Saturday, November 28, 2015

My Sewing Room Tour 2015

It's #bpsewvember on Instagram, and today's topic is Sewing Space.  That motivated me to clean up a bit yesterday, plus it was sunny yesterday and was forecast to be cloudy today (which it is).

So, I took these pix yesterday as the sun was starting to set.  Let's start in the middle-ish of the room and rotate counterclockwise....
Might as well start with the cleanest part of the room in these pix, which is my cutting table.  It's an Ikea table with adjustable legs, at the highest point, 35".  Makes it really easy on my back for cutting.  Note, it is never this clean.
Turning counterclockwise a bit more, the chest of drawers holds my thread, zippers, piping, bias tape, ribbons, etc.  That door leads to a bathroom.  My dressform is on the left side of the pic.
Rotating counterclockwise a bit more.  My pressing station with my iron, tabletop ironing board, and Elna Press. (I never use a full size ironing board anymore now that I have my Elna Press.)  The table is an Ikea kitchen island.  Underneath are ham and seam roll, all my rulers, my modem/router, and a backup iron.  The door leads to the hallway.  That closet with the door closed....
20151127_155151 the closet on the right.    (I told you we'd start with the cleaner areas....)
The closet on the left is the fabric closet, sorted by type, not color.  My large wax tracing paper is in a garbage can.

The closet on the right has more fabric sorted by type, 2 of my 5 machines, my patterns, my traced patterns, muslins and candidates for "can this garment be saved?"

In between is a full length mirror on a little table.

I want to get the fabric into the fabric closet so that it's not on the floor.  Then I can close all the doors and it will look a lot neater.
View from the corner with the chest of drawers.  (It was warm enough yesterday to have the window open, pretty unusual for this time of year.)  The natural light in this room is fantastic in the afternoon.
Inspiration pix are above the desk.
The view from the hallway.
2 of my sewing machine and my serger.   The Soprano has its extension table set up.
Inspiration wall

My 2013 sewing room tour is here.

Hope you enjoyed the tour!!
Be well!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

New Machine Added to My Fleet: Baby Lock Soprano

Me and my new Baby Lock Soprano
Like last year, my Dad generously offered to buy me a new machine as a combination birthday/Christmas present.
My full intention was to get the Baby Lock Cover Stitch, but after thinking about how I would only use the cover stitch with knits, and would use a new, more powerful machine every.single.time I sewed....

I, ahem, found myself on Sunday morning of the ASE in Novi, MI at the Baby Lock booth, asking a saleswoman to show me a machine in Dad's price range without having done any research at all on sewing machines. (If you know me, you know how deeply unusual that behavior is!)  The saleswoman sat me down in front of the Soprano.  I responded, "Is this because I'm from New Jersey?"    The price was significantly reduced because it's a classroom model, and they would ship it to me for free (or I could have checked it with my luggage, but I declined!).
Me and my new Baby Lock Soprano
Honestly, it has many of the same features as my Brother Project Runway PC-420 that was only around $400 3 years ago, but its main outstanding feature, after sewing one costume and one dress, is its sheer power.  It sews through thick junctures pretty effortlessly, and it seems to purr while doing so.  I want to make jeans again and a jean jacket, and I'm pretty hopeful that it will handle denim easily.  Having the right tools for the job and all that.
This is without the extension table.

It also has a ton of buttons, stitches, and like 9 different kinds of buttonholes.  It is also a large machine,  with a wider bed which will make sewing bags easier, and comes with an extension table which I have not set up yet.  Over Christmas vacation (I am taking the week between Christmas and New Year's off again, YES!)  I really want to do a reorg of my sewing room.  Right now there are 5 machines on my desk; I want to reduce the number to 3.  I also want to get all the fabric into the fabric closet.  A girl can dream!

Me and my new Baby Lock Soprano
Decent posture, but forward sloping shoulders, yo!

I'll keep you posted on how it goes.  I can say that more than a year after serging with my Baby Lock Enlighten, it is a total dream machine and handles thick junctures like a hot knife through butter.  My old serger would have gone clunk-snap.  It threads itself and adjusts its own tension.  Love it!!

So thank you Dad for this new addition to my fleet of machines, and for driving over to the Fed Ex facility to pick it up and dragging it back to my place and up the stairs!
Be well!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Vogue 8944 again! What to do about the fabric?

Obligatory twirling shot

Thank you for all your birthday wishes and kind words about my Batgirl birthday outfit!!  I had a blast that day at the gym (I actually did keep the cape on for the whole class, as I liked how it looked swishing around and sort of gave the effect of a fan!)

I have been enjoying wearing my first version of Vogue 8944, so I thought I'd make it again last weekend. Since it was already traced, I was somehow able to cut and sew this dress in about 6 hours, which is somewhat of a record for me for a dress like this.  
Interior shot of the binding

About 3 hours on Halloween (yes, I sewed while dressed as Batgirl!) and 3 hours on Sunday and I was ready to wear it on Monday.

Interior shot of the binding and the serging
Armhole closeup

Interior shot of blind hem

My current method is to baste on my sewing machine, then serge it all together after fitting (since every knit has a different amount of stretch--I always baste before serging).  Then I bound the armholes and neckline, and blind hemmed it.
Amongst some red fall color, with my brown Jalie shrug
This fabric is a very interesting fabric--it's black with creamy colored bits, or at least the inside is black, but it does appear brown when worn, so I paired it with a brown shrug, tights and shoes.

I'm slowly sinking into the ground in this shot...

But when I'm wearing the dress, it's like you can see the outline of my bra.  The fabric is actually pretty thick, so it's not like the fabric is see-through.   I have played around with this (tried different bras, tried wearing it with a full slip with different bras) and come to the conclusion that wherever the dress has to stretch (even if I drape the skirt part over my bust and stretch it), it's like the creamy undertones of the fabric are much more pronounced.  And I don't like I'm thinking of ways to try to remedy using those special sharpie markers for fabric....hrmmmm....I will try it on a scrap of fabric first of course before I totally ruin this.  But I'm up for other suggestions too!
See what I mean?

In other news, I've been on Instagram for a little over 2 months now and I really love it!  I've met more "new-to-me" sewists on IG in these 2 months than I have on 5+ years of Twitter.  I'm participating in #bpsewvember and have been enjoying that too.  I need to add the "follow me on IG" button on my blog sidebar, but you can follow me at vacuumingthelawn, where I posted that I got a new sewing machine, met up with velosewer in NYC recently, and I'm now in Austin for a work trip (but flew out a day early so there will be a sewing component!)

As the sun sets over Austin this evening....
Be well!