Sewing


So I have been busy busy with the sewing and knitting lately. Plus a visit to the 2009 Sewing Expo in Puyallup, Washington. What a fun place to spend time exploring my favorite fabric outlets and getting inspired. All I can say is SEWING IS NOT DEAD! It was great fun to see so many men and women with a common love of a hobby. It was also great to see so many younger people there.

So enough of my fun times, here is one of my latest projects. I used this cute little pattern to create an apron. I’m thinking I might try using this pattern to teach a class at work. The French Flea Market Apron calls for four contrasting fabrics to create a tiered effect. The ties are extra long to wrap around to the front. This is my version

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I used a couple of asian quilting cottons, and a fairy frost to create my version. I really loved the sushi print. I’m not really a quilter, but I do see some of these cute fabrics that I would love to work with, so this lets me put them to use. I did decide to just use the sushi print as the ties as well. I think it’s just fine for my purposes.

Here is a picture from a further distance. As you can see it’s quite long.

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All in all a cute little pattern. I found the instructions to be quite easy to follow, and really pretty uneccesary for myelf….but I’m also checking on the quality of the instructions for teaching purposes. A great way to introduce gathering, and tube-turning to a new sewing audience.

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So I have another post for you today. I have the sewing mojo back, finally, and have been cranking out projects. This little number is for a booth sample at the Sewing Expo in Puyallup, WA at the end of February. I won’t mention what booth it will be in, but keep an eye out and you should spot it at a busy booth!

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The dress pattern is from Portabello Pixie’s Claire pattern. It’s the Round Apron Dress. The fabric is a newer fairy fabric that my employer carries. We have been selling out of it like crazy, and I just managed to snag enough to complete this little dress.

I must say, after making the pattern up, I am pleasantly surprised by the quality of the pattern and instructions. The actual pattern pieces themselves are commercially printed on tissue. I noticed no errors, and all the pieces fit together beautifully. The instructions were included in a little book, and the author really took the time to lay them out well. She devoted a section at the back of the instructions devoted to tips and tricks for the more complicated aspects of the techniques required to complete the 4 versions of dresses included in the pattern. While, I wouldn’t recommend this as a first sewing project for someone, the pattern was definitely easy to follow with lots of easy to understand instructions. Pair all of this up with a liberal copyright policy (the author allows folks to make up garments for resale using her pattern, provided its not an assembly line) and you have a great pattern.

I was really pleasantly surprised over the success with this, since I have had some bad experiences with badly drafted independent patterns. The photographed dresses on the pattern are definitely not to my taste (to patchworky) but I think this turned out pretty cute for a little kid.

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Since I don’t have an embroidery machine, one of my coworkers did the little flower motif on the apron for me. Turned out cute didn’t it !

Hello everyone, I have continued on with the theme of stashbusting for this post!

I have used a piece of the jersey knit that I picked up on my travels to San Diego this summer. I have to say, I am so pleased with this pattern. Kwik Sew 3616 has been a fun one to work with. It is a Misses size, but I was able to enlarge it to a plus size using my tee-shirt sloper that my mom and I have developed.

Here are my results :

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and

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The top is definitely quite low cut, so I use a cami to layer underneath so I don’t scare off small children (or scandalize my family). The layered look is actually fairly current fashion-wise anyway. It also adds a little contrast and extra color to the look.

Despite this being a poly jersey, its a breathable breezy summer top. However, I wear summer tops just about year round anyway since I generally get fairly warm hefting heavy bolts of fabric around.

The new dress form is courtesy of my mother in law who gave it to me while I was visiting this summer. Mr. Nemesis and I managed to get it wedged into the car along with all other Southern California booty. I have named her, since I understand all dress forms should have a name. I’ll admit it, its campy and cheesy….but Hellga (after my favorite American Gladiator). I loved that show as a kid when it first came out, and have enjoyed it again when it was revived last year. I don’t know if the dress-form is a Wolf form or not, it’s only labels are from Acme. It is however a plus size collapsibe form in the style of a Wolf form……so I am beyond thrilled to get it. I did have to do a little padding though.

In the first picture above, I gave Hellga a boob job. Or rather padded her up with one of my foundation garments and stuffed with a couple pair of socks to fill her out to my more robust proportions. The bottom picture is without the padding. I still need to adjust the padding a bit more….there is a bit of discrepancy with the chest being off-center.

It’s been so long since I sat down to write!  It certainly isn’t as if I haven’t had the time, I have just been rather lazy lately.  Although, for the last couple of weeks, I have been cranking out the knitting projects like crazy.  I have one finished, one blocking, and one half way done.

In the meantime, here are some pictures of the fabric that I picked up at Michal Levine’s in the LA Garment district.

This is the whole stash together (well the garment fabrics anyway, I picked up 100 yds of muslin too)

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It’s all jersey knit for shirts. The deals were incredible. All but one of the pieces were 3.99/yd except for the grey and black one which was 8.99/yd

Here are some close up pictures of the fabrics

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This trip was clear back in August, so I have been a little late getting pictures up. On the same trip, my Mother-in Law also took my to another shop that specialized in flat pattern making supplies for the local college students.

Hi all,

Here is one of the items that I created in preparation for my trip. I made up this nifty purse/handbag from a pattern from my friend Kathy at Pink Chalk Studio . This nifty hands free handbag is just the trick for my upcoming adventures and the inevitable trips to major theme parks that my husband has in mind.

This silk version, is not necessarily great for the water rides at Magic Mountain, but it has been just the ticket for toting around all the essentials for dry days at the zoo…camera, sunscreen, cash, husbands junk (I volunteered to make him one, but he declined the offer). The silk base of the bag is an embroidered silk found at Pacific Fabrics in Bremerton The flat fold tables are a treasure trove of different fabrics. If you take the time to root around you can come up with some lovely treasures. The rest of the fabric was also purchased at Pacific Fabrics.

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The contrasting strap and top of bag are made of a marvelous silk duppioni. The bag and strap are fully lined in a fun asian themed quilting cotton. I was really pleased how the whole project turned out. The inside of the bag has plenty of pockets (one zippered, and one divided) for carrying around the essentials, and keeping the sunglasses from getting scratched up when they float around the bottom of the purse with my keys.

Check out this fabulous organization:
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The pattern instructions were easy to follow, especially regarding the option to make two different sized bags. I made the kids sized bag (since I’m not a big purse type of gal) but with an adult length strap lengthened even further to traverse the terrain so to speak :). Also, the instructions for the optional zippered pocket are good even for a beginner to learn on.

I made another one of these bags, that I will share in a later post. In the meantime, I leave you with……..You guessed it! More meerkat pictures!

Digging a hole to China perhaps?
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Just kicking back…and kicking a stick
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Talk to you all soon!

Well I guess Amy Butler improves a bit upon reflection.  I made up another of her patterns, the Kimberly bag as another store sample for my employer. 

Here is the pattern cover and made up sample from the pattern.  As is normal for me, I really dislike the fabric choices for the bag.  I find the floral prints she uses are really not to my taste, and really cause the patterns to look like they were made for someone 3 times my age.

 

                  Pattern Cover                                          Pattern Sample

This was a significantly easier pattern to manage than the Weekender.  There was no piping to fight, and there was hardly any Timtex.

The supply list for this project included:

Exterior fabric, lining fabric, thread, zipper, small peice of timtext for base, and fusible interfacing.  I chose a home decorator faux suede in lime green, and another Alexander Henry home decorator weight cotton in white and lime.  I lucked out and found a matching zipper in our “Make a Zipper” zipper by the yard selections.

                         

I still have the same complaint as before as far as the quality of instructions.  The pattern instructions are still overly verbose, but knowing the issues, I just went through them ahead of time with a highliter and marked the critical parts.

This was a super fast bag to make.  It only took about 5 hours from cutting out to finish.  I did do a little additional trimming of bulk that wasn’t called for in the original pattern instructions.  But everything else worked out nicely this time.  The larger challenge for me, was doing all of the construction without pins.  This is the first time that I have worked with sueded fabric, and I had noticed as I was laying it out to cut out, that pin holes were showing somewhat.  So I broke out the trusty binder clips that I used while making the weekender, and they worked fine.

 

Finshed Bag

While I think the bag turned out nicely.  I was not very happy with the scale of it.  Once finished it is so long and squatty that it looks like a loaf of french bread.  I like the overall shape, but it either needs to be shorter in length or taller in height to be a good scale for me.  At the moment, its not a really good size for me.  Despite carrying a rather smallish purse myself, this really is so short that my wallet wouldn’t really fit in here, and with the length of the bag, all my stuff would slide forward or back and cause it to look lumpy.  A scarf or tassel might help the scale a bit, but at the moment my fellow staff members at work have been teasing me about it being a case for a lady’s pool cue. 🙂

                                       

Needless to say, despite my issues with the scale of the bag.  I still liked how it turned out.  There are definite possibilities for this bag, and it wouldn’t be to challenging to remake this pattern to better fit me.  I liked how easy to construct it was, and a different fabric choice would let me use pins, which would really make this quicker.  While I still wouldn’t call this an absolute beginner pattern, it is simple enough for someone with a few sewing projects under their belt, and is a good introduction to putting in a simple zipper.

Hi everyone,  new content is coming, I promise.  I have plenty of stuff to update you on.

 

First is this super simple Kwik Sew sleeveless tee from  Womens pattern 3277.  This was made from Sophia knit in black and red.  I decided to use the black just for a little fun and contrast.  This is to be a sample for a class at work.  We shall see if it actually happens….so far no one has signed up.  It was definitely a challenge to come up with a project that could be completed in 3.5 hours of class time for relatively new sewers….that would accomodate both misses and plus sizes.  If I am teaching someone how to make clothing I want them to have a reasonable chance at finding a suitable pattern that will fit.

Kwik Sew is an excellent pattern company catering mostly to the intermediate sewist, and folks who want lingerie or athletic clothing.  Unfortunately Kwik Sew as a company has not yet realized how badly their photographed models, and artists renderings of their patterns portray their patterns.  They have very little current styling, and most patterns tend to look pretty frumpy in the pattern books.  Look beyond this and their can be marvelous rewards.  They have excellent swimwear, dancewear, outerwear, and lingerie. 

 

  

 

 Finished Neckline

Coming soon:  another Amy Butler bag

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