Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Sewing eye candy

All weekend, and pretty much all week, we've been involved with cleaning out here. Trips to goodwill, the trash can and off-loading stuff to college kids for apartments has been the order of the day.
Today, this week, I must work on the jersey dresses for myself and the girls, so that we have some casual easy dresses to wear to the beach in South Carolina next week.
oh, and I've been working on sampling and swatching for the next project, which will be my travel project for the car. I think I've arrived at the perfect match of pattern and stashed yarn - but will hold off announcing it till I'm sure.

Meanwhile, from the land of the sewing machine:

Originally uploaded by mlweaving
well, since I don't seem to be accomplishing much in the way of sewing or knitting I thought I'd bring you the details on an old project.
A sewist over on SG was wondering about stitching a princess seam dress, with godets, out of chiffon with french seams.
Just so happens, I've done that.

(OMG, it's time to hit the gym and diet with intention. Look how fit and in shape I was. oh, I want to cry...how did this happen to me in such a short time?)

Dress Fabric - embroidered and embellished silk chiffon
Godet Fabric - solid tomato color silk georgette
lining - china silk

Construction details:
I stitched the dress seams using a french seam to within about 3/4" of the godet point. Clip to the seam, and then stitched a regular seam, right sides together to the point of the godet.
I inserted the godets.
I constructed the lining, also using french seams. Didn't want any of those loose fraying edges showing through the chiffon. I then used the narrow roll hem foot for my Bernina to stitch the hems on each individual lining section.
the dress called for a center back zipper application - I put it in the back, then ripped it out and inserted it in the side seam, shortening the zipper to about 16". The show through on the back seam was really offensive.
Hemming the dress
After several false starts and trying of different methods, I ended up using fusible thread to start my hem finish.
1. I cut the hem 3/4" longer than I wanted the finished length of the dress.
2. I wound a bobbin with the fusible thread, then stitched 1/4" from the edge along the hemline
3. I ironed up the 1/4" right along the stitching line. at this point, the fusible thread bonds the turned edge and the top thread just pulls away from the fabric on the right side.
4. I trimmed as close as possible to the fused edge - leaving less than 1/8" turn under.
5. back at the machine I turned that edge under again and overcast stitched it using a small zigzag stitch, and changing both bobbin and top thread at every color change of the fabric.
sewing 192sewing 191

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Some replies to comments

Mamapicklejuice asked, what would be my ideal replacement for the Sussman?
The Reliable i300

Mary tagged me, HI Mary. But really, does anyone really want another 7 things about me?
Really? Nah.

Commenters, please know that I love reading your comments. However, it is a drawback of Blogger that I very rarely have an email to respond to comments. They always show up in my mailbox as Anonymous [noreply-comment@blogger.com]
So if I don't reply, that is why.
I must look into Haloscan or one of those other services that other bloggers use.
What do you use? Do you like it?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

playing and planning

dvf.nm thaisilk.4
Originally uploaded by mlweaving.
Another possibilty for the One Pattern Multiple Looks design contest at Pattern Review
Diane von Furstenberg dress available at Neiman Marcus, Vogue Pattern by Donna Karan, Thai Silks fabric

Monday, May 21, 2007

Rites of Passage

Another Grad in the family.
Lauren (she of the prom dress) has graduated High School and is heading to Univ South Carolina in the fall.
The honors cords around her neck are for Language Arts and Foreign Languages.

(mom, click on the pick to make it larger, and you'll notice that the necklace she's wearing is one that was yours, a generation ago.)

Another Passage.
My old Sussman Iron is giving up the ghost. This iron is older than Lauren. It's served me well. But I'm afraid it's time to retire it.
As replacements I've considered a steam generator iron like a Reliable, but truth is, I don't think I want to make that kind of investment in an iron at this point in time.
So I'm looking for another gravity feed iron.
What do you use? What do you like or not like about what you use?
Looking for input here.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

oh my oh my

I've been enamoured of the Missoni knits for quite some time.

May knit a fabulous skirt last year based on the Missoni stripes (I must go find the link and put it in here)

anyway, I've been looking at this pic - not much for detail - is it knit or crocheted?
So, I've been looking at the pattern info on the Anny Blatt site. (BTW, Anny Blatt is pretty darn scarce to find here in the USA too. Thank you's to Mardel for emailing me re sources.)

it calls for 4 yarns!
Mango et Surya de Bouton d'Or
Jade et Victoria d'Anny Blatt
Surya is a bamboo and soy blend
Mango is a cotton/ acrylic blend
Jade is a 96% silk 4% poly with scattered sequins (and we all know what those sequins do to the price of yarn!)
and Victoria is a polyamide (aka nylon) ribbon.

This gets more and more intriguing. The mango is sized to knit on a 3.5 needle (my guess is that is the largest needle it would work well on and I'd be happier with it on 3mm.)

Thing is, this is one of those numbers that looks best on stick skinny 20somethings.

Although, EricaB crocheted a dress last year and she looks smashing in it.

Friday, May 18, 2007

a note to my blog friends and some knitting eye candy

Just a note to all my friends in the blogosphere:
I've been gone and involved with family stuff for awhile -as evidenced by the sporadic posts here. I'm trying to catch up with reading blog posts by my friends, although I've missed a lot - so when I get to your blog, expect the ridiculous event of comments on posts you've entered as far back as a month.

Now, I need to figure out how to get my hands on the most recent Anny Blatt knitting book

Sewing with Knits

ideas are percolating faster than anything is getting done - seems to be one of those High Inspiration periods here.
First off: Sewing with Knits

after all the detailed work that went into the SWAP projects I sat down and stitched this dress in an afternoon - have practically been living in it since. Easy-peasy to sew, and even easier to wear. Pattern is Butterick 4914 - Pattern review here
sewing 166
in fact, Lauren (the 18 yr old, she of the prom dress) Wants one too. And her sister just arrived home from college last night, so she'll probably add herself to the list of wanting one.
and while I have oodles of stashed fabrics, only a couple are knits.
I just haven't stashed knits.
last weekend we got on the internet and Lauren picked out two for dresses for herself, and we added one for Katie, and Dad, being the great guy he is, sprung for the knits and we hit the Buy button.

All from Fabric Mart.
and I hit up Fran for the pink EOS knit she was selling on PR.
So now we have 2 knits each for both girls. Lauren chose the blue/white and the brown paisley - Katie gets those that read pink. Lauren doesn't "do" pink, and Katie doesn't do much else. We're good.

But now dear step-mama has been fabric browsing. and the fingers have been hovering over the buttons to "add to cart". Actually, one of these did make to to the cart last weekend, for moi. dh took pity on me in my self imposed fabric moratorium, seeing as how I'm the seamstress outfitting the girls.

Inspirational Prints
From Lucy's Fabrics
From: It's a secret so far - .
I really really am covetting a piece of this lovely and unless you ask I'm not announcing the source. If you email me or leave a comment with your email addy I'll give you the source, but I'm not about announcing it yet

and Last but not Least
This is brand new at another fabulous internet fabric vendor. Big Print. Big like. Big want.
uncle, I cry uncle. within an hour of posting this picture 4 people contacted me to find out where it is from. Sawyer Brook ladies. click on the pic and it'll take you to the website.
So, what kind of deal am I going to have to make with myself to get those others into the house?

addendum: My Mom just called me to ask me where the dahlias can be purchased! Oy, I'd better get it while the getting is good.
Meanwhile I turned mom on to Lucy's, Georgeous Things, Fabric Mart, and several others.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

my Rant and Rave

1st: I promise an update on knitting tomorrow. I promise, there has been knitting happening, and I am finally ready to take some pics!


Older, Better, but Harder to Dress

Geeze Louise, someone with a Voice has been reading my mind.
Take a moment to go read her article - won't take long, and I'll wait.
Thanks to TerriK over at Stitchers Guild for bringing this article to my attention.

Carolyn wrote a rant this week about the offerings in Plus Sizing from McCalls...I contend that it isn't just Plus sizes that are being given the shaft right now, it's anyone over the age of 17...or maybe 23.

I'm just grateful that I learned to sew at an early age, and that I'm not limited to what's offered in RTW - both in terms of style and fit.

So what's news on the Positive side of things? I found an ebay source for buying the Spanish Patrones Pattern Magazine - for just about 1/2 of the subscription price in the US. I just picked up the Summer Issue - probably will see it in about 3 weeks. There are a couple of things in there for me, and some for the college age set around here.
I've also been hanging out a little too often at ebay lately, and have picked up some awesome vintage patterns. I have ideas, they're percolating, but don't expect to see any results or input on that now til probably late September.

Contests at Pattern Review
Don't know, maybe it's the competitive gene in me, maybe it's the attraction of deadlines and what that means to actually finishing projects, but the contests do interest me.
There is a SWAP contest going on there. I have ideas but don't think I'm actually going to enter that one. It takes so much time and energy to finish, photograph, and write up the entry, and I'm still a little burnt out from the last SWAP contest.
However, the contest for One Pattern/ Multiple Looks - that has me really dreaming overtime.
I'm thinking about a suit again - using stash fabrics.
The pattern: Vogue 2950
Version 1: using a brown woven silk I have and making it exactly as the pattern is drawn (well, maybe the bow on the belt has to go)
fabric 004

Version 2 using a woven silk in cream and an overlay of a Venise Lace on the jacket, using this Dior jacket as inspiration.
fabric 002
as always, click on the photo for large pic and more detail.

I open to opinion and discussion at this time - once it's started - too late.

Monday, May 14, 2007

and Prom too!

Lauren is the youngest in this family. The last prom, the last high school graduation.
For this years prom dress Lauren chose a pattern (for which we are grateful, last years dress was a design and build), and she knew exactly what color and type of fabric she wanted.
And the dress came out to be exactly as she wished it.
She loved the dress, I'm happy.

note that the bar over the eyes is to deal with the red eye photo and not to obscure who she isBack view with straps pinned in place - the straps were sewn into the seam...however we don't have finished back pics.

complete with Petticoat

After seeing so many prom dresses (and working on alterations for a few) that are more appropriate for a Las Vegas showgirl or a streetwalker, it is a pleasure to make something that is modest yet glamourous for the prom.
Lauren even helped with some of the basting and some of the hand stitching.

What's next?
Lauren has stated that her goal is to make some dresses for herself before going to college later this summer.
So today we got started.
She's chosen a print cotton from the stash, and got this halter dress cut out, and some of the seams stitched today. She plans to finish it tomorrow.

Stay tuned.