Sunday, June 29, 2008

June 30 - It's New Years Eve!

Oh what a lot of work! And I mean that literally. This is my busy time of year at work.  June 30 is our fiscal year end.

For today I am FINISHED. (The year won't be completely closed til mid August so.... summer is my busy time) Oh, and the really good thing about my job is that everybody is happy how hard I worked all weekend and I will get some flex time. And you know I'll get some sewing in!

So here is my capsule - can you feel the heat? It must have been about 101% humidity and 101 degrees (fahrenheit, of course!) My jacket is from Vogue 8044- the pattern I fitted during the Timmel SWAP. I love it! This is now a TNT for me.
My white eyelette top is from a self-drafted shirt pattern. First I cut out everything except the front panel. Then I experiemented on large pieces of fabric with tucks until I had some I liked. Then I cut the front panel out sewn-tucked (is that a word?) fabric. I tried it on and marked the neckline and cut it to suit me- not too low! I am not a Hello Cleavage Girl. Wrong generation for that style! It also gapped out in the front, so I added the gathers before I sewed the bias binding on. I have to say, I LOVE hand-sewing, so I do it as often as I can. I find it makes things easier - it give me ultimate control over the finish.
I am so pleased with the help I get from Bernina My Label. It is not like it just spits out perfectly fitting clothes, but it sure does get me close.
And I just bought Fit For Real People. Wow. Yes, I am REALLY late to the party! I know lots of people use this book and love it- why did it take me so long to get my own copy? It is amazing. I really think I will be sewing more patterns now. I tested it out last week and I made the simple top from Vogue 8044. It worked! It fit great. I did not like the top, but that was due to a poor fabric choice.
So, I bought a bunch of Vogue patterns last Thursday during the one day BMVmembers sale. They were, like $5.49 each! OK, enough work. WALK AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER!!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Meet-Up in Baltimore!

Vicki, Shannon and Keely, and all of you out there, wow it would be so fun to meet! I met lots of people today for the first time and it was just as much fun as you can imagine. When you read someone's blog and their contributions to discussion forums, you really do know them. And you just pick right up with conversation as if you talk to them all the time. That's how it was for me anyway. We had a wonderful time and there wasn't nearly enough time to chat with everyone. What a fun group!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Summer Sewing

I have finished my capsule! Yay. There is a 4th garment, a pair of pants that is not included in this photo. Shown here are my Vogue 8044 jacket made with embroidered cotton from Gorgeous Fabrics, TNT navy blue pants with fabric from EmmaOneSock and a cotton eyelet sleeveless top using fabric from A Fabric Place in Baltimore (where a bunch of us are meeting on Saturday! I am really looking forward to meeting other sewers for fabruc shopping and lunch, yes I WILL take my camera!) The accessory was a purchased laptop bag.
And since I mentioned it in my last post, here is a little pictogram on how I attach elastic to pants. I insert the invisible zipper first and leave about 3/8" at the top edge where I will attach seam binding. Cut a piece of elastic about 2 inches shorter than the waist of the garment. Attach each end to the back side of the zipper:
Yes, it will hang like a big ole loop until you attach the binding. I had leftover bias tape from my plaid bermuda shorts, so I used that. I attached the seam binding like normal, then folded it over to cover the elastic. The elastic is still hanging loose - do not catch the elastic in the seam as you sew. Half way through, you need to stop and yank the elastic through so the gathering is out of your way. I feel my way with my fingers. As long as I can feel the edge of the elastic, I sew just to the left of it.

Voila- simple clean finish for simple, hard-wearing pants. It doesn't show well, but this is a very nice beefy blend of linen and rayon. I have enough left to make a skirt, which is underway.

I REALLY really hope I don't buy a lot of fabric tomorrow. I am doing so well in sewing down what I have. I have plenty, I really do. Now if some magic bunny wants to fix my internet I will be very happy. I am waiting for Comcast to make things right!
Happy Sewing and See You in Baltimore!

Friday, June 20, 2008

June Capsule Contest

Unlike the Timmel SWAP contest, where I planned everything in advance, I am making it up as I go along for the June Capsule.
I figure 4 pieces that coordinate shouldn't be that hard to figure out. But, of course, it is! After sewing my own clothes for the last year I have come to appreciate that the designer has the hardest job. Or, rather, my skills are the lowest in that area.
The designer comes up with a whole look and that's why you can go into a department store and head over to the Jones New York section and walk out with some coordinating separates. And that's why being a fashion designer is a real profession, that you can study in college and earn a good living.

I guess I never quite understood that! I always thought Fashion Designer meant Weird Clothes I Don't Understand. As much as I love sewing, I was never one to pore over Vogue magazine or follow fashion week.

Anyway, here is my accessory- it is the 7905 Technofile laptop tote from LeSportSac. I don't think I can sew anything as good as what LeSportSac can sell me, so I am going with them.
It is very lightweight, it has a shoulder strap AND handles (I need both) and I can carry everything I need for work. I've had LeSportSac bags before and they wear like iron and they are washable.

Based on the photos, this print will be cute with my navy base color for my summer sewing.

In other sewing news, I sewed a French seam on the silk drapery last night and WOW that was the hardest French seam ever! That silk unravels even with very careful handling and whiskers come through on the right side. And it was just a simple straight seam. But handling so much fabric is what gets you on these Home Dec. projects. To be serious about it, I'd need huge cutting and pressing tables. With enough space I think it would be OK.

It will be worth it when I see the French Seam later on and pat myself on the back. Sewing is full of these little private pats on the back!!

In Real Life, that is. On the internet, we also pat each other on the back!!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

summer sewing projects

I took 2 Personal Sewing days. On Friday I sewed these knee-length cuffed shorts. I've been seeing these around this year and I like them a lot; so cool and comfortable. I used a shirting I bought at Michaels and this piece is one of the 4 I selected for my June Capsule.
I came up with a variation on the elastic waist I love so much. This time I cut a piece of bias tape for the facing. The elastic is 3/4" non-roll cut to 2-3 inches shorter than my waist measurement. I improvised as I went so it's hard to give a detailed description of how I did it - but I like the way it is a casing, as opposed to stretching and stitching. I'll definitely try this again, and perfect the technique, at which time I can post instructions if anyone is interested.
And on Thursday I sewed this lightweight jacket and I LOVE IT! This is now a TNT pattern for me. I developed it using Bernina My Label and the Vogue pattern I used for my Timmel SWAP. The last version was just a little to big, so I did an SBA on the front piece- I just did the reverse of a full bust adjustment and removed volume vertically and horizontally along the bust darts.
All it needs are the buttons to be sewn on.

Here is a picture of the cuffed shorts on. This is my kind of sewing- I got up early, made them and then wore them all day. Sweet!
So, my 2 days off were delightful! DH came up and we explored the new neighborhood- we are walking distance from a library, a grocerty store and a Starbucks (I WILL be getting T-Mobile access!!)
And, back at the ranch (in Rockville) my drapery fabric arrived! I had to drape it immediately and I just love it. So that's my weekend sewing. The traverse rod is up, so all I need to do is figure out how the heck to make draperies... How hard can it be? ... please don't tell me, I already know it's not as easy as it looks...

Happy weekend and Happy Sewing!