Friday, December 30, 2011

Looking Back...

For some reason, I usually don't care to look back into the past.  Too many screwups for comfort?  Lol.  So this is my obligatory look back at the year of sewing. 

First, like a lunatic, I joined the JAM (jacket a month) sewalong on Stitcher's Guild.  I did complete 8 jackets/coats which would have been nine (or 10 really since my first attempt turned into a wadder) but my Chanel style jacket is still in the works.  I have made progress just not as much as I would have liked by this time.  Oh well; I do intend to finish it in 2012.  LOL.

8 jackets/coats
2 housecoats
1 nightie
4 pairs of capri's
2 elastic waisted pants for lounging
3 pairs of jeans
6 tops or blouses
8 knit tops or tees
1 quilted dresser top runner for my brother's Xmas
1 American Girl doll bed with all the appropriate bed clothing for my Heirloom Guild really seems like a lot when you look at it.  It didn't seem like that much as I was making it though.  Hmmm.

I didn't have any specific goals besides the JAM.  There were lots of ladies who did complete their 12 jackets and several more.  I guess I'm in the middle of the pack with only 2/3's completed.  I still feel pretty good about it though.  I think I've learned a lot from all of the different patterns completed.

One of the blouses I made this year did make use of an heirloom technique called "pulled thread replacement".

I did start teaching.  Which has been really, really fun for me.  I love sharing what I know with others.  This has been a real surprise to me.  LOL.

I did start taking classes with Claire Kennedy and she has been a real inspiration, making me stretch my mind, not only into choosing the right colors for myself but also my skills as a sewist.  

Looking ahead to 2012???

I'll continue classes with Claire.

I'll continue teaching others to sew since I enjoy it so much.

I'd like to incorporate more heirloom techniques into adult garments.  And I think I'd like to learn how to make my own bras.  There's a lady in Wichita who teaches.

Other than the above, keep sewing away!  

See you in the New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Just Stuff...

We just returned home from a week in Iowa with my family for Christmas.  It was really nice seeing everyone again.  My brother, who has MS, is looking great.  The new meds he's on have really improved his balance along with everything else.  My sister looks great. 

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas; I know I did.  Now...just to make this a bit sewing related, this was waiting for me when we returned.  

I haven't started reading it yet, but I hope with the help of this book, I'll be better able to turn out better tailored garments.  Mostly jackets and coats.  LOL. 

I'll have a summary for the end-of-year blog post once I get a few free minutes, I'll sit down and figure out how many garments I made this year.  But this is all I have for today.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Linen Tunic V8708 Done!!!

Yawzah!  LOL.  I'm really lovin this tunic.  I've taken several shots of the inside because I wanted you to see all of the finish work I did.  Every single seam has been serged and top stitched.  With a loose weave like linen, you really do need to finish every seam.  

I wanted you to see the shirt on Ruby first.  Notice anything?  I modeled it and really thought I would like it much better if I added shoulder pads.  My shoulders slope a bit so by adding a 3/8" pad, its leveled and is much nicer in my opinion.

Here you can see the actual shoulder pads.  They are removable.  I hate how these simple pattern finish the collar on the inside so I used a strip of bias fabric in a matching print.  Much nicer.  I also attached one of my newer labels.  I'm not sure I'll like it, but we'll try it and see.  You can see some of the finishing I've done to the inside.

Another inside view, this time of the front.  I love how using a couple layers of tear-away stabilizer leaves such a nice, clean finish on the inside.

And finally, here I am...squinting in the late afternoon sun...out in the cold...freezing my patootie all for the blog.  LOL.  I didn't wear the new grey jeans as they are in the wash.  But I am wearing the blue ones.  I love the easy, wear-ability of this top.  I was looking through the stash and spotted several likely candidates for more versions.  I have some black peach skin and a black stripe, a black jacquard.  Oh well you get it.  LOL.  It's pretty obvious I like it. 


Monday, December 5, 2011

Just a Peek...

I'm almost finished sewing this tunic.  It's very easy and I do recommend it.  But for the beginner, it has almost no finishing of inside seams.  Nowhere in the pattern instructions did it say to finish the inside lapel facing.  HUH?  You've got to be kidding right?  The first time they would launder the shirt, it would be a raveled mess. That's my only beef with this pattern.  Otherwise, I love it.  I can see several more versions of this pattern being added to my wardrobe.  I only have to hem it, embroider buttonholes and sew on the buttons and I will take more detailed pictures.  But just so you don't think I would post about it and not give you a peek, here it is.  LOL.  Keep in mind it still needs pressing. 

More Soon!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tunic progress...

I've completed the embroidery and cut out the left front.  I'm happy with the results.  

The nice thing about marking your pattern on the fabric and then doing the embroidery is that you can move the pattern around on the fabric after you done the embroidery.  You know, in case you didn't quite get the embroidery where you originally intended?  LOL.  Another plus to doing embroidery before cutting is the shrinkage that can occur when you embroider. 

I'll start the construction and get back to you all soon.

More later!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Quick, Easy Tunic...

 Ha!  I usually find a way to make something not so quick or easy.  LOL. 

Today I'm starting what should be an easy Vogue tunic pattern.  I saw V8708 made up in Vogue Pattern magazine an issue or two back and liked what I saw.  I already had the pattern in my stash.  It just so happens that gray is really hot this fall.  And that turns out to be really convenient as I've been making a few things out different grays like the jeans I just finished.  I have a nice washed grey linen I picked up from The Cloth Merchants and will be making a loose, easy going top.  I'll be making view B, the blue top in the center.

I also thought I would like some embroidery.  Come on!  LOL.  You know me by now.  I have to put embroidery on almost everything!  And this top is such a blank canvas that needs something to pick it up a notch.  You know the chef that hosts "Diners, Drive-ins & Dives"?  Guy Fieri?  Well I just love the shirts he wears.  You know, with embroidery or screen printing down one side of the shirt or even both?  I thought it might be cool if I tried something like that on this tunic top.  Why should the guys only have cool shirts anyway?

So started playing around and came up with this concept picture.   

I'm playing around with different designs to make this vertical border.  I've also cut out all the pieces except the left front.  I'm going to embroider it first, then cut it out.  As you know from following for awhile, this is my normal mode of embroidery.  

If this shirt turns out, I may be making several, especially since it looks pretty comfy.  

I've debuted several designs and this is my fav.  It's fairly large, at just a bit over 5X7.  Because I had a fabric sample cut, I reduced it just a bit to make it fit the 5X7 hoop.  I using 2 layers of Sulky's Tear Easy tear-away stabilizer and that proved to be just right for this design.  I want to be able to remove most, if not all of the stabilizer.

Remember by clicking on the picture, you can enlarge to get a better view of the design.  

I'll have more for you tomorrow!