered corners; however, I had no clue how to do that.......thank goodness for You tube.  Check out this wonderful link I found: Mitered corners for quilts      

          How I created quilt: First things first, the math of it all!  I knew I wanted to create a rectangle picture in the center. and use 3" triangles for the quilt.  So I made the rectangle 6 1/2" x 9 1/2" (for seam allowance)  ironed interfacing to the back, and went from there. Then  I drew out the bees and cut out a pattern,  ironed interfacing to the back of the bee fabric . Cut out, and sewed down using my satin stitch on my machine.  After that I ripped the chiffon in 3 1/2" strips and created gathers; which I then sewed down to white cotton fabric, and sewed around my rectangle to form my first border.  From there it was just taking the time to cut the triangles and figure out how to arrange them. Once that was accomplished, I made another outer border of chiffon.   Almost finished..........I mitered all the corners. (I really should have done a better job making sure the corners lined up)  Before, quilting the front to back I sewed ribbon on the back so the quilt can be hung by a rod. After quilting,  I then made the bias tape for the finishing touch. 

          Finished Size: 30" x 36"  

         My only negative is the photo.  I wish I had a better photo of the quilt.  oh well.

 Feel free to contact me if you have any questions on how I made this.

Next my sewing machine.  I managed to put the sewing paraphernalia up.......but the machine is in need of a good cleaning!



Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Second set of PJs using M6249...........this time in sheer cotton black lawn

       So it has been a while since my last post.......with the move and getting a new job, well I have been busy.  Recently, I got my sewing station set up and was eager to sew something.  I had all intentions of finishing a black and white gingham princess seam shirt; however, I am still adjusting the pattern to get a nice fit.  (When will it ever work?)  Anyway, I found in my sewing desk drawer, fabric that was already cut and marked and just needed to be sewn.... so I decided to go for it............and it did turn out nicely, check out my very comfortable pajamas: 

Comfy loungewear

      For this set of pajamas I went with a sheer black cotton lawn; which is very lightweight and soft.  I purchased about 4 yards of fabric from online fabric store and paid something like $5 a yard.  In my stash, I had knit elastic for the waistband and pink bias tape for the facings finished edges, and the top's hem.  I did purchase some pink ribbon for the edges and pink buttons, but that was like $2's at Hancock fabrics.  Oh,  I already had black cotton thread. 

Pink and black

        Time frame:  Sewing time took about 3 days.  I sewed up the pants in one afternoon.   The blouse took a little longer since I added all the trim. 

     Technique: Sewed using french seams.  Along the finished edges and hem I used soft pink bias tape; which matched the pink ribbon trim and buttons. Hemmed by hand the sleeves and machine hemmed the pants.  Please note: Since the fabric is very sheer I highly suggest using stay tape or organza along the crotch seams and on the shoulder seams.  I didn't do this and I regret it.  Also, I used the same pink ribbon trim and created a loop and sewed into the back waist band of the I can tell the front from the back!  Check out the details:

ribbon sewed into backside waistband

detail of ribbon and buttons

       I am so not done with this pattern.  Next time I want to make a short sleeve and short set version.  Seriously, I already have the fabric..... a really cute swiss dot from Hancock fabrics; which I purchased before the move....something a seriously crazy sewing person would do!  

Loving my new house

      Sweet dreams! 



Friday, June 5, 2015

Inspirational outfit from the Wall Street Journal?!

   So, Glenn has been subscribing  to the Wall Street Journal for years, and I have to admit I enjoy reading some of the articles and of course the quarterly color magazine; which features art, fashion, destinations, etc......Basically all the things I love. 

     Any who.... I was flipping through the beautiful shiny magazine and totally flipped for this woman's outfit.  O.k. it is not couture, and looks like something from a thrift store, but that is what I love about it.  In addition, I knew this was an outfit that I could easily sew/ recreate with my own twist.  (Did I really say that, cause you know in the sewing world, rarely is anything easy....oh well.)

     Here is my inspiration outfit:  A gingham top and silk charmeuse skirt with flounce. Check it out: 
Inspiration outfit from Wall St. Journal

      For the skirt pattern I used New Look 6433.  And with a few minor adjustments........I sewed up the skirt to my liking. Using my skirt sloper, I only had to make one muslin and was ready to go for it. 

     Fabric:  JoAnn poly silk charmeuse.  cost $12.  (no lining) regular black 7" zipper and button.

     Adjustment:  Raised front of pattern by 6".  Added two front darts and created a wider waistband, by cutting 2 waistbands and sewing them together instead of folding one.  Also, I did add a button and button hole to the waistband instead of the suggested eye and hook.   Technique: French seams and overlock. Check it out: 
Finished Skirt with flounce

      The Gingham blouse is still a work in progress.  Yes, I am stuck in muslin hell. Currently I am on my 4th try and still have more adjustments to, but with our pending move in little over a week......I had to call it quits and pack up my sewing machine.  Also, I am thinking of trying a different pattern.
McCalls 6124....pattern from hell.

      The pattern that is creating a major fuss is McCalls 6124. .....A basic princess seam blouse.  In my opinion the "cut" of this particular pattern doesn't work for my body shape.   The shoulders are way to big along with the hip.  And don't get me started on the low arm hole; which when I raised created other issues.  And I can't get the back seam to line up with the back sleeve seam.  Yes, I am going to find a Butterick or Simplicity princess seam blouse pattern, and once I get it adjusted I will fix this pattern. Yes, that is what I am going to do.

       Here is the 100% cotton gingham fabric I picked up at Hancock for about $20. Along with some black buttons. 
My version of the inspiration outfit

        I look forward to the move, so I can get back to sewing!

        Until next time....Happy sewing and figuring it out. 

        Even though these two photos belong in the "Garden" page I think they can sneak into this page because the roses in the photos are inspirational to the fabric I choose for the skirt! That is my story and I am sticking to it!

Favorite rose bush in our garden



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Summer version of Butterick 5951 in cute polka dot cotton lawn

      Since spring is here, I thought I would get a head start on a summer dress....and there is nothing better then sewing up a pattern that has already been adjusted.  After sewing up a red linen version of Butterick 5951, I then sewed up a fall version in a beautiful teal faille with machine embroidery and black bemberg lining.  However, I left the dress in New Orleans and haven't posted it yet.  Maybe this fall I will get to it?! 

      Moving forward,  let me introduce you to my summer version of Butterick 5951.  I choose a cotton black and white polka dot lawn and fully lined it with a lightweight white cotton lawn.   Here are the changes I made for the summer version.  I shortened the sleeve length.  Took a little of the poof out of the gathered sleeve cap.  Shortened the length by 3 1/2" inches; however, instead of cutting the fabric shorter I made a 3 1/2" hem.............that way I can always lower later on. Also, I created a 3 1/2" hem for the lining too. 

Summer Polka Dot dress

   There is a lot of hand stitching involved in this dress, including sewing down the bodice lining to the zipper.  (I did cheat and machine sewed the lining to the waist seam.) However, I did use a catch stitch and hand-stitched the lining hem and dress hem.  The hem is really beautiful. Please note: I used silk thread for all the hand stitching. 
underlining and handstitching

     This dress took about a couple of weeks to sew up.  I had all the pieces cut and marked a few months ago and was finally able to give it the attention it deserved.  This dress will be a life saver for home in New Orleans........where the weather is subtropical. I look forward to wearing it and  knowing that it will be cool and comfortable. 

    Fabric:  my stash.  I did purchase the black and white flocked polka dots from JoAnns about a year ago.  The white cotton lawn/ lining I purchased from Online fabric store  This is where I buy my solid cotton lawn because it is so lightweight and easy to work with.  

    Definitely I will be continuing to sew up lightweight clothing for our new home. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

McCalls 6752 /Easy Knit in time for first signs of Spring in Asheville

       Asheville is starting to witness the first signs of spring.  Yes, the daffodils and yellow-bells are blooming.  The fruit trees are getting ready to pop with color along with the azaleas; all of which has me thinking of something easy to sew for spring. I ended up sewing McCalls 6752, easy knit blouse view A.  Check out the pattern:

      Fabric: Purchased 1 1/2 yards of a beautiful dark teal cotton jersey knit from Hancocks.  With a coupon I ended up paying something like $7's.  Of course, I went back to purchase more it completely sold out the next day.

      Notions:  1/4" wide elastic, matching poly thread,  ball jersey needles and of course the decorative 7" zipper.  All of which I purchased at  Hancocks when they had their notions sale. 

     First things first, I have never worked with knits until I sewed this blouse.  Of course the internet is wonderful for researching sewing knits, with or without a serger.  Also, I do not have a serger, but do have an overlock pattern on my machine so I knew it would be o.k.  
First Signs of Spring in Asheville

      After sizing my fabric, I used a rotary cutter to cut my fabric. Sewing:  I used a small zigzag stitch for all horizontal seams and straight stitch for all vertical seams. Then I trimmed seams to 1/4" and then used the overlock stitch. 

       The pattern was very easy to understand.  I didn't have any issues sewing the fabric together. Although, I did question the front neck facing, but it worked.  Even though cotton jersey knit is not as crisp as a woven fabric like cotton; it did iron well and wasn't nearly as "headache" worthy as silk charmeuse. 

       Adjustments:  I did a pattern fit and it looked like it was long enough in the torso; however, after sewing it up I really should have lengthened the torso about an inch.  Yeah, there is not a lot of flowing fabric near the waist line.  Easy fix for next time. 
Spike likes the blouse too!

        All and all I think this is a very easy pattern.  And cotton jersey knit is so comfortable.  I am not really a t-shirt person (unless I am exercising or working in the yard) so this blouse is a great compromise. I plan to make another one in a different color after I finish a summer dress that is already cut and ready to be sewed up. Also, I do plan to sew up the cut dress version. Lastly, I do want to get a pair of white slim jeans for spring to wear with this blouse. 

      Onto another completely different topic:

       We just put our Asheville house on the market for sale.  After living in Asheville for almost 10 years, I couldn't help but miss my family and friends in New Orleans.   With years of debates, we finally came to a decision to move. I closed our business last year and decided to make the leap.  It sounds crazy, but I have hope that it will work out. 

       We put in lots of landscaping....I mean, veggie garden, herb garden, spring garden, fruit trees, blueberries, grapes, etc.  We are crazy gardeners, and the yards have really matured after 5 years.  Check out some photos:

The front of our yard

Backyard with blueberry patches

Glenn with grape crop last year/2014

Digitalis with Spike (Can you see him) 

Last year's snow in backyard
Asheville is a beautiful place to live, but for us, New Orleans is home. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Nice dancing dress in Tango Red Linen/ Butterick pattern 5951

    Where did January go?  In my sewing world, I spent January sewing up a cute new blouse; which was suppose to start the New Year off properly.  However, after making an amateur mistake, yes, I made a pattern adjustment without a muslin test, the blouse turned out wonky under the arms.  A simple bust dart would have taken care of it, but since I did not "fit as you sew"......I ended up donating it.  Oh well.  Moving forward to February.

     In my sewing desk drawer, I had a muslin already cut and ready to sew for pattern Butterick 5951.  As soon as the pattern came out I purchased it.  I love the detail elements, like the elastic in the sleeves, gathers on the front and shoulders, and of course just the over all shape of the pattern. I can see this dress in a summer, fall and spring version.........depending on the fabric. Check out the pattern:

     After sewing up the first muslin I made a few adjustments and moved forward and sewed up another test muslin in Tango Red Linen with a black bemberg lining.  Check it out:

Tango Red Linen

    Fabric and Notion Details:  100 % Tango Red Linen, around 2 1/4 yards.  Purchased from Hancock Fabrics on the clearance section. Cost around $9.00  Also, used black bemberg lining from my stash to line the top of dress. Since I wasn't sure how linen would sew up in this pattern....I didn't line the bottom of the dress.  Purchased Gutterman thread 250 yards for $2.00 (on sale) and from my stash had a matching red tradition zipper and black bias tape for hem and Hong Kong zipper seam. 1/4" elastic for sleeves; which is what I had on hand, but the pattern does call for 1/2"

Elastic in sleeve

   Adjustments: 3/8" FBA. (Although, I could wear the dress without the FBA, I felt uncomfortable, so I went ahead and added it. )  Lengthened the torso 1 3/4" (typical for me) Shortened skirt 2".  Full upper arm adjustment.  (For the next dress I sew in this pattern I am taking a 1/4" off the cap sleeve.  There is just a little too much puff for me) Raised v-neck an 1" up.  (If I would have left it like the pattern called for, I think many people would have a gotten a nice view of the girls.) For future summer dress version I will shorten the sleeves.

   Techniques:  Since I did "fit as I sewed" on this linen dress, I went ahead and machined basted the stitches to make sure everything lined up and fit well.  Then I seam ripped the basting stitches and sewed up like normal.  I used my over cast stitch from sewing machine for seams except for the zipper seam........that I used black bias tape and made a Hong Kong seam.  Also, for the hem, I sewed and understitched black bias tape and then hand hemmed the skirt.  Oh, I hand hemmed the sleeves too, along with the lining to the zipper.  With so much fullness, really hand stitching is the best way.   Now I did "cheat" and machine stitch the lining to the waist line.  Yeah, I have hand sewn lining at the waist line before only for them to come undone.  (I am still perfecting my hand stitches). Also, let me mention something about the neck and shoulder pattern pieces.  It is a little odd making the sharp/pivot turn, when you sew them together.  So I highly suggest basting those pieces together before sewing them.  

Silly dance photo

    Overall Thoughts:  This is a great pattern.  I love that the pattern has a vintage and feminine feel, and is so comfortable and easy to wear.  Now I can start sewing up my fall version in a beautiful dark teal faille. Also, I will fully line the fall and summer version.

spike wanted to join in the fun!