Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Playground Party Skirt

I had planned to finish the "Think Pink" party dress and post photos tonight for New Years Eve but, I ran into construction issues. and after an already long week at work I decided to change my plans. So instead I am posting  about a tulle skirt made for playground fun...kind of a party right? I am still working on the pink dropped waist dress and will post it in January.

My sweet little niece is visiting for the holidays and I new I wanted to sew something for her. I wasn't sure of her size so I thought an elastic waist skirt would be easy. I new I wanted it to be comfy for everyday wear but also flirty and fun. I shopped for inspiration and found these skirts cost from $35-50. This is something that would be much less expensive to sew.
J Crew tippy-toe tulle skirt
When I started to sew this I decided I wanted it to be comfortable so I went with a bright knit, then added the tulle in the same color. I purchased all of my fabric (1/3 yard of knit ) and notions from Nancy's Sewing Basket located close to home. The entire skirt cost around $8.00.

I measured and cut the fabric in half, realizing I had enough for two skirts. Then added 5/8 inch casing for the 1/2 inch non roll elastic that I had leftover from another project.
                       The fabric has two different sides. I chose the brighter one.

Then I measured two layers of tulle 9 inches and left it the width of the fabric and gathered it evenly and attaching it right below the waistband. 

The skirt was difficult to catch a photo or two on my moving target. We went to the park and tested it out to see if it would play well.

Here it is paired with a striped tee, coat, leggings, and boots that she already owns.  

Friday, December 27, 2013

New Year: No Ready-to-Wear.

 Some of you saw this on Mood Fabric's Instagram page. It was posted at a time when I wanted to set some personal goals for my style and sewing for 2014. I was interested in doing the Ready-to-Wear Fast that Sarah from Goodbye Valentino is organizing, but worried I would not have enough time to devote to sewing so many things. I thought about my purchases of ready to wear over the last year and realized the only items I had purchased were shoes, and a few vintage items. 
I find when I have shopped, I always end up realizing I could make this and maybe for less. If you shop at many store that have disposable clothing you find that sewing your clothing is more expensive, but if you like quality garments you can sew them for the around the same price and sometimes less. My sewn garments almost always fit better and I know I feel proud when complimented on them.
The only thing that I was not sure I could make were jeans, socks and tights. I purchased some jeans in December and the socks are on the "allowed" list, now I am ready to go. She started her first Fast in August of 2011, during her first year  of sewing she made 64 garments.  She is also one of Mood Fabrics sewing network bloggers. I am going to do my best to make garments in 2014 instead of purchasing. Anyone else want to join Sarah, myself and many more sewists on our fast? The deadline is December 31st to email Sarah with your information. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Pretty Portrait Blouse

I sewed another Portrait blouse from Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing
I actually sewed this last week and have already worn it twice, I am only now getting to the pictures.
The fabric is 1 yard of ivory 4 ply silk crepe with slight stretch from Gorgeous Fabrics sitting in my stash . This fabric is a dream to sew with, and feels yummy against my skin. If only all of my things be made from this lovely fabric.
Since the pattern had already been adjusted for me it was a quick sew. I spent about 30 mins  laying out the fabric and cutting it out one evening. I debated on using the facings around the neck or finish with bias tape because my fabric is ivory and the facings may show. I went with the facings. The next day I squeezed in 30 mins of sewing and was ready to check the fit.
One and a half  hours on the third day to interface and sew in the facings. I am hoping the fabric is thick enough and the facings will work and not show through the blouse. Gertie's book has really great instructions and illustrations. Following her instructions for hemming thin fabric, I hemmed the sleeves and the bottom by stitching  3/8 inch, then another stitch just to the left.
                               Then pressed it under and completed with the final stitch.

 Gertie's book recommend that you finish your seams several ways, I choose to do a zigzag stitch on my machine.

 Then off to my local fabric and notions store (Nancy's Sewing Basket) to purchase a zipper and a few items for a another project. Finally the hand picked zipper.

If you are not sure about lapped zippers check out this free Craftsy Zipper tutorial.
Next I hand picking the edge of the facing and a good press.

  After 3 hours total time I was done. I needed a quick easy project after the last ambitious quilted bathrobe.

                                                  Casual with blazer and jeans or dressed up.

I changed this one by opening up the neckline a little and adding 2 inches to the length to allow me to wear it with more things. The facings show through slightly so I may end up unpicking and redoing the neckline.

My first version is here. I love it but can only wear it with high waisted items because of the length. I may not have my finger on the fashion pulse but I do know that when you are over forty you should not show your midriff. I plan to add more high waisted things to my wardrobe as I think they are much more flattering in general.
I am still working on the "Think Pink" dress. The bodice muslin has been completed and adjusted and now ready for a second fitting. I really, really glad I made a muslin. I will post the details soon.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Monthly Stitch December Challenge

I have been spending the past few weeks trying to decide about the December Monthly Stitch Challenge.

My dilemma is I do not really need another party dress. I have my new Sultry Sheath, it has become my new favorite and I have worn it already three times. There is something about a red dress.
My daughter quickly volunteered herself for a Party dress. She is an aspiring designer who dreams up ideas and now it is time to make the latest one a  reality. Here are some of her inspiration photos.
Polka Dot Polly

TimelessVixenVintage on Etsy

I will use my Craftsy Susan Kalhje Couture Sewing Class knowledge and start with a muslin then underline the fashion fabric with silk organza.We have selected Gertie's dropped waist cocktail dress from her New Book for Better Sewing. The pattern is a variation on the Wiggle Dress in the book. There are not any new skills I am learning in the process of this project but I will get practice with couture techniques.

and the bubblegum pink wool crepe and silk organza for underlining has arrived from Mood fabrics.

I am calling this The "Think Pink" Dress drawing inspiration from Funny Face. If you have not seen the movie here is a you tube video of the Think Pink music number. Now off to cut the muslin and trace the all of my markings.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

1940s Vintage quilted robe.

I started this ambitious project a few weeks ago. There have been as many ups as downs. My daughter had asked for this for Christmas last year and I thought I would finally get it completed and still be considered on time, kind of?  I used Vintage pattern  Butterick 4653. .

 I quilted the ivory satin fabric lined with ivory rayon lining to keep the drape similar to the inspiration photo.
This project would have gone much faster if I had not needed to quilt the fabric or if I was a more experienced quilter. 

 Fabric Tag

I think she is pleased.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Holiday Magic at Nancy's Sewing Basket

Nancy's is offering a Draw your Discount from a Holiday Stocking during the Holiday Magic evening . The discounts are between 10-30% off of your purchase.

They are also selling tickets for there Share-the-Joy Dress Raffle. Enter for the chance to win a new wardrobe for your American Girl Doll™, handmade by the staff at Nancy’s. The wardrobe consists of twelve beautiful handmade outfits and three pets for the American Girl™ or other 18" dolls.
 Tickets are $1.00 each and on sale December 6th–22, all proceeds go to benefit Mary's Place. So remember to purchase your $1 ticket when you are in Queen Anne. You will be supporting a good cause and maybe lucky enough to win the wardrobe.

 Mary’s Place is a day center. They offer programs and services for homeless women and their children can  enrich their days and find resources to restore their lives. They provide two hot meals per day, employment resources,support groups and more.
*To find out how Mary’s Place is helping children and their parents, visithttp://www.marysplaceseattle.org/

Friday, November 29, 2013

Post Holiday and Vintage Pattern Sales

 My Kitty Tigger enjoyed his Holiday, if only we could lay around on the floor after a meal with our full belly on display. Happy Holiday weekend!

Many Etsy Vintage patterns are on sale today.If you like to sew with vintage patterns now is the time to go shopping. 

To get a Discount at Our Vintage Sewing Suite use code BLACKFRIDAY25. Hurry it expires 12/3/13. Here is a list of many shops offering discounts this weekend along with there coupon codes.

www.etsy.com/shop/AdeleBeeAnnPatterns BTBLITZ 
www.etsy.com/shop/beththebooklady NOV13BLITZ
www.etsy.com/shop/SerendipityUnlimited BFBLITZ 
www.etsy.com/shop/sydcam123 BFRIDAY13
www.etsy.com/shop/patternshop SALE
www.etsy.com/shop/SoVintageOnEtsy BLITZ15 
www.etsy.com/shop/PeoplePackages SALE
www.etsy.com/shop/midvalecottage BFBLITZ 
www.etsy.com/shop/sewbettyanddot BLACKFRIDAY13 
www.etsy.com/shop/VioletCrownEmporium BFBLITZ
www.etsy.com/shop/DesignRewindFashions BFBLITZ15
www.etsy.com/shop/RosesPatternTreasury BLITZ20
www.etsy.com/shop/VintageNeedleFinds VNBLITZ
www.etsy.com/shop/pinkpolkadotbutton SALE
www.etsy.com/shop/MantuaMakerPatterns CYBERSALE2013
www.etsy.com/shop/ViennasGrace GEORGEBAILEY
www.etsy.com/shop/GreyDogVintage SALE
www.etsy.com/shop/kinseysue SALE
www.etsy.com/shop/stitchingbynumbers BLITZ
www.etsy.com/shop/nancesnostalgia BFNN20
www.etsy.com/shop/Denisecraft FACEBOOK5PERCENTOFF
www.etsy.com/shop/RomasMaison SALE
www.etsy.com/shop/KeepsakesStudio SANTASHELPER
www.etsy.com/shop/Jantiki BLITZ
www.etsy.com/shop/mightymadgescloset BLITZEN
www.etsy.com/shop/Redcurlzs BLITZEN
www.etsy.com/shop/Fancywork 25PERCENT
www.etsy.com/shop/omasbricabrac BFBLITZ20
www.etsy.com/shop/BluetreeSewingStudio SALE
www.etsy.com/shop/sandritocat SALE
www.etsy.com/shop/JeaniesShop BLITZ
www.etsy.com/shop/EmSewCrazy HOLIDAYSEWING2013
www.etsy.com/shop/uneedapattern BLACKFRIDAY
www.etsy.com/shop/SewingPatternStore BFBLITZwww.etsy.com/shop/retromonkeys HOLIDAYS13
www.etsy.com/shop/BrownPaperVintageCo BFPATTERNBLITZ
www.etsy.com/shop/EJVintageAvenue GOOD15
www.etsy.com/shop/LagunaLane BLACKFRIDAY
www.etsy.com/shop/Mrsdepew BIGFATTURKEY
www.etsy.com/shop/PatternsAndSuch BLITZ
www.etsy.com/shop/BearyAmazingEmporium BLKFRI20 
www.etsy.com/shop/Fabpatterns1015 BFBLITZ20 
www.etsy.com/shop/AtomicRegeneration SALE
www.etsy.com/shop/TheVintageHomeSewist BLITZBLITZ 
www.etsy.com/shop/CurlicueCreations HOLIDAY13
www.etsy.com/shop/CherryCorners BLITZ 
www.etsy.com/shop/NostalgiaVintage2 SALE
www.etsy.com/shop/knightcloth WHITESNOW
www.etsy.com/shop/DejaVuPatterns BFBlitz20
www.etsy.com/shop/ErikawithaK BFBLITZ
www.etsy.com/shop/dizzyfloozy BFBLITZ 
www.etsy.com/shop/JerseyGirlPatterns BLITZBABY
www.etsy.com/shop/PatternsFromThePast SALE
www.etsy.com/shop/HoneymoonBus SALE
www.etsy.com/shop/PattysPastTimes SALE
www.etsy.com/shop/PatternAndStitch BLITZ
www.etsy.com/shop/Sutlerssundries SALE
www.etsy.com/shop/neverwares NEVER
www.etsy.com/shop/Abbysfabric BFBLITZ
www.etsy.com/shop/FriskyScissors SALE

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Dreamy Quilted Robe

What are the rules with Christmas gifts? Are they considered on time as long as they are given with in the year like weddings? I have been busy working away on a project that was requested last Christmas but the pattern arrived after Christmas and life continued on while the pattern was filed away. I had a week of time with no extra days working and a husband away on a fishing trip so I decided I would finish it for my daughter to have now as her current robe is well worn and stained.
The inspiration Photo is a gorgeous quilted robe from  Dollhouse Bettie, the photos online are so dreamy.
The robe is no longer available.

Snuggle up in this new old stock quilted robe. Classic 50s style is fashioned from shimmering ivory satin and has a stylized peaked collar trimmed with pink piping. The fluffy quilted exterior is lined with pink nylon tricot for addition warmth and comfort. Robe secures with an interior side tie and hidden snap, then ties with an exterior self fabric belt. Cuffs and bottom hem are hand stitched with satin ribbon trim. Robe maintains the original paper tag which reads, "Size 18." Measures 18 along the shoulder, 42 at the bust, 32 waist, hip free, 57 in length from the neck to the bottom hem. Fits a size S/34 as shown, best fitting a fuller M/36 or L/38. Garment is in mint condition, and is without flaws.

I decided I could create this using this pattern purchased from JuneeMoonVintage on Etsy.

 I had purchased  4 yards of off white satin charmeuse from Fabric.com last year intended for this project and planned on quilting it with another similar weight  fabric.The pattern arrived after Christmas and life continued. I had occasional reminders from my daughter that she still needed a robe.

When I temporarily lost my mind, and pulled this project back out to complete it before Christmas 2013. I decided to use china silk lining in an ivory and quilt the entire fabric before cutting out the pattern. As I laid out the yards and yards on my kitchen floor (which by the way had to be freshly mopped ). I decided that it was too much fabric for me to deal with so I cut out the pattern loosely to make a big section for each pattern and then started quilting it together. I used my quilting seam guide and measured out the lines. I started with the pockets, then the sleeves, then tackled the large back section. It seemed easy and fun and I got into sort of a rhythm. I had started to understand why quilters enjoyed quilting.

 Six Bobbins later, I had completed the front right side. I proudly displayed my work for my daughter. She said the design was different and that the front looked more like diamonds and the rest more like squares. Hmmm... . I looked at it and she was right, now at this moment I thought I might actually cry. I generally do not cry but I have found some frustrating moments when sewing that have pushed me to tears.

I know many of my fellow sewists have been in a similar situation. I put it away for a few hours then decided I would unpick the second crosswise row of seams while watching Call the Midwife on Netflix. It went fairly fast and a day later I was ready to carefully measure comparing it to the back sections and get the correct.angle to match the squares. Now I am ready to carefully measure and quilt the left front piece to match the right. Although I doubt there will be a next time, the lesson I have learned is to quilt the entire portion of fabric then it will be the same. The assembly of the pattern is really simple, or so it seems from this point. I plan to assemble the robe then wait for the Light Blue 40 Denier Tricot for the lining to arrive from Fabric.com.
Glamorous, dreamy robe photos to follow ( I hope). Wish me luck.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Gertie's' NBBS: The Portrait Blouse

When I first read Gertie's Blog post post on this blouse I knew I wanted to sew it. I purchased the fabric at Nancy's Sewing Basket in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle. The fabric is not my usually basic colors that I typically choose but I really loved it so I went for it. The Fabric is a dark teal green in a linen, cotton and silk blend.

 The fabric is very sheer and I decided to underline it in a seafoam green china silk. Working with the two fabrics as one I sewed the darts and all of the seams. I did a narrow hem for the neckline and the sleeves and added the hand picked zipper. I used the size 4 then did my usual alterations of 1/2 inch to adjust for my narrow shoulders. I finished the exposed seams with pinking shears.This blouse was a quick and fun project using very little yardage.  I plan to sew another in a 4 ply ivory silk charmeuse next.

 I did not learn as many new skills with this one, but gained more practice at some of these:
1. Working with slippery fabrics.
2. Narrow Hems
3.Underlining a sheer fabric
4. Hand Picked Zipper. ( Really has become my new favorite zipper application)

Narrow Hems
Hand Picked Zipper
The fabric was slippery and frustrated me a little as it always looked like it was fraying. 

 After looking at these pants in these photos, I realized they need to go to a new home. I have not worn them in a year or so and I thought they fit better, but clearly I was mistaken. 

I think the blouse looks its best tucked into a high waisted garment like my Pencil Skirt.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November Gerties NBBS Project : The Pencil Skirt

I planned this skirt when I was making  the Sultry Sheath from last month. When I was planning for fall and reviewing the book I new I wanted to make this skirt and since the muslin was stitched up for the bottom half of my sultry sheath.

It has been my goal to improve my sewing and learn new skills with most of my projects and with this one I will learn the following:
1. Boning in the waistband.
2. Bound Buttonholes, since there is only one I thought this would be a good one to practice with.

The other skills listed I have already accomplished but will get more practice: darts and a lapped zipper I have learned while sewing the Retro-Inspired skirted playsuit and the Sultry Sheath

I  had purchased 1 1/2 yards of this wool herringbone fabric from Fabric.com on a closeout sale years ago and had the lining in my stash.
I do not have much difference in my waist to hip ratio so I picked the size 4 using my waist measurements and graded it down to a 2 in the side seams from the hips down.
I followed along up until Step 5 with my side seams basted and did a fitting, like the book recommends. I also notice that with many of my vintage patterns the recommendation to baste your seams and do a fitting before sewing them permanently. Whenever I read about vintage techniques either sewing or cooking I feel that we have become lazy and more interested in doing something fast and less about quality.
During my fitting I  felt like the slit was a little high so I extended the back seam down 1 1/2 inch past the final mark for the slit.

After putting in the final seams for the skirt I was on to the waistband, I decided I wanted to do the high waist with the boning and following the instructions I gathered my supplies. The list suggested  hair canvas, silk organza and either Rigilene or steel boning. Hair Canvas? I had a mental image of this...YIKES!

I have never sewn with it before but strolled down to my local store and they pulled it out and cut a 1/8" of a yard for me. You can imagine my relief when  I saw that it looked like this...

This had me curious about Why it was called hair canvas? In my research I discovered that the interfacing does contain a small amount of horse hair, and is commonly used for tailoring.

I used Rigilene for the boning because, I had it on hand and it is simple to work with and sews in easily. I added the first strip in the center and the rest 2 inches apart as Gertie advised. I ended up with 7 strips total.
I am short in the torso and was worried the waistband would rest right below my bust line, so shortened it 1/2 inch.

My Bound Button hole was a flop. I practiced and it was turning out poorly so I gave up for this time and did a quick machine buttonhole..which also isn't done very well.   Normally when things start to go south and I have been sewing for a while I know it is time to stop and step away from my project., at this point all I had to complete was sewing on the button, so I finished it up. 

Side seams a little off but I am going to leave it.

I paired it with a blouse that I recently sewed  from the same book, more on the blouse later.