Thursday, January 31, 2013

UK Visit...

Well, we're back and I've been so wiped from the flight and the time change! LOL.  My butt does not care for sitting on a plane for 8 hours.

So we arrived early Sunday morning and after getting checked into our hotel - the Daresbury Park, we decided to grab a taxi to Chester. 

It snowed every day.  I mean EVERY day.

We explored Chester and when to the gorgeous Cathedral that used to be a Benedictine Abbey.  I took lots of pictures but here are a couple of my favorites.  Can you see the little man sitting in the picture playing the pipe organ?  He's about 40 feet off the ground.  How cool is that?

Like I said, I took lots of pictures.  I'll probably create an album on Facebook or something as a place to host them all.  Hmmm, maybe I'll just stick them in Flickr. 

On Monday we went to Liverpool and explored.  I got sick, miserably sick.  Running desperately  to every restaurant we could find for a bathroom sick.  Ugh.  So embarrassing.  We finally found a pharmacy where I could find something to fix my tummy issues.  It took a couple of hours but it finally subsided.  Sigh.  It figures it would be me.  Gah!

Tuesday the traveling caught up with me and I just took it easy all day. 

Alan's UK counterpart, Michael, took us to a couple of wonderful restaurants and I had Rarebit for the first time.  OMG!  It was so good.  I'd always heard of but just never knew what it was.  They just call it cheese on toast.  I'd call it a very sophisticated cheese on toast.  Yummy!

Did I say it snowed all week?  LOL.  Because of the weather reports and all the snow, we decided to move to the Manchester Marriott airport location on Friday.  We spent the day exploring Manchester, hitting a few pubs and then finally a Spanish tapas restaurant.  Yum!  OMG! The pork cheeks were to die for!  We had them twice.  I could have made a meal out just the pork cheeks.  LOL.  Silly me but I thought out restaurant was beautiful so I took a picture of it.

So now I'm back and I'm waiting for the sewing mojo to tell me what to do next. LOL.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pam's Split Cowl Collar

I just had to make Pam's collar on my favorite tee, KS 3801.  You've seen me make several versions of this tee and now here it is having added her collar and using her tute.  It was so EASY!  If you like this sort of collar (and I can't see why you wouldn't), you have to try it.  The fabric is a nice purple ponte knit from the Cloth Merchants.

I swear...this is my 3 hour Tee.  It's great for summer or winter.

The color is really a dark purple.  By now you know my sewing studio has terrible lighting, so it is what it is.  LOL.

I love how it turned out.  Easy peasy!

I had to lighten these guys so you could hopefully see the details.

If you have this pattern, try the long sleeves on version B instead of the cuff as I have here.  The sleeves are very narrow (but comfy) and flattering.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Stick a fork in it!

Sorry...that's my silly way of saying my jacket is done.  LOL.  I'm so pleased with this pattern and the resulting jacket.  I will make it again; not this year but possibly in a year or so.  I'd like to add a couple of things next time around.  I'd love to add an inside pocket to the lining and a hanging chain.  I totally meant to add one this time, but just forgot.  Shrug.  There's always next time, right? 

This is how I chose to sew on my large snaps this time.  It's very secure and you can sew it from the top side of the garment. 

After seeing this picture, I suppose you've guessed I chose to use decorative buttons and functional snaps.  These snaps are large, about the size of a quarter.  

HA!  You didn't think you'd get to see me did you?  LOL.  Well I grabbed Alan from his shop and made him get a few shots this time.  

Love this coat!!!!  I think the length is right for me, the style isright for my laid back lifestyle with the fiber content (wool & cashmere) making it a little luxurious and the color is yummy.  And it only took about 2 weeks of off and on sewing to complete it.

No, I don't have a stomach ache; that's my normal face squinting into the sun.  LOL.  These aren't great shots and we were hurrying because we were loosing the late afternoon sun.  

In summation, followed the pattern directions pretty much.  The extra things I did were:  added 2 inches in length, narrowed the sleeve by 1.5", added underlining and catch stitched the seams and added snaps.


Friday, January 11, 2013

So close...

The jacket is coming along beautifully.  I really like working with wool; it's such a behaving fabric.  LOL.

These are the sleeves all done up and a picture of the new label I had to make since I ran out.
I lightened this up quite a bit so you could see the catch stitching I did on all the seams in the jacket. 

I'm at the point where I have both the outer shell and the lining stitched together and turned.  I've pressed the heck out of it, again using my clapper for those really thick areas.
Now I'm working on all of the little invisible attachment points inside the jacket.  The picture to the left  is the pattern showing you lifting the lining up and loosely sewing the upper and lower collar sections together.  Well I find this terribly tedious and awkward, so I changed it a bit.
Here I've aligned up the seam lines of both collars and am using a loose back stitch to bring them both together.  This the same method you use to attach a shoulder pad through the shoulder seam.  By stitching it from the outside, you can still make your stitches invisible and take away the strain of the inside finish.  So much easier for me.  Hopefully I'm not breaking any sacred rule.  LOL. 

Oh, btw, I should mention I did install 1/4 inch shoulder pads too.  I thought it looked so much better with a slight padding to the shoulder area.

I'm hoping to finish up this weekend as I have a couple of tee shirts I'd like to whip up to take with me to the UK.  Oh, one is the new Vogue 8854 and I've already been warned the sleeves are really long.  LOL.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Close to the finish

The outer shell of the jacket, except for sleeves, is constructed.  Here I'm in the process of pressing the collar seam open. 
This is my lining.  Pretty wild, eh?  I love it.  I think a lining should be a solid color only if you can't find anything else you like.  LOL.

I still have to press the collar open on this piece.  I hope to get the sleeves constructed and installed today.

I'm starting to get excited; the finish is almost here.  I hope to have it done by the end of this coming weekend.  If I can get it completed, I'll take it to the UK with me. 

That's all for now!

PS.  I forgot to explain the tennis shoes comment.  I've been talking with friends who've already traveled to Europe and they say not to wear tennis shoes for a couple of reasons.  LOL.  First, they'll know without you saying a word you're American and second tennis or gym shoes are only worn in the gym over there.  They'll think you're a poser.  How about it my UK friends?  Is this true?  Should I just wear normal walking shoes?  

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Butterick jacket progress

As you can see from the first photo, I have underlined the fabric.  Don't look at my "oh so lovely" hand stitches.  LOL. 
I purchased the underlining, I think it's called Whisper Weft, from Helen Enox in OKC.  Making this jacket has exhausted my supply, so I'll be making a trip for more supplies soon.  The fashion fabric is a wool/cashmere blend I purchased from The Cloth Merchants several years ago and has finally made it to my cutting table. 

Here the welt has been basted in place ready for the pockets to be placed on top. 

These pictures aren't very good since I took them with my iPad, but it takes better low light pictures than my Nikon D70s.  Pffffft!  The color is also a bit faded; its really a nice tweedy eggplant color.

But you can see one front put together.  I like how its going so far.  I've applied liberal use of steam and my clapper to get those seams to lie flat. 

To date, I have both fronts completed and the center back seam sewn on the back.  The next step is going to be catch stitching the seam allowances down to the underlining. 

This really should speed up now since the hardest part (the fronts) is done. 

Also I have big news!  I've know for awhile but didn't say anything since I wasn't sure I would get my updated passport back in time.  Don't believe it when they say it takes 6 months; it took them 2 weeks for my new passport.  Cool, eh?  Alan and I are flying to the UK later this month.  For Alan it will be mostly work with a little play, but for Belinda it will be all play!  LOL.  At first we thought we would be flying into London, but it looks like we'll arrive at Manchester and drive to a smaller town where HP's UK headquarters is located.  I'll be exploring all over the place with day trips to London to see the sights and scope out a few fabric shops.  And I've already been warned not to wear tennis shoes!!!  LOL!