Tag Archives: patterns

during last week’s heat wave . . .

Just so’s you don’t think the urge to sew/serge has gone. . . 😱

Besides reading the Cleeves & Durrell books I also did a bit of sewing prep.

By judiciously utilizing early morning minutes before the blast furnace cut in, I managed to cut out another duster (ancient pattern copied & origin no longer remembered) plus another of my favourite summer sleep shirts (NewLook 6871, gifted by Ali).

I also managed to totally forget not to cut down the centre back.  Which will now be seamed. Ah, well . . .

I’d hacked the back a bit on the previous duster by cutting down the centre back of the pattern piece and pulling the 2 pieces apart to create a bit of a flare in the back. I really liked it, so did it again for the gauze. In the photos above that back piece is in the lower right of the photo.

The fabric is a black cotton gauze from Vogue Fabrics in Chicago, and still available. I must report it shrinks like crazy, but I think I might have washed it in hot water and machine dried it. 😳  Face of shame as I know better. Just figured if its gonna shrink, then get it over with.

Vogue has a redesigned web site.  By the way, I don’t get a thing from anyone for blogging about them ~ receiving freebies is against my policy. They’re nice people who know & love fabrics and I shopped at the Evanston & Roosevelt Road stores when I lived in South Loop.

So on to the serging (overlocking) bits… Should say I have a 3-thread BabyLock BL3-407 almost an ancient as me. This week I decided to tackle serging all the edges of both cottons before sewing. Which meant the dreaded serger rethread operation because I knew all-white thread would not do for that all-black duster. Deep sigh.

Plenty of chocolate to hand, a fan, cooler outdoor temps on Monday so I began.

rethreading

Being lazy, and hating to change thread colours, I decided to try something I’d just read over on Grainline Studio’s blog. Incidentally, they’ve also redesigned their web site.

They use neutral colours when serging (as do I) and just change the top looper thread colour. Yeah! I gave that a try on the dark gray (“ey”? never remember which is correct) and decided it was ok, but wouldn’t do for the solid black gauze.

Then I rethreaded the needle.
Which took about an hour.
Or so. . .

Am promising myself I’ll serge the duster pattern pieces today.  And if that doesn’t happen, then definitely tomorrow. . . Maybe.   Done yesterday!  😇

ps/
If you haven’t been to the post office lately, you might want to drop by and get a set of the Oscar de la Renta stamps for (U.S.) First Class mail.

 

 

 

lessons learnt

Vogue 8750
click to go to pattern

Okay. Let’s look at this one last time, shall we?

Remember this, this, and more recently the petersham post here?

After several years of working (mostly not working) on this, I still think it’s a good pattern.

Just not in the fabric I chose. And there’s a huge learning curve in that “NOT.”

As I got into the pattern, which has some weird pieces that prove interesting for fit, I discovered that precise seam widths were vital. (ugh!) A fraction off in some places and it’s seam ripper time.

see any top stitching?
thought not.

But even more important was the concept of those side pieces. Definitely bias effect going on, which should affect what fabric gets used, and its pattern.

Blithely ignorant, I lost a lot of the skirt’s character, as all the interesting top stitched detail  became invisible on this patterned fabric.

Although I thought the weight of the cotton would be good (it’s okay), it turned out the ravelling has been horrendous. Something I didn’t discover until I’d washed it a few times, which I did over the past 2 years.

see all the straggling ends? don’t believe that using pinking shears on a cotton will handle any ravelling… just sayin’

But lest we get discouraged, there have been positives: Learning about petersham ribbon from Hila’s post and actually using it for a waistband has been a huge plus. (Suspect it will influence most future skirts.)

The other huge plus has been realising, then acknowledging my mistake in using fabric I do not like. (An early on-line purchase so I didn’t touch it beforehand.)

HUGE lesson learnt: Don’t even think about using up fabrics you don’t want to touch… even for a toile.

Below are assorted photos from the recent finishing. However, if you’re looking for sassy photos of me wearing this . . . 😱   Shock! Horror!

Do you ever see sassy piccies of me??  Lol!   Will admit to laundering it again, giving it a good press, and trying it on. It fits loosely, as I made a straight 16 I think, and am not about to alter it.

The petersham waist works really well for me (hate waistbands) as it sits at the waist (or would if I fitted it properly) and doesn’t annoy. Because of the weird side pieces there’s a good fit at the hip, particularly when seated.

Would I make it again? “Never say never.”  Maybe. . . . but with better fabric.

😊  Have a grand weekend, Lovelies!

fluid sewing thoughts

“Fluid. n. A body whose particles move freely among themselves, and yield to the least  force impressed…

”January isn’t the time for me to be making resolutions, ’cause all I want to do is rest up from a hectic December. But…

There are some patterns sitting on my cutting table, so I’m sharing them with you. They’re things I’ve seen and admired on Ruth’s (Core Couture) and/or Felicia’s (Older Babe Sews Clothes) blogs.

My plans would include lighter weight fabrics, and V- or scooped necklines. And elasticated waists. And pockets, inseam or elsewhere.

So, with all that in mind, let’s look at some piccies, and please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts afterwards!

Vogue 9193 (click to go to pattern)

Vogue 9193       Love the hem on this top & would do whichever version I’ve linen enough for, but sleeveless. Felicia reports problems with those dolman sleeves, and solutions. As I’ve had similar thoughts about similar styles, will have a long think before tackling. Fabric: Linen (summer), knits? (winter)

Butterick 5655 – “Fast & Easy” (click to go to pattern)

Butterick 5655 – “Fast & Easy”    Hm. Am thinking a short version from some viscose in stash. Although it might be fun to play with the sleeves
& that front insert… Hold thought for another season. Fabric: Rayon or maybe linen

Vogue 8813      Still pondering what to use with this one… cannot locate a decent knit is the main problem. Or excuse. 😉

Vogue 8813 (click to go to pattern)
Vogue 8813 (click to go to pattern)

Vogue 1508      Like the shape of the top’s hem very much. Trousers are too slim for my taste, plus the back is contrasting fabric from the front. Not my style. Fabric: Linen

veravenus-cpat
photo of my downloaded pattern page
Vogue 1508 (click to go to pattern)
Vogue 1508 (click to go to pattern)

VeraVenus Cardigan Coat (free)    (Click link to go to pattern.) After seeing this several times on people & reading how comfy they found it, I decided to switch my plans for a mustard wool to this pattern. Have a rayon piece cut out now, to check fit, etc., before cutting into the wool. Fabric: wool (winter), rayon (summer)

Butterick 6377  Will change neckline as I don’t do anything that tight round my neck. Fabric: Any stash stretch fabric to pair with V9193 trouser (above).

Butterick 6377 (click to go to pattern)
Butterick 6377 (click to go to pattern)

SUMMER

Vogue 8975    Liked the jacket on this, but the dress is also a possibility. Fabric: Linen, rayon.

Vogue 8975 (click to go to pattern)
Vogue 8975 (click to go to pattern)

Farrow Dress, Grainline    Have not purchased yet; keep trying to talk myself into it. Needs neckline re-do, but that back fascinates me, along with the longer length. Fabric: Almost anything from stash.

McCall’s 6083 Lounging ONLY, in the green version. Fabric: Rayon from stash

Grainline's new Farrow dress (click to go to pattern)
Grainline’s new Farrow dress (click to go to pattern)
McCall's 6083 (click to go to pattern)
McCall’s 6083 (click to go to pattern)

sunday sevens #43

freezer-paper“What,” you might ask, “is so special about freezer paper & crackers?”

Nothing.

Except I had no source for either until Friday. Yippee!

We who sew know freezer paper is great for tracing dressmaking patterns. It’s sturdy enough to write on, you can iron it, and it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than anything else.

My lack thereof was crimping both use and storage of my PDF patterns.

You know what I’ll finally be able to do this week!

I should also explain that an early Christmas box arrived from my sewing bestie, Samantha. Needless to say, I picked up the phone and we had a long natter whilst I was unwrapping things. (Yes, I tried to wait, but it’s been such a difficult time I needed an early holiday.) Have included some of her lovelies below.

Here’s some of the other things that happened last week ~ as my contribution to Natalie’s Sunday Sevens. If you’d like to find out more, just check out her site.

 

 

my chaotic pdf pattern storage

organised chaos? 😱
organised chaos?
😱

(To the lovely uninitiated, a pdf sewing pattern is one you pay for, download, print out, and then tape/glue/somehow stick together to form an entire sheet(s) of pattern pieces, which you then cut out before attaching to your fabric, cutting out, and sewing. Clear as mud? Hmm…  Think of NOT waiting 2-3 weeks for a paper pattern from around the world to arrive in your mailbox.)

Yes, we sewers are a bit different, and not just in wardrobe choices. We also buy patterns and translate instructions… but that’s another story for another day. 😉

Sewing pal Jen (aka Let the Sewing Begin) and I were talking the other day. We’re in the same country and time zone. Whee!

I asked her how she was storing her pdf patterns, and promised to send her photos of what I was doing.

See all those odd-shaped pieces of paper hanging where my haberdashery storage shoe boxes should be stacked? In that photo on the left, above…? And the photos below are more, but not visible above ’cause they’re hanging to the left of the above photo. That’s what we were talking about: How do we store those pesky pdf pieces of paper?

Jen said she folds hers up, and puts them and the directions into a plastic bag.

Having already spent our talking time resolving other, more earth-shattering world problems we decided to table further discussion, and I promised to send her photos.

Ah.   The moment of truth.

So that night I took an honest look .  .  .

Then I had a 4-close-up-of-improvementthought… If I’m using clothes pegs, sent by dear friend Ali, for some of the patterns… why not just clothes peg them all onto a skirt hanger or two instead of the metal shelving? Then they wouldn’t take up so much space.

So I tried that (on the left), but quickly realized it was impossible to ~

  • keep pieces from intermingling
  • keep the taller pegs from getting stuck in the metal shelving
  • get a pattern off the hanger without everything falling off

Oh. And then one fell off on its own.  Scratch that idea. Deep sigh.

hmmm... all clippies are NOT created equal . . .
uh … all clippies are NOT created equal . . .

Then I saw those big clips I’d stared using. You know, the ones from office supply shops that take up space in a desk drawer. (over on the right)

But with only 3 of them I couldn’t really do an adequate test. Not with eight pdf’s, and probably at least 2 more  somewhere, which we won’t go into right now.

At which point I gave up for the evening, having taken these photos and deciding maybe it was time to call in Those More Expert.

Lovely Readers, how do you store your pdf’s?

 

Submitted for today’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.

sunday sevens #38

It’s time for Sunday Sevens again, as created by Natalie. Anyone can participate, and the rules are very flexible! Why not check it out ~

Special thanks to Nee (Sew Fusion) and Ali (Thimberlina) for their guidance prepping that mustard wool on Friday & Saturday.

It’s washed, dried, and awaiting ironing to steam out the wrinkles before cutting out.

As what? Oh, didn’t I say? Am thinking a coat from Butterick.

But before that can happen, I’ve a batch of linen (and more warm days) to get through.

Hope your week is wonderful!

sunday sevens #37

bright & sunny & co-o-ol after the storm
bright & sunny & co-o-ol after the storm

It’s been an unusual week, to say the least. Although the most unusual bits have been the last 3 days, and this huge storm.

More to come even though the rains have stopped, as rivers won’t crest for up to several days from now, windy conditions continue to fell trees across power lines, and roads are badly damaged in many locations.

Nothing various other countries haven’t experienced from time to time. Unfortunately. Perhaps the difference over here is the length and breadth of the storm’s track.

By my extremely unofficial measuring, the storm battered about 1,000 miles of coastline before changing direction and going off to sea.

That appears to be about the equivalent of the distance from the southern tip of Norway down to Crete.

Width-wise it would have covered Ireland and Wales completely, and much if not most of England and Scotland.

The European coastline then becomes too full of ins and outs for me to figure further down. Hopefully this gives some scale for comparison for both sides of the pond.

Thus endeth the geography lesson. 😀

May we all have a wonderfully productive week ahead!

Sunday Sevens is the brainchild of Natalie, at Threads and Bobbins. Why not check out her post & join us!

(Edited to add link to article in The New York Times on the storm.)

sunday sevens #22

Natalie, over at Threads and Bobbins, came up with the idea of Sunday Sevens. Anyone can join in, and you don’t have to do a post every Sunday or have 7 photos. Or even post on Sunday. It’s a way to keep your blogging hand going when nothing major has had time to happen …

… in this case, just bits & pieces getting finished, or progressing, or starting. You can decide which is which. 😉

the latest kitchen toy
the latest kitchen toy

Surprise! Decided not to mess with any ties (or buttonhole, so I’ve put off yet again trying to figure out this dratted item).

Sewed the fabric ends together, cut off the excess, and sewed up the waist seam. Have worn them several times around the complex, and still haven’t shortened them. But it’s still only June . . .

 

Late last week my new bread machine arrived. Have been collecting ingredients since then, so a first loaf is imminent.

A bigger box arrived Friday. Wonder what was in it. Will show you these three dye pens. That’s not all, but the rest hasn’t arrived yet, he-hee!

A kimono jacket finally got cut out Saturday. . . and Sunday . . . and Monday. More on that anon. After yesterday’s decisions, it was time to Step Sway From The Project.  But a few more items are in the wings, ready for the cutting process…

And a picture almost as good as watching paint dry: Our parking lot asphalt drying in last week’s heat. Yes, the parking lots had been getting a bit scruffy, so they’ve been resurfaced, and bright new parking stripes added. Tomorrow should be the last day of traveling hither, thither, and yon trying to get to the mail, the bus stop, or the grocer.

Hope you’re having a good week, whichever side of the equator you’re enjoying.

🌞  🌞  🌞

Since I’ve several new toys to play with, maybe I should also submit this for this week’s challenge over at 52 Week Photo Challenge

solid & daubed

Lily brand cotton sugar 'n cream, in potpourri & ecru
Lily brand cotton sugar ‘n cream, in potpourri & ecru

That describes the 2 balls of cotton yarn I located whilst shopping at Joann’s on Tuesday.

Haven’t cast on any wash cloths yet, but they’re on the list. 😉

Pssssssssst!

Decades of Style has released 2 new patterns & they’re on sale this weekend. Just so’s you know. 😀

Submitted for this week’s photo challenge from

groundhog tuesday

before re-organising
BEFORE
blue: offending drawers
red: bathroom, see below
yellow: rubbish lighting everywhere & can’t edit yellow colour out of piccies

Supposedly on 2 February, a groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil “predicts” whether Spring will come early or late. This year PP favoured early. Hope he’s right.

My prediction is more sewing, because I got back into my storage closet.   (embarrassed & red-faced)

Seems my original arrangement didn’t take into account that some of the drawers slide forward all by themselves. (See blue arrows on left at bottom)

If you close the door and any of the drawers decide now’s the time to slide, that door won’t open ‘cause there’s an open drawer full of fabric right behind it, with more drawers sitting next to it so you can’t push your way in.

Harrumph. 😠

The new year started. I had other urgent things for Maintenance.

  • My Jungle January fabric aged Behind The Door.
  • It snowed.
  • 6 days later Maintenance finished shoveling.

Monday my antique-loving friends Ms Karen & Mr Gary came by. I figured with their knowledge of old tools, they might have just the right solution.

They did. Karen got things started, and Gary finished up. Result: OPEN DOOR ! ! ! Thank you!💕 Thank you!  😍

Then they took a look at my cutting table’s extra leaf, which I can never get inserted. It took three of us tugging, and a bar of soap to grease the swelled wood, but it’s in now!

Last night I measured & penciled in changes for my draft Morris. Whilst doing that, thought of a better way to Frankenpattern the Jungle January fleece.

A great start for February!