Sunday, January 25, 2009
Now having said that, I need to give a shout out to Barbara for her insightful posts on sewing and life. Her blog is sewing on the edge. Barbara expresses my own feelings very accurately, especially on parenthood. In addition, I plan to copy her shamelessly by sewing 5 pairs of pants asap.
It would appear that I have worked myself out of a job with my own DD. But, paradoxically, and naturally, I am thrilled that is the case. Here is her blog, The Adventures of Daphne Duke. I think she is a pretty Kreativ Blogger, too.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
The rules require that I nominate 7 more bloggers and leave comments on their blogs to let them know. Here are but a few of the great blogs I read:
TerriK - high-end, high quality fashion like what you find at Neiman Marcus or Saks.
weekend designer - amazing pattern-making, right before your very eyes!
wall street by day - beautiful and stylish sewing by a beautiful and stylish woman
sew-classic - the queen of vintage sewing machine rescue.
allisonc sewing gallery - exquisite garments, sewn to perfection
Lindsey T - a returning sewist who has dusted off her skills in record time & sewing like a wiz!
Summerset - if you like special things, this is the blog
OK, now I am off to leave comments on more blogs!
Friday, January 23, 2009
I also sewed the cuff slits, so this will be finished soon (yay- I need new clothes!!)
And I finished the pants that have sat on hold since November 1. I used a wonderful brushed cotton from Michael's Fabrics and it was just a little bulky to use it for facings. That stripe is a shirting fabric. And, oh joy, the zipper is faulty!! When I wore the pants yesterday, I fought the natural pull of gravity all day long - the zipper couldn't lock itself and stay up. So I have already picked it out, so I can install a new one.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I have always loved red and blue, but the green is new for me.
Lo and behold, Michelle Obama likes it too! Her inaugural outfit blew me away.
Yay for green~!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Here is my sewing story:
As a child, I had the most clever mother on the block because she could sew anything- clothes, draperies, slipcovers, etc. I used to amuse myself by playing with the scraps from her projects; making doll blankets, stuffed toys and doll clothes. If I messed up, I could take it to her and she would remove the disaster part & replace it with well-craftedness. I was in awe of her ability to fix my sewing catastrophes.
When I was a Girl Scout, we got badges for all sorts of things and I have vivid memories of making a pleated skirt with zipper and a waistband - all hand sewn. I finished mine quickly - my sewing mojo was on fire! We wore these skirts when we went to the roller rink to go roller skating. I loved me some roller skating! I was truly amazed that I had sewn my own pleated skirt.
In Junior High School we had Home Economics and oh, how I loved every aspect of that. I would have loved shop, too if they had taught it to girls. On the first day of class, we were supposed to write down what skills we hoped to learn and the teacher read them. My goal was to learn set-in sleeves. We did not get that far! The class was mostly a review of what I already knew, but hey, it was fun. Too bad I did not get involved in 4H, I am sure I would have loved it.
High school- I sewed peasant blouses, halter tops and my most challenging project was a C.P.O. jacket made from a Burberry sort of plaid. I still relied on my mom, though for important things like my junior prom dress.
College- I got ambitious during my college years and sewed a lot. I can remember setting a goal to sew a garment a day while on spring break. I just dug in and sewed hard. My most memorable project was a tuxedo. Thank goodness for Vogue patterns and their fantastic instructions. I was a musician and needed lots of plain black clothes for gigs. Heaven forbid I should wear the same thing as the other girls. The jacket was fully tailored, high hip length and the pants were very slim cut. I bought a mens tux shirt to wear with it- I was pretty burnt out after all that tailoring!
Post college- At age 25, I decided I wanted to live a "normal" life and work during the day and get a paycheck so I went back to college at night to earn an accounting degree. I worked as a bank teller during the day. (I really loved that job!) There was no time to sew and when I started working as a CPA, I wanted to wear tailored suits and I enjoyed having a paycheck to buy them. My sewing machine was used for alterations only. I must say, I enjoyed taking apart well-made garments to see how they were constructed. sigh. Back then, everything was too big in the waist so I had to take in the waist. Yep, those were the days all right.
Mid-life wake-up phase- In my mid thirties I became a divorced mom and I got so run-down I couldn't even remember what I used to enjoy. I went through a phase of soul-searching & self discovery and I read a book called The Artist's Way. I followed the exercises and it changed my life! I got back into music and sewing. I discovered my own creative identity and never looked back.
In the last few years I found the online sewing community and it is the best! Sewing is solitary and I love my time alone with my fabrics and ideas. Sharing my passion with others online just makes it even better.
Thanks LindseyT for a great idea!
Saturday, January 17, 2009
I sewed the bodice first to make sure my pattern adjustments worked and it fits, yay! This poject is the maiden voyage for my new Janome 6600. For the front pleats, I cut long strips and practiced the rolled edge stitches on the serger and the sewing machine. I finally settled on a combination of the two: first a narrow serged seam, then folded over for a straight stitch on the SM. I couldn't get the results I wanted using the rolled hem foot on the SM.
Once I had the edges done, I went ahead and cut the pattern pieces from the edged strips:
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Also in view are the 2 BWOF shirts I am sewing. Since I can use white thread on both of them, I am sewing them simulataneously (and I hope it saves time!)
There is progress on the window shade, too. Here is a pic showing the magnetic strip on the side which can be purchased at a hardware store and it can be cut to fit.
Another option is to paint the wall with magnetic paint. Who knew that magnetic paint even exists? It is a very dark gray, but it can be painted over with regular wall paint. I read about it on a home improvement blog.
There are 3.5" magnetic strips hidden inside the casing of the blind. It works beautifully to create a nice seal. It can be painted lightly, which I plan to do. You could also use velcro instead of magnets. As soon as I have completed the hanging mechanism, I'll write up a through review /tutorial and post it to patternreview. I got lots of great advice on the discussion board to help me on this. A simple, though not necessarily easy, project.
And here is how the shade looks hanging close. It is cosy! It is rather plan, though and I may applique something on it (like maybe a tree branch with a bird on it? thinking on it...)
It is great to spend time with loved ones since our families are spread all over the country. DH and I both come from big families. This was a very social holiday season, and all except for missing Laura, it was GREAT!!
Friday, January 2, 2009
Once I got it cut down to size (78" x 78") it was much easier to maneuver and I just took it one step at a time. Each individual step is easy, ergo, fun.
Here is what it looked like when I trimmed the excess seam allowance. I used Steam-A-Seam to press down the remaining layer and it left a pretty inconspicuous seam.
The Warm Windows instructions tell you to use a spray adhesive to attach your choice of fabric to the batting. I decided to sew it. I did use a lightweight spary adhesive (like quilters use) and I pinned it. I did all that by crawling around on the floor. Oh - and the instructions also tell you to cut your fabric to be just an inch or so bigger than the finshed shade. I did not trust that instruction at all.
I left it several inches larger, then sewed the quilting channels (sew just like constructing a Chanel - style jacket. Start in the middle and work your way out, and sew all seams in the same direction).
Ordinarily you'd really want a walking foot to sew this many layers together. But in this case, 4 of the 5 layers were already stitched. I sewed with the 5th layer bottom down (ie against the lower feed dogs) and it came out just great. My industrial machine just flew through it, so that part was extra fun.
I guess that if there is such a thing as a sewing geek, than I am a sewing geek. whatever!
OK, here is the dumb part. You know how velcro has a male side and a female side? There is the hook side and the loop side? Well, duh, I only bought strips of the loop side.
Archie pointed that out to me.
So here I am all ready to HANG MY SHADE and I am blogging instead about how I need to find a more velcro tape locally, or... sigh... go back to G Street AGAIN to buy what I need. (This is just like a DIY home repair where you spend more time at the Home Depot than anywhere else.)