Saturday, May 26, 2012

Butterick 5611 part deux

As you may recall, I've made this pattern before and liked it for the most part.  The only part that I didn't anticipate is the "cupping" action of the peplum in the back.  I wish they would include pictures of a "real" model with the pattern made up so you can actually see details like that.  Because it certainly doesn't look like that on the pattern. have this "feature".  Now if you are slim & have no butt, it's okay, but if like me, you do have a butt, this really doesn't work for you.  So I opened up the seam, cut off the extra fabric which created a center seam on the peplum and  removed the offending tucks.  This is what you end up with when you don't do a muslin of a feature you've never tried before.  LOL.  Here's a quick picture of the end result.  Yeah I have worn it and sat on it, hence the wrinkles.  LOL.

It lays nice and flat now and I can live with it.  LOL.

What I'm going to show you now is my re-make of the pattern to create a cool summer blouse that I JUST LOVE.

Here's a few pictures describing the changes I made.

This last picture to the right is a back facing I created (by tracing the shape off the back pattern piece) so I could attach one of my newly embroidered labels. 

The next few pictures are all of my muslin made from some quilting fabric I had lying around.  I really like how it turned out.
Oh, one other slight change I made to the pattern was to square off the collar stand.  This version has baby piping at the forward shoulder seam.  I also sewed a little triangle of fabric onto the hemline at one side for some added interest.  I know it looks like the bra is showing at the underarm, but it doesn't when I actually have it on.  Ruby isn't shaped exactly like I am, hence the difference.  I'm really lovin' this pattern.  I can see I'll be making this up in several variations for summer wear. 


Friday, May 25, 2012

Embroidered Label Tutorial

I thought it might be nice to show how I make up my fabric labels for the garments I make.  I'll warn you ahead of time; this will be very picture intensive.  LOL.  I'm not going to get into the software aspect of creating a design; that can be a lesson for another time.  But this tute will show how the label gets setup and embroidered. 
These labels are the finished product and what we hope to achieve by the end of this tutorial.

To start, you need a design file and a printout of your design file with the cross hatches marked on it such as the one below. 

This is quite a small design; mine is 1.65" tall X 2.85" wide.  I've cut out around it so I can easily use it to mark the starting points on my ribbon.
Using a 5X7 hoop, place a piece of Floriani Wet N Gone Tacky, paper side up, in the hoop.  Using the end of a pair of scissors, lightly trace all the way around the hoop taking care not to cut through the tacky second layer.  Pull the protective paper layer away and set aside or discard.
Place the template that came with your hoop to mark the top-most and bottom embroiderable area in the hoop (indicated by the pink arrows).  Just a tiny black mark you can see will be good enough.
Now you have to cut 3 pieces of grosgrain ribbon to place in the hoop.  This picture above shows 2 1/4" ribbon.  You can find it anywhere.  I prefer 2 inch but that's all I could find on that day.  I have several colors, white, black, pink, gray, lilac, etc.  Today we're using white.  I cut my ribbon about 6 inches long (that's as wide as the inside of the hoop).

Using your cutting matt, like the one you see above, you can arrange your hoop on the lines of the matt, which helps you lay the ribbon on the sticky paper of the hoop.  Like this:
As you can see, I didn't measure too well for this shot.  LOL.  If you look at my hoop, you'll see I was able to fit all 3 pieces of ribbon in the area you can embroider.

Using that little template of your design, center it on your ribbon and mark a dot at the center.  Too make that a little easier to do, I put a straight pin through the center to create a tiny hole.  Then I use an iron away marker to make the dot I need to center my needle.  I know it's a bit hard to see but if you click on the picture, you'll see the dots I've marked on each ribbon to mark the center of my design.
Load your hoop onto your machine.  Load the design.  Now you'll want to place (or float) a piece of light tearaway stabilizer under the hoop.  Once you have your design ready, touch the mini sewing machine (highlighted in blue on the bottom of the screen) with a magnifying glass and you can see a close-up of where your needle is.  Make any adjustments you deem necessary to sew the design.  Hit close and then the start button.
Here I've started the first label.  As a side note, you might want to keep the number of color changes down to keep from having to change thread colors so much.  Remember we aren't talking software here just the actual embroidery.  My design has 3 colors.  It's personal choice really. So finish embroidering all 3 labels in the hoop.
Now you will remove the completed design from the hoop and tear out the tearaway stabilizer.  Try to get rid of as much as you can. 
Then using a pair of scissors, cut each ribbon out of the sticky stabilizer.  You will then run some hot water in a sink and soak/rub the rest of the sticky stabilizer away.  Look at it under a light while doing it, because it will turn into gel-like strings.  You want to get as much of that off because on darker ribbons it will show up if left on to dry.

Take your wet ribbons and put them into a towel and roll them up.  Press on them with your hands until they are damp dry.  Then using an old press cloth press them until they are completely dry.
Then you have pretty labels to use on quilts, garments, etc.  Trim the edges to where you'd like them to be, fold them under and sew them down or you can sew them down when you put them on a garment.  I've also created a smaller version of my design that will work on 1 inch grosgrain ribbon too. 
I used a bit of fabric glue to hold it into place while I sewed it down.  But you can see it's a nice application.

Well I hope you enjoyed seeing how I create my labels and I hope you may have learned something new.  Let me know what you think.  I really enjoy reading your comments.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Easy Vogue 8708 in Pink

If you recall, I made this pattern before in a dove gray linen.  I made view A as a straight size 16 with no alterations.  The description says loose-fitting.  Hmmm, it's very over-sized.  In my opinion, you should go down one size.  This version, again of view A, is a straight size 14 with no alterations.  It fits me very nicely.  And again it's very easy for such a polished looking tunic.  I'll probably make several more iterations.  This one is in a slightly heavier bright pink linen from the Cloth Merchants.  Here are a few shots of the embroidery I did on this version.  
I have a huge collection of embroidery fonts (the results of 20 years of collecting).  I picked an art deco one, took my initials and then rotated the design to create a square design.  Here's more:
I embroidered a strip from the shoulder line all the way down to the hem.  Using the new Ellisimo 4x12 border hoop made this a breeze!  It turned out to be 3 hoopings.

Pretty cool, eh?  LOL.

And finally the shirt itself.  I really love this pattern.  I have some deep pink stretch twill on the way here from Denver fabrics that should go beautifully with the tunic.  Can't wait to see it.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Wedding Anniversary Outfit Done!

Oh I'm so happy to finally have these pants done.  I was beginning to think I would never get this outfit off my plate.  LOL

I hope to get pictures of me in the outfit at the reception and when I do, I'll put the pictures up here.

First, I thought I would show you the shoes I got to wear with it.

Love, love these shoes!  So comfy too.  It took about 2 hours at Dillard's to find them.  The poor shoe clerk.  LOL.  She earned her pay that day.  I know I tried on at least 10 pairs of shoes. 

And here are the pants.
I know; not very exciting.  But they are lined and the lower leg is underlined so I could hem the Dupioni without having it show through.  The lining hangs free. 

 And finally, a picture of the whole outfit hanging together. 


Saturday, May 12, 2012

New Patterns

Lots of new patterns have been hitting the shelves of the major pattern companies.  I really haven't seen a whole lot that I was really interested in except these few.  And I picked them up just the other day.
I love the silhouette of this almost boxy french jacket.  And since it's a new Claire Shaeffer, I had to have it.
WTH?  What's up with this pose for crying out loud?  I love this Katherine Tilton design but the model is going to fall on her as*.  Makes me want to push her with one finger and see her overbalanced.  LOL.  I can see lots of possibilities for this pattern.  I've been collecting fabrics for another of her patterns I already own. I'm going to shock you.  I'm seriously thinking about a few summer dresses to wear.  I've been convinced by a couple of friends they are a lot cooler to wear in the Oklahoma heat.  Anyway I loved this one.
Here's another dress I thought would be nice.  A very simple shape with color blocking possibilities to make it more interesting.  And this pose is one only a young girl could do.  I'd have to have help getting back up.  I'm afraid my over 50 knees just wouldn't be able to handle it.  LOL.
And last but not least in the dress category, this cute amazing fit dress.  I could see myself in view B, the short sleeve version and there are definite color blocking opportunities with this dress as well.
And now back to my slouchy, laid back at home wear.  LOL.  I just LOVED this Tee.  Especially the little lace version and the striped one.  Can anyone say COLOR BLOCK?  LOL.  I have color blocking on the brain.  I've been wanting to try it for months now and just haven't had the opportunity. 

And now back to sewing the pants that go with the shell.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Shell is Complete!

Alright!  It's done!  Don't get me wrong; I've enjoyed the whole process of making the shell but it has seemed to drag on foreva.  LOL. 

Isn't this a pretty button?  I know it's hard to tell from the shot above, but it's really a two-tone button and coordinates perfectly with the fabric.  My good friend Judi at the Cloth Merchants helped me pick them out and there were JUST had enough for my project. 
I'm so proud of the prick-stitching in this garment, I just had to include another shot.  LOL.
And here is the back view of me trying to be artistic with the shot and not quite making it.  Grin.
And the gratuitous hanger shot.
All I have left to do is finish the pants.  I'll be working on them over the weekend and will post shots of them when I'm finished.  Believe it or not, after all the years I've been sewing, this will be my first attempt at an invisible zipper.  Wish me luck!

Talk Soon!

PS.  I almost forgot to mention I went shoe shopping the other day and found a nice pair of black open-toe shoes that I'll also be able to wear for other occasions should the need arise.  Hopefully I'll get a pick (or Alan will help me get a picture) of the whole ensemble.

Monday, May 7, 2012

This n' that...

On top of everything else going on to keep me totally busy, the blueberries have started to ripen.  2 weeks earlier than normal.  Everything is early this year.  Once they really going, I'll be picking every other day.  Last year we harvested 35 pounds of blueberries off eight bushes.  Yesterday Alan and I put up the bird netting on the two blueberry raised beds.  Talk about a pain in the patoote.  That netting catches on everything!  Buttons, watches, rings!  And talking about a pain...every mosquito in Tulsa County bites me and don't even look at Alan.  That's just so wrong.  LOL.  Even though it's not hard work, it's frustrating, time-consuming work and we were both hot and sweaty when we finished.  Hopefully this will be the last time we have to put it up since we're planning to build a screened enclosure around the whole garden area this fall.  This should keep all of the critters out. 

Onto progress with the shell.  I've sewn the neck opening and both armhole openings closed with tiny fell stitches. And I've spent a good part of today understitching the inside edges with a prickstitch.  And if I do say so myself, I think this is my best effort yet at making a couture style garment.  So, now all that is left is purchasing buttons so I can make buttonholes.  I'll be checking out both the dreaded JoAnn's and Hancocks.  If I don't see anything inspiring there, I'll make a run over to the Cloth Merchants.  

Here's a couple of pictures:

The pic above shows the inside back.  You can see I used one of my new embroidered labels.  And if you click on the picture, you can also see details of the prickstitch around the armhole.  I did the neckline, armholes and the hem with the prickstitch.  I love the look inside; so nice and neat.
And here would be the finished front.  I should be able to get the pants stitched up pretty quickly.  I already have them cut out and the darts stitched.'ll laugh.  Here I am at the finish-line with the shell and while I was giving it a last go over with the iron I tipped it too far over and water came out onto the lining!  GAH!  I grabbed the closest thing I could find, which turned out to be my robe and dabbed the water up.  Can you imagine, getting to the finish and then getting water spots all over the dang silk?  But it didn't go through and my robe saved the day.  LOL.  


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Couture shell...

Well I actually feel as if I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  LOL.  I have machine sewn the shell together around 3 sides; bottom w/scallops and the 2 back sides.  Since my shell is quite a bit different than the one in the Threads article, I'm kind of winging it.  I didn't feel confident enough to sew the scalloped edge by hand and have it turn out at all even.  Hence the half n' half couture lining. 

I've turned it and it took about an hour and a half to trim, clip and press the scalloped hem into shape.  I'm pretty picky and each seam needs to lie perfectly flat.  I've got a little bit more finessing to do on one or two of the scallops and I think I'll be satisfied.  Once that is complete, I'll start the handwork of closing up the neckline and armholes by hand.  

One thing I have to remark about and that's using the tracing paper.  My sewing has NEVER turned out this accurate before.  I'm really surprised at well every seam lined up just perfectly.  I may be using tracing paper more often... 

Here's a couple quick pictures of my progress.

The above picture shows the neckline and armholes towards the bottom of the picture.  The scallops are at the top.

 This photo shows the scallops at the bottom of the picture.

Pictures of my handwork will follow soon!

Friday, May 4, 2012

More Progress

I know, I know, I've been a terrible blogger lately.  Sorry, I've been so busy with trying to keep up with gardening, sewing, and 15 first week of the month meetings and teaching all day on Wednesday.  GAH!  Why does everyone have to meet the first week of the month?  I do have some progress to report on the shell though. 

First a couple of pics:

See?  It's actually starting to look like something now.  LOL.

I know these are hideously overexposed but it was the only way to show the detail.  I do have the shoulder and side seams sewn.  Now I'm pulling out the basting stitches and trimming those seams down in preparation for catch stitching them down.   I should really be able to make a lot of progress this weekend.  Knock on wood.  LOL.