Archive: Aug 2014

how to gather fabric with a serger

Darlings! I haven’t had a moment to breathe sew much for myself since I last updated, but I figured I could at least share some lil’ techniques I’ve been learning “on the job.” In my freelance work, I often sew multiples of the same thing, so I use tho…

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Warp & Weft Sewing Society

There’s still a little summer left around here, so for this month’s Warp & Weft Sewing Society project,  I decided to make my daughter a little sleeveless top.I love the unique design of the back and chose to highlight it by combining Annali M…

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Good Morning, Sunshine!

A lot of cinnamon buns and fika (Swedish coffee break) this week…▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼ Weekly sewing/life potpourri ▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼ Hello my beautiful friends! This week, has felt like three weeks wrapped into one. We had friends visiting over from Spain and we did some sightseeing with them, which really broke the routine. – In terms of general discoveries this week, I REdiscovered Nirrimi from The Road is Home while away out in the archipelago last weekend. I had really loved her blog a while back, but somehow forgotten about it (probably because I didn’t use Bloglovin back then). Somehow, my mood matched the mood of her latest posts on that particular day, and I found myself completely immersed in her storytelling and mind-blowing photography. – The concept of internet fog. I feel that most of this weekend right now has disappeared in a big internet fog, where I have checked my email about every five minutes, and somehow got dragged in whichever direction the Craftsy newsletter or Bruda Style or Bloglovin emails pulled me. It’s nice to now have words to describe the feeling. Although I tell myself I shouldn’t feel too guilty about my weekend in light of the intensive week I’ve had. πŸ™‚ I first saw the term in Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection. (If her name sounds familiar, you’ve probably seen her The power of vulnerability TEDTalk!) – The music of Veronicca Maggio. Uplifting Swedish bubblegum pop. πŸ™‚ – Spending two days in Stockholm this week, with our visit coinciding with Stockholm Fashion Week, to my surprise and delight. Stockholmers seemed extra well-dressed this week, even more than usual (which speaks volumes). There were also A LOT of fashion street photography for the event — at every street corner, it seemed. – This reminded me of the importance of dressing well, even when you think it’s okay to be slugging it. You never know if which situation you’ll find yourself in, which potential clients you might meet, which potential opportunity might come your way. It’s my goal to have selfcare and dignity, and to present the best version of myself to the world every single day that I’m alive. Just like I appreciate SO MUCH the effort others people put in how they dress, I should make a little effort myself, and not just mindlessly grab the same old jeans and faded tee-shirt in the morning. And as seamstress, we know that it’s entirely possible to be both comfortable AND stylish. :-)) I listened to two great podcasts on my long run today:1 – A Tapestry episode with Lesley Hazleton. I found this podcast captivating more for the guest/author as a person, rather than for what she was writing about (although that was interesting too). As a person, she seemed so engaging and eccentric, and really open and unguarded at the same time, but also very deep and full of interesting experiences and stories. What an interesting person to have at a dinner party, I kept thinking.2 – An Ideas episode with Germaine Greer. I was so pleasantly surprised to discover how strong and relevant her message still is today, some 44 years after The Female Eunuch. Hearing her talk so passionately about her theory makes me want to delve deeper into her work. I must admit that I always thought of her as somewhat of an outdated essentialist feminist, but I’m now convince that her perspective should absolutely be part of our “toolbox” of theoretical lenses to employ in different situations. Did you know that Germaine Greer is actually libertarian? One more fascinating fact about her!Also: I sometimes tend to forget how happy and energized it makes me feel to engage with the world of ideas, and more specifically with feminist theory. It’s a world that’s not close to the realm of the everyday, and it does take some efforts to travel there, but it’s so very worth it. Whoa, it’s been a long post today. As I said, it’s been a busy week, and I guess I had lots to talk about. πŸ™‚ Have you been reading or listening to anything interesting these days? And have you ever attended a Fashion Week event?

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A Planetary Coco

I should know better by now than to just “pop in” to Tessuti for a browse. “Just looking, no buying” I tell myself. Pfft! Who am I kidding?I had some time to kill before a food blogger lunch in Chatswood recently so I thought I’d just duck into Tessuti…

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Russian Dolly Dress

After the surprising success of my first circle skirt dress, I made another one! This time I used my modifed Butterick B5603 bodice.

Oh, and new glasses!!  I would have loads of glasses if it weren’t for my stupidly poor eye sight, and therefore stupidly expensive prescription.  Grrr… 

 

Yes, this fabric does have Russian dolls on it, so naturally it was calling my name from across the shop.   The shop in question is Sew N Sew in Belfast, the fabric is cotton poplin and was £5.99 per metre.  I bought 3 metres, but used about 2 because it’s 60 inches wide.

 

I tried to match the fabric at the bodice seams, but didn’t do a great job.  It’s not too bad on the front, but rubbish on the back, I can live with it though.

I did another lapped zip on the back, and am delighted with it.  Again I used this tutorial from Lauren at Lladybird.  I also used my new narrow zipper foot which I mentioned ordering in this post.  It fits my Elna 520 perfectly and is a million times easier to use than the wide zipper foot. This was the first time I used this foot, and it was so easy that I did most of it while I was waiting for my hair dye to develop.

The skirt was cut with the dolls being horizontal at the centre front and back because it was the only way the pattern would fit onto the fabric.  I also added some pockets to the side seams. 

Again I used the By Hand London tutorial for heming a circle skirt, and it worked perfectly.

I love this dress.  It’s a bit ridiculous, but the Russian dolls are so bright and cheery and make me smile, and it’s that what it’s all about!

Have a great week,

Lynne

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2014#24 – Green flower print sheer blouse – Blusa verde estampada com flores

Description: Blouse with straight faced neckline, wide sleeves and dropped shoulders. The original neckline has some sort of edge piping which I omitted. I also narrowed the neckline facings. I wanted something easy and straight forward to use this leftover fabric for, which I bought because I was quite fond of the print and color.

Pattern: Patrones Magazine nº238, model 27; though my size on this magazine corresponds to a 42, only sizes 40, 44 and 48 were featured. I could have traced the in between size (click here for a tutorial on how to trace in between sizes), but figured it wouldn’t be necessary for this loose-fitting design, so I traced the 44 directly out of the pattern sheet.
Descrição: Blusa com decote reto com vista, mangas largas e ombros caídos. O original tem uma espécie de vivo no decote, que resolvi omitir, mantendo apenas as vistas, que estreitei tanto quanto possível. É um top básico e fácil, ideal para usar o retalho de tecido sobrante que comprei por gostar do estampado e da cor.
Molde: Revista Patrones nº238, modelo 27; embora o meu tamanho nesta revista seja o 42, na folha de moldes apenas são fornecidos os tamanhos 40, 44 e 48. Poderia ter traçado o tamanho intermédio (têm aqui um tutorial de como proceder), mas como este modelo é bastante solto, resolvi traçar o 44 diretamente da folha de moldes.

Alterations: Besides omitting the neck edge piping (it would be done using 1cm wide bias strip of self-fabric pressed in half lengthwise and stitched between the neckline and the facing), I also added a center back seam. The instructions don’t mention any kind of back or side slit on the neckline and after carefully measuring the neckline pattern on the round, there was no way I could slip this top through my head; it was either cutting a slit and bind it with a bias strip or adding a CB seam, which was easier and quicker. 
— 
Alterações: Além de omitir o vivo do decote (seria feito com uma tira de tecido de 1cm de largura cortada em viés, dobrada ao meio no sentido do comprimento e aplicada entre o decote e a vista), acrescentei uma costura no meio das costas. As instruções não falam de qualquer tipo de abertura adicional no decote, e como já tenho alguma experiência com estes moldes da Patrones, medi o decote para ver se realmente não precisava de abertura. Confirmei o que já desconfiava, nunca iria conseguir enfiar este top pela cabeça. A solução seria fazer uma abertura cortada no tecido e debruá-la com viés ou, mais fácil e rápido, coser uma costura a meio das costas.

Next there’s a series of detail photos of the finished neckline: 
— 
A seguir têm uma série de fotos detalhando o decote da blusa:

As for seam finishing I used my serger and all the hems were simply turned inside, pressed and topstitched. 
— 
Quanto ao acabamento interior das costuras, usei a corte-e-cose e as bainhas foram simplesmente assentes a ferro para o avesso e pespontadas pelo direito.

Last notes:This is a polyester sheer fabric which surprisingly behaved quite well; nevertheless a few things to take into account are: low temperature iron with no steam, the use of a pressing cloth between the iron and the fabric, careful choice of interfacing (I used thin knit interfacing which fuses at low temperatures without steam), a thin machine needle and ALWAYS testing the stitches on scraps of fabric on both sewing machine and serger. Next there’s a photo of me wearing the top with the matching shorts and if you care to see a few more outfit photos, check them out at my wardrobe blog (click here). Thank you all for reading, happy sewing!

Notas finais: Este tecido é muito fino e de poliéster, por isso há que ter em atenção alguns detalhes: usar temperatura baixa sem vapor no ferro de engomar, usar sempre um tecido próprio para passar entre o ferro e o tecido da blusa, escolher com cuidado a entretela (usei entretela fina de malha, que cola a baixa temperatura e sem vapor), usar uma agulha fina na máquina e testar SEMPRE as costuras nos retalhos sobrantes, tanto na máquina de costura como na corte-e-cose. A seguir têm uma foto minha a usar a blusa com os calções que mostrei no post anterior; se quiserem ver mais fotos do conjunto, podem ir ao meu blogue de estilo pessoal (clicar aqui). Muito obrigada por seguirem, felizes costuras!
Couture et Tricot is licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license
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STOCKHOLM…AND A "SMALL WORLD" EVENT

We arrived in Stockholm on Saturday afternoon…what a beautiful city!Our hotel is a few blocks from this beautiful spot, full of boats, sightseeing or otherwise. We have been blessed with great weather, sunshine and breezes, just a few sprinkles of ra…

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Dress Twins – Sew Over It Betty Dress

Hey Guys,

Yes, it’s true, I finally finished my Betty Dress! Fitted by Lisa Comfort herself πŸ™‚
Once I popped the zip in, after the John Lewis Sewing Bee (I didn’t get that far on the day!) it ended up being far too big, which is odd, as we had reduced the seam allowance during the fitting because it looked like it would be too small. I’m currently at at the peak of a weight yo-yo so it’s not weight loss, so maybe I take in less fabric in a lapped zip than an invisible one?
Never mind, I just had some side seams to redo, and of course a MASSIVE hem. Simples.
So of course it sat on the side for 2 months. 
But I got to it in the end, and that’s the most important thing. And I love it! Although I’m still without a hook and eye, but that’s not the end of the world.
And it can even be a coccoon πŸ™‚
(I took a lot of photos. I was starting to get a bit delirious)
I tried the method of running a line of stitching 5/8″ from the hem edge before turning up and stitching. I think it worked pretty well. At the very least, it gives a perfect guide for turning up the hem which I’m always grateful for. I only turned the hem up once to begin with and it hasn’t bubbled as much after pressing so I’m going to give this method a thumbs up. Only having turned it up once means the overlocking is visible, but I feel like if I go for the the second one it’ll end up bubbling much more. Erp, what to do. Thankfully the overlocker thread was white so its not obvious.
I did also add three inches to the intended hem length. What can I say, I love a midi.
The insides are not some of my best work in places, what with being slightly half cut after a wine fueled lunch and sewing maniacally towards the end, but I put in some major effort at the beginning of the day to have the pattern running perfectly down the bodice, and to have the back pieces mirrored. I did also put effort in to make sure there were no unfortunate shapes over the bust apexes. And to be honest, with the bit I wanted running down the centre front, I did actually have to be careful about that! 
I actually achieved a sort of  sweetheart neckline shaping above my bust with the pattern – can you see it too??
I wore this to the JPG exhibit last weekend with a few of the Spoolettes, and this is how I styled it on the day. Mr.G didn’t seem to be too enthused about the colour combos but I decided to go ahead with it! I also had a pastel pink jacket (which I forgot to put on for a photo) which I adore, and want to make a million copies of someday.
My clogs are ASOS own brand, and the belt comes from another vintage dress. I would kill to make more self fabric belts, but the kits seem impossible to find (I really want to have a covered buckle). I know of a bunch of companies that will make them for me, but jeepers they are pricey. I can’t afford to pay another £15-20 per dress for a belt.
So if anyone knows of any places I can get them, or if anyone in the US spots any (you guys always have the good stuff), I will happily buy them from you!!
I think for the future, I may use a different method of construction for the neckline and facings, as I couldn’t get a super clean finish on the straps (not that anyone will ever notice). There’s also a bit of gaping in the front neck, but I’ve been getting that a lot recently (or noticing it at least). Hollow chest perhaps? Or at least in comparison to my bust. 
I’ll definitely make this dress again in the future. Its super comfy. This fabric is so lovely to wear as well, unfortunately I sure as hell am not going to be able to afford any more. I even dropped a glob of raspberry jam on it when I was scoffing doughnuts and it just wiped straight off!
God knows where those extra few pounds came from – right?
I know I was complaining about full skirts recently, and I am definitely looking at heading down a slimmer shape soon, but the length of this one really helps with maneuvering about the place. 
And of course the completion of this dress makes us  Lisa and I dress twins!
Till next time!
Emmie x
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flowers and colors and newness

Hi guys! So you may have noticed that I’ve done some redecorating around these parts! I hope you like it! I’ve been meaning to give my blog a little facelift for awhile now but couldn’t quite decide how far I wanted to go with it.  Event…

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What Did We Learn From Project Runway This Week? Season 13, Episode 6

Something is afoot on Project Runway. For one, Kini was once again denied a deserved win — for the third time, I think we can agree.
And two: when did each episode of Project Runway become an hour and a half long? (And how did I not notice that?)
Anyway, the challenge was to design two non-traditional bridal looks — one for the wedding and another for the reception. Featuring guest judge Dita Von Teese (whom my six-year-old daughter proclaimed “THE WHITEST PERSON SHE HAS EVER SEEN!”), the challenge allegedly had no rules.
It was another team challenge and the time constraints were again unfortunately tight. I say “unfortunately” because there’s little room for ambitious design when you only have a day. But back to Kini for a moment:
Lesson 1: Being a team player doesn’t always make you a winner
Truly, I think both Sean and Kini should have won for these two looks. They were the only team that managed to design and execute cohesive, beautiful and appropriate looks, each making the other stronger:  
Kini’s design (left) was exceptional and Sean’s winning look is fairly divine. Kini’s quibble with Sean was the fact that he only sewed the pants (oh, those amazing pants!) while Kini picked up the slack and finished the white blouse for him. Kini is obviously a sewing superstar, banging out complicated, well-finished looks week after week (I would LOVE to take a closer look at his process, wouldn’t you?) but as we’ve been told before: this is a show about design, not sewing. However, had Kini left Sean to finish the blouse on his own, perhaps the runway results would have been different. 
Lesson 2: Effort doesn’t always equal elegance
Sandyha spent hours creating what she called “handmade French lace” in this bright yellow. She then sewed strips of it to her bodice (below left). Googling French lace I could find nothing that resembled Sandyha’s handiwork. And to me it just looked like upholstery trimming. I’m all for handcrafting, but if the effect is the same as hotgluing bulkifying braided trim to a satin bodice…then why bother?
Of course, Sandyha was safe and Char went home. Her look (above right) was quite the mess and she seemed uncharacteristically lost in this challenge for some reason. But I was so sad to see her go. I was sure she’d make it at least near the end. Let’s look back at some of her other, better looks over the past five episodes:
Lesson 3: Designing your own textile opens up a world of possibilities
Fade’s look (below left) was not my favorite but I was interested in his technique. Using the same fabrics as Emily (below right) he layered and pieced together shapes to make this edgy textile. The effect is pretty cool — and definitely unique. And somehow it didn’t end up bulky (or quilty) as I’d expected it would. 
I’m exhausting my kid’s TV time — and the minutes in which I can devote to this (summer vacation is SO long), so I will leave it up to you readers to comment on Samantha and Alexander’s looks: 

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Rouge Graphic Dress Simplicity 1877 View B

Because I spent so much of my time adjusting Simplicity 1877  for my body it was only rational to create both views. View B has a pleated and gathered skirt in lieu of the flounced skirt, but the same bodice. Yes, there are flounces… on the…

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Finished Project: Simplicity 1314 Times TWO

When my sewing students told me they wanted to learn to make a dress, I knew finding a pattern would be a challenge. After all, they’re a diverse bunch of ladies, each with her own style. How can you possibly pick a dress pattern to please more than one person? 
So first, we settled on some musts we could agree on: sleeves, a simple neckline (no collars or button plackets), and a zipper closure. I also wanted to include a few key techniques: how to sew princess seams and attach a separate bodice and skirt (Sorry, no shift dresses!). It also needed to be a Fall/Winter style. 
I searched and searched…and then one day I got an email: Simplicity had released a new Cynthia Rowley pattern — 1314, a Fall-friendly dress with elbow-length sleeves. It can be made in a woven or slightly stretchy knit like ponte (forgiving for the new sewer or the easily bloated!), and you can mix fabrics for a contrasting center front panel. It’s simple, has slimming princess seams, and is classic — though you can make it really modern. I even love the styling on the pattern envelope. Look at her, she’s wearing sneakers with a dress. I love sneakers with dresses. Always have. I also love faux leather:
I tested out the pattern twice — and I love it. LOVE. IT. I think it is so, so flattering. I love the neckline, wide-at-the-elbow sleeve and the cut of the skirt. I made it in black ponte (from Chic in NYC’s Garment District):  

And in cream ponte (Metro Textiles) with quilted center front and center back panels:
The fabric I used for the contrast panel really is a thing of beauty. It’s a cotton blend quilted sweatshirt fabric I found at Paron’s on sale a few weeks ago. I may just go back and buy the rest of the bolt. Here’s the detail shot you’ve been waiting for:
Texture!

Of course, the great thing about a princess seam is the fact that you can achieve a great fit through the bust.

I had intended to cut the above black dress with a contrast faux leather center front panel just like the Cynthia Rowley sample, but it turned out the piece of faux I had in my stash was not enough. It worked out though — now I actually have a basic black dress in my wardrobe:

I didn’t make many changes to the pattern. I graded out to a larger size at the hip and reduced the back neckline and armscye (which I usually do because I have the back of a 90-pound weakling and the hips of a mother of six). I also ended up taking out some ease at the side seam, though if I had sewn a woven, I probably would have left that in. I think for many women, this pattern would fit great straight out of the envelope. 
I also trimmed a couple inches off the length of the skirt because I am 5 foot 3 and wanted to maintain the right proportions. 

I chose pretty conservative fabrics for my two versions of Simplicity 1314, but I think there’s so much room for working with color, texture, and even print with this pattern. 

What fabrics would you choose? And how would you style this dress?

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Starting ’em early!

It might be somewhat surprising, but my son’s pre-school classroom at the Google Childcare Center doesn’t have computers for the children’s use.  Instead, (and among many other awesome features, like a real woodworking station) they have a sewing station, with two regular sewing machines, an iron, fabric cutting table with a large Olfa mat, and a child-size dress form.  Overall, it’s pretty

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Busy sewing bee!

Hey there girls (and guys, I know you’re there) Hows your week been? I’m currently in the middle of a week off work which so fa I’ve spent largly behind the sewing machine! Yay! Along with doing some housey things, yoga and catching up on mov…

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Confetti Flounced Frock Simplicity 1877 View A

Even though I have not decided if I am going to recreate the dress pattern from the last post, I did manage to utilize my findings from that pattern test run. Simplicity 1877 has similar sleeve, v-neck and back neckline features as the Vogue patte…

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Monthly menu plan – August/September

So many things I love about this time of year. Salads are starting to make themselves known again. The jasmine is out. And asparagus is finally back! Woo hoo!

Week One:
Monday – Macaroni and cheese with broccoli, cauliflower, peas and corn, with a…

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My Quilting Production Line….Slowly Coming Along!

Rome wasn’t built in a day and this quilt is sorta like my Rome.  I just need to keep at it a little everyday.  I’m giving myself a generous amount of time.  Around a month and a half.  What do you think?So far I have 13 blocks comp…

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Me-Made-Monday 7: A new silk top

"Cock your hat – angles are attitudes"Β 

– Frank Sinatra.

I love the newΒ hatΒ top, and it is my newest make as well… Ahem,.. this hat is my new favourite, readers. I bought it on my holiday in Vienna and it is an original Panama hat, made in Ecuador. With temperatures still at soaring 40C (105F), it is a true life saver. The best is, once inside a building you can roll it and store in a

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The Anti-UFO Project

Hello my beautiful friends! My unfinished projects box is seriously overflowing at the moment. It’s time to do something about it! I’m a firm believer of “one project at a time” so and all these UFOs hanging over my head are weighing down my creativity…

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Sewvivor – the washi bag

Top ten! I can hardly believe it. It’s been an amazing ride so far, my fellow contestants are so amazing, not only creatively, but their support, friendship and laughs have made this whole thing something so much more than a competition.

You can vote for the washi bag at the Family Ever After blog here!

Sometimes, a design will jump into your head and you know you just have to make it. The washi bag was one of those ideas that I just couldn’t shake. No matter how hard I tried, it had hold of me and I had to make it. And I am so very glad I did.

In the absence of a round bag pattern out there on the interwebs, I set to designing my own based on a vintage canteen style bag. Because, you know, that would be too easy! I had to rope in help for the maths part (it was too hard…) ‘circumference is the pie of the radius divided by the diameter’ zzzzzzz I made Matt do that part! He did a great job deciphering my cryptic instructions. And you know what? They were spot on! Genius that man!

The shape might be simple, but its certainly not boring. It’s a unique, yet classic shape, which stands up and makes you take notice!

For this challenge, I knew I had to crack out the big guns, which meant using my carefully stashed washi fabric. Inspired by the washi print, I made the front panel using the improvisational technique slash and insert. I love the dark grey text fabric, it bring another dimension to the background. I quilted the panel in a simple echo pattern, which really makes that washi pop. The other side of the bag features a patchwork design featuring some fabulous prints with a criss-cross design – in pink of course.

A zipper provides access to the main body of the bag and an external pocket keeps your phone handy so you will never miss an instagram opportunity. Finished off with killer hot pink webbing for the strap and you got yourself a statement bag!

Now, every bag’s gotta have some sweet bling, so I added a minty tassel. You want to make one too? Follow my quick and dirty tassel DIY and you can make one (or more) out of your favourite embroidery floss.

Bag Label

Quilt name: The washi bag
Made for: Sewvivor quilter’s edition competition 2014 (round 2)
Finished size: 12 x 2.5 inches
Fabrics used: Washi by Rashida Coleman-Hale; assorted scraps from my stash.
Bag supplies used: Fushia webbing by Echino; square bag rings from You Sew Girl.
Pattern: Original design by Crystal McGann
Quilting details: Straight, echoed lines with a walking foot using a Guttermann black cotton thread; straight grid in a criss-cross pattern with a pink Guttermann cotton thread.


Voting details:

You can vote for me (and your other favourites) on the Family Ever After blog here.

Voting closes Wednesday August 27, at midnight EST.
The fine print: competitors are allowed to use patterns. Contestants are allowed to recruit from their blogs, social media, family, and friends. One vote per device is allowed. The public vote counts as 50%. The other 50% of the vote comes from our “tribal council” aka Judges.


read more

Sewvivor – the washi bag

Top ten! I can hardly believe it. It’s been an amazing ride so far, my fellow contestants are so amazing, not only creatively, but their support, friendship and laughs have made this whole thing something so much more than a competition.

You can vote for the washi bag at the Family Ever After blog here!

Sometimes, a design will jump into your head and you know you just have to make it. The washi bag was one of those ideas that I just couldn’t shake. No matter how hard I tried, it had hold of me and I had to make it. And I am so very glad I did.

In the absence of a round bag pattern out there on the interwebs, I set to designing my own based on a vintage canteen style bag. Because, you know, that would be too easy! I had to rope in help for the maths part (it was too hard…) ‘circumference is the pie of the radius divided by the diameter’ zzzzzzz I made Matt do that part! He did a great job deciphering my cryptic instructions. And you know what? They were spot on! Genius that man!

The shape might be simple, but its certainly not boring. It’s a unique, yet classic shape, which stands up and makes you take notice!

For this challenge, I knew I had to crack out the big guns, which meant using my carefully stashed washi fabric. Inspired by the washi print, I made the front panel using the improvisational technique slash and insert. I love the dark grey text fabric, it bring another dimension to the background. I quilted the panel in a simple echo pattern, which really makes that washi pop. The other side of the bag features a patchwork design featuring some fabulous prints with a criss-cross design – in pink of course.

A zipper provides access to the main body of the bag and an external pocket keeps your phone handy so you will never miss an instagram opportunity. Finished off with killer hot pink webbing for the strap and you got yourself a statement bag!

Now, every bag’s gotta have some sweet bling, so I added a minty tassel. You want to make one too? Follow my quick and dirty tassel DIY and you can make one (or more) out of your favourite embroidery floss.

Bag Label

Quilt name: The washi bag
Made for: Sewvivor quilter’s edition competition 2014 (round 2)
Finished size: 12 x 2.5 inches
Fabrics used: Washi by Rashida Coleman-Hale; assorted scraps from my stash.
Bag supplies used: Fushia webbing by Echino; square bag rings from You Sew Girl.
Pattern: Original design by Crystal McGann
Quilting details: Straight, echoed lines with a walking foot using a Guttermann black cotton thread; straight grid in a criss-cross pattern with a pink Guttermann cotton thread.


Voting details:

You can vote for me (and your other favourites) on the Family Ever After blog here.

Voting closes Wednesday August 27, at midnight EST.
The fine print: competitors are allowed to use patterns. Contestants are allowed to recruit from their blogs, social media, family, and friends. One vote per device is allowed. The public vote counts as 50%. The other 50% of the vote comes from our “tribal council” aka Judges.


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Finished Project: Belated Oonapalooza Rainbow Floral Dress!

Do not adjust your monitors….
This dress, my much belated entry into the Ooonapalooza challenge, is really this bright — no Instagram filters needed to make it pop, thanks to this Michael Miller “Floralicious” printed cotton (available at Hart’s Fabrics — you’re welcome). It has, I believe, ALL the colors.


The deadline for this sewing challenge was actually the end of July, but like Oona, my lovely inspiration, I don’t always play by the rules. Of course, that means I am also ineligible for prizes, which are long gone by now. 
But I am lucky because I live in New York City and Oona is my real life friend — a prize greater than any gift certificate. She’s so nice (and twice as fun as she is sweet). Here she is showing her appreciation for my dress (I’d like to think the size of her mouth is directly proportional to how much she likes it — ergo HUGE): 
For those of you who don’t know Oona, she’s a talented seamstress renowned in our crafty little corner of the Internet for her love of mixing bright prints while rocking figure-flattering silhouettes. She’s also a devil-may-care draper who will rock a drop-crotch onesie like nobody’s business.  
She’s also short like me, bless her heart. So in tribute to Oona’s signature shot-from-below style, I made my husband get low in our photo shoot. Like, laying-on-the-ground low. (Dirty-New-York-City-ground low!) And the system works. I look 5’6″ at least: 
I know you’re wondering: the pattern is McCall’s 6887, a flattering princess-seamed fit-and-flare dress with a cut-out back.

This is a well-drafted pattern with the back cut-out revealing just enough — but not too much. You can wear a bra (score!) plus the bodice wraps just enough around your sides so you don’t feel muffin-topish.

The only changes I made were my usual fit alterations: reducing the back armscye and neckline. I also made a petite alteration through the upper bust. I muslined just the bodice and discovered after I had sewn up the skirt that I had to take out three inches from center back in order to make it fit. Though I had chosen the right size for my measurements, a couple inches extra ease meant major droop right at center back. As always, it pays to measure your pattern and adjust as necessary.

The major challenge in sewing with this fabric was the fact that the floral print strips were 15.5 inches wide with solid black on each side. I had to cut the skirt panels (there are seven in this pattern) in a way that made the best use of the floral while remaining on grain. The effect is a little like black godets to contrast the floral print:
Oona never has this problem
I really love this pattern, the print, and my new Oona-ish dress. 
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A Semi Wearable Muslin in Navy Floral Vogue 1209

I fell for the line drawing of Vogue 1209 but was apprehensive about the fit on my body. My main concern was shortening the bodice with all those gathers on the front and back bodice.My intent for this dress was not more than a muslin however I was hav…

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Blog Hop

You may have seen the Blog Hop on some of the blogs, and Louise from Thread Carefully very kindly nominated me to take part!  I love reading Louise’s blog, she makes gorgeous dresses that I would love to pinch, but it wouldn’t do me any good becau…

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Sew Geeky Marvel vs DC Episode!

Good morning to you!  ^_^
It’s the 25th again so guess what that means?  It’s time for Sew Geeky’s newest episode!
photo courtesy of max california

And in honor of my bestie, we thought it would only be fitting to do a comics theme!  Why?  Because August is her birthday month!  So go over and send her some early birthday love!!!  We should definitely celebrate because she brings so much awesome to the world, it’s not even funny. … Well, it is funny sometimes!  She makes me laugh till I cry a lot of the times!

Enough about my sappy love story!  Let’s talk SUPERHEROES!  We have –so- many fantastic bloggers joining in with us this month! 

New bloggers alongside veteran bloggers and a repeat guest!  You may see that a lot in the next couple months because the themes are FUN with all those caps intended πŸ˜‰

 We didn’t want to do just Superheroes.  We wanted to spice it up a bit, so we did a Marvel vs Detective Comics (aka DC) theme!  So I decided to go with a hero vs villain approach for my outfits.  
 I give you retro Catwoman and chibi Loki!

favorite pic, guys

 Now I intended to “take it easy” this month with the theme but it turned out to be just as much stuff as usual.  Can’t be helped, I suppose.  

 Immediately I knew Sephira had to be Loki.  I love Loki.  Well, confession time, I love Tom Hiddleton who plays Loki.  And my darling little 3 year old is super mischievous just like him.  Her face could also charm the pants off of almost anyone as well so in a way, she is exactly a female chibi Loki.

 For her outfit I wanted to go minimalistic.  I used a pattern from this book and altered it to make it a crop top.  

  Then I had to figure out how to recreate the armor that he wears.  Well.  In the past, I have dabbled with iron on transfers, both for white shirts and for colors since they require different types of transfers. What I noticed about the ones for white shirts is that the blank area around the image to be printed is that it comes out just a slightly darker, but glossy version of the fabric underneath.  So.  I had one of those epiphanies we all have when we are creating and get struck with a bout of genius:  What if I cut them in to strips, without anything printed on them, and then iron them on in a strategic way to mimic Loki’s armor?  It totally worked!  Some of the edges are rough looking which I like because it looks like his armor when he’s fighting.  I appliqued the gold band around the neckline and then some silver squares near the waist. 

 I was really digging doing textural elements for her outfit so instead of a plain ol broadcloth or satin cape, I went with a plain ol faux suede one… suede just makes everything seem fancy am I right?!   
The head band I bought in gold then found an identical match of satin in gold to make the horns.  A few weeks ago the girls broke a plastic headband in half and before I could get them to throw it away, I stashed it away for these horns.  I used them to help stabilize the horns’ shape, along with stuffing them with poly batting.  Then I hand stitched them on.  Hand stitching is not my forte’ but I don’t care; I love the way they turned out and Sephira thinks they are awesome.

  Now her pants.  Oh man, there is very little out in the world that I love more than little bitty girls in pleather pants (well, fashion-wise anyway).  Sephira in pleather pants speaks once again to 15 year old Kat who lived in pleather pants in high school.  A long time ago, I made a pair of spandex diamond pintucked Hosh pants for Sephira and they were –the- favorite pants in the household until she grew out of them.  Sad. But along came Loki and his brilliant pleather pants and well, we are a happy bunch again!   

I added some intersecting tucks near the knees, using once again the Hosh pants pattern.  They are perfection to me.  The snakeskin texture really speaks to Loki’s slyness I think. The whole outfit really came together well and they are definitely wearable and not too costumey.  Will she wear the horn headband and cape out regularly?  You bet your socks she will!


Catwoman.  It took us a while to decide on a DC “hero” to do…  And while she is more of an anti-villian, I’m counting that a “hero”.  

Azy picked out purple and green Catwoman out of a random list of various DC heroes.  My original plan was to do something from this Japanese pattern book.  

  BUT!  I am a part of the Azur Swimsuit (coming soon from Petit Threads) testing group and it clicked!  Catwoman frequently wears leotards… why not kill two birds with one stone and make a Catwoman swimsuit! 

   The coolest thing about the swimsuit, besides the fact that it’s adorable is that it’s reversible! 

   So I did the color blocked version even though I only did one color (besides the one green bit on each side in the back) because those seams make it look so rad. 

 I think it’s so dreamy on her!!!  I thought I’d like the purple side the most but I’m really partial to the black side on her!  I really like the way it makes her features pop!

  To complete the look I made some vinyl knee high slipper boots, a “swim cape”, 

we found this amazing mechanical claw that fits over two fingers and moves with your fingers!  It was so cool!

and two different swim Catwoman mask caps. 

 It’s not going to keep her hair from getting wet but it would probably keep her hair out of the way!  And she just recently learned how to hold her breath underwater!  

 She sorta looks like a luchador with the mask sometimes, ha!

She is growing up so fast these days.  I can hardly believe how grown up she looks!  I have so many conflicting feels about that!  I mean to me she’s gorgeous; but I want her to stay little forever!  WAH!  

 Now I know what you are thinking:  Catwoman and Loki don’t use swords, especially bokkens (that’s Japanese wooden training swords). 
But hey, I couldn’t crank out a scepter in time for Sephira and Azy, well, I didn’t think a whip of 9 tails was appropriate for a 6 year old. 
And can you blame me?  They just got these in from their uncle as birthday presents and they are having a BLAST with them!  I mean these fight scenes slay me!  

Sephira kept running back and forth yelling WOOSH and when she fought with her sword she would go “PEW PEW PEW.”


   It was hysterical! 

At one point they decided to kill some ants much to the dismay of their father.  

Speaking of which let’s look at some adorable outtakes shall we! 
We have the little curly toes one:

 The endearing ones: 

The one where dad thought there was a chance of him not being in the picture but it ends up looking like he just thinks Sephira is crazy.

 And then there are the ones where one of the girls looks fabulous with epic lighting and the other one is pulling a full on derp face!  

 And let’s have a moment to appreciate that wall, huh?!   

I was on a hunt to find a cool place to take pics in Portland and I was really worried because it was a gorgeous cloudless sky the day we took pictures.  Those who know, know that is a pretty rubbish combination for pictures unless you work it to your advantage or you find some perfect shade.  Well, this little wall had it all!  It’s a rotating mural wall in the Southeast and it’s next to some awesome food trucks as well!

So I think that’s that for me!

 Now you guys, we love when you sew along with us.  It really makes our day!  We have made it much easier for you to do that with our LINKY PARTY for every theme up on the SEW GEEKYBLOG!!!!  If you have ever made anything or want to, go ahead and show us and the world by adding it to the group!

So between today and tomorrow there will be a lot of Sew Geeky Marvel vs DC greatness that is going to blow you away!  We span the globe with sew- alongers and what they all did is nothing short of spectacular!
Here’s a few teaser pics of what they are up to and click on the corresponding number below to go to their blogs and check out their posts!
And there you have it folks!  I sure hope you enjoyed this post and I really hope you like all the stuff we made! 
NEXT MONTH: STUDIO GHIBLI
Until then!

 

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Lightning Bugs

 Lightning bugs are one of my favorite parts about living in the country during the summer.  They always remind me of childhood and running out barefoot with old Mason jars and trying to catch as many flickering lights as possible.  Of c…

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A TRAVEL WARDROBE, SCANDINAVIA

We leave for Sweden on Friday, August 29…and I THINK I am ready to pack…I always reserve the right to change my mind, but next week is busy with non-sewing activities, so I probably won’t make anything new. The only change I might make is if e…

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GRAY PANTS

I managed to plug up one hole in my wardrobe…I needed a pair of gray pants and couldn’t find the right shade in RTW…so I dived into my stash and came up with the PERFECT fabric (that’s what stashes are for, aren’t they?). It’s a wonderful cotton/po…

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Vintage (Pre)Guts…

Hey Guys,I’ve been getting ready for the next in the Vintage guts series, but this was so special to me that I couldn’t wait to talk about it.And it’s just over 51 years old :)I found this little gem online, and debated about whether to get it or not -…

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Social Dressing Butterick 5853

Typically my social calendar is less than booked yet, every once and a blue moon an opportunity arrives that allows me to stitch up a special occasion dress. The event was a wedding in early August and I knew in advance (even with all the moving hustle and bustle) that my July sewing would be dedicated to fancy fabrications.
At first I struggled to choose a dress silhouette for the event. In the end I narrowed my choices down to two patterns with the silhouettes: classic cocktail or retro inspired flare. Then to only make the choice harder on myself I found fabrics in my stash that would work for each pattern. So… logically I decided to construct both dresses and wear which ever end result I liked better to the event and the other dress would be my Monthly Stitch party dress.
I flew the 4000 miles to Baltimore to attend the wedding with my camera in tow in order to photograph the end result with myself all gussied up. Then the bad luck struck… I stood in the muggy heat with my makeup dripping taking photos only to realize after a few to many poses I had forgotten the memory card in my camera. Yep… that happened; I felt like a rube. 

So here we are weeks later when I finally got the gumption to swallow my pride and put my cocktail dress back on to show you.

Pattern: Butterick 5853

Fabrics: The body is a black satin twill that is lined with gold viscose lining, the lace contrast is a netted lace with gold a embroidered floral pattern (remnants from the scrap bin) which is lined with a tulle netting for structure and stability in lieu of the facings that the pattern directed. 
Due to the translucence of the lace/net combo the seam allowances would show on the upper bodice. I elected to finish all of the upper bodice seams with black seam binding for a clean look. 
 Additionally I enclosed the seam allowances within the sleeves between the lace and net lining.  
To construct the sleeves: I first stitched the sleeve hems of the lining and lace together. 

 Then constructed the under arm seam (RST).

Lastly I flipped the right sides out to enclose the seam allowances between the two plys and create a smooth inner sleeve. 
Satin twill is a hearty fabric which is great for this garment as it traveled well. However the bulk caused me some distress during the construction process. The pattern calls for interfacing on the bodice fashion fabric pieces because the bodice is boned, I only interfaced the contoured center front piece of my bodice. Also there are pleated bows jetting out from the bust piecing. According to the pattern you are to stack the bows on top of one another and stitch the bodice front seams encasing the bows. Well…that would be 10 layers of fabric where the pleats fall on the bows in my thick fabric stitching that bulk was never going to happen. To combat this issue I off set the my bows and found I like the look better, I also tacked the bow ends to the bust line so they did not flop around. 

Pattern Modifications: My standard broad back and square shoulder adjustment. Raised hipline on skirt.

The pattern intends the zipper to extend up the center back to the neckline. I started my zipper at the body of the dress leaving the lace upper bodice CB open with a button and loop neckline closure 
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