Wednesday, May 28, 2014

New Look 6843 as a knit!

New Look 6843 as a knit
Look at that side seam matching!  When I serge the elastic to the top (right now it's zigzagged on), I think it will get rid of that little white bits poking up at the top.

New Look 6843 as a knit
The inaugural wearing/test run was yesterday!

I used my TNT New Look 6843 A-line skirt pattern, but it's meant for a woven.  This fun and fantastic knit fabric is from "Stitched Fabric" at the Austin Fabric Co-op, purchased during PR weekend Austin 2014. It is cotton and feels fantastic.  I'm wearing it with a slip because it's very see-through.

I folded out the front pleats and half of the back pleats on the pattern piece, then cut out the skirt  I had only bought a yard of the fabric, so I had to position it carefully.  This was as long as the skirt could possibly be!
New Look 6843 as a knit
I used Pamela's Fantastic Elastic and applied it to the outside to make it look like a band, like I'm wearing a belt with it.  I will say that I made two muslins (yes, TWO muslins for this very simple knit version of my TNT woven skirt pattern, I was not taking any chances messing up this fabric!) before cutting the real fabric.

Muslin #1:
 For the first muslin, I cut my front and back pattern pieces including the darts, but I did not sew the darts.  I followed the directions that come with the elastic, which says to cut the elastic 2-3" smaller than your waist, then overlap a half inch. Ha ha ha ha ha, I cut it 2" smaller and it was just too tight.  I also had not removed the darts and did not sew the darts, so there was a lot of, you know, gathering, which was not the look I wanted.  I wanted a very smooth look on the front.

Muslin #2.   
On my next muslin I cut the elastic 1" smaller than my waist and it was still snug so on my last version I basically cut it the same size as my waist and that was MUCH better.  Pamela's Fantastic Elastic is pretty fab, by the way, it is very sturdy and actually you can cut down the width, which I considered doing but haven't.  I ordered more of it this morning as I would like to make another knit skirt very soon!

Also on muslin version #2 I folded out the front pleats and half of the back pleats before cutting, which gave a much smoother look.

When I applied the elastic for version 2, I divided it up into quarters and it was more "gathered" in some places than other, still not the "generally smooth" look I was going for.

The Real Deal
So when it came to the real deal, I cut the front out first, folding out the darts of the front pattern piece then cutting.  But when it was time to cut out the back, I realized I could not do the pattern matching unless I cut out two fronts (i.e. they had to be cut one on top of the other to match the pattern pieces).  So that is what I did!!

Then I fused interfacing onto the lower edge of the fabric, and used my rotary cutter to cut under the white scallops. That seemed much better than trying to officially hem it.  I figure the interfacing will keep it from curling, and who doesn't love a scalloped edge?

Then I used my walking foot (for the second time ever) to sew the side seams.  I must say I found the walking foot much nicer this time around and I enjoyed the clack-clack-clack sound it makes.

Then I serged the side seams.

Then I threaded the serger tails into the side seams.

Then I sewed the elastic to the top of the skirt.  Instead of dividing it into quarters, I divided it into eighths, so that the fabric was more evenly distributed and more smooth.  I zigzagged the edge, with the idea of if I hated it, I could easily remove it.

I am probably going to serge it on the top and call it a day.  :)  Does anyone have experience serging the elastic band to the top? Any tips? Is my serger going to hate it????

New Look 6843 as a knit
The Debbie Cook pose.

New Look 6843 as a knit

The back
New Look 6843 as a knit
The Carolyn pose (I should have borrowed the neighbor's dog).

It's a new summer so you know what that means....
New Look 6843 as a knit
Time for leaping!!!

Fresh look for summer
I redesigned my blog --do you like it?  Do you want to hear about how I did it?

Public Service Announcement
This is what happens when you don't drain the water out of the pipe that leads to your outside spigot. It doesn't matter if you remembered to do it every fall for the first 8 years you live in your townhouse, if you forget choose not to do it because you have other things to do, the ninth year you will turn on the hose in the spring and half of the water will come out the hose and the other half will be released into your bathroom wall and seep out from underneath the wall onto the floor and nine bath towels later, it will be mopped up.  Nine bath towels are also handy for sopping up your tears as you clean up the water.

It is a highly effective way to be forced to clean your bathroom floor, but I don't recommend it.

You're welcome.

Be well!!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day & Skirt Update

Memorial Day

To all our veterans, as my Dad wrote in email this morning:

In loving memory of Judy Burkhardt I wish to continue the tradition she began .

THANK YOU for your service to our country. Your sacrifices are all very much appreciated and respected.

Skirt Progress
The sides are serged and pressed, the elastic waistband (Pamela's Fantastic Elastic) is zig zagged on to the outside to make it look more like an official waistband.

Trial wearing will be tmw or Wed!!  If I like the band I will serge it on and if I don't I can easily remove it and rework it.(make it thinner maybe?)

I'm so excited!!!  Time in stash was only about 2 weeks!!!

Be well!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Stitched Fabric Skirt in Progress


I am still contemplating waistline treatments (and if I should line it vs wear a slip with it).
But so far so good!!!  And the "hem" is done!  (more on that next post)


It *mostly* matches down the side.  The top part is the worst match.

I haven't sewn since March.
Guess what?
I'm still the slowest sewist on the East Coast!!

And how is your 3 day weekend???

Memorial day cupcake

These pix were taken with my new cell phone....the flickr app automatically uploads them to my flickr account...can you say LOVE?

Be well!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

No Fabric Left Behind: Austin 2014

It's really more like "Every Other Fabric Left Behind" this year.
2013 was the year of No Fabric Left Behind.

Here's what I bought in Austin.
Fabric from Stitched Fabric in Austin (cat fabric from Stitch Lab) 
Above, all from Stitched Fabric (Austin Fabric Co-op) except for the cat fabric that's from Stitch Lab.

Fabric from Stitched Fabric in Austin
A closer look.  Can you see all the texture?
(btw I just bought a new camera, should be here by next weekend, very exciting, am hoping to take better pix as my current camera has been on a decline the last year).

I am the most excited about the black and white fabric.  I hope to make that into a simple, outstanding skirt tomorrow.  Not to set expectations too high or anything like that.

TexStyles fabric, elastic, trim
Here's half of the TexStyles goodness.    
TexStyles fabric (cat fabric from StitchLab)
And here's the other half. (cat fabric from Stitch Lab).

Too bad you can't pet the fabric through the internet.  There's stretch velveteen, sweater knits, rayon knits,and a ponte knit in there too.  I know it looks very dark but hey, kitties!

And don't get me started on that ruffle purple elastic--I bought 3 yards of it in Nov 2011, made a pair of UW with it and was hankering for more.  They still had a WHOLE GIANT SPOOL of it.  So I bought 10 yards.

 I washed and dried it all today--cut 4" sample squares too to check for shrinkage--rewashed and dried pieces that had shrunk, a second time, to make sure there was no further shrinkage.

Nakisha recently asked about how we feel about our fabric stashes and if they overwhelm us.  I think I can barely fit all this new fabric into the fabric closet (which is really a closet and a half).   And that is my goal, to keep all my fabric in the fabric closet.  No more of it spreading to other areas of the house or anything like that.  It makes me feel out of control when it starts spreading or piling up.  I like a neat and tidy house.  I don't like feeling out of control.

Irises from the Princeton Farmers Market
Gorgeous irises from the Princeton Farmers Market last week

It's a little over 5 weeks til my intense work project goes live. So, I am enjoying this 3 day weekend and doing barely any work this weekend--I have worked every weekend and most nights for a long time now.   I am really excited for go live and the stabilization period as it means my life will stabilize as well.    I have fond memories of painting the downstairs hallway last year during this same weekend.  So much has changed in a year.

Be well!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sophia double knit swatch card love

So.....I was trolling the Vogue Fabrics site ~2 months ago and found this:

Vogue Fabrics Sophia Knit fabric swatch card
The Sophia Knit fabric swatch card!! For only $5. I ordered but it turned out they were sold out.  It arrived this week.  yay!
Vogue Fabrics Sophia Knit fabric swatch card
Swatches of all 28 Sophia colors are on this card.
Vogue Fabrics Sophia Knit fabric swatch card
No more guessing about colors on the computer monitor, yay!

Since I know there are many double knit fans like me out there, I thought I'd share this gem.

my mom's lilacs and her sewing machine
My mom's sewing machine and her lilacs. The lilacs always smell great and this year was no exception.  This picture was taken the morning after Mother's Day.  Dad moved mom's sewing machine into my childhood bedroom. I need to make space for it here so until then it will be in my childhood bedroom. Mom didn't enjoy sewing but she taught me how to use her sewing machine and until I started taking online and in person classes at sewing expos, I taught myself the rest.  It was the machine I sewed on from ~12 until I graduated from high school and got my Baby Lock as my high school graduation present. She sewed a bunch of Cabbage Patch Kid clothes on that machine and I still have them!

 Be well!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

PR Weekend 2014 Austin Recap

Before I dive into the recap, I want to say thank you, from me and my dad, for all your kind and supportive comments on my last post about my mom.  We both appreciate it.

At TexStyles with Antoinette

Last Wednesday I flew to Austin for PR Weekend.  This was my 5th one so it felt like an anniversary of sorts.  5 years ago I attended PR weekend 2010 in Philly not knowing anyone personally--just a few sewists whose blogs I read but who mostly didn't know me.  Also my bus buddy was Elaine, who was the first blog reader of mine who I met in person and didn't personally know.  This year, I knew probably a third of attendees!

Thursday (pre-PR weekend)

Antoinette (ATP) lives in Austin so she shuttled us around.  Thank you ATP for picking me up at the airport and driving me back to the airport and for driving me to many places in between!  It was great to spend so much time with you!

PR fun fact:  ATP was the first person to ever comment on one of my pattern reviews!!!  How about that? And we became good sewing friends.  Thanks PR!

First we fueled up then headed over to Stitch Lab and TexStyles for some pre-PR weekend fabric shopping.
At Stitch Lab with Antoinette
At Stitch Lab
At TexStyles with Markhollan
At TexStyles--love all their knits and how their store is arranged by color!  It is really hard not to buy the whole store...I cut myself off after $170....

That night a whole bunch of us went to Austin Fashion Week.  Thursday night had, gosh, 8 shows?  of mostly local designers.

A group photo at the Step and Repeat, photo is from Connie

Update:  The link to the professional pix of the Wed and Thurs night shows is here.

Friday morning PR weekend officially began at the Palm Door.

ATP, Daniel Esquivel, and me
Project Runway alum and Austinite Daniel Esquivel talked about his life before, during and after Project Runway on Saturday morning.  Such a sweet man.

That afternoon we learned about organizing your fabric room from Jennifer Lava, professional organizer.

Connie and me at the Palm Door
Connie and me. We met at PR weekend Philly in 2010

That evening we went to the Palm Door for some delicious pre-runway dinner.  The food was super super tasty!!!

My camera couldn't really handle the lighting of the fashion show but there are more pix of it in the PR weekend Flickr group.  Friday night was Project Runway All-Stars, where 6 of the PR folks presented collections....and the designers were actually there!!

Austin Fashion Week
The view from row 6, when Matt Swinney, founder of Austin Fashion Week, introduced the show.
me and photobombers at AFW
During intermission we had fun at the step and repeat.

Daniel's orange dress
Daniel's orange dress with the giant bow in the front.

Update:  The link to the professional pix of the PR runway shows is here

Two buses carted PR members around for shopping and hands-on workshop day.
Since ATP lives in Austin and we were taking the bra workshop, Roseana asked if ATP could drive me around all day.  This meant our day was a little different in parts than everyone else's. Initially though we headed to the Austin Fabric Co-op like those in bus group #1.

ATP at the Austin Fabric Co-op
ATP browses the delicious striped knits.
Lisette and Sharon
Lisette and Sharon--finally met Sharon after reading her blog since Nov 2011! I "met" her online because we both tweeted during PR Day in 2011, only I was at the celebration in Austin and she was leading the one in Minneapolis, and now I finally got to meet her in real life!. I met Lisette at PR weekend in 2010 in Philly.
Rachel and me
Rachel was my "bus buddy" at PR weekend Chicago in 2011 where I first met her. Then she drove me around LA last fall for a one day tour of LA fabric.
Tour bus 1 + ATP + me
The gang at the Austin Fabric Co-op

What I bought at the Austin Fabric Co-op
My haul from Austin Fabric Co-op, lots of textures in there even though it's hard to tell! 

ATP, me and the Other Leslie in Austin
You see the PRW bags we're holding?  The co-op had printed them especially for our purchases!

We got to meet up with the other Leslie in Austin.  She wasn't able to register for the weekend but we were able to meet up independently on Saturday morning at the Co-op.  I met the other Leslie at PR Day in Austin in Nov 2011 and have been reading her blog ever since.  I always learn something new when I read her blog!

The three of us headed over to Form and Fabric, a new store in town that is so new it hasn't officially opened yet but the owner opened to us for the weekend!
At Form + Fabric
At Form and Fabric

Saturday afternoon was the bra making workshop!!
Andrea, me and Jacqui
Andrea, me and Jacqui.  
In this photo, Andrea and Jacqui just successfully finished making half a bra and I'm about to make my half!

at the bra class with Megan Summerville
In the classroom at Sew Much More, with my half-bra half-constructed.

at the bra class with Megan Summerville
Ease that bra cup in there!!  Megan pinned it for me.
at the bra class with Megan Summerville
A view of the classroom
at the bra class with Megan Summerville
ATP hard at work
I made half a bra!
Look!  I made half of a bra!!!

A big thanks to Megan Summerville who taught the bra making workshop.  She is a lingerie designer and she won the AFW Trailblazer award later that night.

Then it was on to Austin Cake Ball.  I think the chocolate was my favorite, and the chocolate mint was a close second.
Austin Cake Ball
And then on to the big PR Saturday night party.  It featured food sponsored by Bernina (and a room where you could try out the Berninas).  Plus there was a raffle of many sponsor giveaways, like Angela Wolf patterns, Jalie patterns, the Seam Allowance curve ruler, Fashion Sewing Supply interfacing and more!
Bonnie and me
Bonnie and me at the PR party
Swag from PR Weekend Austin
Swag bag
The swag bag was also the best EVER: Dear + Doe pattern, StyleArc pattern, a yard of fabric from TexStyles courtesy of Kellie, and more!  That huge zipper pouch from Form and Fabric is really super amazing!

Oh, and there were sewing tattoos.
Lilia and her sewing machine tattoo
There were real tattoos...(Lilia from Austin Fabric Co-op)
Margaret and her seam ripper tattoo
...and fake ones (Margaret's Stitch Lab seam ripper tattoo)

A big thank you to Leslie and Roseana for organizing such a super weekend, and to Deepika as always for founding PR!  I'm not sure how I left without a picture with the three of you but I did and I'm sorry for it!!

Next year PR weekend is in LA at the end of April!!!!!  Start planning for it now!!!  Will you be there?

My recap of PR weekend 2013 San Francisco
My recap of PR weekend 2012 NYC
My recap of PR Day 2011 Austin
My recap of PR weekend 2011 Chicago
My recap of PR weekend 2010 Philly

Be well!