Blog Archive

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Burda #115 Wrap Blouse 04/2014

I am really happy with how this top turned out.  In the end all I changed was to add an additional 1" to the length and did a bicep adjustment on the sleeves.  I think the sleeve fit could be improved - raise the shoulder a bit and flatten the sleeve cap to eliminate some ease.  I like this so much I will make one for summer, without sleeves, in the same fabric.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Beginning to look like a coat.

The never ending prep work on Pat's coat is nearing a finish.  Interfacing (fusible), marking, basting sped by and was done in a week.  I also cranked out the bound button holes in record time. 
The pockets slowed me down as it had been a long while since I had made either type.  The coat has two buttonhole pockets and a welt pocket.  I remembered neither technique.  So back I went into my samples and notes and did them in muslin.  Then I practiced them again in the coat fabric.  I cannot say how much my samples and my notes save my ass.  I go back and reference them again and again.  Why then do I have such a hard time convincing my students to TAKE NOTES?  Samples are great but only if you have an outline of the steps you followed.  Have the two things and you are always always going to be good to go.

Class tonight.  I need to draw my facing and lining patterns.  Then I'll get the undercollar attached and start sleeve construction .

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Burda 115 - Wrap Blouse Muslin

A trip to Montreal has netted me some lovely Lycra fabric for this summer's swimsuit. For the first time I have had the car while fabric shopping so was able to venture to the warehouses on Blvd St. Laurent.  I got two complementary colours and some lining.  Beautiful stuff.

I also picked up a soft lamb skin.  I think I am going to use it for the under collar and welt lips of Pat's winter coat.

Finally, I muslined Burda 115 - the wrap blouse from 04/2014 magazine.  I had originally thought I would use the soft bold rayon stripe but now I am wondering if the shirt is better left simple.  This one I am going to think about for a bit. It will definitely be done in a bright colour.  I have had enough of grey and black this season.  I am going to shorten the sleeves a bit to hit me at the wrist bone and I may to to add a bit of girth to the actual sleeve for ease of movement.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Kwik Sew 3555 - The Shirt of Sadness

Kwik Sew 3555 -  I tried to jump start my interest this week with a nice new crisp shirt. Just about everything that could go wrong with it did.

I cut one of the front pieces wrong. Now my pattern matching is off by about one inch on one side of the placket. I guess I lined up the placket fold thinking I was lining up center front.  It took every inch of my being not to scrap this top right when I realized my error.  No extra fabric meant I couldn't recut. This is good fabric, from Darrell Thomas, an I decided to plow on.  I also messed up my sleeve plackets from a pattern placement perspective as well. 

Actual construction went no smoother.  Yoke, collar, front placket - rip and sew, rip and sew.  In the end it is wearable but is below my usual standards.  No fault of Kwik Sew, all driver error.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

2013 Skirt - Finally Done

I don't leave many unfinished objects.  For whatever reason I left this skirt sitting unfinished since the end of 2013.  I drafted it from my basic aline block. While I was organizing my fabric stash over the holidays I pulled it out and thought wouldn't this be nice to wear on the holidays.  Then it sat for a bit longer but out in the open where I couldn't avoid looking at it.  Finally I attached the facings, cut the lining, and put it all together.  It went very easily.  I don't know why I hesitated.

Actually, I do know why.  The waist feature.  There are two overlapping bands there.  Initially I had thought I would put a great big button there...then I came to my senses.  I decided to leave them unadorned.  With the facings mostly on, the overlaps then had to be slipstitched closed.  Note that I also piped around them to highlight their shape and also to highlight the waist.  If I had to do it again I would have piped the whole lace design inserts (the piping ends just past the darts).  Ah the darts - I regret the little design darts at the front of the skirt.  The skirt would have looked much sleeker without.  I don't need any poof there and they give a bit.  I finished the skirt with a rolled hem.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Vogue 2613 Men's coat - muslin stage.

Pat's coat construction has begun. I cut him the 44 in the single breasted version, lengthened the sleeve and the body, and did up a muslin.

My first issue has shown itself.  There seems to be too much ease in the sleeve head.  To cross check what the muslin was telling me,  I went back to the pattern pieces and walked the sleeve into the bodice and there is easily 1.75 inches to ease in on the back. Way too much to get a clean sleeve insert.  The front is fine with about .5 inches.  Neither should be more the .75 inches each.  this is what too much ease looks like.

 I can't decide if I should tackle this before or after the muslin fitting.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Zippered Tote

Zippered tote.  Made from stash with the exception of the pleather I had to buy for the handle straps as I ran out of the two fabrics I used for the rest of the bag.  Lined in the rough silk that made up my xmas shirt.  Frank had the pattern laying around and I traced it up.  No idea what the pattern number is though.  I used a teflon foot on the vinyl and that was a lifesaver.

1. Put your straps on before you construct your bag and save yourself some measuring and sewing headaches.  I don't know what I was thinking with that boner omission.  PITA.

2.Get the lines on your straps straight.  I worked from the wrong side on the first folds of the strap.  I shouldn't have.  My lines on the front were wonky as a result.  Next time I will take the time to glue my straps first, or clip the closed, and sew from the right side.

I may add a clip on strap to convert this to a cross body bag.  I find that with my winter coat on the straps seem to slip down my shoulder. I am not convinced this bag will truly enter rotation.  It may be relegated to being the weekly music bag.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

eReader Cover

A new ereader has arrived at my door. This one is small, and it can slip into my coat pocket so it is easy to bring places, but I do want some type of cover for it to protect it for travelling/cottage/laying about the house rotting.  You see what they want for covers?  No way am I paying 20-30$. 

I have loads of cardboard leftover from Christmas and have been constructing doll furniture with it, so it was an obvious leap to decide to build my own cover.  I figured out the length I needed the cover to be.  Measure your ereader, length and width.  Times length by 2.   Add another 1" to length to cover for depth and spine.  Draw your shape (likely a rectangle) based on those numbers.  Then to the whole shape add another 1" per side for overlap and cardboard depth.  Then add 1/4" for seam allowance all around.  Cut two.

I cut two pieces of cardboard for the front and back (exclude seam allowance and spine) and fused batting to each side.  Then I sewed up most of my rectangle cover, slipped one board in, sewed down the edge to keep that board in place then put in the second board.  Closed up my seam, sewed down the edge of the other board to keep it in place.  This creates a nice little spine to the cover.  Added some elastic to the inside to grab the ereader on each of it's corners to hold it in place and some elastic to wrap around the cover to keep it closed.  Voila.  Lots of people have done some version of this on the internet.  I hadn't seen anyone fuse batting to their cardboard though!  This took a couple of hours to do and is made entirely with materials from stash.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Polar Vortex Swimsuits

Swimming lessons have resumed and having watched Kate constantly pick at the bum of her suit, I realized that it was time to sew bigger swimsuits.  Since I won't buy a suit unless it is $12 or less, I usually end up sewing about four per year, two per child, using my trusty Kwik Sew 3785.  Man I have gotten my money's worth out of that pattern.

Every time I sew a swimsuit I get all fancy and break out the serger and then the coverstitch machine.  Each time the application of the elastic is crappy and I am ripping and threads are everywhere and the insides look a hot mess.  Screw that.  I sewed this suit entirely using my zig zag stitch.  The inside is clean and neat.  I will never use anything but my zig zag for swimwear again.  I may move to my three step zig zag next time to compare.  Looking at the hanging picture it seems I cut the front slightly off grain. 

Kwik Sew has nice directions for adjusting for back to waist length and crotch length.  Their construction instruction are good too. The only thing I disagree with is with their application of leg elastic.  They do not recommend you stretch the elastic at the front, only at the back.  I find you end up getting some peek a boo action in the front leg opening.  I give a little stretch at the front and then do more of a stretch in the rear and that solves that issue.

Fabric and lining are from stash.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Bustier: Over and Out.

First off: DONE

How long have I been farting around with this bustier?  Since September I think.  Anyhow, it is done.  The back is a lapped zipper for real strength, the buttons and loops are decorative.  The bustier is made mostly from a wool suiting I got at a swap meet for $10 for 3/m.  It was flawed so I really only had two meters to work with.  The bustier is lined in a navy bemberg.  The lace is from Fabricmart and I have a ton left.  The grey satin underlining the lace was from Fabricland.  Loops and buttons are a scrap of grey dupioni.

The bustier is of my own design and pattern, based on my dress bodice sloper.  It's a snug fit, as it should be, but not uncomfortable.  I can't really show this on my dress form.  The top doesn't zip up much past the waist.  I have realized that while the dressform and I are the same measurements around the chest, I am not as wide at the back and instead carry the additional inches in the boobs.  On a really fitted garment my dressform is useless to me.

Second: boring house stuff.  I recovered some throw cushions that Mags had written her name on in permanent ink.  That kid writes her name everywhere and we are going to have a discussion on tagging.  The cushions needed a freshening so I wasn't too pissed at the make work project and I used up stash fabric that has been sitting around for 3 years.  I always fall back on the Readers Digest Complete Guide to Sewing when it comes to looking up a rusty technique - in this case cushion covers.  I believe this book is the most useful general sewing book out there.  I use the 1970s edition but the newer 2000 edition is just as good.  I used some cord I got for Christmas to make the piping ($1 from the dollar store, at least 15ft of it).  Santa thought I was going to use that cord to make a clothes line.  Forget that Santa, I have a dryer. 

Third: I may have sold my five thread Juki industrial serger. Sunday will tell.  I will replace it with an industrial 4 thread but I am in no rush.  I love the last email I got from a low baller telling me about the price a machine like mine sold for on eBay and then offering me half my asking price.   Yeah, go buy from ebay dickwad.

Four:  I have been mulling over what I want to tackle this year.  The big project is a winter dress coat for Pat.  Dark grey wool/cashmere from stash! Full tailoring like I did for my winter coat. I am considering Vogue 8940 but I am still looking out for one that isn't double breasted.  I have a bit of time before I commit. Time to surf ebay.