Sunday, June 26, 2011

My dad, sewing, and other random stuff

farmer's mkt flowers: green and black eyed susans
Black and green eyed susans (and little purple flowers too) from the Princeton Farmer's Market

Thanks everyone for your suggestions about the serger threads (and to Noile for saying it's fine!)
I'm going to play around with it more maybe next weekend?  I'll keep you posted on if it's the thread, stitch width or knife cutter.

And thanks to debbie for offering up her NL6731.  I checked tonight and it turns out I had messed up your email address last weekend, so no wonder I never heard back from you!  Anyway, I found the pattern at Joann's yesterday, I guess they never purged it so I bought it.   yea!  :)  

The Joann's in Lawrenceville is undergoing a big renovation; looks like it will be double in size.  LOVE love love the improvements so far--the small, easy to push carts with the dedicated slot for fabric bolts, padded chairs for looking through pattern books, and brand new pattern drawers, yeah!   I wound up buying a bunch of Burdas.  I'm sort of stuck on my Vogue that I started on Monday, I kind of feel like it's not going to turn out.  So I'm eyeing up Burda 7696 as my next project.  I have several dresses I want to make but I never got around to sewing this weekend?

I did a bit of closet purging. Occasionally sewing bloggers write about their closets....I really don't know how you store everything you make!   Especially those of you making an entire outfit or more per week.

Anyway, someone who has been sewing is my dad! He never sewed a stitch in his life til mid-May, when he bought himself a Singer to tweak the fit on car seat covers, and to hem his sweatpants. He is now tailoring mom's pants and blouses. and he has even used a twin needle and said it worked FINE the first time! I'm impressed.
Here he is, in his den, with his sewing machine. My blog posting on success with twin needle stitching is on the monitor (though at this point he had only ordered the twin needles):
my dad and his sewing machine

Obviously he needs a better sewing table than some folding tables.  He said he will build himself one.
my dad, sewing

It was fun to give my dad sewing advice, and hear about his sewing adventures and show me his sewing work.
And here are my parents on the day before their 47th wedding anniversary. 
my parents, the day before their 47th wedding anniversary

Look what I found while weeding this week;  a hatched robin's egg!

blue robin egg, hatched!
I looked up into the tree and found the nest---with momma robin inside, watching me!  But I didn't see or hear the baby.   However, last night at least one more egg hatched and I spent a joyful breakfast outside, looking at the little baby and watching momma feed it, while I fed myself.

Oh, and here's a bit of the other side of the Jersey Shore. This is Sea Girt, NJ, two weekends ago.
Sea Girt Beach, june 12, 2011

Anyone lose their sunglasses?
missing sunglasses

Be well and good night!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Featured on STGD; Vogue 1236 in progress, Serger 911, food

A post in 4 parts.
Act 1
It is so fun for Meg to feature Antoinette and me on her fantastic blog Shop the Garment District--go check it out! Thanks again Meg for your awesome map. You're like the Lonely Planet guide for the Garment District!

Act 2
I started working on Vogue 1236 yesterday during my day off. I cut it out in a straight 12. I should have cut a 12 grading to a 14 for the hip. Sadly there were no hip measurements on the printed pattern. Thanks Vogue! Sure, I could have measured them myself. Anyhoo, I wound up doing minimal seam allowances in the hip area on down.
I felt the neckline was too low so I took an inch off the straps. Now the dress feels like it might be too short. LOL.

Here's where it's at now; it needs understitching, then to be stitched at the shoulder seam, a belt and a hem. It has side pockets but the right one is kind of messy. Sigh.
Vogue 1236 in progress

The directions say to baste down the pleats, but I stitched them down. I mean, why not?  Kind of a nice detail there.  (Also the directions never explicitly say "and take out the basting stitches later).

It really feels like  a Cindy from Colour By Number dress, doesn't it?

Since I was low on fabric, I got creative with the pockets and sewed two pieces of fabric together.
Vogue 1236 in progress

The facings are obviously a different color than the exterior fabric. I'm hoping once I understitch and iron that the facings will be totally hidden. We'll see. I'm kind of feeling like this one might need some time in Mary Nanna's magic closet...

Act 3
Any ideas on how to resolve the thread twisting back on itself as it comes off the cone thread?  Maybe cone fillers would help?
the serger thread coming off the spool and twisting up on itself

How to resolve this?  The looper thread is not kissing up against the cut edge of the fabric.  I tried playing with the stitch width but the width doesn't actually seem to change.
looking good here...though the threads are not kissing the edge of the fabric (right side).  sometimes the right needle skips stitches
I thought I'd throw it out there to you guys...

Act 4
My dinner tonight. I just made a fresh batch of lemon chicken orzo soup after work tonight, and am eating it with cukes and bread from Whole Foods:
The Ellie Krieger Food You Crave lemon chicken orzo soup, cukes and whole foods bread

As I usually make two dishes at one time, I also made some vegan corn chowder tonight. I used Antoinette's leftover almond milk.
Vegan corn chowder!

I read somewhere never to buy kitchen gadgets that have only one purpose. Therefore I should not have bought my lemon squeezer, but how can you NOT love it? Its yellow color makes me happy!   It's one of those Michael Graves for Target things.  And since I FINALLY cleaned out the kitchen cabinets, I have a dedicated space for it, yeah!
the lemon squeezer

Good night and be well!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hitting the NYC Garment District with CleverGirl

I was going to start sewing NL6731. I've made this pattern before in other views but today I was going to try view D.

Two things have stopped me:
1. The fabric I was going to use is kind of wrinkly
2. The larger problem: I don't have the front pattern piece nor front band for view D in the envelope. Who knows where it went? Then I looked at the simplicity site, ebay and etsy, and no one is selling the pattern anymore. Hrm. Kind of puts the brakes on that idea! Does anyone want to give me the view D front pattern piece and front band for view D for NL6731??  or maybe swap it for another pattern I own?

So instead I will blog about the big news. On Friday Antoinette from CleverGirl and I went to the Garment District in NYC!
It's my first visit to the Garment District, and Antoinette's first visit to NYC ever.

First off, a HUGE thanks to Meg from ShopTheGarmentDistrict for her incredibly helpful annotated map, which included places to eat and specified which shops had bathrooms. It made the research prep for this trip insanely EASY!

Meg's map which I further marked with the places we were most interested in visiting.

We got on the bus right outside my house:
This way to the bus to NYC!

Antoinette was ready for the day with some comforting Dunkin' Donuts coffee, while waiting for the bus:
ATP with Dunkin Donuts coffee waiting for bus to NYC
Antoinette wore her rooster shirt, based on S4179.
The bus could not have been any easier. About an hour and a half later, we were at Paron's:
ATP at Paron fabrics

I am still thinking about a piece of fabric that I didn't buy at Paron's. Navy embroidered cotton. Sigh.
at Paron Fabrics
I'm wearing NL6807 in view E.
As we walked over to Mood Fabrics, the Garment District button and needle caught our attention:
me and the garment district needle
Flag too:
Fasthion district flag

Finally we made it to Mood. It's on the third floor of an office building so no exterior shots; thankfully Meg's guide specified that info so we weren't left scratching our heads.

Although it's hard to see here, this piece of fabric was gorgeously pinned and draped:
gorgeous draping at mood

Knits, my dream world:
hello knits at mood

Here we recreated this picture we took at Jomar in Philly last September:
recreating the Jomar picture, at Mood

Looking for the perfect striped knit:
helllo knits!

Yes! This is my section:
Me with knits at Mood

Antoinette finds her dress form double:
ATP with dressforms at Mood

And, in honor of Mary Nanna's aging rocker jacket, here is some aging rocker fabric:
Aging rocker fabric for Mary Nanna

Antoinette asked if I'd like to run through the aisles with a bolt of fabric while yelling "I need a yard and a half!" while she recorded it on her iphone.  I declined.

Mood is expensive, well organized, well staffed with friendly employees (including a bouncer), clearly labeled, clearly priced, and neat. We did not see Tim Gunn, nor did we see Swatch the dog (extra points to Antoinette for remembering the dog's name; I couldn't think of it--something with an S. Scrap? Stitch?)

Antoinette scored us both the Iconic Mood Fabric Shopping Bag as seen on many, many episodes of Project Runway, and on our shoulders the rest of the day.
waiting to cross the street
I never realized this bag wasn't a flimsy paper bag:
Thank you mood!

Then it was time for lunch at the Macaron Cafe, as per Meg's guide:

This "macaron" business is new to me. I have heard of macaroons but only recently heard about macarons, and they are definitely distinct from each other:
macarons from Macaron Cafe

In this shot you can see a pistachio macaron AND Meg's map

Here's a dark chocolate macaron:
hello macaron (note: not a macaroon)

Antoinette asked if this is the shot from the opening sequence of Project Runway; I'm not sure. I just wanted to take a picture of the sign that says "Fashion Ave".
7th fashion ave and 37th

Next up it was time to FINALLY finally finally go through a sewing blogger rite of passage. I have NO IDEA who started this tradition of having one's picture taken with Kashi at Metro Textiles, but it was a MUST DO.
A sewing blogger rite of passage--a photo with Kashi at Metro Textiles
Antoinette with Kashi at Metro Textiles
Kashi's prices are low compared to Mood and his cuts are GENEROUS. My 1.5 yard cut was 1.875; my 3 yard cut was 3.75. And it was $21 TOTAL. You have to do some digging to find what you want though, and ask Kashi for the prices.

Then we hit a bunch of stores in rapid succession:

Spandex House, which really is filled with spandex knits, then SIL Thread with the MOST number of zippers I've ever seen in one place (this is just a sliver of the zipper collection):
need a zipper?

Then Pacific Trimming, which I think was the best store of the day.
at Pacific Trimmings--I think it was the best store of the day!

Elastic, elastic, elastic:
be still my beating heart
Did I mention elastic as I have NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE?
oh snap and/or grommet!
Tons of hardware there too.  Reasonable prices.

Then it was time for a stop at Baked By Melissa:
Baked By Melissa mini cupcakes
3 mini cupcakes for $3. They're not much bigger than the size of a quarter. The chocolate chip mint one was the best of this bunch:
Baked By Melissa mini cupcakes
Then we headed over to M+J Trimmings, which was much more expensive compared to Pacific Trimmings, though the store was bright, light and beautiful. AND it was the first shop of the day with carts so we could push our heavy purchases instead of lugging them around the store.
And it was after leaving M+J, folks, when the lightening and hail storm struck.
taking shelter during the hail storm
We were headed back to Pacific Trimmings to pick up a few more things when we had to take cover in an alcove.

I learned that hail hitting bare skin hurts!
hailstorm in NYC
We made a stop at Spandex World then got the bus back to home:
thinking on the ride home

here are my purchases from the day:
fabric I bought today
The two pieces on the left are from Mood.  The argyle is the most expensive fabric I've ever purchased at $18 a yard.  On the right are two pieces from Metro Textiles.  The navy is actually completely fused with interfacing, all for $4 a yard.
Elastic from Pacific Trimmings.  Why yes, I did just order 105 yards of elastic from but this elastic is different.  lol.  (the pink actually has silver in it, which you can't see in the pix).
elastic from Pacific Trimmings

And I bought serger cone thread at Pacific Trimmings for my BIG DEEP DARK HIDDEN SECRET (I was given a serger that I had never tried-til Friday night!  Antoinette showed me how to use it!  But more on that later):
the serger---Antoinette showed me how to use it--tension needs work..

Also that night we made pompoms using Antoinette's new pompom maker:

pom poms made from Antoinette's pom pom maker

It was such a fun visit with Antoinette! Thank you for your visit AND for showing me how to use the serger!   I had a blast!