Monday, December 28, 2009

Jalie 2680 City Coat *finished*

Back before Thanksgiving, I started this sweater coat, but moved on to other things.  Today I finished it. yay:)

I wanted something unusual for the closure and I found this hook & eye tape while I was in the NYC garment district.

Every seam has been stabilized,  The neckline and shoulder seams are stabilized with twill stay tape.  The rest are stabilized with clear elastic tape.  I lined the yoke the same way I lined the yoke in Daniel's shirt- with fused rayon lining.  Then I decided the black lining was visually distracting, so I sewed in a facing on the front yoke.  I sewed the facing and yoke lining in by hand.
I did not have a construction plan when I started - I really had not decided on how to finish any edges or whether I'd use buttons or a zipper.  And the reverse side is so nice, it seemed a shame not to use that feature more.

What made this work was liberal use of hand sewing.  This fabric was so easy to control and the stitches were so easy bury in the knit. 

Well, I am participating in the SWAP this year, so perhaps this piece will be included.   I know it will be a versatile work horse for me - black and white go with everything, don't they?
It was fun to sew for myself!

*Happy Sewing*

Friday, December 25, 2009

Nice to see the gifts on the recipients!

I was glued to the computer throughout the festivities because we'd made plans to video-chat (using Skype) with Laura, who is vacationing with friends in Bangkok today.  We never heard from her which added a little edge to my jolly, kwim?  Heard from her today- and all is well.  So, since I am online, let me show you the pictures of the holiday sewing!  Everybody was so happy with all of their gifts (not just mine, hee hee). 

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Love Around the World

To my friends and family, some far away and some no longer with us, know that you are deeply loved and missed.  To all my sewing friends, whether we have met or not, I wish you peace, contentment and optimism for the new year.  Thank you so much for sharing our love of sewing and creativity.  And thank you to the smart people who invented the internet!  Being part of the whole big wide world is incredible.
*Love - Create - Grow*

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Kelly's dress finished (yay!)

Keep in mind, this is on my dress form- Kelly has a youthful figure so it will look different on her.

I actually finished this right after Thanksgiving.  It was the first thing I worked on for Christmas presents.  I used a pattern from Burda World of Fashion magazine.  The fabric is one of her favorite colors and it's a very cosy rayon double knit.  All of the seams are reinforced with various weights of elastic to help the dress keep its shape.  The skirt is very full (she loves maxi dresses).  A winter princess dress.
And this concludes my holiday sewing for Christmas 2009. 
:}>- jingle those bells, baby -<{:

Doug's pants finished (yay!)

woo hooooo- my holiday sewing is finished! The pattern used was Green Pepper F759 Polar Pants.
I ordered 7" #5 YKK zippers from zipperstop.  For the pockets, I used tricot.  And the fabric is a fun velour fleece that I bought at G Street when they were selling off a lot of inventory before the move to Randolph Road.  It's really cool fabric I have been wanting to use for a while.  Perhaps DH & I need some orange pants, too!

yippeeee skippeee!

I have a goal of completing some unfinished projects before starting anything new.  That includes the quilt I started 6 months ago.  I want to start 2010 with a clean slate.


Daniel's shirt is finished (yay!)

I sewed yesterday because, well, I am almost out of time!  And I am so very pleased with this shirt.  My sewing area is all clean and tidy so I can move on to one more sewing project. 

I have sewn with wool many times and I expected this to be a weekend project.  It took more than twice as long as I expected.  Wool flannel behaves a little differently than I expected.  Has this happened to you?  Or was I just in a clumsy phase?

I had to baste almost every seam by hand before machine stitching.  I am a little vain about my manual dexterity, so this was a little surprising to me.
In fact my first try at sleeve plackets ended in the trash can.  And I have done that a zillion times with cotton shirting.  For my 2nd try, I added a seam to the sleeve so the placket was incorporated in the seam.  Worked like a charm.

So you might think this would generate some frustration, but no - not at all.  This fabric was just so nice to handle that the project was a pleasure from beginning to end.  Plus I learned new things and that is always nice. 
There is one more person on my list and I have a jolly good present planned for him.  I thought I'd sew him a corduroy shirt, but with limited time remaining, I am going down a different path.  I am pretty psyched about it and I will post when I have pictures.
*Happy Sewing*

Monday, December 14, 2009

progress report: Holiday Sewing

Progress!  I got the collar stand and the collar on this weekend.  Since I drafted these pattern pieces, it was a relief to see that they worked.  I don't do a lot of pattern drafting, but when I took lessons from Sarah Veblen, we worked on shirts and she showed me how to measure and create the pattern pieces needed.

Also, I decided that wool against the neck might not feel so great, so I lined with a heavy weight rayon (I love the stuff I get from Atlanta Thread)

All in all, a very satisfying project.  It is taking longer than I expected because every one of these seams needed some form of hand sewing or basting.  Wool moves around and I wanted it to look as close to RTW as I could get it.

All right!  The plackets and sleeves will happen next weekend, then bring on Christmas!
*happy sewing*

Sunday, December 6, 2009

should I - or shouldn't I? I think I will ...

I will blog about my holiday sewing.  This year, I am sorta going all out on sewing gifts.  I made a dress for Kelly and I am half way through a flannel shirt for Daniel, to be followed by a corduroy shirt for Doug.  They are all in shades of green.

Here is the hem I sewed today that finishes Kelly's dress.  I used a narrow zig-zag and a rolled hem foot and I am really happy with the result.  It didn't like going over seams, so I sewed the hem by hand at the side seams and center back seam.

And I continued on with Daniel's shirt.  I made the pattern by copying from a favorite shirt of his.  I was actually going to use a real pattern (you know, store-bought) and use the tracing as a guideline for size.  But the mens BWOF shirt patterns are waaaaaay too big for him, so I went ahead and drafted the whole thing out.  Working with pencil and paper and arithmetic seemed appropriate for a Daniel gift (he is an engineering student, he would like having arithmetic in his clothing, I think)

I am so loving this wool flannel.  Just a nice fabric to work with.
I didn't sew anything for Laura, I just figure she probably doesn't have a lot of space for goofy Home Dec projects despite how much I love sewing weird things for her.  And she knows I'll sew her whatever she wants anytime, anyway.  I'll mail off her boxes tomorrow.  It is so weird not having her here for the holidays!! And when I see her pics on Flickr, I just thing, "whoa Korea is a foreign country!"
But I just remember how much fun we had last summer and I look forward to travelling in the spring to see Asia with her.  That will be amazing.  I hope I can deal!  Seems a little skeery to me!
And with that bit of aimless rambling, I sign off.
*Have Happy Times- whatever /wherever you are*

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sinterklaas -I say let's Celebrate!

Sinterklaas is the 5th of December, when people in The Netherlands give gifts to each other, together with little teasing rhymes.

First, the little teasing rhyme-  I  credit  the incredibly talented and funny Selfish Seamstress:

Every gift I sew
is one fewer thing for me
Bite me, Holidays

I don't exactly feel that way (but it is funny!).

And now here is a little gift; a gift of information. Go dig out your August /September issue of Threads and you will find an article by Kenneth King where he shows how to match plaids using his tailoring techniques. This fits right in with the info in his book on tailoring I reviewed in a recent post.  Instead of using an opague underlining, he uses silk organza to mark the pattern- of course you can see right through organza and you can match plaids easily.

I was really psyched when my stepkids asked for sewn Christmas gifts.  I am much happier sewing for them than battling the crowds in the mall and wondering what they might like.  This way, they told me what they would like.  The first gift is finished and you can read my pattern review if you are interested (see the sidebar down below).
I am on to the next gift- a wool flannel mens shirt. I am drafting the pattern based on a favorite shirt and I used Kenneth's technique to draft the pocket flap.
What a great tutorial in the Threads mag!

Isn't this a pretty view in my sewing room?
*Happy Sinterklaas*

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wanna see my pad stitches?

I sewed 'em up on the lapels.
Seems OK so far, but what do I know?  I can definitely see the spots where I got confused! :O
I used silk thread per the instructions so it won't show through the facing.  But this fabric has texture so it would be forgiving, I suspect.

If I can keep doing a little bit on a regular basis, it will get finished.  I have three projects going right now.  That's a lot for me.
*Happy Sewing*