Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Casual Work Wardrobe- Finished!

Finished, but not quite complete.
I sewed a coat, 4 tops and 4 bottoms; all in dark brown and blue.
And I have no energy at all for a photo shoot, so I am calling it a day on this thing.

There was also a requirement to sew an accessory, and that is the incomplete part. I just can't think of an accessory that I really want to sew.

Breaky-break time!
I am a little tired of sewing, but we all know that won't last long!

Happy Sewing!

Proud Mama

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending my daughter's presentation of her "SMP" (St. Mary's Project). Seniors at St. Mary's College are required to produce a piece that represents their level of mastery over their major area of study. Laura wrote a long paper in German that included translations and the cultural significance of some specific examples of popular culture.

Her presentation was entertaining and informative and I am incredibly proud of her growth over the last 4 years. Plus, I wore my latest sewing creations. (always a bonus in my little world :)
Happy Sewing, and Happy Milestones to all of us celebrating them!!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

cardigan and shell

The Timmel SWAP Contest results are available for viewing, just click here. I was pretty frazzled at the end, but that feeling gave way to great satisfaction. I enjoyed the comradery of sewing & chatting about it for six months with friends at Stitchers Guild. Julie Timmel puts on one heck of a sewing party! And generous, too. I got a pattern as reward for participating. I picked the Jalie City Coat (you can see Heather's version on the contest link).

And so, I continue to sew. I also entered the patternreview Wardrobe Contest and I finished one of my tops yesterday. I am not sure if I will make the deadline of April 30. I still need to finish the denim pants and a tote. I'll keep sewing a little on the side and who knows, maybe I'll make it!

The last step of the knit top was to sew buttons and by that time, I knew that fabric was not going to be happy about buttonholes. It is a super cozy rayon knit- very sweatery. It was hard to sew even a straight line, forget buttonholes. So I sewed a large snap at the top and I really like it that way. Fortunately, I bought a coordinating fabric at the same time (love EmmaOneSock for that feature on her website!) So I have a shell to sew next. And after that, I'll start sewing a summer capsule in the blues stacked on my pressing /cutting table.
The first thought upon waking this morning was that I had de-railed my Wardrobe Plan! The cardigan was supposed to be a top (and the buttons allowed me to sneak it in as such). Now it cannot be worn solo!
My thought is to relax and enjoy another cup of tea on this lovely, gray & drizzly Sunday morning.

And to my DH, thank you for your support over the last six months. I could not have sewn all these garments without you being such a domestic delight! May we have many more Downtown Dates!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Fun Weekend - Floral Cotton Tunic Out & About

I finished my floral tunic. Wow that gauze-y fabric was hard to work with. And the Pfaff 1475 was certainly up to the task. I love the Pfaff IDT and I used the hemmer foot on the sleeve hems and the bodice hem, and obviously on the ruffles. The busy print is busier with 6 ruffles in the front. The idea was to increase volume on the upper chest area to balance my pear proportions. It was not comfortable worn over a knit tank top. The cotton clung to it, so I wore a silky cami which helped the top flow.
With only minimal encouragement from the photographer, I am willing to make a spectacle of myself.

We were on our way to a non-baby shower. Our friends adopted a baby from Kazakhstan, but the guys refused to call it baby shower. But there was a baby, there were gifts & cake and food. He is sooooo cute! Here are the hubster and myself and my stepcat, Puppy.

Puppy always has that look on her face, like hey- let's have some tuna fish.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Navy & Chocolate Print Cotton Tunic

I went into the Pfaff dealer on my way home from work last night, to buy a pintuck foot. I am making yet another tunic and I thought I'd add a little interest to the front by adding a "bib" sort of affair with pintucks. Those pintucks didn't work well on this loosely woven cotton fabric, but my new roll hemmer foot worked really well on these strips of fabric:
Um, the roll hemmer foot came with a machine!
Yippee!!! I had an unexpected acquisition: a Pfaff Creative 1475 CD machine. I couldn't leave without satisfying my curiosity about what this machine could do. Once I sewed on this baby I had to have it. It is pretty old, but it looks brand new. It is all metal - it was made in Germany so it must be 15 years old or so.
It has eleventy gazillion decorative stitches and some embroidery functionality. It's really easy to understand.

The idea is that I will apply ruffles on the front of the bodice. This will be a very cool shirt for a hot summer day. It's a little sheer and I'll wear it over a tank top or a camisole.
With any luck I will finish this and another top & pants for the patternreview SWAP.
If I get too busy to finish this SWAP, oh well. I sure feel good having completed the Timmel SWAP and I have worn a SWAP outfit every day this week. It keeps me smiling on the inside.
Happy Sewing !!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Red Silk Tunic Finished

Here is a photo of the finished red silk tunic. made from red charmeuse from Gorgeous Fabrics. The pants are the black RPL from Timmel Fabrics.
I am really glad to be finished!
Having ambitious plans with a deadline is a double-edged sword. I got a lot done but now I am kinda tired of all the work involved!
I am not as keen on deadlines at the moment!! I will still sew the rest of my pieces for the pattern review contest, but if I don't finish by April 30, no problemo!
Doesn't this look like a party top for the holidays? I bet I will wear it a lot in 6 months from now.
It it time for light pretty summer clothes now.

Friday, April 11, 2008

and just one more SWAP to finish!

I finished the silk tunic and bought a black top which completes Downtown Date for the Timmel SWAP. Photos to come.
In order to finish my Casual Work Wardrobe, I need to sew a pair of denim pants, 2 tops and a laptop tote. All of these are relatively simple garments, so it will be OK.

And I picked up some pretty shirtings from Michael's today. I am hoping for some cute shirt-dresses in the upcoming burda magazines.

Much news... we bought a condo in Baltimore. (YAY!) Downsizing shall now begin. We aren't 100% sure when we'll sell the house in Rockville... It depends on the needs of the kids. When DH & I got together, we had just entered an 11-year phase sending kids to college.

We'll see ... but the concept is that when the house goes on the market, we'll be snug in our condo in Baltimore. It might be small, but we won't have the annoyance of keeping the house spic 'n' span every second of the day. I hope I can live up to my own goals. I seriously want to simplify.

OK.... TGIF!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Weeknight sewing! SWAP Deadline Looms!

I just thought this is an interesting sleeve - look at how different this looks compared to a "normal" sleeve. I have a forward shoulder - so the cap of the sleeve is pushed to the front (the right side in the picture below).
And I know this sleeve fits me, it is from Bernina My Label. I should get a job working for them. I am still in awe that their patterns fit me.
So, I have my shoulder pads ready- I cut some foam pads and covered them with silk cut on the bias and steamed on the ham. Oh that sounds nice, eh? Sometimes I call my shoulder pads my "falsies". I steamed my falsies on my ham. Oh yeah.

And my cuffs are are ready. I just measured the circumference of my arm as it was folded and cut two rectangles for two cuffs. And I just did not have time to re-draft the sleeve to make it slimmer. But then again, is that necessary? I will just make a few little tucks to make it fit into the cuff and that's that.
At this point, I will definitely get it done.
Just a couple more seams and I am there!

So that begs the question, will I try to sew garment #11 by Friday? I am brainstorming ... what can I sew really quickly?
Or will I go out and buy something - the rules permit one purchased item.
Are we having fun yet? Um, YES.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Just a little sewing on the side this weekend

Life is busy! Lots going on, but I squeezed in a little sewing.
I am using Bernina My Label's tunic pattern and I devised my own style change to have a facing /yoke thing happening around the neckline. No instructions, so I dreamed this up.

First I sewed the yoke and facing together with a long basting stitch all around the outside edge. The facing has a very lightweight fusible interfacing.

I trimmed and clipped the edges, then turned it right side out, and pressed. The purpose of this step was to press the pieces into the finished shape.

After pressing, I removed the basting thread and separated the pieces again.

Now it is pinned together, right sides together:I stitched mitred corners on the front points. Silk charmeuse is so slippery- this step would make for an easier time on the top-stitching to come.
Once the neckline seam was sewn, pressed, trimmed and clipped, I hand-basted the facing to the bodice.

On the bodice, I had created gathering just along the V, using a fairly short machine stitch and pulling the threads.
I used the machine to sew the facing to the bodice.

The, I just repeated the hand-basting and machine stitching on the outer yoke (I suppose that is the correct term)

For the hem, I turned the fabric over a half inch and pressed. Machine-stitched a hem. Trimmed little uneven spots and turned it over a half inch again. Machine-stitched the hem.
I find this gives nice body to the hem and it looks neat.
I love working with silk. It is so luxurious to handle and comfortable to wear. It does take some practice but as long as I take my time, hand baste and treat the fabric with respect, it treats me well, too!
Happy sewing everyone!