Thursday, September 27, 2012

Start of a pillow & will you be at the ASE?

homemade piping!!
Turquoise piping made by moi.

As you know I mainly sew garments and not  much home dec.

The last home dec item I made was the Amy Butler mum pillow here from 2009.
Boom!  It's done with the pillow form inside. Amy Butler snow mum pillow.

I blogged about it here.

However I was inspired by this pillow tutorial on the Seasoned Homemaker's blog.  So I started making an envelope pillow.  I fused a lot of interfacing on Sunday to the pillow front and back.   Last night I made piping following Leslie's piping directions here.  Very fun.  Making yer own piping is really easy.   I am thinking I will put an asterisk on the pillow instead of a mustache or ampersand. But I might go for the ampersand...

Tomorrow I fly to the American Sewing Expo in Novi, MI for the third year in a row.  I am excited to meet up with Bonnie and Lynnelle.  I will be at the 9am blogger's meetup on Saturday morning and will be taking several classes and also shopping.  I will be at the Friday night fashion show and Saturday Passion for Fashion.  Unlike previous years I am not taking a computer with me, so no blogging from the ASE but I will tweet and of course fill you in on all the action afterward.

Hope to see you there!!!  Now it's time for me to keep on procrastinating with the packing....

Sunday, September 23, 2012

New Look 6103 is done! Thanks for your fitting advice!

New Look 6103, a SuedeSays Studio pattern, is now done!!! YAY!

New Look 6103 view A done!
 New Look 6103 view A done!
New Look 6103 view A done!
Thank you for all your fitting advice. You gave great feedback. I also tweeted at Suede to ask for help, and he suggested emailing It was the first time I ever asked the Simplicity folks for help, and it was useful too!

Generally there were 4 schools of thought as to what was causing the rippling:

  • Suggestion:  Because it was a stretch denim, the fabric was stretched (by me or machine) as I sewed. Either a walking foot OR fusing some interfacing on the seam OR placing tissue paper between the fabric and presser feet would prevent stretching.
    • What I did:  I wound up undoing the seam and ironing the fabric again.  Then I fused interfacing in a 3 inch strip down each side.  I noticed though that even in its flat, unsewn state with the interfacing on, the edges were already slightly wavy.  I think this may be because I ironed instead of pressed the fabric, and then pressed interfacing on, instead of pressing the fabric and pressing the interfacing on.  SIGH!  
    • Anticipating waviness with the hem, I fused a 2 inch strip of interfacing on the bottom of the skirt which made sewing the hem much easier.  It was flat and not wavy.
  • Suggestion:  Iron the seam like there's no tomorrow on a tailor's ham.
    • what I did:  I still don't have a ham but intend to fix that when I come back from the ASE.  But I did press what I could of the side seam.  
  • Suggestion:  Removing fabric in various ways:  Pull the skirt up at the side seams where it intersects the waist band, pinch some of the fabric out of this area, tighten the area between the waist and hip, or cut down the seam allowance here.
    • what I did:  I think pulling the skirt up at the side seams where it intersects the waistband is exactly what I need to do on the first dress I sewed this year.  But for this skirt I took in the area between the waist and hip more and I took in the waist more generally to get the skirt to sit at my waist.  I also cut more of the seam allowance.  I serged the raw edges. and then I pressed to the front!  Yes, pressing to the front seemed to make this less wavy than pressing to the back!!
  •  Suggestion:  Sew with a different needle, or smaller stitches
    • it is true, I basted and I think using the 2.25 stitch length helped.  I still used a universal needle but I could have tried a stretch needle.

As for the length, everyone agreed, above the knee is more flattering, so that is what I did.  I cut almost 2 inches off the bottom (this was already after taking out 2 inches from the pattern at the cutting stage) and hemmed to above the knee. 

The verdict:  When I'm just standing there, after a fresh press, the side seams are fine, but once I sit, move around, etc (you know, live!) that area gets wavy.  But not as wavy as last week.  If I tug that area down, it then looks less wavy.  So I will wear it to work and see what happens.  The Simplicity folks said that there will be some waviness due to the nature of the fabric. This is what it looks like after walking around and sitting in it:

New Look 6103 view A done!
New Look 6103 view A done!
Back of skirt on dressform:
New Look 6103 view A done!
The kickpleat has this really neat pleating detail. I think I'm going to use starch to try to make the creases stay in...
New Look 6103 view A done!
I used this to mark the stitching for the kickpleat. The horizontal basting was later removed. The tailor's chalk will come right out.
New Look 6103:  I used this to mark the stitching for the pleat (the horizontal basting was removed later)
So on Pattern Review folks are taking pix of themselves, mimicing the poses of the models on the pattern envelopes. Right now Vogue has a crazy series of poses on their new pattern envelopes.  For this SuedeSays pattern, the pose isn't crazy but the background is kind of wild.  
Here's the envelope:
NewLook 6103

I don't have a ladder easily accessible (read: it's buried in the shed) but I do have a paint can! I don't know what the camera was focusing on in the photo, though.  It looks like I purposefully blurred the photo, but I didn't.

New Look 6103: trying to mimic the pattern envelope model (with her can of paint)
I used some of my leftover 2" strip of interfacing to make the "bracelet" on my left hand to match the model.
You can see the rippling here, though I am standing funny...

New Look 6103.  Mimicing the pattern envelope
Also I might make a shirt out of this fabric to go with the skirt...but there is a dress I'd rather work on today instead!
New Look 6103 view A done! (with some Kashi fabric draped on top)
I also braced myself and rethreaded my serger with black thread, so that I could serge the raw edges (the skirt is brown but black was what I had in stash).  I know, it was scary but I did it anyway.  It took two attempts and  I lost one of the needles in the process and  now I think the lost needle is inside my serger but it works!

I still haven't ordered the MaxiLock thread yet, but I had some black Toldilock thread from Joann's in stash.   It's made by Gutermann so I figured it can't be bad.  It worked fine.
New Look 6103: look!  black serger thread!
Here I ironed on the 2" strip of interfacing and then serged the raw edge. All I had to do was fold the interfaced part in half and sew down.
New Look 6103:  for the hem:  a strip of 2" interfacing with serged edge
Farmer's Market flowers this week:
Princeton Farmers Market flowers this week
My pumpkins!! This one is 16 days old and turning from greenish to yellow.
pumpkin photographed 9/22/12

I will be at the American Sewing Expo this weekend, will you?  If yes, see you at the 9am bloggers meetup on Saturday!!!

Be well!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Need help fitting New Look 6103 view A

I'm working on New Look 6103, view A, a SuedeSays studio pattern. What is causing the waviness between my waist and hip on the side seams???? New Look 6103 in progress

There are wrinkles across the skirt in that area, but I think that's from me sitting down in the skirt, and not necessarily because it's too tight in the hip (though...if it is too tight in the hip, would that make the bumpiness between waist and hip?)

 The fabric is metro stretch denim from Joann's, a lightweight denim with some crosswise stretch to it.... The pattern does not call for stretch fabrics but I thought I could get away with it?

I cut the 14 but it seemed too big when I basted as a 14, so I basted it in as if it were a 12. I haven't cut any of the side seam allowances. When it was a 14, it seemed rippled and too it seems to be the right size but rippled?

Also what do you think of the length? It is not hemmed yet...
New Look 6103 in progress
The length is supposed to be below the knee:
 NewLook 6103
Here are some more pix:
 New Look 6103 in progress
New Look 6103 in progress
New Look 6103 in progress
New Look 6103 in progress
It has a really neat pleated kickpleat detail which I will try to photograph next time.
New Look 6103 in progress
Any advice is appreciated!
Be well!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Happy Birthday Dad, pumpkin harvest, New Look 6103...

Thanks for your kind comments about my dress, and also about the accident!

While I felt no pain at the scene of the accident, my back started flaring up driving away and has been flaring off and on ever since.  (I have had chronic back pain for 3.5 years that had been SO much better before the accident.) I am now back in the care of my chiropractor (who I had not seen since May) and will visit my acupuncturist (who I have not seen since December) this week.  My massage therapist has also been helpful with pain relief. The pain was pretty bad last Tues and Wed and I was frustrated, but Thurs it was better (I think due to my massage therapist's work on Wed), then Friday is was bad again. :(

Anyway, I wore the dress on Tuesday and it was comfortable to wear, and it didn't wrinkle as much as I thought it would, which was a big plus.

So, I thought I would start work on New Look 6103 today before leaving to visit my parents for their birthdays.  It's a SuedeSays Studio pattern.

New Look 6103
I love pencil skirts, and this one has a fantastic detail--the fanned kickpleat.
New Look 6103
Here I'm trying to figure out what size to cut, basing it off my Simplicity 2157 pencil skirt. I think I'll go for the 14 and grade where necessary as it seems to span various sizes...
oh what size to cut (comparing S2157 to NL6103)
Also this morning I harvested my first pumpkin! This one is pumpkin C and is 31 days old.
Here I just cut it out of my pumpkin patch.
Pumpkin C harvested on 9/9/12
I gave it to my mom, wrapped up, and she was *shocked* that I wasn't keeping them all.

She likes to decorate mini pumpkins with ribbon and draw faces on them. I just put a ribbon on it, then wrapped it in tissue paper.
Pumpkin C harvested on 9/9/12
It weighed in at 3.2 ounces!
Pumpkin C harvested on 9/9/12
And it's about 8 inches in circumference.
Pumpkin C harvested on 9/9/12
And here it is in the kitchen window of my parents house.
pumpkin C in mom's kitchen window
I took even more pix of it, which are at the end of the pumpkin album.
I think some people take similar amounts of pictures of their newborn children. :)

Anyway, there was a lot of celebration today, as my dad's birthday is today and mom's is the 17th.
Here I am with my mom in my childhood home!
me and Mom on Dad's birthday 9/9/12
Here are my parents in the front yard:
Mom and Dad on Dad's birthday 9/9/12
Here I am with my dad at the Circus Drive In:
me and Dad on Dad's birthday
And here are my parents:
Mom and Dad on Dad's birthday
Mom and I went to Point Pleasant Beach. It was a FANTASTIC day to go--weather was great.  I hadn't been back since 2009 so it was a real treat! We love the claw machines even though they are really rigged these days.
Mom at Point Pleasant Beach
Here's what we came away with (minus a ball that mom gave away to an appreciative child):
the Haul (most of it) from Point Pleasant Beach
Hope you all had great weekends and are pain free!!!
Be well!!!

Monday, September 3, 2012

New Look 6968 finally DONE just as summer ends

Just in time for the unofficial end of summer, New Look 6968 is finally DONE!

It was a struggle!!! This is my fourth, and final post about it.

I was first inspired to make the dress based on Kristy's version of it. Her post has pix of how cleverly the collar is constructed.

New Look 6968 done
But I had a hard time fitting the bodice and wound up doing princess-type seams.
New Look 6968 done
I had thought by now I would have made about 5 dresses but I only made 2 this summer (plus 3 skirts and 1 shirt).

NewLook 6968
I made view C, with the scarf collar but without sleeves (Well, note that on the pattern envelope, the model is labeled as wearing view C but that is actually view D).

Look at all those serged seams!  Some serged better than others...
New Look 6968 done
The back collar:
 New Look 6968 done
The front collar.  You can control the length of the scarf by wrapping it either looser or tighter through the hole.  (it wraps around twice)

New Look 6968 done
The back on my dressform:
New Look 6968 done
The front on my dressform:
New Look 6968 done
It's not the best dress I've ever made, and there's some funkiness in the back when it's on me, but it is DONE and now I can move on.
New Look 6968 done
New Look 6968 done
McCalls 6518 is next on my radar!!!

I took Thurs and Fri off from work, so no Princeton Farmers Market flower pix this week, but here is one of my mini-pumpkins!

pumpkin A.  21 days old. Getting really orange and has a really dark green stem!   photographed 8/30/12

This happened on Thurs, sigh.  Not a great start to my 5 day weekend.  My first car accident.  It wasn't my fault.  :(

Be well!